Waterman Ranches Century Farm Award
Oregon Century Farm
Charlie Frank and Mabel Waterman, Original Owners
Charlie Frank and Mabel Waterman, Original Owners
- The Waterman family has the original diary of C. F. “Frank” and Mabel Waterman’s trip from Baker, Oregon to Four Mile area south of Bandon, Oregon. At the time they had one daughter, Leora. It took 45 days and $261.40 to travel by horse and wagon to Four Mile. For the first few years, Frank and Mabel lived and worked on the Cope’s Dairy Ranch on Four Mile.
- On March 28, 1917, Annie and J.H. Tucker deeded C.F. and Mabel Waterman the first 160 acres of the current 2,791 acres of Waterman ranches and timberland.
- On May 14, 1948, in a deed reserving a life estate, C. F. and Edna (second wife) Waterman deeded the original 160 acres to Ray S. and Bessie Waterman.
- Ray S. Waterman’s death certificate verifies Frank and Mabel Waterman as Ray’s parents.
- On April 11, 1990, Ray S. and Bessie Waterman executed a revocable living trust. An agreement to allocate the trust assets acknowledged Charlie H. and Bessie Waterman as surviving trustees. Bessie and Charlie H. Waterman were co-trustees of the Bessie Waterman Survivor’s Trust and co-trustees of the Ray S. Waterman Decedent’s Trust.
- Ray S., Bessie and Charlie H. Waterman, Trustees of the Ray and Bessie Waterman Trust (Grantors), conveyed to R & B Waterman Ranch, LLC (Grantees) all property acquired including the original 160 acres.
- The State of Oregon’s annual Registered Legal, R & B Waterman Ranch, LLC, name has as its members, Charlie H. and Sharon K. Waterman of the Charlie H. and Sharon K. Waterman Trust.
- On August 16, 2008, an Assignment by the Trustee of interest in a Limited Liability Company, 50% of the R & B Waterman Ranch, LLC went to Charlie H. Waterman.
- On August 16, 2008, an Assignment of Interest in a Limited Liability Company, 25% of Charlie’s R & B Waterman Ranch, LLC went to Sharon K. Waterman.
- On August 16, 2008, an Assignment of Living Trust of Interest in a Limited Liability Company, 50% of R & B Waterman Ranch went to Charlie H. and Sharon K. Waterman Trust.
- On December 24, 2008, R & B Waterman Ranch, LLC (Grantor) conveys to Charlie H. and Sharon Waterman, Trustees of the Charlie and Sharon Waterman Trust all real property including the original 160 acres.
- On December 23, 2008, the Assignment and Conveyance by Member of Interest in C & S Waterman Ranch, LLC, assigns the Charlie and Sharon Trust interest in C & S Waterman Ranch, LLC.
- On December 24, 2008, a warranty deed was set forth in which Charlie H. Waterman and Sharon K. Waterman Trust conveyed to C & S Waterman Ranch, LLC all property including original 160 acres.
- The State of Oregon annual Registered Legal C & S Waterman Ranch, LLC name documents Charlie H. and Sharon K. Waterman as members.
Waterman Family History:
While living and working on the Cope place on South Four Mile, C. F. (Frank) and Mabel Waterman had a set of twins born on June 1, 1913. The twins were named Ray Spencer and June. June passed away within a couple months of her birth.
Frank and Mabel Waterman were my grandparents. They loved their ranch on Four Mile and called it Tanglewood. They raised their two surviving children, Leora and Ray there. Frank survived two wives, Mabel and Edna. Frank died in 1958 leaving his third wife, Bertha, surviving him. He was also survived by his son, Ray S. Waterman and wife, Bessie and grandchildren (Michael and Charlie) who lived on the ranch. Frank and Mabel’s daughter Leora Lauderdale, husband, Lawrence Lauderdale and family had long since moved away from the ranch. The Lauderdale children loved to come visit the ranch. Ray and Larry Lauderdale continued their visits as adults. Ray came and helped with shearing after retiring.
Ray always worked the original ranch. He also took jobs off the ranch as a timber faller, sheep shearer, and butcher to earn extra money. Bessie was a school teacher and throughout their life together she taught as a substitute teacher at the local schools. Ray and Bessie started adding ranches throughout the years as the adjacent landowners properties came up for sale. Ray loved the ranch and was always improving it. He passed away on the ranch in January, 2001, within a mile of where he was born in 1913.
Charlie (DOB October, 1946) graduated from Oregon State University in 1970. He went to work on the ranch with his dad after graduation. Charlie purchased the Walker place in 1971 from Ray and Bessie Waterman. He and Sharon were married in 1971. Charlie worked part-time at Production Credit Association as a loan officer and later worked full time (ten years) while still operating the ranch. Charlie and Sharon remodeled the old original farm house and lived there through 1979 when they built their own home on Davis Creek. Sharon taught school for two years and then after the children Franklin (DOB 1973) and Amy (DOB 1975) were school age, she substituted in the local schools. In 1984, Charlie left PCA and went back to the ranch working for his dad and on his own properties. Over the years, Charlie and Sharon have also added to their property and the lands originally purchased by Ray and Bessie Waterman and C. Frank and Mabel Waterman. Charlie continues to renovate pastures, and plants trees where the land is not suitable for pasture. At 70, he still operates all the properties.
Since the purchase of the first Waterman property of 160 acres on Four Mile, the next two generations (Ray and Charlie) added a total of 19 ranch/timber properties which bring the ranch to a current total of 2,791 areas. Franklin (Charlie and Sharon’s son) and Traci (wife of Franklin) Waterman purchased the “Anderson” place near Highway 101 and Four Mile Lane from Bessie Waterman in 2002. They built their home on the property and Charlie and Sharon have a life lease on the bottom ground field.
The Waterman family who live on the ranch all have a strong sense of love for the property and its heritage. Currently, all of Charlie and Sharon’s children and grandchildren live on the property. Franklin and his family are a tremendous help to the ranch operation.
Changes in the Operation:
Frank and Mabel Waterman would’ve never been able to fathom our vehicles of today, with all their technology, when they drove their horse and wagon from Baker to Bandon. It took days to drive that distance, which can now be traveled in one day with GPS, air conditioning, heat, headlights, etc.
In the early days of ranch life, hay was cut by hand, loaded onto the horse drawn wagon by hand (using forks), and taken to the barn where it was unloaded with the Johnson hooks for storage in the second floor of the old barn. Even almost 50 years ago, it would have been hard to believe we would have tractors with cabs, air conditioning, heat, radio, and most importantly, four-wheel drive to navigate the steep hills and hay fields. The equipment has just got bigger and better resulting in more efficiency in the operation. The no-till drill has been wonderful for renovating pastures without soil erosion.
Originally, the pastures were kept productive through slash and burn techniques. The pasture burning helped with weed control, cleaned up the stumps and small trees, and put nutrients back in the soil. Today we fertilize the pastures with the four-wheel drive tractors and fertilizer spreaders. There was a time when we used aerial application for fertilizing the steep hills of the ranch. Pasture renovation is done with a tractor crawler to work up the soil after removing the brush and weeds. The ranch has incorporated the use of chemicals to control weeds. There are many new varieties of forages which have been found to provide more feed and less erosion of our soils.
Water quality has been a large issue these past 10-15 years. Many of the roads on the ranch have been graveled which is so different from those original roads which were just sod and/or dirt. All maintenance was done by hand in the old days. Now the roads either are water barred to prevent excessive erosion or they are ditched with culverts. A rock pit was developed through blasting and crusting to provide gravel for the ranch operation. A dump truck was purchased to haul gravel. Some riparian fencing has been done on the original 160 acres. Today we have four wheel drive tractors and excavator to maintain the roads and drainage adjacent to the roads.
Livestock selection has improved for size, desirability of carcass, prolifics, and hardiness. For example, in the 1950’s we sold 400 weight calves and now we sell 650 weights. The same with the lambs. Over 50 years ago we sold 80 weight lambs and now they weigh 100 pounds.
Through the years fencing has changed the most. Past generations used split cedar posts and rails; now we use steel or treated fence posts and either woven wire with barb on top or electric fences. The corral designs have changed to become more user friendly over the years. Cattle chutes have improved significantly.
Communication has improved tremendously, as well. Remember those old phones on the walls that you turn the handle to ring? Then came the dial phone, push button phones, and CB radios. Those old bag cell phones were quite large, as were the first computers. Who would guess the cell phones now are so small, and one can check their emails, weather, news, etc. just by using their cell phone. So much business is done via computer in today’s ranching world, whether it be ordering parts or signing a contract.
It is my hope our two younger generations on the ranch will be able to operate the ranch so the land can continue under Waterman ownership.