Ewauna Rowing Club History
Honored Names of Our Boats
David R. Kingsley
In 1970, Ewauna Rowing Club, Inc. was founded by James W Kerns. An alumnus of the Oregon State University rowing program, Jim stroked the Beaver varsity eight in 1938. After graduation from OSU, Jim joined the army and fought in the European theatre during WW2.
His Rainbow Division landed near Marseilles on the south coast of France, fought their way into southern Germany, crossing the Siegfried line marching through Bavaria, ending the campaign by celebrating V-E day in Austria. Along the way, he witnessed the horror of the Holocaust as the Rainbow division liberated Dachau.
After returning from the war, Jim continued the family business supplying the agricultural community of the Klamath Basin. The business grew and finally specialized in irrigation systems.
As his business grew, he kept rowing in his heart and his eyes on Lake Ewauna, Klamath Falls downtown lake. A perfect size for rowing, Lake Ewauna is 2200 meters long and connected to 18 miles of the slack water of the Klamath River held back by Keno dam.
Prior to 1960 Lake Ewauna was a log pond for Modoc Lumber and Ewauna Box Factory, Ewauna Box was absorbed by Weyerhaeuser in 1952 and the mill site abandoned and sold to Modoc Lumber company. By 1970, enough logs had been removed from the lake to allow rowing to start and Jim Kerns made a deal with Modoc to lease our original boathouse: part of the old Ewauna Box Factory.
By 1995 Modoc had shut down its lumber operations, and due to Jim Kerns, Modoc Lumber and the city of Klamath Falls, in 2003 we were able to build Jim Kerns Crewhouse in Veterans Memorial Park. In 2005, Veterans Park was expanded by 2 lakefront acres adjacent to our boathouse. . The mill sites on the east side of the lake is now under development under the name Timber Mill Shores, but for the time being it remains one of the very few undeveloped downtown lakefronts in the country.