PR Railroad Announces Eagle Cap Excursion Train Schedule

Wallowa Union Railroad Announces Excursion Train 2011 Schedule

ELGIN, OREGON__The Wallowa Union Railroad Authority has announced the 2011 schedule for the Eagle Cap Excursion Train, just in time for last-minute holiday gift giving. The season kicks off with the always popular Mother’s Day Brunch, May 8, departing from the Elgin boarding site at 10 a.m. The meal is catered by Ten Depot Street Restaurant of La Grande. Prices for this train trip are youth, $40; Adult, $80; and Senior, $70. The ticket price includes brunch, with beverages.

The regular season begins June 25, a train ride rumored to attract horseback-riding robbers and damsels in distress. Some excursions have live music by cast members from Elgin Opera House musical productions. Passengers can always expect beautiful scenery and a friendly atmosphere.

2011 Season Schedule:  Saturdays

May 8, Mother’s Day Brunch
June 25
July 2, 16, & 30
August 13 & 27
September 10, 17, & 24
October 1 & 15

All excursions depart from Elgin at 10 a.m. for a 3.5 hour trip along the beautiful shores of the Grande Ronde and Wallowa Rivers. The train ride travels through remote river canyons that can’t be seen from any road. Towering ridges, basalt cliffs, deep green forests and sparkling water are the scenic highlights. Wildlife and waterfowl are also plentiful. Ticket prices are:  youth, 3 to 16 = $35 / adults = $75 / seniors 60+ = $65. Lunch is included. Gift certificates are available and reservations can be made by contacting Alegre Travel, 1.800.323.7330 or 541.963.9000, or

The railroad, in partnership with the Friends of the Joseph Branch, the non-profit organization that provides the volunteer crew and assists with maintenance and upgrading of rolling stock, plans to restore excursion capacity to around 150 passengers by the beginning of the season. They will do so by refurbishing the 1938 Budd coach car that has been out of service for a few years.

For additional information and photos, go to The Eagle Cap Excursion Train is owned and operated by Wallowa Union Railroad (WURR) on a stretch of the historic “Joseph Branch” in northeast Oregon. WURR is assisted by the Friends of the Joseph Branch, a non-profit organization that preserves and presents the history and enjoyment of the century-old rail line in Wallowa and Union Counties.

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Janet E. Dodson
Eagle Cap Excursion Train Sunnyslope Marketing, LLC
North Powder, Oregon 97867

BPOE 433, Part 1 – The Beginning


I recently came across a small book titled “Discarded Antlers” by J. Dale Standley that chronicles the history of BPOE 433 (Elks Lodge) in La Grande. In many ways, the history of the Elks is the history of La Grande and in the early days the Elks included the most influential men in town. Throughout the history of La Grande they’ve had an important influence for good through their leadership and philanthropy.

I’m presenting the history here as a series. Today is part one.

– Jay Mackley

… by J. Dale Standley


In April of 1988, after the installation of Exalted Ruler William Fitzgerald, I was asked to be the Lodge History Committee Charirman. As our La Grande Lodge had been instituted 90 years earlier, in 1898, I accepted the offer.

As I studied the minute books, which had been water damaged during the fire, I began to piece together a chonological account of BPOE No. 433 history. I read one page of the account at each Thursday night meeting and it was well recieved by the Brothers attending Lodge. I also put a page in each Antlered Herd newsletter under the heading of “Discarded Antlers”.

It was by the suggestion of many Brother Elk members that I decided to put it into book form and sell it. The net proceeds will go to our national Elks foundation Scholarship program for the benefit of the youth of our nation.

I appreciate the help given me by one of our oldest members, Brother Victor Eckley, who is the Past Exalted ruler, Past Trustee, and Past District Deputy Grande Exalted Ruler. He was postmaster in La Grande for many years and before that Vic was our representitive in our Oregon Congress. Therefore, I dedicate the book to him.

Chapter 1 – The Beginning

In the fall of 1887 several young men in La Grande became interested in forming a lodge of BPO Elks in our city. Their interest was being fanned by the enthusiasm for the Elks Lodge by the men in Pendleton which had been organized within the previous two years.

One of the most enthusiastic men who joined the Pendleton Lodge was a railroad conductor, Ed Murphy. Another member of the Pendleton Lodge who worked hard to form La Grande Lodge was the manager of the mill at Perry. His name was Fred Stanley. He later was elected to represent Union County in Salem.

The necessary number of names were finally obtained. Application for a Lodge Charter was made early in 1898. On April 11,1898. Grande Exalted Ruler R. B. Detweiler granted our charter. He directed District Deputy Grande Exalted Ruler for Oregon Col. Mitchell of Portland No. 142 to proceed with the organization of our Lodge which was given No. 433.

Portland lodge No. 142 Grande Lodge officers who were going to initiate our Charter Members and institute La Grande Lodge No. 433 arrived in la Grande by train on the early morning of Saturday, May 14, 1898.

Notices had prviously been sent to all signers of the proposed membership list to be present at the Knights of Pythias Hall located in the Thorsen-Melquist Building, across the street from our present Lodge home. The Knights of Pythias Hall later housed the Standard Laundry.

After the prelimianry work of investigation was finished and the applications were completed, 40 candidates were initiated by Acting Grande Exalted Ruler Solis Cohn, assisted by Acting Grande Esquire Henry Griffin who had as his assistant a Baker City Elk who was well known to La Grande, Phil Nebergall.

Three of the Brothers were singled out to receive the Second Degree (J. Van Buren, George Beidleman, and Frank Geiser), much to their dismay but adding to the enjoyment of the rest of the Brothers.

After the initiation the Acting Grande Lodge Officers from Portland No. 142 instituted the Brotherhood of Protective Order of Elks No 433 of La Grande, Oregon.

After 40 candidates had been initiated, the Lodge was instituted, and we recieved our Charter, an election of officers took place.

Brother E. W. Bartlett was elected as our first Exalted Ruler. Nicholas Molitor was elected as Leading Knight.

That evening the first Elks banquet was held at Sommers Hotel and no better meal was ever served than by Abe Sommers. That night the liquor and wine may have brought on prohibition!

Judge Bill Smith was the Master of Ceremony at the banquet and he kept things moving at a never-a-dull-moment pace. The party broke up about daylight then the Brothers from Portland got on the early morning train without much sleep.

When the manager of the Sommer Hotel Bar counted the money in the slot machines he found seven $5.00 gold pieces in his count. No one ever admitted to making such a mistake.

To be continued… Chapter 2 – The Early Days

Shop Local

The Best Bargains Could Be Just Around The Corner

Lake Oswego, Ore. – Nov. 24, 2010 – On the brink of Black Friday, Nov. 26, and Cyber Monday, Nov. 29—when consumers are heavily bombarded with advertising from major retailers—Better Business Bureau reminds consumers to shop local too. Nov. 27 is Small Business Saturday.

“We’re so used to hearing about the large stores that we often forget about the little guys,” says Robert W.G. Andrew, CEO of BBB serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington. “We forget how rewarding it is to spend dollars locally with trusted neighborhood businesses… It’s a good feeling.”

Although purchasing online is relatively easy, buying local has its own perks. Community-based businesses are often interested in building relationships and keeping customers; subsequently, they are typically accountable, available and easy to locate if an item needs to be returned or exchanged. Additionally, if it’s really local, items can be inspected in-person with no delivery issues or shipping charges.

BBB offers the following tips on shopping local:

  • Take a walk—or a drive—around the neighborhood. Gift cards are great, but window shopping can help stimulate gift ideas. Stop in to businesses you pass during the daily commute. Unexpected deals may be waiting.
  • Ask a friend, coworker or family member. They may have a favorite boutique or shop to share.
  • Find businesses through Better Business Bureau. Search BBB’s Accredited Business Directory; consumers can limit results by zip code. Additionally, request a free printed copy ofBBB’s Yellow Pages.
  • Look for a company invested in the community. Besides BBB, consumers can also turn to a local Chamber of Commerce, Visitors Bureau or other business membership organization—which may indicate a business’ commitment to its community. These organizations often have membership directories filled with businesses by city and/or county.
  • Look at coupons. Discount cards and coupons might get overlooked in the mail or online, but look closely at deals. Coupons help connect consumers to local businesses they might not know about.

BBB recommends doing preliminary research on products, services and businesses before making purchases. Comparison shop and read product reviews. Always verify business licensing with the state and check out companies at

For More Information Contact:
Kyle Kavas, Oregon Public Relations Manager
503.212.3022 – ext. 402 |


About your BBB serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington: Better Business Bureau is a neutral not-for-profit organization with the mission to advance marketplace trust. BBB is supported by BBB Accredited Businesses and provides ethical business standards, BBB Reliability Reports, Charity Review Reports, complaint handling, marketplace events and tips. For more information, contact BBB or visit

LHS: Classic Opera Love Triangle

La Grande High School will be performing “Aida” on December 2, 3rd and 4th at 7PM in the high school auditorium. This is the classic opera love triangle in an Egyptian era, but performed as the Elton John version, so needless to say it ROCKS!! There is  murder & music, passion, poison & power, true love, singing & dancing.

Tickets are $5 for students and $7 for adults.


NORTH POWDER, OREGON__The Anthony Lakes Ski Area will open this Friday, December 3, at 9 a.m. The ski area received lots of new snow over the weekend and is expecting a big storm today. It has a 28″ base, with powder over packed powder. The ski area is located 19 miles west of North Powder, high in the peaks of the Elkhorn Range of the Blue Mountains in northeast Oregon. Hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursday through Sunday; open daily during Christmas and Spring Breaks, closed Christmas Day. Go to for additional information.

Ski area manager Rick Pignone says the snow quality is good and anticipation is high for a successful season. “Our crew and volunteers have been busy preparing the resort for the season and we are pumped!” said Pignone. “The skiing is going to be awesome!” Pignone reports there is a lot of extra enthusiasm throughout northeast Oregon, in light of the public ownership. “People who skied here while growing up are coming back and continuing their family tradition of skiing at Anthony Lakes.”

In addition to the alpine lifts and Day Lodge opening for alpine skiers and boarders, the Nordic ski center is also ready for business with 9 km of groomed Nordic lanes. Snow cat tours for skiing the backside of the mountain will be available when snow conditions allow.

As an enticement for returning to the mountain, daily lift ticket prices have been reduced this year, with adult tickets costing just $35 this season, down from $39 last season. The website has the full pricing list. And, the popular “Half-price Thursdays” are back. Pre-formed groups of 15 or more skiers can arrange in advance for additional savings. For ticket and group information contact Trish Brinton, Operations Manager, 541.856.3277 x 16,, or visit

Boasting the highest base level in Oregon (7,100 feet), Anthony Lakes is famous for dry powder snow, exceptional scenery and a family-friendly atmosphere. On October 1, 2010, citizens became the new owners of the Anthony Lakes Ski Area, when the previous owners of the resort gifted the operation to Baker County.  Baker County formed the Baker County Development Corporation (a 501(c)(3) non-profit) that oversees operation of the resort.  To reach the ski area take exit 285 off Interstate 84, at North Powder, between Baker City and La Grande. Anthony Lakes operates under a special-use permit from the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest and is an Equal Opportunity Provider and Employer.

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Janet E. Dodson

Anthony Lakes Ski Area

Marketing Director

Sunnyslope Marketing, LLC

PO Box 187

North Powder, Oregon 97867

541.898.2620 Launches new Website

Welcome to the new! This site has been upgraded. Most of the prior features are still available plus more!

Community news and information is available and a new series on La Grande history is scheduled to be on the front page.

Hope you enjoy the new LaGrandeONLINE. Feel free to leave comments for others in our community to enjoy!