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The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised


Medford in 1907

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MEDFORD. Population 2,500. Jackson County. Settled in 1884, incorporated as a city in [1885], in the Rogue River Valley on Bear Creek and the Southern Pacific railway, 328 miles south of Portland, 443 north of San Francisco, and 5 east of Jacksonville, the county seat. Contains Christian, Baptist, Episcopal, Lutheran, Methodist Episcopal and Methodist Episcopal South, Presbyterian and Catholic churches, public school, opera house seating 600, water works, fire department, electric light plant, 3 newspapers--Medford Mail (Republican, weekly),  Southern Oregonian (Independent, semi-weekly), Medford Tribune (daily and weekly), 3 banks--the Medford National, Jackson County and First National Bank--the Medford flour mill, capacity 100 barrels; the Hotel Nash is a favorite with the commercial travel. The Iowa Lumber Co. have their mills and factories here, and give employment to a large number of men. Annual rainfall 20 to 30 inches. The land is fertile, suited to grain and fruit. Shipments, flour, fruit and livestock. Quartz and placer mining is extensively carried on. Telegraph Postal and Western Union. Express Wells Fargo Co. Telephone connections. Mail daily. Alonzo M. Woodford, postmaster.
R. L. Polk & Co.'s Oregon, Washington and Alaska Gazetteer and Business Directory 1907-08,
page 302     Abbreviations spelled out to facilitate searching.



THE CITY OF
M E D F O R D
    Located in the very heart and center of this "Cream of Creation" is the city of Medford. The men who selected the original townsite chose wisely, for here every natural condition favors the building of a great city. Because of its central position, and being located on the main railroad in the southern half of Oregon, all the immense agricultural, horticultural, timbered and mining wealth within a radius of 100 miles is tributary to Medford. Here the treasure streams empty, and must always empty. That is why Medford is one of the most metropolitan, most flourishing, and busiest little cities in all the bustling West. It is not only a city of today, but a city of tomorrow. Its citizens are building with an eye to the future--the brilliant, unmistakable future destined to make Medford not only the most populous, but the place of greatest commercial importance in Southern Oregon.
    It is at present a city of 4,000, but is the supply point of a territory with a population of 15,000. It is a city of well-kept streets, of beautiful homes, of handsome parks, of churches and schools. Its solid brick blocks bespeak thrift and permanence.
    Medford is located on the main line of the Southern Pacific Railroad, 331 miles south of Portland and 442 miles north of San Francisco. Its altitude is 1,374 feet. It is the western terminal of the Medford & Crater Lake Railroad, now under construction, the first 14 miles of which have been built. This railroad not only makes Medford the gateway to Crater Lake National Park, but also makes it the point of concentration for all the timbered wealth of upper Rogue River, the gigantic forests of which cover an area of 4,000 square miles. Medford is the eastern terminal of the Rogue River Valley Railroad, connecting this place with Jacksonville, the county seat; and will be the eastern terminal of the proposed railroad from the famous Blue Ledge copper mines of upper Applegate River, on the Oregon-California line. This great copper camp is located but 35 miles from Medford, and two stages now ply daily between Medford and the camps, carrying passengers and mail, while a string of freight wagons is continually on the road carrying machinery and supplies. Heavy freighting is done between Medford and all the mining camps of the tributary districts. The coal mines, five miles east of the city, are proving of such great commercial importance that a railroad connecting the properties with the Southern Pacific at this city will soon be constructed. The entire lumber output from the sawmills of the surrounding territory is hauled here for yarding, sorting and shipping, and for manufacture into boxes, sash and doors by the planing mills and factories of Medford. Above all, Medford is the trading point for practically the entire fruit and farming section of Rogue River Valley, and is likewise the shipping point for the whole output of this immense district.
    That Medford is a place of great commercial activity and immense trade is evinced by its having three banks, all in flourishing condition, with aggregate deposits of $900,000, and with a paid-up capital of $150,000 and a surplus of $65,000. The banks all occupy handsome structures of their own, built at a cost of $100,000, and are equipped with the most modern vaults and burglar-resisting devices.
    The growth of Medford during the past year has been most phenomenal, and the fact that nearly 5,000 acres of new orchards were planted this past season in Rogue River Valley, with a corresponding development in all lines of industry, proves with a certainty that this rapid growth will be maintained indefinitely. The three bank buildings, representing a total cost of $100,000, a new $30,000 grammar school building to provide additional accommodations for the many school children and make a home for the high school, together with eight large business blocks, and three hundred residences, all constructed within the last year, indicate the city's rapid growth. All these public buildings and business blocks are of brick and stone, magnificent in design, elaborately equipped and finished. Still more extensive improvements are planned for the future. This remarkable growth does not mean that Medford is "booming"; the town is growing, as all Rogue River Valley is growing, and its public-spirited citizens do not intend that the city shall fall behind the country in the matter of development.
    The Medford Commercial Club, one of the strongest and most active commercial bodies in Oregon, has every business man and citizen of the city enlisted on its membership roll, and is a chief factor in fostering new enterprises and promoting the progressive interests of the town and country. The club has elegant smoking and reading rooms, and its ever-working committees overlook no opportunity to make the advantages of Medford and the riches of the surrounding country known to the world.
    Another example of the public-spiritedness of Medford's citizens was shown in the building, by a number of its citizens, of an exhibit pavilion. The exhibit building is of unique and attractive design, its style of architecture being patterned after the old-time Mission. It is situated near the depot, in full view of passing trains. It contains samples of products from the orchards, farms, mines and forests of the tributary territory, the diversified character of which almost leads the visitor to believe that he has wandered into a world's fair building, instead of a local exhibit building.
    Its ideal location on the banks of Bear Creek, surrounded by evergreen fields and blooming orchards, with imposing mountains greeting the vision wherever the eye may turn, with a soil and climate that produces roses and all varieties of flowers in abundance nearly the entire year, its health-spiced, intoxicating atmosphere, its excellent schools, its well-stocked stores, and its abundance of fruit and vegetables at any and all seasons, make Medford a most delightful place in which to live.
    The religious and educational advantages of Medford are of a high order. There are nine churches, representing all the leading denominations, all with strong congregations and most of them having splendid places of worship.

MINES AND MINING.
    This is the pioneer mining district of Oregon. Gold was first discovered on Jackson Creek in 1851, bringing thousands of fortune-hunters over the Siskiyou Mountains from California. For years Jacksonville, the first Oregon mining camp, located five miles from the present city of Medford, was one of the liveliest gold districts in the West. It still remains a substantial mining district.
    The vast acreage of old channels, gravel bars and auriferous placer deposits, together with the abundant winter rains and numerous streams, combine to make this section one of the leading hydraulic placer districts in America. Placer mining has always been largely followed here. Fully $20,000,000 in virgin gold has been produced from the several diggings since the original discovery. Jackson Creek diggings alone have produced nearly $6,000,000. The hydraulic mines, a half hundred in number, are among the best-equipped in America, with their miles of ditches and flumes, thousands of feet of iron and steel pipe, their batteries of giants and all necessary machinery for hydraulicking. The season of mining being long, the water supply and diggings abundant, the output from Jackson County's surface mines total a half million each year.
    The rivers and streams of the district are unnavigable, and there are no restrictions in the matter of dumping tailings into them. This gives the placer miner every possible opportunity for unobstructed operation, and the output of each property ranges from $2,000 to $60,000 annually, depending upon the size of the [omission] from two to five cents a cubic yard to wash off the placer channels by hydraulicking, and the gravel carries from eight to fifty cents a cubic yard.
    There yet remains considerable unclaimed placer ground here, but the greatest opportunity along this line is in the investment of small and great capital by the purchase of undeveloped properties, giving them proper development, adequate equipment and and intelligent management.
THE FAMOUS STERLING MINE.
    The Sterling hydraulic placer mine, located on Sterling Creek, a stream flowing into the north fork of the Applegate near Jacksonville, has produced from $25,000 to $60,000 regularly for the past quarter century. The diggings comprise several hundred acres of deep red clay gravel deposit. The equipment consists of a twenty-five-mile ditch carrying 2,500 miners inches, and supplying water for two and three giants nine months in the year.
    This famous mine is owned and operated by Mr. J. F. Blakeley and Mr. J. D. Heard.

M E D F O R D
AND THE ROGUE RIVER VALLEY
    In Southwestern Oregon at an altitude approximating fifteen hundred feet lies a valley where mother nature in one of her rare moods of unrestrained generosity has wantonly showered her choicest bounties. Here it seems as though the conditions of climate, the beauty of the earth, the freedom and vigor of living unworn traditions, and the stimulus of a growing civilization are all conducive to creative work and to the nourishment of all that is best in human nature, for in our naive, optimistic, Western hopefulness and gladness surely no trace of selfishness can be held against us, for irresistibly, it seems, we must call aloud to all who will listen to come and share with us nature's rarest gifts.
    Certainly, allurements of this splendid Rogue River Valley are most numerous and diversified. Here nature herself seems to be shouting forth a paean of joy. As you gaze across this beautiful valley and view in the distance the pointed snow-capped peak of Mt. Pitt, while all about are row after row of sleek-limbed, healthy apple and pear trees, the black loam of old mother earth breaking forth its primeval invitation to work, one unconsciously feels that here indeed is nature's garden and a possible Utopia. If one were ever justified in praising the wonders and possibilities of any land, he is certainly justified in giving our beautiful valley her due with its throbbing, wide-awake heart, the progressive city of Medford.
    A rare and salubrious climate, a soil of such remarkable fertility as almost to surpass belief, beautiful scenery, mountains stored with coal, copper and gold, extensive forests of immense value, streams stocked with "speckled beauties," quail, grouse, deer and bear in abundance, and a contented, progressive people--such, in the fewest possible words, is the condition in the famous Rogue River Valley in Southwestern Oregon.
    The object of this booklet is to tell the world something of these conditions that others may know and enjoy, if they will, this garden spot of the West. We who live here know of no other place so attractive--none with such great possibilities. In telling the marvelous story that is related here, we have endeavored rather to underestimate than to exaggerate, knowing that so much can be said in favor of this favored valley that even the plain, unvarnished truth would seem to many as the limit of exaggeration. This will especially be the case with those who have been accustomed to bend their backs in the doubtful struggle of making their farms net from $25.00 to $50.00 per acre. When such people are told that it is possible to clear from $200.00 to $1,000.00 per acre each year in Rogue River Valley, they naturally are inclined to doubt the veracity of those who are responsible for such a statement. Yet, this is not only a possibility, but it is a cold--no, let us say it is a warm, glowing, oft-demonstrated fact.
    Jackson County, in which Rogue River Valley is located, lies at the southern end of the state. Its area is 3,000 square miles, an area as large as the state of Delaware, as large as Rhode Island, and one-half as large as Massachusetts or Connecticut. Rogue River Valley spreads its fields of fertility and abundance, its productive orchards and evergreen meadows over one-half the country's area.
    Jackson County's southern boundary is the California line, along the summit of the Siskiyous. The border lines to the west and north, dividing it from Josephine and Douglas counties, respectively, are low-lying mountain ranges, the highest "hogbacks" of which are about 4,500 feet elevation. The eastern boundary, with its length of ninety miles, follows the backbone of the great Cascade Range, and is lifted to a height of over 9,000 feet at points where Mount Pitt, Union Peak and Cowhorn [Mount Thielsen] lift their caps of everlasting white.
    Across the northern end of the valley flows Rogue River, a wild, turbulent stream, fed by the Cascades' never-ending snows, carrying water enough to irrigate an empire, and power enough to turn all Oregon's wheels of manufacture and move its traffic. Down the center of the valley, off the alpine slopes of the Siskiyous, flows Bear Creek, carrying always water in abundance. The valley, in its entirety, presents a stretch of the finest country ever seen. Its soil is rich, deep and alluvial, much of it being a black vegetable mould, fat and productive. Even the higher ground, the benches, plateaus and hill slopes, are highly productive. As a whole, the valley, with its surrounding slopes, is admirably adapted to diverse vegetation, for there are no ice-biting or sun-scorching winds, and overall smiles a climate of perpetual balm.
    The mercury is our slowest moving thing. It has no opportunity to dance high and low, but seeks the happy medium and remains there winter and summer. During coldest weather it seldom gets lower than 20 degrees above zero; it seldom frosts. On warmest afternoons of July and August it ranges from 90 to 100 degrees, but drops to 60 or 70 at sundown, thus the nights are always delightfully cool. The lightness of the atmosphere, and absence of humidity, never makes extreme heat intolerable here, as men work in the harvest field when the thermometer is 100, but suffer no discomfort.
    Joaquin Miller aptly called Rogue River Valley "America's Italy." There is far more in this than poetry and sentiment. The records of the official weather station, located at the valley's upper end, show an average mean temperature for the past eighteen years of 52 degrees. But the great area of the valley is from 100 to 400 feet lower than the altitude on which the weather station is placed, and has an average mean temperature of 55 to 60. The average mean temperature of Florence, Italy, known from world's end to world's end as "Earth's Paradise," is 58.8.
    The average yearly precipitation is less here than in many eastern sections. By consulting the records of the official weather station again we find that during the past twenty-five years there never has been a rainfall of more than 28 inches for one year. At Medford the average rainfall, as shown by the weather records for the past six years, is but 21 inches, which is nine inches short of the annual precipitation for New York, Boston and other eastern places.
    As a matter of truth, one of the supreme blessings of Rogue River Valley is its abundance of rain. The rain comes in regular, unfailing seasons here; and because it never fails, droughts are unknown; the farmer and the fruit-grower are always certain of a bountiful harvest. The "wet season," if it may be so termed, extends from the first of December till the first of April. But there is always plenty of sunshine between showers--days and weeks of it--equally as warm and delightful as some far southern clime.
    The first breath of spring comes early--never later than the first of March. Wildflowers appear in profusion, the farmer begins his plowing and planting, and before April is half over, summer is on in all its glory. The coming of summer, however, does not mean six or seven months of heat. The last of June or first of July always brings copious rains to mature the crops, and the warm season of August is broken by showers. It is a remarkable fact that farmers plow and sow here every month in the year.
    "Pests that annoy, and winds that destroy," and which make life a burden in the eastern and middle western states, are an unknown thing here. There are no mosquitoes, no "chiggers," no ticks, no gnats and no blackflies. Cyclones never occur here, neither do earthquakes nor hailstorms, and the wind rarely blows at a velocity greater than 20 miles an hour.
    Its splendid stream system, coupled with its deep, fat soil, makes the Valley of the Rogue a land of plenty. Besides Rogue River and Bear Creek, there are innumerable other streams--Applegate River, which rises on the north slope of the Siskiyou Mountains and flows across the southern end of the county. Into the Applegate and the Rogue flow numerous large streams, all draining and watering their respective coves, vales and corners of the main valley.

ROGUE RIVER APPLES.
    For generations past the reputation of Oregon as the home of the biggest, juiciest, crispest red apples on earth has been known and recognized throughout the East; but it has only been within the last ten years that the profitable raising of commercial varieties for shipment clear across the continent and to foreign countries has been proven possible. The introduction of the modern western apple package, the regulation apple box, and the present methods of packing in such packages have already revolutionized the apple trade of the world, and the discriminating buyers of the whole world give the preference to Oregon apples. Only such varieties as the Aesopus Spitzenburg and the Yellow Newtown Pippin have attracted and held the attention of the horticulturist here, however, because each has a special mission and field which it alone can exactly fill.
    Have you ever strolled down Broadway in New York City along about the beginning of the holidays and noted the rich and amazing displays in the windows of the establishments in the vicinity of Twenty-Third Street? Have you noticed that the Oregon Spitzenburg, with its riotous rollicking red, was the central figure in all the grand display? Have you noticed the sidewalk along the waterfront littered for many yards with the holiday gift boxes of apples, awaiting the sailing of the steamer, to be wafted to foreign shores, as a holiday remembrance from America to add to the Christmas cheer of absent friends? Were you ever impressed with the fact that this fruit is sent from the shadows of Oregon's mighty mountains across this continent, clear across the sea and perhaps another continent to add the last finishing touch needed to make the holiday board complete?
    And again: Did you know that next to his veneration for his king and the roast beef of Old England, there is a lurking love for the Yellow Newtown Pippin implanted in the bosom of Johnny Bull that impels him to reach out to the end of the earth for the best that the earth affords? The very best Yellow Newtowns that the earth produces are grown in the Rogue River Valley in the state of Oregon, and Johnny Bull knows it, and he wants them all, every one, and we are content that he should get them, if he pays the price.
HOTEL NASH.
    Too much cannot be said in favor of the reliable old Hotel Nash, which always maintains its reputation for old-time hospitality, and yet keeps abreast of the times in modern improvements. It is situated just east of the depot. It is under the successful management of the owner, Mayor Reddy, whose ability is recognized across the continent.
J. G. VAN DYKE & CO.
    This popular store is one of the oldest and most reliable in Medford. It was established in 1888 and since that time has had an enviable reputation of giving value received in the way of newest and most desirable goods. It is centrally located and is managed by Mr. J. G. Van Dyke, who is a good, conscientious buyer, ever having the good will of his customers in mind. Mr. Van Dyke carries a well-selected line of dry goods, men's clothing and furnishings and an extensive line of men's, women's and children's shoes. The qualities of successful trade building are a valuable asset which is sure to make Mr. Van Dyke a merchant prince of the Greater Medford which is to be in the immediate future.
ARTIST KLUM.
    Medford is fortunate in having so versatile a genius as Mr. Klum. The airbrush cards which give the show windows of Medford such a metropolitan appearance are from his studio.
    The matter of detail and execution are not the only points in which he shows his genius, for he is an expert ad writer and an inventor of phrases and designs of more than usual professional merit. They're twins--success and Klum's cards.
The Sketch, Portland, Oregon, September 14-21, 1907


"The Cream of Creation"
Rogue River Valley and Medford, Its Business Center--
A Wonderfully Favored Section and a City with a Great Future.
Mr. Homeseeker--
    The things that follow, both of word and picture, are prepared especially for you, and let it be understood, right here at the beginning, that this is no fairy tale. The statements here published have been carefully weighed in the scales of truth. The facts and figures accord with real conditions.
    It may be, Mr. Homeseeker, that you are searching for a place you have only seen in your dreams--a sort of Utopia, where peace and plenty and happiness reign supreme. Now there is a Utopia Land, a real one, outside the dreams of men. We know this to be true--we who live here and are happy, who are doing abundantly well, who have robust health and a keen appetite--but not so many years ago we were in the same dissatisfied condition of mind that you are in now. We were getting mighty tired of blizzards, of deep snows, of zero weather, of windstorms, of droughts, of crop failures, and cyclones that had a playful habit of moving our houses and furniture, barn, hay and livestock from one county to another without our permission, so you see we were in need of a Utopia. We wanted to change our location; wanted to go where none of these things were known; wanted to go where we could plant in the spring; cultivate in the summer, and be certain of a harvest in the fall. We wanted to go where we could enjoy full returns from the work of our hands and brain, where there would be real happiness in living.
    In Rogue River Valley we found all we had hoped and longed and searched for.
    The world can boast no better spot than this. Here, the Great Maker lingered longer in the work of creation, and gave additional touches of care to His handiwork. Here He bestowed His blessing and spread His treasures with a lavish hand.
    Oregon has many valleys, but only one Rogue. Jackson County, in which Rogue River Valley is located, lies at the southern end of Oregon. Its area is 3000 square miles, an area as large as the state of Delaware, larger than Rhode Island, and one half as large as Massachusetts or New Jersey. Rogue River Valley spreads its fields of fertility and abundance, its productive orchards and evergreen meadows over one-half the county's area.
The City of Medford.
    Located in the very heart and center of this "Cream of Creation" is the city of Medford. The men who selected the original townsite chose wisely, for here every natural condition favors the building of a great city, because of its central position and being located on the only railroad in the southern half of Oregon all the immense agricultural, horticultural, timber and mining wealth within a radius of many miles is tributary to Medford. Here the treasure streams empty, and must always empty. That is why Medford is one of the most metropolitan, most flourishing and busiest little cities in all the bustling West. It is not only a city of today, but a city of tomorrow. Its citizens are building with an eye to the future.--the brilliant, unmistakable future destined to make Medford not only the most populous, but the place of greatest commercial importance in Southern Oregon.
    It is at present a city of 3,000, perhaps more, but is the supply point of a territory with a population of 15,000. It is a city of well-kept streets, of beautiful homes, of handsome parks, of churches and schools. Its solid brick blocks bespeak thrift and permanence.
    Medford is located on the main line of the Southern Pacific Railroad, 331 miles south of Portland and 442 miles north of San Francisco. Its altitude is 174 feet. It is the western terminal of the Medford & Crater Lake Railroad, now under construction, the first 14 miles of which has been built. This railroad not only makes Medford the gateway to Crater Lake National Park, but also makes it the point of concentration for all the timber wealth of upper Rogue River, the gigantic forests of which cover an area of 4,000 square miles. Medford is the eastern terminal of the Rogue River Valley Railroad, connecting this place with Jacksonville, the county seat, and will be the eastern terminal of the proposed railroad from the famous Blue Ledge copper mine of upper Applegate River, on the Oregon-California line. This great copper camp is located but 35 miles from Medford, and two stages now ply daily between Medford and the camp, carrying passengers and mail while a string of freight wagons is continually on the road carrying machinery and supplies.
    Heavy freight is done between Medford and all the mining camps of the tributary districts.
    The coal mines five miles east of the city are proving of such great commercial importance that a railroad connecting the properties with the Southern Pacific in this city will soon be constructed. The entire lumber output from the sawmills of the surrounding territory is hauled here for yarding, sorting and shipping, and for manufacturing into boxes, ash and doors by the planing mills and factories of Medford.
    Above all, Medford is the trading point for practically the entire fruit and farming section of Rogue River Valley, and is likewise the shipping point for the whole output of this immense district.
    That Medford is a place of great commercial activity and immense trade is evinced by its having three banks, all in flourishing condition, with aggregate deposits of $900,000, and with a paid-up capital of $150,000 and a surplus of $65,000. The banks all occupy handsome structures of their own, built at a cost of $100,000, and are equipped with the most modern vaults and burglar-resisting devices.
    The growth of Medford during the past year has been most phenomenal, and the fact that 7500 acres of new orchards were planted this past season in Rogue River Valley, with a corresponding development in all lines of industry, proves with a certainty that this rapid growth will be maintained indefinitely. The three bank buildings, representing a total cost of $100,000, a new $30,000 grammar school building to provide additional accommodation for the many school children and make a home for the high school, together with eight large business blocks and a great number of residences, all constructed within the last year, indicate the city's rapid growth. All these public buildings and business blocks are brick and stone, magnificent in design, elaborately equipped and finished. Still more extensive improvements are planned for the future. This remarkable growth does not mean that Medford is "booming." The town is growing, and its public-spirited citizens do not intend that the city shall be behind the country in the matter of development.
    The Medford Commercial Club, one of the strongest and most active commercial bodies in Oregon, has every business man and citizen of the city enlisted on its membership roll, and is a chief factor in fostering new enterprises and promoting the progressive interests of the town and country. The Club has elegant smoking and reading rooms, and its ever-working committees overlook an opportunity to make the advantages of Medford and the riches of the surrounding country known to the world.
    Medford can truthfully boast of having the finest hotel in Southern Oregon. The Hotel Nash, owned by the Hotel Nash Co., built and furnished at a cost of $60,000, has the finest appointed grill south of Portland and north of Sacramento. The hotel is managed by P. J. McMahon and a corps of capable assistants. Mr. McMahon is one of the best-known men in Southern Oregon, and is known to the traveling fraternity as the Kirkpatrick of Oregon.
    Another example of the public-spiritedness of Medford's citizens was shown in the building, by a number of its citizens, of an exhibit pavilion. The exhibit building is of unique and attractive design, its style of architecture being patterned after the old-time Mission. It is situated near the depot, in full view of passing trains. It contains samples of productions from the orchards, farms, mills and forests of the tributary territory, the diversified character of which almost leads the visitor to believe that he has wandered into a world's fair building instead of a local exhibit building.
     Medford's ideal location on the banks of Bear Creek, surrounded by evergreen fields and blooming orchards, with imposing mountains greeting the visitors wherever the eye may turn, with a soil and climate that produces roses and all varieties of flowers in abundance nearly the entire year, its health-spiced, intoxicating atmosphere, its excellent schools, its well-stocked stores and its abundance of fruit and vegetables at any and all seasons, make the city a most delightful place in which to live.
    The religious and educational advantages of Medford are of a high order. There are nine churches, representing all the leading denominations, all with strong congregations and most of them having splendid places of worship. Two commodious brick school buildings accommodate the 800 school children of the city. Each building contains eight large rooms, well ventilated, steam heated and provided with modern school equipment. The Medford High School has an efficient corps of teachers and carries the student through the twelfth grade, giving admittance to the second year at the state universities of Oregon and California.
    Medford has three wide-awake newspapers, all of them progressive in their policy, all well equipped in their mechanical departments and all ably edited. They are the Mail, the Tribune and the Southern Oregonian.
   
Vital statistics prove Medford to have an exceptionally low death rate, it being less than 12 per thousand. Epidemics of diseases are unknown here. River water and pure air, with an abundance of sunshine and copious showers, prevent fevers, and pulmonary troubles are very rare. All of the popular fraternal organizations and secret societies are represented here, with lodges of strong membership and elegant assembly halls. The social atmosphere is the genial, glad-to-meet-you kind--the genuine Western sort that carries always a happy smile and a welcome hand. Cast and social barriers there are none.
    The municipal affairs of Medford are conducted on the real American plan. The mayor and councilmen are elected by popular vote.
    From Medford good highways lead through every outlying district. The good roads movement is a thing of fact here. Jackson County has complete road-making machinery, and a crew is constantly employed on Rogue River highways. Road construction is done under the direction of an experienced supervisor employed by the county. There is an abundance of excellent road material close at hand that is being utilized for this purpose, and within a few years the roads and drives leading from this city will be the finest in the Northwest.
Medford Mail, April 26, 1907, page 3


    We started from Seventh Street at 8 p.m., and with a short ride of sightseeing in the city before leaving, I pointed out to him the three beautiful bank buildings, the Lawton and Hubbard bricks, the Moore brick block in West Medford, the new brick post office and telegraph building, and the pretty, attractive, eight-room North School building, in the distance, with countless new residences, clean streets, cement and plank sidewalks, telegraph and telephone lines, and the whiz of the automobile, which has become one of the fixed attractions of Medford in the past three years. Medford's progress and development has increased her population and valuation of property one half since your humble writer became a resident three years ago. We then started north and were soon clear of the city limits, but our team was brought to a sudden halt by the shrill whistle from the P.&E. train which came thundering along for Medford, with a full coach of passengers. This is another new enterprise and one of the most gigantic, far-reaching enterprise that has ever actually developed in the Rogue River Valley, and now traverses our valley for twelve miles. Well might we, of our city and county, rejoice and doff our hats in humble appreciation for the energy and go-aheadiveness of this new railroad company's great financial undertaking, for the building of this road we think will be the key that will unlock the great storehouse of Jackson County's wealth, and that we may not only hear but use the long-felt want of this great development, not alone to our city, but the bright and promising future of all Southern Oregon.
J. G. Martin, "Progress of a Few Years," Medford Mail, July 26, 1907, page 3


Medford and the Rogue River Valley
    Ask any fruit buyer on this continent what fruit district he considers the best in American and where he would cast his lot if given the preference, and he will invariably say that the Medford district in the Rogue River Valley offers more inducements in the line of fine climate, varied productions and crop certainty than any other section known. He will also begin to tell how for 10 years past the fancy fruit trade of the world has looked upon the Medford product in apples and pears as being the best that enters any market. The fruit buyer, however, is only partially in touch with the situation, and he can only to a limited extent comprehend why the Rogue River Valley, and especially the district surrounding Medford, is attracting men of means from all portions of the eastern and northern states, as is no other portion of the West.
    The fact that Medford is today regarded as the liveliest town in Oregon, outside of Portland, is partly responsible for the situation; and the fact that the population is almost entirely American born, live and progressive men from the older states, in a measure accounts for the great immigration of homeseekers from the blizzard-stricken Northwest, the productive Mississippi Valley states and from farther east. But, after all, it is the unparalleled bounty of nature in this favored valley which makes it so eagerly sought as a permanent place of residence by men who have thriven elsewhere but have tired of a ceaseless contest with an inclement climate.
    In a Commercial Club document recently issued by the Medford people, an open challenge is issued to the world to show any town which within a radius of five miles, 10 miles, 20 miles or even 50 miles can show the varied productions, the great wealth-producing commodities which distinguish this section. It is a challenge which no other community would care to accept, for here, with its great mineral wealth, its gold, copper, iron and other ores, its wonderful capacity for producing fancy fruits for the markets of the world; its great timber belt, composed largely of white and sugar pine; its stock-raising facilities, its dairy possibilities incident to the production of alfalfa hay; its developing seed-growing features, especially in alfalfa seed; its mild and equable climate, combining the best features of both northern Oregon and California; its exemption from asthma, rheumatism, hay fever and insect pests; its scenic beauties, soda and mineral springs, waters holding in solution the remedy for all rheumatic and scrofulous ailments, and to crown all an artesian belt, which renders it possible for every fruitman to provide his own irrigation system, and places Medford in the enviable position of the center of a valley which is even now noted as the best on the Pacific coast.
    Medford is now being rapidly brought into communication with the great timber belt at the head of Rogue River and its main tributaries, and will be the base of operations of a dozen box factories within the next two years. The Pacific & Eastern Railway Company, which recently acquired the roadbed and rights of way of the Medford & Crater Lake Railway, now have construction forces at work, and will at once extend the road to the Crater Lake region to the east, and ultimately to the coast about Port Orford or Crescent City. Incidentally they will connect with a spur to the great Blue Ledge copper mine in the Siskiyous, southwest of Medford, and as a smelter will be installed at these mines during the coming fall months, it is a part of the company's plans to also install coking ovens at the Medford coal mines, on the base of the Roxy Ann mountain, which the company now has under option. The company has already applied for a franchise for supplying fuel gas to the residents of Medford, which will receive favorable action.
    The thing which guarantees rapid advance in population and development in the Rogue River Valley is the fact that orchard lands, which here bring returns in excess of any other fruit district in the West, have not been unduly advanced in price, and anyone who invests at present can be assured of a winning in the immediate future.
    The Rogue River Valley has a score of fruits which are almost equally productive and profitable, ranging from the Yellow Newtown and Spitzenburg apples, through the half-dozen varieties of pears which have proven such phenomenal winners, the delicious peaches and apricots which distinguish this valley, table grapes which rival California's best; cherries which, while not so large nor so juicy as those of the Willamette section, are such fine keepers that they will bear transportation to the most distant markets, and which have such firm flesh and solid skins that they are not subject to rain checks; melons which drive those from all other sections out of the Northwest markets when the Rogue River season sets in.
    One element of Medford's growth which is now becoming much more prominent than it has been heretofore is the fact that it is the logical center of what was once the leading placer mining district of the northwest coast, and what is rapidly becoming the leading quartz and copper mining section of the West. It has been common talk among miners for a generation past that the ridge of mountains west of Medford contains more than enough gold ledges to pay off the national debt, and yet it is only within two or three years that capital has entered the field to develop this great district. From the ledges which lie hidden in this range of mountains, the placers of early days were fed, and the records of Wells, Fargo Express company show that not less than twenty millions of gold dust was shipped through this medium alone from the Jacksonville district, which is now included in the Medford district; and all old miners know that much dust found the outside markets through other mediums.
    With a wonderful crop maturing on the orchard trees in the Medford district, with the certainty that high prices for fancy fruit will prevail, it is already known that all records for previous years will be broken in the line of fruit yields, and it is predicted that the resulting effect will be an advancement of 50 percent in present values for orchard and orchard lands. It certainly is the right time to investigate the fruit district about Medford.
    In a building age, there is nothing that promises more for Medford at present than the development and extension of the trade in the line of building stone, especially granite and sandstone, of which there are immense quarries in the vicinity of Medford, of a character which guarantees its being used all over the coast, particularly in public buildings. The granite which is now passing through the Medford stone yards is equal to the best imported Scotch granite, both for monumental use and building stone, and within a very few years it will command the trade of the whole coast and constitute one of the leading sources of income. The use of electrical power is an important factor in the development of this business, and many men are already engaged in the quarries and the shops. The handsome appearance of the business district of Medford is owing largely to the reasonable price at which this magnificent stone finish can be obtained here. It means that within a decade Medford will take rank as the best-built town in the state. Within 10 miles of Medford are found cement stone ledges which it will be feasible to develop and to install cement factories, with Medford as a distributing point, and in a very few years, or as soon as competitive railway rates are obtainable. Port Orford will prove to be a second Newport News, and Medford will be the great distributing point for southern Oregon and northern California, a manufacturing city and the center of the wealthiest fruit and mining district on the coast within 10 years. Forty townships of wonderful pine timber will be in market within that time, all tributary to Medford, and it is a certainty that within five years Medford will have a population of 10,000, and a possible 50,000 within two years after the completion of the Panama Canal and the building of the breakwater at Port Orford.
    For information address Medford Commercial Club.
"Portland's Harbor: Outlet of Oregon's Great Resources," Portland Journal special section, June 1907


JACKSON COUNTY
    Jackson County and the Rogue River Valley are synonymous, and there is no fairer and more fertile valley than the Rogue on the American continent. With its beauty of scenery it is noted for its good health, good water, good schools and the most productive soil that can be found anywhere. In its natural endowments may be included its capacity to produce in perfection more varieties of deciduous fruits than any other one section in the country. The fame of Jackson County apples is worldwide, and in London they bring a larger price than those from any other country, Newtowns from the Rogue River selling in that market at 11 to 14 shillings per box. It is not uncommon for apple orchards in that county to yield at the rate of $1,000 per acre. Pears have made an equally good showing, one carload of Comice pears selling in New York last season for $3,450. There is no better cherry land in the Northwest, and trees of the royal Anne variety produce every year from $30 to $50 income. Apricots have yielded at the rate of $500 an acre. Grapes grow as well as on the best grape land of California. In fact, every kind of fruit, cereal and vegetable reach the height of perfection when grown in the beautiful valleys of Jackson County.
    Ashland and Medford are the principal cities of the county, the first with 3,500 population, the latter with 2,500. Other important towns are Jacksonville and Gold Hill.
"Portland's Harbor: Outlet of Oregon's Great Resources," Portland Journal special section, June 1907


ROGUE RIVER VALLEY
    One of the most attractive features of the southern Oregon country is the fine market afforded for everything produced by reason of the proximity of the mines and lumber camps of northern California and the counties north and west of the valley in Oregon, all of which territory looks to this valley for its supplies. It would be a prosperous section if there were no orchards in the valley, but with the adaptability to fruit growing, in connection with the incomparable climate, it is on the cards that the Rogue River Valley will be thickly settled by prosperous men, each on his small holding of 10 to 40 acres, surrounded with all modern conveniences of country life, within the next five years. It is a matter of common comment that the improvements in the rural districts are not up to the expectations of the visitors to the valley who have heard so much about the great productiveness of orchard lands. Improvements will be the order of the day, however, in the immediate future, for most of the 25,000 acres set to fruit in the valley already will be in bearing within five years and will enable the owners to make improvements, which will vie with those of the best California valleys. The fruit growing industry is really in its infancy, despite the wonderful showings already made. It is known beyond all question that it will bring immense returns, and with the live "American" element which is pouring into the valley now, there will be no question about the use to which the large fruit yields will be put.
    Great expectations for the immediate future of the valley are based upon the discovery that it is an artesian basin, and as the depth at which a flowing well can be obtained is not over 1,000 feet, it is a certainty that wherever it is found necessary to irrigate winter apples it will be possible to do so, and yet be independent of the water companies, which orchardists of other sections regard as a menace to the industry. While only prospecting work has been done so far in the artesian well drilling line, it is known that a good flow of water can be secured, and this will facilitate the obtaining of a good water supply in all the towns of the valley. As there is no alkali in the valley, and as the water from the artesian levels is fine not only for domestic purposes but for the drinking water as well, being soft and free from lime or mineral taint, it will figure largely in the development of the valley in the near future.
Good Roads a Feature.
    Another feature which looks good to the homeseeker is the fine road system being developed throughout the valley, the necessary material for building good roads being abundant everywhere, and yet it is known that even with good roads it will be utterly impossible to handle the 3,000 cars of fruit which will be exported from the valley within the next seven years annually by the present methods of local transportation. It will be an absolute necessity within the time for an electric belt line to be installed about the valley, the form of the figure "8" being probable for the track, crossing the valley at Medford and deriving power from the river. Already the valley boasts the most complete electric light and power plant, perhaps, on the entire coast, and many ranchers and orchardmen are already enjoying lights and power on the farm, which with the telephone and rural delivery place the rural dwellers on a par with those who live in the cities, as far as the amenities of life are concerned. The single item lacking is an electric [rail]road, and when it comes there will here be developed the finest residence neighborhood along the foothills surrounding the valley to be found anywhere in the West: Magnificent scenery, productive soil, and a climate of such merit that only those who have lived for a few years in this valley know how to appreciate it. Far-sighted men are already securing sites for their homes in view of but apart from the cities of the valley, when the ideal conditions actually exist along the foothills.
Intensive Farming.
    One reads of the possibilities of intensive farming in the irrigation promoter's advertisements; but one may find the dream of incomes approximating $1,000 per acre from a single crop realized today in the actual results obtained in the Rogue River Valley. Each year it becomes more and more apparent that the limit has not yet been reached in the prices obtained for the fancy fruit produced, notably in Newtown apples and pears, and it is a common saying among the horticulturists that the best lands for these fruits in the Rogue River Valley has not yet been planted. Here it is possible to do on a large scale what other sections have succeeded in accomplishing in a small way. In fact it is not merely a possibility, it is an existing fact that it is being accomplished here in a large way.
    During the coming season there will be a cannery established in the lower valley for the purpose of utilizing the superior tomatoes, peas and beans produced, while it is the intention of the cannery people to plant a large tract in asparagus and horseradish in the noted Bear Creek bottom, the finest truck land on the coast. When one considers the great diversity of productions of this wonder spot of nature, aside from its fine climate, he can see why it is that the residents of all other sections of Oregon live in the expectation of one day possessing a home in the Rogue River Valley.
"Portland's Harbor: Outlet of Oregon's Great Resources," Portland Journal special section, June 1907


MEDFORD HAS THINGS COMING
Completion of Crater Lake Road Is One of Its Most Pleasing Hopes.
    NEW OWNERS EXPECTED TO GET BUSY AT ONCE
    Development of Coal Mines Is Another Assurance of a Great Future--
Building Boom with Much Precedent Accomplishment.

(Special Dispatch to the Journal)

    Medford, Or., April 12.--The Medford & Crater Lake Railroad, which has been in litigation for some time, and a few weeks ago went into the hands of a receiver, will be sold, April 20, under the hammer to the highest bidder. Among those who will bid are a firm from Kalamazoo, Michigan, and the Iowa Box & Lumber Company of this city. This road, which is partially built and about 30 miles of which is projected, has been in litigation for a number of years, but at last the prospects are that under the new management which will secure control of it it will be pushed to completion. The road was originally planned to cover the territory lying between Medford and Crater Lake, a distance of about 60 miles, and the people of all the towns and surrounding country hail the prospect of very soon having the road in operation.
Coal Mine in Operation.
    The coal mine recently opened in the outskirts of Medford is now in full operation and the quality of the coal will compare favorably with that of any of the large mines in Pennsylvania. Recently a 12-foot vein was struck which promises to yield untold quantities of excellent steam coal. This mine lies adjacent to Southern Pacific land, and the prospect is that the company will gain control of it. This being the case, a greater development of this valuable property is expected within a very short time.
Medford's Building Boom.
    A building boom has struck Medford, and there are at present more buildings in course of erection than at any one time for a number of years. The Medford Bank and the Jackson County Bank, two of the largest banking houses in southern Oregon, have recently moved into handsome new structures, just completed. A $75,000 school building, the Moore Hotel block, the Big Bend Milling Company's block and a large number of smaller structures are monuments of the prosperous growth of this southern Oregon City.
Oregon Daily Journal, Portland, April 12, 1907, page 6



Last revised October 15, 2013
*For more complete names of persons identified by initials, see the Index.