FARMING IN OREGON
SOUTHERN SECTION OF THE STATE
Farmers' Institute at Medford--Representative Miller's Address--
Advantages to the Farms of Improved Stock.
MEDFORD, Or., Feb. 1.--TO THE EDITOR.--Southern Oregon was all sunshine during the past month, and the light frosts of early morning were followed by clear, beautiful days that greatly favored the efforts of the gentlemen connected with the agricultural college to make a pleasant and successful occasion of the institute recently held in this city. Professor Washburn asserts that this has been the most successful effort of the kind ever held in Oregon. Well-known gentlemen came from all parts of this county. Ashland, Jacksonville, Central Point and Grants Pass sent B. F. Meyer, Judge Prim, Charley Nickell, Henry Klippel, R. A. Miller, Mr. Carson and others, and many practical farmers, stockmen and fruit-growers were present.
Climate here shows a golden mean between the northern valleys of Oregon and that of California. There is not here the excessive rain that is depressing in Willamette winters, nor the excessive heat of California summers. In production, also, it has a convenient position between semi-tropical production, on the one hand, and the growths of the temperate zones at the north. In many respects it has the most satisfactory conditions possible, and realizes an ideal temperature and conditions both in winter and summer. Remoteness will be overcome by all these advantages in course of time, and this section will rank in productiveness and availability as to resources and production with any known regions of earth.
This county and Josephine can feel proud of having very intelligent men now engaged in fruit-growing and faithfully working to develop all branches of that important industry in this region. Of late years J. D. Whitman and J. H. Stewart have made a success of growing fruit in the immediate vicinity of Medford, on rich prairie lands close by here. These two gentlemen have done much to establish and advance fruit production in Southern Oregon, and deserve to be respected for their enterprise, as well as for the intelligent manner in which they conduct their operations.
Mr. Carson, of Applegate, near to Grants Pass, is another gentleman of culture who has left the law to devote himself to production of fruits, and brings to bear on this field a well-stored mind that investigates thoroughly as the work proceeds. Mr. Parker divides his time between his farm in this valley and his law office in Jacksonville, and makes a specialty of rearing swine of the best breeds. Mr. [W. Cortez] Myer, of Ashland, is well known for his Percheron horses and Jersey cattle, and has had an eminence for many years on horse breeding in our state.
While Jackson and Josephine have resources that must in time be developed, I am surprised to see how little has been accomplished in comparison with what is possible. No doubt newcomers hesitate to come this distance from market, and remoteness still applies in some degree to Southern Oregon, though railroad facilities have brought it into much nearer relations than were possessed a few years ago.
The branch railroad running between Jacksonville and Medford is a great accommodation and practically gives identity to the two places and a common interest favorable to both. It is not easy to set a limit to the productive area of this valley, for the greater portion is yet undeveloped, but the foothills capable of producing excellently are very extensive, and the rich gravelly loam of the valley land in many places is unexcelled. As yet the production of fruit is but in its infancy, and the development and experience of the fruitgrower of today will redound to the advantage of newcomers and new beginners for all coming time.
Jacksonville, despite its isolation and indirectness, is a pleasant and attractive place, built partly on the foothills and watered by the creek whose placer mines, yielding millions of rich treasure, once astonished the world, and assured its old-time prosperity. The hills nearby have grown the Miller orchard, and can produce grapes in excellence and with certainty. It is surprising that no more development of the kind is attempted. Apples and pears are a specialty on the prairies near Medford, also peaches and prunes are grown here. Peaches seem to have been a specialty at Ashland. The future must see a really great area of soil hereabouts in successful cultivation for fruit production, for it can be rolled on to produce fruits of size, excellence and flavor unsurpassed.
Medford is evidently prosperous and the seat of a good trade. Its opera house is a comfortable hall where public meetings can be agreeably held. People generally turned out to attend the institute and make its meetings interesting.
The institute opened with an address from J. D. Whitman, on "The Advantages of Improved Stock to Farmers."
In his address of welcome the chairman alluded to Medford as a town of eight years' growth; its buildings are substantial; it has a sash and door factory and other industrial concerns; a pork packing and meat canning establishment doing good work, as well as a distillery that he intimated worked for foreign consumption. Medford has good public schools, well officered, and seems really prosperous and likely to prosper in the future.
Professor Shaw, on part of the agricultural college, showed its purposes and workings, as well as its relations to the farming interests of our state, and wish to advance their best efforts.
The institute was held, he said, to consult with practical farmers of this region, and drop any ideas they may have that can be of use, as well as learn more of the country.
Mrs. Susan West read an excellent paper on farm life, the room for development, comparison between old times and new, the monotony of life and overwork that drives the boys from the farm. She told of two homes recently established near Medford by strangers. Times look gloomy to the old-timer, but these newcomers redeemed the condemned soil, planted and cared for it until it became covered with richly bearing trees, while their homes displayed works of art and valuable books.
Professor Narregan, principal of the public schools, read a good paper on "The Value of Industrial Education."
Discussion of subjects offered occasionally involved gentlemen who made such topics interesting outside the regular programme.
"Silos and Ensilage" was the subject of practical illustration by Professor French. The subject seemed new to farmers here. It was received with close attention. It is full time that Oregon farmers generally made use of this manner of feeding green fodder to make it available all the year round.
"Overproduction of Fruit" was the subject discussed by J. H. Stewart, one of the progressive fruit-growers of this region, who boasts that he receives $1 a box for apples this year, and the purchaser furnishes the boxes. Mr. Stewart argues that fruit must be a drug and the world will have no use for it, therefore men should be slow to plant more trees. The audience hardly gave Mr. Stewart credit for disinterestedness or sincerity, as he does not follow his own counsel, but plants trees continually. I heard one gentleman quote the old proverb, "Actions speak louder than words," at his expense. It is well enough to discuss all sides of this question, but not so well for old fruit men to try to discourage new beginners. It is true enough that fruitgrowing will be as conspicuous for failures as for success, but that will usually be due to neglect and want of care, and thorough care and cultivation, not because the world has no use for our products.
In this connection Rev. Mr. Edmunds, of Medford, remarked that Senator Parker, of California, went to England and Europe not long ago and found that the superiority of California fruits was appreciated there, and a market for them could be depended on any time when a surplus existed for export. Mr. Edmunds added a tribute--very emphatic, too--of the excellence and superiority of Oregon fruits as compared with the products of California, his former home.
Professor Washburn made a very interesting talk about insects beneficial to farming, because they live on and destroy pests. This is an interesting and important matter, and fruit-growers should be educated to know and respect this class of insect life.
Hon. H. B. Miller, of Grants Pass, must have astonished any old fogeys who may have been present by his opinions concerning the needs of education by agriculturists. He proposed education as the remedy for all their ills and the sovereign panacea to secure their rights and remedy their wrongs and ensure farmers their proper place in the nation. Mr. Miller is a forcible and graceful speaker, and is especially happy in the use of language. He showed that while all other classes are represented by the greatest human intellect to secure their position, the farmer alone has permitted, in the past, his cause to be neglected and unrepresented, while by all ordinary reasoning he should be the most powerful in respect to political, social and educational measures, because he represents the greatest and most important interest known as producer of the staples of life. Complaint is made of monopoly, of middlemen, of financial stringency and class legislation and a remedy is demanded, but the only efficient remedy will be to educate the farmer. The professional men and merchants are educated to their respective positions and so prepared to ensure their success. The farmer alone, who needs as much as any to be thoroughly educated and trained for his work, follows obsolete precedent and tradition, lagging behind those of his own class who by education are able to comprehend cause and effect and so realize success. There is no more interesting and important study than soil and climate and conditions afford. Educate the farmers of the world and they will rule the world fairly and impartially and prevent the many abuses that now exist and ensure their own prosperity while they also ensure that of the whole people.
In days of Roman greatness agriculture was the study of wise men, and of the greatest as well. Small farms and educated industry were the cause of Roman prosperity, and when war and conquest became the object of Roman ambition, agriculture was relegated to slaves and the decline of the Roman empire began.
You may say all the trades should also be educated, but these are only industrial features, and every trade demands an apprenticeship that is an education. Whereas agriculture is the basis of all prosperity and excellent [sic]. The mechanic requires skill by system and organized discipline that does not exist in the cause of the farmer. Farmers' homes should, if refined and cultured, affect and improve the whole world. Give farmers the power they should claim and exercise and they will revolutionize and reform the conditions of the world's civilization. The coming of that day depends on your will, your wisdom and your acts.
The gentlemen of the college--Professors Shaw, Washburn, Coste and French--express themselves as greatly pleased with the interest taken and assert that the institute held now at Medford has been the most successful and satisfactory of all yet held in our state.
S. A. CLARKE.Oregonian, Portland, February 12, 1892, page 9
Letter from Oregon.To the Editors of The Enterprise:
MEDFORD, Oregon, February 9, 1892.--We see you asked for some one of the many readers of your paper to write something, therefore we will say we are making garden here; some have had their gardens planted for two weeks past. Have any of the Minnesotans made garden this spring yet? No, I guess they will have to wait till the snow disappears first. I notice that you have had some very cold weather there. I will say the coldest it has been here is 2 degrees below freezing. I see I. E. Starks thinks there is no place like Alden, Minn. Very well; it will do for all who want to face the winds and blinding snow, but we Alden people who did not care to live longer there find ourselves in a warmer climate, where the roses will bloom all the year round. A. A. Davis, who is in the milling business here, owns as fine a mill as there is on the coast; says he is satisfied to stay here where we have one of the finest climates in Southern Oregon. We are only 25 miles from the California line and we have all taken a trip over the great Siskiyou Mountains, which is one of the most interesting portions of the trip between Portland and San Francisco, from the base to the summit of the range, a distance of twelve miles, the train rises a distance of 1,900 feet. This is on the Oregon side. On the southern slope the grade is not as steep. This is considered a heavy grade for a steam railroad. Just on the California side are the great health-giving mineral springs, and the train stops so all passengers may drink of the sparkling water, which surpasses the great Saratoga Springs in New York. The water is very pleasant to drink. Respectfully,
MR. AND MRS. EDWIN BROWN.Albert Lea Enterprise, Albert Lea, Minnesota, February 18, 1892, page 1
A Description of Our Beautiful Little City--Its Resources and Surroundings.
A volume descriptive of the state of Oregon is to be published by the state board of agriculture, to be distributed abroad and at the world's fair. The following description of Ashland has been prepared for the volume by C. B. Watson, Esq., of this place, at the request of the Ashland Board of Trade. (The weather tables are omitted because copy could not be obtained in time for this issue.)
It has been conceded by all who are most familiar with the Pacific Coast countries that Rogue River Valley, in climate, scenic beauty and the variety of its productions excels all others. Much has been written and said about it, and among homeseekers, tourists, travelers and those who are interested in reading descriptive literature there are very few who have not learned something of its attractions.
This valley is about fifty miles in length, irregular in shape, and in width varying from two to twenty-five miles, its general direction being from the southeast to northwest, its numerous streams falling into Rogue River, which courses through the northern part of the valley and takes its direction to the west, emptying into the ocean about thirty miles south of Cape Blanco. The southern extremity of the valley reaches a point in the Siskiyou Mountains about eight miles north of the California line. It is bounded on the north by the Rogue River mountains, east by the Cascades, south by the Siskiyous and west by the Applegate mountains, being thus entirely surrounded by rugged ranges of great height, many of the summits reaching into the altitudes of perpetual snow, from which hundreds of beautiful streams take their rise, and, coursing through the valley, ensure it that magnificent abundance of the purest water which is a never-failing guarantee of the excellent crops for which this valley has ever been noticed. The table made up from the weather reports, and accompanying this article, speaks more eloquently for the climate of this favored section than all else that might be said about it. Situated between the 42nd and 43rd degrees of north latitude, it has all the advantages of the north temperate zone, and is wonderfully favored by its location and surroundings. Reference to the table above mentioned will show that this valley has neither the humidity so objectionable to many further north, nor the extreme heat or droughts so prevalent further south. The climate cannot be classed as either hot or cold, wet or dry, but is a happy medium, in which not only animated nature but vegetable life as well seems to find the happiest conditions for a healthy and vigorous growth. Hence the character of its stock and animal products, fruits and vegetables, the cereals and the products made from them is becoming so well and favorably known in the markets of the country, even to the Atlantic Seaboard, that the label "Rogue River Valley" or "Southern Oregon" is a certificate of excellence.
Ashland is situated near the southern end, or head, of the valley, on the line of the Southern Pacific R.R. 430 miles north from San Francisco and 343 miles south from Portland in Oregon, and is the end of the second division south from Portland, and of the second north from San Francisco, and is therefore the central division station of the only line of railroad between the two largest cities on the Pacific Coast. It has a population of 2500 and boasts of many attractions and advantages. It is situated at the foot of the Siskiyou Mountains, which rise to the southward in majesty and grandeur to a height of eight thousand feet within ten miles, where snow may be found the whole year, and from which comes rushing and leaping and sparkling like "glad tidings of great joy" one of those beautiful mountain streams, the like of which poets and bards have delighted to describe and sing about from the earliest ages. This stream runs directly through this "little city of the vale," furnishing an abundance of water power and a supply for all purposes of the purest water in the world, fresh from the snows and the sparkling springs almost ice-cold in mid-summer. The people of Ashland know how to appreciate this great blessing, and have constructed a splendid system of water works at a cost of $57,000 for domestic use and all purposes, from which at more nominal figures every household, garden, shop or other place requiring it may draw to the heart's content. Ashland has justly acquired some fame for its facilities as a manufacturing site. It has an "Electric Light and Power Co.," which not only gives a splendid service in lighting the city, but is busily engaged in constructing electric light plants for cities and towns of both Oregon and California. It has two sash, door & blind factories, one large flouring mill, a woolen factory and other establishments where machinery is operated, and Ashland Creek furnishes all the power--not a stationary engine is to be found in the city. It has many beautiful residences, nearly all of which are ornamented with lawns and flower gardens, fruit trees and shrubbery, kept in excellent taste and trim, the admiration of all visitors--another of the blessings that flow from Ashland Creek, the pride of the mountains and joy of the valley and the town.
All classes of mercantile houses carrying stock suited to the varying pursuits of the people and surrounding country are made attractive and prosperous by careful management and the airs are rather [more] metropolitan than those of a little city of only 2500 people. There are many elegant business and public buildings, among which may be particularly mentioned the Hotel Oregon, a structure of much elegance, three stories high, of an attractive style of modern architecture, complete in all its parts, constructed and furnished at a cost of $30,000--a source of constant pride to the people. It is built of brick, highly finished inside and out, and is the favorite hostelry for all traveling men between San Francisco and the north. There are two other excellent hotels; one known as the Depot Hotel, which belongs to the R.R. Co. and is kept and run in first-class style, and the Ashland House, the pioneer hotel of the city, also a substantial brick, well appointed, and where the service and accommodations are excellent. There are three other hotels and a restaurant of more modest pretensions. The Ganiard Opera House is one of the attractions--a three-story brick, which is of elegant appearance. The Bank of Ashland, one of the business standbys of the city, occupies a neat two-story brick. The Masonic and Odd Fellows' halls are also elegant two-story brick structures. McCall's Block, Johnson's Block, the Thompson and Billings blocks and Crocker's Block, all substantial structures of brick, and the city hall, a new building of brick, two stories high, well built and occupied by the various city officers, fire department, city jail, etc., are among the principal buildings. The various places of worship noticeable to strangers are the M.E. Church, the Presbyterian Church, Baptist, Congregational and Catholic church buildings. the S.P.R.R. Co.'s depot building is one of the largest and handsomest railroad buildings in the state. Trains stop here thirty minutes for meals going either north or south.
Among the institutions of Ashland of which its people are justly proud are its public schools, which, under the management of Prof. P. A. Getz for the past three years, have taken rank among the best public schools on the coast. The schools occupy three buildings, one at the north end of the city, another at the south, while a third is centrally located, thus affording convenient accommodations for the pupils in the several grades. These buildings are suitably furnished for approved modern school work, there being in the rooms for the primary grade tables for convenience in concrete work in number, and elementary work in "form and color." These are also provided with charts, ample blackboard surfaces and various other appliances for the work of this grade. Other grades have tables for sand modeling as well as charts, dictionaries, maps and globes appropriate to the age of the pupil and the character of their work. The high school has an ample supply of chemical and physical apparatus for classes in these sciences. The schools are organized into primary, secondary, grammar and high school departments. There are eight years' work (known here, for convenience of designating them, as 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc. grades) below the high schools, which affords a three years' course of an English scientific character. The methods of instruction and general conduct of the schools are under the supervision of a principal who has associated with him nine other teachers, all but one of whom hold the highest grade of Oregon state certificates. These pursue a study of the best methods of education, and, for that purpose, hold biweekly meetings known as local teachers' meetings. That these meetings contribute to the success of the school work is known from the satisfactory progress made by the six hundred pupils in attendance.
The country in the vicinity of Ashland is especially adapted to the raising of fruit, particularly peaches, prunes, plums, apricots, apples and pears, blackberries, cherries, raspberries, strawberries, etc.; and the cultivation of these fruits has become the chief occupation. There are now in the immediate vicinity of the city hundreds of acres of bearing peach orchards alone, while each year sees a large acreage of wild lands reduced to the cultivation of fruits--peaches predominating. There is no country in America that in quality and flavor of the peach, the productive power of the soil and the adaptability of the climate for that fruit can equal the country about Ashland. It is essentially the queen of the fruit sections of the West, and its markets are the markets of the world. Even Australia and Europe are learning the excellence of Southern Oregon fruit (apples and pears), and many of the states and territories of our own country call for shipments of Ashland peaches during the fruit season. In this industry, again, the people of this favored locality are made the debtors of the surrounding mountains for the abundant supply of pure water that never fails them. Irrigation, however, is seldom resorted to, the soil and climate rendering it unnecessary in the matter of fruit. The great variety of other crops successfully raised render an enumeration of them out of the question in an article of this character. Suffice it to say that few countries in the world can excel this section in quality and quantity of a great variety of vegetables and garden stuff, as well as the standard cereals.
Another feature that must not go unnoticed is the mining interest. Since the earliest settlement of the coast, the rich placer gold fields of Southern Oregon have been particularly noted. It has been, however, reserved to the more recent operation of prospectors to startle the people by new discoveries of rich mineral-bearing quartz, and what for years has been only speculation is now a certainty by the recent development of the rich Patton ledge, which a few months ago was purchased a company of Portland capitalists who have been carrying on their work of development night and day as fast as men and money could do it, and now are more than satisfied with the result both in gold and silver. This mine is less than three miles from Ashland, and the work of developing no less than six other quartz mines in the vicinity is now rapidly progressing, one of which is within the city limits. All of these ledges are affording such prospects that the newly awakened interest in mining reminds the old miner of the days of '49. The mineral wealth of this section is not confined alone to gold and silver, but copper, iron, tin, lead, asbestos, cinnabar, coal, platinum, kaolin and other valuable deposits of minerals and metals are found. There has never been so much interest evinced in the direction of prospecting and mining as now. A coal mine is at the present time being opened within four miles of Ashland and with very flattering prospects.
In building materials, few countries can show better granite or sandstone. A large sandstone quarry has been operated six miles south of Ashland on the line of the S.P.R.R. for the past two years, which stone has been shipped to Portland and may there be seen in the construction of some of the finest buildings in that remarkable city of wealth and enterprise. The Siskiyou Mountains are wonderfully rich in granite, and within ten miles of Ashland can be found granite building material to supply the world for centuries, while the wealth of the forests that cover these same mountains in sugar pine, yellow pine, fir and cedar can scarcely be estimated. These forests have as yet been practically untouched, though at the present time capitalists who have grown rich in the now-exhausted forests of Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan are rapidly acquiring titles to timber lands and seeking eligible sites for sawmills. By these people more than 100,000 acres of the finest timber land in the world, within fifty miles of Ashland, have been bought, and mills to cut it are being constructed. It would be impossible in the space allotted to this article even to glance at all that might be truthfully told in regard to the undeveloped riches of this section. A glance at the many attractions for tourists and sightseers cannot be thought of; hunting and fishing alone would fill a book. Our Crater Lake, seventy miles from Ashland--from which it is most accessible--is one of the wonders of the world, has been much written about, and has been set apart by Congress as a national park. To describe Crater Lake alone would require double the space allotted to this article.
The "Ashland park," the nearest point of which is only three miles from Ashland, which has been temporarily withdrawn by order of the President of the U.S. with a view of setting it aside as a park for the protection of the forests, the water, etc., has a road running to its very center, and has already become a place of resort for the people of this city and valley, where they can saunter, or fish, or hunt or lounge about in the shade by the beautiful streams in midsummer, read their daily paper only a few hours from the press, and sympathize with their sun-stricken brethren east of the Rockies.
Truly, this is God's country, and, like the "groves of Daphne," its charms are such that he who once tastes the sweets of this retreat seldom leaves but to come again.
Another feature not to be left unnoticed is the wonderful variety and virtue of the mineral springs in this immediate vicinity, where, bubbling from the mountainside, may be found the sweetest and the bitterest waters ever mixed in the bowels of the earth. Within ten miles of this little city are soda springs producing thousands of gallons of water daily as sparkling and palatable as Apollonaris or Wabashaw, one of which has been furnished with a bottling establishment, and "the trade" is not unacquainted with the Siskiyou mineral water. There are within fifteen miles of Ashland three soda springs fitted up as places of resort, and one gas spring which is held in perfect reverence and sanctity by the aborigines, and has been for time immemorial for its wonderful curative properties for rheumatism and catarrh. These curative properties are well known here and are not doubted. Gen. J. C. Tolman has purchased these springs and within the past year has expended several thousand dollars in erecting buildings, baths and making arrangements for the proper treatment of patients. White sulfur springs, with baths not inferior to those of Arkansas, are found within the city limits of Ashland and are patronized by thousands of people yearly, many of whom seek Ashland as a health resort, and a place to recruit wasted strength, to recover from sickness or to spend a few weeks and often months in recreation and pleasure.
Ashland Tidings, April 29, 1892, page 1
Glendale, Ore.--This is only a little place. Here we put on a double header, and climb the divide. We see a nice valley off to the west but to the east is mountains and timber. Looking down the side of the mountain, we see another railroad but after we run a short distance we come on the same track and are going back north, then we make another turn and cross Wolf Creek on very high trestle work. Here is a very dense forest and some good timber. Still climbing, and the clouds being very low we pass some rugged mountains and pass through a tunnel of some length and come out on the south side of the mountain and can see down a long way to the west, and the valley is covered with a dense fog and it looks as if we are above the clouds, for we are above the fog and are going down grade at lightning speed. We can look back and see where we have come over or rather through the mountain, and it looks like it is not possible. We get a little lower and we run into the fog and it is almost as dense as a cloud, and we can see no distance.
Grants Pass--There is some little town here but it is too foggy for us to see. As we get lower the fog clears up and we see some valleys and some farming. We are coming down to the Rogue River Valley, which is a fine valley. We pass Gold Hill and Central Point, both small towns, and soon reach Medford, Ore., where I stopped to see an aunt I have not seen since 1859. She was an early settler of Williamsport, or at least the town is a part of their old farm. She left here about 1840. W. F. EVANS.
"Tourist's Letter," Warren Review, Williamsport, Indiana, June 23, 1892, page 12
TOURIST'S LETTER.EDS. REVIEW:--With your permission I will continue the brief sketches of my trip in the West. My last letter brought us to Medford, Oregon, on the fourth of October, 1891. This is a small town, but has some good business men in it. It is a new town, having been built since the great railroad system was, that connects the north and south coast of California, Oregon and Washington. It is in the Rogue River Valley. This is a fine valley and is a large body of good land. We get a conveyance and drive five miles, to where my aunt lives, and to my surprise she knew me, although I had not seen her for 32 years. She is a very old lady, and was one of the early settlers of Warren County, Ind., having settled just west of the Alvin High property in Williamsport at an early day; moving from there to Illinois, thence to Iowa, California, and thence to Oregon. Here, I spent several days, and enjoyed a fine visit. This is a fair country and has some freaks of nature. This valley, like all the valleys, is surrounded by high mountains. A part of the valley is called "Sticky," from the fact that it is composed of a very black soil, and when wet can stick worse than any of the prairie mud, and when dry will crack open until you can frequently see four feet down. This sticky soil will produce almost any crop without irrigation, raising fine wheat, oats, corn, and fruits of all kinds. Now a sketch of the farming, I think, will be interesting. In this valley wild oats grow naturally and is one of the worst kinds of pests. It looks like our oats, except that the grain is small and similar to a grain of cheat, being dry and hard. Now, when they sow wheat, they plow the ground as soon as winter rains set in, and in February sow the wheat and have a very fair crop, sometimes making 30 to 40 bushels per acre. Then they harrow down the stubble and let it go and the next harvest will cut a half a crop of wheat and the other half will be wild oats that have come up of its own accord, and they will feed this out as we would hay or corn, and it makes good feed for horses or cattle, or any kind of stock. After taking this crop, they will let it go, and the next crop will lie nearly all wild oats, which they cut for hay and it makes fair feed. When they have a crop of corn, it will make from 20 to 30 bushels per acre, and after the corn is laid by it will come up thick with wild oats, and if they get a shower or two the oats will come up four feet high and thick. When the corn is cribbed, this will make pasture for stock all winter. Farmers say they cannot get rid of the wild oats. They will lay in the ground a long time and grow. No doubt but that it is hard to get rid of. Now, you will find another kind of soil in this valley, called free soil. This is a mixture of the black soil and sand, so it will not stick. This will produce without irrigation, if the season is not too dry. Then there is what is called desert land. This is so sandy that it will not produce without irrigation. The winter is very light and the summer is not so extremely hot, and it seems to me that I could live in this part of the country. The valleys have no timber, but back in the mountains the timber is fair, and some game is to be found. Some deer and bear are to be found. I saw one bear but as I had lost no bears, I let it go on its own course. The timber consists of oak, pine and some ash, but no hickory, walnut or hazel or any of the nut-bearing timber. For the benefit of your little folks that read the REVIEW, I will describe a school I had the pleasure of visiting on the last day of the term. The school house was built of pine logs hewed upon two sides and notched down so that the cracks were not large, the pine logs being very straight, but the cracks were not daubed with mortar as our school houses used to be, when I first went to school in old Warren County. It was covered with what they call shakes, or as we would say clapboards, made of the sugar pine. The house stood upon the foot of the mountain, and not a house could be seen from the school house. But I must say that the pupils were far ahead of the school house, for they were well advanced in their studies. Jacksonville is the county seat of Jackson County. This is a very old town and was a mining town in its younger days, but the mining is about played out. The mines are not so rich and the water is very scarce. Old miners say that the streams, that head far up the mountains, do not furnish the amount of late they did in former years. The mines here were run by what is known as hydraulic mining. That is to convey a stream along the side of the mountain to where you wanted to mine. The stream should be 200 feet above the mine. Then convey the water down through pipes, and with 200 feet fall, you can cut down the side of the mountain very fast. The water and debris is conveyed away through a trough or sluiceway, and the gold is retained by nailing slats along the bottom of the sluiceway. After running for some days, the water is shut off, and the sluiceway is cleaned up. Take a 10-inch pipe and a 4-inch nozzle, and a miner can cut away the dirt and rock much faster than one would suppose it could be done. In this country is the "table rock" that we have read so much about. It is on the Rogue River and it is a very high rock, level on the top and contains several acres. From this rock one has a fine view of the Rogue River Valley. Ask some of the old settlers if they had any part in the Rogue River War. He will smoke for a few minutes, as if in a deep study, then point to the northern end of the valley, to the table lands or rocks, and will tell you that it is about half a mile wide with perpendicular walls dropping down for hundreds of feet to the river. "That thare's Table Rock." And he will tell you how he and old Joe Lane fit the Injuns from there to North Umpqua and clear down the Siskiyou Mountains. During this war a number of savages were surprised by Uncle Sam's boys on this table rock, and were driven over the bluffs to an instant death. [Not true.] W.F E.
Warren Review, Williamsport, Indiana, July 7, 1892, page 12
TOURIST'S LETTER.MEDFORD, Jackson Co., Ore., Oct. 12, 1891.--After having a short and very pleasant visit, I turn, as I call it, toward home, the rest of my company having passed me a few days ago. I take the train at Medford, and go south, passing some fine ranches in the valley and some of the largest fruit orchards and vineyards in the state, for this is a great valley for fruit. The first town is Ashland. It is a new place and has some life about it. The valley is narrow here. I will say that here in the West the valleys are all the good land they have, and the mountains contain about two-thirds of the surface of the country, and counting that the mountains are standing on their edge, and two sides are to be included in the surface of the country, then you will not have near two-thirds for cultivation. As soon as we leave Ashland, we begin to leave the Rogue River Valley and ascend the Siskiyou Range of mountains. This is a very high range and the summit is the line between Oregon and California. We have on two engines, termed here the "doubleheader," and are ascending very fast, sometimes at the rate of 174 feet to the mile, and winding around until the sun shines on all sides of the car. It is a nice clear day and the view is grand. With the mind excited and almost overpowered by the awe-inspiring scenery, amid which we are passing, and carried over this rugged and tortuous route, always alive with some exciting scenery. Words fail to give the faintest idea of the unspeakable grandeur of this stately giant of the southern part of Oregon. The Siskiyou Mountains run at right angles with the Cascades and form a natural geographical as well as an artificial state line, between these states. A profile of the long curve over the Siskiyou, as we see them when we are on the summit, would show what great and heavy work and what skilled engineering has to be done in cutting a pathway, steep though it is, along the rugged mountainsides through thirteen tunnels, and over many gorges which had to be spanned with costly bridges. As we pass through the thirteenth tunnel, which is through the summit ridge, we leave Oregon and have a grand panoramic view of Northern California at an altitude of 5,430 feet. These mountains are covered with timber, and some of it is excellent pine timber. The view is grand. We can see east to the range of the Cascades and to the south to Mt. Shasta, one of the highest peaks on the range and over a hundred miles away. As we begin to descend we pass Pilot Knob. This is a very high point. It is a column of rock and can be seen a great ways and is near the pass where the wagon road crosses the Siskiyou; hence, the dome of Pilot Knob is 6,430 feet above the sea level. We have now crossed over into California, the great mining state, where thousands have lost their lives hunting for the precious gold. I believe every dollar of gold that has been mined has cost on an average 100 cents to the dollar and a great amount of suffering and many lives. Hornbrook is the first station, 368 miles north of San Francisco, that we reach in California, and is only a station at the foot of the Siskiyou Mountains. The face of the country has changed very much. There is no timber and is a sandy rolling valley and has to be irrigated and is very thickly settled. Here we cross the Klamath River. It is only a small river at this place, but we soon come to where the valley is better and we see some good ranches. We reach Montague at 2:30 and change cars for Yreka. This is an old mining town and would have been larger had it had the room to grow. There is still some mining done here, and is said to pay. They mine here by putting down a shaft, then mine as we mine coal, by working out from the shaft. Here we take the old-fashioned stage with four horses, and the first place of interest is Forest Hotel. This is at the foot of the mountain, and in an early day the emigrants made this a camping place. One of the campers took an auger and bored a hole in a pine tree and the water began to flow from it and has continued to this day, so says the stage driver. But I could not see any artificial work about it and took the driver's word for it. The landlord brought out a basket full of fine grapes and apples and I partook of the fruit of California, along with the rest of the stage passengers, and considered him a generous old landlord. But the driver said he was advertising at a low rate. After crossing over a mountain 4,500 ft. high, we pulled into Fort Jones and put up for the rest of the night. This is a business town at the head of Scotts Valley. This is a large valley and has been settled a long time. We follow down the Scott River, passing over the worst road that I have seen. It is a new road. The grade is good, but for miles, teams could not pass, and for fifteen miles not an acre of level land. Sometimes the road would be close to the river, at other places two or three thousand feet above the river, and you could almost throw a stone into the river. We traveled all day and passed no other settlement, arrived at Scotts Bar at dark, having made about 40 miles. Here we put up for the night for it would be a dangerous road to travel after dark. Scotts Bar is a small mining town, but the mines are about played out.
Upon October 1st, we started early in the morning and pass the junction of Scott River with Klamath River. We go down the Klamath River, which is much larger here than where we crossed it after coming down the Siskiyou Mountains on the railroad, but the Siskiyous are still on the north and west side of the river and on the south and east they are called Scotts Mountains. The road down the Klamath River is worse, if possible, than on the Scott River. The mountains along here are all gold bearing and at every point that the miner can procure water he is at work. Some of the ditches are 20 miles long conveying the water. One ditch that I saw was said to be 14 miles long and it was not over 300 rods from the head of the ditch to the outlet where the water was being used, but it was on the other side of a high ridge or point of the mountain. All along the river you can see the Chinaman with his wheel pumping the water from the river to his mining claim. We reached "Happy Camp" just at dusk, having traveled 40 miles. Here I found a cousin that I had not seen for 32 years. W.F.E.
Warren Review, Williamsport, Indiana, July 28, 1892, page 12
UP ASHLAND CREEK CANYON.
Ashland, Or., Aug. 4th, 1892.Mr. Editor, Sir: We thought perhaps the many readers of your paper could read with interest a short description of our visit up and along the beautiful canyon and pure, limpid waters of Ashland Creek. Last Thursday being a beautiful day, your correspondent and Mrs. B. Radcliff, Mrs. Judson Ganiard and mother, Mrs. Donihue, Mrs. Gettobolt, Mrs. N. Radcliff and Mr. and Mrs. Baer started for an all-day's feasting and sightseeing. There were four carriages of us, each loaded with plenty of provisions, well equipped for fun and pleasure. Our road leads us up and along a deep canyon, in many places only wide enough for a single wagon track, many times the roadbed sloping down to the water. Passing along, wondering where noon would find us, at eleven o'clock we arrived at Bell Prairie, once a mill site. Here we took our dinner. We soon constructed a cooking range of rocks, built a fire, steeped our tea, then spread our table and oh my! what a dinner! Why, the table of two-inch plank fairly groaned with such a feast. Cake, pies, chickens, turkey, beef, venison, bread, butter, cheese, pickles, jellies, honey, cabbage, salads, tea, fruits of all kinds, delicious; but such a dinner is just what one needs after riding over and up those rough places. You always want to remember to take plenty of dinner with you. You will need it.
Well, after dinner was over our curiosity led us farther on. We ladies hitched up and started for a drive to see the falls. We drove as far as Mr. Watson's place. Nestled there among those old somber mountains, from nature's surroundings, it is destined to become a great summer resort. If you please, we will name this beautiful home Glenwood. The mountains rise high on either side. Their eminences are cut up with deep, dark wooded dells, or ravines, through which flows Ashland Creek, pursuing its way to mingle its waters with the Pacific. After resting and eating a lunch with lemonade, we tied our horses and started for a stroll alongside of the mountains, going to see the falls. About one mile to the famous falls without a name. So we suggested for a name Minnehaha. There we seated ourselves amongst its solitude, wondering what the convulsions of nature had been to have thrown up such mountains and cascades. O, it is charming, this rough and rock-hemmed little gorge, tumbling, roaring, leaping, lashing, until it finally goes along without a murmur, through woods, rocks and fernbrakes. Unfold thy beauty, to thy own solitude.
Many deer and panther, bear and wildcat frequent these falls, but our party were brave, undaunted. We were out that day for pleasure and enjoyment, as time whiled away here could be made profitable in studying nature. But, looking at our watches, we see that the sun was fast disappearing behind the western horizon. We thought, however, we had time to catch some fish and cook them for supper--the lines were soon cast out. Behold one fine trout, then another, and another, until we had enough for supper. Our tea was soon made, our table spread under the boughs of a lofty pine. Poor old pine, its boughs fairly sighed at the sight beneath its branches. We hugely enjoyed that meal, and kindly thanking nature for this great dispensation of pure water, diversity of scenery, not forgetting the ingenuity of man in developing so beautiful a place for tourists and pleasure seekers. Hitching up our horses again, all aboard for home--a straight pull on the lines, a sharp lookout is now the most important business, for down, down, crossing fifteen narrow bridges, around sharp curves, swiftly we came all to our Ashland homes.
Mrs. P. Griswold.Ashland Tidings, August 19, 1892, page 1
Last revised February 2, 2020