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The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised



Jackson County 1858

    About noon of the fourth day from Eugene [in April 1858] we reached Jacksonville. The meeting, or speaking, as the term was common, was appointed for that afternoon at 2 o'clock, in a beautiful grove on the outskirts of the town, outdoors. Seats were not provided. Audience and candidates could either stand, squat or move around. A large number gathered. Jacksonville was unlike the towns of the Willamette. It depended mainly upon its adjacent gold diggings for business and support. Along Bear Creek, in Rogue River Valley, and in other portions of the county, lands were of uncommon fertility. Farms and vegetable patches produced enough to supply the miners, and the merchants of Jacksonville were the middlemen of this easy traffic. Gold was plenty, prices ruled high. Few practiced frugality. Extravagance was the rule, and Jacksonville was as a mining camp of California. The inhabitants did not include themselves in the Territory of Oregon. It was the common phrase of any departing on a trip to the Willamette region, "I am going down to Oregon." The singularity was that the Willamette was far north--so that to go north was to go down.
James O'Meara, "Our Pioneer History," Oregonian, Portland, November 9, 1890, page 16



Last revised April 22, 2017