A letter to Hollis Dole of the U.S. Interior Department, which the U.S. Geographic Names Board is a part, elicited interest in my names request but suggested (with tongue in cheek) the waterfalls were probably recorded during the first official survey of the area in 1874.
Not wishing to continue the battle under any cloud or to leave any stone unturned in seeking information about the region, I visited the Bureau of Land Management Regional Office in Portland. There I personally perused the original, beautifully handwritten record of the surveyor who mapped the Henline area in 1874. The meticulously detailed document mentioned nothing of the seven small waterfalls,
Another letter to Mr. Dole reported my check of the 1874 survey and again I asked what recourse a "discoverer" had against the establishment. His official answer again cited board rules, ignoring once more my claim of discovery. Interestingly enough, this well-known Oregonian penciled a handwritten note under his official letter that said, "Don't give up Maynard, even Eisenhower had to die to get a mountain named after him."
At this point I decided the rules of our geographic names boards have no provisions for geographic discoveries.
At the next semi-annual meeting of the OGNB, the committee recommended a rejection of the proposed names for the seven falls as they were of living persons, one of the taboos in placing geographic names (except in rare cases). I immediately indicated my willingness to compromise by naming the entire group FAMILY FALLS. Again I addressed the board at the next winter meeting on the Family Falls and also on the GOOCH-GATCH FALLS name change which had been before the board for over a year. Renaming Gatch Falls to Gooch Falls was approved but the board wanted to study the Family Falls issue further. Someone suggested the possibility that Henline Falls on the map included the seven falls directly upstream, so a committee was appointed to determine if this might be so. Shortly before the next board meeting in July of the following year I escorted Mr. Herb Stone, a member of the board, and Mr. Soreth of the Willamette National Forest Staff, along with Mr. Whitmore (who had made the tour previously) back to the gorge of Henline Creek.
Once more we trekked into the rugged no-man's land hiding the seven little waterfalls. I soon learned Mr. Soreth had extensive knowledge of the territory (having been the district ranger there for many years) and even engineered the existing bridge over Henline Creek. Yet he had no knowledge of the group of waterfalls above the named, known falls - although they lie less than one quarter mile above that bridge!
Later, at the next meeting of the OGNB, Mr. Stone (who is a retired forest service official) recommended a rejection of Family Falls, although he admitted the seven were separate and apart from the recognized Henline Falls.
This is how the situation now stands. Mr. Stone's recommendation, of course, is what determined the board's final action to date. No one has brought forth prior record of the controversial group of falls, yet my contention of discovery has been ignored and my name suggestions officially refused. I have been asked to work with the Forest Service to pick APPROPRIATE names, names which will again be considered within the due process of the OGNB. Some feel the name Family Falls is a good choice, as do I.
First falls above Henline Falls - JERRY FALLS
Fourth and fifth falls - RON FALLS and DAVE FALLS
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Copyright 1973 Maynard C. Drawson Reformated and reprinted on the web in 2003 with permission from Maynard Drawson