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The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised


Jackson County 1879


Letter from Oregon.
    TO THE EDITOR:--I was requested by one of your subscribers, Mr. Joseph Satterfield, a few days ago to write you a descriptive letter of this remote part of God's Moral Vineyard, Southern Oregon, therefore hope I am not intruding on your valuable space.
    Jackson and Josephine counties constitute about all there is of Southern Oregon. Jackson County is almost half as large as little Maryland, of which nine tenths of its area is composed of high rugged mountains, clothed with a dense forest which would be very valuable if located in your county, but not the case here, as yet. The remainder of the county is composed of what is called a beautiful valley in this country, with a beautiful unnavigable river winding through it, stigmatized with the name of Rogue River, also many other smaller streams capable of furnishing ample water power for any use. The valley is some forty miles long, varying in width from three to fifteen miles, surrounded with high mountains with a height almost extending to the regions of perpetual snow, with snow-clad peaks in the distance extending almost to the heavens, adding to the beautiful surrounding scenery, with no transportation nearer than one hundred miles, other than mule locomotives, the Oregon term for freight teams.
    We have a productive country, and a progressive one, which statement I will endeavor to corroborate by the introduction of a few indispensable facts. We were conducted by Mr. Joseph Satterfield into his orchard and shown two pear stumps in which he had engrafted several pear twigs in each, on the first day of March last, and on the eleventh day of April following, the twigs were all leaved out and on four of the twigs we counted twenty-one large, healthy-looking blooms, but what the result will be in regard to fruit, we are not as yet able to determine, but naturally suppose in the fall there will be hanging on those same twigs fine and well-matured fruit, as we live in a progressive country as well as progressive age. The coming American hoodlum knows more in this country at ten than the boys used to know at twenty-five, thirty years ago in old Maryland. So you can draw a faint idea with what rapidity every growing substance is hurled on to maturity out here in Oregon.
    Perhaps I have diverged a little from the original subject. The county of Josephine, in which was spoken of in connection with Southern Oregon, is almost a solid mass of high rugged mountains composed mainly of the Siskiyou Range of mountains, valuable only for its immense mineral resources, gold in the gravel beds being the only mineral eagerly sought for at present. The gravel beds are
composed of large mountains in which old and experienced California miners have become largely interested and expended a vast amount of money in the purchase and improvement of these mines, preparatory to a successful operation on the large gravel deposits. These mines are worked with what is called a giant hydraulic conveying the water by a ditch 150 or 200 feet above the mine and running the water through large iron pipes 15 or 20 inches in diameter and forcing an immense volume of water through a 4- or 6-inch nozzle, and with the immense water pressure playing upon the gravel deposits, sending boulders of a half ton's weight flying into mere pebbles, while mountains soon disappear and are deposited by a long tract sometimes miles in length in some deep canyon below, with an immense profit to the owners. There are also many large deposits of gold-bearing gravels, cinnabar and other valuable mineral deposits, which are undeveloped and will remain so in all probability until we have a more easy conveyance to transport heavy freight or machinery, as such is required to develop the mineral beds. As soon as Southern Oregon is accommodated with railroad facilities, our mineral resources will invite capital, and machinery will follow and the future developments of mineral beds of South Oregon will exceed the excitement of Virginia City of Nevada in her palmiest days.
B. F. WADE.
Denton Journal, Denton, Maryland, May 10, 1879, page 2


KLAMATH BASIN.
    The following prettily written article from "Wallace's Monthly" gives a good description of a section of country regarding which many of our readers will be glad to learn. The article is from the pen of Jay Beach, Esq., the owner of the famous trotter "Altamont," a fine engraving of whom appears in this number of our paper. Mr. Beach is paying particular attention to the raising of trotting horses of pure blood, and thinks he has found the "Arabia of America" away up in the delightful basin of Klamath, which nestles among the summits of the far-famed Cascade Range of Oregon.
    He says: "Fort Klamath, the present home of the writer, is a military garrison occupied by two companies of United States troops, and is cozily located at the north edge of Klamath basin, in Lake County. Klamath basin is a mountain valley in Southeastern Oregon, entirely surrounded by high mountains. It has an altitude of 4,500 feet above the sea level, and an area of probably 750 square miles, one half of which is Klamath Lake, and the other half a magnificent prairie dotted with aspen and tamarack groves, and covered with a luxuriant growth of herbage unsurpassed in quality, even by the produce of Kentucky's boasted pastures.
    "The snows of winter are such that the range can only be utilized in summer, and even then the summer frosts permit only the growth of those grasses which are indigenous to the soil.
    "Our native horses, considering their origin and advantages, are surprisingly excellent--and what wonder!
    "Cold mountain streams as clear and sparkling as crystal slake their thirst, and the dry, bracing, rarefied air inhaled by them at every breath must give them lung power and elasticity not to be found among animals which have been reared in the humid atmosphere of lower altitudes. Could 'S.T.H.' but feast his eyes upon the beauties of our little park, his facile pen would trace such a glowing description that even though it should preface a 'horse article,' I think our brilliant 'Yah Amerikanski' could endure it. Mounts Pitt and Shasta, with eternal snows, loom up grandly in our sight. Crater Lake, twenty-two miles from here, is a walled or sunken lake exactly on the summit of the Cascades, and is one of the grandest and most awe-inspiring sights ever witnessed by mortal man. Its walls are from one thousand to two thousand feet high, and the water's edge can only be reached at one point, where the descent must be carefully made. The lake is in dimension about ten by fifteen miles; has been sounded to the depth of seven hundred feet, and in many places no bottom can be found. Near its center is a small mountain island, in which is a deep conical hole or crater, which contains snow during the whole year. The presence of vast amounts of scoria and pumice covering the country for miles around sufficiently attests the existence at one time of a mighty burning volcano. Snow is found on the banks of the lake at all seasons of the year. The water is perfectly transparent, and not a thing of life inhabits it. Klamath Lake, however, and the several mountain streams which flow into it, contain myriads of golden, silver, lake and brook trout, that are capable of making a line spin out to the merriest music of the reel. Our sportsmen who find waterfowl, prairie chickens and the different varieties of grouse in such abundance for their game bags, and who sometimes take a hundred pounds of trout in a single day (with fashionable tackle, too) read in the columns of Eastern sporting journals the long, prosy descriptions of abortive attempts which the disciples of Nimrod and Walton are constantly making to bag a pheasant within gunshot of a farmer's door, or capture a 'red-horse' in some quiet brook which irrigates a cow pasture, with derisive smiles; and venture the assertion that should the aforesaid disciples ever act on H.G.'s advice, and get far enough west to 'set' a twelve-pound trout, or caught a glimpse of a three-hundred-pound buck, to say nothing of attempting to disturb the equanimity of a serene and 'level-headed' grizzly, they will never after waste paper, ink and time in the description of futile attempts upon the life of a poor robin or meadowlark. The historical 'Lava Beds,' too, are in this neighborhood; for it was here that Captain Jack and his three lieutenants were hung for the murder of Gen. Canby and Dr. Thomas, of the Peace Commission, and it was in this vicinity that the little band of eighty Modocs held an army of brave men at bay for six long months. The greater part of Klamath basin is an Indian reservation and the Klamaths, who are the principal occupants, are but one of the divisions of the Modocs--their language and customs being identical with those of that tribe. But to enumerate the many points of interest, among which are Rogue River Falls, the grand and picturesque walled canyon of Annie's Creek, and the valuable deposits of fossils in the desert east of us, would carry me too far from my theme.
    "Do my readers wonder that I have decided to engage in breeding trotters in this 'Arabia of America,' or question the soundness of a belief that with the right kind of blood there can be produced in a locality in which serious diseases of the horse are unknown, and at an altitude and in a climate in which the lungs must attain their greatest excellence, horses which will prove themselves the peers, and even the superiors of the greatest Eastern prodigies? Whether experience shall cool my ardor would now be a question of prophecy, and time must tell the story."
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, June 11, 1879, page 1


SOUTHERN OREGON.
    We receive so many letters asking information concerning this part of Oregon that we find it most convenient to answer them in our columns. Our description of Jackson, Josephine and Lake counties can only be general without going into minute details. Jackson County embraces an area of twenty-eight hundred square miles; Josephine County about thirteen hundred, being jointly three times as large as the state of Rhode Island. Of this area there is about one eighth only cultivable, the remainder being mountainous and only valuable for grazing purposes, or for gold mining. The climate varies according to altitude. That of Rogue River Valley, in Jackson County, lying fourteen hundred feet above the sea, being particularly genial and salubrious, snow rarely falling more than three or four inches in depth, and ice of greater thickness than half an inch being an exception, The same may be truthfully said of all the valleys of Josephine County. The rainfall is moderate, being a mean between the excessive moisture of Northern Oregon and the drought of Middle California, but sufficient for crops of every description. Wheat, barley, oats and corn are the staple crops. On the rich bottom lands sixty bushels of wheat to the acre is not an extraordinary yield, while twenty bushels on any land is an inferior yield. The other cereals, as well as corn, yield exceedingly well. The fruits are apples, pears, plums, peaches, grapes, cherries, apricots and figs, all but the two latter being extensively cultivated, and with the exception of an occasional season when a late frost injures fruit all bear abundantly. Improved farms can be purchased at from eight to thirty-five dollars per acre, according to character of improvement and locality. But few opportunities exist to locate public lands in any large quantity except mountain land only fit for grazing. Flouring and saw mills are numerous and there is at Ashland in Jackson County a woolen factory supplying this and neighboring counties with the very best of fabrics, and large quantities of furniture are manufactured for home consumption in both counties. Farming being carried on with the use of all the improved machinery, there is not an excessive demand for labor, but good farm hands receive about twenty-five dollars and board per month; harvest hands one dollar and fifty cents per day [illegible line] the mines also. The mines extend over a large portion of the two counties, employing a considerable number of hands, but require skill and capital to work them. This portion of Oregon is comparatively well supplied with schools, especially in the larger towns. In Ashland there is a collegiate institute capable of imparting thorough education. In Jacksonville [is] a superior free school, kept up by the liberality of the district. The religious denominations represented are Methodist, Presbyterian, Catholic, Baptist and Christian, their churches being generally well supported. Society is by no means crude or rough, but as much civilization and refinement can be found here as elsewhere. This portion of Oregon is well supplied with mechanics and laborers. No one is advised to come here, but for people of limited means and sober, industrious habits there is no better place to build up a comfortable home on all the Pacific Slope. Sheep farming is becoming a prominent and profitable industry, and the capacity of our mountains to support it is still very great. All kinds of stock, cattle, horses and hogs shift for themselves at all seasons and rarely suffer for want of food. Cost of living [is] cheap, the very finest quality of flour being only twenty dollars per thousand pounds, and all other articles of food proportionately low.
    Lake County, lying east of Jackson, is very extensive and is more particularly a stock-raising county, although the cereals yield well. It abounds in the most extensive ranges of the richest grasses in the world, and although at an altitude of four thousand feet above sea level little or no provision is necessary for the support of stock during the winter. Much attention is now paid to the raising of blooded stock, and the horses of Southern Oregon command the very highest prices in the San Francisco market. Deer, bear and other game abound in the mountains The rivers, lakes, and small streams are filled with salmon and trout. There are yet no railroads here, transportation being performed by heavy freight wagons, but there is a good prospect of early communication with the port of Crescent City. These general characteristics of our section are written without intention to deceive and we invite no one to come who has not some means, and frugal and industrious habits. All such will succeed here and find a glorious climate and country.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, June 25, 1879, page 2


    When you go by rail or steamer you cannot possibly realize one-half of the incidents of your journey. The fatigue is too slight, the transit too rapid, the comforts too many. In such cases you grow indolent as you travel, and if your way is long you will unconsciously forget to look about you. Very different are your sensations when you mount the box above the stagecoach boot, and, seated behind the prancing six-horse team, suffer yourself to be strapped upon your precarious perch beside the obliging driver, your main business for the next twenty-four hours being an attempt to hold your place and ease, as well as may be, the constantly recurring jolts that shake you to a jelly and bruise you to a pulp.
    All day long the patient horses pursue their winding way, in diligent obedience to the driver's whip. The stage road winds along through the labyrinthine mazes of narrow valleys that form divides between the zigzag heights which stretch themselves away upon either hand, as though, sometime during a great internal rupture in the ages gone, their closed sides had parted, leaving all exposed and bare the erewhile hidden rivers that come tearing down the gorges to form a patch of earth upon either bank, upon which men have founded farms and stock ranches, leaving only room between their borders for the tortuous river and the winding road. And such ranches! The alluvial deposits of centuries of mountainside abrasion have so prodigally enriched them that, almost without human effort, the soil produces with amazing power and regularity. One old man occupies, or, rather, claims several thousand acres in one locality, who has raised a bountiful crop of wheat every season for thirty years, without rotation or the idea of it upon a single field. Of course this man is rich; that is, as men count riches. But he lives in a tumble-down old shanty and dresses in patched butternut, and his equally ragged old wife goes barefoot. They have raised somewhere about a dozen sons, who will inherit these possessions someday, and will, it is to be hoped, prove less greedy than their parents, and enjoy a little more of life than the bare, comfortless idea of struggling through a checkered existence for the sole purpose of ascertaining how little they can use with benefit to themselves.
    Noon, and Canyonville. Here we encounter an intelligent landlady, an hour's rest, and a good dinner. Then we journey on, sometimes passing for miles through a tree-studded gulch, sometimes slowly climbing great mountains and again rapidly dashing down them, and at sundown we reach a beautiful and fertile valley where there is a store and stage station; and here we halt for supper, to be met by genial Mrs. Kitchen and her amiable daughter, Mrs. Levins, the latter a whilom schoolmate of our younger brothers and sisters at Forest Grove, and the former a specially wide-awake woman suffragist. After a supper fit for a king, we journey on and on, into the heart of the night, into the heart of the mountains, over zigzag roads and past many winding turns of the busy Rogue River, our companions for miles the beautiful deer, that are so little afraid of the coach and team that they amble gracefully up to me in the waning twilight and gaze wistfully into our faces, regardless of the murderous wishes of the driver, who vainly swears for a revolver. Then, as darkness takes the place of twilight, the glorious stars come out in myriads and hang their flaming jewels in the limpid heavens, fit monarchs of the mighty solitude.
    Sometime after midnight, we reached a way station, where we changed horses, and, after driving onward for a mile or so, discovered that the whip, that indispensable weapon without which no driver could think of hazarding his reputation as a modern Jehu, had been lost or left behind. The driver suddenly gave us the lines, and, alighting, loosened the off tug of the off wheeler [i.e., the right-hand strap from the collar of the right-hand horse nearest the coach], so that the coach might not run many yards without a complete smashup if the team should get frightened, and, leaving us there alone in the darkness, so securely strapped in the perch behind the apron that we couldn't extricate ourself from the buckles, though we tore our gloves to shreds in the attempt, hurried back with a lamp, and was gone a trifle over twenty minutes, though to the solitary wanderer it seemed nearer twenty hours. Once, while the stillness was so profound that we fancied we could almost hear the twinkling of the distant stars, we were startled by a sudden "loo" from some awakening cow in ambush, which so frightened the near leader that he danced an equine hornpipe. Maybe we didn't pull the ribbons and say, "Whoa beauties!" and "Oh mercy!" and "Why did the driver cripple the coach before he left it?" and many other things which can't now be remembered. But that off wheeler proved a veritable brick. He acted as though he was fully aware of the situation, and felt that the entire responsibility of the safety of the United States mail was resting on his tug-burdened shoulders.
    "Why did you unhitch the tug, throw off the brake, and leave me wholly at the mercy of the horses?" we asked, nervously, as the driver came panting up.
    "The horses won't start when one of the wheelers knows a tug's loose and on his back," he said, carelessly, as, readjusting the hooks, mounting to his perch, and vigorously damning the socket that wouldn't hold a whip properly, he lashed the team to a tight run, and on we crashed at a fearful rate, obliged to make up for lost time.
    Morning, and breakfast at Rock Point, fourteen miles from Jacksonville, a picturesque spot to which we shall again allude before returning home. Then a three hours' ride brings us to Jacksonville, our place of present destination, and we give a sigh of relief at the prospect of speedy rest, as we look abroad over the landscape and think of the nearby hotel.
    Away, away to the left, as the stage bounds, bumps and crashes along, we see the broad and beautiful valley of Rogue River, looking in the uncertain haze of the summer morning like a vision of Paradise. The valleys are so level, the trees so graceful, and the whole so vastly magnificent that it would seem impossible that want or greed or turmoil or politics or drunkenness or scandal should ever enter. At the head of the valley, hemmed in by an amphitheater of billowy hills, sits Jacksonville, in solitary state, like a reigning queen who scorns to hold communion with her surrounding subjects. The little wooden hotel, in which we find cozy quarters, is a model of neatness and comfort, and is kept by Mr. and Mrs. Savage, who certainly deserve the patronage they get. There are ever so many well-filled stores, and a bank, of which C. C. Beekman is president. There are two churches, three livery stables, three hotels, three millinery stores, and more lady clerks than in any other town on the coast.
Abigail Scott Duniway, "Editorial Correspondence," The New Northwest, Portland, July 10, 1879, page 2   The full story of Duniway's adventure in Jackson County is here.


    It is the morning of the fifth, a bright, balmy, beautiful forenoon, and we are off, accompanied by our hospitable friends, the McDonoughs, and good Mrs. Dean, their neighbor, our destination the diggings, two or three miles away, hard by the site of old Fort Lane, where a few logs are yet lying to mark the spot where troops were stationed during the memorable Indian war of '55 and '56. Mr. McDonough discovered this mine about four years ago, the placer gold having lain undiscovered a few inches beneath the surface of the ground, over which hundreds of soldiers had in the years gone by tramped for months, in innocent unconsciousness of the auriferous wealth beneath their feet. Owing to the scarcity of water, the work in these diggings is slow, but with plenty of this element the yield would be simply marvelous. Nuggets weighing hundreds of dollars have been picked up, and many pieces of from five to fifty dollars' weight have been found. The quartz ledge, from whence these outcroppings of the ages have descended, runs in a zigzag course up the mountainside, into which a shaft has been sunk, from which quartz assaying $300 to the ton has been taken. But Mr. McDonough is not wild over gold mining. He takes a common-sense view of the enterprise, and tills his broad fields in their season, and raises blood stock and reads the newspapers, and with his amiable consort, to whose efficient aid the woman movement owes much of its vitality and good standing in this community, enjoys a well-balanced life to the uttermost. It does one's heart good to see such people get rich.
    In the evening we return with Mrs. McDonough to Jacksonville, and on the morrow a genial party, ably engineered by Mr. and Mrs. Plymale, depart for the Sterling mine, prepared to make a day of it. The morning is glorious and the scenery grandly magnificent. A ride of ten miles, up and down the billowy, zigzag vales and hills, and the little village of Sterling comes to sight, and we are soon met by Mr. Ennis, the gentlemanly superintendent of the mine, who, after a bountiful lunch beneath the trees, conducts the party to the hydraulic works, where a head of water, brought in a ditch from Applegate Creek, eighteen miles distant, and conveyed into the mine through a 24-inch pipe, which at the base of the gulch is divided into two branch pipes of fifteen inches in diameter, and from thence into five-inch nozzles, pours a thundering, incessant stream of angry water as a vigorous broadside into the resisting heart of the rock-bound mountain, disemboweling the complaining earth and sending it crashing to the gulch below. Rocks, some of them weighing half a ton, are torn by this double-headed hydraulic monster from the ledge's side, and placed by miners upon dumps, from which they are lifted by a mighty derrick, also worked by hydraulic power, and cast in piles upon the ridge above, Mr. Ennis, the conductor, managing the machine with a tow line a little larger than the band of an old-fashioned spinning wheel. We looked innocently around for his "hollyhock," of which a certain editor had said a good deal in the Sentinel, but were laughingly informed that said "hollyhock" was simply a cataract in the said editor's eye. [This is a "goak."] [sic]
    After the hydraulic ram has spent its heaviest power against the mountainside, it gathers its remaining forces at the head of the gulch, whose depth it constantly increases, and forming a roaring, muddy cataract, is collected in sluiceboxes, and goes tearing onward toward the lowlands, leaving behind in the boxes an auriferous deposit sufficiently captivating to tempt the cupidity of even a political missionary.
    We learn that the company, of which ex-Gov. D. P. Thompson, present Mayor of Portland, is president and principal shareholder, has spent a hundred thousand dollars in developing his mine, and when we look at the character of the country over which the ditch has been carried, and note the stability and power of the machinery employed, we consider the estimate reasonable. There are but few men engaged now in the mine, the hydraulic power easily accomplishing the work of many hundred pairs of human hands.
    Several miles further on in the mountains, and we reach the famous placer beds on the lands of the Camerons, which are leased for operation to Gin Lin, an enterprising Chinaman, who is mining with machinery quite equal to that in use at Sterling, and, we believe, with like satisfactory results. Here our party spent a half hour in sightseeing, and then we retrace our steps, viewing as we come down the mountain gorges a magnificent thunderstorm on the adjacent heights, its fresh breezes filling the air with the balmy odors of Araby the blest.
    Now we are on the heights overlooking Jacksonville. What a prospect! The broad valley below, belted with dark green forests, with its trailing robe of amber wheat caught up here and there with festoons of orchard trees, and embroidered at its hem with floral phylacteries; the mountains, adjacent and afar, and away, away, till the eye is pained by the seemingly illimitable distance, the clear-cut crystal top of Diamond Peak [Mount McLoughlin?], beyond which, we know, lies Winnemucca, flanked by the transatlantic railroad, and afar to the northward the dark green mountains that rear their bristling heads between ourself and the dear ones at home.          
Abigail Scott Duniway, "Editorial Correspondence," The New Northwest, Portland, July 17, 1879, page 2


    On Tuesday, the 8th, accompanied by Mrs. Plymale in one of their elegant turnouts from her good husband's livery stable, we drove over to Phoenix, our gallant lady pilot proving efficient and successful at her business.
    Phoenix is a charming little country village, chiefly noted as the abiding place of Hon. Sam. Colver and his splendid spouse, with whom we spent several delightful days, and lectured in the evenings to overflowing houses. Here are two grist mills of apparently sufficient capacity to grind the grain of the entire valley. There are two flourishing dry goods stores, one kept by J. R. Reames, Esq., and the other by Mr. Sargent, each of whom subscribed to the People's Paper [i.e., the New Northwest], thereby setting a praiseworthy example for the benefit of the merchants in Jacksonville. There is also a flourishing Good Templars lodge, a church, a schoolhouse, a drug store, a blacksmith shop, etc., and a surrounding country vastly rich in agriculture, fruit and blood stock. Phoenix is about a dozen miles from Jacksonville, and it is thought by many will yet become the county seat.             
Abigail Scott Duniway, "Editorial Correspondence," The New Northwest, Portland, July 17, 1879, page 2


    At nine o'clock one of friend Plymale's buggies came for us, and a span of spirited horses, held well in hand by Master Willie Plymale, carried us over the beautiful country to Manzanita [the Central Point area], eight miles distant from the scene of the riot, and here we met a splendid audience in the pleasant church among the spreading oaks, and for over two hours the good people listened with the deepest interest to the gospel of human liberty.
    In this neighborhood there are some of the handsomest and thriftiest farms we have ever seen, even in this preeminently beautiful country. The families of General Ross, Mr. Wrisley, Mr. Constant and Mrs. Merriman are among the wealthiest landowners whose acquaintance we have made, their elegant farms being well stocked, containing many acres of well-tilled soil, and large and exceedingly thrifty orchards. . . .
    On Tuesday, accompanied by "Uncle Sam," the indomitable and irrepressible champion of liberty, whom all knaves are afraid of, we went on to Ashland, our way leading through a fertile valley of yet more radiant loveliness than any we had seen hitherto. The landscapes, that are in many places wild to intense ruggedness, now soften into billowy undulations, and, as we approach very near the beautiful city of peace, the verdant vale narrows into a cove-like "cuddy," and on the hills and at their feet the little city nestles, like a brooding dove in her content and loveliness. Flower gardens and fruit trees, handsome homes and sloping lawns abound, and clear, trickling water courses through pebbled ditches, with a merry, rippling melody, suggestive of continued human happiness. . . .

Ashland House hotel, circa 1880, J. W. Riggs
The Ashland House hotel, circa 1880.
    The Ashland House, where we found comfortable accommodations and excellent food, is kept by Mr. and Mrs. Houck, who made our sojourn at their hotel decidedly pleasant. The well-known mercantile firm of McCall & Baum have a commodious and handsome brick store, where they do an immense business, their trade ranging from darning needles to Haines' harvesters, and from chewing gum to tons after tons of staple dry goods and groceries. We had not time to visit the woolen mills, though the neat, painted buildings looked invitingly at us from their location under the hill, but we called at the office of the "Ashland grist mills," which were established here in '54, and which have grown from a small beginning to a mammoth enterprise. There are a number of small dry goods and grocery stores, a drug store, a hardware emporium, a milliner's store, a splendid saddlery and harness shop (kept by Mr. Klum), a jeweler's corner, a boot and shoe shop, etc., but not a single groggery or house of ill repute. The contrast between the reception we have met from the prominent gentlemen of Ashland, as compared to that accorded to us by the ringleading, whisky-pandering element in Jacksonville, that thinks it owns the city, is just what we might expect from the different moral elements of the two places. Jacksonville is ruled by lies and rum, Ashland by truth and soberness. The Ashland Tidings is a very creditable weekly paper, of which Mr. Leeds is the present editor. There is a large liberal element both here and at Phoenix, and the morals of these towns speak significantly well in favor of free religion. If we wanted to settle in an inland town, we know of none where there are greater promises for the future than in Ashland. The decent citizens of Jacksonville are anxious to get away from their modern Sodom and settle here, where they can send their children to school without fear of their being decoyed into wickedness by a riot-producing mob.
Abigail Scott Duniway, "Editorial Correspondence," The New Northwest, Portland, July 24, 1879, page 2
EDITORIAL CORRESPONDENCE.
DEAR READERS OF THE NEW NORTHWEST:
    We remember spending the next Monday night after leaving Jacksonvile with the excellent family of Mrs. Dean, of Willow Springs, from whose hospitable home a party of us were taken in a hack on Tuesday morning to a noted mining camp, where we were shown over the auriferous grounds by Mr. Beck, the gentlemanly owner of one of the richest gold-bearing gardens in Jackson County. The diggings are dry now, and further operations have ceased for the summer, though all of the necessary arrangements for mining remain upon the grounds. We listened with much interest  to the proprietor's graphic and well-illustrated description of the various methods of securing the ore. There were rockers, sluiceboxes, flumes, ripple boxes, dippers, sieves and whatnot, the half of which we cannot remember or describe.
    For a number of acres the earth has been burrowed out, turned over and thoroughly washed, leaving the surface all scarred and corrugated, as though a cancer had been gnawing at its vitals, and had left it spent and desolate at last, because it could no longer find food to its liking upon which to forage. Mr. Beck, a thorough gentleman, whose only fault is protracted single blessedness, located this claim a dozen years ago, and has added to it from time to time by purchase, until he now has paying ground enough to keep a half dozen men at work for a lifetime. But, like most successful men, he is not carried away with his good fortune, and he takes life philosophically, as a sensible and prosperous gentleman should. There is also a very rich quartz mine on the Dean ranch, a mile or two above Mr. Beck's, but we did not have time to visit it, although the camp where the miners were at work was plainly visible from the post office, where we all waited for half an hour for the arrival of the stagecoach, the view we enjoyed from the front door the while being passing beautiful. Mt. McLoughlin, looking for all the world like a mammoth muskmelon, with the gaps between its corrugated ridges filled with snowy lines of melting loaf sugar, loomed high above the hill-encircled valley, that, like a huge table laden with fruits and cereals, smiled placidly in the face of the bending sky, while Flora, Ceres and Pomona swayed their magic scepters everywhere. Gorgeous summer, resplendent in her trailing robes of ripened wheat, had seated herself at her harvest feast, and sated Plenty reveled in the very height of her glory. But yonder comes the stage, and we must stop these reveries for the nonce, while we climb to the dusty boot, and, hooked by our tightly clasping digits to the iron rods that fairly scorched them in the blistering heat, go crashing down the road.
    Eight miles and Rock Point, where we enter the one hotel and seek a room to rest for an hour, and then sally forth to reconnoiter. The little burg is fast asleep, though it is midday. The few people here seem to neither think nor act--that is, if we except the landlady and the stage men and their wives, who deserve commendation for the courtesy and kindness with which they treated us, and without which we should have simply counted the time in disgusted discontent during every waking minute of the next twenty-four hours. For some reason, which we leave the reader to conjecture, the bills sent from Jacksonville announcing the lecture had not been received or posted. The man who had charge of the schoolhouse didn't appear upon the scene, and but for the aforesaid stage men, who used the coach candles to light the schoolroom, and the advent of a large hackload of young gentlemen. and ladies from Willow Springs, the lecture would have been an entire failure. But, with these efficient aids, we captured the fort and held it. And the next time we stop over at Rock Point somebody besides the landlady and the transportation people of the otherwise dead-asleep little hamlet will know it. There are men here pretending to do business as merchants who would think you were telling a Woman Suffrage lie if you should inform them that Andrew Jackson was dead. Of course such men are furious for the revival of the "lost cause," and, having no colored slaves to subjugate, they insist upon the further subjugation of the women.
    We are much relieved when the friendly stagecoach takes us aboard on Wednesday at twelve M., and, with our face turned northward, we go crashing on toward Roseburg, every turn of the revolving wheels hurrying us further away from the thugs of Jacksonville--thank God--and bringing us that much nearer heaven.
    Three o'clock and Grants Pass. Now we are among reading and thinking people, and, of course, among friends. The hotel here is kept by Mr. and Mrs. Dimick, who also have charge of the store and post office. Here we rest till half past eight, and then meet a goodly audience in the schoolhouse, who listen gladly to the gospel of liberty. We have long had several subscribers to the People's Paper here, and wherever the people read and think, and abjure whiskey and lewdness, our mission is always welcomed.
    After the lecture the friends gathered for an hour at the hotel, where we held a delightful social reunion with both young and old, and we would gladly have accepted their half-dozen invitations to hold meetings at other places had our other numerous engagements permitted. Mr. Dimick is building a large hotel, Mr. Campbell has a flourishing carpenter's shop, there are several families living near, and the various industries necessary to form the nucleus of an inland town in the midst of a fine farming region are in process of inception.                     People came from six to a dozen miles to attend the meeting, and this, too, in the midst of harvest and in the heat of midsummer. The next day at three p.m. we embarked for Levens' Station, thirty miles distant from Grants Pass, and, after a breakneck ride of four and a half hours, alighted at the hotel, where an eager audience awaited us. Tired, bruised and travel-worn as we were, we soon met the friends of human liberty in the hall above the store, where we addressed them for an hour and a half, and when, at a late hour, we disposed of our weary bones and aching head upon one of Mrs. Levens' sumptuous beds, we dreamed that all the eggs in Jacksonville had been hatched into full-fledged sage hens, that were driving such lawmakers as dealt in slander and rottenness into the open fields, making them scatter the filthy garbage broadcast. Then, after a while, it seemed that golden fruitage crowned the labors of the sage hens, until in all the beautiful land there was no more room for the offensive debris that had erewhile filled the minds of men with evil thoughts and loathsome deeds.
    This, the Levens ranch at Galesville, was one of the most noted stopping places for travelers in this region during the palmy days of the Southern Oregon gold mines. The hotel, which is a large log building, covered outside with weatherboards and paint, and lined inside with ceiling and cloth and paper, was riddled in many places with bullets during the Indian war. More than one fortune has been made with this hotel and farm, and many others are yet to be made right here. But we must not linger here, inviting as is the prospect, for yonder comes the stage, and we are off for Canyonville, some fifteen miles away. They do have long miles in this wild country, presumably because its surface is so hilly that it takes a great deal of measuring to span the distances, and they count the leagues by air lines.
    The coach is crowded, but we are fortunate enough to secure an outside seat. Several passengers climb to the extreme top rather than go inside, and there they perch till we reach Canyonville, though they are sometimes in imminent danger of losing their heads by contact with the intersecting telegraph wires, which occasionally hang alarmingly low over the great highway.
    Now we are on the Canyonville toll road, a ten-mile thoroughfare, constructed with infinite labor and expense through mighty mountain gorges, where for long distances the way is barely wide enough for the prancing team, which goes tearing ahead in the darkness, the stagecoach candles sending forth a glare of cheery light for a little distance, beyond which the gloom is rendered all the denser by the contrast. You cannot see the leaders' heads, which at every turn (and there are many hundreds) are plunging into gaps like Erebus, where black Cimmerian darkness holds high carnival with the reigning ghoul of Night. On, on and on we go, bounding, crashing, plunging at a breakneck speed, for the stage line, without which this whole country would be like a huge demijohn with the cork driven home and hermetically sealed--the stage line, which brings many a resident who curses it his only chance for a livelihood, is on short time in its transits now, and we are half an hour behind.
    Eleven o'clock and Canyonville. The little town is as still as the fabled Lethe. The gibbous moon has loosed her hold upon the air and fallen down behind the tree-covered mountains, and her silvery light no longer dims the glory of the jeweled stars. The Canyonville House, where we take refuge for the night, is aroused by our advent, and a bright-eyed daughter of the good landlady shows us to a tiny room, where we soon doze away into dreamland, the chief subject of our cogitations--home.
    This evening (Saturday) we are to begin a course of lectures here in the church, and in our next can tell you all about the place, the meetings, and the people.
Canyonville, July 26, 1879.
The New Northwest, Portland, August 7, 1879, page 2


EDITORIAL CORRESPONDENCE.
Dear Readers of the New Northwest:
    Canyonville is a hospitable and prosperous little town, in the midst of an enclosure of tree-covered hills, at whose feet a little river sings merrily. Here we found our old friends of legislative memory, Hons. Riddle and Colvig, the former a brother of our staunch coworker, Mrs. Merriman, of Manzanita, and the latter a brother of the gallant Major of Willow Springs. We do not remember how these gentlemen voted on the woman question, but we know that they met us in Canyonville with that recognition and courtesy which we have never failed to meet anywhere except in Jacksonville, and that they not only gave us respectful treatment, but they emphatically suppressed any attempt at the Jacksonville style of guffaw and burlesque whenever it was attempted by others.
    The lectures were held in the church, and were very largely attended, the best elements among both men and women forming the audiences on each occasion. There was plenty of good-natured enthusiasm, but the very best order marked the exercises throughout, although we were told by ladies that trouble was expected from the whisky ring, and we were looking for it. A rabble always takes its cue from men who are looked upon as leaders, and without such encouragement they will not organize a riot.
    There are two hotels, a schoolhouse, mill, a half-dozen stores, etc., etc., in Canyonville, and several very good and substantial dwellings, besides a large number of dilapidated shanties, and we didn't count how many saloons.
    Mr. Frank Woodward, who knows everybody, and who has been for many years a mining engineer, and is now operating in mining stocks under the direction of San Francisco stock brokers, introduced us to Mr. W. F. Briggs, President of the Tellurium mine, and, accepting his invitation and the latter gentleman's escort, we on Monday embarked in Mr. B.'s family carriage and paid a visit to the mine, about three miles distant from the town. This mine was opened and incorporated in November of '76, under its present management. A road leading to it has been constructed at great labor and expense around the mountainside, and just wide enough for a single track. Below this track is a tree-studded precipice, suggestive of speedy dissolution in case of accident to horse or vehicle as you travel up or down it. Up and up and up we go, and at last we reach the boarding house, where Mr. Jennings, the general superintendent, and Mrs. Webb, the efficient landlady, make us welcome in a primitive cabin, with skylights in the roof, a long table on the floor, and mineral specimens everywhere. Here we rest among the rock-ribbed fastnesses of this mountain-crowned retreat till dinner is ready, and are then joined by Mr. Webb and a half-dozen workmen, with whom we indulge in a substantial meal, for which the fatigue of the journey and the glorious air has whetted our appetites to voracity. After dinner, our party, including Mr. and Mrs. Webb, Messrs. Jennings and Woodward, self and some of the miners, each armed with a lighted candle, sallied forth to explore the tunnel, which at the date of our visit had been burrowed or driven into the resisting heart of the uncomplaining mountain for a distance of 460 feet, at a depth of four or five hundred feet beneath the surface at its terminus. We confess that it looks as though these men have reached a silver bonanza. But its development has involved great expense, and for want of sufficient capital to go on rapidly with the enterprise, its progress is necessarily slow. They are now erecting a small crusher, with a capacity for crushing four tons of rock per day. This rock, a gray quartz of a greenish tinge when first exposed to the light, assays from $60 to $150 to the ton, with a remarkable evenness in the average yield. For a long distance the tunnel was driven through a flinty gray granite, from which the fire flies at every stroke of the pick. Then came a sort of pumice stone, so soft and shelving that it had to be heavily braced with timbers to keep the tunnel safe, and after that quartz was again reached, where free gold glitters here and there quite temptingly in the arched chambers as the tunneling goes on. There is a large percent of platinum in the late assays, and also a vein of asbestos, which is remarkably pure in quality. Of course it is impossible to estimate the final yield of this mine, but the present outlook is certainly promising. This whole mountainous country is vastly rich in minerals of every description, and we believe will ultimately surpass the wildest dreams of the old miners of '49 in its yield of precious ores.
    Returning to Canyonville, we made ready to continue our journey on the morrow, and were off at an early hour for the village of Myrtle Creek, about eight miles distant, where we were in due time safely landed at the Overland Hotel, kept by Mr. and Mrs. Buick, who, with their interesting sons and daughters, met us with the cordial welcome that is the custom of the stage road. This village, like all others in the Southern Oregon mountains, nestles at the feet of an amphitheater of elevated ranges, but is more beautifully located than Canyonville, and contains only the well-laid nucleus of what may sometime grow into an important town. Here in the evening we met a fine audience, gathered from the village, the farms and the foothills, and the next midnight boarded the friendly stage for Roseburg, which we reached in the gray of the coming twilight, the driver, a relative of President Lincoln, having materially shortened the journey by a thrilling narrative of the past adventures of "Reub," the near wheeler, who, he said, was "the noted horse of the road." He had run away times without number, killed one driver, and otherwise made himself famous, all of which failed to inspire us with a special liking for the sleek-coated equine. But the driver said the fellow wasn't at his best anymore, and couldn't run far now if he tried.
    We reached Roseburg in a weary mood, but, after a few hours' rest at the hotel, were made welcome at the pleasant home of Mr. and Mrs. Flem. Owens, in their cozy cottage beside the Umpqua River, where the air was delightfully cool, and where rosy children, happy birds and swaying corn sang symphonies of sweet repose. Mr. Owens had engaged the courthouse for the forthcoming lectures before our arrival, but a strong movement was gotten up by the opposition to checkmate our movements, which culminated in a free concert, for which an attempt was made to get possession of the courthouse and shut us out. But the subterfuge was too transparent to succeed, though the free concert was held in Masonic Hall during both lecture evenings, thereby diminishing our attendance to a comparatively small number. But our welcome among the better classes was never more marked. Among the gentlemen to whom we were specially grateful for many courtesies were Mr. F. Owens, Mr. Sol. Abraham, Mr. Asher Marks, Mr. Benjamin, of the Land Office, Mr. Skidmore, the editors of the Independent, Plaindealer and Star, and Messrs. Perkins and Headrick, of the hotel. Among the ladies to whom we are alike indebted were the wives of these gentlemen, and Mrs. Roberts, twin sister of Mrs. Plymale, of Jacksonville (and as much alike as twin peas), Mrs. Dr. Hoover, Mrs. Compton and Mrs. Wright. We've promised to visit Roseburg again as soon as other engagements will permit. The people are just splendid.
    Saturday, and home, thank heaven! Just six-and-twenty years have marked their changing seasons since we went forth a bride. And now, as we all gather around the festive board, without one missing link in the loved family circle, we bid you, kind reader, a respectful adieu.
A.S.D.
Portland, August 2, 1879.
The New Northwest, Portland, August 14, 1879, page 2

Abbreviation key, Bradstreet's Reports, 1879

APPLEGATE, Jackson.
Daily stage from Roseburg, 115 miles, via Jacksonville, 14 miles; also from Redding, 160 miles--Telegraph and Wells, Fargo & Co. Express at Jacksonville.
R. Benedict . . . Hotel    U    C
Hayden & Cameron . . . General Store (& Uniontown)    S    C
Kubli & Bolt . . . General Store    S    C
J. Layton . . . General Store    U    C
John McKee . . . Blacksmith    81
   
ASHLAND, Jackson.
Daily stage from Roseburg, 124 miles, and from Redding, 151 miles--Pop. 615--Telegraph--*--Wells, Fargo & Co. Ex.
F. D. Beaver . . . Butcher    V    D
Chapman & Neal . . . Butchers    V    D
Chapman & Neal . . . Livery    Y    E
Chitwood & Atkinson . . . Drugs    V    E
Edward DePeatt . . . Boots & Shoes    X    E
Mrs. James Ewing . . . Dressmaker, etc.    Y    E
A. F. Farnham (estate of) . . . Miller, etc.    U    D
R. B. Hargadine (estate of) . . . General Store    S    C
A. D. Helman . . . General Store    V    D
Jasper  Houck . . . Hotel    V    E
Inlow & Farlow . . . Physician and Drugs    U    D
W. W. Kentner . . . Wheelwright    Y    E
C. K. Klum . . . Harness    V    D
____ Latham . . . Cabinetmaker        F
J. M. McCall & Co. . . . General Store    T    C
Marsh & Vulpey . . . Sash, Blinds and Doors    W    E
M. Mayer . . . Tailor    81
E. M. Miller . . . Blacksmith        E
S. M. Morgan . . . Blacksmith        F
John Ralph . . . Wheelwright        F
R. F. Reese . . . General Store    W    E
James H. Russell . . . Marble    W    E
William Sayer . . . Baker, etc.        F
Henry Smith . . . Blacksmith    Z    E
J. C. Tolman . . . Tanner    U    C
Wagner, Anderson & Co. . . . Flour Mill    S    C
Wagner & Gillett . . . Sawmill    T    C
Zimmerman & Co. . . . Founders    81
   
BYBEE'S FERRY, Jackson.
William Bybee . . . Ferry & Farmer    T    C
   
CENTRAL POINT, Jackson.
Freight and stages from Roseburg, 107 miles, and from Redding, 168 miles, via Jacksonville, 7 miles--Telegraph and Wells, Fargo & Co. Express at Jacksonville.
Amy & McKinsey . . . Four Mill    V    D
T. T. McKinsey . . . Flour Mill    V    D
Magruder Bros. . . . General Store (and Grants Pass)    T    C
George F. Merriman . . . Blacksmith    81
   
HOPEWOOD MILLS, Jackson.
(See Central Point.)
   
JACKSONVILLE, Jackson.
County seat--on overland stage route, 100 miles from Roseburg, 175 miles from Redding--Pop. 1,023--Telegraph--*--Wells, Fargo & Co. Express.
T. B. Atkinson . . . Saloon    81
John L. Badgers . . . Wheelwright        F
C. C. Beekman . . . Banker    R    C
Henry Blecher . . . Butcher & Stock Raiser    T    C
John Bilger . . . Stoves & Tin    69
Frederic Breckenfield . . . Variety & Tobacco    Y    E
Peter Britt . . .  Photographer, etc.    T    C
E. C. Brooks . . . Jeweler    U    D
____ Brooks . . . Drugs    V    E
M. Canton . . . Boots & Shoes    Z    E
James A. Cardwell . . . Livery    V    E
Misses Dora and Mira Cardwell . . . Milliners etc.    81
S. Cohn . . . Grocer    81
Charles Coleman . . . General Store    X    E
L. C. Coleman . . . General Store    81
David Cronemiller . . . Blacksmith    81
M. Dillon . . . Saloon    81
P. Donegan . . .  Blacksmith    U    D
B. F. Dowell . . . Attorney and Oregon Sentinel    V    D
James Drum . . . Grocery & Varieties    Y    E
Mr. & Mrs. Elliott . . . Jewelers    64
N. Fisher . . . General Merchandise    U    C
Fisher & Caro . . . General Store    61
George W. Frey . . . Shoemaker        F
S. P. Hanna . . . Wagonmaker        F
William Hoffman . . . Books, etc.    U    C
T. G. Holt . . . Hotel    81
James S. Howard . . . General Store    V    D
John F. Hunt . . . Wagonmaker        F
William Jackson . . . Dentist    W    E
E. Jacobs . . . General Store    V    D
S. P. Jones . . . Saloon    Y    E
G. Karewski . . . General Store    T    C
C. W. Kahler & Bro. . . . Drugs    W    D
William Kreuzer . . . Baker & Saloon    Z    E
Kasper Kubli . . . Grocery & Hardware    S    C
N. Langell . . . Boots & Shoes    U    D
Daniel Lavenburg . . . Hotel    X    E
David Linn . . . Furniture    T    C
F. Luy . . . Bootmaker    W    E
Miss I. McCully . . . Millinery    Z    E
Adolph Marks . . . Tailor    81
Morris Mensor . . . General Store    81
John Miller . . . Gunsmith    U    C
J. Nunan . . . Harness & Saddler    V    D
John Orth . . . Butcher    U    C
Henry Pape . . . Saloon        F
Reames Bros. . . . General Store    T    D
Frederick Richards . . . Jeweler    Z    E
P. J. Ryan . . . General Store    81
C. W. Savage . . . Saloon    42
Veit Schutz . . . Saloon & Brewer    V    D
Louis Solomon . . . Tobacco & Fancy Goods    U    D
John Walters . . . Saloon        F
Joseph Wetterer . . . Brewer, etc.    81
Wintjen & Helms . . . Saloon    S    C
   
MANZANITA, Jackson.
(See Central Point.)
   
PHOENIX, Jackson.
On stage road between Roseburg, 108 miles, and Redding, Cal., 167 miles--Pop. 50--Telegraph and Wells, Fargo & Co. Express at Jacksonville, 8 miles.
A. Dunlap . . . Blacksmith    Y    E
Daniel Lavenburg . . . Hotel    X    E
M. Little . . . Bootmaker    X    D
T. G. Reams . . . General Store (See Reams Bros., Jacksonville.)
   
ROCK POINT, Jackson.
On Rogue River--Pop. 75--Telegraph--Wells, Fargo & Co. Express at Jacksonville, 12 miles.
Haymond & Magruder . . . General Store (and Jacksonville.)    R    B
J. W. Hays . . . Blacksmith    Z    E
L. J. White . . . Hotel & Farmer    U    C
   
UNIONTOWN, Jackson.
P.O., Applegate--Wells, Fargo & Co. Express at Jacksonville.
Hayden & Cameron . . . General Store (and Applegate)    S    C
A. W. Sturgis . . . General Store (and Applegate)        F
   
WOODVILLE, Jackson.
Telegraph and Wells, Fargo & Co. Express at Jacksonville.
J. Solomon . . . General Store    W    E
John Woods . . . General Store    W    E
Bradstreet's Reports, January 1879



Last revised May 31, 2021