Boats do not reach Roseburg; but down the rocky Umpqua, at Scottsburg, was once a lively trade, and many steamers decked the river--a river rich in scenery, deep and dark from rugged cliffs in many places, and then overshadowed by the spicy myrtle. Two hours' ride from this little town, through rolling hills of oak, and we touch the advance of Holladay's railroad army. Farther on, we pass a town of tents. Thousands of men, it seems--and mostly Chinamen--are at work, like beavers, sweeping away the great fir forest that shuts out the sun the whole year through. Two hundred miles from Portland, and three hundred miles from the sea, by the line of travel, we take the cars. At present, the gap between the California and Oregon sections, that the traveler has to cross by coach, is three days' hard travel; but it is safe to say that, in another year, somewhere up about the Siskiyou Mountains, the last spike will be driven. The Oregon section has the heavier force employed, is displaying the greater energy, and will probably first reach the junction.
Joaquin Miller, "A Ride Through Oregon," Overland Monthly, April 1872, page 305
Last revised January 15, 2017