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JPR Feature
Welborn Beeson Goes Camping, Surprises Mother   
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
By Amy Couture

Twenty-four-year-old farmer Welborn Beeson of Talent, Ore., rarely left his mother or his home.  But in mid-September 1860, Beeson and two friends went on a five-day trip that they called an “exploring excursion.”
Beeson described the exploration in his daily diary, which he would continue for decades.

After stopping in Ashland to have their horses shod, they headed northeast on Dead Indian Road, where, Beeson noted , two Indian bodies had been found five years earlier. Near Buck Prairie, Beeson and his friends stopped for the night. Beeson wrote, “(we) made our bed on Mother Earth with a canopy of heaven our roof.”  The next day they went hunting, walking for miles over hills and through gulches, timber, and prairies.  Exhausted in camp that night, they cooked two ducks for dinner.  

Meanwhile, Beeson’s mother missed him so much that she continued his diary while he was gone.  She wrote that she was lonely without him and hoped he would return soon.  

Beeson had planned to return Sunday, but on Saturday he rode down from the mountains and arrived at his farm at midnight. He slept in the barn so that he could surprise his mother early Sunday morning. 

Source:  Welborn Beeson Diaries, 1860-1863.  Talent Historical Society. Talent, OR. 

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