The focus of the February Windows in Time presentation, “Wilderness Survival, One Hundred Years Ago,” is the story of two young men who, in World War I, retreated to the mountains to evade the draft. To keep from starving in what is now the Kalmiopsis Wilderness, they ate everything from squirrel to tainted venison. Guest speaker Phil Fattig discusses the mountain saga of his paternal uncles, Alfred and Charlie Fattig, both conscientious objectors who retreated to the remote mountains rather than go to war.
Raised on their parents’ homestead in the Applegate Valley, the brothers were already experienced hunters and anglers before going on the lam. However, they quickly discovered it would take all their survival skills to endure the three years they hid out in the rugged solitude of the upper Chetco River country. The brothers eventually gave themselves up in what was then the Jackson County courthouse in Jacksonville. They were tried in federal court in Portland and sent to jail.
A retired journalist and a military veteran, Paul Fattig is the author of two books, including Madstone, which tells the tale of the brothers whose parents were members of the devout Church of the Brethren, which opposed the war. The 350-page book was published by Hellgate Press in the spring of 2018.