Klamath Falls was settled in the 1860s, and has had an interesting pattern of development. Originally named Linkville, Klamath Falls was populated with hard-working and independent frontiersmen and their families. A railroad station was built just after the turn of the century, bringing with it more activity and awareness of the Klamath Falls community. A resort hotel – The White Pelican – set off a building boom that made Klamath Falls a vacation spot of choice. Inspired by the demand of vacationers from San Francisco and Portland, Klamath Falls established art theaters, movie theaters, saloons and brothels. By the 1930s, the Klamath Falls nightlife attracted art enthusiasts as well as loggers and cowboys.
The Ross Ragland Theater is the only one of those theaters that still stands today. The art deco building is still a performing arts venue today. A striking landmark, Ross Ragland is reminiscent of the glamorous and rowdy days of Klamath Falls.
Today visitors are attracted to Klamath Falls for its natural and varied landscape. The Klamath Basin runs the gamut of forested areas and marshes. This variety attracts exotic species of birds and other wildlife. As well, Upper Klamath Lake is another recognized bird-watching location. These areas can be explored by kayak or canoe, on a boat tour or the Klamath Belle Paddlewheel. Tour operators provide educational trips around the lake, ranging from one to four hours; guides will generally point out the local wildlife and describe the lake’s history.
For more information about the area’s history, consider a trip to the Klamath County Museum located in Klamath Falls. The museum is housed in what was once a National Guard Armory. Today, visitors will enjoy exhibits on the local wildlife, early settlers and Native Americans who once populated the area.
Klamath Falls is Oregon’s own “City of Sunshine.” Residents enjoy almost 300 sunny days each year and mild, warm summer temperatures. Average temperatures reach the low-90s in the warmest months, and then dip down to the mid-30s in the winter. Rain may fall throughout the year, but is uncommon in July and August. December and January bring light snowfalls.
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