Official State Pickle of The Free State of Jefferson

Michelle Locke. Your secret is out.

You read our blog. C’mon now, give. Here we are, minding our own bidness, having a little pickle naming contest, and deciding to admit Bend, Oregon into the Free State of Jefferson, and along comes AP doing a story on the Free State of Jefferson.

A coincidence? I think not. Heh.

Well, even if Michelle doesn’t read our blog, her story on the Free State of Jefferson is pretty cool. Here is an excerpt:

The idea of forming a separate state out of the counties in far Northern California and southern Oregon has come up several times in the past.

“It’s really a very, very old historical tradition in America that people sort of removed from the center of power resent the center of power,” said Jay Mullen, professor of history at Southern Oregon University.

The 1941 movement got started when Gilbert Gable, mayor of Port Orford, Ore., announced that a number of Oregon counties should join with California neighbors to form a new state. His idea was to draw attention to the region’s rotten roads.

The idea caught fire, especially in Siskiyou County, and Yreka became the nascent state’s temporary capital.

stateofjefferson.jpg Jefferson’s attempt to secede got national attention. San Francisco Chronicle reporter Stanton Delaplane won the Pulitzer Prize in 1942 for his articles about the rebellious movement.

But with the Dec. 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor, the movement was shelved.

Today, the brief chapter is memorialized on a Web site,, and a barn south of Yreka painted with the name “State of Jefferson.” It’s also recalled in the name of Jefferson Public Radio, based in Ashland, Ore. License plate holders reading “resident of the State of Jefferson” are a popular item.

Nice piece, Michelle. Next time you’re in Jefferson, give our bud Robert D. a shout. And if you make it up to Bend, be sure to drop by Keith’s, and check out the “Nuke Gingrich.”

We might even make you an honorary Southerner.


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