Gold Ray Dam
Surveyor J. S. Howard has been at Gold Hill for some time surveying a four-mile ditch for C. R. Ray, the mining man. The ditch, which will commence at a point near the old dam four miles above Gold Hill, will carry 30,000 inches of water, and will give 4300 horsepower, which will be used for an electric light power and for irrigating, when constructed.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, June 21, 1901, page 7
We are informed that according to contract the Condor Water & Power Co.'s dam, near Tolo, is to be completed within sixty days. A $15,000 bond had been put up which binds the contractors to have the work finished within the sixty days limit. Mr. Rogers, an experienced hydraulic engineer, of San Francisco, will be in charge of the work.
"Additional Local," Medford Mail, December 5, 1901, page 6
Twenty wood choppers at Gold Hill, Oregon. Also two carpenters, one engineer, one machine drill man.
Dr. C. R. Ray,Medford Mail, July 11-September 12, 1902, page 6
Gold Hill, Oregon.
ANOTHER ROGUE RIVER DAM.
Doctor Ray, of Gold Hill, who owns the Braden and other mines of that district, is preparing to put in a dam across the Rogue River near Gold Hill similar to the one being put in by the Golden Drift Mining Company, near Grants Pass. He has already had the site for the dam surveyed and will put men to work at once on its construction.
The purpose of the new dam will be to supply power for the several mines in that vicinity, and to irrigate the farms and orchards of that section. For enterprises of this nature the Rogue and the country through which it passes offer unlimited opportunities.
Rogue River Courier, Grants Pass, August 7, 1902, page 2
Ed Swinden, who has been engaged to work for Dr. Ray on the dam, is now working at the old Braden mine for the doctor.
"Kanes Creek Items," Medford Mail, August 15, 1902, page 5
GREAT POWER PLANT ON ROGUE RIVER
Industrial Center Where Jo Lane Fought Indians Fifty Years Ago.
How a Rapid Running Stream Was Harnessed to Serve Manufacturing Needs.
As the Southern Pacific train slowly zigzags its way through the beautiful Rogue River Valley, in Southern Oregon, thousands view the huge dam across the Rogue at Gold Ray, a short distance north of Medford, and admire the falls of that great, surging mass of water. But few know that here is situated one of the largest electrical generating plants in the state, exceeded in size only by those in Oregon City and Portland.
For miles around the precious energy is distributed over the longest transmission line in Oregon. Ten years ago the idea of a large power plant which could distribute the power all over the valley was considered hopeless, and the pessimists of Southern Oregon predicted a complete failure for the enterprise. Today every available unit of power is utilized, and the capacity of the plant is to be doubled in a short time. The entire Southern Oregon received a wonderful stimulus through the introduction of cheap electrical power and light, and there is hardly a farmhouse in the valley now which does not have "the current."
And how few associate the site of the power plant and the dam with one of the notable landmarks of Oregon--the old battlefield where "Jo" Lane, the great Indian fighter, met Chief Joseph, of the Rogue Rivers?
Little did General "Jo" imagine that almost on the very spot where his memorable treaty of Table Rock was signed by Chief Joseph over 50 years ago there would now stand a mammoth electrical plant and that the swift waters of the Rogue River would be harnessed by man at this place to produce over 5000 horsepower of energy.
The wonderful evolution of the country since that time has been a marvel to all. Where 50 years ago an oil lamp was a curiosity, in Southern Oregon there are now thousands of electric lights in the most remote villages and farms. Miles from the nearest railroad station farmers operate all their machinery by electricity, and with the aid of the power for irrigating purposes thousands of acres of arid land were transformed into veritable gardens of Eden.
Where Peace Treaty Was Signed.Table Rock, at whose foot the power plant is located, is a magnificent, imposing flat-topped mountain, which boldly rises from the waters of the river below. The rock was the watchtower of the Indians when immigrants were pouring into Southern Oregon in the early fifties, and many a white man who strayed from his party, espied by the alert savages, found his death in the surrounding brush. From their lofty outlook the Rogue Rivers would watch for their prey and pounce upon the whites when least expected. It was here that Lane by his undaunted courage obtained Chief Joseph's treaty of peace in 1850, and it was here again only a few years later that the same "Jo" Lane was wounded by the treacherous Rogues after the terrible massacres in the valley.
And as though in memory of the man who was so instrumental in opening the land to white settlers, there now stands the power plant. The war cry of the Indian is almost forgotten, and in its place can be heard the constant "purring" of the dynamos, as Kipling describes it, bent on their peaceful mission of industrial development. Nothing now remains of the old battlefield but the reminiscences of the old settlers. Occasionally an arrow point is picked up, a few beads or an old shell. The lands where the redskin roamed are now yielding millions of bushels of choice fruit; the mountains are being developed for their mineral wealth, and even the free waters of the rivers have been conquered by the palefaces and turned to benefit their fellow men.
Back in 1898 Colonel F. H. Ray, a prominent capitalist of New York, saw the possibilities of electric power in Southern Oregon, and with his brother, Dr. C. R. Ray, of Medford, proceeded to formulate the plans. A company was formed shortly afterwards and over $500,000 of New York capital was placed at the disposal of the engineers in charge of the construction.
The site for the dam was chosen only after a careful consideration and survey of all available sites on the river for a distance of nearly 50 miles. The place finally selected was an ideal one for developing water power. At this point there was a series of rapids, and the river bank on each side was of solid granite bedrock with no gravel or loose soil to wash away or undermine the foundation of the dam after it was completed. There was also a natural basin for storage of the immense quantity of water which would naturally be formed above the dam. Hundreds of acres of choice farming land had to be purchased from farmers along the river, as for over a mile up the river the land on both banks would be under water the year round.
The portion of the dam under water is built of heavy timber cribs filled with rock, starting from a concrete foundation which is held by heavy anchor bolts, drilled directly into the bedrock at the bottom of the river. The dam is in the form of a segment of a circle with the curve facing upstream, to withstand the tremendous pressure of the water on its downward path. The dam is 420 feet long, one of the largest artificial dams in the state. At one side of the dam is the opening through which the water flows into the canal and from there into the powerful turbines in the power house, located at the foot of the canal. The canal was blasted out of solid rock on one side of the river, and a heavy masonry wall, six feet thick, was built to hold the water in place. The walls of the canal as well as of the power house are built of solid masonry and concrete, a construction that is almost as enduring as the granite bluffs which crop out of the hill on the opposite bank of the Rogue After entering the canal the water passes through screens and gates and then with a terrific force falls into the water wheels, which drive the dynamos above in the power house. After passing through the water wheels the water is discharged below the power house and carried away in the tailrace.
Worked Waist Deep in Water.Construction of the dam in the swift Rogue River and through a narrow canyon presented a formidable engineering problem. The canal was first blasted out and then by building a temporary coffer dam above the present site the water was diverted from the main channel, which was left comparatively dry. Then the real work of building the present dam commenced. Over 200 laborers were employed during the entire time of the construction of the dam, but the question of supplying sufficient labor was a difficult one. Although the main water was diverted into another channel, there was still enough of it in the river bed to seriously impede the workmen. As the bulk of the work was done during the rainy season the men had to work waist deep in the icy cold water. It was impossible to stay in the water more than 15 minutes, and while one gang, exhausted and chilled, was warming itself on the bank, another gang would go in and continue the work. It was impossible to keep the men more than a few days, and some of the old men express it: "There were three crews working all the time; one coming, one working and one going."
When the main river bed became dry it was discovered that the numerous crevices in the rock, filled with gravel, were literally filled with gold dust and nuggets. It was no uncommon thing for laborers to pick up several nuggets in one hour's work, worth all the way from $5 to $20 each. Combined with the work of building the dam the company immediately commenced placer mining on a small scale, and the dry river bed was gone over very thoroughly. The officers of the company refused to state the exact amount of gold taken out, but it is known that the figure ran far into the thousands. It always was known that the bed of the Rogue River is very rich in gold, but on account of the rocky formation and the swift current the treasure could never be extracted.
At the foot of the canal stands the power house. It has room for four large dynamos and water wheels of 1000 horsepower each, or a total capacity of 4000 horsepower. As all of these machines usually carry an overload in case of emergency, the electrical equipment of the plant may be figured to be 5000 horsepower. Two of these monster dynamos are already installed and operating, while the other two are already on their way from the East and will be placed in position in a few months. These dynamos generate the electric current at a pressure of 2300 volts, and the current after leaving the machines passes through the switchboard and then through lead-covered cables, laid in specially constructed conduits, to the transformer house, about 60 feet away.
Transforming the Current.Here the current passes through six huge transformers, of 330 horsepower each, which covert the current to a voltage of 25,000 volts, when it is ready for transmission over the main line. The switchboard in the power house, through which the generated current passes before entering the transformers, is of the latest and most modern pattern. No expense has been spared by the builders to make the plant thoroughly up to date, from the designs of the foremost electrical engineers in the country. Each circuit has its measuring instruments, where the voltage, the kilowatts and the amperage are registered and where is also placed the large automatic oil switch for controlling the current. Entering the transformers, the coils of wires are submerged in oil, kept at an even temperature by coils of water pipes through which cold water constantly circulates. From the transformer house six large aluminum cables span the river to a 60-foot tower built of cedar poles on the opposite bank of the river. This span is 650 feet between supports, and the wires are held in position by large insulators of a special type, 12 inches high.
From this tower two main lines are run. One of them passes Gold Hill, Woodville, Grants Pass, and the Greenback mine, a total distance of about 45 miles. The other line runs through Central Point, Medford and Ashland, with a branch line to Jacksonville. The whole length of the main line is a little over 80 miles, by far the longest transmission line in the state. This does not include the numerous branches and distributing lines to the small settlements and farms, which receive the energy. In all, the company operates over 200 miles of pole lines, which penetrate the most remote nooks in Southern Oregon.
Grants Pass, Ashland, Medford, Jacksonville, Central Point, Gold Hill and Gold Ray are lighted by this company, and use a great amount of energy for power for the different industrial establishments in those cities. At different points on the line are likewise numerous large consumers of electric power. The Greenback mine alone uses about 200 horsepower for its stamp mills, compressors and lights. At Foots Creek, seven miles from Gold Hill, the gold dredge of Champlin & Co. uses over 300 horsepower day and night for operating the huge chain of digging buckets and lights. The Granite Hill mine, near Grants Pass, the Homestake mine, near Woodville, the Opp mine, near Jacksonville, and the Braden mine, near Gold Hill, the largest mining enterprises in the state, are all large consumers of the Condor electric power.
Water for Irrigation.But not alone in industrial development has Southern Oregon benefited from the cheap electrical power. Its most important use is in irrigating. Although the land in Rogue River Valley is naturally very rich, the dry seasons, which last nearly four months every year, have always been a menace to successful farming and fruit-growing. It has been demonstrated many times that crops in the valley can be doubled and in many cases quadrupled with the help of irrigation. Although reluctant at first, the farmers have taken up the subject earnestly now, and there are at the present time hundreds of farms on the waiting list, ready to be fitted out with pumps for irrigation. The Gold Ray power plant is unable to supply the demand until the two new dynamos arrive and it is seen now [sic], and these are at the present time confined to irrigating purposes. It is a fact that the choicest fruit in Rogue River Valley is now grown on irrigated soil, and the fruit growers who installed irrigating outfits in their orchards last year are now reaping a bountiful harvest on their foresight. The direct outcome was the marked increase in farming lands in the whole valley.
Not only in the obstruction of their dam and power plant but also in the transmission line have the builders used the best material and the most skilled labor. The large, heavy, straight poles, in perfect alignment, thoroughly braced at all corners, with the heavy insulators and stranded aluminum cables, makes an example of modern line construction. In many places the pole had to be set in solid rock, run through thick forests and brush and over high mountains, but so thorough were the plans that not one casualty occurred during the whole construction of both the plant and the dam. Great precautions had to be taken against the possibility of crossed circuits through coming in contact with the telephone wires and also against fires, which would endanger the pole line. The brush and trees on both sides of the pole line were cut down or burnt, and so far, over a year since the lines were constructed, not a single serious break occurred.
J. D. Alsup, a prominent engineer of New York, had the entire charge of the construction of the dam and power plant. The installation of the electrical machinery and the construction of the pole lines was under the direct supervision of H. C. Stoddard, who some time ago reconstructed the Salem electrical plant.
In a year of its existence the power plant demonstrated its use and the great benefits it brings to the industries of Southern Oregon. Many new enterprises are planned, due to the ability of obtaining cheap and convenient power. The people of Southern Oregon have shown more than once their progressive spirit and their willingness to adopt modern methods, and they now proudly point to their farming products, their fruit, their industries, their mining and timber as the natural resources of a rich and prosperous country.
Oregonian, Portland, August 19, 1906, page 38
ROGUE RIVER'S POWER TO BE HARNESSEDThe first power plant to be put in Rogue River in this county is now being built at a point on the river 11 miles north of Medford and between Tolo and Gold Hill, by the Gold Hill Mining Company, a strong organization of New York capitalists, of which Dr. C. R. Ray is president and manager and Orris Crawford is secretary. The dam will be 446 feet top measure, and 26 feet high from [the] bed of the river. It is located where the river passes through a narrow gorge, both banks and the bed being solid granite, giving a perfect foundation for the dam. For the present only an electric power station will be put in, the machinery for which is now on the way from the East, and which is to develop 1000 horsepower. The race from the dam to the station will be twenty feet wide and six feet deep. Electric wires will be run from the station to the Gold Hill and the Braden mines, supplying them with both light and power, the latter to be used in operating stamps, drills, etc. Work on the station is to be commenced at once, so as to have it completed by the time the dam is put in. About 40 men are now being employed, and the number will be increased as soon as the work is further advanced. J. S. Howard of Medford is the engineer in charge, also of the several matters under contemplation by the company. Mr. Howard after careful surveys chose the one where the dam is being put in, and his judgment has been fully sustained by his expert engineers brought by the company from San Francisco and the East to consult with him.
Transformation of Southern Oregon's Principal Stream.For ages past an almost unlimited quantity of power has been running to waste in Rogue River; but so great a wealth producer will no longer be allowed to lie in idleness, for the time has come in the industrial development of Southern Oregon when this immense power will all be required in operating the many industries that are now being established in various parts of the valley.
Just above the dam the river becomes slack and the bottom widens out to nearly a half mile in width, so that the backwater from the dam will form a lake of nearly a section in extent, affording a perfect place for booming logs. To handle logs, of which immense quantities can be had in the fine forests on the upper waters of Rogue River, and which can be run down the river to the boom with no difficulty at all, is a part of the plans of the company. Later on a sawmill and a box and a match factory will be put in at the dam, and a switch will be run from the Southern Pacific track, which is but a few hundred feet distant, to the factories, giving easy transportation facilities for shipments by train.
This power project is but the forerunner of many similar plants that will be put in to utilize the vast water power of Rogue River. And such is the descent of the river that dams could be put in every mile or two and not interfere with each other. By means of electric transmission all the thousands of horsepower to be had from Rogue River can be brought to Medford and other transportation centers, and used in running factories and other establishments. This power will also be used for operating electric railroads, of which there will be a road from Medford to Crater Lake and from Jacksonville to Applegate.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, August 21, 1902, page 4
J. S. Howard, the veteran civil engineer, has returned to the vicinity of Gold Hill, where he is engaged in surveying for Dr. Ray and others.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, August 21, 1902, page 5
ROGUE RIVER DAM.
Machinery is on the ground for the new dam and electric power supply plant which will be built on the Rogue River, one mile below Tolo near Gold Hill. The dam, the width of which will be from one-half to three-quarters of a mile [sic], will be built with a framework of timber, filled in with rock, and will be about 20 feet in depth. Its primary purpose is to develop electric power to supply the Ray group of mines in the vicinity and also to furnish power to those who will put in motors and use it for irrigation. There are now on the cars at that point, waiting to be unloaded, two hoisting derricks and a stationary engine to be used in the construction work, and a force of 40 men is already at work on the enterprise. It is estimated that the construction work will require about three months. Dr. C. R. Ray of Gold Hill, who is the representative of eastern capitalists, is at the head of the enterprise, and it is said that there are ample funds back of it. A sawmill will be erected near the dam, and a match factory is also said to be one of the industries contemplated there.--Observer.
Medford Enquirer, August 23, 1902, page 3
Don't fail to attend the dedication of the Ray dam and ditch enterprise on Rogue River Monday. Bring your lunch baskets well filled, prepared to enjoy yourself.
The Condor Water and Power Co., which is operating on a large scale near Tolo, will probably make Medford's authorities a proposition to furnish the city with water and light, which they will soon be in first-class position to do.
The dedication of the dam and ditch enterprise inaugurated by Dr. C. R. Ray, the representative of New York capitalists, next Monday, will be the grandest event of the kind ever attempted in Southern Oregon. A general invitation is extended.
"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, August 28, 1902, page 5
A GREAT OCCASION ON THE TAPIS.
Dedication of Ray's Great Enterprise Sept. 1st.--Extensive Preparations Under Way.
The magnificent dam and ditch enterprise which has been inaugurated by Dr. C. R. Ray and his associates will be dedicated in grand style on Monday, Sept. 1st, which is also a public holiday--Labor Day.
Extensive preparations are being made for the event, and it will be one that will long be remembered. Everybody favorable to public prosperity and progress and the upbuilding of Southern Oregon is invited to participate. The exercises will take place on the Kesterson & Waite ranch, one mile north of Tolo, and will include a basket picnic, addresses by prominent speakers, including A. E. Reames, W. I. Vawter, W. M. Colvig, R. G. Smith, C. B. Watson. The Medford High School Band will furnish music for the occasion. A grand ball at night will end the festivities. The S.P. Co. will grant reduced rates.
It is intended simply as a demonstration of good will toward the great enterprise by the people of Southern Oregon and the occasion of a social reunion. The company has no stock for sale; no axe to grind.
Col. F. H. Ray of New York, who is at the head, is expected to be present, accompanied by other prominent citizens of the metropolis of the United States.
No intoxicating liquors nor games of chance will be permitted on the premises. The managing committee consists of W. I. Vawter, Dr. J. M. Keene, Hon. E. V. Carter. The general committee is A. E. Reames and W. M. Colvig of Jacksonville; A. S. Hammond and R. G. Smith of Grants Pass; Dr. J. E. Shearer of Medford; M. Stewart of Talent; J. D. Olwell of Central Point; Geo. Brown of Eagle Point; W. A. Carter and J. L. Hammersley of Gold Hill.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, August 28, 1902, page 6
A GREAT ENTERPRISE.
The Inauguration of a Scheme Which, Completed,
Will Mean Much for Southern Oregon.
The dedicatory exercises of the dam of the Condor Water & Power Co., at Tolo, which will take place on Monday, September 1st, bids fair to make a new era in the development of Southern Oregon, if the enterprise as planned reaches completion.
The dam which will be dedicated crosses Rogue River and is designed primarily to create a lake covering low ground above, comprising some 600 acres. By means of a ditch leading from this dam the company expects to develop immense power. It is estimated that 6000 horsepower could be had if needed. To start with the company will put in a plant capable of developing 1000 horsepower for immediate use. From this plant electric light and power can be furnished to every town in the valley at probably less expense than it is now furnished.
Besides this it is intended to erect a large box factory and sawmill which is likely to become the main part of the enterprise. Combining the nearest railway point to the vast timber belt of upper Rogue River with the immense power capable of being generated by the waters of that stream, which will also be made to furnish transportation for the logs, the project looks like a feasible one, if sufficient capital is behind it to make it a success. It is claimed that the company has all the funds necessary. They have no stock for sale and are asking no local assistance.
The formal dedication of the dam is held merely to allow the people to be acquainted with the magnitude of the undertaking.
Every preparation has been made for the comfort and enjoyment of those attending, and as the day is Labor Day and a state holiday everyone who possibly can should attend.
Mrs. C. R. Ray, of Gold Hill, was in the city this week .The lady informs us that the doctor and the whole family have moved from Gold Hill to the dam, near Tolo, where they will reside, for a time at least. Mrs. Ray is desirous of renting residence property in Medford for occupancy for herself and children during the next school year. Their oldest daughter will attend school at St. Helen's Hall, Portland, and the three younger children will attend the Medford high school.
"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, August 29, 1902, page 6
A Grand Success.
Dr. Ray must have been highly gratified over the expression of endorsement and good will manifested last Monday by the people of Southern Oregon toward the magnificent dam and ditch enterprise inaugurated by the Condor Water & Power Co. An immense crowd from every portion of Jackson and Josephine counties witnessed the dedication exercises. The excellent program that had been arranged for the occasion was well carried out and proved highly interesting. Several good speeches were made. The music was furnished by Medford's high school band and is well spoken of. Labor Day could not have been more pleasantly observed. We will have more to say about this matter in our next issue.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, September 4, 1902, page 5
MEN AND TEAMS WANTED.
Experienced tool sharpeners and carpenters, wood choppers and day laborers, also a number of teams, can obtain employment at good wages by applying to,
C. R. RAY, Tolo, Oregon.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, September 4, 1902, page 5
Dr. C. R. Ray was in Medford Thursday. He has located near Tolo, with his family, so that he can be close to the dam and ditch enterprise he has inaugurated.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, September 4, 1902, page 6
Over 1000 people attended the dedication exercises of the big dam across Rogue River one mile north of Tolo, which work was inaugurated by Dr. C. R. Ray and his eastern associates. Special train was run from Ashland, Talent, Phoenix, Medford and Central Point, and the crowd attending were mostly made up of the business people. The excellent program arranged for the occasion by Dr. Ray, Hons. E. V. Carter, W. I. Vawter and Dr. J. M. Keene, was carried out to the letter. The addresses by the Hons. Wm. M. Colvig, C. B. Watson, A. S. Hammond, J. L. Hammersley and W. A. Carter, was largely given to extolling the great advantage the country would derive from the use of this power in the development of the many natural resources of Jackson County. Miss Mae Merriman, of Medford, gave a pleasing recitation, and the Medford High School Band furnished excellent music, which kept the crowd in a good frame of mind all the while. There was plenty of well-filled lunch baskets, which played an important part in keeping the people in a good humor. If there was anything that could be said against the pleasure of the day's entertainment, it would be that the weather was just a little too tropical, and a lack of shade. The proposed water power will be of great value to this section of the country. The preparatory work on the dam is well advanced, but it will take about two months longer to complete the work. When completed, Dr. Ray says, they will develop 6000 horsepower. The dam is located in a most natural place and will be 426 feet across and 20 feet in depth, forming a basin of water above of about a quarter of a mile across, and extending some distance up the river. Great credit is due Dr. Ray for the effort put forth upon this occasion to property entertain his guests, while no small amount of credit is due the doctor's good wife for the general hospitality extended.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, September 5, 1902, page 7
The Picnic at the Ray Dam.
It is conservatively estimated that fully twelve or fourteen hundred people attended the Labor Day picnic at the works of the Condor Water & Power Co. on Rogue River Monday last. Special trains from both north and south were run and many more people came by vehicles. Dr. Ray and his assistants had done much work to arrange for the reception of the people, and had the day not been exceedingly warm would have been greatly enjoyed. Dr. Keene, of Medford, acted as master of ceremonies in a very creditable manner, and good speeches were made by Wm. Colvig, of Jacksonville, C. B. Watson, of Ashland, and others, and the picnic in the pavilion passed off very pleasantly. The big power plant will be a great thing for the Rogue River Valley when completed.
Medford Enquirer, September 6, 1902, page 5
Frank Loder, who has been assistant electrician and engineer at the city water and light plant for the past two years, has accepted a position as engineer with Dr. C. R. Ray at the Tolo dam--at $75 per month. He commenced work Wednesday morning. Frank is a cracking good fellow and is quite an adept in engineering and electrical work.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, September 12, 1902, page 7
Dr. C. R. Ray was in Medford Monday. He is still hunting for more men to put to work on his dam. He is advertising elsewhere in these columns for all kinds of laborers.
"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, September 19, 1902, page 6
October 1st can be seen to advantage the largest enterprise and most interesting sight in the county--the Ray Works, which are employing 110 men. In the evening there will be a dancing party in the pavilion on the ground.
"Brief Mention," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, September 25, 1902, page 1
A grand ball and oyster supper will be given at the Ray Works, one mile north of Tolo, Oct. 1st. The dam and ditch are now nearing completion, and by coming early in the afternoon an opportunity will be given to see this important work. A first-class orchestra will furnish music for the occasion. The managing committee consists of J. B. Hammersley, Jos. M. Rader, John S. Orth, John D. Olwell, Clint. Wilcox. All are invited to attend.
"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, September 25, 1902, page 1
Invitations have been received here for the grand ball and oyster supper to be given by the Condor Water and Power Co. at Tolo on October 1st.
"Jacksonville News," Medford Mail, September 26, 1902, page 3
Many of our citizens do not as yet realize the magnitude of the undertaking of the Condor Water & Power Co. in the construction of the dam and ditch near Tolo. The company is going right ahead with the work, in a way that shows they mean business. The possibilities of the undertaking are vast--practically limitless. Sufficient power can be generated at this point to furnish power for all the machinery in the valley and light for all the towns. Visitors to the works are always welcome.
The Ray Works--dam and ditch--are now nearing completion. The public is cordially invited and are welcome at all times to call and see what is being done.
Grand Ball and Oyster Supper at the Ray Works, October 1st. Everybody cordially invited.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, September 26, 1902, page 7
A large crowd from here attended the ball at Ray's dam Wednesday night and report a very pleasant time.
"Gold Hill Items," Medford Mail, October 3, 1902, page 3
Horace Nicholson has had on exhibition lately some very fine photographs of the Ray dam near Tolo with historic Table Rock as a background. The pictures are finely finished and show a complete mastery of the photographic art. They are the work of R. Vinton Beall, of the Wayside Studio. Mr. Beall's work is all high class, and his studio is equipped with everything in the way of modern facilities for the making of fine photographs, and the operator knows how to handle them so as to get the best results.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, October 3, 1902, page 7
Medford Mail, October 3, 1902
The Condor Water and Power Co., a corporation, having applied to the court for an order declaring Rogue River and its tributaries within Jackson County to be public highways for the purpose of floating and transporting logs, lumber, wood, etc., and it appearing to the court that said streams are not navigable within said county for commercial purposes, it was ordered that Rogue River and its tributaries within said county be declared public highways for the purpose above specified.
"County Commissioners' Court," Medford Mail, October 10, 1902, page 6
It is reported that John Vincent is lying very ill at the new dam on Rogue River. We are not certain as to the nature of his disease, but rumor calls it diphtheria.
J. C. Pendleton, "Table Rock Items," Medford Mail, October 17, 1902, page 3
Surveyor J. S. Howard returned Monday evening to his work as engineer and superintendent of construction at the Ray works, near Tolo. He reports that on Saturday last an electric light plant was installed and is operating finely. There are twelve arc lights used, and these are scattered about the works, making the place as light as day, thus enabling the night shift of workmen to accomplish as good results as those working in the daytime. Gasoline torches were formerly used. The sawmill at the works has also been started. The grade stakes have been driven for a wagon road directly across the hills from the works to Mr. Ray's Braden mine. Mr. Howard has been able to establish a grade, the steepest part of which is only one foot of a rise in eleven. As soon as the fall rains come grading work will commence.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, October 17, 1902, page 7
Henry Nutt, who is engaged at work for Dr. Ray, at the dam, is spending a few days at home.
Mr. and Mrs. Miner were visiting the works at Dr. Ray's dam near Tolo last Friday. They report that the Dr. intends to get it completed by November 1st.
"Kanes Creek Items," Medford Mail, October 24, 1902, page 3
Dr. C. R. Ray, of Tolo, was in Medford Monday. The big dam and ditch which the Condor Water Company is building at Tolo is progressing very well. The doctor has a large crew of men, but he wants more. The size of the crew may be imagined from the fact that every other day half a beef and a sheep are shipped by Pottenger & Cox, of Medford, to Tolo, for use in the boarding house.
"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, October 24, 1902, page 6
Dr. Ray has installed an electric light plant of twelve arc lights to better facilitate the night work at the big dam across Rogue River, below Tolo. Gasoline torches were formerly used. The sawmill at the works has also been started. The grade stakes have been driven for a wagon road directly across the hills from the works to Mr. Ray's Braden mine.
"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, October 30, 1902, page 1
THE RAY DAM.
A Great Enterprise--200 Men at Work--Will Generate 600 Horsepower.
A Grants Pass Observer's representative visited the working of the great enterprise near Tolo. The enterprise consists in the damming of Rogue River, with the object of deriving power and irrigating Rogue River Valley. The big work is being done by the Condor Water & Power Company, of which Dr. C. R. Ray, the well-known Gold Hill miner and capitalist, is president and general manager.
There is no doubt but that this is the greatest enterprise of its kind on the coast. The benefit to be derived from this by the mines, mills, farms, orchards and gardens of Southern Oregon is beyond one's power to estimate. It will make rich mines where otherwise there would be nothing but scabby mountainsides. It will make a blooming Eden of what is now a barren waste, parched and dried for want of water.
Dr. Ray has from 175 to 200 men employed in the day and night shifts. The river and works are brilliantly illuminated by a score of large arc lights suspended high above, making night work a comparatively easy matter. The work of putting in the dam is being rushed with the utmost speed, and will be beyond danger of freshet or flood in 30 days' time.
The site of the dam is ideal in every respect, and seems to have been endowed by nature for this very purpose. Aside from its usefulness from the standpoint of its adaptability to its purpose, the site is a beautiful and picturesque one. Moreover it is historical ground, every foot of it, for there is Table Rock, the headquarters of all the Rogue River tribes of 50 years ago; there stood the largest Indian village in all Southern Oregon; there was the red man's fording place and fishing ground; there later stood the barricade of the whites and old Fort Lane when the Indians were forced to move their wigwams farther back toward the hills; and there was fought some of the bloodiest battles of the war of 1855-56. [The Battle of Table Rock is a myth.]
The dam itself is crescent-shaped, with the bow of the crescent upstream, the circle having a radius of 400 feet. The huge timbers of which the dam is constructed are bolted firmly to the bedrock, and bolted to each other so that the dam is as solid and firm as one piece. In this way the pressure of the water against it presses it more firmly to either bank. The bottom filling is of large stone, with smaller ones on top, and above this a thick coating of cement, which makes it water-tight.
Three large boilers and five engineers are employed, and five employed, and five steam drills are operated in the construction of the dam. The object of the enterprise is to furnish light and power for all Southern Oregon, or that portion of it within a radius of many miles at least from the dam, and to develop the mining and agricultural interest of that section. Doctor Ray owns some 100 quartz claims and mines, aside from several hundred acres of good placer ground, and the 4000 acres covered by the dam site and the territory near it, all of which has been purchased by the Condor Water & Power Co.
One of the prime objects of the enterprise is the development of the properties of the company constructing it.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, November 6, 1902, page 1
Dr. Ray and Alex Orme, his superintendent, spent a few hours in Medford Sunday.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, November 12, 1902, page 4
Dr. C. R. Ray of Tolo has contracted with the Pacific States Telephone Co. for the maintenance of a public station at the Ray dam on Rogue River, near Tolo. The name of the station will be Golden Ray.
"Local Happenings," Rogue River Courier, Grants Pass, November 13, 1902, page 3
Damage to Ray Dam.
The recent rains in the mountains have raised the water in the river to quite an extent, and as a result of the rise in Rogue River the dam of the Condor Water and Power Company, near Tolo, was damaged to quite an extent. Up to Sunday the water in the river had risen fourteen inches, and as a result one section of the cofferdam was wrecked and with it were carried the engines and pumps, which were carried down the river about 600 feet, where they were caught and hauled ashore. These were fastened to a large platform--and the whole thing was carried away [by the water].
The accident occurred at the noon hour Sunday when the men were at their dinner, and it is considered most fortunate that it occurred at this time, as had the men been at work several lives would have undoubtedly been lost.
Dr. C. R. Ray, president and general manager for the company, is not discouraged a little bit by this mishap, and with the indomitable courage of his successful convictions which has predominated his every act since the project was undertaken he has buckled himself into the harness with renewed energy, and on Monday a full force of men was put to work repairing the damage, and other work is being pushed with the same vim which has prevailed at the works from the start.
Medford Mail, November 14, 1902, page 2
The S.P. Co. is building a side track near Tolo, to convenience Dr. Ray in his work of developing the water power of Rogue River.
Dr. C. R. Ray, who was in Medford Saturday, informs us that little damage has been done to his works by the raising of the waters of Rogue River, and that operations are progressing satisfactorily. He discharged a large number of his employees, as no work will be done at night for the present, but a big force is still employed.
"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, November 19, 1902, page 1
The Force Reduced.The late rain storm raised Rogue River several feet, causing considerable damage to the dam being built near Tolo by Dr. Ray and his associates. The pumps and engines were carried downstream some distance, but fortunately they were recovered. Repairs were commenced at once. Since then about eighty men who were employed on the works have been discharged, for what reason we have been unable to ascertain..
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, November 19, 1902, page 2
Rains Wash Out Mining Dam.
GRANTS PASS, Or., Nov. 19.--(Special.)--The heavy rains and high water of Rogue River have washed out a large portion of the dam of the Condor Water & Power Company, at Tolo. Eighty men of the crew have been laid off, and work is practically abandoned for the winter.
Oregonian, Portland, November 20, 1902, page 6
Prof. J. A. Peoples is engaged this week at the Ray works at Tolo--experting the books and getting them in proper running order. Mr. Peoples is a thoroughly competent accountant, and his work cannot fail to be satisfactory.
"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, November 21, 1902, page 6
The force at work on the Ray dam at Tolo was reduced about 50 men last week. Most of the men laid off were those employed in getting out timbers and materials for the dam, as that portion of the work was about completed. Unfavorable weather and a rise in the river also made it expedient to reduce the force to a certain extent. There are still about 75 men employed on the construction of the dam and ditch, and work will be pushed as fast as weather conditions will permit. Of the total length of 419 feet of dam 370 feet have been completed, and all that is completed is built in such a manner that it will stand any ordinary flood of the river. It is expected that more or less work can be done on the dam during the winter, but there is no danger that any of the completed portion will be carried away. The accident which occurred last week consisted simply in the carrying away of some of the falsework and was not as serious as reports indicated.
A portion of the cofferdam at the Ray works, near Tolo, was blown out Tuesday night by dynamite. This was done that the rising water in the river could have more of a passageway and would be less liable to damage the permanently constructed dam.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, November 21, 1902, page 7
Ray Dam News.
Dr. C. R. Ray left for San Francisco last Friday on business.
The telephone line to the dam is being put in this week and will probably be completed by the last of the week.
School opened in Gold Ray district last Friday (21st) under the instruction of Prof. R. S. Barr. About twenty-five pupils are enrolled.
Chief Engineer Robt. Lawton is taking a few days' layoff this week, awaiting the arrival of some new machinery which is to be installed. He is visiting relatives and friends in Medford. Robert is a prime favorite with all the boys at the dam, and while he is being a "good fellow" with all of them, he is not forgetful of any one of his many duties about the works.
Medford Mail, November 28, 1902, page 3
Contract Let to Complete Dam.
The Mail is credibly informed that a contract has been let to San Francisco parties to complete the job of constructing the dam being put in by the Condor Water and Power Company, at Tolo, of which Dr. Ray is president. Dr. Ray is now in San Francisco, and the report is that the gentleman who has taken the contract is here and will commence work on the dam at once.
Medford Mail, November 28, 1902, page 6
Mr. Harris, bookkeeper at the Ray dam, spent Thanksgiving with Table Rock friends.
J. C. Pendleton, "Table Rock Items," Medford Mail, December 12, 1902, page 3
J. S. Howard left Tuesday to resume work as civil engineer at Dr. Ray's dam, near Tolo.
Dr. C. R. Ray, of the Condor Water and Power Co., was on Tuesday's southbound morning train, en route to San Francisco on a business trip.
"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, December 5, 1902, page 6
We are informed that according to contract the Condor Water & Power Co.'s dam, near Tolo, is to be completed within sixty days. A $15,000 bond has been put up which binds the contractors to have the work finished within the sixty days limit. Mr. Rogers, an experienced hydraulic engineer, of San Francisco, will be in charge of the work.
"Additional Local," Medford Mail, December 5, 1902, page 6
Rogue River is a raging torrent. The stream is higher than it has been for years. Considerable damage is reported from the lowland farms in Josephine County. Cattle and horses were caught and drowned before they could be driven to places of safety, as the water raised six feet in four hours. The dam of the Condor Water & Power Co., at Tolo, and of the Golden Drift Co., at the Dry Diggings, have each been damaged and portions washed away. The dam of the New Water, Light & Power Co. at Grants Pass was badly injured.
"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, December 10, 1902, page 1
Dr. C. R. Ray's great work in damming Rogue River for power purposes has not retarded his efforts in developing the mines in Southern Oregon. The doctor has investments from the Mount Reuben district to the head of Elk Creek in Jackson County, and at various points intervening. About two years ago he purchased the Braden mine and mill from Dr. Jas. Braden on Kanes Creek, and since that time has had men at work opening the property in new places. During the past few months work on this particular mine has gone steadily ahead under the supervision of ex-Sheriff Alex Orme, who is superintendent of all of Dr. Ray's mines. This week Mr. Orme reports to Dr. Ray that there was enough high-grade ore blocked out in the Braden mine to pay for all the other mines he owned. That this statement is undoubtedly correct is evidenced from the fact that a new forty-stamp mill has been ordered to replace the old ten-stamp mill now on the property and the further fact that a right-of-way has been cleared across the mountains from the mill to the dam at Tolo for transmission of power to the mine. In addition to that a number of men, in charge of Charles Meirs, are at work on a new tunnel to tap the old Hicks ledge on Foots Creek, at a depth of 350 feet. That is a property Dr. Ray purchased from H. J. Hobbs, H. L. White and John Noe about three years ago. Considerable money has been taken from this property. On Galls Creek, William Blackert is doing assessment work with a crew upon several of Dr. Ray's properties. Up in the Elk Creek district work has been suspended for the winter with sufficient development to warrant going ahead in the spring.
"Jackson County Mines," Medford Mail, December 12, 1902, page 1
J. M. Harris, who has filled the position of bookkeeper at the Ray dam for several months, was a passenger for San Francisco Monday. He resigned from the services of Dr. Ray in order to accept a detail in the auditing department of the Southern Pacific. He expects to be placed on the traveling list.
A. A. Hall, of Trail, was in the city Tuesday on business. Mr. Hall had the contract from Mr. Hume to place 100,000 feet of lots in Rogue River during the fall. He cut and hauled 75,000 feet, which were dumped into the river near his home at the ferry. The majority of the logs were pine, having been cut with the idea in view to ascertain whether they would float to the mouth of the river. The recent rise of the river cleared the bank of all the timbers placed there, but many of them landed on the bars from Trail to Grants Pass. Mr. Hall expects to put the other 25,000 feet into the river as soon as the mountainside is dry enough to do any hauling.
"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, December 12, 1902, page 6
Rogue River went on a rampage last week and again on Sunday. The first high water picked up the bulk of the debris left on the bars by the fall freshet and carried it down the stream in such quantities that parties at Gold Hill, Rock Point, Woodville and Grants Pass were organized to "pike" the lumber and logs headed for the sea. Quite a little lumber that had been used on the cofferdam at Tolo was secured at Gold Hill, and many of the logs which had been put in the temporary cribs at the Ray dam were gathered in at the other points. It has been customary for years for residents along the river to gather the greater percentage of their firewood while the river is "up." This year they have had such an abundance of drift that many of the cabins along the lower portions of the stream have greatly improved. A report was circulated that several sections of the Ray dam had gone out Sunday. This was a mistake, as the only portion of the work to be affected was the footpath across the river. The loss of that particular structure had been expected, as it was only fastened down temporarily. No part of the permanent work was damaged in the least, although the river rose over ten feet within five hours.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, December 12, 1902, page 7
Work on the dam Dr. Ray and his associates are building across Rogue River, near Tolo, has been suspended during the winter season. The weather is quite unpropitious for the completion of this important enterprise, and it was deemed best to suspend operations for the present. They will be resumed with renewed energy in the spring.
Last Saturday, at the Ray dam, while Leo Williams was cleaning a pistol of .38 caliber, the weapon was accidentally discharged. The bullet took effect on Charley Akers of Medford, who stood nearby, passing through one of his legs and hands, inflicting a painful though fortunately not a dangerous wound. The wounded man was taken home and is doing nicely.
"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, December 31, 1902, page 1
The Ray Dam Solid.
One thing has been demonstrated during the late high water which has been a matter of doubt among the people of this section for many years, and that is the successful damming of Rogue River.
Last September work was commenced on a dam across the river near Tolo, known locally as the Ray dam, under the supervision of the Condor Water & Power Co. The wiseacres predicted that the company would be unable to complete the dam before the high water came, and that, even if completed, it would not stand the rush of the waters of that turbulent stream. In a measure they were right. The dam was not completed before the first rise in the river came. Indeed, the rise came before expected, and considerable damage resulted to the temporary work. The reported damage, however, was greater than the actual loss suffered, and it was freely predicted that when the river did "get on a rampage" the dam would go out.
But every bit of the dam had been constructed with a view to permanency, and when the unexpected and unexampled (since 1890) rise occurred last week there was not a timber or a stone in the permanent work that was moved. The dam stood. Although but a little over half completed, the mighty current of Rogue River was unable to do anything except take off loose timbers, not part of the permanent work, and flowed over the completed part of the dam without doing it any injury.
This demonstrates that Rogue River can be dammed, and that the dam of the Condor Water & Power Co. is built to stand and will stand the full power of the river.
The Braden dam, about a mile and a half below this dam, was taken out, as was also the Houck dam at Gold Hill. The dam of the Golden Drift Co., a few miles this side of Grants Pass, stood better than the last-mentioned two, but was somewhat damaged.
Medford Mail, February 6, 1903, page 2
The Pacific States Telephone Co. has opened offices at Ray's dam and Siskiyou, which will prove quite a convenience.
Work has been resumed at Ray's dam on a small scale. It will not be long before operations will be proceeding in earnest, giving employment to a large number of men. The works stood the high water nicely, being comparatively unharmed. This enterprise promises very much for Southern Oregon, and we hope to see it completed at an early day.
"Brief Mention," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, March 11, 1903, page 2
Work has been resumed at the big power dam being built across Rogue River at Tolo by the Condor Water & Power Company, of which Dr. C. R. Ray is manager. The floods of the past winter succeeded in washing away some of the machinery, but did no harm to the dam itself. The first work to be done will be the reinstallation of the engines and boiler for the hoists and derricks and for the saw mill. In about three or four weeks work will be resumed on the dam itself. Dr. Ray intends to have the power plant ready for business by the close of the summer.
"Brief Mention," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, March 18, 1903, page 1
Dr. C. R. Ray, a resident of Gold Hill for the past six years, has been quietly buying up everything that seemed to be a good purchase in the way of mining property and water rights until he now owns, so I am told, half the mining territory just around the town. His brother, C. P. Ray [sic], of New York, and associates became largely interested with him and as a consequence a great deal of money has been invested here and much more is to follow. The scope of operations which this company intends to carry on include the damming of Rogue River at Gold Ray, about three miles from here, and using the water for power purposes on a large scale. This dam has been in course of construction during the past year, and will probably be completed this coming summer, and when completed will give an aggregate of 6000 horsepower. This enterprise will cost about $300,000, and the capital employed all comes from New York. The Condor Water & Power Company has its head office in Gold Hill, with C. R. Ray president and W. T. Hunter secretary. Between solid rock walls heavy cribs of timber have been bolted and filled with cemented gravel. The total height of the dam will [be] 20 feet, and its length 432 feet. At present only two turbine wheels will be put in, of 500 horsepower each, and as the turbines arrived here this week, by August 1 next it is expected the 1000 horsepower will be developed. One wheel's power will be electrified and carried to the several mines in the vicinity, one in particular being owned by the Ray Brothers, known as the Braden mine, and the stamp capacity will be increased, making 20 stamps. Ten stamps will also be operated at the power dam. The other wheel will be used for elevating water by means of large centrifugal pumps to an altitude of 300 to 400 feet and carried in ditches for mining and irrigation. As soon as the power of the first two wheels is all used more wheels will be installed. I asked Dr. Ray what would probably be his scale of prices, and he said the company had not adopted any scale yet, but it would be cheaper than steam power. The railroad station at the power dam has been named "Gold Ray," and is now a flag station of the Southern Pacific Railroad and has a telephone office there.
"Gold Hill, Oregon," Oregonian, Portland, March 27, 1903, page 14
"Golden Ray" is the name of the picturesque spot on the Rogue River, near Tolo, the site of the big power dam being built by the Condor Water & Power Company, of which Doctor C. R. Ray is general manager. It is directly on the line of the Southern Pacific, and in time a station and depot will be placed there by the road. At the present time Golden Ray is a busy place. Nearly 100 men are at work, and more than that number will be employed during the summer in completing the big work the Condor company has before it. A mammoth ditch is being cut on the opposite side of the river from the railroad, into which the water will be diverted by the dam and which will carry the life-giving moisture to the vast arid region of that section, and which will make productive thousands of acres that are at present useless. Aside from irrigating, 6000 horsepower will be generated by the dam and distributed to the surrounding towns and mines.
Roseburg Plaindealer, June 25, 1903, page 2
A BIG INDUSTRIAL UNDERTAKINGThe possibilities that may come of the water power of Rogue River by the Condor Water & Power Company are likely to prove far reaching in their effects on the industrial and commercial development of the Rogue River Valley. While no definite announcement as to the plans of the company has been made by Dr. C. R. Ray, the resident manager, yet enough has been given out to make it certain that Golden Ray, the name of the proposed town at the dam, will be one of the greatest industrial centers in Oregon. Now that the dam and the race are practically completed, work will be begun on a big electric power station that will develop over 8000 horsepower. This power will be carried to various parts of the valley to operate mills, railroads and mines.
Of the other industrial enterprises that are said to be projected by this company or by companies that are to be organized for the purpose is that of an electric railroad up Rogue River. A big sawmill, a pulp mill, a paper mill, furniture factory and other smaller industries at Golden Ray. An electrically operated ore furnace at the iron mine three miles northeast of Golden Ray.
Of these enterprises the electric railroad would be one of the most profitable and one that would have a far-reaching effect on the trade conditions of Southern Oregon. This road would bring into market one of the finest and largest bodies of timber in Southern Oregon. Extended on to Crater Lake, it would be the scenic route of the West, for no prettier bits of scenery are to be found in Oregon than along the Rogue River. And Crater Lake, a wonder that has no equal in all the world, is an attraction that would bring an immense tourist traffic to the road. This road extended on in Eastern Oregon would divert from San Francisco and bring to Oregon and to Portland the trade of a now almost undeveloped region that is rich in natural resources, and is but awaiting transportation facilities to make it one of the wealthy sections of Oregon. Locally this railroad would make a very great change in the trade centers in Jackson County, for it would prove an advantage to some towns and serious obstacle to other towns. The railroad together with the various factories would build up a town at Golden Ray that would be a serious competitor to Gold Hill and to Medford, for the big payroll would bring large stores, professional people and others that would draw trade and business from the adjoining towns to their loss and to the gain of the new town. Skilled workmen are always large buyers, and the farmers of the county would soon find the factory town their most profitable market. Then the upper Rogue River trade would all be cut off from the other towns and taken to the new town. It would be no improbability for a town of 5000 inhabitants to build up at Golden Ray within the next six or eight years.
The timber resources would make the building, at Golden Ray, of a big sawmill employing 150 to 200 men a profitable venture. The waste from the mill would afford a large quantity of cheap fuel that would be a large factor in drawing other factories to that place. As a location for pulp and paper mills there is none better in Oregon, for there can be had at a low cost immense quantities of the best of pulpwood, and the Rogue River would supply all the pure water required in making a high grade of paper. The iron deposits in the vicinity of Golden Ray are among the largest and the richest on the coast, and their development would mean employment of a large number of men. Within easy transportation distance of the new town are large veins of a good quality of coal that would afford a cheap fuel. Almost within sight of the town are great ledges of lime rock and marble that are now being developed in a small way. But the most important of the mineral wealth that is tributary to this new factory center is the gold mines. Worked now in a limited way, with the cheap electric power that will be available from the big power plant these mines will become great wealth producers and the means of employment for hundreds of men.
That the Condor Power & Water Company is preparing to carry out all these great undertakings is further proven by their quietly acquiring during the past two years an immense holding of land along Rogue River and especially in the vicinity of their proposed town where they hold the ownership of all the land, thus giving them full control of their townsite. There is a strong probability that now that their dam is practically completed that the company will take up their other enterprises and push them to completion. The report is that 500 or more men will be given employment this winter by the company, for during that season of the year there are plenty of idle men to be had in the North where the rainy season shuts down much of outdoor work.
As to the effect on Jacksonville of the building up of another large town in the county, the new town will be a help rather than a hindrance to this place. It will bring into the county a very large amount of taxable property and increase the home market for farm products and the employment for labor. Jacksonville has only the best of wishes for the prosperity of the new town of Golden Ray, as it has for all the other towns in Jackson County.
Jacksonville Sentinel, August 14, 1903, page 3
POWER FROM RAY DAM.
At a special meeting of the city council held on Thursday evening of last week to discuss the proposition of securing electric light and power from the Condor Water and Power Co., for city purposes, J. D. Alsup, representing the company, explained the plan upon which it was expected to work.
The company did not wish to purchase the present electric and water system belonging to the city, but did want to sell to the city electricity for lighting and pumping purposes, through a local corporation to be organized among the citizens of the town, to sell this power to the city, and the city in turn to retail lights and water to the consumers, as is done under the present system.
The Condor company simply proposes to sell the electricity at the dam, and it is not their purpose to extend their plant to the amount required to run the wires into Medford, which it is estimated will cost in the neighborhood of $10,000, hence the need of a separate local corporation which would stretch the wires from the dam to Medford and afterward dispose of the current to the city for light and power purposes.
Again a local corporation would give wider scope in the matter of furnishing light and power. Should the Condor company sell to the city direct the electricity could not be disposed of only for use within the corporate limits of the town, whereas the independent corporation could dispose of it to anyone in reach of the wires between here and the dam. It is desired to have as much of the stock as possible taken here, and, if successful negotiations with the city council are concluded, the books will be open for anyone who wishes to take stock.
At the meeting last week, Mr. Alsup was not prepared to state at what price he would be able to furnish the electricity, as he had no data regarding the number of lights furnished by the present plan, the amount of power required to run the pumping station and the probable increase--which was necessary in order to make an estimate on the strength of the current and cost thereof necessary to carry on the work. He stated that if such data were placed in his hands he would be able within a short time to make a rate at which power could be furnished.
Acting Mayor Wilson, on motion of Councilman Pickel, appointed the following committee to secure the required data: Pickel, Willeke, York. As yet the committee has made no report and the matter is still in abeyance.
Medford Mail, August 14, 1903, page 1
OFFER MADE TO MEDFORD.
Electric Company Wants to Sell Power to the City.
MEDFORD, Or., Aug. 14.--(Special.)--At a special meeting of the city council, held last Thursday evening, in order to discuss the proposition of securing electric light and power from the Ray dam, owned by the Condor Water Power Company, located near Tolo, about ten miles from Medford, for city purposes, J. D. Alsup, representing the company, explained the plan upon which it was expected to work.
The company did not wish to purchase the present electric and water system belonging to Medford, but wanted to sell the city electricity for lighting and pumping purposes through a local corporation to be organized among the citizens of the town, to sell this power to the city and the city in turn to retail light and water to the consumers, as is done under the present system.
The Condor Water & Power Company proposes to sell the electricity at the dam, and it is not their purpose to extend their plant to the amount required to run the wires to Medford, which it is estimated will cost in the neighborhood of $10,000, hence the need of a separate local corporation which would stretch the wires from the dam to Medford and afterward dispose of the current to the city for light and power purposes.
A local corporation would give wider scope in the matter of furnishing light and power. Should the Condor Company sell to the city direct the electricity could not be disposed of only for use within the corporate limits of the town, whereas the independent corporation could dispose of it to anyone within reach of the wires between here and the dam. It is desired to have as much of the stock as possible taken here, and it is hoped that successful negotiations with the city council will be concluded.
At the meeting Mr. Alsup was not prepared to state at what price he would be able to furnish the electricity, as he had no data regarding the number of lights furnished by the present plant, the amount of power required to run the pumping station and the probable increase which was necessary in order to make an estimate on the strength of the current and cost necessary to carry on the work. He stated that if such data were placed in his hands he would be able within a short time to make a rate at which power could be furnished.
Acting Mayor Wilson, on motion of Councilman E. B. Pickel, appointed the following committee to secure the required data: Dr. E. B. Pickel, J. U. Willeke, W. T. York. No reports have been made yet, and the matter is still in abeyance.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, August 15, 1903, page 4
THE RAY DAM A BIG ENTERPRISE
No person can form any idea of the magnitude of the enterprise undertaken by Dr. C. R. Ray and his company in damming Rogue River until they have been on the ground and personally inspected the work. It is a gigantic affair and at this time it is taking on proportions which picture to all eyes its immensity. Even the most untutored eye in mechanical engineering can now see vividly the intent of the promoter and the enormity of his undertaking.
All the water of the river, save a small part which seeps through the cofferdam, now passes through the canal. This canal is 600 feet in length, thirty feet wide, and the water now flowing in it is twelve feet deep. The walls of this canal are formed on the land side by solid rock, in the position which nature placed it, and on the river side by solid concrete and rock six feet in width. At the lower end of the canal, where the water goes tumbling madly over rock into the river bed, from which it was diverted above the dam, is where the large turbine wheels will be put in where power sufficient to operate all the machinery of the valley can be had. It is here also that the fish ladder will be put in.
The work of putting in the artificial dam is now nearly completed and when this is done the work of completing the permanent dam structure will be vigorously pushed. For the purpose of pumping the water from the cofferdam three large pumps are being put in. Two large rock crushers are now in place and with these rock will be crushed for use in cementing the cribbing of the dam.
Above the dam the water has been backed considerably and a good-sized lake has been formed. This backwater has inundated many acres of good land, but Mr. Ray had precluded the possibility of damage suits by purchasing about a thousand acres of land on either side of the river before he commenced the dam. A garden was put out on part of this last spring and had grown to a producing point when the water overflowed it--and now the vegetables therefrom are gathered from a boat.
A visit to the dam is well worth anyone's time and a few hours spent in inspection cannot but be of profit.
Medford Mail, August 28, 1903, page 1
RAY DAM NEARING COMPLETION.The dam of the Condor Water & Power Co., on Rogue River, two miles from Tolo, is rapidly nearing completion, and those wiseacres who have said all along that the turbulent waters of the Rogue could not be controlled are sidestepping when questions are asked concerning their former opinion.
Nearly the whole river is now carried around by the race--blasted out of the living rock which forms one bank, while the other is built up of masonry as solid as the natural rock itself and as enduring as the everlasting hills.
The last cribbing on the main dam was being put in Sunday when a Mail reporter, together with at least 149 other people from all over the county, visited the works, and the work of filling in and cementing the face of the dam will be commenced as soon as this is finished. When completed the dam will be practically a solid rock wall extending across the river and barring its course. Back of the dam a lake three miles long and nearly that wide will be created, making a reserve force for power excelled nowhere on the Pacific Coast.
At the end of the race immense wheels will be placed in a pit blasted twenty-two feet into the solid rock, which will furnish power for dynamos strong enough to furnish electric power enough to run the machinery of the whole valley--and then some.
The undertaking is a stupendous one, and the question arises--what is to be done with this immense power? There isn't manufacturing interests enough at present in this section to use one-third of the power that can be generated by the mighty current of Rogue River--all of which can be used here--and one is forced to believe that there are projects in contemplation by the people who have undertaken this work of which we outsiders have no knowledge or realization, and which will increase the business and wealth of this valley manyfold.
The men who are back of this enterprise are not spending the large sums of money necessary to bring it to completion without some idea of what they are going to do to receive substantial returns. A small fortune has already been expended in purchasing lands along the river--good alfalfa fields, many of them--which will be covered with water and ruined for the purposes for which they are now used when the dam is finally completed.
There is certainly going to be "something doing" within the next few months in Jackson County.
One thing has turned up since the water was turned from the channel of the river which might have been in contemplation at the inception of the enterprise but which in itself is not sufficient reason for its undertaking, and that is that a very rich deposit of gold has been found in the crevices below the bedrock of the dam. The famous Gold Hill is just about opposite this place, and the hills on the south side of the river are full of gold.
It is estimated by some parties that enough of the virgin gold will be taken from the bed of the river to reimburse the Condor Company for the money expended in building the dam. However this may be, it is evident that the mining of the river bed was not the first object of the company, as about the same results could have been accomplished at less cost.
There is something more back of this enterprise, and we are pretty certain that it will prove of great and lasting benefit to Jackson County and Southern Oregon.
Medford Mail, September 25, 1903, page 1
FORMED OF SPORT-LOVERS.
Gold Ray Rod and Gun Club Is Organized in Southern Oregon.
MEDFORD, Or., Sept. 25.--(Special.)--Dr. C. R. Ray invited about 50 Jackson and Josephine County gentlemen who are interested in hunting and fishing, to his apartments near the Gold Ray Dam, 12 miles from Medford, for the purpose of organizing a rod and gun club, the object of which would be the advancement of sport on the fields and streams of the two counties.
The party assembled in the banquet hall, and temporary organization was effected by the election of A. E. Reames, of Jacksonville, as chairman, and J. L. Hammersley, of Gold Hill, as secretary. It was resolved to form an incorporation, with a capital stock of $5000, divided into shares of $25 each. It is the purpose of the organization to build and equip a clubhouse and boathouse on the lake formed by the dam of the Condor Water & Power company, and to place boats upon the lake, the club to have exclusive right to hunting and fishing on its waters.
John S. Orth, of Jacksonville, A. S. Hammond, of Grants Pass, [and] J. Court Hall, of Medford, were appointed to a committee to secure members. Up to the present time they have secured about 40. The club will be known as the Gold Ray Rod and Gun Club.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, September 26, 1903, page 4
C. W. Palm:--"I was down at the Ray dam Sunday, and I want to tell you right now that if Dr. Ray would let me have what gold there is on the bedrock just below the dam, I would be satisfied, and wouldn't care whether I ever sold another piece of real estate or not. If they don't get gold enough cut out of that hole to run 'way up in five figures, I'm no guesser at all. They are taking it out right along, and no small quantity of it either."
"Street Echoes," Medford Mail, October 2, 1903, page 1
A grand ball will be given at Gold Ray on Saturday evening, October 10th, for the benefit of the Gold Ray Rod and Gun Club. A fine oyster supper will be served and the best of music will be had, and no effort will be spared to make the event an enjoyable one to all who attend. The following committee has charge of the arrangements: G. E. Neuber, E. A. Reames and J. L. Rader, Jacksonville; J. L. Hammersley, C. F. Young, Gold Hill; J. E. Enyart, J. C. Hall, Medford; A. S. Hammond, Roy Bartlett, Grants Pass; O. O. Helman, Ashland.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, October 2, 1903, page 5
A New Club Organization.
The Gold Ray Rod and Gun Club, the temporary organization of which was made last Sunday week, is to give a grand ball at the club's new headquarters in Gold Ray on Saturday evening, October 10th. The best orchestra in Southern Oregon will be employed and the best prompter and the best floor manager, and a fine oyster supper is to be served, all together making the evening's amusement such as will be sure to please all who attend. The lumber for the club house is being furnished by the Iowa Lumber Company, and teams are delivering it, hauling it by way of Gold Hill to the club's grounds on the east side of the river and about 40 rods above the dam. The building is to be 40x80, two stories high. For the present the building will not be finished fully, but that will be done in the near future.
A meeting of the club will be held this Sunday, at which time permanent organization will be effected. Of the temporary organization A. E. Reames of this place is chairman and J. L. Hammersley of Gold Hill secretary. The capital stock of the club is $5000 in shares of $25 each. The committee on membership is John S. Orth, Jacksonville, Court Hall, Medford, and A. S. Hammond, Grants Pass, to whom persons wishing to join should apply.
Dr. C. R. Ray, for the Condor Power and Water Company, has donated the lease to the club of the fishing privileges of the pond formed by the dam across Rogue River, which is more than a mile long and in places nearly a quarter of a mile wide, the water having overflowed much of the bottom land, and also the hunting privileges of the company's lands which embrace several thousand acres along Rogue River. The club will stock the pond and upper Rogue River with all kinds of fish and import game birds to add to those now in the valley. The club will also see to it that the state fish and game laws are strictly enforced.
Jacksonville Sentinel, October 2, 1903, page 5
Rogue River Ran Dry.
GRANTS PASS, Or., Oct. 19.--(Special.)--Early this morning the bed of Rogue River at Grants Pass was nearly dry, caused by the closing of the Condor dam at Gold Ray. At 12 o'clock at night the water in the electric power company's race was too low to run the machinery, and Grants Pass was in darkness the remainder of the night. At 4 o'clock the race was perfectly dry, and trout and salmon were flopping on the mud. At 8 o'clock the overflow from the dam, which is 20 miles up the river, began to raise the water, and it continued to rise to its normal condition. Scores of people visited the river to witness the unusual sight, and fishermen were out in full force. The fish that were left on dry land for the short time were none the worse for their experience, as the water flowed again before the sun was high. Tonight the race of the electric light company is full of water, and Grants Pass is lighted as usual.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, October 20, 1903, page 5
The Ray dam is completed, and the waters of the Rogue now flow over it. All the artificial work used in the construction of the dam has been removed, and the water is now permitted to flow unobstructed over the entire length of the dam. The power house is now being built, the water wheels and dynamos are on the ground, and just as soon as the power house is completed these will be placed in position--and then the wheels will turn--and Dr. Ray's object shall have been accomplished.
"Additional Local," Medford Mail, October 23, 1903, page 4
The Ray dam is completed, and the waters of the Rogue now flow over it. All the artificial work used in the construction of the dam has been removed and the water is now permitted to flow unobstructed over the entire length of the dam. The power house is now being built, the water wheels and dynamos are on the ground, and just as soon as the power house is completed these will be placed in position--and then the wheels will turn--and Mr. Ray's object shall have been accomplished.--Medford Mail.
Rogue River Courier, Grants Pass, October 29, 1903, page 1
While the bed of Rogue River at Tolo, Or. was exposed during the construction of a dam by the Condor Water & Power Company, workmen accidentally discovered that the gravel at the bottom of the river was wonderfully rich in gold. Much of the gravel is said to yield from $5 to $20 a pan. The power company owns all of the land on each side of the river for five miles below the dam, and it is preparing for active mining on this large section of the bed. Judging from the prospecting already done, it is estimated that the old Rogue will yield several million dollars to the company.
"Mining Interests," Boston Herald, November 8, 1903, page 21
Gold Ray News.
Dr. and Miss Ina Ray made a hurried trip to their Medford home last Friday evening, the occasion being the sudden illness of Miss Mabel.
The Grants Pass photographer has been at the dam for the past few days, and has some beautiful views of the dam, with Table Rock and Mt. Pitt in the background. They are masterpieces of art, the size being 8x10.
The ferry boat has been put to quite a novel use lately. It was fitted up with row locks and oars that were about "second growth" and propelled up the river by a half-dozen men to Tolo, where the cement is stored. It will hold about four tons, which is loaded on and floated down the river instead of hauling by team as before.
Medford Mail, December 11, 1903, page 7
Gold Ray News.
Mrs. Smith and family and Miss May Noe left for their homes in Gold Hill last week. Mrs. Smith and Miss Noe were the cooks at the dam for several months past.
The machinery is now being moved from Tolo to the works where it will be handy to install in a short time.
Three carloads of cement came to Tolo for the Condor Water and Power Co. last week, which is being scowed down to the dam.
Dr. Ray returned from San Francisco Sunday evening.
Medford Mail, January 8, 1904, page 8
Mine Operated by Electricity.
MEDFORD, Or., Feb. 12.--(Special.)--The Condor Water & Power Company, of Gold Ray, is preparing to install a 20-stamp mill at the Braden mine. The mill will be operated from electric power from the Gold Ray plant, conducted over a line four miles in length. Drills, hoists and other machinery about the mine will be operated by electricity. This will be the only mine in the state whose machinery will be operated by electricity.
The Braden mine, which is located near Gold Hill, has been a good producer in the past, and there are now several thousand tons of ore blocked out, ready to be mined when the new equipment is in place, which is expected to be in a few weeks.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, February 13, 1904, page 7
Dr. C. R. Ray was up from Gold Ray Tuesday. He tells that the recent high water did not do a particle of damage at his place, other than the stopping of work for a day or two. The water was fully eight feet deep as it flowed over the dam. The water, during the recent storm, was not as high in Rogue River within six inches as it was during the storm of a couple of weeks ago. Above the dam the water was higher this year by four inches than it was at any time last winter, but this may be accounted for by the fact that there was last winter one section of the dam which was not completed. Mr. Ray says the power house is about completed; the flood gates have been put in; the water wheels are in place, and have been tested and found to run all right.
"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, February 26, 1904, page 4
ANNOUNCEMENT TO THE PUBLICWe are pleased to announce that our power plant is now completed, and we are now letting contracts for a transmission line to extend from Ashland to Grants Pass.
We are now ready for business, to furnish power, light and water to towns and farms, placer mines and quartz mines along our transmission line.
We will devote special attention to the irrigation of farms by a system of electric pumps, which are being used with great success in Southern California and other arid regions.
Our rates will be fair and reasonable, commensurate with good service: correspondence solicited. All inquiries will receive prompt attention.
Dr. C. R. Ray,Advertisement, Medford Mail, March 18-August 26, 1904, page 1
Manager Condor Water & Power Co.,
The river is falling very rapidly, and work on the tailrace is expected to be commenced soon.
The power house floor is being rapidly put in, and the finishing work will soon be completed.
The fish ladder is now completed. It is twenty feet wide and extends from the end of the cut at the power house to the river. A net will be put across the river just above the outlet from the fishway.
The wind was something fierce in this section last week, and on account of it the clubhouse suffered quite severely. A section of the porch roofing was torn loose and blown over the top of the house, accidentally knocking the top off the double fireplace flue, and landed on the side hill above the house.
"Gold Ray News," Medford Mail, March 18, 1904, page 8
Dr. Ray, who is manager of the Condor Water and Power Co., denies the report of the suspension of operations by that corporation, and that the failure of Daniel Sully, the cotton king, interferes with that enterprise in any way. He says that his brother, Frank Ray of New York, the heaviest stockholder in the corporation, has not become involved by Sully's failure. Dr. Ray also gives the information that the company owes nobody and will begin disposing of electricity in the near future, being now engaged in completing arrangements with that end in view. During the recent visit of Mr. Alsop, superintendent of the company's mechanical department, he purchased considerable quantity of machinery, which will soon be installed.
"Brief Mention," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, April 27, 1904, page 1
The Condor Power & Mining Company is placing a new steel wagon bridge across Rogue River just below the Ray dam at Gold Ray.
"Mining Near Gold Hill," Oregonian, Portland, July 11, 1904, page 4
SALMON AT THE RAY DAM
Fish Now Going Up the River by the Thousand.
A representative of the Medford Mail visited the Ray dam last Thursday evening for the purpose of ascertaining the exact condition of affairs as appertains to fish passing the big dam. Men were busily engaged in constructing a rack across the river, nearly opposite the fish ladder. The object of this rack is to prevent the fish from passing up the river to the dam and past the ladder--and it surely will do the work for which it is intended, and the fish ought to have no trouble in passing the dam by way of this ladder.
There are a great many fish lying just below the dam which are, of course, unable to get over, but these, Dr. Ray says, he will take from the river with a seine and place them in the water again above the dam. He is also contemplating the construction of a fishway right at the dam, which will, without a doubt, give passage for all fish that do not get up over the regularly established fishway. There were tons and tons of fish in the river last week endeavoring to get over the dam. These ranged in size from six inches to four feet--and the water was black with them--in fact so think were they at they were wedged in in great piles--all struggling to go up the river.--Mail.
Rogue River Courier, Grants Pass, July 21, 1904, page 3
POWER AND LIGHT FOR MEDFORD.
This city will soon have electric light and power furnished by the Condor Water & Power Co., of Gold Ray. At a meeting of the city council held Friday evening a proposition was made by the company and accepted and a check for $2500 was deposited by the company's representative, Dr. C. R. Ray, as a guarantee of good faith. Following is the text of the proposal:
The Condor Water & Power Company, an Oregon corporation, makes to the city of Medford the following proposition in the matter of furnishing electricity for light and power for pumping and water purposes.
1.--The said company will furnish unto the city electricity for lighting purposes and all household purposes at the rate of three cents per kilowatt hour and will furnish power for all pumping purposes at the rate of $5 a horsepower per month, twenty-four hour service. All of the power and electricity to be metered out to the city at their central power station and the company to furnish two transformers and two meters.
2.--The city to extend the light and water system whenever a sufficient earning power can be shown to justify said extensions and shall be based upon an income of ten percent net per year on the cost of said extensions.
3.--If the Condor Water & Power Company at its own expense will develop and furnish for the city and the inhabitants thereof water sufficiently pure for domestic use and for drinking purposes, then said company, in that event, is to receive for the power used in pumping three cents per kilowatt hour.
4.--If the city does not make the necessary extensions to its lighting and water system as stated in Section 2 of this proposition, then the said company is to have the right and privilege to make such extensions at its own expense and receive 95 percent of the gross revenue derived from said extensions. At the expiration of ten years, all such extensions made by said company to become the property of the city.
5.--The company is to have the right to employ a representative to solicit business, both for lighting and for water system. In the event that the city makes the extensions in accordance with the second conditions of this proposal then the city is to pay for the service of said representative, but in the event that the extensions are made under the fourth condition of this proposal, then the expenses of said representative are to be paid by the company.
6.--The company is to have a franchise to plant its poles and run its lines through all the streets and alleys of the city, and is to have the right and privilege to sell power to all consumers of power over and above one horsepower per consumer.
7.--Settlement for all power and light used to be made monthly unto the company, and the company to receive its payment in cash or its equivalent.
8.--This proposal is made on the basis of the company receiving from the city a ten-year contract, said company within one day from the acceptance of this proposal to deposit with the city recorder of the city its certificate check, or a good and valid undertaking in the sum of $2,500 for the faithful performance of said contract, and the city to enter into a good and valid contract with the company and pass all ordinances and parts of ordinances necessary to its validity.
9.--Exclusive franchise to be given to said company, so far as it is possible under the laws of the state and the interest of said company to be safeguarded at all times by said council so far as it can be legally done.
CONDOR WATER & POWER CO.,
C. R. Ray, President.
The committee from the city council and Dr. Ray's representatives have been arranging a contract in accordance with the provisions of the above proposal. Just a few minor details remained to be settled at the time the Mail went to press, and no doubt the contract will be signed this week. Work will be commenced at once, and it is expected that within ninety days the electric current from the Ray dam will be supplying our citizens with power and light.
The action of the city council in accepting the above proposition we think is universally approved by the citizens of the town. It will eliminate a big item from the expense account, and is expected to change a deficit in the light and water system to a profit.
Medford Mail, July 22, 1904, page 1
In his report submitted to the Board of Fish Commissioners today, [Fish Warden H. G. Van Dusen] relates his investigation of many complaints that have been made concerning the Ray dam across Rogue River. The fish find difficulty in getting above the dam and sometimes congregate in such large numbers just below the obstruction that the water is literally "alive with salmon." This condition led to the believe that salmon cannot get above the dam, but Mr. Van Dusen says that after investigation he finds that, although they are stopped and interfered with to a considerable extent, the salmon are getting through the fishways without being injured.
"Must Protect Salmon," Morning Oregonian, Portland, August 3, 1904, page 4
The Gold Ray Rod and Gun Club held a meeting Saturday night at the club rooms, overlooking the Gold Ray Dam, which was attended by nearly 50 members from Jackson and Josephine county. An effort is being made to provide a way for keeping the club rooms open continuously so members and their friends can have entertainment at all times.
"The Local Happenings," Rogue River Courier, Grants Pass, August 4, 1904, page 3
SALMON ARE NOT DYING AT RAY DAM
The Report That Fish Are Dying by Thousands Is Without Foundation.
Personal Investigation of Courier Proprietor Shows That Salmon Are Passing Dam.
With their noses pointed steadily upstream, every muscle strained and quivering in every nerve are thousands of lordly salmon working their way up through the rapid waters of Rogue River, now and then meeting obstructions but never long delayed. At the dam of the Condor Water & Power Co. at Gold Ray, they are to be seen in black masses congregated in schools until the river current is literally packed with fish, at times their jagged fins protruding from the water resembling a miniature mosquito fleet with blackened sails. Here they lie for hours and sometimes for days, swimming back and forth, studying the situation before making a final dash to regain the higher waters above the dam. Many of them make frantic leaps upward in a vain endeavor to rise above the 20 feet of falling water as it plows over the brink of the dam, only to fall backward and seek another way over.
These fish are plainly seen from the passing overland trains, and many are the remarks passed back and forth among the passengers as to the probabilities of the salmon ever passing the dam. Many commented on the awful destruction of salmon and predicted a speedy extermination of all food and game fish in Rogue River, and others reported them dying by the thousand.
Having heard many tales of the destruction of fish and read of the thousands that are dying at this dam, and with a feeling of hostility toward a corporation that would rain the fishing industry of Rogue River and deprive sportsmen who come from all over the country to cast their flies in the riffles of their sport, the Courier proprietor [Amos E. Voorhies] made a trip to Gold Ray to satisfy himself on the fish question, and spent the entire day there watching the great big fellows lying at the bed of the river or crowding up under the falls. All day long the fish were there--just as many at night as were there in the morning. A temporary fishway or ladder is placed at the north end of the dam, and there was the interesting point. Salmon of all sizes, many of them, many of them three and four feet in length, were working their way upward through the swift water flowing over the rocks and then entered the ladder, an inclined trough or flume about four feet wide and reaching from the top of the dam to a pool of water below. Within the flume are crosspieces or rests above which the salmon can stop and rest if necessary in their upward way. In the early hours of the morning the fish can be seen emerging from the upper end of the fishway at the rate of from 100 to 200 per hour. This continues until the heat of the day when the salmon run in fewer numbers. The place of those that go up the ladder is filled by the continuous stream which comes up from below. The greater number of fish go up the regular fishway which is fed by the water flowing through the power canal and mingles with the waters of the river at 600 or 800 feet below the dam. Here the fish have been counted, 300 an hour going up the canal. During the early days of the salmon run the fish kept pushing steadily up the main stream and on past the regular fish ladder and would not turn back. A picket fence was built in the water at the entrance of the fishway to compel them to turn aside and ascend the regular place provided for them. Something then, of course, had to be done for the fish already past this point, and men were employed to scoop them up with a dip net and carry them up over the dam. This is hard work, and I can testify that a salmon which when dead will weigh 30 pounds will when caught in a net plunge about until his weight seems double or treble. This process was also too slow, and an extra fish ladder was constructed for temporary use. The company is now engaged in blasting out a fishway in the bedrock which will lead up to the wooden fish ladder, and this will be replaced with concrete work.
Everything possible has been done to assist the salmon in their journey to the spawning grounds and that the reports that fish are dying are circulated by either people who pass by on the trains and see the schools of salmon or by fishermen who have a desire to retaliate because they are made to observe the law prohibiting fishing within 600 feet of a dam.
Any hostility I might have had toward the company was changed to admiration for the enterprise they have exhibited and the splendid work they have done. The dam, which has taken two years to complete, is a handsome piece of work and as solid and abiding as the historic Table Rock which overshadows it. The dam is about 400 feet in length, built in a semicircle with the bow extending upstream and is constructed of solid concrete masonry and logs bolted to the bedrock. The water falls over the iron-covered brink of the dam in a solid mass 20 feet tall and is churned into foam as it dashes against the rocks below. From the north side of the dam runs a canal 50 feet wide with solid rock for one side and a six-foot concrete masonry wall on the river side which conveys a stream of water 10 feet deep to the turbines in the power house, which is also constructed of concrete with six-foot walls and is as solid as the bedrock of the stream.
The power to be generated by the dam is equal to 10,000 horsepower. Turbines developing 1000 horsepower have already been installed, and electrical generators are now in running order, a trial of which was made some time ago.
The Condor company has already spent over $400,000, half that amount in the purchase of land for their plant, faming land and mining claims. At least $100,000 has been distributed among the laboring men.
Can you imagine that a company like this would allow tons of fish to die right under their very noses and the carcasses be left to breed pestilence among their own families? Personal investigation along both banks of the river for some distance below the dam failed to reveal the remains of even a half dozen salmon that had met their death where thousands have been reported to die daily.
Rogue River Courier, Grants Pass, August 11, 1904, page 2
FOR MORE FISH LADDERS.
Gold Hill Citizens Ask for Better Salmon Protection at Ray Dam.
SALEM, Or., Aug. 12.--(Special.)--The obstruction of the Rogue River by the Ray dam, near Gold Hill, has been the cause of further protests, and today Governor Chamberlain received a petition for the removal of the dam or the construction of additional fish ladders.
Several letters have been received at the executive office recently on this subject, and Governor Chamberlain referred the communications to Fish Warden Van Dusen. In answer to this, Mr. Van Dusen wrote that although there are many fish below the Ray dam, there are but few being killed in their effort to get above the obstruction.
Today, however, a petition was received from a large number of citizens of Gold Hill, in which they protest against existing conditions at Ray's dam. They say:
"We do not aver that the present fish ladder is entirely worthless, but we claim that it is wholly inadequate to allow more than a very small number of the salmon to proceed up the Rogue River to their spawning grounds.
Thousands of fish are daily killed at this point, and their decomposed carcasses float down the river, polluting the water to a very serious extent, especially for this town, whose supply for drinking and domestic purposes is taken from the river, and thus the health of this community is greatly endangered. Either additional fish ladders should be provided at once or the obstruction removed, and your petitioners will ever pray."
Morning Oregonian, Portland, August 13, 1904, page 4
The Ray dam in Rogue River is causing a good many Jackson County men to say it.
"Oregon Sidelights," Oregon Daily Journal, Portland, August 19, 1904, page 4
August 19, 1904 Medford Mail
August 19, 1904 Medford Mail
The stringing of wires for electric light and power through the valley has caused a great many farmers to commence figuring upon power for pumping water to be used for purposes of irrigation. Those living contiguous to the electric lines projected estimate that they can pump their own water for irrigating and other purposes, provided a sufficient supply can be secured, and that is usually to be found at no great depth throughout the main part of the valley. Aside from power for pumping there are various uses to which electricity can be put on a modern farm, and we are willing to predict that within the next few years Rogue River Valley will be electrified from one end to the other and not one farm out of ten will be found that is not using the electric fluid in one form or another.
The Condor Water & Power Co. on Saturday of last week distributed three carloads of poles along the proposed route of the power and light line to be built into Medford. The poles reach a mile or more this side of Central Point, and the work of setting them will be commenced within a few days.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, August 19, 1904, page 5
WANTED--To contract the cutting and floating down Rogue River to Ray's dam, 500,000 feet fir and pine logs. Address Dr. C. R. Ray, Tolo, Oregon.
Rogue River Courier, Grants Pass, September 8, 1904, page 2
ELECTRIC POWER IS ASSURED OPP MINE
The Condor Water & Power Company, which is completing the great Rogue River dam at Gold Ray, to supply towns and mines with electrical energy, has asked the county court of Jackson County for permission to use Rogue River for booming and storing logs. A franchise has also been asked by the company to light Jacksonville, the terms of which are under consideration by the council. A survey has been made for a pole line to this city, and work is well progressed on the line to Medford. A survey has been made for a pole line to the Opp mine near Jacksonville, as the management of this concern has contracted for electrical energy for the 10-stamp mill. This is the first mine of southern Oregon to use electricity from a custom plant, and is the pioneer of the extensive patronage expected to be built up by the Condor and the Golden Drift companies.
Oregon Daily Journal, Portland, October 12, 1904, page 10
To Improve Rogue River.
Under the terms of the franchise granted the Condor Water & Power Co. by the county court, that corporation will be obliged to clear Rogue River of obstructions above the dam of the company at Gold Ray so that logs may be floated down from the forest-clad sides of the Cascades.
The clearing away of such obstructions will solve in part the problem of marketing the vast forests of fir, sugar and yellow pine on the upper river. It is the intention of the company to construct a large mill at Gold Ray, with a capacity of 500,000 feet per day, and doubtless other mills will be constructed as the river can be used by other parties at a rate of compensation fixed by the county court, which in this instance is $1.50 per thousand per month and 50 cents for booming.
The Condor company is now making an experimental drive of 400,000 feet of logs to determine the places where the principal obstructions to log driving will be. These points determined, the work of clearing the river will be commenced. Not a great deal of difficulty is apprehended in this work.
Medford Mail, November 11, 1904, page 1
Gold Ray Dam, August 1906 Sunset magazine, page 141
DR. RAY ORDERS MORE POWER AT NEW PLANT
(Special Dispatch to The Journal)
Gold Hill, Or., March 25.--Manager C. R. Ray, of the Condor Water & Power Company, at Gold Ray, six miles from this place, gives the assurance that another addition is to be made to his plant immediately. He has just completed the work of raising the horsepower from 750 to about 3,000, and says that within the next 60 or 70 days a further increase to 3,200 will have been made. Orders have been placed for installing this additional machinery, and the work is to proceed as rapidly as possible.
Development of power at Gold Ray has been rapid since Dr. Ray completed the big dam across Rogue River, which raises the stream until its entire volume is given a drop of 22 feet. The foundations for a 10,000-horsepower plant were laid at the beginning, and subsequent work has been on a scale according to the power requirements of the district served. As the pole lines penetrate the country and various concerns commence using electric energy, the demand grows faster than was expected, until the management is rushing enlargement orders to the factory.
In the past the principal demand has been by the mining companies and for lighting cities, but this spring Dr. Ray intends to develop the irrigation project outlined earlier, furnishing electricity to pump water. When he persuades the farmers of the economy of this method of farming, he has a vast field before him, Rogue River Valley stretching on either side of Gold Ray for many miles.
Oregon Daily Journal, Portland, March 25, 1905, page B11
The longest electric power wire for Oregon is that to be strung from the power plant of the Condor Water & Power Co. at Gold Ray to the Greenback and Martha mines on Grave creek. The distance from Gold Ray to Greenback is 45 miles. It is reported that arrangements have been made between the Condor Co. and the Greenback and Martha mining companies to supply all necessary power for the operation of these mines by electricity.
"Josephine County," Mining and Scientific Press, San Francisco, May 6, 1905, page 291
TRANSMISSION OF ELECTRIC POWER.
The Forces of Nature Have Been Chained To Do the Bidding of Man.
Even the forces of nature have been chained to do man's bidding here, and the enthusiast sees the day approaching when by touching an electric button, the grubs can be wound out from the resting places of years on the mountainsides, and the capstan and the cable, run by an electric motor, will indeed clear the ground for the modern farmer, and when even the boulders in the channels of the creeks and rivers will be will be crushed where they lie by electric rock crushers, and the product used to redeem the roads from present conditions to the most modern highways in the West. These mighty forces are now available, and the great Condor Water & Power Company plant, for a very moderate cost, furnishes power on the ground for any purpose needed. Can any other portion of the earth furnish equal advantages to the modern farmer or fruit grower? The mere fact that the dweller in the country can have lights and power for pumping and all other farm uses, equal to the best facilities of dwellers in cities and towns elsewhere, is one of the greatest additions to nature's bounty which the present generation has seen. The extremely light cost at which power and lights are furnished by the company, the extensive area covered by their wire system, the almost incalculable amount of power which they can generate, the divers uses to which it can be applied in a section where the water-bearing gravel lies so closely to the surface, make it apparent that the price of realty situated in a region where climate and scenic surroundings alone attract those who wish to live in one of the most highly favored countries known, that present prices, we say, must generally appreciate in a very few years. One who invests now can rest assured that as he develops his property, the demand for same will increase in a greater proportion than any expenditure that he can possibly make. There are estates which today are simply resting in the beauty in which nature placed them and on which orchards are gradually coming into bearing age where the expenditure of a very small amount of capital in installing lights, waterworks, motors for household and farm uses, will create a veritable paradise, for which those who can afford to invest will be willing to pay a fortune. NOW IS THE ACCEPTED TIME TO INVEST HERE.
The plant of the Condor Water & Power Co. is situated on Rogue River, some ten miles north of Medford, beneath the shadow of Table Rock. Here for the first time in its history the waters of the Rogue have been successfully controlled. A mighty dam is built across the stream, so solid it will stand for all time. Here are the mighty wheels and dynamos which generate the electric current which furnishes light and power to the whole valley. Medford was the first city to enter into contract with this company. Since then substations have been established at Central Point, Talent and Jacksonville, and Ashland in the extreme southern end of the valley, over twenty miles from the source of supply, is lighted by electricity from this plant.
Besides, lines have been run into Josephine County to the Granite Hill and Greenback mines, and the motive power which moves the machinery of these mines comes from the Condor Water & Power Co.'s plant. The Opp Mine, near Jacksonville, was the first to adopt electric power, to be closely followed by the Oregon Belle.
Forty miles farther up Rogue River, just below the falls of Rogue River, the Condor Company is establishing a second electric plant. Here the water is taken from Rogue River above the falls, carried a mile or more through ditches and then drops over a precipice to the power house 250 feet below. The enormous power this system is capable of generating is almost incalculable, and indications point to the conclusion that the power will be used to operate not only such machinery as is now run by electricity, but electric car lines all over the valley. In Medford, where heretofore gasoline or steam engines were used, electricity is the motive power. Housewives may run their sewing machines, washing machines, etc., by the electric current. The day when the small boy turned the grindstone until his back ached is gone by. A little electric motor will do that work, besides pumping water for household purposes and for the stock, grinding feed and a thousand and one other things. Nowhere in the country is there a community so well equipped with electric power and light.
At Gold Hill, five miles below the Condor Water & Power Co.'s plant, is that of the Gold Hill Canal Co., which while not so extensive as the first named, is still a good-sized plant, and its promoters purpose increasing it as the business justifies. They also furnish power and light for several mines.
Medford Mail, March 9, 1906, page C1
As a result of the heavy rains of the past week . . . the bridge across Rogue River at Gold Ray . . . was carried out.
"A Brief Record of Local Events," Rogue River Courier, Grants Pass, January 11, 1907, page 5
Rogue River Bridge Repaired.
(Special Dispatch to The Journal.)
Gold Ray, Or., Jan. 12.--The bridge across the Rogue River at this point, which was badly damaged and partially washed away by the recent floods, is being repaired by the Condor Water & Power Company, and will soon be in condition to allow the passage of teams.
Oregon Daily Journal, Portland, January 13, 1907, page 50
POWER PLANT IS DOUBLING UP
Condor Company Duplicates Capacity with New Transforming Plants
ITS WIRES RADIATE NEARLY FIFTY MILES
It Has Harnessed Fifteen Thousand Horsepower of Rogue River's Waters--
Description of the Works and History of a Great Enterprise.
Gold Ray, Or., Jan. 18.--The Condor Water & Power Company, which has its mammoth power plant at this place, whence it distributes electric energy to all sections of Jackson and Josephine counties, is placing at its various distributing points transforming plants by which the carrying capacity of the aluminum wire lines will be increased from 20,000 to 40,000 volts.
When these new transformers are in and other improvements now under way are completed the Condor company enterprise will be second to none as a general power supply plant on the Pacific coast. It is working wonders in the development of the mines and agricultural districts and in the building up of the cities and towns of southern Oregon. Its power lines have been strung in every important mine or mining district within a radius of 45 miles of Gold Ray. Over 500 miles of aluminum wire lines have been strung, running in every direction from the point of supply.
The dam across Rogue River at the base of Table Rock, which develops the power for the enterprise, raises the water to a height of 20 feet and develops over 15,000 horsepower. Aluminum wire lines are used instead of copper, the metal being lighter and allowing the wires to be strung tighter, hence there is less sagging and less danger of being torn down by heavy winds. Eight-inch insulators are used. These are large enough to allow the carrying of 40,000 volts without loss or danger.
The Condor Water & Power Company, owner of the Gold Ray plant, is a close corporation with headquarters at New York City. Colonel Frank Ray, a New York millionaire and one of the big men of the tobacco trust, is president of the company. His brother, Dr. C. R. Ray, is local manager. Dr. Ray came to southern Oregon several years ago, representing his brother's capital, and took up mining properties near Gold Hill, the old Braden mine being among them. It was while developing and operating these properties that the idea of harnessing Rogue River occurred to Dr. Ray, and he laid the proposition before his rich brother. The proposition was taken up at once. It was a mammoth undertaking, as it required two years with a day and night crew of 100 men, with engines, machine drills, hoists and excavating equipment. Millions of tons of rock, as well as a vast amount of cement work and steel, were required to make the dam secure against the mighty force of the Rogue. It was a remarkable engineering feat, and the fact that it has already withstood three heavy winter freshets without a quiver or the misplacement of a single stone, is proof sufficient of the stability of the Condor dam.
Gold Ray has been made a regular stopping station for trains, and because of the falls, the broad lake and the magnificent mountain scenery, promises to become as widely known as a resort as it has already become as a power supply.
Oregon Daily Journal, Portland, January 17, 1907, page 15
IOWA LUMBER COMPANY TO SAW GOLD RAY LOGS
Manager Hafer of the Iowa Lumber & Box Company has made a contract with Dr. C. R. Ray to purchase the logs now in the pond at Gold Ray, over half a million feet. Preparations are being made to saw them into lumber immediately. The contract was released by Mr. Pankey, who was unable to secure workmen. The work will be done at Gold Ray.
Medford Daily Tribune, Sept3ember 25, 1907, page 1
REPAIRS OF GOLD RAY BRIDGE ARE COMPLETED
Charles Pagel is in Medford again, having completed the repairs of the bridge at Gold Ray, which was damaged some time ago. He states that a large quantity of lumber is now being manufactured. The repair of this bridge is of great importance to those living in the neighborhood.
Medford Daily Tribune, Sept3ember 25, 1907, page 1
The flood in the Rogue River did not reach as high as the flood a year ago by six inches at the Gold Ray Dam. It was feared that the Gold Ray bridge would go out, and use of the structure was forbidden.
"All Bridges Endangered by Floods," Medford Daily Tribune, December 27, 1907, page 1
It is well known that the bed of Rogue River is rich in fine and coarse gold, and the exposing of bedrock by any means has meant rich returns. The diverting of the water from the river bed at the Gold Ray Dam while it was under construction uncovered an immense amount of gold, which was quite an item in helping the expense account.
"Work on Bedrock Machine Commenced," Rogue River Courier, Grants Pass, April 3, 1908, page 1
McALLISTER INSPECTS FISHWAYS
Visits Rogue River at Request of Various Anglers--Improvements Are to Be Made at Once
Master Fish Warden H. C. McAllister, in response to requests from the Rogue River section, spent Saturday and Sunday at the various dams across the stream and as a result of his visit work is now under way remedying the defects in the fishways, so that in a few days fish will be able to ascend the river to their natural spawning grounds. The publication of conditions as they have existed in the Tribune is responsible for the official's visit, for angling in the Rogue was threatened with extermination. Having secured good fishways at the dams, the next move will be to secure legislation stopping all seining above tidewater and an organization for this purpose is under way.
Improvements Agreed Upon.Mr. McAllister arrived at Grants Pass Saturday and was met by Representative D. H. Miller, Fish Warden Edward Clanton and Game Warden Harry Messler. The Grants Pass dam and the Ament Dam were inspected. At the former a new fish ladder, on approved plans, is to be constructed at once. At the Ament Dam racks are to be built to steer the fish to the fishway and prevent their collecting in the holes under the cribbing and beating themselves to pieces against the dam. Repairs are to be made to the fishway to render the ascent of salmon and steelhead easier.
Sunday morning Mr. McAllister was taken to Gold Ray in an auto by Dr. C. R. Ray and Superintendent Stoddard of the Condor Water & Power Company. Here he was met by a large delegation of Medford and Gold Hill citizens interested in angling, among them being Mr. and Mrs. J. E. Enyart, D. H. Miller, Mr. and Mrs. Hussey, John Reed and Jack Astbury of Gold Hill and wardens Clanton and Messler. Members of the Jackson County Press Association were also present, including President S. A. Pattison of the Central Point Herald, E. J. Kiser of the Ashland Valley Record, Lynn Purdin of the Gold Hill News and George Putnam of the Medford Tribune.
Work Now Under Way.Work on remedying the defects in the fishway had already commenced at the Ray dam fishway. The bedrock in front of the ladder is being blasted out so as to make a deep channel from the main channel of the river to the ladder. The cement sides of the fishway are to be extended and raised and several new steps put in the ladder. The intake from the lake is to be widened.
"When these changes and additions are completed," said Mr. McAllister, "this will be the best fish ladder at any dam in Oregon. It will be easy for any fish to pass the dam. I wish to thank Dr. Ray for his courtesy and willingness to do everything suggested, for this is purely voluntary on his part, as the fishway had already been accepted by my predecessor, and I have no authority to force further improvement."
Ray Alone Enforces Law.Dr. Ray has rigidly enforced the law regarding fishing, preventing fishing within 600 feet of the dam, and does not allow employees or visitors to break the law. Mr. Ament, on the contrary, refuses to aid in the enforcement of the law in any way at his dam, or to cooperate with the wardens in protecting the fish.
Mr. McAllister promised that he will detail a special man to protect the fish on the Rogue, and more especially to watch the two lower dams and prevent the fish hogs from making their big hauls at the toes of the dams, as they have done in the past. Lawbreakers are to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
Entertained at Gold Hill.After an inspection of the improvements under way at the clubhouse, which consist of a refrigerator and ice plant, remodeling and repainting and constructing an auto road, Mr. McAllister accompanied Dr. Ray, Mr. Stoddard and the newspapermen to Gold Hill, where they were the guests of Joe L. Hammersley, editor Lynn Purdin and John Reed at a most enjoyable dinner at the Gold Hill Hotel. An elaborate menu was discussed and the most successful meeting the press association has yet held followed.
After dinner the Medford contingent returned on the afternoon train, while the Gold Hill entertainers took Mr. McAllister to visit the Champion dredge at Foots Creek.
Medford Daily Tribune, November 2, 1908, page 1
BIG SIGN FOR VALLEY.
Large One to Be Put Up at Gold Ray Dam.
That people may know when they have entered the Rogue River Valley, the Commercial Club at its meeting last evening ordered that a sign, 8 by 40 feet in size, on which the words "This Is the Rogue River Valley" will be painted in letters four feet high, be erected at the dam at Gold Ray.
In the discussion that this matter caused it was pointed out that people who have heard of the Rogue River Valley frequently pass through it without being aware of the fact. People on the trains crowd to the windows to see the big dam, and in that way it will be impossible for them to miss seeing the sign which will be on the same side of the railroad.
An offer to paint the sign, furnish the material and erect it at the dam was made by Morgan & Klum for the sum of $30 [sic], and their offer was accepted. They will proceed at once to have it in place.
Some favored a bigger sign, but it was thought that a larger one would be more apt to be blown down by the winds, and it was decided to try the smaller one as an experiment. It is hoped that Ashland will erect a similar sign on the mountain at the south end of the valley.
Medford Mail, January 29, 1909, page 7 The sign disappeared sometime previous to a series of photos taken in October 1914.
Another elaborate country home is that of Colonel F. H. Ray, of New York, built originally as a clubhouse, above the dam across Rogue River, at Gold Ray, but since remodeled and made into one of the most attractive homes of the valley. The house overlooks the falls of the dam, and the music of the falling waters can be heard constantly. Over the dam can be seen the lake and the wide stretch of the valley with Mt. McLoughlin in the distance. The house is most elaborately equipped with electrical devices of all kinds, also a complete refrigerator plant. This home is also tastefully and elaborately furnished; a unique feature is the bathroom, which is studded on side walls and ceiling with incandescent lights, over 200 bulbs being used.
"Beautiful Homes in Rogue River Valley," Sunday Oregonian, Portland, May 9, 1909, page 4
Colonel Frank Ray's handsome club house at Gold Ray was nearly destroyed by fire at the end of the week owing to the carelessness of one of the employees, who was at work refitting the building, placing some bed clothes where they came in contact with an electric heater. Prompt measures saved the structure, although one corner was badly scorched.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail, February 28, 1910, page 5
GOLD RAY FISHWAY IS IN GOOD WORKING ORDER
No Large Runs of Salmon or Steelheads Have Been Seen at Gold Ray This Year,
Although Runs Have Been Reported at the Pass.
H. C. McAllister, master fish warden, will be in Medford Monday for the purpose of investigating fishing conditions and inspecting Rogue River fishways and dams.
Considerable complaint has been made regarding the fishways at the dams. Stories have been brought in that hundreds of fish were congested below the dams and that they found it impossible to locate the ladders and were pounding themselves to pieces leaping against the structures.
A close inspection of conditions at Gold Ray shows that the fishway is in good working order, and that fish can readily ascend the ladder. The great flow of water over the dam, however, renders it hard for the fish to locate the ladder. Once located, they have no difficulty in going through.
Logs Were Used.Last year logs were placed along the crest of the dam, shutting off the water from the two sides and making it comparatively easy for the fish to locate the ladder. The floods of the winter, however, took these logs off the west side of the dam, as well as a portion of the dam itself. As a result, a large quantity of water, with the river unusually high, is pouring over the western side of the dam. As soon as the water subsides sufficiently for repair work, the dam will be repaired and the logs again spiked along the crest, remedying present conditions. At present, however, the depth of water makes it impossible to make the repairs.
Fish Are Seen.Fish can be seen daily leaping into the cascades and trying to ascend at the west end of the dam. These fish, however, will work around to the only available outlet--the ladder--and make up the river in course of a short time.
There have been no large runs of salmon or steelhead at Gold Ray so far this year, though a run was reported at Grants Pass a fortnight ago. The probabilities are that the fish cannot get above the seines of the Grants Pass fishermen, or if they do escape them, have difficulty in getting above the Ament Dam, which was badly damaged by the floods of last winter, which practically rendered useless the new fishway, though the old one is still in working order. Most of the fish congregated at the base of Gold Ray Dam prove upon investigation to be carp--some of which have attained enormous size. There are, of course, some salmon and some steelhead, but nothing like as many as there are carp and suckers.
Deputy Fish Warden Edward Clanton caught two fishermen at the base of the Ament Dam last Saturday night and arrested them. They were fined $100 each.
Reports of the mouth of the Rogue state that there are no salmon there, though the freshet, it is presumed, will bring them up.
Medford Mail Tribune, May 12, 1910, page 2
DEVELOP NATURAL RESOURCES.
Within a day or two the manufacture of brick upon a large scale will be commenced at the new plant nearing completion near Tolo.
As soon as the logs being driven down the Rogue reach the new lumber mill recently erected near the brick and tile works, the manufacture of lumber will be under way.
A large amount of finest building granite is being quarried at the Gold Ray quarries near the lumber mill, and the capacity of the plant is being trebled owing to the practically unlimited market. Two additional rock crushers are being installed, and even with these in place, the demand for crushed rock from paving concerns in Rogue River Valley will exceed the output.
A large pump pumps sand for building purposes from the sand bars above the dam into cars on the siding, so that with the exception of lime and cement, all the building materials will be furnished by the industries being established by Colonel Frank Ray and his brother, Dr. C. R. Ray, between Gold Ray and Tolo.
In the neighborhood of two hundred men are now and will be steadily employed in these enterprises, which include power plants, irrigation enterprises, mines, granite quarries, brick and tile kilns, lumber mills and logging operations as well as orchard tracts, all of which mean payrolls for the county.
To house and accommodate these workmen, fifty or more cottages will be erected at Tolo, hotels, stores, etc. provided, materials for the construction being manufactured on the ground. The surplus power of Gold Ray Dam is utilized to pump water for domestic and irrigation purposes, and several thousand acres watered. The roads and streets are being macadamized with crushed rock, also supplied at home.
In building up a self-sustaining industrial community the Rays have set the capitalists of the Rogue River Valley an excellent example, and one that should be followed in utilizing some of the many resources which nature has showered upon this favored region. Immense quantities of lime and all the materials for the manufacture of cement, as well as coal and iron and gold, exist in large quantities, all awaiting the magic touch of capital.
With the completion of the Pacific & Eastern, manufacture of lumber should begin upon a large scale, giving employment to thousands of men. With the completion of the Gold Hill railroad, the manufacture of lime will be undertaken as well as lumber.
Hitherto the efforts of capitalists in the Rogue River Valley have been confined largely to the development of horticultural resources, or to speculative purposes. There should be and will be no letup in horticultural development, but the time is ripe for industrial development, for making some of the things we buy at home, as well as supplying neighbors.
Medford Mail Tribune, July 12, 1910, page 4
Marble and granite quarries are being operated at Tolo and near Medford. The crushers at Tolo are able to turn out 50 carloads of crushed granite for use on roads every day when in full operation. This plant is equipped with air compressors, air drills and grinding and polishing machinery to furnish granite for building purposes and monumental work. Electric power generated at Gold Ray Dam, on the Rogue River, is used in this quarry.
"Gold Mining in Southern Oregon," Medford Mail Tribune, February 5, 1911, page 13
FREE ELECTRIC POWER FOR NEW FACTORIESA campaign for manufactories in Medford was started yesterday when C. R. Ray, president of the Rogue River Electric company, announced that his company will donate free electric power for one year to any factory which would establish itself in Medford, in a line not conflicting with any industry now in operation.
IN MEDFORD OFFER OF ROGUE RIVER CO.
"We need to increase our payrolls," said Mr. Ray, "and to increase them we must have permanent industries which will bring workmen here not for a month or two months, but permanently to bring their families and make their homes. The work on our new plant at Prospect will be finished in October. The paving work being done here will be completed in the near future, as will the sewer work and many other improvements which are at present maintaining payrolls. We should prepare to continue these payrolls in other lines. With the completion of our new plant there will be almost unlimited electric power for manufacturing purposes in the valley."
Excerpt, Medford Sun, June 24, 1911, page 1
LADDER IS HELP TO TROUT
Death-Dealing Fishway at Gold Hill Day Is Made Safe.
MEDFORD, Or., Aug. 22.--(Special.)--Thousands of gamey trout that would have been dashed to death on the makeshift of a fish ladder at Gold Ray Dam but for the construction of a new fishway can now make their way upstream and lay their eggs. At a cost of several thousand dollars the pools at the foot of the dam have been deepened, obstructing stones have been removed and a good fish ladder, that the fish will have no trouble ascending, has been built.
The work was done under the direction of Chief Deputy Sandry, of Gold Hill.
"It does little good to provide hatcheries for fish if they are to be allowed to kill themselves, beating against three or four dams," he says, "and for this reason all the dams in Rogue River must be provided with good fish ladders."
Morning Oregonian, Portland, August 23, 1911, page 5
POWER PLANTS OF TWO STATES ARE CONSOLIDATED
Churchills Turn Over to Central Corporation All Plants in Northern California
and Southern Oregon--Part of Ray's Power Trust Scheme.
A consolidation of 24 electric light and power companies controlled by the Siskiyou Light and Power Company, and comprising all power plants and lines from Grants Pass to Dunsmuir and Klamath Falls to Yreka, has been perfected under the name of the California and Oregon Power Company, with a capital stock of $10,000,000.
The new corporation will take over the holdings of the Siskiyou, Rogue River, Klamath, Ashland, Dunsmuir and other concerns, control of which has been secured during the past few months by the Churchill syndicate of Yreka. The directors of the new corporation are J. M. Churchill, president; J. P. Churchill, vice president; Alex J. Rosborough, secretary. Main offices will be at San Francisco with branch offices at Medford, Yreka and Klamath Falls.
The deal was consummated by Col. Frank H. Ray, former owner of the Rogue River Electric Company, and it is currently reported to be a move in his plan of uniting under one corporation or trust all power plans on the coast, from San Diego to Grants Pass.
Medford Mail Tribune, February 7, 1912, page 1
The high water in the Rogue carried away the temporary fish ladder at the Ament Dam at Gold Ray, and the Pacific & Eastern Railroad did not run their heavy engine over Butte Creek bridge because of the threatening waters.
"Flood Threatens City of Medford," Oregonian, Portland, February 18, 1912 page 1 The Ament Dam, also called the Golden Drift Dam, was at Grants Pass.
FULLY equipped granite quarry on main line railroad, supplying crushed granite and building and monumental granite said to be equal to Vermont granite; might lease on percentage basis to reliable party; value $100,000. Address Gold Ray Realty Company, Medford, Or.
Oregonian, Portland, April 7, 1912, page 13
The water in Gold Ray Dam on Rogue River was let out last week, so that repairs could be made. It was first filled seven years ago.
"The Round-Up," Daily Capital Journal, Salem, October 29, 1912, page 2
New Fish Ladder.
The new fish ladder at the Gold Ray Dam is now completed and water was turned into the new runway recently so that the fish may now get to the upper river at either side of the power company's dam at that station. The game and fish commission, urged by sportsmen interested, have for several years been working for a fishway on the south side of the river on the contention that the north side ladder was not sufficient to accommodate the fish during the spring runs, and at last the desired improvement has been made. It is believed that the new ladder will make it a great deal easier for the fish to get up over the dam and consequently mean better fishing in the river above the backwater from the dam.
Ashland Tidings, March 2, 1914, page 1
NEW FISHWAY INSTALLED
Improvement at Gold Ray Attracts Southern Oregon Anglers.
ASHLAND, Or., March 4.--(Special.)--Southern Oregon sportsmen are interested in the installation of the new fishway at Gold Ray, on the Rogue River, the waters of which were turned in today. Deputy Game Warden Sandry did the official honors. The Oregon-California Power Company built this improvement. The state supervised the work.
Local anglers plan to visit the waters above the dam oftener than ever.
Oregonian, Portland, March 5, 1914, page 7
New fishway recently completed on south side of river at Gold Ray Dam. Cost $3000, was designed by engineer Harry Foster and constructed by California-Oregon Power Co. There is now a fish ladder on either side of [the] dam.
Medford Mail Tribune, March 19, 1913, page 1
[Harry Hosler, Joe Hurt and Amos Nininger] autoed to Ray Gold vicinity, twenty-three miles from Ashland, at early dawn, by four in the afternoon they had sixty-three steelhead and cutthroat and several big chinook salmon. At four Hosler started across the cable footbridge for the other shore. Here the river is 300 feet wide. Midway he dropped his line over "just for instance," he says. "Bang!" went his rod against the bridge railing and "Whirr!" went his reel. And from that on for exactly forty-six minutes there was the prettiest fight ever seen in the Northwest between man and trout.
Hosler knew it was a steelhead, and he knew it was a monster. He also knew he couldn't land it from the bridge. It was fighting every second. The bridge was swaying from side to side. The bridge floor is supported by rods to overhead cables. To pass his rod around these and work his way fifty yards to the end of the bridge--at the same time combating the desperate lunges of his prey--was the problem Hosler was up against.
"Harry Hosler Lands Big Steelhead Trout," Ashland Tidings, April 16, 1914, page 8
The employees of the power plant at Gold Hill have recently been annoyed by a colony of beavers that has undertaken to establish an abode on the canal leading from the dam to the power house. When unmolested the little animals cut the alders from one to three inches in diameter and stick them into the soft mud on the bottom of the waterway with the tops downstream for a foundation of their dam. It is thought the new arrivals come from above the Gold Ray Dam at Tolo, where many of their colonies are flourishing.
"Local and Personal," Ashland Tidings, November 15, 1917, page 8
SIGHT FOR SPORTSMEN NOW AT GOLD RAY DAM
A sight that is worth the time of any sportsman may be seen at the Gold Ray Dam these days, according to R. E. McElhose, who reports that the salmon are endeavoring to run the dam, now that the fish ladder is closed, and that it looks like a solid stream of fish, so closely are they packed up against the falling water.
Many people are visiting the dam each day and spend hours watching the efforts of the fish to gain the upper part of the river.
Ashland Weekly Tidings, June 14, 1922, page 2
The Rogue River at Gold Ray Dam, where is situated a power plant of the California-Oregon Power Company, is still high, 96 inches of water recorded as flowing over the top. This is a fall of about four feet in two days. The power plant was flooded and the rope drive wet. There was no material damage, but the plant will be out of commission for a week.
"Road Loss in County Flood High," Medford Mail Tribune, February 22, 1927, page 1
The Rogue River was running level over Ray Gold Dam, and the Bybee bridge district was a lake.
"Rain and Floods Rage in Oregon," Oregonian, Portland, February 22, 1927, page 4
At the Gold Ray Dam an electric fish stop is in operation, and Warden [Harold] Clifford reports that the device is turning the salmon and steelheads from the turbine race to the ladder without any harmful effects to the fish.
"Device Protects Fish," Oregonian, Portland, June 9, 1928, page 5
Copco is repairing the river bridge at Gold Ray Dam.
"Tolo," Medford Mail Tribune, September 12, 1933, page 4
GOLD RAY PLANS RENEW HOPE FOR RETURN OF FISH
T. E. Daniels Cites Long Effort to Secure Adequate Fishways at Power Site
"Announcement by the California-Oregon Power Company that the Gold Ray Dam will be rebuilt this year is the first encouragement for fish and wildlife conservationists in many years that there is yet a possibility of perpetuating some of the long-lost fame of Rogue River as a migratory watercourse for the famous sea-run steelhead trout," it was stated today by T. E. Daniels, well-known Medford sportsman.
"For many years the present dam at Gold Ray has been responsible for the destruction of millions of fish, both steelhead trout and salmon, in their effort to ascend and descend the river at that point," Mr. Daniels explained.
Promises Cited"The announced construction of the dam, or its rebuilding," he pointed out, "reminds the sportsmen of the power company's oft-repeated promise in the past that a new fishway with its outlet below the power house, in the spillway, would be built when the dam was rebuilt. Only at the spillway, where the power house will discharge practically the entire flow of the river at low-water seasons, will there be enough water to attract the fish ascending the river. For many years the badly leaking Gold Ray Dam has furnished some water above the spillway in low-water seasons to attract fish. With a new practically watertight dam, the amount of water the present fishways will discharge at their outlets, even though they be kept full of water at all times, will be useless to attract the ascending fish, which will vainly fight their lives away, as they have for many past years, below the power house.
Depression Delay"Conservationists, sportsmen, state game commission and United States Bureau of Fisheries officials were promised the new fishway by the power company year after year, in connection with the proposed rebuilding of the dam. With the depression the expenditure of money for a new dam was said to be impossible.
"Failure now to build the new fish ladder with the new dam will be the final blow to Rogue River's future possibilities of being rehabilitated as a sea-run steelhead trout fishing stream.
"Brown and Cox Webb, Zane Grey, Fred Burnham and hundreds of other anglers of worldwide reputation, who once sang the praises of Rogue River steelhead fishing from Australia to Maine, deserted the stream years ago," Daniels said. "Wherever one travels, from California to Canada, is heard the lament of the commercial despoliation of Rogue River as an angler's paradise.
Situation Known"The state game commission is fully aware of the Gold Ray Dam situation and chamber of commerce wildlife conservation committees in Grants Pass, Ashland and Medford likewise appreciate the situation. They have an opportunity to justify their existence by insisting that there be no new dam construction at Gold Ray that does not incorporate, at the same time the dam is rebuilt, the construction of a ladder from the top of the dam to the spillway below the power house. Anything less will be a useless gesture," Daniels stated.
"The power company has the opportunity to do a real service for Oregon, one which will receive the plaudits of every thinking conservationist in the West, by the construction of the promised fish ladder. It will be a successful model for future dam construction plans in other places in the country.
"A fish ladder of this type, carrying ample water, is acknowledged by all authorities on the subject to be absolutely efficient and successful. An easily accessible fish ladder at Gold Ray is of more importance to the Southern Oregon community than the small amount of power to be developed there. If a restored Rogue River steelhead fishing stream can be accomplished it will pay unrealized dividends in attracting thousands of people to Southern Oregon in the years to come."
Medford Mail Tribune, January 9, 1940, page 6
FISH LADDERS AT GOLD RAY DAM ON ROGUE BUILDING
Sportsmen of the Rogue River Valley will be interested to know that two new fish ladders are in the process of construction at Gold Ray Dam on the Rogue River. This construction is preceding the rebuilding of the present dam at Gold Ray. One of the ladders will replace the north ladder and the other one will be an entirely new feature and will empty into the river in the tailrace below the power house. The state game commission has surveyed the matter and approved the plans, and from all indications the migration of fish will be taken care of satisfactorily when such ladders are completed. The California-Oregon Power Company is cooperating and constructing the ladders.
Because of the present stage of construction, it has been necessary to shut the water out of both old fish ladders at the dam. Much discussion and speculation have arisen among the sportsmen because of the shutdown of these ladders. However, the same has been approved by the state game commission since, at the present time, there is no substantial amount of steelhead at Gold Ray. Also, from all information available, and as furnished by the power company, such shutdown will not continue more than a week or 10 days, at the end of which time it is anticipated that at least one of the ladders will be finished and the water turned back into the river.
Every effort is being made to complete one ladder as soon as possible so as to not cause any greater delay than is necessary. From all information available, the summer run of steelhead has not yet appeared in large numbers in the upper river, and for that reason it is hoped that there will be no serious stoppage of fish. It has also been pointed out by the power company that if a substantial run of steelhead appears at Gold Ray, it will be possible to shut off the power house and run the water through a bypass channel through which the steelhead could make their way up the river.
A meeting of the board of directors of the Rogue River Sportsmen Club was held August 1 at the home of Kenneth G. Denman, president, and it was the consensus that the construction of these new ladders was vital to the conservation program in the Rogue River and that the sportsmen should cooperate and not become impatient on account of a short delay in the operation of the fish ladders.
Medford Mail Tribune, August 3, 1941, page 2
WILL BUILD LADDERS
MEDFORD, (Ore.), Aug. 12.--The Oregon State Game Commission has approved the action of the California Oregon Power Company in constructing two new fish ladders in the Rogue River at the Gold Ray Dam, preceding the rebuilding of the present dam at Gold Ray. Sportsmen also have approved the new ladders.
Sacramento Bee, August 12, 1941, page 14
NEW FISH LADDERS AT GOLD RAY DAM FOUND EFFICIENT
Sportsmen Delegation Inspects Recent Installation--Power Co. Lauded.
The new fish ladder at Gold Ray Dam, which has been under construction by the California-Oregon Power Company, is now finished and in operation. This ladder is the second built recently by the power company at Gold Ray, and takes out of the river on the north side of the dam and empties into the tailrace which comes out immediately under the power house. The ladder formerly constructed empties into the river immediately below the dam and was finished this spring.
In times past the migrating fish have accumulated in the tailrace, and with this newest ladder emptying immediately into the race, the fish will find their way over the dam quickly and easily and no delay should be experienced in future fish migrations over Gold Ray Dam.
Commission DesignerBoth ladders were designed by the state game commission and are of the latest type. When the water was put into the tailrace ladder, it was noted by observers that the fish immediately left the tailrace and made their way up the ladder and over the dam. The construction of this ladder has long been a hope of the sportsmen in this valley.
A group of sportsmen including the leaders of the Rogue River Sportsman's Club and the Central Point Sportsman's Club, together with other persons interested, visited Gold Ray Dam September 8 and observed the operation of the newest ladder. Everyone present expressed himself as well pleased with its operation. The ladder is designed to operate in both high- and low-water stages. The first ladder built this summer operates best at higher stages of the water. It is the belief of the sportsmen present at the time of inspection that there will be no cause for complaint in the future in regards to the migration of fish over Gold Ray Dam.
The sportsman's clubs feel that the California-Oregon Power Company is entitled to a great deal of credit for building the two new fish ladders. It was observed that the power company has cooperated fully and done everything in its power to make the new fish ladders successful, and it is believe that such has been accomplished.
Medford Mail Tribune, September 10, 1942, page 10
John Boyle, vice president and general manager of California-Oregon Power Company, said Crescent City is without power. Worst of the flooding in the Copco area was there.
But elsewhere service was maintained, despite the fact that several power plants went out of service, Boyle said. The Gold Ray Dam power house had water up to its windows, and "the backwater is almost as high as the headwater," the Copco official said. In the 1927 flood, the water was slightly higher, he reported, but how much is unknown, as the flood gauges were washed out.
Both approaches to the Gold Ray bridge were washed out.
"Swollen Streams Menace Area," Medford Mail Tribune, December 22, 1955, page 1
The facts told to this writer by miners around Gold Hill that in a six- to eight-hour waiting period for the reservoir to fill with water after completion, a dozen or so men with gold pans would wash out from $5 to $18 from each pan of gravel taken just below the Ray dam.
Bert Kissinger, letter to the editor, Medford Mail Tribune, November 6, 1956, page 4
After the dam was completed no fish ladder of any kind [was] put in. Later at spawning time salmon trying to reach the spawning grounds were halted here, where they accumulated by the thousands. Now and then a husky salmon would try to leap over the dam, but would be thrown back by the swift falling water. Complaints began to pour in, and pressure from Salem caused the company to put in a makeshift ladder. Some years later an adequate ladder was put in. At one time, salmon were so thick below the dam that some said, "One could walk across the river on the backs of salmon." Thousands of salmon were destroyed between the dam's completion and the putting in of fish ladders.
R. E. Nealon, "Tablets," Medford Mail Tribune, November 16, 1962, page B5
The Pacific Power and Light Company's Gold Ray Bridge is gone. . . .
"Rampaging River Destroys Bridges; Others Impassable," Medford Mail Tribune, December 23, 1964, page 1
As the rains let up Thursday a.m., Jackson County counted its bridges. On the Rogue River: McLeod bridge . . . washed out, Shady Cove bridge . . . washed out, Dodge bridge . . . approaches gone, Bybee bridge . . . north approach gone, Gold Ray bridge . . . washed out.
"Rogue River Areas Staggered by Flood," Oregonian, Portland, December 26, 1964, page 21
Last revised July 31, 2019