homeTribe 80 Acres Eddie Mine E Z Access Ranch
Photos and Stories of a loose-knit Oregon Communal Farm in the1970s

     When I was living on the sofa circuit in the early seventies I hitch-hiked to and from Sixes River on the Southern Oregon Coast often, always packing a camera and plenty of black & white film. About nine miles upriver, in the most remote part of the Oregon coast, there was a communal farm on an 80 acre patch surrounded by forested public lands. Fueled by firewood, kerosene, shrooms and food stamps - the 80 Acres at Elephant Rock was a place where friends were invited to live and work on the land, to share, to make cabins and exist in peace for a time.
       The 80 Acres at Elephant Rock continues to produce food, as an Oregon Tilth Certified Organic farm. The Eddie Mine (built by Raymond Smith's grandfather Eddie Norton) was a mining claim right on the river in the midst of old growth trees about five miles upstream from the 80 Acres. Easy Access Ranch  was near the freeway exit for Littlerock, Washington and became northern offshoot of the communal experience that lasted until 1976.
      It's been fun scanning my black & white negatives and the color snapshots from many personal collections. This website is to take these images and memories out of the box and share them. I'll be adding new portraits, interviews and/or captions as the site evolves. Please e-mail me if you can help add captions, photos and stories.       gtrendler@gmail.com

Some History of the the Sixes River: (source: Historic Curry County in Pictures and Stories facebook page)

Accounts vary as to the origin of the name "Sixes". One local postmaster said Sixes was named for a Native American chief. Another source said that in 1851, the river was usually called the "Sikhs River" after the Chinook Jargon word for "friend", and on maps it was called the "Sequalchin River". Another source says the Native American name for the river was "Sa-qua-mi". Hodge's Handbook of American Indians says that one of the variants of the name of the local tribe, the Kwatami (a subdivision of the Tututni), was "Sik-ses-tene", which is said to mean "people by the far north country". Though this is most likely the real source of the name, the spelling "Sixes" was probably used by miners drawn to the Oregon gold rush who were familiar with the Chinook word "sikhs". The current spelling was used as early as 1855. The Sixes River was a fishing ground for the Sixes Indians before the gold miners arrived in the early 1850's. The River provided a plentiful supply of salmon to the Indians which brought them down to the bottom lands during the fall and spring runs. After the miners began immigrating to the valley, the Indians moved back up the river to the mountains.