The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised

The Railroad Comes to Central Point

Notes on the approach of the railroad, the platting of the new Central Point townsite, and the interminable efforts to link Jacksonville by rail to either Central Point or Medford.

    Dolson's [railroad surveying] party is in the vicinity of Central Point. It seems that the route is diverging more to the east than at first expected. There is no telling what will be done as yet, however, as the line can be easily changed on short notice.

"Railroad Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, May 11, 1883, page 2

    H. Amy's fine new house, in Manzanita precinct, now about completed, will narrowly escape demolition if the route already run through the valley is adopted. At best, the railroad will run within a very short distance of it.

"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, May 18, 1883, page 3

    Dolson's party, which got as far as Phoenix last week, returned to near Central Point, to run another line a little west of the other. Mr. Dolson got a more satisfactory route, although deviating but little.
    Gradually the gap between Rogue River Valley and the railroad is being closed, and soon the occupation of several teamsters will be gone. The distance to Glendale, where freight for Southern Oregon is landed, is about 55 miles from Jacksonville. The time will soon be when the familiar prairie schooner will not greet us on every hand. We may have cause to regret the innovation.
    The railroad route now being run through the valley passes straight through from Fort Lane, and leaves Central Point nearly three-quarters of a mile to the east, while Phoenix will be missed by a few hundred yards, Dolson's objective point being the butte to the west of that place, where he joins Hurlburt's line. It is claimed that less damage will be done to farms by this route than any that could be run straight through.

"Railroad Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, May 18, 1883, page 2

    The railroad line is nearly half a mile west of Magruder's store at Central Point.
"Railroad News," Ashland Tidings, June 8, 1883, page 3

    D. Loring, right-of-way agent, has secured almost the entire right of way for the railroad to Willow Springs Precinct, having settled the damages with nearly everybody along the line. He expects to finish his work to the state line before the end of the year.
"Railroad Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, July 13, 1883, page 2

    The Ashland railroad depot will likely be on the Myer place northeast of Ashland and the one opposite Jacksonville will probably be located somewheres near Haskel Amy's residence.

"Local Items," Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, July 14, 1883, page 3

    The railroad company has entered suit against several of our substantial farmers for right-of-way through their lands, they being unable to agree on any terms of settlement. The cases will come up at the special term of circuit court next month.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, July 27, 1883, page 3

    A number of the substantial farmers in the center of the valley will fight the railroad company for the right of way asked, and the company has entered suit against them, to be tried at the special term of court next month. Some of them have already got more railroad than they want.
"Local Items," Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, July 28, 1883, page 3

    Among the farmers sued by the railroad company for right of way are F. M. Plymale, H. Amy and J. W. Baker. The case of White Bros. is the only one tried so far.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, August 10, 1883, page 3

    Haskell Amy compromised with the railroad company this week and the suit against him has been withdrawn. We learn that he got about $1,000.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, August 17, 1883, page 3

    Most of the depots in Jackson County are virtually located, but manager Koehler still keeps anxious people in suspense. Speculators would give a good deal to know where some locations will be made.
    Homer Harkness of Grave Creek has bonded that portion of C. Mingus' place lying in Manzanita Precinct, with the expectation that the depot for this place will be located there. However, the people in the vicinity of Central Point also have aspirations in that direction.
"Railroad Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, August 24, 1883, page 2

    Many of the people in the Butte Creek country have signed a petition to the railroad company for the establishment of a depot at Central Point, we are told.
"Railroad News," Ashland Tidings, October 5, 1883, page 3

    It is definitely known that there will be depots at Grants Pass and Chavner's bridge, and the prospects are favorable that Woodville and Phoenix will be likewise fortunate. Where other depots will be located has not yet been made public. There are three or four candidates for the central depot of this valley, but whether it will be put close to Central Point or on either of the Beall, Mingus or Phipps places remains to be seen. As far as the people of Jacksonville and vicinity are concerned, they have no objections to going to the Dardanelles or Phoenix for railroad facilities.
"Railroad Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, October 12, 1883, page 2

    We learn that a petition, requesting the railroad authorities to locate a depot close to Central Point, was forwarded to Portland not long since. It was signed by several hundred persons.

"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, October 12, 1883, page 3

    Central Point is improving, the population having increased considerably of late.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, October 19, 1883, page 3

    Grading has been commenced near Central Point and a considerable number of men are at work in F. M. Plymale's field.
"Railroad Notes," Ashland Tidings, November 2, 1883, page 3

    The Phipps place is about 12 miles from Eagle Point by the wagon road, somewhat further than Central Point, so the location of the central depot at the latter place would have pleased Eagle Point people better, they say.
"Railroad Notes," Ashland Tidings, November 23, 1883, page 2

    It is understood now that the railroad company will locate a depot and side tracks at Central Point. This makes four stations between Ashland and Rogue River, Phoenix, Medford, Central Point and Gold Hill. Whether a station will be established at Talent is not yet stated.

"Railroad Notes," Ashland Tidings, December 21, 1883, page 3

    A report is in circulation to the effect that a station will be made at Central Point, but it has not been confirmed as yet.
    The track has been laid as far as Haskel Amy's place in Manzanita precinct. Not a great deal of track-laying has been done during the past week.

"Railroad Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, December 28, 1883, page 2

    The track had just reached the 125th mile stake, just this side of Central Point, when tracklaying was suspended this week. That is, 125 miles south of Roseburg. The adobe soil there will not allow the work to be resumed until it has dried pretty thoroughly, and even if the ground were in good condition, the track could not be extended until the obstructions [landslides] are cleared on the track at the north, so that the construction train can bring material to the front.
"Railroad Notes," Ashland Tidings, December 28, 1883, page 2

    Tracklaying has progressed as far as Medford and is slowly progressing southward. The ground is too soft to admit of rapid work.
    The construction train ran up to Central Point last Saturday and unloaded a large amount of ties and rails. Since then the tracklayers have been busily at work, horse cars being used.
"Railroad Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, January 11, 1884, page 2

    It is denied that any promises have been made by the railroad company to locate a depot or side track at Central Point. It looked strange that a depot should be established there--within so short a distance of Medford.
"Railroad Notes," Ashland Tidings, January 18, 1884, page 2

    The rumor that a station will be established at Central Point is denied.
"Railroad Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, January 25, 1884, page 2

    Surveying for a side track on Beall's place near Central Point commenced yesterday.
"Railroad Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, February 22, 1884, page 2

     STILL ANOTHER.--Still the cities multiply in Jackson County. J. S. Howard is now engaged in surveying town lots near Amy's place at Central Point. The report is circulated again that the railroad company will put in a side track there, but we have no authoritative information to that effect yet.
Ashland Tidings, February 22, 1884, page 3

    A new town has been laid out on Beall's place in Manzanita precinct, half a mile from Central Point, in anticipation that the railroad company will lay a side track there. Some lots have been spoken for. [At that time Central Point was located near its current I-5 interchange, clustered around the county road--today's Freeman Road.]
    The passenger train came up the valley last Sunday for the first time and is at present making regular trips. A very large crowd welcomed the advent of the iron horse at both Medford and Phoenix. The latter is now the terminus and will no doubt remain such for a number of weeks at least, as a great deal of work remains to be done between there and Ashland.
"Railroad Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, February 29, 1884, page 2

    The Medford people smile over the talk of a town at Central Point, and say the rumor of a railroad company having agreed to put even a side track there is without foundation. They argue that it would be absurd for the railroad people, who own so large a share of the town site at Medford, and who have built a fine depot, water tank, etc., there, to help start a rival town so near as Central Point. It takes more than a survey of lots to make a town.
Ashland Tidings, February 29, 1884, page 3

    IMPROVING.--On several lots of the town site laid out on the line of the railroad, near Haskel Amy's, are, at the present time, several new buildings; blacksmith shop by James Kincaid, saloon by Wm. Tyler, dwelling house by a Mr. Downing and a store building being built, of good sizae, by J. W. Baker of Willow Springs precinct. All this is being done regardless of a side track there. A very pleasant social dance was had in the store building on last Tuesday evening.

Oregon Sentinel,
Jacksonville, July 5, 1884, page 3

    The county commissioners' court this week granted liquor licenses to Kenney & Wolters of Medford and M. Hershberger of Central Point.   
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, January 9, 1885, page 3

    M. Hershberger of Central Point and Kenney & Wolters of Medford received county license to sell liquors this week.
"Local Items," Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, January 10, 1885, page 3

    THE JACKSONVILLE SHORT LINE.--A number of our citizens got considerably agitated this week over a proposition to build a narrow-gauge railroad from Jacksonville to connect with the main line either at Medford or Central Point. All the material required, including engine, cars, etc., can be bought at a low figure of a company that formerly operated a short line running into Visalia, California, and then the whole cost is estimated at less than $15,000. Several of the wealthy residents of Central Point precinct have declared their willingness to take more than one-half of the stock, and the matter may yet be brought into a shape so that the road will be built. Either Central Point or Medford could well afford to build the road alone for the benefits that would result to their towns after its completion, and we further believe that the road would pay a fair interest on the investment.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, March 14, 1885, page 3

    Report says that Sol Abrahams will build the proposed warehouse at Central Point and will also have a store with a large stock of goods at the same point. Sol never does things by halves and if he once starts in he may build us a railroad before he quits.
"Local Items," Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, March 21, 1885, page 3

    WORK COMMENCED.--The work of building the side track at Central Point was commenced this week and it will not take long to finish it. The warehouse will also be put up at once, and local speculators have already commenced figuring on the price of town lots in Beallview. It will be a station for side-tracking freight cars, not a stopping place for passenger trains, so we are informed.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, April 25, 1885, page 3

PORTLAND, Or., April 8, 1885.
Messrs. T. F. Beall and C. Magruder, Central Point, Oregon:
    GENTLEMEN--Referring to the conversation had with you in my office a few days ago in regard to a switch at Central Point, I beg now to say to you in writing:
    While I doubt the validity of the act passed during the last session of the legislature of the State of Oregon, making it compulsory for the railroad company to furnish the rails and lay sidetracks upon certain conditions as contained in said act being first complied with by the applicant for such a sidetrack, I do not deem it convenient at this very moment to test this matter in the courts, and I am therefore willing to act upon your application in the following manner and under the following conditions, to wit:
    I will furnish the rails and fastenings for the sidetrack at Central Point as now staked out, and lay the track when graded and ties furnished by you and after your warehouse is built, and after reasonable and satisfactory evidence is given that at least three hundred (300) tons of freight will be shipped from said warehouse within one month of the date when said track shall have been completed.
    The right is reserved to take up said track at any time if said three hundred (300) tons of freight have not been shipped within a month from the date when said track shall have been completed, or if said three hundred (300) tons have been shipped. But when another lot of three hundred tons shall have accumulated in said warehouse, I agree to again put down the rails.
    No agency [shall] be established at said switch, nor shall the railroad be bound to stop its trains at such switch, except for the purpose of receiving freight stored in said house. In case freight is delivered by the railroad at said point it will be done only upon the prepayment of freight charges at the forwarding station, as is customary.
    This agreement is made by me as receiver, and will hold good only during my receivership, as I have no right to bind the Oregon & California Railroad Company beyond the term of my office as such receiver.
    Inasmuch as the probable construction of this sidetrack has already created considerable anxiety amongst parties who, in good faith, have bought property at Medford, and who now fear the establishing of a rival town in close proximity with the aid of the railroad company, I deem it my duty to publicly declare that this switch is considered by me as a private switch, merely built for the accommodation of yourself and others in your immediate vicinity, and that it will receive the same consideration as other stub switches along the line.
    I shall furnish a copy of this letter to our agent at Medford for publication.
    Please reply whether you accept the terms.
Yours truly,
                                      R. KOEHLER, Receiver.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, May 1, 1885, page 1

    Hon T. J. Beall of Douglas County was in the city last week. He proposes under the new law to have the railroad company build a side track at his home at Central Point.
"Personal," Morning Oregonian, Portland, May 25, 1885, page 4

    Four miles further down the railroad is Medford, one of the most [omission] business places in the valley, considering its age. It is principally settled by people from the Atlantic States, and is located four miles east of Jacksonville, on the west side of Bear Creek. The land where the town is located is poor and gravelly, except a small part of the south end. Four miles northwest is Central Point. Here are a few business places, but the railroad managers saw proper to pass Central Point by without giving them a depot, and this has not only injured the old settlers, but evidently has injured those who are expending their means at Medford, as the company is now aiding in putting in a switch at Central Point. If they had put this in at the beginning, the principal part of those in Medford would have preferred to have located at Central Point; but now those two towns so near to each other will not do so well as one would.
Martin Peterson, Secretary of the Jackson County Board of Immigration
Excerpt, "Jackson County," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, June 12, 1885, page 2

    Pat McMahon has sublet his mail route from Medford to Eagle Point to Mr. Stanley, a resident of Central Point precinct.
"Local Items," Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, June 13, 1885, page 3

    Some cars are standing on the sidetrack at Central Point for the purpose of taking off the 300 tons of freight required by law.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, June 26, 1885, page 3

    Central Point has been made a passenger station, and trains stop regularly there when passing, so we are informed by T. F. Beall, who acts as agent at present. Numerous improvements are also going on there at present.
"Local Items," Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, July 4, 1885, page 3

    The warehouse at Central Point will soon be completed in every particular.
    Trains stop at Central Point, when passenger or freight business awaits them.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, July 10, 1885, page 3

    The Medford Monitor criticizes our county court at length in a recent issue, and intimates that there is a collusion between the judge and commissioners to favor Jacksonville and Central Point. The Sentinel has had a critical eye on the county court, and it has failed to observe any cause for the Monitor's indirect accusation.
"Local Items," Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, July 25, 1885, page 3

The R.R. and Its Result.
    Estimating the valley proper from Woodville and taking this as the initial point we have a depot to start with. Those in the vicinity of Woodville who have any business with the railroad will transact their business there. We come south up the valley about 8 miles and there is Gold Hill. This station will accommodate Sams Valley and those living near Gold Hill and all do their business there. About 6 miles south of Gold Hill is Central Point, a station near the center of the valley. The people at this station have gone to considerable trouble and expense to procure a warehouse and side track, and having also pretentious city aspirations will take special pride in patronizing their own place of business. Then 4 or 5 miles south is Medford, a new, brisk and sprightly little station, also building high for city honors, but which, unfortunately, for its situation and surroundings, can only do the business of its immediate locality like those already mentioned.
Excerpt, Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, August 8, 1885, page 2

    Considerable building is going on at Central Point and Medford.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, October 9, 1885, page 3

    Mr. Foster of Medford, an excellent mechanic, has been doing considerable work at Central Point.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, October 16, 1885, page 3

    After a discouraging struggle against heavy odds in the opposition of the railroad company, the townsite owners of Central Point feel that they have gained a victory, and are content to rest for the present upon the results thus far attained and the prospective growth of the place which must before long, they believe, compel the railroad to grant them full depot facilities. Their warehouse has already done considerable business. They have a wheat cleaner in operation which has already prepared a good many carloads of wheat for shipment to Portland, and which they intend to have fitted up with more conveniences for the large trade to which they look forward when next season's crop shall be ready for market. They have only a stub switch, which makes it inconvenient to load cars at the cleaner, and they are trying to induce the railroad to lengthen it out. That a strong confidence exists in the location as one favorably situated for a good business center is attested by the start already made in the little town. Besides the completed buildings, sixteen new ones are now in course of construction, the largest one being the new store of C. Magruder, who will move over from his old Central Point store as soon as this is completed. Lack of time prevented an opportunity to learn the ownership and object of the rest of the buildings, but such items will be furnished from there in the future.
"Through the Valley," Ashland Tidings, October 30, 1885, page 3

    Several carloads of grain were shipped from Medford and Central Point during the past week. At the rate grain has been sent out of the valley recently very little will be left by next harvest.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, November 13, 1885, page 3

    Building continues at Central Point and Medford.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, December 4, 1885, page 3

    Roberts & Retty will open a [roller] skating rink at Central Point and Medford, being at each place three nights in the week.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, December 18, 1885, page 3

    The roads between Jacksonville and Central Point are in comparatively good condition for this season of the year, and our merchants are threatening to send their freight to the latter place instead of Medford.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, December 25, 1885, page 3

    Unless necessary improvements are made on the road between here and Medford, Central Point will hereafter be used as a shipping point, during the winter at least, as the road to that place is much the best.
"Local Items," Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, December 26, 1885, page 3

    G. H. Baker, of Medford, has bought the warehouses at Central Point and will run the business connected with them there this season.
"Brevities," Ashland Tidings, June 4, 1886, page 3

    Since the political excitement has died out several of our business men are again agitating the project for building a branch railroad from Jacksonville to Medford or Central Point. The estimated cost of building and equipping the road is from $16,000 to $17,000, and it is believed that the road will pay running expenses from the start. If such can be done the road should be pushed through at once.
"Local Items," Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, June 26, 1886, page 3

    Passing Central Point, we soon arrived at Medford, a bright, thrifty-looking town, which has already a number of pretentious-looking buildings and which aspires to be the town of that section.
    Partaking of a hearty meal, we boarded a coach and in a short time were rattling into Jacksonville. There are many handsome and cozy homes in this town, a very fine courthouse and a number of other substantial brick buildings, but its distance from the railroad gives it an air of quiet, and as it is one of the oldest towns in the state some of the primitive buildings show signs of decay. The towns of Medford and Central Point, being on the railroad and nearer the center of the prairie, are endeavoring to secure the business of the section and to supplant the older town. Jacksonville is, however, talking of building a branch to connect with the O.&C. and will not yield its supremacy without a struggle.
Excerpt, "Out South: Notes on a Flying Trip to Ashland and Vicinity," Morning Oregonian, Portland, July 1, 1886, page 8

    Says the Sentinel of last Saturday: Since the political excitement has died out several of our businessmen are again agitating the project for building a branch railroad from Jacksonville to Medford or Central Point. The estimated cost of building and equipping the road is from $16,000 to $17,000, and it is believed that the road will pay running expenses from the start. If such can be done the road should be pushed through at once.
"Brevities," Ashland Tidings, July 2, 1886, page 3

    Our branch railroad to the main line is now a settled fact, as Jacksonville business men have agreed to take all the stock without asking outside aid. A meeting will be held next week when it will be decided whether to run it to Medford or Central Point.
"Local Items," Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, July 3, 1886, page 3

    Twenty-five carloads of wheat have been shipped from the Medford warehouse during the past ten days, also a considerable amount from Central Point and Gold Hill. Not much grain remains at the last two warehouses, but a large quantity is still at Medford, Mr. Baker informs us.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, December 17, 1886, page 3

From Central Point.
Dec. 14, 1886.
    Ed. COURIER:--Please note shipments from Central Point, beginning Jan. 1st 1886 to Nov. 24th 1886. 104 cars, weight 2,158,905 lbs., and 36,683 lbs. of stuff shipped in small lots, which will make nearly two cars more. Is Central Point deserving of R.R. facilities?
W. C. Leever.
    Yes, Central Point is entitled to R.R. shipping facilities. The quantity of freight shipped as shown in the above statistics proves that beyond a doubt. It is a shame the O.&C. company has not built a depot at that place. They have depots on their line at places of much less importance, then why not build one at Central Point? Be patient, gentlemen, it's coming; you will get your depot yet.--[ED.
Rogue River Courier, Grants Pass, December 17, 1886, page 2

    From Jan. 1 to Nov. 24, 1886, there was shipped from Central Point the following quantity of freight: 104 cars, weight 2,158,905 lbs., and 36,683 lbs. of stuff shipped in small lots, which will make nearly two cars more. The demand of that place for full depot facilities certainly cannot be ignored by the railroad much longer.
"Brevities," Ashland Tidings, December 24, 1886, page 3

A Liberal Proposal.
    The citizens of Central Point promise to donate the right-of-way and subscribe a liberal sum besides to the proposed Jacksonville branch railroad if their town is made one of the termini. This is a very fair proposition and will probably be reduced to writing soon.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, February 4, 1887, page 3

    A preliminary line having been run to Medford to ascertain the distance from this place to that and what obstacles are to be encountered in the construction of a railroad, it is now proposed to do likewise in another direction--to Central Point--we learn.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, February 4, 1887, page 3

Line to Central Point.
    Frank Huffer and surveying party, who are doing the preliminary work for the Jacksonville branch railroad, last week ran a line to Central Point, and to the astonishment of all found that it was 1200 feet shorter than the line run to Medford recently. It runs through the lands of Col. Miller, Armstrong estate, M. Hanley, Chambers estate, Capt. Barnes and Beall estate, but does not seriously injure any of them.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, February 18, 1887, page 3

    The survey of the Jacksonville branch railroad has been completed to Medford. Another survey will be made from Jacksonville to Central Point to ascertain which is the more practical a route for the proposed road. The estimated cost, including necessary engines, cars, etc., is $21,650. Of this amount $17,000 has already been guaranteed.
"Railroad Notes," Morning Oregonian, Portland, February 24, 1887, page 3

    A large and enthusiastic meeting was held last night for the purpose of discussing the question of building a branch railroad to connect with the O.&C. Considerable time was taken up in the discussion of the matter, when it was voted to incorporate under the name of the Jacksonville Branch of the O.&C. Railroad. The incorporators are: Max Muller, Will Jackson, A. L. Reuter, Henry Klippel and M. J. Nunan [sic]. Capital stock, $300,000. It was not decided which place, Medford or Central Point, to build to, but is to be agreed upon by the stockholders.
acksonville Items," Morning Oregonian, Portland, March 2, 1887, page 1

    Another meeting to discuss the proposed Jacksonville branch railroad and to hear the report of Frank Huffer, who had finished the preliminary survey of the routes to both Central Point and Medford, was held Monday evening. The town hall was filled to overflowing and the greatest interest was manifested. Nearly everybody is [financially] interested in the enterprise.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, March 4, 1887, page 2

    This place has all the facilities necessary to make a first-class terminus for the Jacksonville branch railroad, and we hope your citizens will not overlook the advantages the route between the two places presents.
"Central Point Pointers," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, March 4, 1887, page 2

    According to the report of Frank Huffer, engineer in charge of the preliminary work on the proposed Jacksonville branch railroad, it will cost the sum of $29,103.04 to build said road to Medford and $27.973.55 to build it to Central Point. These figures do not include freight charged on the O.&C.R.R. on rails, fastenings, motor and flatcar, neither the cost of the right-of-way, which will be inconsiderable, owing to expected concessions. Manager Koehler of the O.&C.R.R. estimated that the cost of building and equipping this line would be between $35,000 and $38,000, which is generally considered much too high. In our next issue we hope to be able to give a detailed statement of the estimates of both Messrs. Koehler and Huffer.
    At the meeting held last Monday evening Mr. Huffer's report was accepted, and a resolution passed to enter into articles of incorporation. Messrs. Nunan, Reuter, Klippel, Jackson and Muller have been designated as incorporators and the capital stock has been placed at $30,000. Two different sets of incorporation papers have been signed--one designating Medford as the terminus, the other naming Central Point. The route and town which offers the greatest inducements will be selected, and soon, too. The incorporators met Wednesday afternoon, and it was decided that two of them should interview the citizens of Medford, two the people of Central Point, while the fifth (Mr. Nunan) will endeavor to interest the wholesale merchants of Portland and San Francisco in our enterprise. Correspondence has also been opened with the S.P.R.R. Co., which will probably soon have control of the O.&C.R.R.
    Thus have the first steps toward the consummation of Jacksonville's most important enterprise been taken. It is sincerely to be hoped that such harmony and good judgment will prevail as to ensure success. There should be an entire absence of opposition that is not well founded, for a house divided against itself must certainly fall.
    About $18,000 has been subscribed to the capital stock of the railroad, and enough more has already been promised to make the sum $20,000. No doubt several thousand dollars will be subscribed by wholesale merchants in Portland and San Francisco, while other pecuniary assistance will be received from different sources.
    We consider that success is certain, if those most deeply interested are true to themselves, the welfare of our town and that of the people in general. That the branch railroad will be of great benefit to us all none can successfully dispute, and that our prosperity and importance as a trade center depends on rail connection with the O.&C.R.R. is equally as incontrovertible.   
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, March 4, 1887, page 3

    Messrs. Reuter and Jackson, representing the people of Jacksonville, paid Central Point a visit last Monday to ascertain what inducements will be given by our citizens to make this place one of the termini of the branch railroad. It is quite probable that it will soon be known what we will do. It will be of great advantage to us if we are connected with the county seat by rail, and we should strain every nerve to accomplish this union. Let this great opportunity to materially benefit ourselves not be lost.
"Central Point Pointers," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, March 11, 1887, page 2

Our Branch Railroad.
    The incorporators of the Jacksonville branch railroad have interviewed the citizens of Central Point and Medford and have been assured that everything possible will be done to ensure the consummation of that enterprise. As to what inducement will be given to make either one of those places the eastern terminus of the road nothing definite has been ascertained, though we will doubtless soon know. There is no doubt that the road will benefit them greatly, and whichever fails to secure the prize will have occasion to regret it in the early future. Mr. Nunan will soon visit Portland, where a goodly sum will be subscribed. The building of this road is already assured beyond all reasonable doubt.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, March 11, 1887, page 3

    Medford is taking much interest in the Jacksonville branch railroad. Will our citizens allow it to capture the valuable prize without so much as an effort? We think not.
"Central Point Pointers," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, March 25, 1887, page 2

    The branch railroad project is not dead nor even slumbering. The incorporators are proceeding as rapidly as possible, and as soon as we hear from the wholesale merchants of San Francisco and Portland, and also from the citizens of Central Point and Medford, work will be commenced in earnest. Everything is being done cautiously, in order to avert mistakes and ensure success.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, March 25, 1887, page 3

    Central Point will make a grand struggle to be the eastern terminus of the Jacksonville branch road. We hope that it will succeed.
"Central Point Pointers," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, April 1, 1887, page 2

    The growth of Central Point is increasing rapidly. Twenty-two buildings are to be erected this summer, of which seven are being built at the present time. The prospects for a depot are certain, and we would very much like to have the Jacksonville branch railroad, and think it would be of great benefit to Jacksonville also. Central Point is the grain center of the valley, all of its grain going to the mills at Phoenix or Ashland. The branch railroad to this place would put Jacksonville the leading shipping town of Southern Oregon. Central Point is beautifully situated and surrounded by the finest farms in the valley, but her citizens seem to care little or nothing for a branch railroad and have not even made a struggle for it, for they think to have a depot anyway.
"Central Point Pointers," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, April 15, 1887, page 2

    Mr. Henry Smith of Wolf Creek is hauling lumber to erect a large dry goods and grocery store at Central Point. Some of the lumber is already on the ground. He says Central Point is bound to be the main business point in the valley in time, and he means to have a business here to grow up with the town.
"Local and Personal,"
Rogue River Courier, Grants Pass, May 6, 1887, page 3

    M. E. Beatty elsewhere gives notice to the farmers that he has leased the Central Point warehouse and is prepared to store grain in any quantity at reasonable rates.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, August 5, 1887, page 3

Good Roads Wanted.
    It is high time that steps were taken to improve the roads between Jacksonville, Medford and Central Point. In the winter season it is often almost impossible to reach the county seat, on account of the mud, which militates against public and private interests as well. Those are the main thoroughfares of the county, and the commissioners' court should spare no reasonable expense in placing them in the best possible condition. No doubt the citizens of the towns interested will assist materially, but the court above mentioned should appropriate a liberal sum toward the work, for it will be money well expended and which the people will not begrudge. Let this matter be attended to at once.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, September 9, 1887, page 3

    G. W. Edward, agent for McDonough & Johnson, paid our town a visit this week. He has purchased 25 carloads of fruit in Rogue River Valley this season.
    Central Point can now boast of 116 inhabitants. Your correspondent will endeavor next week to give the value and number of buildings that have been constructed in the past year.
    Central Point, with its future prospects, bids fair to become one of the leading cities of Southern Oregon. Four years ago now Central Point was a blank in Jackson County. After our opponent town had started at the present place called Medford, people ridiculed the idea of Central Point ever amounting to anything. But look upon our thriving village today! After all opposition and prejudice she is growing right along; she is ranked with the other leading towns; she will soon score the last point, which will ever bring prosperity, yet it is our indefatigable citizens that have accomplished this result. What town ever struggled under any more disadvantages for its freedom than Central Point? It is true we have a larger scope of country surrounding us than our contemporaries' towns, of which we feel proud, but again we have less facilities with the railroad. All that is needed to complete our prosperity is a depot; with, it, our town would spring forward as the leading manufacturing town of Southern Oregon; without it, in a few years we will come to a standstill. Our citizens should never rest till this one great design is accomplished. Our warehouses are full of grain, ready for shipment. Our merchants are continually receiving large stocks of goods. The passenger train arrives here at 6:30 p.m., going north, and Central Point furnishes her amount of passengers, and in consequence of rain and no depot people are left shivering on a miserable platform to await the coming of the thundering locomotive. They pay just as much for their fare as those who have a cozy depot to comfort their wants, while reading the news in the Democratic Times. A depot would be beneficial to the railroad company as well as to Central Point.
"Central Point Items,"
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, November 11, 1887, page 3

    Jacksonville and Ashland are the chief towns of the county. The former is the county seat. The latter has a fine water power, which is practically applied in a woolen mill, flour mill and sash factory. Medford and Central Point, towns created by the railroad a few miles from Jacksonville, have made great progress and bid fair to rival the older towns.
Excerpt, "Southern and Southeastern Oregon," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, February 17, 1888, page 1

Our Duty.
    To maintain its commercial importance Jacksonville must have roads leading to it that can be traveled at any time of the year at a fair rate of speed. The people next Tuesday will vote on a proposition to levy a reasonable tax for that purpose, and they should not fail to carry it by a rousing majority. Unless something is done in this matter at once, our town is likely to suffer and property will depreciate in value many times more than what it will cost to place us in easy communication with the O.&C.R.R. Of course, a railroad of some kind would be just the thing; but a first-class wagon road would be as necessary if we were connected by rail with Medford or Central Point, for certainly farmers and those who desire to dispose of their produce and trade in Jacksonville would not leave their teams at one of the above-named points and ride here on the cars to do their business. After we have a good macadamized thoroughfare of sufficient width, one-third of the expense of building a railroad will have been met, for rails can be laid upon the road with a small amount of further grading. The people of Jacksonville now have it in their power to enhance the price of their property, increase their business and help themselves generally. We therefore hope that they will show the proper public spirit next Tuesday. This is the first town tax that has been levied in a decade, and it is not an onerous one.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, March 2, 1888, page 3

    A strong attempt is being made to change the present location of the town of Central Point. Steps are progressing toward putting the railroad depot on P. W. Olwell's land, some distance west of where it was supposed it would be placed.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, March 16, 1888, page 3

    A few words now to our adjoining towns--Jacksonville and Central Point--two well-known and as enterprising towns as any in southern Oregon. Well may they be called the landmarks of Rogue River Valley. Jacksonville is situated in a cozy little nook in the foothills, and to the beholder it presents a nice and pleasant view while passing to and fro through this superb and beautiful valley; and when we enter upon its streets we see the busy merchant in his daily occupation, supplying his ready customers, who come and go from day to day. We see the man of toil, who, with bold and energetic zeal uniting in the support and prosperity of his little town, which, although small at present, with the present facilities and the prospect of uniting with that little town, Central Point, which is suitably situated, will, in the near future, be one of the most commodious and thriving cities in southern Oregon. Central Point is a small town, as yet, but being situated on the railroad and being the central point in the valley, will, no doubt, become a large and prosperous city; for should there be (and no doubt but there will) a connection between that point and Jacksonville, it would greatly enlarge the facilities of both places.
Excerpt, "A Calm Review," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, April 13, 1888, page 1

Central Point Depot Building.
    Work on the depot and warehouse building for Central Point commenced in full blast last Monday, under the supervision of the foreman of wood work, J. S. Sims. The building will be 20x60, and contains an office, waiting room and warehouse, also a side track platform 580 feet long. and is to be finished in first-class style, to be completed and ready for business about the first of July. The town site owner pays for the building, and the salary of the agent for two years, who will be appointed by the company.
    The Cooksey and Harbaugh tract has been surveyed and town lots in that addition laid out.
Valley Record, Ashland, May 31, 1888, page 3

    Nelson Bennett, the great railroad contractor, will build a narrow-gauge railroad line between this place and the county seat, if the proper inducements are given him. This is an enterprise of much importance to both towns and should be greatly encouraged.
"Central Point Pointers," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, June 1, 1888, page 3

    This place [Central Point] has not only the finest depot in the state, but also the longest and best railroad platform. Our citizens are to be complimented on their enterprise, and Sims & Carney and their employees for the good work they have done.
"Central Point Pointers," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, August 2, 1888, page 3

Platforms Too Short.
    The long trains required now by the heavy passenger business between Portland and San Francisco were not provided for when the stations of the Oregon & California were built, and the consequence is that on the whole line between East Portland and Ashland there is only one platform long enough for the full train, unless it be at Albany and Medford. The platform at the new Central Point depot covers the entire length of the train and has room to spare, and the Salem platform (not yet finished) will do the same.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, August 14, 1888, page 3

Now or Never.
    The board of trustees of Jacksonville, at its session Tuesday evening, passed to first reading the proposed ordinance which will be voted upon by the citizens of this place on Sept. 25, 1888, providing for the levy of a 3 percent tax, or so much thereof as may be necessary to construct a macadamized road or subsidize a streetcar line to connect with the railroad at Medford or Central Point. There is a strong, popular sentiment in favor of the measure, and it will doubtless be adopted. It is certainly high time that better means should be provided for reaching Jacksonville from the railroad, as hundreds of persons are called to the county seat every year, who are put to serious inconvenience by the present inadequate facilities for travel. If the town expects to maintain its commercial importance, it is absolutely necessary for our citizens to take immediate action to secure a share of the trade of the large number of newcomers as well as a portion of the transient visitors to southern Oregon.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, August 30, 1888, page 3

An Important Measure.
    Next Tuesday the proposed ordinance for the levy of a three percent tax in Jacksonville for internal improvements will be submitted to a popular vote for approval or rejection. It is proposed, in the event of a favorable vote, to apply the proceeds of the levy to the improvement of one of the existing roads between this point and the railroad--either to Medford or to Central Point--or to the subsidizing of a streetcar line to one of these points. The measure should meet with the approval of our citizens, for it is high time that something was done to bring us into closer communication with the railroad, especially in the rainy season, when the present road to Medford, over which the mails and most of the freight for this place are transported, is well nigh impassable. Let us see to it that the proposition carries.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, September 20, 1888, page 3

Carried by a Large Majority.
    At the special town election of last Tuesday there were 88 votes polled in favor of levying a three percent tax for local improvements and 13 votes against the proposition. The vote was light, but was a pretty fair indication of popular sentiment on the subject. It is fortunate that our citizens took the right view of this matter, for radical measures are necessary to maintain the commercial importance of our town. Much good can be accomplished for Jacksonville if our people will now show the proper public spirit; and if we can secure better transportation facilities there is hope that such manufacturing projects as the proposed sawmill and sash and door factory in Jackson Creek will be established in the near future. The tax will be utilized in building a first-class turnpike to either Medford or Central Point; or perhaps some reliable parties will accept it as an inducement to build us some kind of a railroad to the main line.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, September 27, 1888, page 3

    During the past year Central Point has made as much advancement in proportion to its population as any other town in the Rogue River Valley.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, November 8, 1888, page 3

    Land around Central Point sells for a bigger price than nearly anywhere else. It is the genuine productive, never-wear-out soil, however, and has no superior.
    Central Point boasts of the best townsite in Oregon, summer or winter, and is rapidly building up. In the winter season particularly, the good roads leading to the town do much to concentrate business here.
"Central Point Pointers," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, November 29, 1888, page 3

    Several of our merchants have ordered their goods sent to the Central Point depot, as they fear that the road to Medford will be next to impassable this winter.
"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, November 29, 1888, page 3

    The railroad company still continues to act very small and unjustly towards Central Point. As the road between this place and Jacksonville is much the best during the winter season, the merchants of the latter place are desirous of shipping their goods to our station. Koehler, Brandt & Co. are trying very hard to prevent this, and have informed the merchants of the county seat that Medford station was made for them, and there they must ship their goods. These instructions are not being followed out very strictly, however, as business men are of the opinion that it is none of the railroad company's affairs from whence they want to haul their goods. It shows the mean principle of the Portland officials, however.
"Central Point Pointers," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, December 27, 1888, page 2

    The proposed straight road to Central Point would prove not only of great advantage to the traveling public, but to the owners of the land through which it will pass, as it would greatly enhance the value of their property. We are therefore surprised that some should oppose this improvement, as it injures none and benefits all.
"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, January 3, 1889, page 3

    Henry Smith, the capitalist, who has stores at Wolf Creek and Medford, will soon open another store here, and has the lumber already on the ground for a new building.
"Central Point Pointers," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, January 10, 1889, page 3

    Follett & Fowler are furnishing the Central Point Hotel with furniture, etc.
"Medford Squibs,"
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, February 14, 1889, page 3

New Charters.
    The Medford, Central Point and amended Jacksonville charter bills have passed both houses and will doubtless receive the governor's signature.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, February 21, 1889, page 3

Railroad Prospects.
    Once more it is rumored that responsible parties have been enlisted to undertake the construction of a tap-line of railroad to the county seat from Medford or Central Point, and that, if the matter is favorably received by our people and proper assistance given, we are assured that the road will be built this season. There can be but one opinion among our citizens relative to this matter, and we trust there will be a spontaneous effort made to secure the road and open the best agricultural district and the most beautiful portion of the valley to direct rail communication with the outside world. Let every man put his shoulder to the wheel and we can yet secure the coveted boon. We have the present prosperous condition of Yreka to spur us up to united effort. Her branch line railroad has revived the town's business as nothing else could have done.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, March 21, 1889, page 3

Ho, for Central Point.
    The undersigned has fitted up a stage, which will make regular trips between Jacksonville and Central Point, connecting with all trains, from and after April 1, 1889.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, March 28, 1889 et seq., page 3

    District Attorney Colvig, who owns a nice home here, has bought some very desirable residence lots in Medford and will soon purchase a residence site in Central Point. Mr. Colvig believes that very few know what the future may bring forth in this valley, consequently he is ready for lightning to strike anywhere.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, March 28, 1889, page 3

    Kenney's line between Jacksonville and Central Point will be well fitted up with vehicles and horses.
    The new Central Point stage line will prove a great convenience to many. It will connect with all trains.
"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, March 28, 1889, page 3

    Kenney's stage line between Jacksonville and Central Point is being well patronized, considering that it has just been established.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, April 4, 1889, page 3

    Situated on the railroad, in the heart of the valley, has had a remarkable growth in the past two years. It is an energetic town and aspires to be the county seat at no very distant day.
    The view from this place is most enchanting. Mount Pitt is to the east, towering its snow-capped head into the heavens. Table Rock, the scene of the lamented General Joe Lane's memorable fight with the Rogue River Indians, lies to the north of the town.
Excerpt, E. A. Swope, "The Rogue River Valley," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, April 18, 1889, page 1

    The question of a branch railroad to Jacksonville is much discussed, and it is probable that if such a road is built it will start from Central Point. Everything indicates a prosperous career for this thriving young town.
Excerpt, "The Town of Central Point," The West Shore, Portland, June 1889, page 327

    Several of our citizens met the board of trade last Monday evening to discuss the building of the electric motor [railroad] line. A large number of people were in attendance, and much enthusiasm was manifested. The Medford council was requested to meet the board of trustees of Jacksonville next day and make a proposition to assist in the consummation of the enterprise, which was accordingly done. There seems to be no doubt now but what the two places will be joined by railroad and lighted by electricity besides.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, September 26, 1889, page 3

    It is said that the planing mills at Central Point will be removed to this place if any inducements are given by our citizens.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, October 17, 1889, page 3

    J. S. Howard and Hon. J. D. Whitman, of Medford, and T. R. North, of Iowa, were in Jacksonville Monday, on business connected with the building of a railroad between this place and Medford.
"Jacksonville Items," Ashland Daily Tidings, January 10, 1890, page 3

The Rogue River Valley Railway was completed between Jacksonville and Medford--not Central Point--in 1891. The first locomotive reached Jacksonville on January 16; regular train service began February 12, 1891.

Needed Improvement Is Now Assured--Other Big Things Coming
to Little City to the North--Railroad Rumors Are Current.

    CENTRAL POINT, April 31.--That the work on the new Southern Pacific depot in Central Point may be expected to commence at an early date is indicated by the fact that the construction department of that company have been quietly arranging for building material within the last few days, the same to be delivered on the company's right of way a short distance south of the present depot building. Already arrangements have been made for the delivery of a quantity of gravel suitable for concrete work and an order for building brick has also been placed locally. Investigations begun some time ago convinced the railroad officials that these two items at last could be purchased here at a better figure than they could be bought outside and shipped in.
    The rapidly increasing business at this station for the past few years made the erection of a new building imperative and as much as a year ago it was known that the work would be undertaken at an early date. However no official announcement was made regarding the matter until last fall when General Manager J. P. O'Brien and General Passenger Agent William McMurray visited the city one day as the guests of representatives of the city government and the Commercial Club and after looking over the ground for themselves and listening to the arguments of local officials and business men, Mr. O'Brien made the definite announcement that the company would give the town a new depot during the present year and that it should be a modern building designed along such lines as would ensure ample accommodations for the business of this growing city for years to come.
    At this writing no definite announcement has been made by the company regarding the plans of the building in detail or just when actual operations will be commenced. It is expected, however, that such announcement will be made shortly and that the building and other improvements will be completed in time to take care of the heavy autumn business that is each year offered here.
    Some time ago tentative permission was granted the fruitgrowers' union to erect their sorting and packing house and fruit warerooms on the railroad right of way just north of the stockyards. Material for the building was already being assembled when word came from Portland that the concession could not be made and that another location would have to be found, and that no leases would be made on the right of way in this city.
Medford Mail Tribune, April 21, 1911, page 4

General Manager Campbell Assures Mayor Leever
That Company Will Proceed with the New Building at Once.

    Mayor Leever of Central Point has received the assurance from General Manager D. W. Campbell of the Southern Pacific that the company will proceed with the erection of a new depot at Central Point at an early date, says the Herald. Complications arising partly from the strike and partly from the reorganization of the company's official family delayed the work to some extent. Mr. Campbell and other officials of the company spent a short time in the city Wednesday evening.
Medford Mail Tribune, November 24, 1911, page 2

    A crew of carpenters and workmen arrived Tuesday and started the preliminary work of moving the Southern Pacific depot and putting up a new building. It seems at last as though the long-delayed promise of a new station house was about to be fulfilled. A foundation is first to be put in and then the old building will be moved to the new location. Then everything will be ready for the construction of the new depot.
    The plans as first outlined promise a building 100 feet long with a spacious freight room, express and baggage room, large waiting rooms and commodious offices, but some changes have been made in the original plan and the architect is here today working out a new plan and it is not known exactly what the dimensions of the rooms will now be drawn.
    It is expected that it will take eight or ten weeks to complete the work.--Central Point Herald.
Medford Mail Tribune, February 20, 1914, page 4

Last revised April 17, 2022