The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised

The Dead Indian Country

Of Jackson County, Oregon. For news of Dead Indian Soda Springs, click here.

Ashland Mills, Jackson County, Oregon Territory
    Jan. the 27, 1856
Dear Brother
    I received your letter of the 28 November this day, and I cannot describe the joy which I felt on hearing that you were all well and getting on so fine. It makes me anxious to be back there with you; times with you are a good deal better than they are here. You are making more money than I am. Times never has been so dull here as they are at present; there is no money and no water to work in the mines hardly. I would like very well to come back one year from now, but I don't know if I can raise money enough or not. It is rather doubtful if I can. I think I shall try the mines this spring a little and try my luck. I have been doing little or nothing since the first of November. I prospected about 3 weeks, found nothing, and lost about 30 dollars besides my time. I was forted up about 2 weeks with the rest of the people on account of the Indians which have been playing particular smash here since I wrote my last letter. They have killed a great many people round here, men women and children, burned houses and all, but I think they are pretty well cold down by this time. A great many soldiers and volunteers are out after them just now. I have not heard from them lately I have sent you the Table Rock Sentinel for six months (that is I have paid to have it sent six months); you can get all of the Indian news in it. I was out with the volunteers 27 days hunting Indians. I shall get 4 dollars per day for that time and a land warrant of 160 acres. We did not have any fighting to do while I was out, but one day we expected to have a great fight. We were riding along in mountains one day (up a small creek, the timber was very thick on each side of the creek). All at once we came in sight of an Indian rancheria (camp) not over 300 yards ahead of us. We all stopped, and 3 men went round through the timber to see if there was any Indians there; they came back and us there was lots of Indians. We took our horses back 2 or 300 yards, tied them and left two men to guard. We went round through the timber and crept up to the Indian camp in great silence. When we got within 50 yards of the camp we discovered there was no Indians there. We went into camp and found two dead Indians laying there that had been killed about two days. By whom they were killed we never have learned, but it is supposed it was some other tribe of Indians. One of the Indians had on two shirts and the coat that Keene had on when he was killed. I think I told you in my last about Mr. Keene being killed by the Indians. They had been shot by balls and arrows both. There was more beef in their camp than you could [have] piled on a large wagon. It was all sliced up and dried nice. We started a large fire, piled the beef on it and burned the last mite of it up; it made a great fire. We found the heads of 8 cattle that they had killed. They had commenced building a fort, and were preparing for winter. So we were sadly disappointed in getting a fight that time. Mr. Miller was along with the volunteers all the time I was. There was only 26 men of us [in] all in our company. Andrew Russell joined Captain Wilkinson's company about the 20 of December/55. I have not seen him since. He volunteered for 3 months; if anything happens to him you will see an account of it. In the Sentinel is an account of all the killed & wounded in the companies that are stationed this side of the Canyon. Mr. Miller left here for Shasta City in California about the 10 of December, with 54 head of steers; I have not heard anything from him since. I expect you would like to know something about what my character has been since I came to this country. Well, I will give you a true account of all my proceedings. After I left Mr. Miller I went to work nearby to the Ashland Mills where there are a good many people and they had preaching every other [week?] as I told you. Once before singing school I had to get some clothes so I could go to preaching and the singing. I bought me a coat for 25 dollars, a pair of pants for 11 dollars, a vest for 6 dollars, 2 shirts 5 dollars, 2 handkerchiefs and fine shoes 8 dollars, hat 5 dollars, which you see cost me 60 dollars. Well there was lots of balls round here also, so to be like the rest of the boys I had to go to some of them. I was at one on the 4 of July which cost 12 dollars just for the ball, then it is fashionable to give your partner something. Some gave a white dress, and dressed their partners from top to toe. Well, I gave mine a veil, cost 5 dollars, a riding skirt cost 3 dollars, and I was out about 2 dollars for wine, lemonade and suchlike trash, 22 dollars in all. I was at 3 or 4 small parties 2 & 3 dollars apiece. Well, then we would form riding parties, ride round the country for our health and suchlike with the girls. I had one nice Indian pony which was gentle for the girls to ride, then I could borrow a horse to ride myself. Five or six couples of us would get together, and just go a-kiting, no mercy for the horses, ride all day. This was the height of folly for me to spend my money in this way. I know now it was and I give you my word for it--I never shall while I live in this country be so foolish again. I am going to save my money and come to where people can have fun a little cheaper. Why, I am pretty near to the bottom of my sheet, and will soon have to draw to a close. You said in your last letter that you told me in a former letter that you expected Jennet Baird would keep house for you and Greg. Well now, you never told me that; if you did I did not get the letter, and in this letter you told me she was, and Greg and her was about to get married. Well now, this is very strange. Where is her husband Mr. Anderson? There must be a mistake here; you must have meant Mary Beard. I am very sorry that you had so bad luck with the mare you bought of Confar, but don't be discouraged; you will all get rich before long if you all keep your health. I am afraid I shall come out in the background. My sheet is full. 
John Watson to one of his brothers in Reinbeck, Iow
a. Original in possession of Helen Starr Nelson, Seattle; uncorrected typescript in Dead Indian Prairie vertical file, Southern Oregon Historical Society Research Library.

    It was known that there was a small band on Butte Creek, under the Chief, Jake; and a party was sent to hunt them out [in the fall of 1855]. They were found in a state of great destitution, having previously had all their winter provisions and camp utensils destroyed. They were taken prisoners; but the victors not agreeing how to dispose of them, they were allowed to go.
    The same party found, in one place, evident signs of its having been the scene of an Indian battle. Among other things, they found two dead Indians, over whom was spread a wagon cover, known to have belonged to the teamsters who were killed in the fall, as has been already related. It was afterward ascertained that the tribe just liberated, hoping to conciliate the favor of the whites, had made war, and killed all who had been engaged in that affair. It was said they were actually on their way to give themselves up, when they were met by the same company of volunteers who had captured and released them a few days previous. As it had become unpopular to kill women, they ordered the females aside while they shot the men, numbering eighteen. This cruel and deliberate butchery occupied the space of two hours--a period of inconceivable horror and anguish both to the waiting victims and their friends who were kept within reach of their struggles and cries.

John Beeson, A Plea for the Indians, 1858, pages 76-77

    On the morning of the 28th [of September, 1855] at 8 o'clock I was at the mountain with 30-odd men and went immediately to the soldiers' camp. They were just about ready to start. I rode up & inquired for their officer. A tall and noble-looking gentleman was pointed out to me as Major Fitzgerald. I was in his presence but a moment when my mind was made up that this time that I had a soldier and a gentleman to deal with. I saluted him, saying, "This I presume is Major Fitzgerald." He said it is. I said, "Well, Major, I suppose you are here for the purpose of subduing those hostile Indians." He said, "That is what we would like to do." "And that is what we would like to have done" was my reply. I said, "Major, I thought as all was strange to you where those Indians are located that we might be able to afford you some assistance in finding them, and if you are willing to accept, our service is at your disposal. I think we can find them, and if you are willing we are now at your service." He said, "You are acquainted with this country and know better how to proceed than we do. Lead off, and we will be at your service." I said, "Major, I have not come here to supersede you in command." He called to his Lieutenant, saying, "We go today with this man. Give him your attention and whatever orders he may give, see that they are executed." I said, "If I am to lead I will not go to where the deed was done to get their trail but will intercept it several miles from here." We found it beyond Keene Creek and were following on and discovered a fresh horse track that had been on the run. This was discouraging. I knew that we had been discovered. A half a mile further brought [us] in sight of a camp; the smoke was rising as from a lively fire. I sent some men to reconnoiter. They reported all gone. We took their trail and followed over onto Jenny Creek and up it, crossing the emigrant road and up to where the mountains set in close and were steep and rough. Here the trail left the trail and took up a steep point. They had slipped and scrambled through a reef of craggy rocks. I sent some men around to see if they had passed on. They reported they had. They were going in the direction of Butte Creek on the reservation. I said, "We will follow them till we are satisfied as to where they go." Fitzgerald said his was cavalry men and we cannot compel them go where they cannot ride. I said, "If you will have your men take our horses back where there is grass and water we will follow further." He done so, and we went on till we were satisfied that they were aiming for the reservation. We returned in the evening and camped at Jenny Creek. Fitzgerald said he was satisfied that they were Indians that should be on the reservation and that we could effect nothing by following them. We can go back to the fort, he said, and intersect them and settle with them for all this. We returned to the valley [and] Fitzgerald to the fort. About this time the Governor had got worked up; the Indians were committing depredations north as well as south. The Governor ordered the raising of volunteer companies to suppress hostilities. I raised a company of which there are still living a number of men, viz. Giles Wells, Enoch and John Walker, Daniel and Henry Chapman, Hugh F. Barron, John R. Roberts of Lake County, J. D. Smith, Isaac Woolen now of Sect. 16, Capt. J. M. McCall, [Asa] Fordyce, A. D. Helman, Wm. Chase, James Tolman, _____Corday of Sacramento mines, Walker dead, John Murphy, Saml. Clayton dead. The muster roll having being destroyed, I cannot now remember their names. There were near 50 men in the company. We were mustered into service and went in the mountains east of Ashland to ascertain if Indians were yet there. We were not long in finding sign. Following it, we found where they had killed a beef. Following on about 20 miles out after much difficulty we discovered a camp. It was at the head of one of the branches of Butte Creek at [the] edge of the timber [along] a long strip of prairie. Their fires were in good trim and burning lively under a ton and a half or more of beef, which they were drying. This was about in line from Jenny to Butte Creek. We approached their camp carefully but found it vacant, but there were 2 dead Indians covered with a wagon sheet, from which fact that locality has inherited the title of the Dead Indian country. And here I may revert back to the Keene Creek affair to identify them with that affair. John Taylor borrowed a coat of Wm. Taylor the night we went out to the Green Springs. It was a new coat and nappy, and in his fright at the stampede he threw it away. One of those dead Indians had it on. What the cause of their demise was we never knew, but I conjecture that those were the fellows that stole the horse, thereby bringing on the trouble, that we had routed them from their serviceberry harvest on Keene Creek and now from their huckleberry fields and would be apt to entirely rout them from that country that next day, and they [the Indians] shot and killed them while they were asleep, for the muzzle of the gun had been so near as to burn the napping of [the coat] off for 3 inches in diameter. He lay there with his eyes wide open, looking as wicked as though he was in a fight. They had killed and was drying the meat of 7 beeves that they had drove from near Ashland, and that was what gave us so much trouble in trailing, it being so scattered & and running in all directions. The cattle killed belonged [to] Enoch Walker. We followed on their retreating down Butte Creek for a considerable distance away
Thomas Smith, "Biography and Brief Sketches of Early Incidents and Beginning of the Wars of 1853 and 1855 with the Rogue River Indians," Bancroft Library MS P-A 94. Dated 1885. Punctuation added. Smith's manuscript is completely innocent of any punctuation.

    [Subsequent to the encounter in 1855 that resulted in the death of Granville Keene, a] company was raised to scour the country and find those same Indians. Finally a detour was made by them into a high plateau, dividing the waters of Little Butte and Bear creeks, tributaries of the Klamath and Rogue rivers, when, at the head of a narrow, long glade, the volunteers discovered an Indian camp. There was something peculiar in the fact that carrion crows, or buzzards, were seen in the air, circling above the village, and occasionally one would swoop down as if seizing prey. But, making all proper arrangements, they charged upon the camp. They found there only dead Indians. The carrion birds held no false carnival, but rioted in a camp of the dead. Since that time, and no doubt to all coming time as well, that mountain glade has borne, and will forever bear, the name of "Dead Indian Prairie." How to account for this holocaust of death was a strange question! Who were those Indians who lay there so still in death? Who were the slayers? Inspection showed they were the same Indians that Fred Alberding's volunteers had encountered on Keene Creek, for they found with them articles they had lost in their hasty retreat. One, who had a bad wound in the side that was partially healed, was evidently the leader Dennison had wounded while covering the retreat.
    This mystery was finally solved by the statement made by a band of Rogue River Indians, who camped at the mouth of Little Butte, on Rogue River, to Dr. Ambrose. It seems that, fearing they might be some way blamed for the [illegible--a line of type obscured by a fold] up on the mountain in force and slew the last one of the band they found there. Keene Creek is not on the Rogue River side of the mountain, and those were not Rogue Rivers. They were peaceably picking berries for winter use. They naturally resisted the volunteers' [sic] attack. They must have been unsuspicious when the Little Butte Indians attacked and slew them all. We have said they were to be the greatest sufferers, and now we find them all defunct.
S. A. Clarke, "Pioneer Days,"
Oregonian, Portland, March 28, 1886, page 2  His informant is James C. Tolman.

    The narrowest escape that [express rider Cornelius C. Beekman] had from the Indians was on September 25, 1855. At the summit of the Siskiyous he met 14 or 15 Indians, who allowed him to pass unmolested in order to surprise the drivers of three wagons loaded with flour from Waits Mill at Phoenix, which were within sound of a crack of a whip behind him. One of the three drivers, Calvin M. Fields, and an 18-year-old youth named Cunningham, who was passing with an empty wagon, were killed by the Indians. The youth, however, was only slaughtered by the Indians after a chase, his body being found next day in a hollow tree where he had vainly tried to hide. John Walker, who led a company of men after the Indians, found in Klamath County the body of a buck clothed with the hickory shirt which young Cunningham had worn at the time of his death. The redskin had been killed by his fellow tribesmen as the result of a quarrel. Ever since this particular region has been known as the Dead Indian Country.
"Banker, Pony Express Rider in Early Days," Oregonian, Portland, February 4, 1911, page 16

    In 1854, the first wheat crop of any moment was grown in the valley. As settlers were short of funds necessary for financing the preparation and marketing of the crop thus was taken over by Henry Ammerman, early day financier. The wheat was ground into flour in Ashland, the mill having been located under a large oak tree near the present entrance to Lithia Park. Three wagons and eighteen oxen were secured to transport the flour to Yreka, the nearest market. Harvey Oatman--(father of the late Elmer Oatman--for many years Jackson County fruit inspector and grandfather of Mrs. R. O. Stephenson, who now lives on the Jacksonville highway) was put in charge of the train and drove the lead wagon. The other two wagons were driven by Daniel P. Brittain, who later lived for many years on Wagner Creek, and a Mr. Livingston. [The incident was in 1855; Livingston is unknown to history. The flour was ground in Phoenix.]
    The wagons were heavy, and as there were no roads through the Siskiyous it was a laborious task, even though six heavy oxen were hitched to each load. It is not known exactly the route taken over the Siskiyous, but it is probable that the train followed approximately the route afterward known as the Dollarhide Toll Road. Somewhere near the summit of the mountains they were attacked by a party of renegade Indians from the Klamath country. Oatman escaped and went on to Yreka where he sold his load of flour. Brittain escaped with his life, but his wagon and that of Livingston were burned after the Indians had emptied the flour from the sacks, the latter being apparently the only article of value to the tribesmen. [They were unprepared to haul away several tons of flour.]
    Upon the return of Oatman and Brittain to the valley the attack was reported and a force immediately recruited by Wm. Rockfellow, one of the leading men of the Wagner Creek community, to track down the marauders. Not only after they had picked up the trail they found three of the renegades dead--apparently victims of another Indian band. The spot where these Indians were found was known thereafter as Dead Indian. Later the name "Dead Indian" was applied to the creek on the headwaters of which the Indians were found and still later to the soda spring which is located on the creek.
Dead Indian Soda Springs Is Suggested for Delightful Sunday Drive,"
Medford Mail Tribune, August 4, 1940, page 10

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    HIGHER.--Quite a number of families have gone from Gasburg and vicinity to the mountain plateau known as the Dead Indian country, to spend the hot and sultry days of August and September. It is a plateau of cool springs, flat scenery and abounds in all kinds of game. May health and happiness be their portion.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, August 20, 1864, page 2

    NEW ROAD TO KLAMATH.--Capt. McCall informs us that Indian Superintendent Applegate is going to open a road from Dead Indian Prairie to Cold Springs on Klamath Lake. There he will have a boat and cross the lake, a distance of twenty miles, to the agency. It is only 45 miles from Ashland to Cold Springs via Dead Indian.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, July 18, 1868, page 3

The Dead Indian Wagon Road.
    The so-called Dead Indian route from Ashland to Fort Klamath is between 30 to 35 miles shorter than that by way of the Soda Springs and Linkville, and is a much better road. Last fall a number of the reservation Indians, who took this route to come into the valley to do their trading, cleared it of the fallen timbers etc. that had obstructed it the past few years. Since that time the road has been traveled extensively by people going from here to the upper Klamath Basin. George Nutley, whose ranch is located at the eastern end of the route--about six miles west of the Fort--travels this road altogether, and says it is a plain wagon road, most of it leading over a beautiful level country, with plenty of grass, plenty of water and entirely free from dust. The road leads through Lost Prairie (cutting that body of land right in two), leaving Lake of the Woods at the foot of snowy Mount Pitt to the left and striking Pelican Bay at the head of Lake Klamath. It is the nearest route to the Fort and Crater Lake.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, August 6, 1881, page 2

Dead Indian Affairs.
    Robt. Neil is intending to erect a handsome farm residence this summer.
    Haying has commenced in earnest and everybody is busy. There will be a large crop.
    The soda spring at the mouth of Grizzly is a nice place to camp, as there is plenty of fish and game.
    Austin W. Bish has moved his family out to the Walker place and will run a dairy. It got too dry for the cows in the valley.
    A school house is being built which will be finished shortly, when school will commence, Miss Nerva Naylor being already engaged to teach the same.
    Campers are beginning to pour in and the woods will soon be full of people. They should be very careful with fire, as everything is dry and a fire once started would sweep the country.
    Several people are in the Dead Indian country on a visit, among them Misses Daisy Tucker and Ida Wells, Mr. Harvey Howard and others whose names I did not learn.
    The people of Dead Indian assembled at the grove near C. F. Blake's and had a regular old-fashioned picnic on the 4th, a number of the old residents of the valley being present, and all had a good time. Arthur Hunt and Bert Tozer run the stands, which were well patronized. The prizes were won by the following: For the best-looking lady on the ground the judges decided that they were all so good-looking that it was impossible to make a choice. Best shot at target with "pea gun," Johnny Murphy. The homeliest man (J. P. Walker and Jap, the sheepman, barred) was given to John Griffin. The worst disappointed man in the crowd, Milo Walker. The dinner was excellent; everybody had all they could eat and plenty left. The ball, given in the evening at Wm. Neil's place, was well attended--20 numbers being sold. The supper was fine and everybody had a jolly good time.
    July 6.        REX.
Valley Record, Ashland, July 11, 1889, page 3

Dead Indian Items.
    Edmond Redpath, nephew of John B. Griffin, is visiting the latter this week.
    Henry Inlow is building a neat residence on his place in the Dead Indian country.
    Arthur Hunt had about half a mile of fence burned by forest fire last Monday.
    F. Barneburg, of Eden precinct, is in this section looking after his stock interests.
    Harvey Howard of the Greensprings, was visiting friends in Dead Indian last week.
    Riley Crabtree, of the Willamette Valley, is visiting with his sister, Mrs. Backus, this week.
    Rev. James Hummer, of Ashland, was visiting at the residence of Wm. L. Neil last week.
    Mrs. Bradley, of the Umpqua Valley, is visiting her daughter, Mrs. H. Deardorf, in this section.
    R. P. Neil and family returned from a visit Monday with his brother, J. R. Neil, at Jacksonville.
    Messrs. Templeton, Grover, Pond and Bish have returned from the huckleberry patch at the Lake of the Woods and report plenty of berries there yet.
    "Brick" Wells' old farm house caught on fire Thursday morning last and burned to the ground, also an old milk house nearby. He thinks mice and matches was the cause. Furniture, etc., saved.
    The fine new residence of J. R. Tozer is nearing completion. It is understood that Mr. and Mrs. Tozer have now spent their last summer on the ranch, and that Bert will take full charge. If he calculated to live alone there would be no necessity for such a fine large house. The fact that the building is going up has aroused suspicions that something is going to happen. Well, we don't know who the lady may be, but she would hunt many a day before she found a better fellow than Bertie.
Valley Record, Ashland, September 19, 1889, page 3

Dead Indian Items.
    Cool weather and plenty of smoke.
    The fire burned about a mile of fence for John F. Howard last Thursday.
    John S. Swenning's team took a start last Tuesday, injuring the cart somewhat, but no serious damage was done.
    E. T. Howard has been out to his father's ranch this week after some milch cows.
    Philip Hought has returned from Medford after a month's visit there with friends.
    J. C. Neil and Dave Spencer were in this section last week after beef cattle.
    Geo. W. Pennebaker is out on his homestead claim at the Grizzly Soda Spring.
    W. L. Neil had half a mile of fence burned last week by forest fire.
    Howard Durkie and Johnny Thompson and their families are camping at the residence of James R. Howard.
Valley Record, Ashland, September 26, 1889, page 3, page 3

Dead Indian Notes.
    W. Powell moved his family to Ashland this week.
    Crit Tolman and O. H. Blount took a trip out to the Dead Indian country during the week.
    About six inches of snow. Everybody has plenty of hay and say "let her come."
    Only two families are wintering in Dead Indian.
    John B. Griffin has just finished a new barn. He is in Ashland this week.
Valley Record, Ashland, December 11, 1890, page 3

Wagon Road Toward Butte Creek.
    The question of a wagon road from Ashland to intersect the road that taps the Butte Creek section is again before the people. This will be a great aid to the people living in that section to have easy access to this city, and the business interests of Ashland demand that it should be put through. It is the most practicable and best route and is entirely satisfactory to all the residents and property holders, who will donate the fencing thereof to the county. The only opposition comes from Mr. J. C. Durkee, who is out with an opposition road in order to defeat the really meritorious one. The proper place for Mr. Durkee to present his grievances is before an impartial set of viewers, appraisers or the county court, where the matter may be adjusted. The people of Ashland cannot afford to let the grievances of Mr. Durkee, though he be an enterprising and industrious citizen, stand in the way of the public good and the best business interests of Ashland.
Valley Record, Ashland, May 21, 1891, page 3

Fixing Up Dead Indian Road.
    A crew of nine men left Ashland today for Dead Indian to work on the Ashland-Dead Indian-Ft. Klamath wagon road and give it a thorough overhauling. It is a natural highway and will be put in good condition for the Mazamas Crater Lake excursionists and summer business between that portion of the Klamath County country and Ashland. The Southern Pacific has listed a lot of indemnity land grant in that section, and the special road fund portion will swell the amount to be expended to $200. Road supervisor Hunt has charge of the work.
Valley Record, Ashland, June 25, 1896, page 3

Clayton Burton Appointed Supervisor Over Work and Will Put Gang of Men to Work on Road at Once.
    After long years of waiting, connection is at last to be made between Ashland and Klamath Falls over the Dead Indian route. Klamath County has taken the important step and has appointed Clayton Burton as supervisor over the extension in Klamath County, and the actual construction of a new road from the Klamath County line to Clover Creek will be made. Klamath County has long been clamoring for a good wagon and auto road from its county seat to Ashland. Time and again she has come forward with a proposition to Jackson County to meet her at the county line with a first-class auto road. Jackson County, however, has failed to do her part, in spite of repeated petitions to the county court from this end of the county, until last fall, when a crew was sent into the Dead Indian country and the road was put in shape from the summit east of Ashland to the county line. This performance on the part of Jackson County gave Klamath County the opportunity to consummate her desire, and the recent order of the county court is the result.
    The route from Ashland to Klamath Falls by this road is about the same length as that by way of the Green Spring Mountain road, 63 miles. From the summit, 13 miles east of Ashland, all grades of any consequence have been eliminated up to Klamath Falls. The new survey, work upon which will be begun as soon as weather permits, will head almost straight for Clover Creek, from which point the road had previously been put in shape and shortened materially. All rocks and trees will be removed so that nothing will be left to interfere in the least with auto travel. A distance of 15 miles will be covered thus under this contract.
    This improvement will give Ashland a splendid road to Crater Lake by way of Klamath Falls. From a scenic standpoint it will be one of the best across the mountains. It will be used extensively for hauling fruit and produce between this city and Klamath Falls, as well as a regular route for auto travel between the two places. With the road completed, an increased amount of travel is expected as well as an increased amount of produce exchange.
Ashland Tidings, June 13, 1912, page 1

    What is said to be the hardest "cow punching" trip ever made in Southern Oregon has just been completed. in which a large band of cattle was driven from Eagle Point to Dead Indian. Caught in the snow, the last three miles of the journey required 15 hours. For three days the vaqueros were practically without food, not daring to leave to secure it. Fred Dutton, Carl Ringer, Ray Harnish, Joe Moomaw and Carl von der Hellen handled the cattle.
    The trip is usually made easily in one day. However, when the higher levels were reached deep snow was encountered which blocked progress. The horses were used to break trail. Finally Dead Indian was reached, where hay had been stored for winter feeding. 
Medford Mail Tribune, January 24, 1913, page 6

Pelican Bay via Dead Indian Route
By F. D. Wagner
    It is approximately fifty miles from Ashland to Pelican Bay over what is known as the Dead Indian route. With the road improved as is now promised and the Klamath end of it opened up for automobile traffic, Ashland will be within a few hours' ride, say four, of Pelican Bay. From the latter point there is now a fine automobile road to Crater Lake, forty miles distant. Thus it is easy to figure out a quick trip from Ashland to Crater Lake by this route, which is full of scenic interest, nearly every rod of it. It will bring the Lake of the Woods region with all its summer lurings within a three hours' auto ride of Ashland.
    Leaving Ashland, we traverse the Pacific Highway southward for three miles to the Owens ranch, where we turn to the left and cross both Neil and Emigrant creeks just above the junction where they form Bear Creek. Soon we are winding up the mountain grade, and a long, steady pull brings us to the summit of the Cascades, fourteen miles distant from Ashland. From the summit there is a splendid bird's-eye view of valley and mountains. Immediately on the left of us are the great white cliffs, the kaolin deposits which have long attracted interest and which it is predicted will some day become a source of wealth to this section. The altitude at the base where our route crosses the summit is about 5,200 feet. The descent is into what is really a part of the great Klamath Basin and is much shorter, for the entire basin lies at an elevation above the sea of 4,000 to 4,500 feet.
    In the Dead Indian region, distant less than twenty miles from Ashland, we are in a country entirely different in climate and environment from the Rogue River Valley. Few nights even in midsummer are entirely free from light frosts. It is a thriving dairy and stock section, and agriculture is developed beyond what was dreamed of as possible a few years ago, when it was counted only a summer dairying and grazing section. It is a beautiful country, particularly in the summer time. The prairies and glades, luxuriant in native grasses, are like lakes in the forests of fir and pine timber. As we emerge from the deep woods into the main Dead Indian Valley at the Neil ranch seventeen and a half miles from Ashland, a glance to the left and we see Mt. Pitt, or McLoughlin, in all its capped glory, its base seeming to be only a stone's throw away and the timberline plainly demarked. All the rest of the way to Pelican Bay our route circles around the base of Mt. Pitt, though it is not always in sight to the traveler through the thick timber, which is one of the attractions of this route. For miles and miles we traverse virgin forests of stately pines and firs through much of which the sun never penetrates.
    Lindsay's ranch is nineteen miles from Ashland, and a few miles farther on we come to Lost Prairie and the Jones ranch. Nine miles from Lindsay's and twenty-eight miles from Ashland we cross the Jackson County line into Klamath County.
    Thirty-eight miles east of Ashland after a course through forest after forest, with an occasional variation in the way of a "big burn" marking the devastations of some forest fire a decade or two ago. Suddenly through the forest ahead we catch a glimpse of water, quite an expanse of it. It is Lake of the Woods. And truly it is a lake of the woods and a most beautiful scene. Approximately three miles long and from one to two miles wide, with a varying depth and with shallow shores, portions of them covered with sand and pebbles, it furnishes the base for an ideal summer resort. It is in the national forest reserve, but with the government giving leases for summer cottages a few years will doubtless see the shores of Lake of the Woods dotted with summer cottages and perhaps summer hotels. Probably most of the cottages will be owned by Ashland people, and summer travelers detouring from Ashland will fill the hotels. Before coming to Lake of the Woods a road off to the right leads to Buck Lake, where there is one of the finest little bodies of water found in the Cascades.
    From Lake of the Woods it is approximately twelve miles over an undulating country through pine and fir woods to Pelican Bay, the last few miles being through a level plateau region covered with giant yellow pine. To the left lies Four Mile Lake. It is off the traveled route but is visited by many hunters particularly, for it is a fine big game region. Indeed, the entire Lake of the Woods region abounds in deer, and bear are quite numerous.
    Pelican Bay, as we know, is an arm of Klamath Lake and sends a flow of ice cold spring water into the north and west sides of the lake. The splendid cold springs of great volume that flow into Pelican Bay are what make the magnificent fish which have made the bay famous among sportsmen. This place attracted the late great railroad magnate, E. H. Harriman, so much that he purchased it for his summer home and improved the property. The west shore of Klamath Lake in this region offers much territory attractive to the summer tourist. Besides the fishing and boating there is the finest duck hunting, perhaps, in the West. The great Klamath marshes, vast in extent, are the natural homes of myriads of waterfowl which breed there.
    When we consider how near to this wonderful playground Ashland is in actual miles we may estimate the possibilities of the future when Ashland gets to be the resort she is now planning to be. The Dead Indian route will be traversed by thousands and it will be one of the attractive trips out from the city.
Ashland Tidings, December 31, 1914, page 7

Working Hard for Dead Indian Road
    H. G. Enders was in Klamath Falls last week as a member of the Commercial Club committee, which is boosting for a new road to Pelican Bay via the Dead Indian country. He says Klamath Falls people feel very kindly toward the proposition--not only merchants who realize that such a road would bring our fruits in and take their grain out but by the sportsmen and autoists and others who look upon the road as contributing to the public pleasure. The Klamath Falls Herald says:
    "With a view to getting assistance here for the road the Ashland Commercial Club proposes to have built over the Dead Indian route from Ashland to the Lake of the Woods and Pelican Bay, thus opening Crater Lake, Upper Klamath Lake and other scenic points in Klamath County to Ashland tourists, H. G. Enders, one of the committee in charge of the project, is here from Ashland.
    "According to Mr. Enders, Ashland people are subscribing from $25 to $100 each toward the construction of the road. Besides this, twenty-five or more men have volunteered to do some work on the highway. What Klamath County people will be willing to do toward this project will be determined shortly. There is a possibility of help from the county court, as there is some money on hand from forest reserve timber sale, which is to be used in road building in forest reserve territory within the county, and a portion of the Ashland-Klamath route is through government timber lands.
    "Besides the tourist advantages to both Ashland and Klamath, Mr. Enders points out possible commercial advantages. He believes that this route, which is less than the Green Springs Mountain road, can be used advantageously in marketing Jackson County fruit in Klamath County, and Klamath County potatoes and grain in Jackson County."
Ashland Tidings, April 15, 1915, page 1 The article quoted was on page 1 of the Herald of April 8.

Writes of Lake of the Woods Trip
    The following interesting story of the trip to the Lake of the Woods through the Dead Indian plateau, which everyone who has ever passed through proclaims to be the most beautiful mountain country adjacent to and easily accessible from Ashland, is particularly appropriate at this time when the Commercial Club is taking up the matter of making the lake accessible for autos:
The Lake of the Woods.
    Recently the writer and a band of Ashland boys hiked to the Lake of the Woods and there camped for six days. He now wishes that he were both a poet and a painter that he might picture for his readers the beauties of the lake, the mountains and the woods.
    We left Ashland at about 5 o'clock in the morning. It was a perfect morning. The mountaintops were ablaze with the altar fires of the new day. As we began the climb of the Dead Indian road Pompadour rose at our immediate left, backed by Old Grizzly. To our right far up to the head of the valley Pilot Rock pointed the way out over the Siskiyous. Behind us over against the foothills nestled waking Ashland. And behind the foothills, ever keeping watch over the City Beautiful stood Mount Wagner and Ashland Butte with its snow chaplet. All through the early morning the broad sides of Grizzly sloped up from our left. These were covered with evergreens and poison oak, the leaves of which were turning crimson as though kissed by autumn's frost. Great waves of green and crimson from every way greeted the eye. For fourteen miles we climbed up and up, passing ranch after ranch. One was a turkey ranch. Here we saw turkeys enough, if they all live, to provide one each for a Thanksgiving dinner for every family in Ashland. At Hooper's we lunched and then made it to the summit by about 12:30. This summit is about 4,000 feet above the sea. We had made fourteen miles and climbed about
3,000 feet. The season at the summit is about six weeks behind that in Ashland. There one would have thought it was about the last of May or the first of June, for wildflowers of every conceivable color and variety were in bloom. How we wished that we could tell them all by name.
    Once over the summit we entered one of Uncle Sam's great reserve forests. Majestic cathedral pines arose to 125 and 150 feet on both sides of the road. For about two miles down a gradual slope we enjoyed these woods. Here we found an opening, a ranch and a flowing stream. Following the road along this stream we saw on both sides fat, sleek cattle grazing, and for many miles we were scarcely ever out of sound of the tinkle, tinkle and the clang, clang of the bells on the grazing range cattle. Two miles beyond this ranch, Spencer's, we came to an open prairie. In the distance we could hear the clatter of the mowing machine, and the breezes brought to our nostrils the scent of new-mown hay. Four miles beyond this open prairie we came to another clearing called Deadwood. Here we bivouacked for the night. Here, too, we had our first view of Mt. McLoughlin (Mt. Pitt). The hills and woods between had shrunk back and we had a fine view far down to its base. The wooded base was topped by a barren rocky pyramid peak. As I looked I wondered that someone had not named this mountain Pyramid Mountain because of its shape. From our fir bough couches well supported by the ground we gazed that evening up into a perfectly clear sky twinkling with the eyes of heaven. But the beauties of nature were soon forgotten in the beauty sleep of tired boys.
    By about 9 o'clock the next morning we had passed the county line between Jackson and Klamath and had come to the last inhabited cabin seven miles this side of the lake. Right near this log cabin in its clearing we came to the highest point in our travels, 5,390 feet above the sea. This morning we had noticed two interesting forms of vegetation among others. On the first day we had seen trees covered with short moss, but this morning we saw hanging from many trees long, hairlike, light olive and pea green-colored moss. The other was the beautiful yew trees with their drooping evergreen branches. Every one was a tent for the passing traveler. After leaving the highest point we came down into a flat stretch covered with jack pines and with many small pitted rocks strewn about. I was told that these stones erupted from Mt. Pitt in its days of activity. To the right of us on this flat was Buck Mountain, where the deer are so plentiful that they have trails up and down the mountain. And everywhere all about us were fresh deer signs. And the lady at the last cabin had told us that a few nights before she had seen two bears following the fence just outside the clearing.
    Beyond this flat stretch we climbed to the top and descended the last summit. About Ashland the hills are covered with manzanita, but this mountain was covered with buckbrush which was just beginning to bloom. How fragrant it was. I could have shut my eyes and imagined I was walking up the path in Highland Park in Rochester with the lilacs in full bloom. Down at the foot of this last summit on the other side we came into view of our friend of the evening before, Mt. Pitt. We had taken the arc of a great circle and he now stood as many miles to the west as he had stood to the north in the morning. Before long the boys saw the "sky" through the trees. But soon the "sky" was rolling its little breakers up on the shore at our feet. It was the beautiful Lake of the Woods. There in a pocket of the mountains 4,960 feet elevation, about three to five miles long and one wide, was a beautiful freshwater lake, clear as the mountain brook, and warm as the white sulfur water in the Natatorium. Now those boys did not stand and look for long. Soon all were gamboling like young porpoises in the water.
    Two or three more descriptions and our paper will cease. Out between the trees overshadowing our camp, across the lake, and beyond a wooded ridge, stood Mt. Pitt. From this side he appeared like a huge pyramid but with a hump in his back, like the hump which Christian had on his back when he started on his journey to the Celestial City. I shall never forget the coloring of that mountain at sunset. First it was a golden dust color. Then light pink turned to deep crimson and purple, which later faded into a bluish gray and then the dark gray of all the night.
    It was Sunday night. The usual colors had appeared on the mountain. At about 8 o'clock the silvery light of the moon had begun to steal its way among the trees. By 10 o'clock what appeared to be a full moon was sending streams of light down through God's great temple firs. Patches of light played hide and seek with the shadows in the forest. Every tree stood silent and still. Not a needle quivered, not a stick cracked, the faraway cry of the coyote was hushed, and every insect and bird of the night was dumb. How great it was to lie beneath the open sky with the smell of fir boughs in the nostrils and the prod of the fir stick in the back, just drinking in the glory of that perfect night in the great woods of God's all out-of-doors. Let men build their stone walls to shut God out, but give me the freedom of the Oregon woods.
    As a sort of a postscript to the above descriptive article let me say a word about the roads between here and the Lake of the Woods. There are only a few places where it is very hard automobiling. Of course there are steep places. There are very sharp turns and there are steep canyons close by the side. All these call for careful driving, and no novice should attempt to take a machine over the Dead Indian. The worst features are the protruding rocks in a few places. Ashland people ought to see to it that these are fixed. It does not seem to me that it would cost so very much in time or money to make the necessary improvements. Several autos passed us on the way, and surely the day will come when hundreds of autos will go every summer over the Dead Indian road to the Lake of the Woods and to points beyond.--A.R.B.
Ashland Tidings, August 12, 1915, page 2

Route Not Only Without Disagreeable Chalk Dust, but Has Scenic Attractions.
    ASHLAND, Or., Sept. 13.--(Special.)--According to E. V. Carter, Ashland banker, who has spent the summer in the Southern Oregon mountains and has driven over virtually all Southern Oregon roads in his Packard car, the Ashland route to Crater Lake by way of Dead Indian is at present by far the best road to that national park. One of the roughest pieces on that route was recently eliminated by construction of a new road.
    "While the Dead Indian route is far from being a boulevard," says Mr. Carter, "there is more rough road on either the Rogue River route from Medford or the road up Klamath Lake from Klamath Falls. The Dead Indian route, which takes the motorist past Lake of the Woods, near the foot of Mount McLoughlin, and skirts Pelican Bay and Upper Klamath Lake, offers far more scenic attractions, is not dusty and is in the shade of timber practically all the way from a point ten miles out of Ashland to Crater Lake. The distance is 92 miles."
    Mr. Carter made his headquarters this summer at his mountain lodge at Lake of the Woods, a mountain lake 36 miles from Ashland, which has become the mecca for campers from this section. Thirty-two lodges were built on national forest summer home lots on the shore of Lake of the Woods this year and some 50 home sites have been leased from the national forest administration.
    Most of the members of the National Editorial Association were taken over the Dead Indian road on their trip to Crater Lake, and despite the fact that it was in worse condition than at present, preferred it to the other route on account of the absence of chalk dust.
Oregonian, Portland, September 14, 1919, page 83

Dead Indian Road
    The new "Dead Indian" route to Crater Lake will become popular next season, it is predicted, when the grading of a new route with a 6 percent maximum grade up the Dead Indian mountain is completed. This work is about half done and when finished will eliminate several miles of steep grades. This route is extensively used at present, despite the climb, by scores of valley residents who have summer homes at Lake of the Woods and by a few tourists.
Ashland Tidings, August 4, 1920, page 2

    What is probably one of the most extensive and valuable deposits of oil shale in the United States has been uncovered by engineers of the Hartman Syndicate of the Pacific Coast in the Dead Indian country at the head of Antelope Valley, and Southern Oregon has promises of a new industry which will materially increase her payroll in time. The Hartman Syndicate controls the use of Hartman retorts in the territory west of the Mississippi River and will employ this type of retort to extract oil from shale. The company has under lease from the government 3500 acres of land that is practically a solid mass of oil-bearing shale and is now taking steps to begin the actual production in Southern Oregon.
    H. W. Hartman, head of the syndicate, is widely known as former chief of maintenance and construction of the great nitrate plant which was constructed at Muscle Shoals during the war, where at one time he had under his supervision 14,000 men.. He is construction engineer and contractor of the Hartman Syndicate and brother of the inventor of the Hartman retort.
    Associated with him is W. A. Pettigrew, a civil engineer of many years experience. Mr. Hartman and Mr. Pettigrew were the engineers who followed the float and surface indications of shale in the Dead Indian country and determined the extent of the vast deposits. G. S. Pettigrew is also with the company as mechanical engineer. James Barrett, a well-known Ashland cattleman, is one of the principal promoters of the enterprise.
    Public demonstrations for the people of Southern Oregon interested in the plans of the company are held every afternoon at Mack's Garage in Ashland, in which a retort of one-ton capacity is employed. This retort extracts 100 gallons of oil, over two barrels of oil, from one ton of Dead Indian shale. This is a high-grade oil with a paraffin base. Besides gas there are byproducts of gas, lampblack and fireclay.
Medford Mail Tribune, August 16, 1922, page 6

    The Dead Indian road leads east from Ashland into an undeveloped section and thence to Lake of the Woods. Part of this road has been made into a market road and some of the grades reduced to a maximum of 10 percent. This road will soon be completed to the summit and a greater part macadamized.
G. A. Gardner, "Some Thoughts on Jackson Co. Roads," Medford Mail Tribune, April 1, 1924, page 11

    A region tributary to Medford and attractive to the motorist, which possesses wonderful possibilities of future development, is the plateau of the Dead Indian, lying in the Cascade Mountains on the east of Rogue River Valley. Here anyone who cares for a mountain outing and makes the climb to the summit of the Cascades may see the primeval wilderness in all its pristine glory. Almost untouched by the hand of man, one sees here all the fabled beauty of the wild, with little of its savagery.
    This plateau embraces a territory about 25 miles long and from six to ten miles in width. It lies at an average elevation of about 5,200 feet above sea level, and reached by a fairly good mountain road fifteen miles in length after leaving the Pacific Highway above Ashland. It contains the source of a number of mountain streams, notably the Dead Indian, Little Butte, and Clear creeks, the two former flowing into Rogue River on the west, and the latter flowing eastward into the Klamath River. The greater part of the region is heavily timbered, although there are a number of beautiful glades where the soil is wonderfully rich in which are located a number of valuable hay and stock ranches.
    But the crowning glory of this high plain is its timber. Few regions of southwestern Oregon are so densely covered with valuable saw timber as this region. Here one may walk for miles through forest so dense that he at almost all points in his course may touch with outspread hands on either side magnificent specimens of red and yellow fir, yellow and sugar pine, white pine or larch, while in many places there are dense thickets of yew, a wood which, though it attains no great size, is but little appreciated in the West.
    This timber is, as yet, almost untouched, [and] is a potential wealth in assets in this region. At present the principal utility of the Dead Indian is a stock range, it being one of the finest summer ranges on the Coast, and the condition of the cattle one sees in a ride through the country testifies to its value in this particular. Its great elevation and consequent deep winter snows preclude its use as a winter range, though many stockmen winter sizable herds of cattle there, producing enough hay upon the open glades for this purpose.
    The entire plateau lies within the confines of the Crater National Forest, though but little of the land belongs to the government, most of it having been [taken] as timber claims, homesteads, and acquired from the Oregon & California Railroad grant. There are few, if any, large timber holdings, most of the land being in the hands of small holders, few of whom possess more than a quarter or half section of land.
    Before the completion of the recently constructed Rogue River Valley-Klamath County highway over the Greenspring Mountains, the Dead Indian road leading through this region was the most feasible route from this valley to upper Klamath Lake, and before the Crater Lake Highway was completed a route from this valley to Crater Lake.
    Of late years this region has taken on considerable prominence as a playground and summer residence of the people from Rogue River Valley and the Klamath County country. The magnificent mountain scenery, teeming trout streams, its cold and pure springs of water and the abundance of game makes it an ideal place for a summer outing while not least among the attractions are the immense huckleberry patches, which appeals alike to the summer camper and the black and brown bears who saunter down from their mountain haunts to fatten on the toothsome fruit. Great numbers of the blacktail deer hide in the forest thickets of the Dead Indian during the summer and autumn months.
Medford Mail Tribune, January 1, 1928, page C4

    Jackson County was the first in the state to build the modern highway, including the first section of the Pacific Highway, now extending from the Mexican border on the south to the Canadian line on the north, and is still at the road-building game in a large way. The coming year promises to be an exceptionally busy season by this county with its road-building program. A vast sum is to be spent by the highway commission in oil-crushed rock surfacing the Medford-Crater Lake highway, and the spending of $75,000 on the Gold Hill-Crater Lake, Big Butte, and Dead Indian market roads. There will also be a large sum spent this season in completing the three-year program in making permanent improvements on the Pacific Highway between the Oregon-California state line and the Jackson-Josephine County line in Jackson County.
    One of the most important projects will be the commencement and building of the first unit of the Dead Indian market road from Ashland over the Cascade Mountains to Klamath County and connecting with the Crater Lake Highway on the other side of the mountains. Although this roadway was in pioneer days the only route connecting Rogue River Valley with Klamath County during the open season over the mountains, as a present-day dirt road [it] is a popular loop route over the Cascades, and to the valley people who summer out in these mountains.
    The building of this market road will add another modern outlet to Rogue River Valley which will reap for it a world of wealth in marketing perishable fruits to the east-of-the-mountain trade, as well as increasing the exodus of its citizens and tourists to the summer homes in the Dead Indian country. This plateau in the Cascade Mountains is a great scenic summer home region with its wonderful wealth in mountain water, forest surroundings, fish, and huckleberry patches.
    On leaving Bear Creek in Rogue River Valley, east of Ashland, the dividing line of the granite soil of the Siskiyous and the basalt of the Cascades, the highway climbs to the summit of the Cascade Mountains and leads to the primeval wilderness in all its pristine glory. Almost untouched by the hand of man, one sees here the fabled beauty of the wild, with but little savagery.
    The Dead Indian Plateau embraces a country about 25 miles long and from six to 10 miles in width, lying at an elevation of about 5200 feet above sea level, and containing the source of a number of mountain streams, notably the Dead Indian, Little Butte, and Clear creeks. The two first-named find their way to Rogue River, while the latter flows into the Klamath River. The greater part of the region is densely timbered, although there are a large number of beautiful glades of large acreage, where the soil is marvelously rich and in which are located a number of valuable hay and stock ranches.
    The crowning glory of this elevated plain is its wealth of timber. But few regions of the state are so densely covered with a valuable stand of marketable timber. The whole region is stocked with magnificent specimens of red and yellow fir, yellow and sugar pine, white pine or larch, while in many places there are dense thickets of yew, a wood which, though it attains no great size, has a value which cannot be excelled as a non-decaying timber buried in the ground, and used for fence posts.
    This timber is yet untouched. At present the principal utility of the Dead Indian is as summer cattle range, summer homes and camping grounds for the valley people and the tourists who go that way. The entire plateau is confined within the borders of the Crater National Forest reserve, though but little of the land is vested in the government, most of it being taken as timber claims during the timber craze two decades ago, leaving only the unsold Oregon-California land grants to the government ownership. There are few if any large timber holdings, most of the land being held by the original locator of the land or his successor.
    These forests abound in large numbers of deer. Bear also are numerous, as well as the small game of the forests, and the streams are well stocked with trout.
    The future development of this great mountain region cannot help but be of great benefit to Rogue River Valley as a timber and summer stock range asset, and summer home wilderness and tourist playgrounds, all under government parking regulation, when the market road is completed to the Dead Indian Plateau.
Medford Mail Tribune, January 22, 1928, page B2

    A crew of 50 men will start work on the Dead Indian road as soon as equipment which has been delayed arrives, according to members of the county court. The construction which will cost in the neighborhood of $35,000 will start, it is expected, within a week or ten days.
    It is the intention to transfer all the men and machinery engaged on the Lake Creek market road, which skirts the upper end of Lake of the Woods, and will unite with a market road out of Klamath County, to the Dead Indian road work, according to County Commissioner Victor Bursell.
    The Dead Indian road improvement was authorized last spring by the county court, and will give a score or more of families an outlet to Ashland. The road is much traveled during the summer months by vacationists.
Medford Mail Tribune, August 16, 1928, page 3

    Residents of the Dead Indian district have prepared a petition asking for a county road, from a point near the Emigrant Dam to the Elliott place on the Klamath Falls-Ashland highway, which they will present to the county court Wednesday, January 2. A 60-foot right of way is asked, and the petition is widely signed by residents of the Dead Indian district and Ashland. It is claimed that the road will shorten the distance to Ashland, Northern California points, and Klamath Falls, and open up a recreational field.
    An article from a special correspondent of the Portland Oregonian at Gold Hill, and published in that paper Monday, declaring that the road work of the county next year would be on the Gold Hill-Trail road, which connects with the Crater Lake Highway near the Rogue River bridge, proved to be news to the county engineer and county officials. County Engineer Rynning said this morning that no extensive operations on the Gold Hill-Trail road were planned on the 1929 program, but that an application had been filed that asked that the road between Beagle and the Dodge bridge be improved. He said this was a matter for the future.
    It is in the intention of the county to center its energies next year in the construction of the Lake Creek market road, which receives financial aid from the state, and the cooperation of the Forest Service. Residents of the Lake Creek road have been promised a first-class road for years, and the fulfillment thereof will be the first objective of the county.
Medford Mail Tribune, December 11, 1928, page 3

    ASHLAND, Ore., Aug. 26.--(Special.)--Work is already under way for the expenditure of $34,000 of county money on the Dead Indian road. The first part of the construction work is being carried forward by a force of 50 men on a stretch of road in the vicinity of the Hatch ranch. A rock crusher is being assembled and a compressor is being used in preparation for blasting. According to the statement of County Engineer Paul Rynning, men are being taken off all other construction work in the county as fast as they can possibly be spared and put onto the Dead Indian work.
    The survey for the new road has been made with the idea of making a fine permanent road rather than for an improvement of the old route. Work this year will be carried toward the intersection of the Shale Oil road with the Dead Indian road, while next year improvement will be made on the narrow stretch just beyond the Shale junction.
Medford Mail Tribune, August 26, 1929, page 2

    ASHLAND, Ore., Aug. 29.--(Special.)--With a full crew at work on the Dead Indian road under the supervision of the county engineer, Paul Rynning, it seems likely that the work to be done on that highway will be completed before the interference of rains and bad weather. By the middle of next week the rock crusher will be assembled and in operation, and in the intervening time the crew will be getting the roadbed into condition to receive the rock. Mr. Rynning announces that there will be no detours, although some spots in the road will be rather rough traveling.
    Practically all the county force of workmen and the county road machinery is employed on the Dead Indian work.
Medford Mail Tribune, August 30, 1929, page 8

    ASHLAND, Ore., Oct. 10.--(Special.)--The road construction work now in progress on the Dead Indian road is being rushed to completion before the setting in of the fall rains, which will make further work impossible. Considerable has been accomplished already, and several bad curves have been eliminated. The road has also been widened at several points. There is a large amount of crushed rock on hand ready to surface the road as soon as the grading work has been completed.
Medford Mail Tribune, October 10, 1929, page 8

    ASHLAND, Ore. (U.P.)--Heavy snows in the high Cascades east of here have brought out a new method of transportation for Southern Oregon. Teams of dogs hitched to sleds are being used by several settlers in the Dead Indian section to haul provisions to their secluded mountain homes.
Imperial Valley Presss, El Centro, California, February 18, 1933, page 5

Last revised August 23, 2023