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The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised


Medford Streetlights


    Proposition to place lamp posts at the corners of our principal streets will be introduced at the next meeting of the council. This, a much-needed improvement, would give our city a fine appearance. A committee has the matter in hand.
Southern Oregon Transcript, Medford, March 13, 1888, page 3


    Ed. Worman, our enterprising liveryman, is always making improvements. He has ornamented his premises with a neat street lamp.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, October 25, 1888, page 3


    It is proposed [by the Westinghouse Electrical Company] to light both towns at figures little if any in excess of the present coal-oil lamp system.
"In the Swim at Last," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, September 26, 1889, page 3



    The new street lamps at Adkins & Webb's corner and in front of the express office aid materially in lighting the town these dark nights.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, December 19, 1889, page 3


    It is certainly just that the city streets should be well lighted during the winter season, especially, and nothing gives a stranger a more unfavorable impression of a town at any time than to view it brooding in gloom and darkness, while other places in the vicinity are ablaze with light. Let there be light!
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, November 6, 1891, page 2


    Bright moonlight nights are the order now, but what will the harvest be when the moon is on the wane and the inky blackness of the night is intensified by the sickly glare of our street lamps. Give us light.
"Local News," Medford Mail, January 14, 1892, page 3


Dear council give us street lamps,
    And give them to us soon,
Or we'll go over to Central Point
    And skip by the light of the moon.
"The Town Talker," Southern Oregon Mail, January 27, 1893, page 3


    "The moon makes a good light for our town after old Sol has retired for the night," said one of our citizens to another on the street last night. "Yes," said the other, "but the moon is unreliable--she goes out sometimes. We are going to have an electric light system and then the moon won't be in it."

"The Town Talker," Medford Mail, February 24, 1893, page 3


    Medford people, these cloudy nights, are in about the same fix Moses was when his candle went out. However, we have that promise of electric lights inside of f[illegible--four or five] months.
"All the Local News," Medford Mail, October 6, 1893, page 3


    There will be no street lights for a few weeks. Mr. Proudfoot's contract with the city expired last night, and a new one will not be made at present. The board has under consideration a plan for harnessing up some one of the streams in the adjoining mountains and transmitting power to the city by wire. Should this project seem feasible an electric light plant will undoubtedly be put in by the city and the power for running it and the pumping plant secured as above stated.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, February 16, 1900, page 7


    The city council has contracted with R. A. Proudfoot to supply the town with street lights for a few weeks until an electric light plant can be purchased. The council has under consideration two sources of power both on Rogue River, one near Tolo and the other near the Bybee Bridge.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, March 5, 1900, page 3


    "The work of replacing the old electric light poles with new ones and preparing for the change from five arc lights to fifty incandescent lights is progressing rapidly and will soon be finished. The change promises to be a very desirable improvement and satisfactory to all."--Klamath Falls Republican. Report says the Medford city council is contemplating a change in its street light system from incandescent to arc lights. If this be true it might be well for them to communicate with officials in Klamath Falls and ascertain why the change from arc to incandescent lights is being made there. The same conditions might exist here, and we might be able to profit by their experience. The Mail is of the opinion that more satisfactory results to a greater number of people would come from incandescent than arc lights. If the same amount of power necessary to operate the required number of arc lights was used to supply incandescent lights, and these placed at the dark street corners of the town, there would be more people benefited and there would be fewer expressions of dissatisfaction. The lone 16-candlepower light at the intersection of C and Sixth Street lights the sidewalks each way for two blocks, and there is a boom to travelers in that direction on dark nights. A few more of them on other streets, back from Seventh and C, would be of material benefit to a great many people.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, November 30, 1900, page 7


    The city council has caused the street lights on Seventh and C streets to be taken down, and electrician Gurnea has newly painted and enameled them and they are now being put up again in various parts of the city. There were forty in number formerly in use, but only twenty will be re-established, but they will be so located about the city as to be of greater service to the people than formerly were the whole forty. It is the intention to establish the new lights at street corners in some of the more remote resident portions of the city, as well as placing a sufficient number for all practical needs on the principal streets. This is a good move, and the council is entitled to credit for the proposed improvement.

"City Happenings," Medford Mail, November 1, 1901, page 7


    Sunday night the street lights were turned on for the first time this fall, and parties living on C Street from Fourth Street on the north to Twelfth on the south, and those living on Seventh as far out as the school house, could get home without the danger of breaking their necks in the darkness.

"City Happenings," Medford Mail, December 6, 1901, page 9


    Mail Office Devil:--"'Say, I'm goin' to be good, from this on. I was a-chasin' around over at the S.P. depot the other night, when the train came in late, and I tell you it was fierce. I turned the corner of the depot just as No. 16 pulled in, and honest, it was as dark as a stack of black cats. Yes, the lights wuz a-burnin', but, shucks, two little lamps ain't goin' to light that platform, especially when there's a whole lot o' people buttin' around on it. I got in a mixup. There wuz me an' some other fellers in a bunch, and one feller he wuz comin' down one side with the wagon, and another feller, he wuz a-rattlin' along on the other side with a truckload of drummer's trunks 'steen feet high. Besides that der wuz brakies a-flashin' der lanterns around an' fellers a-gittin' off de train, an' all in darkness. If it had been daylight it wouldn't been so bad, but a feller couldn't see which way to go. I got out [of] the wreck finally, but the first ting I did was to butt into a 250-pound drummer, who was carryin' a big grip. That grip struck me 'bout midships, and, say I wuz paralyzed for a minute. I thought that merchant what made de spiel here a week or so ago 'bout the Southern Pacific not a-lightin' its depot was a-talkin' through his millinery, but now I know he wuz dead right. This yer man's town ships more freight dan a whole lots of places what looks bigger on de map an' de census reports, and Mister Harriman could light that depot wid 'lectricity for what he pays for oil to fill lamps, that, when dey is burnin' good, a feller has to strike a match to help 'em out, so's he can see what time it is."
"Street Echoes," Medford Mail, December 4, 1903, page 1


    Dr. Pickel was mayor [1904-05] in the days when we drank Bear Creek "liquid." It was generally liquid. In those days if we wished to leave our homes at night we equipped ourselves with rubber boots, procured a lantern, and with fear and trembling sallied forth into utter blackness. If we reached our destination without stepping on the end of a board whose other end was not nailed down we felt that we were under the protection of a special providence.
Minnie (Mrs. Harry C.) Stoddard, "Medford's Hall of Fame," Medford Mail Tribune, December 18, 1912, page 4


    The citizens of Medford have been waiting patiently for many months for street lights, and still we have them not. The streets are dark as the proverbial "stack of black cats" after nightfall, after you get away from the main business portion of the town, and the impression on strangers coming in on any of the night trains is not a favorable one to say the least. The dozen arc lights talked of a few months ago would be too expensive, but we could stand three or four of them. We should also have several incandescent lights.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, March 31, 1905, page 5


    Many inquiries are being made as to when the street lights are going to be put in. The Mail has learned this week that the material necessary for installing the system is now here, and just as soon as the force of workmen employed by the city can possibly find time to pick up the installation work they will get at it. If the force employed by the city is inadequate to meet the demands more help should be secured and this work of putting in the street lights pushed to an early completion. A dark night on the streets in dry weather is pretty bad, but when we get our dark rainy nights, which we will soon have, travelers by night will experience no little inconvenience. With these conditions ahead of us it would seem that an extra effort should be put forth to get those lights to doing business.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, September 15, 1905, page 5


    A Citizen:--"Strikes me that it wouldn't be a bad idea for those street lights to be lighted in the morning from 5 o'clock to 6:30. There are quite a number of people whose business requires them to come down, or up, town--as the case may be--at that time in the morning, and at this time of year it is frequently as dark as the proverbial stack of black cats. I am not kicking very hard, for I know that the city council has 'troubles of its own,' but we can't disguise the fact that the street lights are entirely inadequate, and strangers notice and complain of the situation quite frequently. In everything else this city is equal to any city of its size in Oregon, but the street lights are a farce, to say the least. A man ought to carry an accident policy when he traverses the streets of Medford after dark, or before daylight."
"Street Echoes," Medford Mail, December 8, 1905, page 1


Ought To Have More Light
    It is absolutely necessary that we have more lights. No season of the year brings this fact out more forcibly than the one right now upon us. The nights are dark and wet, and there is very little light. While it is true that all parts cannot hope to be reached at this time, still The Mail believes it might be possible to extend the system to those unlighted parts which are most traveled. The light and water committee is now endeavoring to devise ways and means whereby the system may be extended, and we doubt if there are many citizens who are not hoping they may be successful.
Medford Mail, November 23, 1906, page 5


A Prompt Response.
    Since the last issue of this paper, in which there was printed an item in effect that the city councilmen had decided to put in a goodly number of street lights, there has been considerable discussion as to whether the cost of putting in and maintaining these lights ought to come out of the light and water fund or whether a tax should be levied to meet this expense. One's first thought would naturally be from the light and water fund, of course, but upon giving the subject a little careful consideration you change your mind and you finally conclude that a special tax should be levied upon all city property to meet this expense. There are a great many people in Medford who do not use electric lights in their homes, still these same people will enjoy the same benefits from the street lights as do those who use lights and are regular patrons of the light system. The objection to the tax method is argued because that many of who live in remote parts of the town do not have street lights and therefore do not receive the benefit from the lights which those living nearer the center of the town enjoy. That may be true to some extent with the present system which does not extend far beyond Seventh Street, but the system is going to be extended into all parts of the town--will it be true then? Here is the point, and we are going to ask you if it is fair: John Doe and Dick Roe live out, say, near the German-Lutheran church, and Doe has electric lights in his house and is, therefore, a patron of the system. Roe lives in the same block and instead of using electric lights he burns coal oil. Now there is a street light near this church and another at each street corner between there and the post office. Both these men have occasion to walk downtown nearly every evening. Is it fair that Doe and other users of electric lights should light the way all the way for Roe? The Mail thinks not, and we believe the city councilmen will see the unfairness of the present ruling and will levy the required tax when other tax levies are made. Very nearly the same condition exists with regard to the expense of water for fire and park purposes.
    Since the above was put in type the council has levied a one-mill tax for street lighting.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, December 7, 1906, page 1


    Medford is rapidly securing a very creditable lighting system. This week Superintendent Farrar has installed a new electric lighting line on West Tenth Street, giving the people in that part of the city a very complete system of street lights also. All of which they duly appreciate. This nearly completes the contemplated system of street lights, the remainder being delayed by lack of suitable material, which is expected to arrive soon.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, April 19, 1907, page 5


Medford Using Arc Lights.
    MEDFORD, Or., June 6.--(Special.)--Dr. Ray, manager of the Condor Power Co., who recently purchased the Medford lighting plant, tendered a banquet to the Commercial Club last evening, and today began the installation of a modern arc system of street lighting. For the first time in history, Medford is using arc lights for street lighting.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, June 7, 1907, page 8



    Dr. C. R. Ray, manager for the Condor Water & Power Co., has already commenced "making good" on the light contract into which he recently entered with the city of Medford. Two days after the contract had been signed he had one arc light in position, and ten more are now being installed.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, June 14, 1907, page 5


Toggery Bill.
    The hustling, prosperous haberdasher will soon have a spelling flasher electric sign, one of the finest on the coast; Bill believes in more light, because it pays.
Medford Mail, July 5, 1907, page 4


Street Lighting.
    In these days of much interurban travel, by electric cars and automobiles, people go from place to place and from store to store with their eyes open, and their observation faculties keen for impressions--that is mostly their object.
    Here is the town of Brightlight, with streets and stores brilliantly and cheeringly illuminated by a first-class system of electric lighting; a town suggesting life and light and progress.
    Note the contrast between it and the neighboring town of Dingydim, where streets and stores and residences are half-lighted by spitting, sputtering, smoking, fitful oil lamps.
    Which town will "get on"?
    Proper street illumination plays a larger part in the development of a town than most people imagine.
    No thoughtful man can gainsay that well and attractively lighted streets, residences and stores are essential to the enduring prosperity of any city, large or small, which hopes to grapple with modern competitive conditions.
    Even the commercial travelers soon get a true "focus" on the towns they visit, and catalogue them as "dead" or "alive."
    While it is true that electric lights may not, in themselves, establish and maintain for a town or business house a reputation of progressiveness and prosperity, it must be admitted that the towns and business firms which have succeeded the best are brilliantly illuminated with electric lights.
Medford Mail, July 5, 1907, page 4

Electric Signs.
    Have you noticed the brilliant eclectic sign in front of the Hale & Merritt Piano House, the progressive piano people? It contains an announcement interesting to wide-awake people. Investigate.
Medford Mail, July 5, 1907, page 4


    Who is paying for those street lights which burn during the daytime? If they are on the Condor Water & Power Company's free current line all right; let 'em burn--we'll be getting something for nothing, even if we do not need it. If the lights are on the city pay line, someone ought to see to it that they are turned off during the day.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, December 27, 1907, page 5


    Just as soon as the city increases the number of its sidewalks and installs a few more electric lights Postmaster Woodford will take up the matter of giving the city the advantage of a carrier service. The receipts of the office are large enough to justify the employment of two carriers, but the city has not enough sidewalks and lights installed to meet the requirements of the regulations imposed by the government.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, March 20, 1908, page 5



COMMITTEE LOCATES LIGHTS
Steps Taken To Make Better Lighted City--Still a Number of Lights To Be Located--
Will Have Them Installed in Near Future.
    The Light Committee of the city council have located 21 new arc lights in the city and ten 32-candlepower lights, and are taking steps to make Medford a better lighted city. While all of the lights to be placed have not as yet been located, the committee, consisting of Mayor Canon and councilmen Eifert and Welsh, have decided upon the following:
    Arc light on alley north of 203 Genessee Street; 32-candlepower on corner of Genessee and Washington; 32-candlepower corner Washington and Howard, arc on corner Howard and Bennett Avenue; 32-candlepower on corner Bennett Avenue and Roosevelt Avenue; arc on north line of George Lindley's, Roosevelt Avenue; arc in front of George Lindley place on East Seventh; 32-candlepower at Cottage, south from Seventh Street; 32-candlepower corner Almond Street; arc light in center of [omission] bright; other lights removed; 32-candlepower corner Bennett and Sixth streets, arc on corner Fifth and Riverside; arc in front of 421 North Riverside; 32-candlepower corner Maple and Riverside; 32-candlepower North Pine in front of grocery; 32[-candlepower] west side North School house; arc corner Alice and Beatty streets; arc corner Court and Central Avenue; arc corner Central Avenue and Eighth Street; 32-candlepower corner D and Jackson; arc corner Jackson and Grape; arc corner Jackson and Taft; arc corner Taft and Second; arc on corner Fourth and Olson; arc center North Orange Street; arc West Main, corner Wolverton subdivision; arc corner Tenth and Peach; arc corner Tenth and Hamilton; arc corner Orange and Eleventh; arc corner Newtown and Twelfth; 32-candlepower at Eleventh and Laurel; arc corner Ivy and Fifth.
Medford Mail, December 29, 1909, page 1


FINE CLUSTER LIGHTS GO IN
Weeks & McGowan Company to Put in the Five-Cluster Lights
Now Becoming So Popular in the Large Cities.
    "All same Portland"--this will be the comment when Weeks & McGowan Co. get their new five-cluster electric light stands erected in front of the store on West Main Street. A visitor to Portland is struck with the beautiful effect of the five-cluster light stands erected on the edge of the walks in front of the stores and on both sides of the principal streets. Weeks & McGowan have decided to place the same kind in front of their store, and in a day or two one store in Medford will have the same effect as is produced in the largest city of the state.
    Nothing like keeping abreast of the times. Medford stores show as fine goods as can be seen in the cities--Medford merchants have as fine windows as those found in any city--Medford merchants advertise equal to most cities twice the size, and now the latest lighting innovation has been installed. Medford merchants will not be outdone.
Medford Mail Tribune, August 10, 1910, page 5


38 ADDITIONAL ARC LIGHTS FOR STREETS OF CITY
    The light committee of the city council has ordered the Rogue River Valley Electric and Power Company to place 38 additional arc lights upon the streets of Medford and to change all 16 [candlepower] lights on East Main Street to arc lights. The lights are to be located as follows:
    Corner of Eighth and Orange streets.
    Peach Street, midway between Fourth and Seventh streets.
    Seventh Street and west city limits.
    In front of 1022 West Fourth Street.
    Corner of Summit and Fourth streets.
    In front of 731 West Second Street.
    Corner of Jackson and Summit Avenue.
    Corner of Tenth and D streets.
    Corner of Twelfth and Fir streets.
    Corner of Thirteenth and Holly streets.
    Ninth and Holly streets.
    Tenth and Oakdale streets.
    Corner of Dakota and Oakdale Avenue.
    Corner of Dakota and King streets.
    Corner of Dakota and Newtown streets.
    Corner of Thirteenth and Laurel streets.
    Corner of Twelfth and Beach streets.
    Corner of Dakota and Peach streets.
    Between 1015 and 1024 Ninth Avenue.
    Corner of Eighth and Fir streets.
    Corner of Portland Avenue, two blocks south of East Main.
    Corner of Taylor and Myrtle streets.
    Corner of Cottage Street, three blocks south of East Main Street.
    Corner of Tripp and Taylor streets.
    Corner of Almond, three blocks south of East Main Street.
    Corner of Woodstock and Ninth streets.
    Corner of First and Fir streets.
    Corner of Jackson and D streets.
    In front of 1410 North C Street.
    In front of 223 Court Street.
    Corner of Manzanita and Riverside streets.
    Corner of Riverside Avenue, between Manzanita and Maple streets.
    Corner of Riverside Avenue and Maple Street.
    In front of Cline's grocery store, North B Street.
    Corner of Roosevelt and Bennett avenues.
    Corner of Ashland and East Main streets.
    Corner of East Main and top of Nob Hill.
    Corner of Hillcrest Road and Keene Way.
Medford Mail Tribune, September 16, 1910, page 1

   
GAS LIGHTS BURN IN MEDFORD
LAST NIGHT FOR FIRST TIME
Several Stores and Residences Brilliantly Illumined--
Product Is of Fine Quality--Company Busy Extending Service
    The Rogue River Valley Gas Company turned on gas last night over the city, and as a result many stores and private residences were brilliantly lighted. The methods used by the company in the manufacture of gas are the latest. The lights are brilliant and odorless, and the gas is refined to such a state that no smoke or soot is generated, and the daintiest of wall tints will never be discolored.
    The company has a large crew of men at work installing fixtures and is rushing the work as rapidly as possible.
Medford Sun, December 23, 1910, page 1


46 NEW ARCS ARE SOON TO BE READY
Rogue River Electric Company Is Rushing Work
of Installing Additional Street Lights Recently Ordered by City Council.
    Work is being rushed by the Rogue River Electric Company on the installation of the 46 new arc lights on various streets in the city recently ordered by the city council.
    The new lights have been placed on streets which have heretofore been in darkness and when the juice is turned on the city will be far better lighted than ever before.
Medford Mail Tribune, January 2, 1911, page 1



WORST STREET IS IN DARKNESS
NORTH CENTRAL WITH SUNKEN DITCH IMPERILS LIVES
Four Autos Run into Death Trap and Have To Be Pulled Out with Teams--
Lights Scarce All Along.
    In one of the worst, and for vehicles the most dangerous, parts of the city there are no lights. It is the unpaved section of North Central from Court Street to the north limit of the city.
    The section is all mud and mire and contains the sewer which was lain and the dirt thrown in loosely with flushing in. The dirt has sunk down from one to three feet, leaving a ditch where teams and autos are in the utmost peril. Within the past few weeks four autos have run into the ditch while trying to pass teams and have had to be pulled out with horses.
    It is one of the worst imaginable places in the daytime, but at night with no light for the entire length of the unpaved section which contains the sunken sewer ditch it is worse.
    Lights are very scarce along the paved portion of North Central, and there the sidewalks are torn up and in all manner of confusion. At street and alley crossings there are jumping-off places galore. The only safety for people in traveling night or day is to keep in the middle of the street and avoid the sidewalks. But when it is rainy there is a coating of mud all over the paving that makes that very uninviting and especially distressing for women.
Medford Sun, January 3, 1911, page 1


Medford Depot, circa 1915
Medford depot circa 1915, with one of the Southern Pacific's cluster lights visible.

CLUSTER LIGHTS IN OPERATION
Six Stands of Cluster Lights Have Globes Attached and Make Splendid Showing--
Work of Packing Progressing.
    The new cluster lights recently installed by the Southern Pacific company between the new passenger depot and the exhibit building were lighted Sunday evening and will burn each evening from this time on. The globes arrived Sunday.
Excerpt, Medford Mail Tribune, January 9, 1911, page 1


CLUSTER LIGHTS ON RIVERSIDE
NATATORIUM MANAGEMENT IS NOW INSTALLING POSTS
Will Create Attractive Scene from East Main Street to Big Amusement Palace
    The Natatorium management has begun installing cluster lights from Main along Riverside to the Natatorium. The posts and lamps are similar to those along the Southern Pacific right-of-way from Main Street to the passenger station and will make a decided improvement in that thoroughfare.
    Plans are under way to extend the system of cluster lights west on Main on both sides of the street, which when accomplished will put Medford in a class unique among the cities of the West.
    Arrangements are under way between the city council and the electric company whereby a contract rate for current will be made. Heretofore the city has paid a stipulated sum for each lamp. This method will be changed in future.
Medford Sun, February 19, 1911, page 1


    The city council [last night] accepted the plan to have cluster lights. It was decided that they should be spaced at regular distances, according to specifications of the city engineer. The plan calls for three clusters to the block, on each side. One on each corner and one in the middle. Or a total of six clusters in every block. Each cluster is to be composed of five lights, to be of the tungsten variety.
    The Rogue River Electric Company agreed to furnish power for fifty cents per light, or $2.50 per cluster, per month. The lights to be on from dusk to midnight. The council will ask for better terms and for three clusters to go until 11 o'clock, and one all night. In the plan offered, the property owners supply the posts and the city maintains the lights. Each cluster post costs $28, f.o.b.
"Cluster Lights Soon To Shine," Medford Sun, February 22, 1911, page 1   The lights installed had three lights to a cluster instead of five.

East Main 1912
East Main Street, 1911. The Mail Tribune printed this photograph in its edition of January 1, 1912.
Note also the lights at the tops of the radio telegraphy masts on the top of the new Medford Hotel.



CLUSTER LIGHTS ARE ABLAZE
Brilliant Scene Last Night on Riverside Avenue from East Main Street to Natatorium
    Riverside Avenue from East Main Street to the Natatorium was ablaze last night for the first time as a result of the row of cluster lights installed on that thoroughfare by the Natatorium company.
    Hundreds of persons viewed the pleasing spectacle, and compliments were many and in the superlative degree.

Medford Sun, March 11, 1911, page 1


MEDFORD LIGHT CHEAPER
City Gets Clusters for $1.50 Each Monthly by Big Cut.
    MEDFORD, Or., March 22..--(Special.)--Colonel Frank Ray, of New York, who controls the Gold Ray power plant, last night made the council a flat rate for cluster lights of $1.50 a month a cluster.
    This is a cut of one-half on the former rate made by that company, and practically ensures the early installation of cluster lights on Medford's main streets.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, March 23, 1911, page 6



TWO CLUSTER LIGHTS COMPLETE
Give a Small Idea of Splendid Appearance Main Street Will Make at Night
When All of the Lights are Completed.
    Two of the new cluster street lights were lighted last evening for the first time, and Medford people were given the opportunity to speculate on how Main Street will look when fully equipped. The lights are of an Arts and Craft design with rough copper ornamentation on concrete posts. They are decidedly different from anything to other cities and show taste and dignity.
    The posts for the other lights are erected and the wrapping will soon be removed. The wiring is nearly finished, and it is but a question of but a few days when the new lighting system will be completely in operation. The two finished lights are on West Main Street, in front of the electric company's office and Ahrens' store.
Medford Mail Tribune, October 27, 1911, page 3


MORE CLUSTER LIGHTS ADDED
    Additional cluster street lights are being put in on West Main Street. Six of these are being placed along the park side of the street and in front of the new library. Six other clusters will be put in front of the Pickel and Vawter blocks and the Medford Hotel block. When these are in Main Street will be lighted with cluster lights from the Bear Creek bridge to the Washington School, a distance of about ten blocks. There are about sixty posts, and three lights to each post. Cluster lights will also be put in on either side of Ivy Street, between Main and Sixth streets.
Medford Mail Tribune, March 13, 1912, page 1


    A great many people are wondering why Street Commissioner Baker does not see to it that those two broken street lamp posts on the S.P. right-of-way are not replaced with new ones. It was several weeks ago that one of Weinhard's teams ran into one of these cement posts and put it out of commission. Later another post was knocked out by another runaway team--and neither of them have been replaced.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, September 30, 1912, page 2



    "250 watt" lights provided at Sacred Heart Hospital corner and Fourth and Central. If successful more will be installed.
"Routine Business of City Dads," Medford Mail Tribune, March 18, 1914, page 2


    "During the month of November, 1915," says the report [of the city electrical inspector], "a new street lighting contract was entered into by the city and the California-Oregon Power Company whereby the present arc-lighting system will be discontinued and replaced by the more modern series Mazda system, using type 'C' nitrogen lamps of 200 and 400 candlepower, the city to make all replacements and renewals of burned-out lamps. Beginning with December 1, 1915, this department assumed the task of making the renewals and replacements on the cluster lighting system and upon the completion of the series Mazda system will attend to replacements and renewals thereon."
"New Buildings in Medford 1915 Totaled $146,415," Medford Mail Tribune, March 8, 1916, page 4


Economy Effected Under Municipal Control
of Street Lighting in Medford, Oregon

By L. E. Hinman
City Electrician
Street Lights, July 1918 American City    Previous to December 1, 1915, the street lighting system of the city of Medford was under the control and maintenance of the local power company supplying service in this territory. At that time the system consisted of 117 arc lamps, 90 of which were of the 4-ampere, series, magnetite type, and 27 110-volt, 6-ampere, multiple arcs, at a flat rate of $6 per arc per month; 7 250-watt Mazda lamps (overhead) at $4 each per month; 32 32-C.P. carbon lights (overhead) at $2 each per month; an ornamental cluster lighting system consisting of 69 posts carrying 3 40-watt lamps and 14 posts carrying 5 40-watt lamps, for which we paid $138.60 monthly.
Causes of Controversy
    The terms of the contract provided that the city should be allowed a certain number of free lights based on each 9,000 of population: 23 arc lamps at $6 per month and 67 32-C.P. lamps at $2 per month, amounting to a total discount of $272 per month. The contract also provided that each arc should be of 2,000 C.P., unfortunately not stating whether that rating was the actual or the commercial rating of the lamp.
    Controversy frequently arose between the municipality and the utility over the number of free lights to be allowed, based on such a variable as population, and from time to time some alderman, desirous of showing his constituents that he was "on the job," would discover that the contract called for arcs of 2,000 C.P. each, and upon learning that that output was not being delivered, would proceed to protest payment of the bill. Many complaints came in because of lamp outages, due to the lamp mechanism sticking and the resultant failure of the lamp to burn. Then there was the ever-present objection that the amount charged was exorbitant and out of all proportion to the service rendered, all of which finally resulted in the writer's consulting with the utility officials and engineers on behalf of the city, in an effort to find means of overcoming such frequent objections.
Street Lights, July 1918 American City
Changes in the System
    It was finally decided to substitute for the arc lamps, with their attendant high maintenance charges such as rectifier tubes, carbons, trimming, cleaning, etc., the new high-efficiency type "C," or nitrogen Mazda, lamps on series circuit. It was determined that the largest unit used should be the 400-C.P., 6.6-ampere, street-series lamp, and the smallest unit, to be installed over less important street intersections and between larger units, should be the l00-C.P. lamp. The 400-C. P. lamp, equipped with radial wave reflector, compares very favorably with the luminous arc lamp, giving approximately the same mean hemispherical candlepower at the same angle below the horizontal as the luminous magnetite arc. The Mazda lamp has the further great advantage of steady light without the accumulation of dust and slag which occurs in the arc lamp with its attendant decrease of effective candlepower.
Street Lights, July 1918 American City
    Accordingly, all arc lamps and carbon incandescent lamps were replaced with the new type "C," 6.6-amp series Mazda lamps with header equipment as shown in Fig. I. The only change made in line equipment was the removal of the arc lamp header and the substitution of the new header in its place on the messenger cable. The cable reels on the poles were removed and sold, and the lamp cable was held in place by means of a rope snap in a screw-eye in the pole about six feet above the ground. The only change made in substation control equipment was removing the series, mercury-arc rectifiers entirely and replacing the 4-ampere coils in the constant-current transformers with coils wound for 6.6 amperes. No other work was required. Fig. 2 shows the control panel with ammeters, pilot lamps and primary and secondary circuit plugs, and directly back of the panel are located the constant-current transformers. At the left of the panel is an electrically wound, automatic time switch with oil break, to control the turning on and off of the circuits at a predetermined time. The lamp is easily lowered to the pavement, entirely disconnected from the circuit and is readily inspected or replaced. Fig. 3 shows the method of suspension over street car trolley.
The New Contract
    The new contract drawn and ratified by both utility and municipality embodied the installation of the new system, the expense of which was to be borne by the utility; the abolition of all free lights, and the giving to the city 3 percent of the company's gross receipts derived from business inside of said city's limits (exclusive of city light bill) during the remaining 16½ years of the company's franchise; the company to rebate the city 25 percent of the gross receipts derived from the ornamental cluster lighting system, for a period of ten years; the company to give the city a flat meter rate of 4 cents per Kw. Hr. for lighting in all municipal buildings, no minimum required; the company to make additional extensions to the overhead street lighting system at its own expense provided the company should not have to build over 300 feet of line to install it; the city to accept the new lighting system with rates as shown on page 46, for the remaining period of 16½ years of the company's franchise; the city to assume making all lamp renewals on all street lights for a period of one year from date, and to receive therefor a credit of 15 percent of the city's bill for street lighting. At the expiration of the year, the city was to have the option of discontinuing the maintenance of renewals, or renewing this feature of the contract for the full remaining term of the contract--15½ years. If the city should not renew the maintenance, then the company was to assume it and charge the full rates as given in the schedule.
    The Electrical Department of the city assumed actual maintenance of all lamp renewals on December 1, 1915, and at the end of the first year of our maintenance had made a net saving to the city in street lighting costs of $4,583.26 over the year previous. The Council then accepted this maintenance clause for the period of the contract.
Old and New Costs
    Table I shows the comparative number and cost per month of the lighting units installed under the old and the new contract.
    Table II shows the comparative costs of street lighting for the years 1915, 1916, and 1917. The year 1915 shows costs before the city assumed maintenance, and 1916 and 1917 show costs under city maintenance.
    Under "Rebates & Discounts," the item "Net saving account city maintenance" is shown in Table III.
Street Light Statistics, July 1918 American CityConclusion
    As the record below shows, the first year of our maintenance made a net saving to the city of $4,583.26 and the second year, 1917, has made a net saving of $5,762.88. It is interesting to note that the sum of the savings made the last two years exceeds by over $2,000 the actual cost of street lighting for the year preceding the time when the city assumed charge of this work.
    This saving has not been made at the expense of the efficiency of the lighting units used nor of the number of lamps installed, but, on the contrary, the efficiency of the system has been increased fully 20 percent, and we now have 19 more lighting units on the overhead system than were on the system January 1, 1915. So, while we have added 19 more street lights and increased the efficiency of the system fully 20 percent, we have reduced the cost of street lighting an average of 64 percent over the last two years below what it cost before the city assumed maintenance.
    The change has been highly satisfactory from every standpoint and in fact has accomplished more than had been expected. Our streets are far better lighted than ever before, while the costs have decreased greatly and the number of lamps not burning during any night has become an almost negligible quantity. The life of the lamps has far exceeded their nominal rated life of 1,000 hours. The average life of all lamps on the overhead series system has exceeded 5,000 burning hours. Citizens, city officials, and the public utility are more than satisfied with the results attained under the city's management.

The American City, July 1918, page 44


    Among the Hallowe'en pranks of last night was the work of a group of youths in swiping an empty hay wagon someplace and depositing it on  the public library lawn. A number of street arc lights were broken by miscreants on Oakdale and Central avenues. No arrests were made.
"Local Briefs," Medford Mail Tribune, November 1, 1919, page 2


    The boys and girls and those older ones of Medford who observe Hallowe'en recklessly must not tamper with the street lights, the city authorities and police have given out. The policemen will patrol the streets in autos looking for law violations, and it was announced at the city hall today that 25 extra guards will patrol the streets on the same errand.
    Chief of Police Timothy announced this noon that $10 reward will be given to anyone giving information leading to the arrest and conviction of any boy tampering with street lights. This holds good not only for tonight but other times as well.
    A street light was burned out last night at the corner of Quince and West Main Street through being let down by youths as a Hallowe'en prank. Besides, it is dangerous to crawl poles and tamper with high-powered wires.
    Also last night some boys let a street light down so that it hung over the middle of Ivy Street and several cars narrowly escaped running into it. There is a great danger of electrocuting occupants of cars by lowering street lights as well as of the poles falling on them should the car strike the supporting wires with sufficient force.
"Beware! Beware! For Tonight is Ye Halloween," Medford Mail Tribune, October 31, 1922


PLAN TO CHANGE STREET LIGHTING ON MAIN STREET
    It is suggested to change the street lighting system on Main Street, where there are now three 40-watt lights to a post, to one light on the top of the post of 300 candlepower, using the same posts.
    The power company has two of these lights up now--one in front of their office and one across the street in front of the Scott-Woolf store.
    Those who are figuring on the change say they not only give more than twice the light, but are artistic and modern.
    The proposition will come before the merchants association tonight for discussion.
    It does not necessarily mean the removal of the lights across the street, as this would be generally opposed by the people. Medford gets a wonderful amount of advertising from being "the best lighted town in Oregon," derived from these string lights.
Medford Mail Tribune, June 13, 1927, page 2



LIGHTS PLANNED FOR 6TH STREET
    Sixth Street will be one of the best lighted thoroughfares in the West, if the present plan, outlined by the property owners at their meeting last night, goes into effect, according to Carl Tengwald, who acted as secretary of the meeting. This was the second conference of the property owners and business men of Sixth Street in the past week.
    Jack Thompson of the California-Oregon Power Company presented figures and [a] drawing of the lighting standards. Those present voted to adopt a 15-foot standard, surmounted with a single globe, this system of lighting to extend along Sixth Street from Riverside to Oakdale. The plan provides that the property owners will pay for the installation of the equipment if the city will take over the cost of maintenance and furnish the electrical energy for the lights. The cost of installation will be assessed according to the frontage each owner has on Sixth Street.
    The petition to adopt this plan was signed by all present at last night's meeting, and sufficient signers are expected to be secured before next Tuesday for its presentation to the city council.

Medford Mail Tribune, September 29, 1928, page 3


DELAY ACTION SIXTH STREET LIGHT SYSTEM
Assessment Question Holds Up Ordinance for New Lighting
    Action on the Sixth Street lighting question was delayed until it can be ascertained beyond doubt that the property owners of that street can be assessed under the Bancroft Act providing for the 10-year payment plan, as a question has been raised as to whether this is legally permissible for lighting. Then, too, there is some talk about the Sixth Street property owners considering a plan by which they would pay their assessments in cash.
    Incidentally, a petition was received by the council last night from the property owners on Riverside Avenue between East Main Street for the installation of a modern street lighting system in the territory named.
Petition Filed.
    This petition was placed on file, and inasmuch as Main Street and some of the other cross business streets are expected to also follow the example set by Sixth Street in seeking a modern lighting system, it was suggested by some of the councilmen that action on the Sixth Street and Riverside petitions be delayed until all petitions were in, and cover them all in the passage of one ordinance, from the motive of economy in advertising, etc.
Excerpt, Medford Mail Tribune, November 21, 1928, page 6


START SIXTH ST. LIGHTING MONDAY
    The work of installing the street lights on Sixth Street, from Riverside to Oakdale Avenue, will start next Monday, according to A. E. Cunningham of the People's Electric Company, which has the contract for their installation. The posts and lights arrived several weeks ago.
    Mr. Cunningham said a force of 15 men would be put on the job and that it would take about two weeks to complete it.
Medford Mail Tribune, April 26, 1929, page 8


Street Lights 1929-6-8MMT
Medford Mail Tribune, June 8, 1929

    They say the moon is getting farther away, but maybe it just seems that way because moonshine doesn't brighten things up as it once did..
Medford Mail Tribune, November 24, 1930, page 2


    Removal of the stringer lights over Main Street and the trolley poles was asked by City Building Inspector Frank Rogers, who was authorized by the council [last night] to proceed with the work.

"Liquor Control Problems Aired Before Council," Medford Mail Tribune, December 20, 1933, page 1


New Ornamental Lights Now in Operation
    The new fancy green ornamental lights, at the corner of Main and Central, are now in use, and do a good job of lighting up the intersection at night. They will help motorists to see the four-corner traffic lights, which are to be installed soon.
    The light standards are 19 feet high, and a six-foot arm extends out over the sidewalk, throwing the light in a more downward direction.
Medford News, June 17, 1938, page 1


HANSEN INSTALLING MODERN LIGHTS
FOR BLOCK ON BARNETT
    The installation of new, modern-type street lights on the west side of Bartlett Street between Sixth and Main streets will be completed this week, according to an announcement by Will Hansen, owner of the entire block of buildings on that side of the street. The system, the same as Sixth Street, has been installed by Mr. Hansen as another step in the modernization of that section of Medford.
    The installation of the elaborate lighting system was handled by Olson Electric Company. The hope that other property owners in various sections of the city would follow in providing improved street lighting was expressed by Mr. Hansen.
    Included in the local firms on the west side of Bartlett Street, between Main and Sixth streets, are: Hansen Hardware, Feldman Electric, Olson Electric, Leland Clark's insurance office, the Real Estate Exchange, the Bartlett Street Barber Shop, the Mo-des shop, Jayhawk Cafe, Maytag Shop, Medford School of Beauty Culture and Hutchison's.
Medford Mail Tribune, April 19, 1939, page 3


New Mercury Lights to Add to Street Safety
    The new lighting system being installed on Main Street marks the first important advance in the lighting of this street since the present system was installed in 1911. At that time the traffic did not call for any particular degree of illumination, and the main purpose of street lighting was to outline the streets and to furnish sufficient light on the streets and sidewalks so that pedestrians could see their way about at night.
    The 1911 system was installed by the merchants, taken over from them by the city, and purchased from the city by the California-Oregon Power Company about 1916. Financial consideration during the '30s forbade any extensive improvements, and any changes were impossible during the war. Even now it has taken considerable time to assemble the material for the installation. This installation is financed by Copco. The city pays a monthly charge comprising the cost of electricity, the maintenance of the globes, and a small amount as the interest charges on the installation cost.
    The new lights will consist of General Electric Form 101D luminaries mounted on 30-foot tapered steel Union Metal Co. standards and enclosing a 16,000-lumen mercury lamp. Thirty-two lights will be installed, three units to a block, extending from Laurel to Almond streets. This system, the first mercury lighting system to be installed in Southern Oregon, will make Main Street Medford one of the best-lighted business streets in the country.
    Mercury lights were first installed in this country in 1934. Since that time, because of their high intensity of light and economical operation, they have become very popular for lighting retail business streets. Approximately one-third more light per dollar of cost can be obtained with mercury lighting than with incandescent lighting.
Medford News, October 17, 1947, page 1


    The pioneer Main Stem concrete lamp posts have been uprooted. They stood the acid test of time in good shape. They were weather-beaten, also thumped by whippersnapper Fords, destructive kids and knocked askew by errant freight trucks. Pioneer citizens long ago gave up hope of leveling them by leaning against them. When mining flourished in these parts, samples of Blue Ledge ore was knocked from their sides by well-dressed miners, and woodpeckers whetted their beaks on their edges. At least one should be preserved for the museum.
Arthur Perry, "Ye Smudge Pot," Medford Mail Tribune, November 13, 1947, page 8


MEDFORD HAS MERCURY LIGHTING
By VERNON THORPE
City Superintendent, Medford

    The antiquated street lighting on Medford's Main Street has been replaced during October by a system using 16,000-lumen mercury lights--the first mercury system to be installed in Southern Oregon. This system has converted Medford's Main Street from one of the poorest lighted to one of the best lighted business streets in the country.
    The old street lighting was installed in 1911 and consisted of 12-foot concrete poles mounting three 40-watt Mazda lamps. The progressive city of Medford, with its present population of some 18,000 and still growing, has long been unhappy with these lights, but during the depression of the '30s and the war that followed, nothing could be done about a new system. Mercury lighting was selected because of its high efficiency and economical operation. Approximately one-third more light per dollar of cost can be obtained with mercury than with incandescent lights. For retail business streets where there are a variety of lighted signs the lack of red color in the mercury light has not been found objectionable.
    The new units consist of General Electric luminaires mounted on tapered steel Union Metal poles and enclosing a 16,000-lumen mercury lamp. In line with the latest recommendations of the Illuminating Engineering Society, the lights are located on six-foot arms 30 feet above the pavement. Three units are installed on each 220-foot block and are staggered, one in the middle of the block one side of the street and one on each end at the other side on alternate blocks. A series circuit is used, the primary cable being 5,000-volt Flamenol installed in conduit. Automatic control of the lights is provided with photoelectric relays.
    From preliminary checks the average illumination on the street was found to be approximately one foot-candle. Commenting on the new system, the Medford News reported:
    "The City of Medford and the California Oregon Power Company deserve the credit for the excellent job of lighting that has been done on Main Street.
    "The new mercury lights are so entirely different from the old ones that you can't imagine it until you drive a car from the center of the city out onto a street where the old lights still function. Instead of a clear, almost shadowless light, which you have under the new lights, you get the old, yellow light with dangerous shadows everyplace.
    "The job was well and quickly done, and now if it can be extended to Central and perhaps Sixth, we would say that Medford's lighting system will be under control for a while."
    Installation was financed and installed by the California Oregon Power Company. For 16,000-lumen mercury lamp posts, the operating maintenance charge is $2.80 per post per month. To this is added a monthly charge of 1 1/6 percent of the installed cost. The city pays $9.50 per month per post or $304.00 per month for the 32-post system. This $9.50 includes the $2.80 operating and maintenance charge, plus $6.70 charge on the investment which represents 1 1/6 percent of an estimated installed cost of $575.00 per post.
Western City, February 1948, page 25


    There were other reports of boys shooting out street lights and damaging windows with air guns, breaking mailboxes, pouring ink on a front porch and slashing a car top. Police said vandals tore down numerous signs on the east side and carted some away. A large number of youths were brought to the police station and reprimanded for their actions.
"Many Senseless Halloween Pranks Keep Crews Busy,"
Medford Mail Tribune, November 1, 1949, page 1
American City magazine, January 1951
American City magazine, January 1951
American City magazine, January 1951

    Twelve additional traffic signal lights and modern lighting on Sixth, Main, Central and Bartlett sts., through the cooperation of the State Highway Commission and lighting by the California Oregon Power Company were installed [in the last six years].
"Diamond L. Flynn Reviews Six Years in Office of Mayor," Medford Mail Tribune, January 2, 1955, page 1


Streetlights in Berrydale, Grandview Areas
May Be Installed Next Month
    Streetlights for Berrydale, Grandview and the Jefferson School areas are next on the list for installation, a spokesman for the California-Oregon Power Company said yesterday.
    The company's crew assigned to full-time work on the city's streetlight improvement program is expected to reach these areas next month, according to Frank A. Benesh, district manager for Copco.
Railroad Crossings
    Benesh also estimated that other workmen would begin installation of 20,000-lumen mercury vapor lamps at three downtown railroad crossings within 60 days. Five were planned for the Eighth St. crossing, and two each for the Sixth and Main St. crossings. The lamps are similar in output to those installed elsewhere along Main and Sixth sts. May 1.
    New metal standards are required for eight of the railroad crossing lights, while the 79 others along Main and Sixth sts. merely involve a change of lamps. Benesh said the new standards had just been received.
    Berrydale will receive 20 2,500-lumen lights, according to Copco's present plans. Ten will be installed in the Grandview area, seven of these at various intersections along Crater Lake Ave. The Jefferson School area will receive 13, 2,500-lumen lights and two 4,000-lumen lights.
Lights Improved
    The Copco crew's present block of work includes lights on Eighth, Bartlett, Fir and Front sts. Fifteen existing lights along Eighth St., not counting the railroad crossing area, are being improved by installation of more powerful lamps. One new light is being added. Two 6,000-lumen lights are also being added on the island formed by Eighth and King sts. and Oakdale Ave., according to Copco plans.
    The crew's schedule includes three additional lights on Fir St., eight lights improved by more powerful lamps on Fir St., and five lights similarly improved on Bartlett St. Three lights are to be added and two improved along Front St.
    The crew recently completed the addition of 14 lights in the Country Club Manor, Hillcrest, Country Club Estates area. A number of other additions and improvements included in the city's program remain to be done. It was expected the work would continue until late October.
    City Manager Robert A. Duff launched the program with a special report to the city council last March. The increase in the city's annual rate for streetlight operation and maintenance was estimated at $6,088.66. The 1958-59 budget allocation was subsequently increased by $4,094.38.
Medford Mail Tribune, July 11, 1958, page 1



Street Lights Go In at Civic Center, Senior High School
    Several Medford areas will be much brighter this Christmas, the result of improved street lighting programs being completed this month by local crews of Pacific Power and Light Company.
    C. P. (Ted) Davenport, PP&L district manager, said three separate lighting projects requested by the City of Medford involving 39 new lights will be completed this month.
    Largest and perhaps the most noticeable of the programs is the installation of 17 bright 55,000-lumen mercury vapor street lights in the vicinity of the Medford civic center, costing about $17,000.
    The light output from a 55,000-lumen mercury vapor lamp is approximately equal to the same amount of light produced by 32 100-watt household light bulbs, he noted.
    PP&L crews this week finished mounting the lights on 14 steel poles, each 33 feet long, and on three existing traffic signal poles.
    The entire civic center lighting system will be operated by underground circuits, according to Davenport.
    Most of the lights are located along West Eighth Street and on Ivy Street and Oakdale Avenue, brightening the library, courthouse, city hall, federal building and surrounding areas during nighttime hours.
    "The 55,000-lumen lamps are the most modern and brightest available for use in street lighting programs in any city served by PP&L," Davenport said. "Medford's new civic center is now one of the best lighted in the Northwest."
At High School
    A 12-light project in the new Medford Senior High School area was completed by PP&L earlier this month at a cost of $6,000.
    Nine of these fixtures, rated at 7,000 lumens, and three at 21,000 lumens, now illuminate Brookhurst Street east from Crater Lake Avenue--the primary access to the high school--and North Keene Way Drive in front of the high school.
    "Foot traffic after dark has increased considerably in the vicinity of the senior high school due to evening adult education classes and various night meetings," the PP&L manager said.
    "The street lights will also aid pedestrians and vehicular traffic in the near future when the gymnasium is utilized for athletic events," he added.
    A residential street lighting job involving eight 7,000-lumen mercury vapor lights along newly widened Roberts Road is in the finishing stages.
    The $1,400 project includes the removal of five old incandescent fixtures and the installation of a 21,000-lumen mercury vapor light at the intersection of Roberts Road and Crater Lake Avenue.
Medford Mail Tribune, December 21, 1967, page B5




Last revised June 15, 2017