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Thread: Henry Chenoweth Entries

  1. #11
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    Default Chenoweth's source for Oregon ghost towns

    I was looking at the entry for Shelburn, Oregon and having been there recently and noticing something familiar about the text, I found that he is using Oregon Ghost Towns by Lambert Florin as his source. The book is from 1970. This book is a great starting point, but any info in the Oregon entries from Chenoweth are likely to be out of date. Though he seems to have gotten the info about the cemetery from another source, it seems unlikely that he has actually visited the place. Use caution, and go to the library before traveling.

  2. #12
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    I find that research does help. The old map makers weren't always accurate and the USGS are removing ruins, graveyards and caves from the maps.
    My big gripe is how tall tales and legends from some towns have made their way into history and have shoved out a lot of the smaller towns. So much history has been lost while the same old myths get passed around. I can find reams about Tombstone and the Earps, but try finding out about the gun portals that face west at Alto or much about William Fourr. There is so little information that I can find. Unfortunately, I don't have the time to bury myself at historic societies the way that I want to. I'm forced to rely on the internet and authors who focus on what sells or what they imagine what sells.
    Quite often I find that a single old topo map is far more valuble than quite a few books in finding the ghost towns and ruins. Roads and rivers change, the hills and mountains do, but not as quickly. The hard part is getting the story behind the ruins. I missed all the hubris and find myself with too many questions.
    Last edited by Joel; 05-07-2008 at 05:52 PM. Reason: spelling
    "Life is a constant oscillation between the sharp horns of dilemmas."

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  3. #13
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    If that is the Fourr of Fourr's Fort, I've tried finding it once already. I'm sure its there.

    http://www.mindat.org/maps.php?id=47988


  4. #14
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    Yes, the same. He was quite a character in Arizona. http://files.usgwarchives.org/az/yavapai/bios/fourr.txt

    All those gated roads don't help in finding these ruins do they?
    "Life is a constant oscillation between the sharp horns of dilemmas."

    H.L. Mencken

  5. #15
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    Default Oregon

    I concur - and have submitted some updated photos - - - but one thing that has annoyed me about ghost town information both in "new" books and online is that they are using information and pictures that are very outdated........

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by danny_stoddard View Post
    I concur - and have submitted some updated photos - - - but one thing that has annoyed me about ghost town information both in "new" books and online is that they are using information and pictures that are very outdated........
    What you are experiencing is familar to many of us. I started only 25 years ago looking at sites here in Colorado. I bought every book I could find and started visiting sites. Many times when I got there I ended up finding only foundations and scap metal. When that happens I get out this book to help piece things together. The Mining Camps Speak. At least then it is not a total loss.

    Jusy an FYI - I am updating my site so it is unavaaillable for a today.
    Visit Colorado Ghost Towns at http://www.rockymountainprofiles.com

    No Sales pitch just plenty of photos and stories.

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  7. #17
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    I found this site while looking up Henry Chenowith to find out who he is. I'm writing an article on Northport WA & found an entry by him.

    Is his history accurate? He described Northport as "one of the rowdiest mining camps in Washington."

    And how would I describe Chenowith? Amateur historian? Well-known?

  8. #18
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    As another of the prolific posters on this site in its earliest days online (along with Mr. Chenowith and Delores Steele), I have a comment about the concern as stated in the original post.

    I also used books and other materials when assembling a brief history of each of the ghost towns I posted information and photos on. It is often the most convenient location to gather information to write a brief history instead of making a big project out of it or simply relying on memory. I also attempted to leave out any errors I caught or update statements. I made an effort not to re-state what my source materials stated, but put them into my own words.

    I haven't updated any of my photos in years, even if I have been to the same ghost towns since my original postings. I posted all of my hundreds of photos on this site back in the first years of this decade, with dial up Internet connection. And that was in the days that 52KB connection speeds were seldom achieved. Needless to say, that was an undertaking!

    Some of the towns I posted photos on I've been back to, some I haven't.

    I understand what the author of the original post is trying to say. I do not know Mr. Chenowith nor am trying to defend his methods. However, this proves it's best not to allow the Internet to make us lazy and not do our homework before embarking on our own adventures. There are plenty of resources, including government websites (which are also prone to mistakes!), online bookstores and online sources for topographic maps; as well as regional sources when you arrive in the region you plan on looking around in.
    Last edited by David A. Wright; 06-24-2008 at 03:37 PM.
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  9. #19
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    Default Plagiarism Plain and Simple -- from Decades-Old Sources

    Quote Originally Posted by warc1 View Post
    Henry Chenoweth has to be the most prolific writer of entries on this website's list of ghost towns. To that end, this is a great service. However, I recently returned from a trip that focused on ghost town hunting in Idaho and the Black Hills of South Dakota. I initially used Henry's entries as a guide as to which towns would be worth visiting. I also picked up a number of ghost town books as further research before embarking. This is where I discovered a troubling trend. Two books, Black Hills Ghost Towns (Parker/Lambert) and Southern Idaho Ghost Towns (Wayne Sparling) appear to be the sole sources of Henry's entries on ghost towns in these areas to the point that some of his writing is near plagerism of these books.

    The problem is that these books were both written over thirty years ago. I would guess that 80% of what is described and illustrated in them has deteriorated to the point of being a small fraction of what was documented, if not having dissapeared entirely. For example, Annie Creek in the Black Hills has been buried under the spoils of a current open pit operation for at least 15 years. Yet Henry still describes it as containing many buildings worth seeing. There are numerous examples like this. My question is whether I should be taking all of his descriptions for the many areas I have yet to visit with suspicion. I can't help but notice that none of his entries contain any photographs which doesn't add to my confidence in his documentation of current conditions.

    Regards
    Warc1

    I won't beat around the bush here.

    Mr. Chenoweth may be prolific but certainly not as a writer; rather, he is a plagiarist.

    His entries for New Mexico are taken almost word for word from James E. and Barbara H. Sherman's 1975 book "Ghost Towns and Mining Camps of New Mexico." Quite a few black and white photos for the NM sites are lifted right out of that book as well. Now whenever I see his name after an entry, I completely ignore all that came before it. He would have done the ghost town hunting community a great service IF he had simply stated his quoted source. Copying another's work and dropping a few words here or there is not journalism; it is plagiarism, pure and simple.

    Such behavior is not only in violation of too many laws to count, it is also highly unethical and a huge injustice to those who have dedicated years of their lives to research.

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