Bob Wampler has always been ready to help at the Collier Logging Museum. “Whenever Lowell Jones wanted something done he wasn’t bashful about asking for help,” says Wampler, who has been a key supporter of the museum almost from its beginning. Though he didn’t know the Collier brothers well, he worked closely with Jones (Honorary Curator), Bob Kennedy and Elmer Zimmerman starting in the late 50’s. “These men,” he says, “were the pushers to get equipment into the park for display.”
Bob Wampler is the son of lifelong horse logger, Paul Wampler, whose father, Marion Wampler homesteaded on the west side of Klamath Lake near Odessa in 1906. Paul Wampler’s first work was cutting wood for the steam boats that were common on Klamath Lake at the time, then he contract logged for many of the mills and timber companies before homesteading on Seven Mile Creek in the 1930’s; ranching while he continued logging. “I started logging with my dad when I got out of high school in 1950, and worked on our ranch before that. In the early 50’s we made a partnership, and in 1964 became a corporation,” says Wampler of the logging and ranching business that continues today with his sons Mike, Joe and Scott.
Because Bob’s home base is in Chiloquin, he and his late brother Bill many times donated their trucks and other heavy equipment for use moving equipment from the woods to the park and in relocating museum displays. The Wampler family also donated many major pieces of equipment to the logging museum including, most recently, a Fresno scraper that their Dad had built by Caterpillar.
“Its been hard to keep up with the new equipment that we are required to use to meet BLM and Forest Service regulations and restrictions. What we were using 10-15 years ago is now out of date. We need to work on getting not just old pieces, but also the logging equipment we are using today, into the park, as it too, will be soon be out of date,” says Wampler.
Bob finished a 2-year term as president of the Friends of Collier Park in 2007. He is really pleased with the strength of the new board to be led by Craig Ditman and Martin Lugus. “I feel good about them!” Of the improvements at the park he says, “ I’d like to see the north side of the creek developed with an interpretive center. And, I hope they get the period cells put in the way Jim Beauchemin, Park Manager, wants them put in.
Also in 2007, Bob Wampler was named an honorary life member of the Oregon Logging Conference, one of only 15 to receive the honor in 69 years. Congratulations!