ROGUE RIVER VALLEY, OREGON.
Were the Indian of half a century ago to return to the home of his childhood, the beautiful valley of Rogue River, seat himself on one of the table rocks and view the surrounding country, what changes would greet his eye. The valley he so loved and admired for its many gifts in most luxuriant grasses, roots and innumerable quantities of game is no more the spot his thoughts longed to dwell upon. The progressive white man has taken possession and metamorphosed all with his many contrivances. To an Indian the sight would be anything but pleasing. From where we are seated, on the hill west of Jacksonville, the picture before us is such that one must be dull, indeed, to the beautiful in nature if he could not admire it. In the background of the picture and a little north of east, about 170 miles distant, we see the ever-faithful sentinel, "Diamond Peak," salient and alone in his glory, covered in a garb of the purest white, glistening and sparkling in the bright sunshine. We turn to the right, due east [sic], and see the guardian of our valley, Mt. Pitt or McLoughlin, now enveloped in his wintry attire, waiting for the warm rays of the sun to allow him to cast off his mantle of white and appear to his children in his summer dress of green. At this writing a low-hanging cloud, balloon shape (less the car), is hovering over and around the peak, deluding the observer into the belief that the Jacksonvillians are about to have a veritable bonanza in the shape of a smoking, burning mountain.
The valley and central figure lies quiet and serene in its beauty, dotted here and there with its many farms and farm houses, barns, etc. The slow-winding Bear Creek, wending its way from the south to meet the more grand and finer body of water, Rogue River. The connection is made under the shadow of the lower table rock; from thence on the beautiful and majestic Rogue River takes its course westward, through canyons, over cataracts and falls, to help swell the mighty and placid Pacific.
In the foreground of the picture, and almost beneath our feet, we view with delight Jacksonville with its churches, Catholic, Methodist and Presbyterian, and many substantial brick structures, the most notable being the Masonic and Odd Fellows' halls, Holt's Hotel and Orth's brick block. A little east of the town proper, on a natural elevation most suitable for the purpose, stands the district school house, with a most efficient corps of teachers, Prof. Merritt, principal. A little south of the district school and fronting on one of the main streets is located the Sisters' school for young ladies; these comprise the educational institutions. All around us we view mountains and hills enclosing one of the most beautiful and lovely spots in Oregon or, we may say, on the Pacific Slope; even at this writing, in March, all is clothed in green verdure. Could a Rubens, a VanDyke or a Kaulbach rise from his silent tomb, with what delightful emotions he would view the landscape before him.
The town of Jacksonville, according to the last census, contains a population of 850 souls. It is well supplied in all branches of mechanical and mercantile pursuits. What we need is a banking institution of some kind to accommodate the growing want of the people of Southern Oregon. The town takes in an area of many hundred miles, commercially speaking, Lake, Josephine and Jackson, and a portion of Siskiyou Co., California, with an estimated population of 15,000 persons, and were we blessed with a bank that would loan its money regardless of persons, providing their security were A-1, isolated as we are, the institution would prove profitable to the owners and an inestimable benefit to Southern Oregon and Northern California. Such an opening for a bank, national or private, does not exist elsewhere in Oregon. Should a competent person inaugurate an enterprise of this kind we believe half the capital necessary could be found in our midst. With the buying of gold dust, percentage on exchange and the amalgamating of the insurance business, life and fire, a permanent and most lucrative business would be the result.
The West Shore, Portland, April 1881, page 88
TO THE BUTTE CREEK COUNTRY.Last Saturday found us carrying out an idea we had for some weeks entertained, namely of visiting a portion of Little Butte and two of its main tributaries. We "got aboard" a cayuse pony and rode down the valley via the Hanley Hill, Central Point, crossed Bear Creek, big desert, Big Sticky to Brownsboro and East or North Fork of Little Butte, arriving at three in the afternoon at the home of Fred Downing, thirty miles from Jacksonville. The ten-mile ride across the dry desert and Big Sticky, with Old Sol all the while unmercifully beating down on our devoted head, reminded us of the country where there is no winter, and where we pray we may not go. As we rode along in the noonday heat we felt as if we were roasting in a bakeoven, and not before we had got clear across the sticky and were within a few rods of the mountain did a current of fresh air strike us and relief was afforded momentarily. Ten miles more in the heat of the afternoon, with the thermometer dancing to the tune of "99 degrees in the shade," brought us to our place of destination, as above stated, near the Hanley stock ranch, and six wiles from the noted McCallister Soda Springs. Owing to our great fatigue (not being accustomed to riding a lazy cayuse), the pressure of time and other previous engagements, we had not the time to go up to McCallister's on this trip.
The newspaper man is constantly after items, whether within his own experience or that of others. On such a trip many objects of interest forced themselves upon our view. Among them is this: The tillable land in the valley is held by too few individuals, and as a consequence is not thoroughly cultivated. No good reason can be assigned for undertaking too much either at farming or at anything else. Eighty acres well tended will produce nearly as much as 160 indifferently cultivated. In many portions of the valley as well as along Butte Creek, the ripened grain was being cut, but it had the appearance as if harvest hands were scarce.
Henry Brown is one of the heaviest land owners on this creek, his fine acres stretching up and down the stream for many miles. He showed us an alfalfa patch where the productiveness of the country and the benefits of irrigation could plainly be seen. Before irrigation that patch produced three tons of hay per year, but since irrigation was applied it produces over a hundred tons a year.
Fred Downing's homestead of 160 acres is splendidly located on East or North Fork of Little Butte. A part of the land consists of a so-called "flat" or tableland, and the part bordering on the creek is to all appearances a level plain, but on a closer inspection the observer will find that the earth here rises quite rapidly. We were surprised when Mr. Downing informed us that the apparent level field before us, according to the Applegate survey, rises fully 96 feet to the mile, and the same ratio of rise is continued through the fields of Mr. Hanley's ranch. As the earth elevates, many magnificent springs burst forth from its bosom. We will mention only the two nearest. Half a mile above Hanley's ranch two contiguous springs of cool, pure water issue in such volumes as would be sufficient to set in motion the best flouring mill in the county. These waters are now partially utilized by irrigating Messrs. Hanley's, Downing's, and Henry Pech's ranches. The higher one ascends toward the snow line of the Cascades the more these springs multiply.
Retracing our steps we next visited Salt Fork of Little Butte, stopping at August Meyer's, a well-to-do German settler. To reach this point, we crossed a large level mountain bench which partakes very much of the nature of a desert, four miles to the north of where we had been. From Mr. Meyer we learn the story of the difficulties that he and his friends had to encounter when they came here. Just nine years ago he and friends settled in these parts. Their means having become exhausted by the extensive journey from the Fatherland to this country, they found themselves on their arrival here penniless--without homes, unable to speak the English--and far away from kindred. They were in need of everything and had nothing to pay with. Under the most trying and discouraging circumstances did they commence farming operations on Butte Creek. But with stout hearts and willing hands, and of firm trust in God, they commenced clearing, plowing, cultivating the land, putting in crops, and working for their English-speaking neighbors, until they had got a start. The persevering toil of these industrious Germans is being rewarded most abundantly. They have outlived poverty and are now able to grapple with adversity, and many of them are already now quite well to do. Their land, being well worked, produces splendidly; and judging from the number of sleek-looking cattle, horses and swine of which they are the owners we think they are on the high road to prosperity. Mr. Meyer took us through his bean, potato, onion and corn fields. He expects to harvest 7,000 pounds of white beans, and many thousand pounds of other garden truck.
Dr. William Miller has been a resident of Salt Fork of Little Butte for upward of thirteen years. He moved there with his family from the state of Iowa, and since his sojourn in the wilds of Southern Oregon has made himself useful in more ways than one. He is very popular among his neighbors, being of a whole-souled, liberal disposition, and possessed of considerable medical skill. His cancer remedy is said to be never failing, and invalids who suffer from this complaint have been known to call on him from great distances and been benefited. Dr. Miller, although in his 75th year, is still as spry as a young man of 40. The activity with which he climbs these mountains, rifle in hand, after game has often caused younger men to wonder at his physical endurance. He is very fond of the hunt. The other day in summing up the number of bears he had shot and killed since he located on Salt Fork, we were not a little surprised to find that their number was 104! He also has slain many panthers, and other wild animals of the forest, but we did not learn how many.
A very fine salt spring near Dr. Miller's ranch has furnished this stream its name. Its waters are so very saline in their character that with very little labor they can be crystallized into salt. The doctor feeds to his stock the loose saturated earth near the spring, and all seem to relish it. We failed to ascertain the exact analytical proportion of salt to every gallon of this water. But we believe with a little effort and a little capital, a salt works could be established here to supply (at least) the home market with that commodity. Dr. Miller also manufactures some excellent cheese which we sampled at friend Meyer's stable. It was first rate, and we were almost tempted to ask for a piece to take home to the editor's landlady. But as we were too modest, we didn't.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, July 30, 1881, page 2
ROGUE RIVER VALLEY.Editor Willamette Farmer:
The principal watercourse of Southern Oregon is the stream, known as Rogue River (or Gold River). The river derives its name from the tribe of Indians which inhabited the valley, formed by the basin through which the river takes its way. These Indians were very mischievous, and hence the name Rogue River. The head of Rogue River is situated in the Cascade Range of mountains under the shadows of Mt. McLoughlin, and adjacent to Crater Lake, one of the wonders of Oregon scenery, from which, some suppose, it derives its origin. It comes tumbling down from its native place through canyons, and over rocky precipices, and on by fertile plains, and finally forces a passage through the Coast Range of mountains, and empties into the Pacific Ocean.
My letter at present shall treat of the Rogue River Valley from an agricultural standpoint. The valley is 40 miles in length by 15 to 20 miles in width, and comprises every variety of agriculture. Wheat is extensively cultivated, and our authority states that the yield of the valley for the present year will be 200,000 bushels, all of which will be ground and find a market in the valley and surrounding mining camps. There are several excellent flouring mills in the valley; one is situated at Jacksonville with two run of burrs and a chopper with a capacity of 120 barrels per day. This mill was built last fall by Messrs. McKenzie and Foudray. The mill is furnished with all the latest and best improved machinery, and is run by steam.
There are three other mills; one at Phoenix and the other at Ashland, also one between Phoenix and Ashland; of the other mills we know but little, not having visited them. There are three towns situated in the valley, the principal of which is Jacksonville. Here an extensive business is carried on in merchandise, etc. Jacksonville is situated to the east [sic] of the valley, nestled in close to the mountains; it was originally a mining town and derived its origin from Rich Gulch, one of the richest placer diggings in Southern Oregon. These mines are now worked out, but in their stead has growth up an agricultural community, which although not so exciting, yet is quite as profitable. Mining and agriculture combined give this section good times most of the year, and money is quite plentifully scattered about. The location is beautiful; to the south dark evergreen, fir-clad mountains rise up and hem in the valley; directly in front, or east, the Cascade Range, with Mount McLoughlin standing sentry to the natural pass formed by Rogue River in its westward course to the ocean; while still further to the right, the Cascades form a circle, and in front of which is Table Rock--a high rock which rises with abrupt and seemingly insurmountable sides, the top of which appears level and uninhabitable. Here, during the Rogue River Indian war, one of the severest battles was fought [it was not], and at one place on the lock, it is claimed, an old squaw leaped over the precipice [she did not], and was dashed to pieces and instantaneous death. The scenery all along is grand; we climb the mountain in ascending the course of the river. All through the valley are nestled quiet and beautiful farm homes, many of which speak of comfort and affluence. At the upper end of the valley is situated Ashland, a beautiful spot, which is made none the less beautiful by the hand of woman and her love for flowers. On every side blossoms profusely growing greet us, and the air is filled with their fragrance. The homes are neat and tastefully adorned. Good school facilities and milling industries make Ashland a busy and quite an important place. There is an excellent school under the management of Prof. L. L. Rogers, with an able corps of assistants. The woolen mills intend recreating their capacities double what they now are, next year.
Wm. J. C. [William J. Clarke]Willamette Farmer, Portland, September 9, 1881, page 1
THE SENIOR EDITOR DESCRIBES A STAGE RIDE,
ATTENDS A PIONEER REUNION, FALLS ILL,
AND HAS A GOOD TIME GENERALLY.
JACKSONVILLE, Or., September 19, 1881TO THE READERS OF THE NEW NORTHWEST:
The inside of the California and Oregon stagecoach was crowded with passengers on the evening of the 12th instant, when your correspondent climbed to the welcome outside seat above the boot and took her place on a lofty perch, bound for an all-night ride in the dust and gloom of an Indian summer night. Beside her, upon the one hand, was the skillful manager of the spanking six-in-hand, who officiates at once as conductor, engineer and brakeman, and upon the other sat Al. Holman, the wide-awake young representative of the Oregonian, likewise bound for Jackson County.
The road from Roseburg to Myrtle Creek is rough and mountainous, grandly picturesque in the gloom of evening, and would of course be doubly so by moonlight. The moon was behind time on this occasion, and a lively controversy as to its probable time of rising occurred between Tobe, the driver, and George [Herron Stevenson], a station hand, who was perched behind us on the coach.
"She'll be up and shining by the time we reach the Myrtle Creek station," said Tobe.
"Bet you a gallon o' soap you won't see her at Myrtle Creek," said George.
"Bet a washboard against your soap."
Nothing more was said for half an hour. Then Al. saw a luminous glow creeping up the horizon's edge, and exclaimed:
"There's your moon!"
Vain delusion. It was only a forest fire.
"Let that washboard be of double zinc, ribbed back, and latest pattern," said George, exultantly.
After another half hour we came to a low indenture in the adjacent mountain chain, and there, sure enough, was Luna, shining serenely in our faces from beneath a cap of shadow that gave her a gibbous shape.
"I'll turn in that gallon of soap on my wash bill," said Tobe.
And so on, alternately, soap was ahead in the sags [low places in the road], and washboards were at a premium in other places, till we reached Myrtle Creek, when the bet was decided a "draw," the moon being neither up nor down because of the undulations of the mountains and the road.
At this point we changed horses for a slower team, and on we went up the South Umpqua Valley, through a region passing beautiful, sometimes encountering narrow grades, and again emerging into little vales, the busy driver upon the right and the tree-clad mountains upon either hand, with here and there a silent farmhouse piercing the drowsy air with its humble roof as it sat asleep by the roadside.
George left us at Myrtle Creek, and Tobe at Levens' station. We had learned to appreciate Tobe, and felt sorry to part with so good a driver. But here was his home station, and our loss was his gain, for he was weary enough with his six hours' struggle with six horses, and it was his time for rest. The new driver proved an interesting oddity. Al. and ourselves theoretically drew straws for choice, and the "soap story" fell to us, else we should like to tell the "horse anecdote," for which see [the] Oregonian.
The night seemed a week in length. The air grew chilly and the miles interminably long. But the gray of the morning came at last, bringing us to the breakfast station and a roaring pitchwood fire. In twenty minutes we were off again, refreshed, but oh! so lazy. The hours rolled on, the sun mounted high in the heavens, the dust thickened and the horses lagged, but by dint of constant whipping they made tolerable time.
The South Umpqua River was left far in the rear, and Rogue River, about its equal in volume, but prettier, if possible, in character, came into sight. Gold fields began to abound, deserted now, and dry. The bosom of Nature has been cut and scarified in a shameful manner in these parched areas, as though a cancer had left its horrible ravages everywhere--ravages that the wounded earth could never heal.
Noon, and Rock Point. "Twenty minutes for dinner." We bolt the meal and bowl ahead. The narrow valley is widening now, and we are nearing Jacksonville. Away to our left, in the hazy distance, the beautiful Umpqua Prairie spreads its ample lap freighted with autumn's richest bounties. It is like Camas Prairie in Idaho, or Spokan Prairie in Washington. It is like Salem Prairie in Marion or the plains of Washington or Linn County. In some respects it is unlike all of these, but in general outlines it is strikingly similar.
Yonder, at the base of an amphitheater of tree-studded hills, diversified here and there by farms and vineyards that creep down to the level edges, sits the historic town of Jacksonville. Everything is quiet, and we descend from our lofty perch and meet Madame Holt at her splendid brick hotel, and she proves the most hospitable of landladies as she conducts her dust-laden guest to a pleasant chamber, where plenty of soap and water soon transform us from a dusty pyramid to a clean but sleepy mortal.
After fifteen hours of uninterrupted slumber, we descend to a breakfast fit for a royal feast. Everybody marvels that Madame Holt can give so much good food for the reasonable charges she makes. Broiled chicken, beefsteaks smothered in butter, steaks and onions, fish, ham and eggs, biscuit, hotcakes, coffee with genuine cream, native wine if you want it, and fruits in abundance, form her breakfast melange, with dinner and supper in proportion. Yet the Madame, who has reared this hotel as a monument to her own industry, has no voice in the disposition of her heavy taxes, while any irresponsible beer-slinger of the protecting sex can vote to tax her property to suit himself.
Thursday was Pioneers' Day. The reunion was to be held at Ashland, and Madame Holt placed an elegant livery team at our disposal, and furnished a driver, also at her own expense; a courtesy for which we are duly grateful, as all other teams were in use, and but for her hospitality we should have missed what proved a most enjoyable day.
The drive of fifteen miles from Jacksonville was accomplished without accident. The insufferable heat of previous days gave way to balmy air and Indian summer sunshine. Upon the right rolled the beautiful foothills, and upon the left lay the expansive valley of the Rogue River, narrowing, after leaving Phoenix, till it came to an abrupt enclosure of picturesque mountain scenery, at whose feet sat the finely located town of Ashland, with all her people arrayed for a holiday.
After a brief rest at the hotel, we accompanied the moving crowd to an alder grove, under whose shade a speaker's stand and band's and choir's platform looked pleasingly down upon a semi-circular succession of temporary seats. Music by the band was followed by a fervent prayer by Rev. Mr. Williams. The choir, under the musical supervision of Miss Ella Scott (a beloved relative and old-time pupil of the undersigned), sang "A Hundred Years Ago" in spirited style. Judge Day, husband of our erewhile Albany friend, Mrs. McGee Day, read appropriate resolutions on the death of B. B. Griffin and Levi Tinkham, and the choir sang "Years of Our Childhood." Judge Huffman, president of the Society, then announced that no regular speaker had been chosen for the day, and as your correspondent had recently arrived in Southern Oregon and was now in the audience, she was respectfully invited to address the pioneers. We were taken off our guard and out of our line, but we did the best we could, our theme taking a wide range, the large audience according it the most respectful attention, and several voices crying "go on," when, at [the] end of the hour's effort, we resumed our seat. The camp fires of the pioneers have died out, but the hearts of the survivors are yet warm, and their hospitality is unchangeable to the last.
The choir sang a concluding chorus, and the crowd formed into companies according to their dates as pioneers, '45 coming first, then '46, and so on to immigrants of '52, and marched to martial music into the depths of an adjoining grove, where a bountiful feast was spread upon snowy tables festooned at the ends by arches of old-fashioned flowers, as appropriate as beautiful. Mr. E. K. Anderson, the marshal of the day, proved a veritable general in his arrangement of the companies, and pioneer women by scores passed tempting viands over the loaded tables, feeding pioneer men and women by hundreds.
After dinner came a genuine old-time reunion and hand-shaking among all the people. Many acquaintances made by ourself two years ago at the Fourth of July celebration at Willow Springs were present. Hosts of new friends were made, and it was indeed pleasant to be there.
After an hour or two of social converse, the crowd returned to the speakers' grove, and after-dinner speeches became the order. Father Beeson spoke first, and though seventy-eight years old, proved himself able to interest the thinking multitude with "bedrock facts" in a speech of great pith and power. Among other things, he said:
It was recorded in history by Confucius, many centuries before the Christian era, and confirmed by Christ in the same positive command, that we should do unto others as we would have them do unto us--unto women as well as unto men--which reminds us of the bedrock fact that woman, being coequal with man in the origin and destiny of the race, her natural right is coequal with his in its government, and that until her influence is as paramount for good in public affairs as it is in a well-ordered family, the nation will continue in a state of dissatisfied unrest, like children bereft of a mother's care. This brings us to the bedrock fact that better men, and methods, cannot be until mothers are provided with better conditions for their production. When this is done, and the best men and women are jointly placed to rule the nation, we may look for the following results:
First--A revision of the Constitution, which the clear instincts of women will see to be necessary.
Second--The adjustment of Indian affairs, for the equal benefit of both races.
Third--The substitution of arbitration for war.
Fourth--The discharge of the army, and a great reduction of taxes.
Fifth--Equal pay for equal work, in all vocations.
Sixth--Fewer and better children, with their increase proportioned to the increased ratio of the production of food.
Seventh--The rule of science, instead of obsolete creeds.
Other measures of equal importance will be adopted in due time as the world advances in intelligence.
In the course of his remarks he referred to "Mrs. Grundy," who, he said, was no doubt in the audience, but he must risk offending her, for he must not tell the truth though the heavens fell.
Ex-Representative Smith, who was on the platform, undertook to correct Mr. Beeson, "You mean Mrs. Duniway!" he exclaimed, with the voice of a Stentor, "That's the lady's name--Duniway!" he repeated, amid roars of laughter.
The good old speaker kindly explained the meaning of the mythical character, and went on with his address.
The next speaker was the distinguished gentleman above named, who related several pioneer incidents connected with the famous Donner party, of which he was a member, his language being original if not elegant.
Mr. E. K. Anderson, who is one of the leading men of Ashland, then spoke for fifteen minutes, and, like Mr. Beeson, made a rousing woman suffrage argument. He was followed by Mr. Kahler and others whose names we did not catch.
We were called upon to make the closing speech, and considerable pleasantry occurred between friend Smith and ourself over his innocent but laughable mistake in regard to "Mrs. Grundy."
The crowd broke up in the jolliest of humors, and we returned to Jacksonville in good spirits, realizing as never before that
"The good time coming is almost here."And now, for several days, we have been idle, owing to a return of the severe indisposition that laid us by at Roseburg. There's no use in talking; forty-seven isn't twenty-five, and all the ambition you can muster will not cause Mother Nature to rebate one jot or tittle of her rigorous demands for occasional relaxation when you are nearing the summit of life's meridian. We are being royally cared for by Madame Holt, and have had no end of hospitable attention from many other friends. We are feeling better now and will soon be able to lecture. The Plymales, Cardwells, Dowells, Beekmans, Kinneys and many others have been specially obliging, and the editors of the Sentinel, Times and Tidings are as courteous and fair toward ourself and mission as any lady could desire.
New Northwest, Portland, September 22, 1881, page 1
IN SOUTHERN OREGON.Jackson County embraces an area of about 2,800 square miles, which is about three times the size of the state of Rhode Island, and in 1880 contained 8116 inhabitants. The county comprises valley and mountain, besides a very large area of very productive lands lying along Rogue River and the streams tributary to it. The arable lands of the county embrace a variety of soil, from the heavy and never-failing adobe land to the rich, warm loam of the river bottom, capable of producing the most delicate fruits. The valley lands of the county are peculiarly adapted to the production of wheat, oats, barley, rye, buckwheat, corn, sorghum, potatoes, and all other esculents.
It has been demonstrated by the experience of many years that the soil of the low foothills is particularly valuable for vine and fruit culture. Lands that only a few years ago were hardly thought fit for pasturage are now purple with the most luscious varieties of grape, and it is thought that vine culture will soon be counted one of the most profitable industries in Southern Oregon. The peaches of Jackson County can hardly be excelled by the most luscious productions of New Jersey and Delaware, and the certainty of immediate railroad connection with Portland and cities of Northern Oregon has determined many of the more thrifty of the Jackson County population to largely increase the acreage of their peach orchards. Plums, prunes, nectarines, pears, apples, quinces and in fact even figs are produced in great abundance with but little care and cultivation. Probably not an acre in twenty is in cultivation, a large amount of land being yet unimproved, and a very large quantity of the whole area being mountainous and valuable only for grazing or dairy purposes, and for its splendid timber with which many of its sections are overgrown.
The Rogue River Valley, although small, being about forty miles in length and twenty in width, is one of the most fertile spots on the Pacific Coast, and a perfect surprise in its loveliness to travelers and tourists who first behold it from the crest of the Siskiyous. Lying in an amphitheater of hills that gradually climb up to the summit of the Cascade and Siskiyou mountains, its whole bosom dotted with comfortable homes and highly cultivated fields, it is a very picture of peaceful beauty, and those who enjoy its balmy climate and fertility should indeed be happy in their possession.
The climate of Jackson County is a pleasant and agreeable mean between the excessive rains of Northern Oregon and the arid and parching winds that sweep up the Sacramento Valley even to the very base of Mount Shasta. Snow rarely falls to the depth of six inches, notwithstanding the fact that the altitude of this beautiful spot is 1,600 feet above sea level, and many winters have been known during which ice was never formed to exceed a quarter of an inch in thickness. Although rains are infrequent during the summer, it is a notable fact that during an occupation of more than twenty-five years, a half crop has never been known in Rogue River Valley, the poor crop being the exception and an overabundance the rule. Owing to the isolation of Rogue River Valley and the lack of a market consequent upon the want of transportation, flour is this day selling at all the mills of Jackson County at $15 per thousand pounds.
The most important towns are Jacksonville and Ashland, the former being the county seat, and the oldest mining camp in the state. Jacksonville is situated on Jackson Creek, at the extreme southwestern corner of the valley. At one time boasting of a population of several thousand, it has now only 839 souls, but who, unlike the ephemeral and changing dwellers who preceded them, are there to stay, and are slowly, year by year, erecting substantial and durable buildings on the site of the uncouth and hastily improved cabins of the early days. Among the handsome buildings of Jacksonville are the Masonic building, the Orth Block, the United States Hotel, and the new Presbyterian Church, the latter edifice being the most beautiful structure of its kind in the whole state, and combining all the beauties of modern church architecture. Its erection is chiefly due to the munificence and liberality of Hon. C. C. Beekman, and it would be an ornament to any city in the state, not excepting the metropolis on the Willamette. There are two other churches in Jacksonville, the Methodist and Catholic, and the latter denomination have a school for young ladies, which has well merited the liberal patronage it enjoys. The former is the pioneer church of Southern Oregon, the denomination to whom it belongs being notably the pioneers who hew the path in order that others may more easily follow. A steam flouring mill has lately been erected in Jacksonville, which has the capacity of all the other mills in the county, besides filling a want experienced for the last twenty years. But the grandest institution in this little mountain town is its free public school, with an attendance of over 200 scholars, under the able supervision of Prof. J. W. Merritt, who, by his power of control is fast eliminating hoodlumism and youthful indolence. The building in Jacksonville the least worthy of mention is the Court House, and the least said about it the better.
Near the upper end of the valley, on the stream of the same name, is Ashland, one of the most beautiful and picturesque places in the whole state, and lying at the very outpost between Oregon and California, its thrift and genuine appearance of comfort must impress strangers visiting Oregon with a vision of the state's grand future that will surely be seen by the present generation. Ashland is remarkable for the taste and beauty of its private residences, surrounded with the rarest flowers and fruit and shade trees of every description, and is built alongside of a large and never-failing stream that comes tumbling down from the everlasting snows of the Siskiyou Range. The water power enjoyed by the people of Ashland has been a most potent factor in their progress, it being used to drive the machinery of a large woolen factory, gristmill, planing mill, and that of numerous other industries. We predict that it will yet be the South Bend of Oregon in good time. The woolen factory, owned by Messrs. Atkinson, Thornton & Co., is one of the most prosperous institutions in the whole state, its fabrics being in such demand that its owners have heretofore found themselves totally unable to fill their orders, and are at present doubling their manufacturing capacity, and will soon be able to keep up with their orders. The public buildings of Ashland are the Masonic and Odd Fellows halls, the Methodist and Presbyterian churches, and the college building, the latter under the management of the M.E. Conference of this state. This institution of learning is worthy of special mention, being ably conducted by Prof. L. L. Rogers, and in no small degree contributes to the material prosperity of Ashland. The people of Ashland point with just pride to the fact that there is not a single saloon in their town, containing 842 inhabitants, it being impossible for a saloon keeper to obtain a license, by reason of an overwhelming public sentiment against the traffic, the people holding the opinion that the tax thereby saved is better applied in beautifying their homes and educating their children,
The mineral resources of Jackson County, although its mines have been continually worked for 29 years, are far from being exhausted, and, indeed, it is only within three years that efficient hydraulic machinery has been introduced. The Sterling mine, owned by Capt. A. P. Ankeny, of Portland, and Mr. Frank Ennis, the latter gentleman being superintendent, is without doubt the most valuable placer mine in Oregon. It was opened several years ago at an outlay of $100,000; although its yield is not definitely known by the public, the property is valued by its fortunate owners at $1,000,000. The mine is situated on Sterling Creek, about eight miles south from Jacksonville, formerly one of the richest mining camps in the county. It is estimated that 50 years will be insufficient to work all the ground owned by the company. Another large hydraulic mine, paying handsomely, is owned by a Chinaman on Applegate Creek; and still another owned by the Squaw Lake Mining Company on the same creek will soon be in working order, and promises handsome dividends. The aggregate yield of gold dust in Jackson County since the discovery of the mines 1852 is estimated by the best authorities at about $30,000,000, and it is said that by the aid of modern appliances and powerful machinery the mines will produce quite as well in the future.
The fine stock of Jackson County is noted throughout the state as well as California, a number of horses having been sold at prices ranging from $1,000 to $3,000. Wool is one of the chief exports, and wine, not inferior to the very best vintage of California, finds its way to the tables of those desiring it at a price not exceeding that of New York cider; and grapes, remarkable for their flavor and excellence, are a drug on the market. The railroad, however, within the next year will tap this, the garden of the state, and an outlet for all its splendid products will enrich its population and inspire them with renewed industry.
Some of the grandest scenery on the Pacific Coast is to be found in the Cascade Mountains, which form the eastern boundary of Jackson [County]. Crater Lake, Annie's Creek Canyon, Rogue River Falls, and the Squaw Lakes, with their floating islands, are among the weird and wonderful spots that have inspired visitors with admiration, and which, when better known and more accessible, will be as much the objective point of tourists as the grandest peaks of the Tyrol. We present to our readers in this issue a number of beautiful sketches and engravings of buildings in Jackson County, the original photographs of which were kindly furnished us by Peter Britt, Esq., an artist of nature and education, and to whom we are under lasting obligations.
There are three papers published in Jackson County; the Oregon Sentinel at Jacksonville, the oldest published in the state except the Oregonian, is Republican in politics; the Democratic Times, also published in Jacksonville, and the Tidings (neutral) published in Ashland. Outside of Multnomah there is not another county in the state which has three such well gotten up and ably edited journals as the abovementioned.
One of Jackson County greatest curiosities is the Great Sunken Lake, situated in the Cascade Mountains, about seventy-five miles northeast from Jacksonville. This lake rivals the famous valley of Sinbad the sailor. It is thought to average 2,000 feet to the water all around. The walls are almost perpendicular, running down to the water and leaving no beach. The depth of the water is unknown, and its surface is smooth and unruffled, as it lies so far below the surface of the mountain that air currents do not affect it. Its length is estimated at twelve or fifteen miles, and its width ten or twelve, and there is a mountain in the center having trees upon it. It is still, silent and mysterious in the bosom of the everlasting hills, like a huge well scooped out by the hands of the giant genii of the mountains in the unknown ages gone by, and around it the primeval forests watch and ward are keeping.
Recently a party while visiting this pit fired a rifle several times into the water at an angle of forty-five degrees, and were able to note several seconds of time from the report of the gun until the ball struck the water. Such a statement seems incredible, but it is vouched for by very reliable persons.
The Jackson County assessor furnished the following regarding the wealth of that county: Acres of land, 229,678; total value, $816,449; average value, $3.55; improved land, 113,000, value, $670,602; average value, $5.93; unimproved land, 116,178; value, $145,847; average value, $1.25; town lots, total value, $55,911; improvements, $273,530; merchandise and implements, $385,564; money, notes, accounts, shares of stock, &c., $550,550; household furniture, carriages, watches, &c., $75,206; No. of horse and mules, 4,841; total value, $163,486; average value, $33.77; No. of cattle, 9,039; total value, $86,820; average value, $9.60; No. of sheep, 31,332; total value, $36,125; average value, $1.15; No. of swine, 9,525; total value, $17,721; average value, $1.65.
Gross value of property, $2,461,362; indebtedness, $594,892; exemptions, $232,619. Total taxable property, $1,633,851. Number of polls, 1,050.
The county's annual productions are as follows: Wheat, 300,000 bushels; oats, 350,000 bushels; barley, 100,000 bushels; rye, 3,000 bushels; corn, 40,000 bushels; potatoes, 60,000 bushels; apples, 100,000 bushels; peaches, 15,000 bushels; peas and plums, 15,000 bushels; hay, 30,000 tons; wool, 250,000 pounds; grapes, 150,000 pounds; butter, 26,000 pounds; cheese, 15,000 pounds; onions, 100,000 pounds; bacon, 400,000 pounds; lard, 80,000 pounds.
The amount of land passed from the government to individuals in the county is about 250,000 acres, and there yet remains in the hands of the government a large amount of land susceptible of profitable cultivation.
No place in Oregon offers so good a chance for rapid increase in value of land as Jackson County. Government land which can be had today almost free of charge, will be worth from $5 to $10 per acre in less than two years from now when the railroads, which are certain to be completed by that time, furnish an outlet for the surplus products of the county.
West Shore, Portland, October 1881, pages 258-259. A column on page 244 of the issue credits Adam Klippel as the author.
THIS WEEK'S CORRESPONDENCE.
THE SENIOR EDITOR IS ENAMORED OF ROGUE RIVER VALLEY, AND
FAIRLY RHAPSODIZES OVER ASHLAND AND PHOENIX--A
GOSSIPY LETTER--EVERYBODY GETS A COMPLIMENT,
AND EVERYTHING A BLESSING.
PHOENIX, Or., October 1, 1881.Among all the beautiful towns we have visited within the past ten years, we have not found one more picturesque than Ashland, nestled as she is under the hills at the head of Rogue River Valley, where she sits like a gem upon the brow of nature, directly under an arching tiara of tree-clad summits that roll away toward heaven and seem to sleep with their vernal crests against the obtruding sky. The houses are mostly new and tastefully built, surrounded by gardens arrayed in gorgeous drapery of flowers, rivaling the sun in their brilliancy of coloring. Never was a town better supplied with running water, and never did the people know better how to utilize it to the best advantage in beautifying lawns and gardens. Housewives swap plants with one another with wholehearted generosity, and each views with the other in the laudable attempt to have the greatest variety and prettiest selection in rival dooryards.
Rogue River Valley looks as if it had sometime rolled itself away from some far-off parental foothill, and, broadening and flattening in its course, had at last met a mountainous obstruction here, with which it contended for a while, and then settled down in billowy undulations, content, after a season of unrest and tossing, to remain within its prescribed boundaries, and henceforth strive to atone in beauty for what it lacked in further dimensions. And yet the valley is not little. It is larger than French Prairie and Washington Plains combined, and equal to the valleys of the Luckiamute, the La Creole and the North Yamhill taken together, with a diversity of climate, soil, productions and scenery quite equal to all of these. The climate is not too wet, nor is it too dry. It is not generally too cold in winter for comfort, and is not very often too hot in summer for endurance. Fruits, grain and vegetables flourish in wonderful luxuriance, and with as little labor to the husbandman as in any other part of the temperate zone.
The proprietors of Ashland saw and appreciated these combined advantages, and did not overlook the fact that Lake County, beyond the mountains, would necessarily pay tribute to her commercial interests if she would provide herself with the commodities of trade. Nor did they fail to see that she must one day in the near future become a terminus for a railway enterprise, such as is now contemplated by surveyors already in the field. And they have built brick stores that would be a credit to large cities, and erected grist mills and woolen factories of ample dimensions, relying upon the unrivaled wheat of the valley and the equally excellent wool of the plains and hillsides for an abundance of raw material that can always be produced in quantities to meet the demand. They have also built a college, which, though yet in its infancy, has formed the nucleus of a seat of learning that may yet outrank a Dartmouth or a Princeton; for the country is new, and its most sanguine friends have scarcely yet imagined its future possibilities. The college is presided over by Professor Rogers, with Mr. Royal, Miss Kate Thornton and Mrs. Rogers as assistants. The comparative number of young ladies in attendance is a matter of surprise, and their superior intelligence is a subject of much congratulation. Any croaker who doubts the expediency of the advent of woman's equality before the law should visit the Ashland college and become acquainted with its lady students.
There are two handsome churches in the town, the Presbyterian and the Methodist. In the former of which it was our good fortune to meet a large and respectful audience on the evening of the 28th ult., to whom we discoursed as best we could upon the gospel of liberty. We were also favored by a choir of well-trained voices, led by Miss Ella Scott. The general appreciation accorded our work by leading men and women will never be forgotten.
Through the courtesy of Mr. J. H. Atkinson, we were conducted through the woolen mills, and were gratified to see the newest and best machinery in rapid motion, turning out the very best qualities of flannels, cassimeres, fancy cloths, blankets, hose, etc. The demand is greater than the supply, although the manufactured goods will amount to a cool hundred thousand dollars' worth this year alone. Messrs. Thornton, Wagner, Anderson and Atkinson, the proprietors of these mills, deserve great credit for their enterprise in building up so large an industry in this great inland center. Quite a number of girls and women find employment here, and we are assured by the gentlemanly superintendent that they make more faithful, steady and capable hands than average men. Another evidence that the enforced kitchen sphere of most women is not a normal one.
The grist mill belonging to Mr. Jacob Wagner is noted for the excellent quality of its breadstuffs, due in part to superior wheat and in part to the mill and the miller, all being first class in their line.
Of the merchants of Ashland, Messrs. McCall and Atkinson are leaders, though there are others who do a thriving business.
The two hotels, one kept by Mr. and Mrs. Houck, and the other by Mrs. Vining, are in a flourishing condition. Mrs. Vining, who formerly lived in Jacksonville, will soon retire from the hotel business and remove to her own private home, as her dutiful son, Mr. J. H. Vining, has reached his majority, and, like the true son of a strong-minded woman, is ready to shoulder the responsibility of supporting the mother who protected him in his infancy and helplessness and reared him to self-dependence and useful manhood. Mr. V. has established himself in an oyster and confectionery saloon, and bids fair to become the Alisky or Hegele of Ashland in his chosen line.
When commercial travelers coming from the south reach Houck's hotel, they usually lie by for a day or two to enjoy something good to eat, and when they return over the same road they take along a hamper of cold victuals to live upon till they pass Marysville and strike another region where hotels are good.
Among the other paying industries of Ashland which we had cause to note specially are the blacksmith shop of the Smith Brothers, the boot and shoe shop of Mr. DePeatt, the drug store of Dr. Chitwood, the livery stable of Mr. Norton, the Linkville stage line of Mr. Phillips, the wagon shop of Mr. Kentner, the meat market of Mr. Harris, the millinery store of the Misses Anderson, and last, but not least, the billiard saloon of Mr. Erb, where anybody can go and play a harmless game without any more danger from the evils of intemperance than they meet in their own parlors.
Who in Portland will follow the example of Mr. Erb and establish a billiard room where there is no intoxicating accompaniment to lure the sons of women to ruin? We pause for a reply.
Ashland is a pronounced temperance town. Lately a saloon has been established here, in the face of general protests of indignation, and several ladies, including Mrs. Root, Mrs. Gillette and Mrs. Russell, made up their minds to raise a subscription and buy it out, and they have succeeded, the erewhile proprietors pledging themselves to never again start a saloon business in the county. The evil is scotched, though not killed, and we fear that the ladies will have a heavy job on their hands if they continue to keep the saloon business bought out, even in Ashland. When they become voters, they will have the power to assist other good and responsible citizens in abating such nuisances, and they will then be able to work as sovereigns, instead of suppliants as now.
We must not forget to mention Professor Willits, the efficient musical director, whose name was inadvertently omitted when writing our last Ashland letter, and whose art has reached a high stage of excellence. Nor should we omit Mr. Klum, the obliging telegraph operator, nor Mr. W. C. Myer, the famous importer and owner of Percheron horses and Jersey cows. Nor would this sketch be complete without a notice of Mr. Leeds, editor and publisher of the Ashland Tidings, a readable and newsy county paper in which the citizens take commendable pride. Mrs. F. A. Sears, formerly of Albany, is now residing here with her family, and we know her former friends will be glad to hear through these columns of her health and prosperity.
Ashland, like very other town of its size, has its social divisions, of which any visitor can hear both sides; but it will grow up out of these differences after a while, and its whole-souled people, if they do not all unite as formerly, will cease to antagonize over different opinions, and then their little animosities over side issues will fade out and be forgotten.
A friendly rivalry between several enterprising house-builders is going on, and the result is noticeable in a number of new mansions now in process of erection, any one of which is sufficiently attractive for the mundane abode of a member of Congress.
Nowhere have we found the people more wide awake than here upon the woman suffrage question, nor have we ever met a larger proportionate number of first-class co-workers in the cause. Its few opponents are so noticeably deficient in intellect and understanding that they excite the commiseration of all the rest. The home of Hon. Lindsay Applegate and wife is here, and the influence of this worthy couple has been noticeably beneficial to the cause of liberty.
Our time was up in the town, though our visit was not half completed, and it was with genuine regret that we took leave of our good hospitable friends, Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Thompson, to whose kindly care we owed our rapidly improving health. Spent the night at the hotel, and were off by 6 a.m. on the stage, bound for Phoenix, where we alighted, after a two hours' ride, and were made genuinely welcome in the spacious home of Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Colver and their amiable son and daughter-in-law. Here in the evening (Thursday) we met a fine audience, and on the morrow went with our good friends into the country, where we all spent the day in the genial company of Mr. and Mrs. Gore, Mrs. VanDyke, Mr. and Mrs. Rose, and their families, and returned at night to meet another large assembly in Colver's hall, to whom we again preached the gospel of equal rights.
Phoenix is a little town in the midst of a big country. It has two stores, one kept by Mr. Sargent, and the other by Mr. J. R. Reames, a blacksmith shop, hotel, drug store, etc., and is a model of intelligence and progress. Its people are, of course, woman suffragists. We regret that Uncle Sam Colver is not at home, but his good wife and family render us every needed aid in carrying forward our mission of liberty. Among the ladies not before mentioned whose acquaintance we have made in this place, who have taken active interest in this place, who have taken active interest in our work, are Mesdames Sargent, Dunlap, Farlow and Robison, Mrs. M. Colver and Mrs. Dr. Devis. With such a corps of assistants, the work cannot fail to prosper, and we shall take the morning stage for Jacksonville encouraged and strengthened for renewed endeavors in the great battle for the right.
New Northwest, Portland, October 6, 1881, page 1
The autumn air was crisp and invigorating as at 8 a.m. on the morning of the 4th inst. your correspondent climbed to the boot on the great lumbering stage, and, bidding her Phoenix friends goodbye, set face once more toward Jacksonville,
Recent frosts had bitten the luxuriant vegetation that everywhere abounded, and successive days of sunshine had colored the dying leaves afar and near with deeper shades of amber, ruby, gold, crimson and scarlet than those that had met our delighted gaze in the Willamette Valley three weeks before. There had been rain enough to conquer the dust, and the face of nature was cleanly washed and rouged and radiant.
The ride of seven miles behind a spirited six-in-hand was a delightful one. Giddings, the driver, was an Ashland man, and as courteous and genteel as other gentlemen in that famous town. Beside us sat a Californian, formerly a resident of this valley, who has lost none of his old-time appreciation of its inspiring scenery, auriferous rocks and productive soil through years of absence. Like the driver, he was a staunch Woman Suffragist, and gave so many cogent reasons for his belief that it was not necessary for us to talk at all. . . .
The following forenoon found us aboard the stage, homeward bound, our traveling companions a couple of commercial travelers and the Rev. Mr. [W. T.] Chapman, of whom we made favorable mention last week, and who, as we afterwards learned, in now Presiding Elder of the Southern Oregon District, and his present mission is holding quarterly meetings. But he moped, and pouted, and pretended to be reading a novel, and wouldn't speak except as we'd compel him by a direct question that he couldn't help answering, conducting himself so moodily withal that it was a genuine relief to everyone when we reached Grant's Pass and dropped him. . . .
The stage did not halt long enough to give the passengers dinner till six p.m. Then we stopped at Leland at the well-kept wayside inn of Mrs. Carll, whose husband is division agent on the route, and who keeps up her half of life's endeavor to make a living in a royal way. We hope her husband, whom we did not meet, believes in equal rights.
Oh, how long the hours were after dinner, and how the miles did stretch away toward infinitude! The jolting grew intolerable. A couple of drummers had the outside seat, and neither would exchange to give us a little rest. Nine o'clock, and Levens' station. Here we stopped over for twenty-four hours, from sheer inability to go further. A racking headache banished sleep, and bruised bones banished rest. The next day was spent in dreamy solitude beside a generous fire. . . .
Nine p.m., and stage time again. We are not able to ride, but must hurry on. The obliging landlord attempts to secure us the outside seat; but it is doggedly held by two voters, neither of whom will give way, although we politely assure them that if they were sick and we well, we'd gladly do anything in our power for their comfort. They do not even grunt a4 reply, and we climb inside, cheered by the courageous remark of the landlord, who exclaims, indignantly, "You can't help it, madam, if some men are born hogs, with bristles on their backs." . . .
Midnight, and Canyonville. There is a sick woman in the stage, and we forget our own weariness in the futile endeavor to make her comfortable. The preacher leaves the stage at this place, and we two are alone till daybreak.
Now we approach Roseburg. The full-orbed moon, that has proudly rode the arching heavens through the entire night, grew deathly pale, and the morning star glides proudly up the blue horizon and hangs like an electric lamp above the undulating hills. The driver cracks his whip with a grand flourish, the jaded horses quicken their pace, the voters on the outside seat shiver with the cold, and with a combined rattle, crash and rumble, we dash up to the post office and alight at the terminus. Thank Heaven!
Roseburg is taking its morning nap, all heedless of the resplendent glories of exultant nature that abound on every hand. We shiver for hall an hour beside the bar-room stove, and creep away to bed just as the sun gets up and stirs abroad in his trappings of gold upon his chariot of fire.
We sleep for three hours, and then descend to breakfast, after which the remaining day is spent with Mrs. Owens in visiting at her pleasant home. . . .
Abigail Scott Duniway, "Southern Oregon," New Northwest, Portland, October 13, 1881, page 1
THE WEST SHORE.--The last issue of this publication contains an excellent article on Southern Oregon from the pen of Adam Klippel, late editor of this paper, besides a number of illustrations of our most prominent buildings. Among the latter we notice pictures of the new Presbyterian Church, Masonic Temple, Orth's brick, the woolen mills at Ashland, besides views of Castle Rock, on the O.&C. stage route, Rogue River Falls and Annie's Creek Canyon. The West Shore is a good publication and should be in every household. Subscription price, $2 per year.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, November 5, 1881, page 3
Arriving at Roseburg, the present terminus of the O.&C.R.R., our immigrant will find a busy town nestled among the undulating foothills that border the Umpqua River Valley, where he may mount the box of a Concord coach belonging to the Oregon and California Stage Company, and after proceeding southward for a hundred miles through narrow, well-watered valleys bordered by picturesque forest-covered mountain ranges, he will find himself in the broad and beautiful
VALLEY OF ROGUE RIVER,above the rain belt of the Willamette region, in a paradise of the coming railroad era, but now and hitherto so isolated from the world's great thoroughfares as to be comparatively unknown and unappreciated, except for its gold fields, which have from time to time produced enormous yields, and, as the country grows older, are doubtless destined to prove of greater and more permanent value than ever.
A branch stage line will pick us up at Ashland, another busy inland town of a few hundred inhabitants and amazing prosperity, and from here we may cross a spur of the Cascade mountain range and pay a visit to the great grazing uplands of Lake
Abigail Scott Duniway, "The Pacific Northwest," The New Northwest, Portland, December 22, 1881, page 4