THE STORY OF SAM BOARDMAN AND HIS TWO BARRELS
As the first state parks superintendent in Oregon, Sam Boardman is often called the father of the state park system. He also founded the town of Boardman, OR. Sam and his wife Anna Belle came to Eastern Oregon in 1903 from Colorado. Sam wrote that on his way to the northwest as the train passed over the Columbia river it made an impression on him that there ought to be a way to irrigate the desert.
During the next thirteen years living at Boardman waiting for water to arrive (it arrived June 1916) Sam often took engineering jobs away from home. Anna Belle was a school teacher at Castle Rock school. After establishing a tree nursery at the school in Boardman, Sam secured the cooperation of the schools at Irrigon, Umatilla, Hermiston, Echo, and Stanfield to have the children plant trees on Arbor Day. At one point Sam and the Boardman school children traveled to the town of Wasco with 500 trees to plant in their school yard. Sam had noticed the Ailanthus (or tree of heaven) growing near The Dalles and it became one of his favorites. He planted locust and must also be given credit for spreading the Russian olive trees all over the area.
SAM REFERRED TO HIS TRUCK AS HIS HOOPIE. IT HAD TWO BARRELS OF WATER IN THE BACK AND HE WATERED THE TREES WITH A BUCKET.
Governor I. L Paterson was so impressed he gave Sam the job as Oregon's first State Park Superintendent, serving in that capacity from August, 1929 to July 1950. During his tenure as superintendent, more than 50,750 acres were added to the state park system. Samuel H Boardman State Park, located about four miles above Brookings on the southern Oregon coast was named in his honor in 1950.