ROGUE RIVER VALLEY, OREGON.
Were the Indian of half a century ago to return to the home of his childhood, the beautiful valley of Rogue River, seat himself on one of the table rocks and view the surrounding country, what changes would greet his eye. The valley he so loved and admired for its many gifts in most luxuriant grasses, roots and innumerable quantities of game is no more the spot his thoughts longed to dwell upon. The progressive white man has taken possession and metamorphosed all with his many contrivances. To an Indian the sight would be anything but pleasing. From where we are seated, on the hill west of Jacksonville, the picture before us is such that one must be dull, indeed, to the beautiful in nature if he could not admire it. In the background of the picture and a little north of east, about 170 miles distant, we see the ever-faithful sentinel, "Diamond Peak," salient and alone in his glory, covered in a garb of the purest white, glistening and sparkling in the bright sunshine. We turn to the right, due east [sic], and see the guardian of our valley, Mt. Pitt or McLoughlin, now enveloped in his wintry attire, waiting for the warm rays of the sun to allow him to cast off his mantle of white and appear to his children in his summer dress of green. At this writing a low-hanging cloud, balloon shape (less the car), is hovering over and around the peak, deluding the observer into the belief that the Jacksonvillians are about to have a veritable bonanza in the shape of a smoking, burning mountain.
The valley and central figure lies quiet and serene in its beauty, dotted here and there with its many farms and farm houses, barns, etc. The slow-winding Bear Creek, wending its way from the south to meet the more grand and finer body of water, Rogue River. The connection is made under the shadow of the lower table rock; from thence on the beautiful and majestic Rogue River takes its course westward, through canyons, over cataracts and falls, to help swell the mighty and placid Pacific.
In the foreground of the picture, and almost beneath our feet, we view with delight Jacksonville with its churches, Catholic, Methodist and Presbyterian, and many substantial brick structures, the most notable being the Masonic and Odd Fellows' halls, Holt's Hotel and Orth's brick block. A little east of the town proper, on a natural elevation most suitable for the purpose, stands the district school house, with a most efficient corps of teachers, Prof. Merritt, principal. A little south of the district school and fronting on one of the main streets is located the Sisters' school for young ladies; these comprise the educational institutions. All around us we view mountains and hills enclosing one of the most beautiful and lovely spots in Oregon or, we may say, on the Pacific Slope; even at this writing, in March, all is clothed in green verdure. Could a Rubens, a VanDyke or a Kaulbach rise from his silent tomb, with what delightful emotions he would view the landscape before him.
The town of Jacksonville, according to the last census, contains a population of 850 souls. It is well supplied in all branches of mechanical and mercantile pursuits. What we need is a banking institution of some kind to accommodate the growing want of the people of Southern Oregon. The town takes in an area of many hundred miles, commercially speaking, Lake, Josephine and Jackson, and a portion of Siskiyou Co., California, with an estimated population of 15,000 persons, and were we blessed with a bank that would loan its money regardless of persons, providing their security were A-1, isolated as we are, the institution would prove profitable to the owners and an inestimable benefit to Southern Oregon and Northern California. Such an opening for a bank, national or private, does not exist elsewhere in Oregon. Should a competent person inaugurate an enterprise of this kind we believe half the capital necessary could be found in our midst. With the buying of gold dust, percentage on exchange and the amalgamating of the insurance business, life and fire, a permanent and most lucrative business would be the result.
The West Shore, Portland, April 1881, page 88
THE WEST SHORE.--The last issue of this publication contains an excellent article on Southern Oregon from the pen of Adam Klippel, late editor of this paper, besides a number of illustrations of our most prominent buildings. Among the latter we notice pictures of the new Presbyterian Church, Masonic Temple, Orth's brick, the woolen mills at Ashland, besides views of Castle Rock, on the O.&C. stage route, Rogue River Falls and Annie's Creek Canyon. The West Shore is a good publication and should be in every household. Subscription price, $2 per year.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, November 5, 1881, page 3