Following is an running account of the Bullfrog Festival scheduled to take place in St. Helen's, Oregon August 22 & 23 1969. Deadbase shows that the Dead played Bullfrog 3 on August 23rd.
The Articles below are an interesting chronicle of events which will explain eactly what Bullfrog was, why it didn't happen and why Bullfrog 3 occurred instead.
Although somewhat lengthy, it's interesting reading to get a perspective on what the fledgeling
Dead scene was about to become.
Thanks once again to Thayer Jennings for locating and scanning these articles for us.
Whether or not the giant voice of Bullfrog 2 will be heard in Columbia County this weekend
remained a question at presstime on Wednesday morning.
Circuit Judge Glen Heiber was still hearing arguments in a hearing on a suit in equity which Walsh
and Moquin Productions brought against the Columbia County Fair Board.
The suit was filed late Tuesday afternoon by the Portland-based promoters of the three day rock
music festival scheduled for this weekend.
Bruce Moquin and Steve Walsh contend that they entered into a contractual agreement with the
Columbia County Fair Board, represented by its chairman Paul DeShazer, on August 6 for the use
of the Fair Grounds for August 22 and 23 for a rock music festival.
The agreement, signed by DeShazer, calls for the use of the grounds, with the exception of two
horse barns and the 4-H dormitory, for a fee of not less than $300 or 10 percent of the gate,
should that sum be greater.
Attorneys for the producers contend that the court should enforce the contract, and provide
"specific performance" -- in other words, require that the Fair Board open the grounds to them for
the music festival.
The contract, which Columbia County District Attorney Lou L. Williams contends is not valid
because it does not meet statutory requirements for signatures, called for the grounds to be
opened to the producers on August 16 for construction of necessary facilities, with the festival to
be on August 22 and 23.
The agreement was signed on August 6, according to information presented in Columbia County
Circuit Court on Wednesday morning, and on August 16 Walsh received information in a letter
from DeShazer that the agreement had been cancelled.
Moquin and Walsh's attorney said since that was a Saturday there was little that could be done,
but that on Monday they came to St. Helens to discuss the matter with the Fair Board.
They returned Monday afternoon, the attorney indicated, and discussed matters of insurance,
sanitation, concessions and the estimated crowd.
"There were some insurance problems at that time," he said, "but it has been worked out now and
all that remains is to sign the necessary papers."
He contended that the contract is enforcable, and that the reasons for voiding it which the county
presented were "after thoughts."
He indicated that security would be adequate, in that Walsh and Moquin had arranged for the
services of Jasmine Security Police on the grounds, both in uniform and plain clothes.
McCulloch said that perhaps the contract was signed "too hastily," but now that it is signed "if
justice is to be done specific performance should be allowed."
He indicated that in this particular case the court has the opportunity to step in before breach of
contract is actually committed.
Williams indicated that the Board of Commissioners of the county has no authority to permit or
not permit use of the Fair Grounds, that this is entirely up to the Fair Board. "They can express
their opinions, however," Williams said, "just as the residents of the county can."
He further stated that the Fair Board cannot lease, but rather give license to use the facilities
which belong to all the people of Columbia County.
Williams cited a statute which requires that agreements be signed by the president and the
secretary of the fair board, then showed the agreement which Walsh and Moquin contend is a
legal contract, and indicated that it was signed only by the chairman of the Fair Board.
There was no signature of the secretary, he said, and no evidence that the board had concurred in
Williams later indicated that to his knowledge only the chairman of the board had knowledge of
the matter, not other Fair Board members.
In a discussion as to whether or not certain information should be introduced regarding Walsh and
Moquin's previous production, Bullfrog One which was staged near Oregon City, Williams said he
felt the court should realize certain problems which had existed there which might also exist here
because of the type and magnitude of the event.
He mentioned problems with narcotics, intercourse in the open, and parking on private property,
as well as a severe traffic congestion problem.
Judge Heiber asked what specific problems Williams and the Fair Board felt might exist here, and
they cited sanitation, parking, and the lack of sufficient law enforcement personnel to cope with a
large influx of people, estimated to be about 6,000.
Williams said sanitary facilities on the grounds are not sufficient to handle the overnight campers
expected. Some 25 percent of the crowd is expected to stay on the grounds.
He said the Sheriffs Department is not adequately staffed to handle the traffic problems.
Juvenile detention facilities, Williams said, were adequate for the county but not for any large
number of additional people.
There are no "chaperoning" arrangements for the festival, he said, and the security police are not
actually police but rather a private agency.
"This entire situation has painted a grim picture to law enforcement and health personnel,"
He indicated that Columbia County is not a convention or vacation center, and to his knowledge
the county has never experienced a gathering of this magnitude.
He said the county is totally unprepared to handle such an influx of people. "We couldn't handle
that many people if it was a convention of Eagle Scouts," Williams said.
The case was continuing at presstime.
Bullfrog 2 has been advertised in Portland media, and in the newspaper "Willamette Bridge" as a
three day festival featuring such musical groups as the "Grateful Dead," the "Taj Mahal,"
"Portland Zoo," "Sabatic Goat," "The Weeds," "New Colony," and several others.
Advertising also promotes "petite mall lites, space balloons, rides and fireworks."
Admission is $6 for advance ticket sales and $7 at the gate. Persons leaving must pay admission
again to enter, according to the publicity.
Walsh and Moquin's attorney indicated that the festival was planned for a 24-hour a day schedule
for two days.
Crews arrived Tuesday at the Fair Grounds, seeking to begin work on a stage, but were not allowed entrance. The suit was filed late Tuesday, and whether or not the festival would be held depended on the outcome of that court case.
(from The Sentinel-Mist Chronicle [St. Helens, Oregon], Thursday, August 21, 1969)
The rock music festival "Bullfrog 2" will not be held at the Columbia County fairgrounds this
weekend, according to a decision made late Wednesday morning be Circuit Judge Glen Heiber.
Judge Heiber ruled that facilities at the Columbia County fairground are not adequate for
overnight camping, that sufficient sanitiation facilities are lacking, and that adequate traffic
direction is not available.
He further stated that since the facility has never been used for a group of this anticipated size,
holding the festival would impose a hardship on the community.
Columbia County District Attorney Lou Williams, who appeared on behalf of the fairboard, said
the county would rather face a damage suit than allow the use of the fairgrounds for the festival.
"The county must protect the rights and property of its residents," Williams said.
(from The Sentinel-Mist Chronicle [St. Helens, Oregon], Sunday, August 24, 1969)
Some people called it the greatest thing that ever happened in St. Helens.
Others called it the worst.
Some said it was entertaining.
Others said it was moral decadence at its peak, an absolute disavowal of all law and order.
"It" was the arrival in St. Helens of the gentle people, the element of society referred to as the
hippies, the flower children.
They came into town about eight o'clock Wednesday evening to stage a peaceful demonstration
to show their disapproval of the cancellation of "Bullfrog 2," a rock music festival scheduled here
over the weekend.
First they gathered on the steps of the historic Columbia County Courthouse, then moved out
onto the Plaza Square.
The "hippie" element numbered perhaps a hundred that evening. The local youth, and a few
adults, who converged upon the scene brought the number to perhaps 250 or 300.
St. Helens Police called in their reserves, and began circulating in the downtown area about 9 p.m.
At first they stayed away from the crowd in the square, then as the evening wore on, they began
walking among the group and talking to them.
As the courthouse clock chimed 10 p.m., the group stood, turned toward the building, and
A short time later one of the unofficial leaders of the group, who had been leading singing, told
his compatriots that the St. Helens Police were an extremely cooperative and polite group, and
weren't trying to cause any trouble.
"Don't you think we owe them some thanks?" he said. The reply was an immediate standing
When Police asked the group to quiet down late in the evening because there were elderly
resident in a nearby hotel, the request was obeyed immediately.
A tent was pitched, sleeping bags appeared, and some people settled down for the night. Some
stayed up singing and playing guitars till the wee hours of the morning.
Although the atmosphere was charged with electricity at times during the evening, the
demonstrators proved that they were there to be "peaceful."
When local persons became involved in arguements, one of the "hippies" would call him "brother"
and explain that this was a peaceful demonstation.
When debris began to stack up, garbage cans were provided, and the "hippies" proceeded to place
all the bottles, cans, cigarette butts, apple cores, and other rubbish in the containers provided.
Food began appearing -- popcorn, soft drinks, apples -- all donated.
Thursday morning when people began going to work, they found sleeping bags in evidence
throughout the square. Some were occupied by one person, others by two.
Thursday morning a spokesman for the group said that "Bullfrog 2" was going to be staged in St.
Helens, and since the Columbia County Fair Board, Commissioners and the Circuit Court had
deemed that the fair grounds were not to be used, the Plaza Square Park would be used.
So the music began. Some danced, others just sat back and listened.
Local people jammed the downtown area, stood on the sidelines and just "watched."
At noon traffic was backed up to Sixth Street on Columbia Boulevard.
Wednesday evening, and again Thursday evening, St. Helens Police blocked the Plaza streets to
eliminate traffic congestion, and began routing traffic out St. Helens Street.
The "Portland Zoo," one of the rock groups scheduled to appear at the festival, played on
Thursday afternoon. The sound of the music of the new generation reverberated throughout the
Some of the merchants were delighted. Business had never been so good. The streets had never
been so full.
One complained. If he played music like that, he said, he'd be arrested. Parking, too, was a
problem in his estimation.
Thursday afternoon and evening were filled with music and people observing. In the evening,
after barricades eliminated traffic in the downtown area, some local enthusiasm died down.
Only one incident marred the evening. One youth was arrested. Friday morning, in Municipal
Court, he was sentenced to serve 10 days in jail but the sentence was suspended. St. Helens
Police escorted him to the city limits, and he wasn't seen back in town.
On Wednesday evening several arrests were made, but all were local youth. Charges were minor
in possession and drunk on a public street.
Late in the evening the Police again requested that the sound be reduced, and the request was
complied with again.
Some people went to sleep early, other sat about and talked.
Food? What they had they shared. Some who had money bought soup and food for the group.
Those with extra blankets shared with those who had none.
About 9 o'clock Thursday evening Mrs. Melvina Pelletier of St. Helens offered her property in the
Happy Hollow area of Yankton for a festival. The details were finally worked out Friday, and
Bullfrog 3 was born.
Sometime Thursday an offer of the Scappoose Airport facility was made as a possible site for the
music festival, but that offer was withdrawn by Columbia County Commissioners.
The original promoters of Bullfrog 2, Bruce Moquin and Dick Walsh, said they was washed their
hands of the entire situation.
Bob Wehe, of Faucet International Promotions, who lined up the talent and advanced payments
for Bullfrog 2 bands, said he would work out something so a festival could be held.
He agreed to provide portable sanitary facilities, security officers and whatever was needed to
make the festival a success.
Friday morning the St. Helens Police officers were told that Oregon State Police officers from
throughout the area were coming to St. Helens.
The Police informed one of the "hippie" element spokesman of the fact, and asked that in order to
avoid trouble, the group prepare to leave the square.
The request was complied with, again. The youths told police that since they (St. Helens Police)
had been so cooperative, polite, and hadn't tried to make trouble, they would pack and leave.
The youths began putting their gear together. They piled six and seven into small cars, middle
size cars, vans and the like, and headed for Yankton.
When there were still 35 or 40 of the young people left, St Helens officials chartered a bus to take
the rest of them to the site of Bullfrog 3.
When it came time to leave, the Bullfrog 2 flag which had been flying with the American Flag and
the Oregon State flag came down. Some of the youths presented the flag to St. Helens Police
officers Dick Dressler and Dave Novak.
They told the officers that their faith in law enforcement officials had been restored in St. Helens.
That the people had been nice, hadn't tried to cause trouble, and moreover, the police were the
finest people they'd met.
"I've met a lot of cops," one of the youths told this reporter. "Them I'll call cops. The ones in
your town deserve to be called Policemen. They're great."
One of his compatriots echoed the statements, then said "We thought about putting up a flag that
says 'St. Helens -- We Love You' but we've kind of run out of time. It's a great little town.
You're lucky to live here."
With that he boarded the bus, and was gone.
Before they left the gentle people made certain that the Plaza Square was in the same, or better,
condition than when they arrived.
Throughout the time they were "camping" they kept announcing to pick up the trash.
Friday morning boys and girls alike were out sweeping up the gutters of the street, picking up
trash, and filling trash cans.
Before they left on the bus, several made certain that they picked up the cigarette butts and the
matches, even those they hadn't dropped there.
So at noon on a bright Friday, Aug. 22, the sun was shining on St. Helens.
The gentle people had spent perhaps 40 hours in town. The grass on the Plaza Square was
trampled, but cleaner than after a church school picnic.
Music had filled the area.
The St. Helens people had come out and looked at a way of life different than their own.
Some were slightly envious. Others were disgusted.
(from The Sentinel-Mist Chronicle [St. Helens, Oregon], Sunday, August 24, 1969)
Bullfrog 3 began Friday evening in Happy Hollow near St. Helens.
Rock music buffs began pouring in, and law enforcement officials were coming in by groups, as
Oregon State Police officers from throughout the area were patrolling the roads in the Yankton
Columbia County District Attorney Lou Williams called in narcotics specialists from other areas
to assist after narcotic and dangerous drugs were seized earlier this week in the county.
The rock music festival, which was to attract up to 6,000 people from all parts of the west coast,
actually began Friday evening.
Court decisions prevented Bullfrog 2 from being staged at the Columbia County Fair Grounds.
Instead, it was staged after a fashion, in the Plaza Square.
Bullfrog 3, being represented by Faucet International Productions instead of Moquin and Walsh
Productions who began with Bullfrog 1 and 2, was still underway when this newspaper went to
Further information and photographs will be in Thursday's paper.
(from The Sentinel-Mist Chronicle [St. Helens, Oregon], Sunday, August 24, 1969)
Law enforcement officials in Columbia County have seized quantities of narcotic and dangerous
drugs, according to Columbia County District Attorney Lou L. Williams.
The District Attorney said Thursday evening that drugs were seized from persons believed to have
been headed toward St. Helens from Portland.
He indicated that the cases would be presented when the Grand Jury meets sometime next month.
With one exception, Williams said, the amounts of narcotics indicated that the drugs were
intended for personal use only.
One seizure of hashish was packaged in one-gram packets, William indicated.
Names have been withheld pending the Grand Jury hearing.
He said that narcotic enforcement efforts would be stepped up immediately, and that specialists from outside the county would be assisting.
(from The Sentinel-Mist Chronicle [St. Helens, Oregon], Thursday, August 28, 1969)
Although the visit of the hippies to St. Helens will doubtless be worth thousands of words of
conversation for years to come, the dollars and cents cost to the City of St. Helens has already
St. Helens City Recorder Leo Mickelson said the cost of additional law enforcement personnel on
Wednesday and Thursday, plus the cost of chartering a bus to haul the last stragglers to Yankton
on Friday, amounted to about $400.
Police protection accounted for $360, and the bus was $30.
During last Tuesday night's Council session, when the influx of hippies was expected for a rock music festival then scheduled for the Columbia County Fair Grounds, the Council gave Police Chief Glenn Ray the authority to do what was necessary to maintian law and order in the city.
Bullfrog 3 sounded its last amplified croak Saturday night.
By midday on Sunday most of the estimated crowd of six to seven thousand persons had left
Hippie Hollow, the new name applied to the Yankton area where the rock music festival was
The complexion of the event was in marked contrast to Bullfrog 2, the pseudo-festival staged in
the St. Helens Plaza Square.
Where Bullfrog 2 was a peaceful demonstration, Bullfrog 3 was characterized by loud music,
monumental traffic problems, motorcycle clubs, large numbers of people, and the open use and
sale of narcotics.
Bullfrog 3 was, some people have theorized, only a sampling of what Bullfrog 2 might have been,
had a Columbia County Circuit Court decision not prevented its staging at the Columbia County
The rock music festival, which began at 6 p.m. Friday on the Happy Hollow farm of Mrs. Malvina
Pelletier, was hurriedly put together by Bob Wehe of Faucet International Productions after
Bullfrog 2 was ruled out by the court.
Wehe, who had booked a number of the bands which were to perform at Bullfrog 2, accepted
Mrs. Pelletier's offer of her property for the festival. Walsh and Moquin Productions, the
Portland promoters who sponsored Bullfrog 1 in Clackamas County and planned Bullfrog 2
eliminated themselves from the management of the festival.
At 5 p.m. Friday, traffic was backed up on Pittsburgh-Vernonia Road from the site of the festival
to the City Resevoir near town.
Traffic began moving slowly once the festival was underway but the Columbia County Sheriffs
Department kept nearly 24 hours a day patrols on duty on the county roads. Oregon State Police
had 20 men on duty around the clock patrolling Highway 30.
Friday night parking was at a premium. Vehicles lined both sides of the road, filled fields and
were parked as much as four miles from the festival site.
Young people, armed with bedrolls and sleeping bags, filled the roads heading to Bullfrog 3.
Columbia County District Attorney Lou L. Williams called narcotics personnel from outside the
county to offer assistance and guidance, should county officials here wish to make arrests.
Columbia County Sheriff Roy Wilburn said his personnel were so occupied with traffic problems
that they were not able to go onto the Pelletier property to make any arrests.
Wilburn indicated that with his limited manpower, he had to call in three men from Washington
County to assist with traffic alone. The Sheriff indicated that all his men were on duty in the
Yankton area at one time or another during the festival, with the exception of one who is on
The Sheriff said he did not want to chance making arrests where the festival was in progress, even
though he could have had extra personnel from other counties.
Wilburn said he did not know how many additional men he could have had, but would not have
wanted to try arrests with any number.
He indicated that the possibilities of a riot starting in such a situation are great, and "I just don't
want to try it here." He further states that arrests have not been made inside the grounds of such
festivals to his knowledge.
Oregon State Police Sgt. Harold Kreger said the additional men which were called into the St.
Helens area for the weekend came from surrounding State Police offiices.
Their efforts were limited to traffic control on Highway 30, Kreger said. Some 108 tickets were
issued over the weekend, and ranged from possession of narcotics to defective equipment on
vehicles and motorcycles, driving under the influence of intoxicating liquor, and routine traffic
Wilburn said that his worst problems were from about dark until after midnight on Saturday.
Traffic in volumes like the Yankton area has never seen crowded the back county roads. Festival
participants and persons "just driving by" contributed to the monumental problems.
"We learned a lot on Friday night," Wilburn said, "but we still had our hands full just keeping the
Bands played throughout Saturday afternoon and evening.
District Attorney Williams said that the use of narcotic and dangerous drugs was common on
Saturday, but that without adequate numbers of law enforcement personnel it was impossible to
cope with the problem.
Williams and his investigator Phil Jackson, and Columbia County Sanitarian Robert Jackman were
the only county officials who were inside the festival grounds during the weekend.
By Sunday morning, when a light rain started falling, most of the participants had packed up and
Residents of the area complained of the voluminous amounts of trash left along the roadside.
Mrs. H.W. Harrison, a neighbor of Mrs. Pelletier's said that trespassers on her property proved to
be a problem.
She said difficulties began at noon Friday when people began leaving St. Helens, and continued
throughout the weekend.
She said people wandered about on her property throughout the weekend, some saying they were
lost, others saying they wanted a place to get into the festival at no cost, some asking for a place
"We finally threatened to use a gun to get them off the property," she said.
"It was a real nightmare for us," Mrs. Harrison commented.
She asked the Columbia County Sheriffs Department to come out to help, but said that the
department couldn't put in enough men to protect them.
She said that the noise was almost unbearable all the time, and that she and her husband got
virtually no sleep during the weekend.
Mrs. Harrison said on Sunday that she and her husband fixed up fences, closed the gates, and
hoped that no one would come back again.
Even as late as Sunday night, Mrs. Harrison said, there were people in her driveway.
Another resident of the area called the newspaper office to say basically the same thing. He indicated that although the hippies who were in the Plaza Square on Wednesday night, Thursday and part of Friday might have been alright, there was a different element in evidence at the festival on Saturday.
(from The Sentinel-Mist Chronicle [St. Helens, Oregon], August 21, 1969)
"If you call the open use of narcotics and drugs 'no problem,' then I guess there was no problem."
The speaker is Lou L. Williams, Columbia County District Attorney.
The subject is Bullfrog 3, a rock music festival staged on Friday and Saturday at a Yankton farm.
The reaction is in reference to articles presented by the metropolitan area news media that there
was "no problem" at Bullfrog 3.
District Attorney Williams, his investigator, and the county sanitarian were the only officials who
went onto Mrs. Malvina Pelletier's property in Yankton where the festival was held.
On Friday night Williams was accompanied by two persons from Multnomah County who are
specialists in narcotics work. The female member of the team was recognized by some of the
persons attending the festival, Williams said, and her life was threatened.
On Saturday, Williams and his investigator, Phil Jackson, were at Bullfrog 3 again, but only as
No arrests were made inside the boundaries of the farm, Williams said, because law enforcement
officials in Columbia County either did not wish to or did not feel they were adequately prepared
or staffed to make arrests.
Transactions of marijuana and various other drugs were taking place in the open, the District
Attorney said. "That doesn't mean 'no problem' to me," he said.
The only effort made toward curtailing the narcotics traffic was by Oregon State Police who
charged nine persons with having marijuana in their possession. Those arrests, made during
routine traffic violation stops, were all on Highway 30, since State Police did not work in the
County roads were patrolled by Columbia County Sheriffs Department Deputies, and three men
were borrowed from Washington County to work traffic. They made no narcotics arrests.
Williams arranged for several specialists in the narcotics field to be present in Columbia County
over the weekend of the festival. These arrangments were made after quantities of narcotics were
seized Wednesday evening by some city law enforcement officials at Scappoose.
The narcotics specialists were willing to work with law enforcement officials, had their services
In addition to the manpower, Williams arranged for the Washington County Sheriffs Department
mobile scientific investigation van. The van contains all the necessities for analysis of suspected
drugs and narcotics which might be seized during arrests for traffic violations.
Williams said one of the aspects which concerned him most was the number of youngsters -- from
13 years on up -- who were at the festival, and thus were subjected to observing the use of
The District Attorney said he counted numbers of groups of young people in the 13 to 15 age
bracket entering the grounds, preparing to stay for the duration of the festival.
Williams said he saw marijuana, LSD, hashish and various other narcotics and drugs in use, and
was even offered some of them.
Asked on Monday how such situations as the narcotics problem at Bullfrog 3 could be avoided in
the future, Williams replied: "Go in there last Saturday and start arresting people."
If Columbia County, and other counties which have similar situations, become known as an area
where such conduct is not condoned -- or let exist because of understaffing -- then the same type
situations are likely not to arise there again.
Williams said he was seriously concerned at the attitude of the metropolitan news media in saying
there was "no problem," simply because there were no riots or serious incidents involving persons
who had used narcotics during the festival.
Williams and Jackson said they had observed several transactions involving narcotics during the music festival, and that the largest amount of such dealings were on Saturday.