The Dam Fiasco at Bull Flat: a look back at the 1913-1914 Tumalo Project

Mike Berry, Deschutes County Historical Society

Part of the 2022 Archaeology Roadshow




One hundred years ago the State of Oregon stepped in to help settlers in the Tumalo area salvage their crushed dreams. A rogue’s gallery of grifters, chiselers, swindlers and cheats had left hundreds of settlers high and dry. The State’s well intended plans to bring irrigation to the area… went awry. This presentation will recount the follies and foibles of the Tumalo Project.

Biographical Information

Mike Berry is a history enthusiast and a professional land surveyor. He is a 1977 graduate of the Forest Technology program at Central Oregon Community College. His 45 year surveying career includes state, federal, county and private sector work and he recently retired as the Deschutes County Surveyor. In the course of researching various survey projects throughout Deschutes County he often finds himself drawn deeper into the backstory of the men and women who walked these same lands generations ago. He is a board member of the Deschutes County Historical Society and is a past-president of Oregon Association of County Engineers and Surveyors and the Central Oregon Chapter of the Professional Land Surveyors of Oregon.

Hosted by The Archaeological Society of Central Oregon