tum school 1

Laidlaw School  1910  

TUMALO ..where did that name come from ???

Historian Lewis A. McArthur says the name came from the Klamath Indian word for wild plum: temolo. Or their word for ground fog: temola. Or from an original name of Tumallowa, meaning icy water. “Any of the above explanations might fit the facts, so there you are,” McArthur wrote.

Tumalo 1911  Laidlaw School – ( Tumalo ) 1911.

tumalo 1915Laidlaw School – (Tumalo ) 1915

Tumaloo Tumalo School 1938

tum basketball      Tum sports

Stylish Basketball Uniforms for the Tumalo “Bobcats” … our school mascot name was changed later to the Tigers… we are still trying to find out what year that happened… Let us know if you remember !

Before Tumalo was Tumalo … it was known as Laidlaw . 

Laidlaw -Tumalo Oregon FSDM2

This is a photograph of Laidlaw in 1905.  Within a few years, the name Tumalo came into general use and the name was officially changed in 1915.

The area around Tumalo Creek, which flows into the Deschutes River, is located within the traditional territory of the Molala Indians.  The first Euro-American settlers arrived in the 1880’s and by the 1890’s began to organize the first irrigation project in the area for farming.



This is a photograph when they tried to build the Tumalo Dam in 1915.  It was for water storage for Tumalo Irrigation and local farmers.  The dam failed when sinkholes opened up and the dam was unable to hold water.


Laidlaw, Oregon ( now Tumalo )  sometime after 1905


This Building is currently still standing in “downtown” Tumalo – it is the Tumalo Irrigation Office.  In 1905 it was known as the Laidlaw Banking and Trust Building.


The railroad came to Central Oregon in 1911 – Laidlaw ( Tumalo ).

Tumalo history Tumalo History

Church and grange

Notice the old Laidlaw School (white school now demolished) shown here with it’s white picket parapet on the roof and belfry which stood on 2nd street (where the school bus turnaround is now)  The gym of  Tumalo school was already built by the time of this photo…also note the original post office on Cook ave is still seen/shown with the false front pediment and the flat front porch (south of the current Tumalo store). (photo from 1962)


If you have any photographs or information to share about our school … we’d like to hear from you !

Contact Tumalo School at 541.382.2853