The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised

Jackson County 1869

    Jackson County covers an area of about 8,000 square miles, with a population of 3,000. This county combines within its limits agricultural, manufacturing and mineral resources which will tend to render it in future of great importance to the balance of the state. For nearly eighteen years the gold mines of this county have been successfully worked, and even now they yield sufficient to repay for the outlay of capital and labor expended in working them. The grazing facilities of this county are extensive, and it is contemplated to put in operation a woolen mill which will consume the vast quantities of wool which hitherto had to be sent out of the county to seek a market. Jacksonville, the county seat, is a prosperous place, containing within its corporate limits many handsome buildings. The Methodists, Catholics and other denominations have churches here, and with several public and private schools, the Sisters of the Most Holy Names have an academy for young ladies. Two weekly newspapers are published here. The other towns and post offices are Applegate, Ashland Mills, Grants Pass, Phoenix, Rock Point and Willow Springs.
    COUNTY OFFICERS.--Commissioners, Frederick Heber and W. A. Childers; Judge, L. J. C. Duncan; Sheriff, Thomas G. Reames; Clerk, W. H. S. Hyde; Assessor, Josiah Hannah; Treasurer, Max. Muller; School Sup't., T. H. B. Shipley; Surveyor, James S. Howard.
    Notaries Public.--D. M. C. Gault, Chas. W. Kahler and William Hoffman, Jacksonville; Oliver C. Applegate, Fort Klamath
Oregon and Washington Almanac, 1869, page 16

    We hope no one will leave Oregon by steamer who has not enjoyed
southward to California. The ride occupies five days from Portland to Oroville, to which place the cars run from Sacramento. The first hundred and twenty-five miles through the Willamette Valley keeps the tourist constantly occupied in studying its beauty and resources, while the Coast Range on the west and the Cascades on the east, with Mounts Hood and Jefferson, Diamond Peak and the Sisters will keep his emotions of sublimity in constant and active exercise. At Eugene City, where we were most hospitably entertained by Captain Packard and others, the stage road bends to the left and follows up a branch of the Willamette, and by a low pass scarcely perceptible reaches the waters of the Umpqua, thus avoiding the Calapooia (erroneously called the Siskiyou Range in a former letter) almost entirely. From the summits of this range we first looked down on the beautiful of the Willamette Valley four years ago. Following down the northwestern tributary of the Umpqua for a few hours, nestled under the Yoncalla Mountain, with a fine, fertile valley in front, we reach the hospitable home of the Hon. Jesse Applegate. Here Mr. Colfax and his party received a most cordial welcome. A statesman of extensive reading, ripe judgment and sterling patriotic purposes, a philosopher of deep original thought and wide culture, he seems content to remain here in this beautiful valley home among the mountains of Oregon, rearing his large family in the principles which he so well and so truly illustrates, and blessing with his good deeds and kind words all within his influence. After entertaining our party as long as our inexorable timetable would permit, our host, and his daughter, whose words, apparently without care or effort, sparkle with original and kindly thought, or biting sarcasm, did us the favor to accompany us to Oakland. The road for the afternoon's ride crossed a high mountain spur, between two branches of the Umpqua, and afforded some splendid views to break our conversation with exclamations of admiration for their varied and wonderful beauty. By the timetable on which the coaches now run, most of the wider and more cultivated sections of the Umpqua Valley are passed in the night. At Roseburg, a fine little town, which we reached about 8 o'clock in the evening, our party found the hotel and several other buildings most beautifully illuminated, to welcome and do honor to this second visit of the Vice President. In this complement, men of all shades of political opinion most cordially united. After an excellent dinner was fully discussed, Mr.Colfax made one of his most appropriate and charming speeches when we left with the cheers and apparently with the hearty good will of all who had listened to the remarks of the Vice President.
    Morning found us at Canyonville, a little town situated at the mouth or north end of the Umpqua Canyon, in the early history of the state considered almost impassable. It affords the only passage for a road through the mountains that divide the Umpqua and the Rogue River Valley, or the two south forks of the Umpqua--we are not sure which--for a long distance east and west. The first good road through it was built by General Joe Hooker, when commanding in Oregon, and therefore his name is indissolubly connected with this improvement. The steep mountains, densely wooded with huge pines and firs, that wall the canyon on either side, make the ride through it exceedingly interesting. It is one of those marked passes in the mountains which the traveler will be sure never to forget. This day's ride through beautiful valleys and over several high ridges, some of which, anywhere else, would be dignified with the name of mountains, brought us in the evening to Jacksonville, the most southerly town in Oregon. It once was a mining town of considerable importance, and some of its gulches and leads are still worked with profit. The valley of Rogue River, though not very large, is beautiful and very productive. Early dawn found us on top of the Siskiyou Range, and soon Mount Shasta, with his snowy mantle, old as creation, now all gilded with glory by the morning sunbeams, seemed to pierce the heavens to the southward in majestic, solemn grandeur. For more than a hundred and fifty miles of our journey, this sublime volcanic cone commands our unbounded admiration. It is almost worth a journey across the continent to see it.
"Across the Continent," Chicago Tribune, November 12, 1869, page 2

Last revised January 12, 2018