Yesteryears -- Jan. 1, 2018

2013 – An electric car charging station opened at Grand Ronde Station. The Tribe was planning a grand opening/ribbon cutting ceremony for late February or early March. Oregon, with 1,300 electric cars, was leading the nation in its buildout of the Electric Highway, which predicted that by 2020 there would be an estimated 2 million electric cars that would be able to travel between Canada and Mexico.


2008 – Tribal member David Harrelson, 22, was headed to Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. Although he was unsuccessful in his bid for the Mark O. Hatfield Fellowship, he networked his way into the office of Sen. Gordon Smith for a three-month internship. Harrelson said he wanted to work in Smith’s office because of the senator’s placement on the Indian Affairs and Energy and Natural Resources committees.

2003 – The journey of Danyel Leach, the 13-year-old daughter of Spirit Mountain Casino employee Kathleen Salleng, who had a brain tumor removed, was chronicled. Despite her condition, the teenager attended school regularly, played volleyball and participated in other activities with friends.

1998 – More than 200 memory bricks were laid into place at the new Health & Wellness Center. The bricks were a Health Committee fundraiser and purchased by people to honor living and dead family members.

1993 – The Tribe finalized a land purchase with the Zimbricks, whose property was located near the Tribal forestry offices near Highway 18. The land had been looked at for several economic possibilities because of its location along the highway and across from the South Yamhill River. The Zimbrick family agreed to sell the land to the Tribe for $420,000. It marked the single largest land purchase the Tribe had made to expand its land base.

1988 – The Tribe’s oldest living member, Georgia Renfrow, turned 100. She recalled growing up in Grand Ronde, attending school at St. Michael’s Catholic Church and learning French from Father Adrian Croquet, the priest who lived in Grand Ronde from 1860-98. According to daughter Lucille, her mother’s greatest joy was dancing and she stayed active well into her 90s, giving her grandchildren piggyback rides.

Yesteryears is a look back at Tribal history in five-year increments through the pages of Smoke Signals.