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BASQUE HANDBALL COURT/OUTER WALL AND KIOSK

The First Spanish Basques in Jordan Valley were Jose Navarro and Antonio Azcuenaga who came to Jordan Valley in 1889 and Augustin Azcuenaga in 1890. Pedro Arritola, Luis Yturraspe, and Cipriano Anacabe came a little later and soon there was a thriving Basque colony. Some of them became successful sheepmen, and others were skilled stonemasons, miners, hotelkeepers and merchants.

KIOSK INFORMATION
Basque immigrants began building the ball court or Pelota Frontone in the spring of 1915. It is built of native stone, hand hewn by Basque masons who learned their trade in Spain. Here, for years, they played Pelota (ball), a game similar to American handball.
The Frontone, a large, tall, and unique building stands in the center of Jordan Valley. It was restored in 1997 with a Basque Fall Festival. The Frontoia was used for the first time since 1935 with Pelota, Pala, Weightlifting, Basque Dancers and Basque Music.
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History/Lore

JAI-ALAI: WHERE IT CAME FROM

Jai-Alai at the Dania fronton is the 20th century offspring of handball--a game the ancient Greeks had a word for and that pharaohs may have viewed on the banks of the Nile 4,000 years ago.

What is now the super-speeded up and sophisticated Basque sport of jai-alai developed from a simple game which was played long before an anonymous Mesopotamian built the first wheel.

Handball was old when ancient Greeks called it "pilos" and played it as a form of exercise outdoors on rough ground. The Romans played "pilatta", while French and English monarchs tried their royal hands at the game in the 14th and 15th centuries.

However, it was the Basques, those mysterious people with the tongue-twisting language,who polished one-wall handball into what is now the fastest ball game in the world.

Jai-Alai at the Dania fronton today is actually "pelota vasca" - Basque ball. In the Basque provinces of Spain and France that straddle the rugged Pyrenees mountains, "pelota" was played on stone courtyards and against church walls in the 15th century. Today the game is still played the same way in many small towns.

In the Basque language, jai-alai means "merry festival". It was at religious and holiday festivals that the game became popular. The game is still a tradition at celebrations in the Basque provinces of France and Spain.

Basques first played pelota with bare hands, then with leather gloves, wooden paddles and primitive rackets. The cesta, the woven basket that is the throwing and catching tool,came into use in the mid-1800's.

Legend has it that a young French Basque who couldn't afford an expensive leather glove tried hurling the ball with a curved basket which he obtained from his mother's kitchen. The new basket or "cesta" was to change the concept of the game. More practical designs for the cesta have evolved and today each one is tailored to the individual player.

Jai-Alai also changed with the discovery of rubber and its use in ball-making. That development transformed "pelota" into the spectacular sport of speed, skill and courage that thrill Dania fans today.

By the latter part of the 19th century, jai-alai was being played wherever Basques lived - Mexico, Cuba, the Philippines and South America. Early in the 20th century, at the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair, the sport was seen for the first time in the United States.

Before World War II, jai-alai was played in Havana and such exotic places as Shanghai and Tientsin, China. Nowadays, it is a popular contemporary sport not only in Spain and France but also Italy, Mexico, Indonesia, the Philippines and Macao. It was played in the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games. In the United States, it is played in Florida, Connecticut and Rhode Island.

America's first permanent jai-alai fronton was built in 1924 on what is now the parking lot of Hialeah race track. Dania Jai-Alai was the second fronton to be built and opened its doors for the first time in 1953. There are now seven frontons in the United States, five of which are in Florida.

While early jai-alai exhibitions in this country featured "partido" games, where matches were played up to 20 or 30 points and had only two teams, today's game is called "quiniela" jai-alai.

The "spectacular seven" scoring system was introduced in the 1970's to speed up the game and add excitement for bettors. Most games last from 8 to 14 minutes. According to pedometer studies, each player runs about one mile per game.

Jai-Alai's enduring popularity in Florida and its growing attraction for fans elsewhere may be attributed to the fact that the sport is both thrilling to watch and simple to understand.

Explanation of the Game | Strategy | The Equipment | The Court | The Rules | The Basques | Celebrity Fans | Terminology | The Shots | The Signals | Questions and Answers

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Photo by Don Paulson
LESLIE GULCH
HISTORY:
Native Americans fished, hunted, and camped along the Owyhee River in Leslie Gulch 5,000 years before Europeans came to the area. in 1882, a cattle rancher, Hiram E. Leslie, when working in what was then known as Dugout Gulch, was struck by lightning; thus, the area was renamed Leslie Gulch. The original Leslie Gulch canyon road long served as a wagon and mail route between Rockville and Watson. Today, the town of Watson lies at the bottom of the Owyhee Reservoir.

SOME HELPFUL HINTS:
It is a minimum of 25 miles of dirt roads from Slocum Creek Campground to a Highway (U.S. 95).
The closest available services are located in Jordan Valley, OR (43 miles, and Homedale, ID (40 miles).

DRIVE SLOWLY AND ENJOY!
Rapidly changing weather can affect road and driving conditions, and flash flooding and winter conditions can prevent access. There may be variable and changing road surface conditions - high clearance vehicles are recommended. Larger recreation vehicles are not recommended.

A WEALTH OF SPECIAL VALUES!!
Unique Geology -
The most striking features fo Leslie Gulch are the diverse and often stark, towering and colorful geologic formations. The Leslie Gulch Tuff (consolidated volcanic ash), which makes up the bulk of these formations, is a rhyolite ash that erupted from the Mahogany Mountain caldera in a series of violent explosions about 15.5 million years ago.

Wildlife -
In 1965, seventeen California bighorn sheep were reintroduced into Leslie Gulch. The herd has expanded to over 200 animals. Mule deer and Rocky Mountain elk are also found in the area. Bird watchers can spot Chukar, numerous song birds, raptors, California quail, northern flickers, and white-throated swifts. Coyotes, bobcats, bats and many reptiles, including rattlesnakes, also live in leslie Gulch

Rare Plants -
The talus slopes and unique soils of the Leslie Gulch ash-flow tuff support a number of globally rare plant species. Two annual species are found only in Leslie Gulch drainage (Packard's blazing star and Etter's groundsel). Grimy ivesia, sterile milvetch, and Owyhee clover are rare perennials found at a few isolated sites in the canyon. A stand of Ponderosa pine still survives in a Leslie Gulch tributary.

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION AND MAPS CONTACT:
Bureau of Land Management
100 Oregon Street
Vale OR 97918
541-473-3144
http://www.or.blm.gov/Vale/
CALL THEM FOR ROAD CONDITIONS
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MORE AREA PHOTOS CLICK HERE
COURTESY OF HUGH TELLERIA
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Big Horn Sheep at Leslie Gulch
Photo Courtesy of Delores Scott
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NOW AND THEN BUILDING
Located in Downtown Jordan Valley
Designed in a showcasing format.
Displayed are historical artifacts 
regional fine art and buckaroo gear.
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NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE -
JEAN BAPTISTE CHARBONNEAU, SACAGAWEA'S SON, BURIAL SITE

PART OF OREGON'S HISTORY:
Jean Baptiste Charbonneau was born in 1805 at Fort Mandan in North Dakota. His parents were Toussaint Charbonneau, a French-Canadian interpreter, and Sacagawea, a Lemhi Shoshone. His birth was attended by Meriwether Lewis while the Corps of Discovery, the group led by Captains Lewis & Clark, were attempting to find an all-water route across the North American Continent.
Mere weeks after his birth, the boy nicknamed "Pomp" began traveling with his mother as the expedition journeyed from North Dakota to the Pacific Ocean. Throughout their travels, the young mother and her son symbolized to the Native Americans they encountered that the group was on a peaceful mission, and literally kept the Corp of Discovery out of harms way.
During the expedition, Jean Baptiste became much adored by Captain Clark, who wanted to "raise him as his own." This was accepted by Sacagawea and Toussaint, who later put "Pomp" in Clark's care after Sacagawea's death in 1812. He was officially adopted by Clark about August of 1813.
In St. Louis, Missouri, William Clark educated Jean Baptiste. Because of Jean Baptist's formal education and frontier accomplishments, Prince Paul Wilhelm of Wurttemberg took him back to Europe as his companion. While living abroad for six years, Jean Baptiste traveled extensively, even Africa. He returned to the United States in 1829, and could not resist the frontier. He again returned to the West, working as a guide, trapper, gold miner, magistrate, and mountain man.
At the age of 61, he set out from California to Montana- the scene of the latest gold strike. While crossing the icy waters of the Owyhee River, he contracted pneumonia and died at the Inskip State Station on May 16, 1866, near today's Danner, Oregon. This was not the end of this great American mountain man.
His grave was rediscovered in the 1960's, dedicated August 6, 1971, and recognized as a Registered National Historic Place on March 14, 1973.
A rededication ceremony of Jean Baptiste Charbonneau's grave site occurred on June 24, 2000.
On May 16, 2005, the date of "Pomp's" death, a Wreath-laying Ceremony was planned by the Idaho Chapter, Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation, Idaho State Historical Society, and the residents of Jordan Valley were to meet at his grave site in Danner, Oregon, to honor the 200th birthday of the youngest member of the Lewis and Clark Expeditions. It was held instead at the Jordan Valley School Old gym because of inclement weather. The Ceremony started at 1:30 p.m. with guest speakers and area school students in attendance.

SEE PHOTO BELOW
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 PEACEPOLE MADE BY JORDAN VALLEY CHILDREN
JULI MATTERI'S  1ST GRADE CLASS
MORE INFO: http://www.peacepoles.com/testimonials.asp

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INSIDE OF BALL COURT/PLAYING SURFACE

HISTORY OF THE SPANISH BASQUES:
The Spanish Basques or Euskaldunak as they call themselves in their own language, Euskara, claim to be the oldest unmixed race in Europe. Euskara is totally unintelligible to the Spanish and is related in no way to any other language. Their original home was the Pyrennees Mountains. Their history is an account of repeated and determined efforts to defend the rights and privileges (fueros) that they, as a distinct people, have enjoyed down through the centuries.
In 1201, they stubbornly rejected a union with other provinces in Spain until they were guaranteed certain rights.

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1798


HISTORY OF JAI-ALAI

The first indoor fronton was built in Marquena, Spain.

1898

Cesta punta was introduced in Cuba.

1904

The first Jai-alai fronton in America was built in St. Louis, MO during the 1904 World's Fair. It opened on May 15. However, after only two months, the Jai-alai operations ended and the fronton later became the Winter Garden skating rink.

1924

The first fronton in Miami was built as part of the Hialeah complex.

1925

The New Orleans fronton was built.

1926

On September 18, the original Miami fronton was destroyed by a hurricane.

Jai-alai was first played professionally at the Miami fronton.

1927

Jai-alai began in Chicago at the Rainbo Fronton ( Rainbo Gardens).

1934

Wagering on Jai-alai was legalized.

1938

Jai-alai was introduced at the Hippodrome in New York, NY, but play only took one short season.

1947

Fronton Palacio in Tijuana, Mexico opened.

1953

Dania Jai-alai and Tampa Jai-alai opened.

1955

West Palm Beach Jai-alai opened.

1959

Daytona Jai-alai opened.

1962

Orlando Jai-alai opened.

1968

The use of helmets was mandated.

A players strike led to the blacklisting of many players.

1971

Melbourne Jai-alai in Florida opened.

1973

Ocala Jai-alai in Florida opened.

1974

Fort Pierce Jai-alai opened.

1976

Hartford Jai-alai and Bridgeport Jai-alai, both in Connecticut, opened.

Newport Jai-alai in Rhode Island opens.

1977

Milford Jai-alai opened.

1978

Big Bend Jai-alai in Florida opened.

1992 to 2003

Many of the major Jai-alai frontons in Connecticut, Rhode Island and Florida closed down.

2004

In April 4, the ground-breaking ceremony for Hamilton Jai-alai was held. It is the first new fronton in 22 years.

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JORDAN CRATERS
Notice Person (circled)

The Owyhee uplands are part of the Basin and Range physiographic province. The Basin and Range is an area of fault-block topography, mountain ranges running north to south separated by broad basins.
"The Owyhee uplands lie in the northwest corner of the Great Basin. This region differs from the rest of the province in that it is a flat deeply dissected plateau with little interior drainage where fault-block topography is less pronounced. The drainage basin of the Owyhee River encompasses the uplands. Originating in Nevada, the Owyhee River flows northerly through Idaho and Oregon to join the Snake River near Adrian, Oregon. In spite of low rainfall in the area, steep gradients give the the [sic] river and its tributaries well-defined drainage patterns and deep canyons. Cutting through the uplands over 6,000 feet above sea level, the river drops to approximately 2,000 feet where it joins the Snake. Small streams flowing in from the hills are largely intermittent." (Orr E. L. and W. N. Orr. 1999, Geology of Oregon. Kendall/Hunt Publishing Co., p 79)

The geological background of this province is based in volcanic activity which started in the Miocene. There are deep volcanic deposits of basalts, tuffs and tuffaceous sediments. While basalt is prevalent, other features include rhyolite, diatomaceous deposits, new sedimentary deposits and new surface lava. The episodes of deposition affecting the Owyhee uplands include the Owyhee Basalts that erupted onto the plateau 13-12 million years ago and the ash-flow tufts from the Steens mountains around the same time. In a few areas there has been relatively recent volcanism, of special note is Jordan Craters.
The Jordan Craters lava flow is located in the Owyhee uplands on the plateau. It is a 75 square kilometer olivine basalt flow that is extremely recent by geological time. Potassium argon (K-Ar) dating shows that it is no older than 30,000 years. However, "studies based on growth rates of lichen and weathering rates of exposed and unexposed basalt suggest that the flow may be between 4,000 and 9,000 years old". "Additionally the southeasterly flowing lava altered ancestral drainage patterns, giving rise to a natural dam and the formation of two small lakes (Upper and Lower Cow Lakes)" (Wood and Kienle 1990. Volcanoes of North America: United States and Canada. Cambridge University Press, p 211)

INFORMATION WEBSITES ABOUT THE JORDAN CRATERS:

http://vulcan.wr.usgs.gov/Volcanoes/Oregon/JordanCraters/description_jordan_craters.html   

http://www.volcano.si.edu/world/volcano.cfm?vnum=1202-9-

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Cow Lakes
14 Miles West of Jordan Valley
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THREE FINGERS ROCK
(can be seen near the Oregon-Idaho border on Hwy. 95)

WHERE TO GO --- WHAT TO SEE


Jordan Valley is located on U.S. Hwy. 95, between Idaho and Nevada in Southeastern Oregon.
Come and visit with us!

Jordan Valley is the center for many fascinating side trips, from a few miles to 25 or 35 miles distance.
Scenery of the area has been compared to places as magnificent as the Grand Canyon.


• Succor Creek Canyon is a scenic canyon, with many interesting rock formations. A rock hound's paradise.
• Silver City, Idaho—An abandoned mining town to explore, with Old Hotel and homes.
• Antelope Reservoir-- Trout fishing and boating.
• Leslie Gulch-- Rock formations of rugged beauty, ending at Owyhee Reservoir
where there is good fishing for bass and crappie.

• Owyhee Breaks-- From Mahogany Mountain – a view comparable to Grand Canyon's beauty.
• Jordan Crater-- Active less than 2500 years ago, explore in and around, with dead lava flows.
• Rattlesnake Caves-- A large cave abounding with rattlesnakes.
• Rome Cliffs-- Fascinating rock formations resembling castles, at Rome, Oregon
• Owyhee River-- Excellent white water rafting and kayaking, fishing.
• DeLamar Silver Mine—Located in the Owyhee Mountains, at one time a large producer of silver and gold,
and no longer in operation.

• Big Loop Rodeo-- 20' Loop horse roping and events. Every 3rd weekend in May –
nationally acclaimed with many vendors.

• Cow Lakes—Two lakes about 14 miles west of Jordan Valley, with boat ramps and restrooms.
• Jordan Valley Pelota Frontoia-- Basque Handball Court built in 1915, restored in 1997.
• Jean Baptiste Charbonneau's Historic Gravesite-- Son of Sacagawea & Toussaint Charbonneau (Lewis & Clark Expedition),
buried in Danner, some 15 miles from Jordan Valley.

• Everywhere—Petrified wood, Indian relics, agates, crystals, etc can be found in the vicinity of Jordan Valley.

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Inskip Station Sign

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CLICK ON LINK BELOW FOR MORE INFO:

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Pillars of Rome
West of Jordan Valley
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ENTRANCE TO JORDAN VALLEY CITY PARK
Dedication plaque, Bell, and Peacepole
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