The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised

Jackson County 1870

JACKSONVILLE, Jan'y. 10th, 1870.
    EDITOR NEWS:--Dull times and no water--that’s a regular cry from one end of the county to the other; but in Jacksonville, we find our merchants, butchers, bakers, saloon keepers, hotels, shoemakers, breweries, blacksmiths, saddlers, barbers, and, in fact, all ready to serve you with the best they have on hand. Messrs. Sachs Bros. are always ready to give you a cheap article for cash; Mr. Jas. T. Glenn and clerk will produce the best article that can be found in the market; Mr. M. Mensor--always on hand for a new article; Mr. Baum will produce a good article of dry goods and groceries; Mr. Karewski will sell lard, butter, cheese, tea, coal oil, etc., to suit the public. Mr. Joe Wetterer--Eagle Brewery--has a good glass of refreshments, such [as] a glass of lager; also the City Brewery--Mr. Veit Schutz--will probably excel the other; Messrs. Pape & Savage cannot be excelled on a good c--k--t--l [cocktail], except one, Mr. Brentano at the Railroad Saloon; at the two-bits saloons we cannot vouch for the same, for we never tasted of the liquid; our tin rattle stores are doing well; our hotels--Mr. L. Horne keeps a good house, and good spring beds; the Franco-American Restaurant cannot be excelled for a good cup of coffee; our blacksmiths are always busy, and sufficient to keep them busy; doctors and dentists are always on hand to check the scarlet fever and toothache, "but we can't see it." Our miners cry water, and if we could change the weather, we would most undoubtedly stop the cry of water, and give them gold! In fact, I will advise one and all to give a call to the above names and firms, and you will find that the writer gives you a true history of trade in Jacksonville. One word to our Democratic friends: give Mr. Hull a  lift in the subscription list; bear a hand and pull on the same rope, and you are sure to win; our coming June election will decide our victory over the Fifteenth Amendment. Never flinch to an outside report, but stick to your colors.    EBID.
Democratic News, Jacksonville, January 15, 1870, page 2  Mr. Hull was editor of the Democratic News.

A Trip to Buck Lake.
JACKSONVILLE, July 28th, 1870.
    ED. NEWS: Mountain excursions are essentially popular at the present time, and as numerous parties are still preparing to test the invigorating influences of a higher altitude, a short sketch embracing a few of the details of a trip already performed may prove interesting to, at least, a few of the readers of the News.
    One party was composed of ladies and gentlemen as follows: Mrs. N. D. Short, Mrs. L. Zigler, Miss Emma Plymale, Miss Mollie Owen and Miss Ellen Niday; Messrs. C. W. Kahler, George Fletcher, T. G. Owen, E. B. Watson and the writer. After a little initiatory excitement occasioned by one of the riding animals rearing up and falling backwards and then turning a somersault off a bridge nearby, we got an early start, Saturday morning, July 16th, having for our destination Buck Lake, situated a little beyond what is known as Dead Indian. Some of our party were on horseback--others rode on a rather clumsy mud wagon, obtained of a liberal-minded farmer for the purposes of the trip.
    Passing up Bear Creek Valley we noticed the husbandmen everywhere busy making the harvest yield, not "to their sickles," but to those valuable improvements in modern agriculture called reapers, mowers, headers, etc., and many were the excellent fields of grain along the route that bore testimony as to  the industry of our faithful votaries of Ceres. A drive of 28 or 29 miles brought us to our first camp, halfway up the mountain, to what is known as Grubb's ranch. Here we found excellent grass and pretty fair water. After a good night's rest, enjoyed in the open air 'neath the broad canopy of heaven, we were aroused by "the breezy call of incense-breathing morn" to the making of preparations for another advance up the mountain. While breakfast was under way, our head pilot to the expedition was on the alert for game, and succeeded in slaying a young venison, which was very opportune and lasted the party several days. The ascent of the mountain over to Neil's ranch, where we found a famous place to camp and hunt, was all the drive made the second day out. Here was an abundance of game and our Nimrods done some shooting at the same; but with indifferent success. Our head pilot, as aforementioned, came across an old she bear with her cubs, but, not feeling excessively bear hungry just at that time, left her alone in her glory. Our next drive was through the beautiful glades and verdant prairies of Dead Indian to Deadwood, then through dense timber and over a rough read to Lost prairie, where we made a halt early in the day, while a scouting party rode on ahead to the lake, a distance of about eight miles, to examine the road and determine upon the practicability of taking a wagon still further. The report made by members of this scouting party on their return was a credit to their ingenuity in magnifying difficulties and overstating the obstacles to be encountered on the march, as well as the unattractiveness of our proposed destination, after we should finally get there, and, had it not been for the superior resolutions and determination of the ladies, our delightful arrival and short sojourn at Buck Lake, as a pleasure-seeking party, had not been subjected to record. As it was, pluck and beauty carried the day, and everyone connected with the expedition subsequently rejoiced thereat. Tuesday, July 19th, found us under way, firmly bent on reaching the lake--with the wagon if possible, if not, then on horseback and with pack animals. By cutting a few logs out of the road and masterly engineering on the part of our driver, we reached camp on the west side of Buck Lake with our entire cavalcade, including the mud wagon besides. This day's travel, over what had been represented as a most desperate and fatiguing part of the route, was one of the gayest and most inspiring jaunts of the whole trip. Hilarity and good humor were especially characteristic of the young ladies, who, ever and anon, broke out into the liveliest strains of song, making the hills and woods to ring with the sweetest melody, no doubt, they were ever blessed with reverberating. When we reached what might be called Pisgah's Knoll, from which an excellent view of Buck Lake, with its beautiful meadows, is first obtainable, enthusiasm became unbounded; the ladies, who were now all on horseback, dashed off on the gallop across the prairie, perfectly wild with delight and exultation. A more delightful place for striking camp could not be wished for than where we picked [picnicked?] on. Springs of as cold water as man ever seeks to drink were on each side of us, luxuriant grass was everywhere spread out for a carpet to tread upon, and numerous shady arbors vied with each other in soliciting our homage.
    I shall not attempt a full description of the lake, for, in reality, it is only by a perversion of the term lake that it can be classed in such a category. Really, it is a large tule marsh, with a sluggish stream wending its way through its center, sometimes widening into an immense swale. At the outlet, or lower end of this stream, and where the water becomes strangely warm, the fishing is mainly done. Such fish as they are, they are as plentiful and bite as readily as the most ambitious fisherman could reasonably wish. The rare sport enjoyed by the different members of our party, and more particularly the lady members, can better be imagined than described. Everyone caught as many as they desired, and fish soon became a drug in the market.
    Wednesday, the second day after our arrival at the lake, was signalized by no less an occurrence than the slaughter, by our head pilot, of a large brown bear. The hide of the bear and a portion of his flesh were brought into camp. The event proved productive of considerable feminine trepidation. We were evidently surrounded by ferocious beasts, and no one knew who would be the first on whom bruin should make a savory meal; his various modes of clawing, biting and mangling his victims were discoursed upon. Finally it was asseverated that a bear usually hugged its victims. "Oh, it that's all," said Miss N., "that isn't so bad." A casual remark from one of the young gents showed that the remark was well and aptly taken and somebody fled to the tent to save from blushing. The danger of being masticated by a bear was no longer provocative of alarm to the single ladies, at least, during the rest of the trip. I doubt not that his bearship, in their estimation, rose in the scale of gallantry, and if they had to be devoured by a wild beast there was consolation certainly to be found in the fact that bruin done his killing in the most affectionate manner.
    Our stay at the lake was short, but pleasantly passed the hours. Various amusements were indulged in when tired of fishing or hunting. Reclining beneath some protecting shade by the edge of the grassy sward, some spent happily the time reading interesting sketches to each other and then reading a sweeter lesson from each other's eves; some found amusement in navigating the waters of the lake on a raft, and one and all found especial enjoyment in eating as often as our frugal board was placed before them.
    As appetizers, exercise and mountain air can't be beat. Provisions intended to last two weeks began to fall short in half that time. This consideration limited our stay at one of the most enticing retreats during warm weather accessible to mountain-seeking excursionists. The climate is perceptibly colder than in the valley; game (including elk, bear and deer) is wonderfully abundant; the grass is unsurpassed and the water--oh, heavens such water.
    There was many incidents connected with our adventure which would take up too much space to attempt to record them here. I cannot boast, as I should have wished, of remarkable success in the killing of game by either member of our party. The fault however was not in the scarcity of game. Probably it was owing to the fact that too many of our crowd were engaged in trying their skill at a kind of archery in which the dears aimed at require a slight variation in the orthography customarily applied to the game of the huntsman. Be this as it may, and leaving to time the verification of any and all such pronoptics [sic], I reserve for another article a further account of our trip, together with a description of a visit to the top of Mount Pitt.
Democratic News, Jacksonville, July 30, 1870, page 2


A Trip to Buck Lake--Continued.
    We broke up camp at Buck Lake Saturday morning July 23rd, and returned as far as Lost Prairie. From this point Mr. C. W. Kahler and the undersigned separated from the balance of the expedition with a view of going around and ascending Mount Pitt, or Mount McLoughlin as it is sometimes called. After an impressive farewell, in bidding which the aid of onions was invoked to start the tears that would not flow, we plunged into the dense woods at the northeast end of Lost Prairie, traveling that course most of the way until we came to Lake of the Woods--a distance of about 10 miles. Occasionally we met with the fresh blazes of the new wagon road, then being reviewed and blazed out by O. C. Applegate and party through to Klamath Lake. The route certainly seems a feasible one, and by the outlay of a little labor and means, can be made the best road leading to that section. In the vicinity of the Lake of the Woods we lost our trail, and, after wandering two or three hours through the heavy timber surrounding the lake, very conscientiously arrived at the conclusion that one lake, at least, was appropriately named. Lake of the Woods fully comes up to one's ideal conception of what a lake should be. It is large enough for a small navy to maneuver in its bright and crystal waters, and trees, and rocks, and mountains are beautifully mirrored upon its surface. Its extreme length is near five miles and its width about one; waves a foot and a half high surge against the eastern side of it and make a person imagine himself on the borders of a miniature ocean. We were disappointed in finding any fish in the lake. Just below the lake is a beautiful broad spreading prairie that, by drainage, might be converted to some useful purpose. Five or six miles from the lake we came to where the trail intersects the old Drew road, leading to Fort Klamath, not a great distance from Klamath Lake, and camped for the night. We started early next morning, returning along the Drew road to the summit of the mountain, at the foot of Mount Pitt, whose northern and eastern slopes are still covered with perpetual snows. By the margin of one of the transparent lakes fed by the constant melting of the snow, seemingly almost perpendicular overhead, we tied our horses on a plot of grass, and began, on foot, the ascent of the peak. Over fallen timber, rocks and brush, we trudged about three miles, before reaching what was really precipitous climbing. Once upon the snow our progress was easier, until the increasing abruptness of the mountain and hardness of the snow rendered such climbing dangerous. Veering off from the snow we found ourselves on one of the steepest ridges running up to the summit--the northeastern angle of the mountain. Our experience along this ridge was a giddy one. At times we were on a sharp backbone from which, had we made a false step, we would have been precipitated thousands of feet below. Some of the chasms are frightful to look down. At times our progress was made in between the snow and cliffs of rocks, where the reflected heat of the sun had melted a path just wide enough for a single person to march in, and through the snow to a depth of ten feet. Where the snow was entirely melted away, flowers seemingly more beautiful than any seen growing in our best flower gardens were found blooming in beds of pulverized stone, clear up to the summit.
    After five hours weary climbing, scrambling and struggling, up almost perpendicular rocks, under overhanging cliffs and among loose and constantly descending debris of rock, we finally reached the top, and took a long and welcome rest, "viewing the landscape o'er."
    No description of a view had from such an eminence can possibly come up to the reality of beholding it for oneself, and one pen portraiture of the scene is about as good as another; any one of them is necessarily far from complete. It is hoped what follows may not prove less interesting in consequence of its being set to rude measure. The highly imaginative reader is asked to believe the following lines were written on the summit--less inspired individuals will suppose they
were written afterwards.

Mount Pitt! thy dizzy heights, at length, I tread,
And gaze on Nature's bold expanse below.
Within the circle of our vision what
A range of objects greet impatient sight!--
Lakes, mountains, valleys, woodlands and leas
Environ thee; and thou art, seemingly,
The top o' this vast rotunda called the Earth.
Rogue River Valley, Scott's and Klamath's, each,
Seem hanging on thy ample skirts. Close by,
In almost speaking distance, Shasta stands
Adorned with e'en a whiter garment than
Thy own; along the Cascades to the north
A colony of pyramids arise
To keep the company in the upper air.
How strange and multiplied the thoughts that crowd
Into the brain of him who, weary in limb,
Sits down upon thy lofty parapet
To muse o'er God's own page of written Truth!
The wonder is: How long since first thou cam'st
A meteor from the molten world below?
And hath the adamant fusing furnace that
Evolved those streams of lava, which are here
Congealed in tattered spirals, fully ceased?
I feel to own how great and powerful is
The hand of Him who rearest such columns in
The twinkling of an eye. It only needs
His all-sufficient fiat to go forth
That all Earth's crust might shattered be, to atoms!
Immured beneath eternal snows, thou stand'st--
Most venerable heap of loose and crumbling stones--
Except where Phoebus long hath shot his rays
Of light and heat, through days continuous, on
Thy southern front, and sent thy melted snows
And glaciers rippling to the ocean. 1
Have gazed upon thy "lone magnificence"
From boyhood up, and curious pride hath oft
Incited me to visit this thy crest.
Whilst here, I learn a lesson that I might.
Have known, full well, by rote long, long before--
Thy exaltation lifts thee up to cold,
Unfrequented realms of isolation; thy
Proud grandeur seems to cost thee dearly, when
Such blessings as a humbler station and
A warmer friendship should, of right, beget--
Where changes of the seasons e'er are wrought.
So with vain man, whom mad ambition spurs--
He climbs to "frozen altitudes," and, when
He finds himself the head and focus of
The fiercest, coldest wintry storms that blow,
And no protection left to mantle him from
The storm, resembleth but a lofty peak
That never knows the genial warmth of Spring,
Nor Autumn's ripe and proudly beaming splendor!
    Practically speaking--and not metaphorically--dear reader, "how is that for high?" Will you be surprised if, after the production of the above, the writer should confess himself too thoroughly exhausted to ever complete the sketches of mountain adventures. What's the use of him occupying space describing to you our descent and return to Jacksonville--all of which, of course, was performed?
Democratic News, Jacksonville, August 6, 1870, page 1

Last revised June 13, 2021