Ranger Lee Port of the Applegate Ranger District
Tuesday April 12, 2005
By Jeff LaLande
Welcome to As It Was: Tales from the State of Jefferson
Lee C. Port was born and raised on a farm in Oklahoma, but moved to southern Oregon and in 1913 went to work for the new U.S. Forest Service. At first, Lee built many miles of trail working in the rugged Cascade Mountains south of Crater Lake. While working in what is today the Sky Lakes Wilderness, he named "Maude Mountain" for his wife. His trail-crew in turn named Lee Peak (close to Devil's peak) for their boss.
Lee detested having to spend time tied to a desk at Star Ranger Station. He much preferred being gone for days at a time out in the woods, where he was well known to every miner, rancher, and hunter in the Applegate. Ranger Lee was easily recognized, even from a distance, by the big white horse that he rode and the floppy-brimmed Stetson hat that he wore.
While Lee was off "rangering," Maude would take care of business at Star Gulch, sometimes even serving as nurse to men who had seriously injured themselves out in the forest. Lee Port served in his job from 1917 to 1945. As members of the Grange and other local groups, he and his wife served important community roles in the upper Applegate Valley for more than three decades.
Today's episode of As It Was was written by Jeff LaLande for the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest, the program engineer is Raymond Scully. I'm Shirley Patton. As It was is a co-production of JPR and the Southern Oregon Historical Society. To Share stories or learn more about the series visit asitwas - dot- org
Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest