First known as Snipe, named for the post office there, it later became Alba and later Albee after the Albee brothers, well-known stockmen.
The Snipe Post Office was opened in 1881 and takes its name from the local geographic names of Snipe Valley and Snipe Creek, named for the many Snipe birds which called that area home. A year later, the post office was renamed "Alba" for the town of the same name. Alba was given its name by Eber Gambee, reportedly a professor of Greek and Latin. "Alba" means "white" in Latin.
It became known as Albee at some point around the turn of the century. Named for the local Albee brothers, it is uncertain when the name was changed. As late as 1916, people were noted in the local news as coming into Ukiah from Albee and Alba.
Josh Clark Killed Chasing Cougars
Fatal Accident on Bear Creek Last Sunday Afternoon
Josh Clark, hotelman of Alba and pioneer of Umatilla county, was instantly killed between 2 and 3 o'clock last Sunday afternoon. The accident happened in Bear gulch one and one half miles from the Adnrus sawmill, ten miles from Alba.
A party of four, consisting of Josh Clark, Ernest Knappley, Ford Wright and Ed Burns, started out Sunday morning on a cougar hunt, having a pack of hounds to assist. The hounds were in hot pursuit of four cougars, the men on horseback following as closely as possible. Clark's horse fell, catching the rider underneath. Young Knappley was close by, and quickly was at his side to assist, but was powerless. The only remark Mr. Clark made was "Get the horse of me quick; I am dying."
Ford Wright was a few hundred yards away, but was delayed in getting to the scene. When he did come to the place Clark was dead. He and Knappley, after a long while, managed to drag the horse from the body of its dead rider. One man went to the Andrus sawmill and telephoned to Alba for help. A party responded as quickly as possible.
It took until 4 o'clock Monday morning to get the body to the sawmill, part of the trip being made in the water waist deep, the Bear creek county being very rough, the timber and underbrush alongside the channel being impenetrable. It was 10 o'clock when the body was brought to Alba, the journey having been made around by the way of Mountain Home.
Mr. Clark had long been connected with the business interests of the southern part of the county, operating a shingle mill, proprietor of a hotel, president of the Camas Telephone Company, farmer and stockman. He leaves a widow and five children.
The funeral was held from his late residence Wednesday afternoon, many neighbors being present to testify to their respect and extend their sincere sympathy to the bereaved family so suddenly deprived of husband and father.
--Pilot Rock Record, January 22, 1909 1:5.
"Bob" Albee Oldtimer
Death of a Man Well Known in Umatilla County
News of the death of Robinson Albee, at Sacramento, California, was received by Newt Roork, Tuesday, in a letter from a brother of deceased. It cast a gloom wherever heard and discussed, for the man was well known and held in the highest esteem by a large circle of friends.
Robinson Albee, who was most generally known as "Bob," was born in the state of Maine in 1824, and was consequently 85 years of age when called by death. He was a member of that illustrious band of Argonauts who rushed to California in '49, where he engaged in mining and dairying. It was in 1852 that he came to Oregon and cast his lot in Umatilla county after having spent seven or eight years mining in Grant county. He engaged in the live stock industry and drove sheep, horses and cattle across the mountains to Cheyenne, Wyoming, at that time the railroad shipping point for the eastern markets. He spent ten years of his eventual life in the sheep business on Butter Creek, and in 1892, retired from that too strenuous life and cam to Pilot Rock, since which time up to November 1908, he made his home with N.H. Roork.
Mr. Albee met with an accident on the Granite Meadows in Umatilla county three years ago, when his horse ran over him and injured him severely. He left for California in November 1908, to visit his brother, H.F. Albee, who is treasurer of the county of Placer, and has his home at Auburn. After he had been there for a few months, he was compelled, on account of his disability to go to the hospital where he was when the end came.
"Bob" Albee had many true friends, for he was a square man, a living example of the workings of the golden rule. His death is regretted, but his friends mourn not without hope.
--Pilot Rock Record, August 27, 1909 1:1.
Camas Prairie Country--A History of Ukiah -- Albee, OR
compiled by Holly Jo Harer copyright 1986, Pendleton, Press, Pendleton, Oregon
CAMAS PRAIRIE 1922
Camas Prairie is a wonderful valley in the Blue Mountains twenty-six miles beyond Pilot Rock. This is the summer range for the livestock of this section and it is commonly referred to as the "Cow Country" by people of these parts.
The principal towns in this valley are Albee and Ukiah, the headquarters for the stockmen during the summer months. Both have receiving stations for the dairy products of the community, which are shipped to creameries in other parts of the county.
This is one of the most scenic sections in the county and it is in this region that big game is hunted. One of the leading summer resorts, Hidaway Springs, is located only a few miles from either of these points.
The citizens of these towns are progressive and the business needs are well taken care of by representative mercantile stores.
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