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Medford in 1924

MEDFORD
"The Pear City"

   Medford, known as the "biggest little city" in Oregon, has a population of 7,500. It is located near the center of the Rogue River Valley on the main line of the Southern Pacific Railroad and the Pacific Highway.
    Medford is "Gateway to Crater Lake" and is located on the Medford-Crater Lake Highway, which splendid state highway is eighty-two miles in length and is traveled each year by thousands of tourists to that scenic gem of all national parks.
    As a trading and financial center Medford is the most important in Southern Oregon.
    During the past ten years Medford has had an average annual rainfall of 16.44 inches. The elevation is 1368 feet. Bear Creek, which is a tributary to Rogue River, flows through Medford.
    Few, if any, cities the size of Medford have a greater length of paved streets, there being a total of twenty-three miles here. The city has more than twenty-nine miles of sanitary and storm sewers, twenty-eight miles of cast-iron mains, thirty miles of cement sidewalks, and a twenty-three-mile gravity water system, costing $275,000. The water is brought from a natural reservoir in the Cascade Mountains, and the source is sufficient for many times the present population. The city is supplied with gas and electric light and power.
    Medford is headquarters for the Crater Lake National Forest Service, the Crater Lake National Park Service, and the offices of the county pathologist and county agent are located here. The key station of the United States Weather Bureau for Southern Oregon is located in Medford. The sum of $110,000 was expended in 1916 for the erection of a three-story modern federal building. Medford has a paid fire department, equipped with several auto fire trucks. There is a music conservatory, business college and Catholic school, eleven churches, twenty lodges, a College Women's Club, University Club, and an active women's civic improvement club; there are five large public school buildings. The junior, as well as the senior high school, has special courses of study, including domestic science, art, manual training, agriculture, etc.
    Medford has a public market, and for the past [twelve] years this has proven to be very popular and is working to the advantage of both country producers and city consumers. Medford is the chief outfitting point in the county for Crater lake, stages making regular trips during the season. A number of large fruit packing plants are located in Medford. These plants are supplemented by storage warehouses, one of the precooling warehouses having a capacity of 100 cars.
No Cyclones.
No Electric Storms.
No Mosquitoes or Other Pests.
Over 2000 miles of salmon and trout streams. The hills abound with deer, cougar, mountain and valley quail, pheasant, etc.
Medford Mail Tribune, April 1, 1924, page B1


MEDFORD
    Medford, the "biggest little city" in Oregon, with a thriving population of 8500 people, is located in the heart of the Rogue River Valley on the main line of the Southern Pacific Railroad and the Pacific Highway. It is known from coast to coast as a "gateway to Crater Lake," being located sixty-nine miles from the Crater Lake National Park and eighty-one miles from that matchless gem of all scenic attractions. A splendid highway, skirting the banks of beautiful Rogue River, has been recently improved and it is traveled annually by thousands of Crater Lake tourists.
    Because of its location in the center of Southern Oregon, Medford is particularly fitted as a trading and financial center for the entire section. The foremost developed industry of this section is fruit raising, and on many of the orchards near Medford famous Bosc pears are grown, in addition to quantities of Bartlett, Comice, Anjou and other pears as well as apples, peaches and cherries. Small berries and garden products, produced from this locality, are supplied to regions east of the Cascades and to Northern California communities, where the elevation does not permit of their culture.
    An industry which promises to even eclipse that of fruit raising in territory near Medford is lumbering, the Owen-Oregon Lumber Company having selected that city as a site for their gigantic $1,000,000 mill, which is already under construction. A thirty-five-mile railroad, extended to the heart of the Cascade forest near Butte Falls, has Medford as its terminus and will be operated by the Owens-Oregon interests. This company owns $3,000,000 worth of fir and pine in this section. The Tomlin Lumber & Box Company operates extensively near Medford. Another railroad connects Medford with a wealthy timber area five and one-half miles west through Jacksonville, one of the historic old cities of the early days.
    Alfalfa is grown extensively and is responsible for large herds of stock cattle and many high-bred dairy cows. An elaborate series of irrigation ditches, supplied by systems recently completed and new ones under construction, open vast sections of land in territory immediately adjacent to Medford for intensive farming and dairying, and is bringing her a steadily increasing prosperity.
    During the past ten years, Medford has had an average rainfall of 16.59 inches. The elevation is 1368 feet.
    Few, if any, cities of the size of Medford have a greater length of paved streets, there being a total of twenty-three miles here. The city has more than twenty-nine miles of sanitary and storm sewers; twenty-eight miles of cast-iron mains, thirty miles of cement sidewalks, and a twenty-three-mile gravity water system costing $275,000, with water supplied from a natural reservoir in the Cascade Mountains. The city is supplied with gas and electric light and power, has modern cement and brick office buildings, a public park, a $20,000 library, a $110,000 federal building, a $140,000 hospital, an $80,000 armory, a natatorium costing $75,000, a $50,000 passenger depot, several hotels, including one six-story hotel, erected at a cost of $200,000, which ranks with the best hotels in the state, while construction of another hotel is being contemplated.
    There are four banks with a combined deposit of over $4,000,000, and two motion picture theatres, one of which has been recently built and is recognized as one of the most beautiful on the Pacific Coast. It is splendidly equipped for high-class shows which appear on their tours of the coast.
    Medford is headquarters for the Crater Lake National Forest Service, the Crater Lake National Park Service, and the offices of the County Pathologist and County Agent are located here. The key station of the United States Weather Bureau for Southern Oregon is also located in Medford. Medford has a paid fire department, equipped with several auto fire trucks. There is a music conservatory, business college and Catholic school.
    Many beautiful churches, twenty lodges, a Chamber of Commerce and numerous civic organizations, a College Women's Club, University Club, Rotary and Kiwanis organizations and an active women's civic improvement club, as well as a Business and Professional Women's Club.
    A public market has proven popular in Medford and is working to the advantage of rural producers and city consumers. Many fruit packing plants are located at Medford, one of which is being operated as a cooperative fruit selling agency. These plants are supplemented by storage and precooling warehouses and a cannery operating throughout the year, also a fruit drying plant.
    Medford has five large public school buildings. The junior as well as the senior high school has special courses of study, including domestic science, art, manual training, agriculture, etc. In 1924 there were 458 high school students enrolled and 1,260 grade students in the Medford system.
    There is one daily newspaper, the Mail Tribune, with a Sunday morning issue, The Sun, and two weekly papers, the Jackson County News and the Pacific Record Herald.
    Because of its ideal climate, beautiful scenic surroundings and diversified industries Medford is enjoying a remarkable natural growth. New homes are being erected in large numbers and it is estimated that 150 will be constructed here during 1924.
    Building permits for the early part of 1924 far exceeded any corresponding period.
    Two golf courses are located near Medford while the surrounding country has a special lure for the hunter and the fisherman.
Bert Moses, Where Nature Lavished Her Bounties, Jackson County, 1924




Last revised March 30, 2014