My folks are heading to Condon Oregon, a small ranching/farming town East of the Cascade Mountains where my fathers first family came from Ireland in the early 1900’s. While I’m not biologically related, I’ve been acquainted with the Irish family my whole life, and fascinated by the stories and relations. All of my Dad’s immediate family came direct from Ireland in their teens and early 20’s, his Mom and Dad, uncles, aunts, etc.
This next weekend, we are headed to Condon where we will
connect with our Irish cousins on my Mom’s side. My uncle James Dinnen
was the youngest in my Mom’s family. He migrated to Oregon around 1905. In a short time he had a
sheep ranch. He paid to have his brothers and sisters come to Oregon. My Mom never made it in time. He
drowned outside his ranch. When we were there three or four years ago, we were
having our picnic at the small city park in Condon. I noticed that adjoining
was the Gilliam County Historical Society. John Faherty and I went in to visit.
In a short time, the curator showed us the Dinnen Ranch in a wall mural. She called
the current property owner and within an hour there were two ranchers at our
picnic talking about our cousins’ relatives that they knew personally.
Then we caravanned to the ranch and saw this remarkable house my uncle had
built in 1917. It was in good shape, but had been abandoned for decades. I
found paper receipts in an upstairs closet where my uncle had grazing permits
and purchased candy for his workers from the Rosaria Candy Co. in Portland.