First Trip to Ocean Recalled by Member of Museum StaffMEDFORD'S APPLE FUTURE ROSEATE
Editor's note: Mrs. Barbara Tucker, new to the staff of the Kerbyville Museum, has reminisced about an early-day buckboard trip from the Illinois Valley to the Oregon Coast. Her story was told to Marcia Brown, Mail Tribune correspondent.
By MARCIA BROWNCAVE JUNCTION--Mrs. Barbara Tucker, Selma, has joined the Kerbyville Museum staff.
Mail Tribune Correspondent
Mrs. Tucker, who has been widowed for 20 years, has nine children, 42 grandchildren and 45 great-grandchildren. She has spent most of her life in the Illinois Valley, living on a ranch in Deer Creek.
While reminiscing with Mrs. Tucker on the screened-in back porch of the museum, she told of the first trip she and her husband, Reuben, made to Crescent City, Calif. They had been married on Oct. 1, 1908, and had bought a half interest in the Deer Creek Ranch, in Selma, with S. M. Riggs as the other partner.
Trip to CoastReuben had been talking of the wonderful crabs to be had at the beach in Crescent City, his wife recalled. Since she had been raised in prairie country, Reuben thought that she would enjoy the trip through the mountains and that she would be thrilled to see the ocean for the first time. So, one day in July of 1909 they set out in their buckboard hitched to their old horse and were on their way to the coast.
The old horse was blind in his left eye, Mrs. Tucker said, which meant that traveling over the narrow mountain road alongside the deep canyons was rather a nerve-wracking experience.
They camped at Stone Corral, on Whiskey Creek, at the foot of Oregon Mountain the first night after traveling over 20 miles that day. (Less than an hour's drive with the modern automobile and road.) They found a family of four already camped there and a great deal of excitement, as a large rattlesnake had been killed that afternoon.
That evening the family decided to sleep in the wagon instead of on the ground, to be safe from any other rattlesnakes. How Mrs. Tucker said she wished that she and her husband had a wagon instead of the buckboard they were traveling in. But morning came, breakfast was eaten, and the couple were on their way again to Crescent City and the crab feed.
Road RoughThat day the road was much rougher and more steep, canyons became deeper, and most of the curves following the canyons were very narrow, allowing only one vehicle at a time to travel in safety. There were turnouts wherever possible for travelers to stop and listen for bells on the harnesses of the lead horses indicating that freight wagons, a stagecoach or a pack train was approaching from the opposite direction and that they should wait at the turnout until the road was clear before continuing on their way.
The stagecoaches on this road traveled between Crescent City and Grants Pass, making numerous stops to change horses. In some cases they stopped overnight.
The Tuckers continued on until they came to the Wimer brothers' toll bridge, which was a log structure. The stringers were of heavy logs laid across the river with smaller logs laid crosswise over them for decking. The old horse picked his way safely across under his own power, but the dog was put into a sack and packed across to the other side. Mrs. Tucker said she didn't blame the dog for refusing to cross, as she didn't feel too good about crossing the bridge either.
That night the couple stayed at the Adams Station, which was about a mile west of the present town of Gasquet.
After staying several days at Crescent City, they drove on to Winchuck River, where they knew of a large patch of blackberries, enough so that they could pick berries for canning for winter pies and jellies. They set up their tent and had supper, looked over the berry patch, decided where they would begin their picking in the morning and went to bed early.
During the night noises awoke them to find a large black bear rummaging in their foodstuffs. The bear walked away and wasn't seen again. But the Tuckers decided that it would be better not risking meeting up with him the next day in the berry patch, so they packed up and started on their return trip to their Deer Creek ranch.
Mrs. Tucker recalled she had enjoyed seeing the ocean but that it didn't make up for the rough, hazardous country they had traveled through, and the fright of riding behind the old one-eyed horse along the deep canyons and narrow, twisting road. She said that she would not travel to Crescent City again until the new road was completed.
Medford Mail Tribune, October 8, 1965, page 10
MEDFORD AND THE ROGUE RIVER VALLEYIn Southwestern Oregon at an altitude approximating fifteen hundred feet lies a valley where Mother Nature, in one of her rare moods of unrestrained generosity, has wantonly showered her choicest bounties: A rare and salubrious climate, a soil of such remarkable fertility as almost to surpass belief, beautiful scenery, mountains stored with coal, copper and gold, extensive forests of immense value, streams stocked with "speckled beauties," quail, grouse, deer and bear in abundance, and a contented, progressive people--such, in the fewest possible words, is the condition in the famous Rogue River Valley in Southwestern Oregon. Here nature herself seems to be shouting forth a paean of joy. As you gaze across this beautiful valley and view in the distance the pointed snow-capped peak of Mt. McLoughlin, while all about are row after row of sleek-limbed, healthy apple and pear trees, the black loam of old Mother Earth breathing forth its primeval invitation to work, one unconsciously feels that here, indeed, is nature's garden and a possible Utopia. If one were ever justified in lauding the wonders and possibilities of any land, he is certainly justified in giving this beautiful valley and its throbbing, wide-awake heart, the progressive city of Medford, a full mead of praise. The salubrious climate, the beauty of the earth, the freedom and vigor of living unworn traditions, and the stimulus of a growing civilization are conducive to creative work and to the nourishment of all that is best in human nature. In our naive, optimistic, Western hopefulness and gladness surely no trace of selfishness can be held against us, for irresistibly, it seems, we must call aloud to all who will listen to come and share with us these rarest of nature's gifts.
The object of this booklet is to tell the world something of these conditions that others may know and enjoy, if they will, this garden spot of the West. We who live here know of no other place so attractive--none with such great possibilities. In telling the marvelous story that is related here, we have endeavored rather to underestimate than to exaggerate, knowing that so much can be said in favor of this favored valley that even the plain, unvarnished truth would seem to many as the limit of exaggeration. This will especially be the case with those who have been accustomed to bend their backs in the doubtful struggle of making their farms net from $25.00 to $50.00 per acre. When such people are told that it is possible to clear from $500.00 to $1,500.00 per acre each year in Rogue River Valley, they naturally are inclined to doubt the veracity of those who are responsible for such a statement. Yet, this is not only a possibility, but is a cold--no, let us say it is a warm, glowing, oft-demonstrated--fact.
JACKSON COUNTYJackson County, in which Rogue River Valley is located, lies at the southern end of the state. Its area is 3,000 square miles, an area as large as the state of Delaware, as large as Rhode Island, and one-half as large as Massachusetts or Connecticut. Rogue River Valley spreads its fields of fertility and abundance, its productive orchards and evergreen meadows over one-half the county's area.
Jackson County's southern boundary is the California line, along the summit of the Siskiyous. The border lines to the west and north, dividing it from Josephine and Douglas counties, respectively, are low-lying mountain ranges, the highest "hogbacks" of which are about 4,500 feet elevation. The eastern boundary, with its length of ninety miles, follows the backbone of the great Cascade Range, and is lifted to a height of over 9,000 feet at points where Mount McLoughlin, Union Peak and Cowhorn lift their caps of everlasting white.
Across the northern end of the valley flows Rogue River, a wild, turbulent stream, fed by the Cascades' never-ending snows, carrying water enough to irrigate an empire, and power enough to turn all Oregon's wheels of manufacture and move its traffic. Down the center of the valley, off the Alpine slopes of the Siskiyous, flows Bear Creek, carrying always water in abundance. The valley, in its entirety, presents a stretch of the finest country ever seen. Its soil is rich, deep and alluvial, much of it being a black vegetable mold, fat and productive. Even the higher ground, the benches, plateaus and hill slopes, are highly productive. As a whole, the valley, with its surrounding slopes, is admirably adapted to diverse vegetation, for there are no ice-biting or sun-scorching winds, and over all smiles a climate of perpetual balm.
The mercury is our slowest moving thing. It has no opportunity to dance high and low, but seeks the happy medium and remains there winter and summer. During coldest weather it seldom gets lower than 20 degrees above zero. On warmest afternoons of July and August it ranges from 90 to 100 degrees, but drops to 60 or 70 at sundown. Thus the nights are always delightfully cool. The lightness of the atmosphere, and absence of humidity, never makes extreme heat intolerable here, as men work in the harvest field when the thermometer is 100, but suffer no discomfort.
Joaquin Miller aptly called Rogue River Valley "America's Italy." There is far more in this than poetry and sentiment. The records of the official weather station, located at the valley's upper end, show an average mean temperature for the past eighteen years of 52 degrees. But the great area of the valley is from 100 to 400 feet lower than the altitude on which the weather station is placed, and has an average temperature of 55 to 60. The average mean temperature of Florence, Italy, known from world's end to world's end as "Earth's Paradise," is 58.8.
The average yearly precipitation is less than in many Eastern sections. By consulting the records of the official weather station again, we find that during the past twenty-five years there never has been a rainfall of more than 28 inches for one year. At Medford the average rainfall, as shown by the weather records for the past six years, is but 21 inches, which is nine inches short of the annual precipitation for New York, Boston and other Eastern places.
As a matter of truth, one of the supreme blessings of Rogue River Valley is its abundance of rain. The rain comes in regular, unfailing seasons here. Because it never fails, droughts are unknown, and the farmer and the fruitgrower are always certain of a bountiful harvest. The "wet season," if it may so be termed, extends from the first of December till the first of April. But there is always plenty of sunshine between showers--days and weeks of it--equally as warm and delightful as some far Southern clime.
The first breath of spring comes early--never later than the first of March. Wildflowers appear in profusion, the farmer begins his plowing and planting, and before April is half over summer is on in all its glory. The coming of summer, however, does not mean six or seven months of heat. The last of June or first of July always brings copious rains to mature the crops, and the warm season of August is broken by showers. It is a remarkable fact that farmers plow and sow here every month in the year.
"Pests that annoy, and winds that destroy," and which make life a bur den in the Eastern and Middle Western states, are an unknown thing here. There are no mosquitoes, no "chiggers," no ticks, no gnats, no blackflies and no fleas. Cyclones never occur here, neither do earthquakes nor hailstorms, ant the wind rarely blows at a velocity greater than twenty miles an hour.
Its splendid stream system, coupled with its deep, fat soil, makes the Valley of the Rogue a land of plenty. Besides Rogue River and Bear Creek, there are many other streams--Applegate, Big Butte, Little Butte, and Evans Creek. Into these flow numerous large streams, all draining and watering their respective coves, vales and corners of the main valley.
At its lowest point Rogue River Valley is 1,000 feet above the level of the sea. This at its western end. From the valley's center the ground lifts gently, meeting the timber-covered slopes, and climbing up, up to lofty crags and snow-clad peaks. The highest of these is Mount McLoughlin, the "Mount Blanc of Southern Oregon," whose tallest point pierces the blue at 9,760 feet. Mount McLoughlin has the distinction of being the most symmetrical mountain in America. It is an almost perfect cone, the symmetry and beauty of which are enhanced by the dark green forests from which it rears.
The Rogue River Valley is free from pests and destructive winds.
Other mountains that jut from the surrounding ranges, and stand sentinel above the valley, are Ashland Butte, with an elevation of 7,662 feet, whose everlasting snows feed several of the creeks and streams that water the valley. Mount Sterling lifts its shaggy head 7,337 feet, and Wagner looks down from an elevation of 7,245 feet. At the northern end of the valley Table Rock, a great, flat-topped mountain, towers over the surrounding hills, much like some gigantic castle of old. Its walls are sheer, its top flat and broad, making it a remarkable natural wonder. It is an historic landmark of intense interest, and in its shadow the chiefs and medicine men of the Indian tribes met to powwow before the "paleface" became supreme in the Oregon country. Here was fought the last battle between the Aborigines and the pioneers.
A SPORTSMAN'S COUNTRYHere it is possible for the lover of the rod and gun to realize to his heart's content the fulfillment of those dreams which to the great majority of sportsmen so often seem to exist in dreams only. Here in abundance may be found what so many lovers of the gun seek for in vain all their lives, namely, unlimited, diversified shooting.
Take your well-trained setter or pointer any morning in the fall, drive a few miles out of town, and start along the willows of any of the numerous streams that abound throughout this section. You will not go far till your dog flushes the first bevy of our valley quail. They will follow downstream, and after being shot into once or twice will lie so close that you will find it necessary to flush [them] from under the nose of your dog. Then, at any time, a single or brace of Chinese pheasants may flush from where you expected quail. These are the grandest of our Western game birds. Then, perhaps, a pair of mallards or teal, or a bunch of widgeon; then a ruffed grouse. If you choose to leave the willows and go a little way back into the hills, you may readily find several bevies of our mountain quail, which lie close for the dog. Bear and deer are plentiful, and the streams are all well stocked with gamey trout.
THE CITY OF MEDFORDLocated in the very heart and center of this beautiful valley is the city of Medford. The men who selected the original townsite chose wisely, for here every natural condition favors the building of a great city. Because of its central position, and being located on the main railroad in the southern half of Oregon, all the immense agricultural, horticultural, timbered and mining wealth within a radius of 100 miles is tributary to Medford. Here the treasure streams empty, and must always empty. This is why Medford is one of the most metropolitan, most flourishing, and busiest little cities in all the bustling West. It is not only a city of today, but a city of tomorrow. Its citizens are building with an eye to the future--the brilliant, unmistakable future destined to make Medford not only the most populous, but the place of greatest commercial importance in Southern Oregon.
It is at present a city of 6,000, but is the supply point of a territory with a population of 25,000. It is a city of paved streets, of beautiful homes, of handsome parks, of churches and schools. Its solid brick blocks bespeak thrift and permanence.
Medford is located on the main line of the Southern Pacific Railroad, 331 miles south of Portland and 442 miles north of San Francisco. Its altitude is 1,374 feet. It is the western terminal of the Pacific & Eastern Railroad, now under construction, the first fourteen miles of which have been built. This railroad not only makes Medford the gateway to Crater Lake National Park, but also makes it the point of concentration for all the timbered wealth of upper Rogue River, the gigantic forests of which cover an area of 4,000 square miles. Medford is the eastern terminal of the Rogue River Valley Railroad, connecting this place with Jacksonville, the county seat; and will be the eastern terminal of the proposed railroad from the famous Blue Ledge copper mines of upper Applegate River, on the Oregon-California line. This great copper camp is located but thirty-five miles from Medford. The coal mines, five miles east of the city, are proving of such great commercial importance that a railroad connecting the properties with the Southern Pacific at this city has been incorporated and will soon be constructed. The entire lumber output from the sawmills of the surrounding territory is hauled here for yarding, sorting and shipping, and for manufacture into boxes, sash and doors by the planing mills and factories of Medford. Above all, Medford is the trading point for practically the entire fruit and farming section of Rogue River Valley, and is likewise the shipping point for the whole output of this immense district.
That Medford is a place of great commercial activity and immense trade, is evidenced by its having three banks, all in flourishing condition, with aggregate deposits of $1,500,000, and capital and surplus of $250,000. The banks all occupy handsome structures of their own, built at a cost of $100,000, and are equipped with the most modern vaults and burglar-resisting devices.
The growth of Medford during the past year has been most phenomenal, and the fact that approximately 20,000 acres of new orchards were planted during the past two years in Rogue River Valley, with a corresponding development in all lines of industry, proves with a certainty that this rapid growth will be maintained indefinitely.
The phenomenal growth of Medford in 1907 was duplicated in 1908. Over 300 residences and business blocks being erected during the year. Among the buildings are the Deuel block, costing $40,000; the Young & Hall block, the City Hall, the Medford Theater, the High School building, costing $40,000; the St. Mary's Academy, costing $40,000; the Catholic Church, Adventists' Church, and the residence of W. I. Vawter, costing $30,000.
Still more extensive improvements are planned for the future. This remarkable growth does not mean that Medford is "booming"; the town is growing, as all Rogue River Valley is growing, and its public-spirited citizens do not intend that the city shall fall behind the country in the matter of development.
The Medford Commercial Club, one of the strongest and most active commercial bodies in Oregon, has every business man and citizen of the city enlisted on its membership roll, and is a chief factor in fostering new enterprises and promoting the progressive interests of the town and country. The club has elegant smoking and reading rooms, and overlooks no opportunity to make the advantages of Medford and the riches of the surrounding country known to the world.
Another example of the public-spiritedness of Medford's citizens was shown in the building, by a number of its citizens, of an exhibit pavilion. The exhibit building is of unique and attractive design, its style of architecture being patterned after the old-time Mission. It is situated near the depot, in full view of passing trains. It contains samples of products from the orchards, farms, mines, and forests of the tributary territory, the diversified character of which amazes all visitors.
Medford's ideal location on the banks of Bear Creek, surrounded by evergreen fields and blooming orchards, with imposing mountains greeting the vision wherever the eye may turn, with a soil and climate that produce roses and all varieties of flowers in abundance nearly the entire year, its health-spiced intoxicating atmosphere, its excellent schools, its well-stocked stores, and its abundance of fruit and vegetables at any and all seasons, make the city a most delightful place in which to live.
The religious and educational advantages of Medford are of a high order. There are eleven churches, representing all the leading denominations, all with strong congregations, and most of them having splendid places of worship.
Medford has wide-awake newspapers, all of them progressive in their policy, both well equipped in their mechanical departments, and all ably edited. They are the evening Tribune, the Morning Mail, the semiweekly Southern Oregonian, and weekly Mail.
Vital statistics prove Medford to have an exceptionally low death rate, it being less than six per thousand. Epidemics of diseases are unknown here. Pure water and pure air, with an abundance of sunshine and copious showers, prevent fevers; and pulmonary troubles are unheard of. The climate is beneficial for catarrhal and asthmatic afflictions.
All of the popular fraternal organizations and secret societies are represented here, with lodges of strong membership and satisfactory assembly halls.
The improvement of which Medford is most proud is the water system being installed. This is a thirty-mile pipe, 16 inches in diameter, which brings by gravity system the pure, crystal waters from the melting snows and springs of Mount McLoughlin for Medford's use. This empties into a large reservoir a mile and a half from the city, situated on a hill and built of concrete. From this reservoir the main supply pipe takes the water to a completely new distributing system to all parts of the city. The reservoir is over 200 feet above the city streets, producing a pressure of 95 pounds at every point. The system will be completed about July 1, 1909. The eliminating of all machinery assures a cheap rate and abundance of pure water. The system throughout is constructed to supply Medford with water for 30,000 people. No other city in America of the present size of Medford has a better system, for the reason a better system or better water cannot be secured, and probably no city under 25,000 people has as good.
From Medford good highways lead through every outlying district. The good roads movement is a thing of fact here. Jackson County has complete road-making machinery, and a crew is constantly employed on Rogue River Valley highways. There is an abundance of excellent road material close at hand that is being utilized for this purpose, and within a few years the roads and drives leading from this city will be the finest in the Northwest. The number of automobiles used by both the city and county residents already tells the story of good roads. There are 150 automobiles owned in Medford and vicinity, Medford ranking next to Portland, in Oregon, in number of autos owned, and leading any city of its size in America.
This good roads movement, bringing the city and country nearer together, is making Rogue River Valley one wide but closely welded community. Every farmer has daily or thrice-weekly mail, by one of the star routes, or rural deliveries from Medford; also he has a telephone. Many have their residences and barns electric lighted, as power lines are available in every section of the valley. The rural resident here has all of the real comforts of the city, and his children have the same educational advantages, as every home is but a short walk from the district school house. It is this close communion of town and county, the intense production, the rapid settlement, and rapid growth, the concentration of the immense wealth of farm, orchard, forest and mine to this natural center of supply, that makes Medford Southern Oregon's chief city.
MEDFORD SCHOOLSMedford has one of the most progressive and complete school systems in Oregon. There are three fine public school buildings, built of brick and modern in all appointments. The public schools enroll over 1,200 pupils and offer a broad course of study, including drawing, watercolor work and music under a special director. Sloyd and manual training are also receiving some attention. The high school offers full literary, scientific and commercial courses, laboratory work, stenography and typewriting being special features.
The teaching force is carefully selected, and many progressive Eastern teachers supplement the number from the energetic West.
Any inquiries will be cheerfully answered by the City Superintendent of Schools.
The Sisters of the Holy Names have completed an academy. The building cost $40,000, and it contains every modern convenience and comfort. This, with the splendid new high school, insures for Medford ample educational facilities. High school graduates are accredited to the state university.
The educational facilities provided here will appeal to all right-minded men, and men who are moving to better their condition are apt to be right minded in all things that lead to betterment. Education is undoubtedly one of the most important of these.
ROGUE RIVER APPLESFor generations past the reputation of Oregon as the home of the biggest, juiciest, crispest red apples on earth has been known and recognized throughout the East, but it has only been within the last ten years that the profitable raising of commercial varieties for shipment clear across the continent and to foreign countries has been proven possible. The introduction of the modern Western apple package, the regulation apple box, and the present methods of packing in such packages have already revolutionized the apple trade of the world, and the discriminating buyers of the whole world give the preference to Oregon apples. Only such varieties, however, as the Aesopus Spitzenberg and the Yellow Newtown Pippin have attracted and held the attention of the horticulturist here, because each has a special mission and field which it alone can exactly fill.
Have you ever strolled down Broadway in New York City about the beginning of the holidays and noted the rich and amazing displays in the windows of the establishments in the vicinity of Twenty-third Street? Have you noticed that the Oregon Spitzenberg, with its riotous, rollicking red, was the central figure in all the grand display? Have you noticed the sidewalks along the waterfront littered for many yards with holiday gift boxes of apples, awaiting the sailing of the steamer, to be wafted to foreign shores as a holiday remembrance from "America" to add to the Christmas cheer of absent friends? Were you ever impressed with the fact that this fruit is sent from the shadows of Oregon's mighty mountains across the continent, clear across the sea, and perhaps another continent to add the last finishing touch needed to make the holiday board complete?
And again: Did you know that next to his veneration for his king and the roast beef of Old England, there is a lurking love for the Yellow Newtown Pippin implanted in the bosom of Johnny Bull that impels him to reach out to the ends of the earth for the best that the earth affords? The very best Yellow Newtowns that the earth produces are grown in the Rogue River Valley, and Johnny Bull knows it, and he wants them all, every one, and we are content that he should get them, if he pays the price.
From the day that our horticulturists realized these facts and the commercial world became aware of the possibilities of the trade, progress has been sure and swift in raising apples, growing from the plane of an experiment to the dignity of the leading source of revenue in the Rogue River Valley. The incentive of the extremely high prices realized for the output, which prices appreciate from year to year, in spite of the rapidly enlarging orchard area, has brought about the employment of the most modern methods of handling orchards in this valley, where the gasoline spray engine was first used in the history of horticulture. The apple and pear orchards of the Rogue River Valley are today the best and cleanest on earth, and the output is deserving of the high prices it is receiving in all markets. Keeping quality is one of the essential requisites in fruit of any variety. Apples grown here are on the local market during May, June and July each year which have never been in storage.
Owing to the prices realized for our fruits, our landowners are at last beginning to realize what a bonanza we have in our orchards, but as yet do not place anything like an actual valuation on their holdings. What valuation can be put on an orchard which pans out from $500 to $2,250 per acre from a single crop of fruit? Figure it out yourself. Ten acres of the right varieties of apple or pear trees in this valley, located on our best fruit land, will, when in full bearing, produce an average of $3,000 to $6,000 net income per annum, and instances are actually occurring every year where these figures are exceeded.
This is not a phantasm or a dream. Our people, engaged in all sorts of occupations, are actually doing here what the get-rich-quick schemers of the East promise to do, but never accomplish. Locally in Medford, many mechanics, merchants and tradesmen are today developing orchard propositions in the vicinity of Medford which receive their surplus earnings as a cash deposit, and will return a thousandfold within the next ten years. Within the last few years one firm have applied their surplus earnings from trade to developing a Newtown orchard in the foothills, and had the pleasure of refusing to consider an offer of $35,000 for same within the past year. Another firm of mechanics have developed a peach
and apricot orchard in connection with a Newtown and pear orchard, and can now sell half their holdings for $15,000. An implement dealer in the valley bought a cheap tract of bottom land five years ago, planted twenty-seven acres to Spitz and Newtown apples, and recently received an offer of $14,000 for the orchard. He is unwilling to consider any offer for less than $1,000 per acre. A young mechanic of the town, a few months ago, bought twenty acres from an estate tract of the best quality of soil, and a year ago set it to pears, and during idle time supervises the care of it, while continuing to earn good wages at his regular occupation. He sold half of it for $250 an acre less than a year after planting.
[CRATER LAKE]Mount Mazama, on the summit of the Cascade Mountains, of Southern Oregon, in whose ancient volcanic crater Crater Lake rests, and the surrounding territory of scenic grandeur, have been made a national park by an act of Congress. This new playground of Uncle Sam's, with its 249 square miles of area, of mountain peaks, lofty crags, deep canyons, beds of lava, plateaus of grassy fields, deep forests of hemlock and pine, and a thousand rippling streams, bids fair to become as famous and as popular as Yellowstone or Yosemite. It is yearly visited by tourists from all parts of the world, and can be reached by automobile from Medford. During the glacial period Crater Lake did not exist. What is now the majestic sheet of water was once filled with a towering peak, the greatest peak of all the mountain range, many times greater than even Shasta or Hood. This old volcano regularly erupted its fire, lava and ashes upon the surrounding territory; but, like a spendthrift, he wasted his substance and became a hollow, a mere shell of a mountain. The fires of youth died away, and afterwards came the chill of old age. On the fatal day, described by Indian legends as the day on which the "Bridge of the Gods" fell in, the old hollow mountain, with a thundering roar and a crash that shook the world and upturned half a continent, exploded and dropped within itself. It was one of the greatest tragedies earth has known. With its completion old Mazama, the ancient volcano, no longer looked down upon the surrounding peaks of the Cascades. Nothing remains but the base, which forms the rim of Crater Lake. How this was half filled with water, and remains so year after year, century after century, with no apparent outlet or inlet, is a mystery beyond man's solution. Crater Lake is oval in shape, six miles long and four miles wide. The twenty-two miles of shoreline are sheer precipices towering from 1,000 to 2,000 feet above the surface of the water. These surrounding precipices, though only ragged portions of the old-time base, are mountains in themselves, some of them having elevations of over 9,000 feet above the sea. At only one point can the water be reached; this is at Eagle Rock, where the wagon road leads up to the brink of the rim, whence a winding trail has been cut down to the lake's edge. The lake surface is 6,239 feet above sea level, and the water has a depth of from 2,000 to 6,000 feet. All of the peaks surrounding the lake are covered with perpetual snow, and in the cool shades of the hemlock forests, great banks of snow remain the entire summer, making it a most delightful camping place. The water of the lake is cold and pure and sweet. The entire park is one great solitude, reigned over by the wild things of the mountains. Standing anywhere on the caldron's rim and gazing down upon the deep blue surface or looking out across the miles and miles of mountains, one sees no life save that of the wild, and hears no sound save the dashing of the waves against the rocks or the whispers of the wind through the hemlocks. Once in a while a snow-white pelican flies slowly along the lake's borders, then settles on the blue surface, far out, a mere speck.
Two and one-half miles from Eagle Rock, though it seems but a stone's throw to one who stands and looks across, is cone-shaped Wizard Island, which rises to a height of 845 feet above the water. In the top of Wizard Island is a deep depression, or smaller crater, filled with snow, but which was, no doubt, the last smoking chimney of the great volcano.
There are a number of snow-capped peaks in Crater Lake National Park, among them being Mount Scott and Mount Thielsen, the latter an almost inaccessible peak of flinty rocks, and known as "The Lightning Rod of the Cascades." Near and around the lake are Llao Rock, The Palisades, Round Top, Sentinel Rock, Castle Crag, Eagle Rock, Red Cloud Cliff, Saddle Mountain, Dutton Cliff and Garfield Peak.
Just under Dutton Cliff, and not far from the shore, is a craggy little islet known as the Phantom Ship. Its rugged hull, with rocks towering like the masts of a ship, suggest the name, and, phantom-like, disappears when viewed from changing positions and lights from the shore.
Medford is the nearest railroad point to Crater Lake National Park, and it is from here that tourists and campers prepare for the journey and start on the interesting trip. The road follows Rogue River, through a land of scenic grandeur. The river is a wild torrent at every point, with cascades and waterfalls. Mills Falls [Mill Creek Falls], Blanket Falls and the Natural Bridge are passed en route, and the way leads also through the center of the Cascade or upper Rogue Forest Reserve, the greatest forest of sugar pine in the world, and which is itself a natural park and is under the guarding hand of Uncle Sam's vigilant rangers during the summer months. The distance from Medford to the lake is eighty-five miles, and as ideal camping places with splendid hunting grounds are everywhere, the journey is one of extreme pleasure and unending delight.
The interest and enthusiasm of those visiting the lake has been so marked that Governor Chamberlain has appointed a commissioner to devise ways and means for building a boulevard from Medford to the lake. It is the intention to build a stone road suitable for carriages and automobiles, making it possible to reach the lake by regular auto service in a few hours. Government officials have visited the lake and are giving time and effort to get appropriations, and the road will be built inside the park as quickly as possible. Jackson County is already at work on this boulevard between Medford and the park boundary.
ROGUE RIVER PEARSThis particular section of the American continent is unquestionably the peer of all others in the production of the finest varieties of luscious pears. Aside from the two popular people's pears, the Bartlett and the Winter Nelis, such magnificent varieties as the Doyenne du Comice, the Beurre Bosc, the Anjou and the Howell here attain their most perfect development. Every portion of the valley appears to be particularly well adapted to the production of fancy pears. Varieties like the famous Comice, which elsewhere are very shy bearers, here yield most prolifically, and the prediction or the pear growers, that they would eclipse all records made by the growers of Newtown and Spitz apples, has been fully realized. The fresh fruit car record of the world is held by Bear Creek Orchards near Medford, which obtained at auction in New York City in 1907 $4,622.80 gross for a carload of Comice pears. The best previous price for a carload of fruit was $3,450, and this record is held by the Hillcrest Orchard. During January of this year (1909) a shipment of Comice pears sold in London for $10.08 per box. These were from the Bear Creek Orchards. Stop and consider that the record price is about 20 cents per pound for fresh fruit at wholesale, and you can comprehend what a stupendous price it is. Bartletts billed out from Medford in 1907 realized $5.05 per box in Montreal, Canada. The highest price paid per box on the American side was $4.60. (N.B. You will note that the keeping quality of the fruit produced here is such that our Bartletts will carry safely to the most remote cities of this continent.) Winter Nelis pears sold during the same season uniformly for $2.50 per fifty-pound box, f.o.b. cars here. Howells and Beurre Bosc for the same or a trifle more. The great Anjou pear, one of the best in the world, has brought an average of almost $4 per box to our growers, f.o.b. cars at Medford, for years past.
Available pear land is as plentiful in Rogue River Valley as apple land. The hill slopes bordering the valley are being utilized for this purpose. Thousands of acres of such land await the orchardist, and offer unlimited opportunity to the small investor who will back his modest means with common sense and energy.
Like Rogue River apples, our pears have wonderful keeping qualities. The Bartlett is a variety that usually "goes to pieces" quickly. Shipments have been made to England, arriving in prime condition. Shippers here do not receive the old cry that "fruit arrived in bad condition." An instance of keeping quality from a canner's viewpoint is here sighted. A canner accustomed to handling Bartlett pears from other localities purchased a carload of pears for canning. Owing to inability of plant to handle, they were placed in storage. It was five weeks before they were in shape to handle these pears. They were withdrawn from storage in the warmest weather. To get them to prime condition, they were obliged to allow the pears to stand nine days, no loss from "soft" or overripe fruit occurring.
It will be seen from this instance that this is not yet a paradise for the canner. Almost all fruit has most distressing shipping qualities, and the poor canner has to contend against a shipping demand and a price that makes it hard for him to get stock. In the course of time, when the yield is much larger, the same small percentage of "canning stock" will furnish him something to do and at the same time supply a market for all fruit.
OTHER FRUITRogue River Valley makes the same claim for superiority in the matter of the peach as it does for the apple and pear, and backs its claim with facts. The hill slopes are ideal peach lands, as the success of the orchards east and north of Medford amply proves.
In size, flavor and general excellence, the Rogue River Valley peach ranks with the best, and the market is unlimited. This market has spread to the East and to Canada. Growers here are regularly netting from $100 to $500 per acre.
The available acreage of peach land in Rogue River Valley is very large. And here again the energetic man with a little money has a chance for absolute independence and a life of plenty.
Peach trees are in bearing when three years old, and ten crops are produced before the age of decline is reached. Again, as with apples and pears, peaches have excellent keeping quality. A shipment was made in 1908 to Buffalo, N.Y., without refrigeration, arriving in perfect condition.
BERRIES AND SMALL FRUITS.The happy trinity of soil, altitude and climate smiles also upon the berry culturist. To produce most abundantly and ensure a continuous crop through the whole summer and fall season, berries are irrigated. The luscious strawberry is in the lead from a commercial standpoint, but almost as flattering returns are derived from the logan and blackberry. The growers who give berry culture due time and attention are handsomely rewarded. With these smaller fruits, as with apples, peaches and pears, the market is wide, and the prices paid for the Rogue River Valley product are high.
Job I. Wilder, who has a strawberry patch 90x120 feet in his yard, by judicious care and attention, markets the fruit in Medford the entire summer and fall, up to the first of November, receiving average returns of 15 cents per box. The receipts from this little patch, no larger than a flower garden, have amounted to $760 for a single season.
This gives an idea of the possibilities of the berry business in this section. What one has done, others can do. The market for berries extends beyond local limits, as they can be shipped across the continent.The bountiful crop, the excellence of the fruit, and the immensity of the shipments practically demonstrate the worth of Rogue River Valley as an apricot section. The celebrated Blenheim apricot finds its every requirement for perfection in the foothills bordering the valley. The world can produce no better apricot than that grown here. The trees are thrifty and are in bearing at a remarkably early age, maturing perfect fruit one year after they are set out. Apricots have a ready sale at $1.25 per crate, and orchardists derive returns of $300 to $800 an acre from them.
THE ELEGANT BLENHEIM APRICOT.
A small apricot orchard of three-fifths of an acre this past year produced fruit which sold for nearly $500, many of these trees making only their fourth year's growth. 'Cots from the Brown orchard sold for 25 cents to 40 cents above the market, owing to the unusual size and quality. The 'cot growers invite additional acreage, in order that more carload shipments may be made to Eastern cities. The size, color, flavor and keeping quality already making our apricots known in the fancy markets.
PLUMS, PRUNES AND CHERRIES.Plums, prunes and cherries thrive abundantly in Rogue River Valley. The trees are exceptionally prolific and the fruit high grade. All varieties of cherries are grown, but the Black Tartarian, Bing, Lambert and the Royal Ann are of the greatest commercial importance.
Rogue River Valley cherries are widely shipped, the marketing of them being especially favorable in that they come in just after the California crop and ahead of the Willamette Valley crop. Rogue River cherries have the same reputation for excellence as do Rogue River apples and pears, and the very best prices are paid for them. Their keeping qualities permit shipment across the continent. Numerous shipments have been made to all parts of the United States without refrigeration, showing qualities of keeping and shipping peculiar to all Rogue River Valley fruit.
WALNUTS.English and French walnuts do exceptionally well here, and splendid opportunity is offered to all who will engage in the business. The hill land districts are admirably adapted to walnut culture.
THE TOKAY AND THE CONCORD GRAPE.The vineyardist is also finding a lucrative field on the hill slopes. There are several fine vineyards near Medford, but only a very small percentage of the land adapted to the grape in this section is being used. Grapes of all varieties grow here. The fruit is unsurpassed in quality, the color and flavor being all that could be desired.
Experts pronounce the Tokay variety grown on Rogue River hill districts the finest in the world. Malvoisies, Concord, Rose of Peru, Black Hamburgs, Golden Chasselar and other varieties succeed here. The condition of the soil, altitude and climate are almost identical with that of the famous wine-producing districts of France and Italy, and the most delicate European varieties thrive here.
The fact that so few localities in the world are adapted to the production of some of these varieties leaves us room for the fear of overproduction. On the contrary a greater production of grapes will make possible a more extensive and far-reaching marketing campaign and enable the growers to always take advantage of carload rates to distant points. Grapes may be expected to furnish some returns in three years and to pay handsomely in five.
ROGUE RIVER FRUIT RECORDSIf ''money talks," this check speaks volumes. It tells the story of a carload of Comice Pears from the Bear Creek orchards at Medford, which sold on September 30, 1907, at auction in New York City, for $4,622.80 gross--the highest price ever received for a carload of fruit. Four hundred and five half boxes from this carload sold for $4.10 a half-box, or $8.20 a full box. The sale was made by Rae and Hatfield. Seven acres of Bartlett pears on this orchard grossed $2,200 per acre. The average yield was seven boxes to the tree, 102 trees to the acre.
During the past decade the Rogue River Valley has made three extraordinary records, and it has never had a failure. In order that the reader may have an intelligent grasp of a record year and the ordinary output, attention is called to the prices received for Rogue River fruit during recent years. Good crops were produced throughout the entire country during 1906, while for 1907 the apple crop of the Eastern states was largely a failure. This fact accounts in some degree for the high prices received during 1907 for Rogue River fruit. The volume of the output was also slightly larger than usual. A single tree of Anjou pears growing near Medford produced during 1907 $226. This tree has never failed to produce a crop in 30 years. A single acre of Bartlett pears produced $2,250. A carload of pears from the Lewis orchard produced $4,622.80 gross; 161 acres of Winter Nelis pears grown by F. H. Hopkins near Medford produced $19,000 net f.o.b. Medford. These prices have never been equaled before in the history of fruitgrowing in America. Attention is called to the fact that the prices given are for a single tree, a single acre, a carload, and for 16½ acres. These prices, however, are indications of the extraordinary profit that has come to all fruit growers in the Rogue River Valley. Comice pears, for example, from Medford sold as high as $8.20 a box in New York City in August, 1907. In January, 1909, in London, they sold for $10.08, and a carload from a Medford orchard brought the highest price ever received for a carload of fruit ($4,622.80). Another car from Medford sold for $4,558 in New York. From eight acres 6,000 boxes of Newtown Pippin apples were marketed, netting $2,000 an acre f.o.b. the orchard. For the past seven years this orchard has netted $791 per acre average.
Seven acres of Bartlett pears near Medford in 1907 grossed $2,200 per acre. A young Bartlett pear orchard of 30 acres of eight-year-old trees netted $1,060.80 per acre. Twelve acres of Newtown Pippins adjoining this grove netted f.o.b. orchard $1,170 an acre. Seventy-one trees of Ben Davis apples yielded 700 boxes of fruit, which sold on the ranch for $1 a box. One acre of six-year-old Newtown trees netted $711. An 11¾-acre pear orchard netted $6,600. Twenty Winter Nelis pear trees netted $660; 152 trees of Yellow Newtown Pippins on a three-acre tract netted $3,125 f.o.b. Medford. Fifty-five trees, also of Yellow Newtown apples, produced 815 boxes, which were shipped to the London market. In spite of the financial depression, these boxes realized $1,711.50 net f.o.b. here. They were grown on less than one acre. A three-acre tract of this same orchard has averaged $500 net for the past eight years.
These figures show the profit made last year in pear and apple orchards about Medford, a profit exceeding $1,000 an acre in many cases. In berries, as high as $700 an acre was cleared, and in nearly all fruits a profit exceeding $200 an acre was netted. The figures given below will indicate what the Rogue River Valley can do in an average year. Only a few are given. Numerous others for pears, apples, grapes, cherries, prunes and peaches could be listed.
C. R. Heimroth sold from one and three-fourths acres of Spitzenbergs 587 boxes for $1,174; from three acres Newtown Pippins, 780 boxes, for $1,365; total, $2,539. This in addition to sales of culls. All in 1906.
M. L. Pellet sold from eight acres of Bartlett pears 3,000 boxes for $4,500, net on cars at shipping station, aside from sales of culls.
W. H. Norcross sold from two acres of Newtown Pippins, not yet in full bearing, 1906, 657 boxes, for $1,346.85. The same year, from four acres of Spitzenbergs, $2,113.10. This orchard has borne eight good crops in nine years, and the carload of Newtowns sent to London from this orchard was pronounced by the dealers to be the best car of the year in that market.
W. H. Brown sold from three-fifths acre of apricots, part of the trees being only in their fourth year, fruit to the amount of nearly $500.
The Merrick orchard contains one-half acre of apricots; 305 crates sold for $481, or an average of $962 per acre.
Twenty-two acres of pears on the Burrell Investment Company's orchard produced 6,441 boxes of fruit, which sold for $8,884 f.o.b. cars. J. G. Gore received in 1906 from seven acres of Bartlett pears $4,054.17 f.o.b. shipping station; from five and one-half acres of Newtown Pippins he received $4,252 f.o.b. here. In addition he sold something over $500 worth of culls. His little orchard has yielded fully as good crops several years in the past.
S. L. Bennett has but one and one-half acres of Yellow Newtown Pippins, but he has received a comfortable living from them for years past. One year he received from this little orchard 731 boxes of fine fruit, bringing him in $1,388.90. This in addition to sales of a few imperfect apples. The following year, 1908, from two and one-half acres, containing three varieties, he picked 3,500 boxes of fancy fruit, which netted him about $2,100 per acre.
The Bradshaw & Stevens orchard contains three and one-half acres, 250 trees, Yellow Newtown apples, which annually bring returns of $2,500 to $3,000.
A. D. Helman, from less than seven acres in Newtown apples, sold in 1905, $7,800 worth; in 1904, $4,500, and in 1903, $6,500 worth.
Single trees make remarkable showings: William Sheble has two de Anjou pear trees, which annually net him $60 to $100. George A. Hover has a Royal Ann cherry tree, which two seasons in succession brought him 800 pounds of fruit each year, and the third season yielded 1,000 pounds, all of which was sold for 5 cents per pound. If in touch with the market, he could have obtained 10 cents per pound for same. A neglected Winter Nelis pear tree on the Leever estate annually yields sixteen to twenty boxes of merchantable pears, worth $1.50 to $2.00 per box. One Yellow Newtown tree in the Bennett orchard produced 51 boxes of fancy fruit, which sold for $98.00.
Prices for fruit received by growers in 1908 are as follows:
SOME ORCHARDS.Most of the orchards in this valley contain but a few acres, from 5 to 40 acres, which is all that is necessary to make a living for a family and allow part of the year in the mountains, in the cities, and traveling in foreign lands; but the fact that capital invests in orchards on a large scale here is a strong argument regarding the profits obtained from orchards here compared with other sections. No other section has so high an average acreage to the orchard, and no other section has so many large orchards. Some idea of the faith capital from all parts of the country has in the valley may be had from a few individual orchards mentioned below, which represent a market value of $1,500,000.
The largest orchard in the entire Northwest is that of the Western Oregon Orchard Company, with offices at 59 Dearborn Street, Chicago. The tract contains 1,700 acres, 1,120 of which is planted to tree fruits, mostly apples and pears. This company is handling the orchard by the most scientific methods. This orchard is situated four miles east of Medford on a sidehill. Nearly all can be seen from any part of Medford. The plan of this company is a stock proposition, a share of stock representing one-half acre. The amount of fruit this orchard will produce when all is in good bearing is tremendous.
The "Suncrest" orchard, owned by Dr. F. C. Page, of Medford, contains 240 acres, 140 acres in 5- and 6-year-old Newtown, Spitzenberg and Jonathan apple trees, 60 acres in younger pear and peach. This orchard is one of the most perfect in growth of trees, soil and sightly location and complete appointments in the valley, and has already produced prize-winning apples and large commercial shipments.
The "Snowy Butte'' orchard contains 300 acres, 250 planted to Newtown and Spitzenberg apples, and five varieties of pears. It has 1,200 Winter Nelis trees, practically all in bearing on 16½ acres of the orchard, which produced $19,000 f.o.b. here in 1907. The owner has a beautiful country home, fine stables and packing houses. In fact, beautiful homes and good buildings are characteristic of Rogue River Valley orchards.
Mr. William Hart Hamilton has 1,160 acres adjoining Eagle Point. Two hundred acres were set to apples and pears during the season of 1908-09. Mr. Hamilton expects to plant 500 acres the coming season, and a block each year until all is in trees. This acreage will be cut up and sold in small tracts when it nears the bearing age.
The Del Rio orchards, owned by F. K. Deuel and Alfred Weeks, of Medford, situated near Woodville, contains 730 acres. They have planted 60 acres to apples, 110 to pears, 15 to grapes and 6 to peaches. They will have in another planting season or two 600 acres in fruit. The plans already under way are to make an ideal fruit ranch of their place. They will have their own hay lands, wood lot, stock pastures, etc. The tract lays along the line of the Southern Pacific, and will be seen as a typical Rogue River Valley ranch by thousands of people passing weekly.
Bear Creek orchards, one and one-half miles south of Medford, hold many world's records, both as to price obtained for fruit and acreage yields; 200 acres of the 240 are in fruit, about one-half apples and one-half pears of the best varieties; three-quarters are now in full bearing. Near the center of the tract the ground rises gradually, forming a round-topped "butte," on which is built the home bungalow. The whole orchard can be overlooked from the point, as well as the whole valley. The packing house, stables and workmen's quarters are situated in another part of the tract, and are complete and up-to-date in every respect. One unacquainted with the fruit industry would be astonished at the carloads of fruit shipped annually from the orchard. This orchard holds the record green fruit carload price of the world.
The Potter Palmer estate own 100 acres adjoining the Bear Creek orchards; 80 acres are in 5-year-old apple and pears. The trees are as perfect as man could grow them, all the same size, same shape, etc. Perfect in health and growth. This tract is considered by the fruit growers to be one that will eventually produce fruit which will command the highest prices, and which will no doubt wrest the laurels for large box and monetary yields from the older orchards. The orchard is under the supervision of the former owner--an expert horticulturist--one of the most thorough men on the Coast. Another ranch of 1,240 acres owned by the same estate will be developed the coming season.
"Hillcrest" is the appropriate name given to an orchard three miles east of Medford--200 acres of Rogue River Valley's finest fruit land gradually sloping up the hillside--set to apples and pears in equal proportions, with the exception of twenty-five acres of hay and pasture land. Two of the features of this orchard are: The du Comice pear trees, which have produced fruit which for a time held the world's record prices; and the excellent buildings. The home house is not magnificent, but comfortable and well equipped with telephone, hot and cold water, a gas plant. The packing house is large, comfortable for the packers, and has several large cold storage rooms. The "quarters" for the men are comfortable--bath, large dining room, reading room, individual bedrooms, etc. The stable, tool house and other buildings are as complete in detail as the house, packing house and dormitory. The orchard was purchased recently by the Hillcrest Orchard Company (Seattle capital), for a "mere song," as has been said by a prominent fruit grower, who also estimates the annual returns to equal the purchase price in another three or four years.
The Rogue River Investment Company has three orchards: The Mountain View, containing eighty acres of apples, half in bearing and about the same acreage of pears. The Gold Range containing 144 acres, apples and pears. Forty full bearing, thirty three years old, the balance one year old. The Bellevue containing 122 acres, fifty acres three-year-old pears, balance not yet planted. Each of these orchards means an annual fortune to the owners when all the trees are bearing. Probably sooner or later these orchards will be cut into small tracts of five, ten and twenty acres and sold. This company realizes ten acres in full bearing is all any man of moderate ideas needs.
What is no doubt the most complete and most valuable fruit ranch of the Pacific Northwest today is the Eden Valley orchard of the Burrell Investment Company of Portland, Oregon. The tract is a solid block of fine land--605 acres. Five hundred acres are in apples and pears. The remaining 105 acres is mostly land used for growing hay and grain for the stock and a small timbered tract from which the company cuts their fuel. One may drive for a mile in this orchard through rows of glorious trees laden with bloom in the spring, and fruit in the fall. The work stock are mules--all matched, great large fellows--a sight when all together to make a Missourian think his native state raised jackrabbits. A beautiful home, stables for driving stock, another for work stock, foreman's home, dormitory, packing house, hay barn, spray house, etc., are buildings of modern fittings and architecture.
The day is not far distant when all these fertile slopes will be covered with orchards; when the prosperous homes will be multiplied and fruit will go out by the train where now it goes out by the car. Will there not be an overproduction then?, asks the timid person. No political economist or sociologist believes the time will come when we will have too much to eat in this country. Especially do they not fear that there will be an overproduction of fruit of first quality. With city encroaching upon country and orchard giving away to pavement in our former great fruitgrowing states, the Rogue River Valley does not look so large.
If the state of Oregon should undertake to "pass the apples" in the United States alone, she would have to apologize to many of the people. It would take nearly 2,000 cars of 3½ tier apples to give each man, woman and child one. At the present time the whole state does not produce so many. With the large and growing foreign demand considered, it is not yet time to get frightened.
ACREAGE--GENERAL CONDITIONSAt the present time there are 2,500,000 young apple and pear trees in Rogue River Valley. Some of these are just in bearing; more than 8,000 acres were set out this past year. If all were in one big orchard they would cover an area of 50,000 acres. And this is increasing at the rate of from 8,000 to 10,000 acres annually, an increase due to the flattering success of those who "have arrived" in the business. There is absolutely no question that in time--a few years at the most--all Rogue River Valley will be one vast orchard, one of the biggest and most productive anywhere.
Besides these young orchards, there are the ones bearing, covering an area of 3,000 acres, some of which were planted away back forty or fifty years ago. These old orchards are yielding their never-failing harvests of fruit. Some of them contain only one or two acres, while others contain from 100 to 300.
From 200 to 300 cars of apples are shipped from Medford each year. These shipments represent a total of from 140,000 to 220,000 boxes. Shipments are made principally to New York City, though many Rogue River apples, as previously stated, are sold in Liverpool and London. The average net returns are $1.25 to $2.00 per box.
In the light of the prices received for Rogue River fruit and the increased acreage each year that is being devoted to fruit growing in this wonderful valley the possibilities for the future almost stagger the imagination. Yet the impossibility of glutting the world's markets with fine apples and pears is so apparent to even the casual observer as to need no argument in its favor. In 1896 the apple crop of the United States was 69,070,000 barrels; in 1897 it was 41,536,000 barrels; in 1898, 28,570,000 barrels; in 1899, 37,560,000 barrels; in 1900, 47,960,000 barrels; in 1901, 26,970,000 barrels; in 1902, 47,625,000 barrels; in 1903, 45,000,000 barrels; in 1904, 45,300,000 barrels; in 1905, 23,500,000 barrels; in 1906, 38,000.,000 barrels; in 1907, 29,000,000 barrels; in 1908, 23,000,000 barrels. A marked decrease in the production is thus shown. The effect upon Medford and the entire Rogue River Valley through the development of this great industry is becoming more and more evident and Destiny points its finger unmistakably to this beautiful valley as having a future of extraordinary promise.
The best thought of the brainiest men in Southern Oregon has been given to horticulture since the possibilities of the business have been apparent. In the light of acquired experience, there need not be a single failure among those who now embark in this business. It is not an occupation especially adapted to the wants of a lazy man, for it requires the closest attention at all times; but its rewards are so great that it is very alluring to men of intelligence. As a recent writer says: "Whoever enters this field of production must understand that if he succeeds he will have full use for his best intellectual and physical energies." The Rogue River Valley is as regular in its crop production as any part of the known world, and one can be certain that he will not have labored in vain if he concentrates his efforts on the right varieties of fruits on the right kind of land here.
Will the earning period of your life close in ten years hence? Are there boys and girls coming on who will be in the market for a collegiate education about that time? Set out an orchard in the Rogue River Valley now, and when the time of need is at hand it will provide an annuity which none of the insurance or guarantee companies will care to duplicate. It is a pleasant occupation, in a sense carrying one back to Eden. As Henry E. Dosch, one-time Secretary of the State Horticultural Commission, has written: "There is perhaps no more fascinating nor ennobling pursuit in life than horticulture, and possibly none more profitable than the growing of apples and pears. The poet who watched and raved over the development of a beautiful girl baby into maiden and ultimate womanhood will find its counterpart in an Oregon orchard. To stand and watch in early spring the quickening of the tree, the gradual development of leaf and bud, and the gentle, timid opening of its bewitching blossoms, filling the air with intoxicating fragrance, and finally the fruitage of the magnificent apples and pears for which Oregon has become famous is a poem in itself." The same writer says: "Fruit growing is no longer an experiment in Oregon. The incessant drudgery, the numerous and keen disappointments, which are peculiar to all new enterprises and from which horticulture in Oregon did not escape, are things of the past. We have reached the era of scientific management of the orchard and of remunerative prices for the product."
This is especially true of the Rogue River Valley. Pioneers in horticulture have blazed the way for the beginner, and as a consequence perhaps no other industry offers so many attractions or is so sure of large financial rewards.
FRUIT LANDS AND PRICESTaking into consideration the ideal natural conditions, the never-failing crops, strong market and wide margin of profit offered the industrious fruit grower, the price of fruit lands in Rogue River Valley is low. Compared with fruit lands of far less excellence in other sections of the. Coast, it is remarkably low.
Of course, it is impossible to purchase any of the bearing orchards of Rogue River Valley for less than $500 per acre, and there are few bearing orchards for sale. But the man who wants to mold his own orchard from the rough to work out the whole enterprise from the crude material, and derive all the benefit of the enhancement brought about by development, has a splendid opportunity here.
First-class fruit lands, cleared and ready for trees, within a few miles of .Medford, can be bought for $150 to $300 per acre.
By going farther out, and still be on the main highways, and only a few miles from Medford, land well suited to the apple and the pear, the peach and the apricot, as well as berries and small fruits, can be bought at $50 an acre and up. It must be remembered that the price of land is determined not only by its intrinsic worth, but also by the value of the improvements which have been made upon it. Obviously land set with trees is more valuable than cleared land, and the older the trees, up to a certain age, the more valuable the land.
ROGUE RIVER FRUIT GROWERS ASSOCIATIONPractically the entire fruit output, except that from large orchards, for all central Rogue River Valley, and for the eastern and western districts, is marketed through the Rogue River Fruitgrowers' Association, of Medford. This is one of the strongest, most closely welded and economically managed fruitgrowers' organizations on the Coast. It has systematized and placed the fruit industry here on a paying basis; also, it has established and maintained a standard of excellence that cultivates and promotes intelligent orchard management, and stands always for better fruit and best prices. It costs but $2.25 for a grower to become a member, the requirement being merely that he hold one share of stock. No one man or company can hold more than five shares. Thus the big grower has no advantage over the little one. If the grower has but one box of apples, he is paid the same price per box as the man with 30,000. A small commission is charged to defray the office expense incurred.
The officers of the association are elected annually by the shareholders. The manager is an experienced fruit man, and not only seeks the best possible market for fruit consigned, but makes a careful inspection of all fruits prepared for shipment, encouraging and assisting in the all-important feature of neat and careful packing. An Oregon law requires that all orchards be kept pest-clean.
GRAIN AND ALFALFAOwing to the possibilities of intense production on Rogue River soil, giving greatest returns from a concentrated area, by a comparatively small amount of labor, the growing of wheat is not followed on an extensive scale. Wheat, oats, barley, rye and timothy, vetch and alfalfa thrive to perfection. But as the ground is most profitable when set to fruit, many fields that have for years past given abundant grain harvests are now budding and blooming with the apple and the pear.
Corn is grown extensively, but brings best returns by the "hog route." The fodder is made into ensilage, and is packed in silos for wintering stock. Many who crop of corn between the trees.
Taken as a whole, the farm products figure conspicuously in the aggregate wealth of the Rogue River Valley, despite its immense output of fruit. The diversity of crops is responsible for this condition, and makes the district an enticing one for the homeseeker.
Alfalfa is one of the leading of these diversified farm products. It is no trick of magic to produce three crops of alfalfa on Rogue River land without irrigation, from which returns of from $40 to $65 an acre are realized. A few stands of alfalfa in the vicinity of Medford produce four crops each season.
Where irrigation is employed, the yield is, of course, far greater than without, as four heavy crops are cut instead of two or three. The margins of profit in alfalfa growing are very wide.
It is probable that as the valley is more largely set to fruit, the profits of general farming and of all those little and big products which the thrifty farmer produces will grow greater and greater. As trees come into bearing the orchardist discontinues to plant any sort of crop between his trees and becomes dependent upon his neighbor for all those necessary articles of good living that come from the general farm and the poultry yard. There will always be, therefore, a large home market for farm products.
GARDENING-TRUCK FARMINGCrops of uncommon abundance of all kinds of tubers and vegetables are grown here. Gardening and truck farming under high cultivation return surprisingly large crops. An average crop of potatoes is five tons, or about 165 bushels per acre for well-cultivated land, for which the average price at digging time is $20 a ton.
Onions make exceptionally large yields in Rogue River Valley. Eagle Point district, east of Medford, has a wide reputation for its immense onion output. One man harvests 73,000 pounds of onions every year from a field of but one and one-quarter acres.
Tomatoes perfect the fruit without scab, attain a fine growth and flavor, and are very hardy, making them good shippers. Fifteen tons an acre is not an uncommon crop of tomatoes on Rogue River soil. Good shipping tomatoes command $20 a ton. There is a great demand for the Rogue River tomato crop.
STOCKRAISINGStockraising is another of the important industries of Rogue River Valley, and it is not confined to cattle alone, but includes horses, mules, hogs, sheep and goats. The absence of snow, the mild climate, making the winter feeding season very short, and the excellent range through a large portion of the year, and the abundance of water, make this section a most favorable one for the cattleman.
The same intensity of production on concentrated area is manifest among cattlemen as among fruit growers. Stock is well bred, and Rogue River Valley beeves are prizewinners wherever shown.
Hogs are raised in great number on Rogue River Valley farms and ranches. Hogs wax fat on acorns from the oak groves of the foothills, and need only a touch of corn or wheat to put them in prime condition for the block. Alfalfa hogs grown here make the best "block hogs" which go into the Coast market.
The farmers take especial pride in their horses and mules, and are producing animals of the highest type. There is a lively market for such animals, draft horses being frequently sold for $300 to $600 a span.
Dairying is a profitable pursuit for many in Rogue River Valley, and while the industry is yet young, the success of those who have entered it will lead many others. The three creameries in the valley, one at Ashland, one at Central Point, and one at Medford, can use far more cream than is now brought them. Since the establishment of these creameries, the farmers are finding it profitable to increase their milk herds, as a ready market is afforded for the butterfat. The favorable conditions existing in Rogue River Valley make the milch cow worth $7 a month to the dairyman or farmer. Besides the sale of the cream, the skim milk is fed to the calves and pigs. To secure beat returns dairymen and farmers are weeding out all poor stock and building up their herds with the best breeds. Alfalfa hay, with ensilage and root crops, make a perfect dairy cow ration.
The always busy hen is playing an important part in adding to the natural wealth of this section. The man with a desire to enter the poultry business can find no better spot than this, as a few acres will grow all the feed required for many thousand fowls. One man who lives near Medford sells $400 worth of eggs and $150 worth of "fryers" from his flock of 300 Leghorn chickens.
Turkeys do equally well, and the openings in this business are many. Splendid opportunity is also offered the bee culturist here, as commercially important apiaries are few, and the margins of profit big. Alfalfa and alfalfa seed growing contribute largely to success in poultry farming and bee culture.
GREAT WEALTH OF TIMBERThe territory of timber tributary to Medford extends far beyond the limits of Jackson County. While the forest area of upper Rogue River is immense, there is an equally vast area to the south and west, extending into Josephine County, in Oregon, and into Siskiyou County, California, the barriers being such as to make it impossible to move the timber except from the Oregon side, and through Medford, the nearest point.
The Pacific & Eastern Railroad already touches the timber belt of upper Rogue River, and the railroad proposed to the Blue Ledge copper mines will open up the vast timbered region of the Siskiyou Range.
The milling of the lumber from these great forests will be reduced to minimum cost because of the unlimited water power afforded by Rogue River and Butte Creek on the one hand, and by the Applegate, Little Applegate, Joe and Elliott creeks on the other.
Most of these trees will cut five to eight 16-foot logs, and are from three to eight feet in diameter on the stump. Fully sixty-five percent of the logs are surface clear.
The sugar pine is the tree of greatest commercial importance, and it is an interesting fact that the sugar pine forests of the upper Rogue are the largest in the world. Sugar pine has the outward appearance of white pine, but the timber is lighter and stronger and takes a higher polish. For finishing, sash, door and box material sugar pine is unsurpassed.
Rogue River sugar pine lumber and box material, sorted and shaped at the Medford yards and mills, is shipped to all corners of the world. The market for sugar pine lumber, also for fir and yellow pine, is getting stronger year by year, as all America, and many countries of the old world, must look to the Pacific Coast for lumber.
The fir, or "Douglas spruce," is the most widely distributed tree in Rogue River forests, and also predominates on the Siskiyou and Cascade ranges. Firs seven to nine feet trunk diameter and 300 feet high are common here. The wood of the fir is noted for its qualities of strength, elasticity and toughness. It is especially useful and is employed where structures of great strength are desired. Of the two kinds the "red" and "yellow'' fir, the latter is most abundant. In outward appearance it is much like the Eastern hemlock, but it is higher grade.
The yellow pine is also a valuable tree. In outward appearance it is much like the Norway pine, but its wood is lighter and stronger.
The cedar and oak timber of the Rogue River forests is of fine quality. The laurel or madrona is much like the "iron wood" of the Eastern states in outward appearance, but the lumber is more like the myrtle. When green, the wood is nearly as soft as pine, but when seasoned is as hard as maple, taking a polish equal to rosewood. The world contains no better furniture material than this. A splendid opportunity awaits the man who will place a factory at Medford to use some of the laurel and oak of the surrounding forests in the manufacture of furniture and carriages.
WATER POWER NEAR MEDFORDA herculean feature of the country tributary to Medford is the power of its rivers and streams. Since this power can be harnessed and transmitted by electric wire to every nook and district, and used for every conceivable purpose, its influence will be tremendous in the development of this territory, as well as in adding to the comforts and pleasures of life.
The plant of the Condor Water & Power Company, located at Gold Ray, on Rogue River, ten miles from Medford, is one of the largest power plants on the Pacific Coast. The company is sparing no expense or effort to develop and extend its plant and power lines sufficiently to meet every demand of all Southern Oregon. The company has eighty miles of main transmission line in Rogue River Valley, besides several hundred miles of party and individual lines reaching the settlements, farms and mines. These lines are being extended as fast as the needs require.
The site selected for the Condor power dam is a gorge of Rogue River, between Table Rock and a shoulder of the Coast Range mountains at the lower end of the valley. The bed and the shores of the river at this point are solid rock, and on this everlasting foundation the dam, which is of concrete, rock and steel, was built. The dam raises the water of the river to a height of twenty feet, and develops 5,000 horsepower at the present time, and has a capacity of 20,000 horsepower. This company is installing another plant at Prospect capable of producing 100,000 horsepower.
Besides power for the mines and farms and for the cities and towns, there is no question but that the development of Rogue River Valley will require the harnessing of the rivers and streams to operate electric railways. Expert engineers who have made a careful survey and examination of the power of Rogue River, Applegate River and other streams of this district predict that the main lines of railroads through Western and Southern Oregon will employ electricity developed from these streams in moving the freight and passenger traffic of the territory. The amount of power capable of production in our streams is enormous.
The following, taken from the report of the Oregon Conservation Commission, published November, 1908, gives one an idea of the available power at a few of the good power plant sites only:
THE NEED OF IRRIGATIONIntense production and the desire to secure the greatest possible output by continuous or repeated crops in a single season has drawn attention to irrigation in many sections of Rogue River Valley. None of the grain raised in the valley is irrigated, none of the corn, very little of the alfalfa, and less than five percent of the orchards. For gardening and small fruits, irrigation has proved beneficial.
The number of streams, with their adequate water supply throughout the year, makes it possible for every portion of Rogue River Valley, both the lowlands and the hill slopes, to be subjected to irrigation.
Private corporations have immense irrigating enterprises under way in Rogue River Valley. The Fish Lake Ditch Company has constructed a mammoth ditch from Butte Creek. This ditch darries 7500 miners' inches of water, and has been built for a distance of thirty-five miles.
MINES AND MININGThis is the pioneer mining district of Oregon. Gold was first discovered on Jackson Creek in 1851, bringing thousands of fortune hunters over the Siskiyou Mountains from California. For years Jacksonville, the first Oregon mining camp, located five miles from the present city of Medford, was one of the liveliest gold districts in the West. It is still a mining center.
The vast acreage of old channels, gravel bars and auriferous placer deposits, together with the abundant winter rains and numerous streams, combine to make this section one of the leading hydraulic placer districts in America. Placer mining has always been largely followed here. Fully $20,000,000 in virgin gold has been produced from the several diggings since the original discovery. Jackson Creek diggings alone have produced nearly $6,000,000. The hydraulic mines, a half hundred in number, are among the best equipped in America, with their miles of ditches and flumes, thousands of feet of iron and steel pipe, their batteries of giants and all necessary machinery for hydraulicking. The season of mining being long, the water supply and diggings abundant, the output from Jackson County's surface mines total a half million each year.
There yet remains considerable unclaimed placer ground here, but the greatest opportunity along this line is in the investment of small and great capital by the purchase of undeveloped properties, giving them proper development, adequate equipment and intelligent management.
Though this district has a number of producing quartz mines, this feature of the gold mining industry is in its infancy. Quartz mining has been followed here for almost as long a period as placer mining. Many notable discoveries have been made. The Gold Hill and Steamboat strikes each yielded more than $250,000.
THE COPPER MINESThe copper mines of the Blue Ledge district, though located on the California-Oregon border line, are tributary to Medford, the only means of reaching them being by wagon road from this city, a distance of thirty-five miles. The deposits of copper in the district have been exploited and developed sufficiently to prove the district beyond any possible question one of the greatest bodies of copper in the West.
The Blue Ledge district, as a whole, comprises an area of 2,000 square miles, occupying the upper range of the Siskiyous, with an altitude of from 3,500 to 6,100 feet. Fully 1,000 claims have been located in the district. There are ten parallel ledges, occupying a strip ten miles wide, and with claims located continuously upon them for a distance of twenty-five miles.
The principal lode of the district, that which first attracted the attention of mining men, and from which the camp derives its name, is the Blue Ledge. This ledge was first located in 1898, and is now owned and under development by the Blue Ledge Mining Company of New York. This company is sparing no expense or effort to fully develop the property, and intends to ultimately equip it with a smelter and reduction works with a capacity of at least 500 tons daily, and which, with the mine workings, will give employment for several thousand men. Medford, being the supply point and the gateway to this district, is in a most enviable position, as this city will, in a large measure, derive the full benefit of the immense payroll, not only of the Blue Ledge property itself, but of the many other properties that are under development there and which will, in due course, install smelting and reduction plants.
BUILDING AND MONUMENTAL GRANITEThe hills west and south of Medford contain limitless quantities of granite. Analyses and tests have not only proved these gigantic granite ledges to be first grade building stone, unequaled by any on the Coast, but they contain also a class of granite peculiarly valuable for monumental purposes. This latter class occurs in all desirable shades and tints, taking a very fine polish and exquisite finish; also it is of a toughness and texture that ensures its weathering the extremes of heat and cold through countless centuries.
Marble is to be one of the chief sources of wealth. One body covering 360 acres is exceptionally fine, similar in grain to that of Vermont. In color it is from pure white to jet black. The dark blue nearly identical to dark blue Rutland. The variegated and mottled being exceptionally beautiful blends. This vast bed is still in its natural state, very little development having been done. This marble offers good investment to quarry and for the manufacture of marble products.
Sandstone for building purposes is found in several localities about Medford. One fine deposit at the edge of the city is being worked, furnishing Medford with excellent, yet cheap, building material.
An opportunity for investment is presented here, in equipping these great natural quarries with stonecutting plants and machinery for removing the stone in quantity. The building era upon which the whole Pacific Coast is now entering will create an enormous demand for building material, especially for such excellent stone as these deposits contain.
RARE METALS AND MINERALSThe variety and extent of the metal and mineral deposits in the territory tributary to Medford is no less wonderful or remarkable than the diversity and output of the soil products. Extensive ledges of cinnabar, carrying a high percentage of mercury, are under development by Medford people in the Meadows district of upper Rogue River.
The rare metal, platinum, is also found here, occurring principally with the black sand of the placer diggings. In 1905 nearly one-fourth the entire platinum output for America, as shown by the
report of the United States Geological Survey, came from Southern Oregon.
Cobalt, nickel, zinc, arsenic, graphite, clays, calcite or limestone, all are found here, the first four mentioned in this list being associated with other metals and minerals in quartz formation.
Cement rock, clays, etc., necessary for the manufacture of cement, are in quantities here. Development of this industry is waiting the call of mine railways.
"Medford, Oregon: Rogue River Valley," booster booklet published by the Medford Commercial Club, Portland, 1909.
Following the summit of Grizzly Ridge toward the west for about four miles brings us to a point from which nearly all parts of the main valley can be seen. We now observe that it has its greatest length from Steinman to a point several miles northwest of Grants Pass, a distance of about seventy miles. At its most westerly point Rogue River enters a very rugged canyon which continues almost to the ocean. The greatest width of valley is perhaps 20 miles, and a more beautiful country to look upon would be hard to find. The beautiful and romantic little city of Ashland, which has been made the starting point for these observations, is in plain view along the foot of the Siskiyous. Five miles to the northwest is the village of Talent, situated on the banks of Wagner Creek, which flows from the Siskiyous and for a distance of five or six miles is being crowded with fruit farms and plenty, yet out of sight from the railroad. Three miles further on is the village of Phoenix in the midst of farms and orchards. Five miles north of Phoenix is the rapidly growing little city of Medford, practically in the center of the valley and with a wealth of farms and orchards surrounding it. Medford in population ranks next to Ashland and is destined to be the commercial center of the valley. Its growth is rapid and substantial. A short line of railroad connects it with Jacksonville to the west and the Crater Lake railroad has its junction with the S. P. road here and now extends northeast to Eagle Point and is intended to open up a fine body of timber to the northeast. Ashland, which is especially noted as a home and school town, and a place of great scenic attractions, seems destined to become the Colorado Springs of Oregon. The purity and abundance of its water, the great variety of its mineral springs and noted as the site of one of the State normal schools, a Chautauqua assembly, which meets yearly, beautiful parks, flowers and fruit. Its water supply comes from Ashland Butte, is abundant for all purposes and is absolutely owned and controlled by the city, making it one of the most favored localities on the coast. The foregoing marks the distinctive features of Ashland, while Medford's distinguishing feature is its central location in the valley and its consequent advantage as a commercial center. There ought not to be any feeling of rivalry between these two growing little cities, for that in which each excels is not a matter of competition between them, and yet there seems to be a senseless feeling of rivalry with its usual accompaniments.
Five miles west of Medford is Jacksonville, the county seat of Jackson County and the oldest town in Southern Oregon. Jacksonville was first settled as a mining camp, and for more than fifty years has been one of Oregon's most noted mining localities. Until the building of the S.P. railroad Jacksonville was the chief town in Southern Oregon. As I have elsewhere said, it occupies a cove at the foot of the Siskiyou Mountains which once formed a landlocked harbor when the old island was surround by by the ocean. The site and vicinity of Jacksonville was once very rich in placer gold and millions of dollars in gold dust have been handled there since the first discovery about sixty years ago. If we were writing a political history of Oregon it would be necessary to give at least a chapter to Jacksonville. After Medford sprung into existence, and Jacksonville had been left five miles away from the railroad, it was shorn of its laurels as the chief town, but still retains an extensive business and is the chief supply point for the mines to the south and west and for the trade of the farmers and orchardists of the Applegate country. There is not a more beautiful location for a town in all the valley, and the development of the copper mines south from Jacksonville, in the heart of the Siskiyous, of which mention will be made further on, has given to the old town a new impetus.
Remembering that we are viewing the valley from a point of Grizzly Mountain, from which all of these towns are plainly seen, we look north from Medford along the railroad and at the distance of four miles see Central Point, another thriving town, perhaps as much entitled to be considered the central town of the valley as its neighbor. This town is also flourishing and exhibits its orchards and farms with as much pride as does Medford. Some of the most noted orchards of the state are just at the outskirts of Central Point. Eleven miles northeast of Central Point is Eagle Point, not on the railroad, but on the banks of Butte Creek and located in one of the finest sections of the valley. Eagle Point is at present the terminus of the Medford and Crater Lake Railroad. Its position is picturesque and is surrounded with fine farms and orchards with an abundance of water for irrigation and other purposes. Butte Creek affords many excellent sites for power. The stream is one of the largest that enters the valley and comes direct from Mt. McLoughlin. The Butte Creek arm of the valley constitutes an important part of the county and extends up that stream for ten or twelve miles above Eagle Point, is populous and rich.
Returning now to Central Point and following the railroad five miles further to the north we reach the bank of Rogue River at the new town of Gold Ray. Here a wealthy company has placed a fine concrete dam across the river and constructed a large power plant that furnishes all the valley with electricity. The company has already laid out at least a half million dollars in their project and are planning lines of electric roads that shall bind the whole valley. Electricity is furnished for the operation of mines and machinery in all parts of the valley and surrounding mountains. Perhaps there is not planned many more extensive electrical plants on the coast, nor with finer prospects. The stream is an ideal one for such purposes. Near by is the Table Rocks, one of the points of scenic interest along the line of this "Road of a Thousand Wonders." These rocks cover a considerable area, several miles in extent. They rise to a height of six or seven hundred feet above the river with a talus slope for the first two or three hundred feet, terminating in vertical cliffs of basaltic lava, the top of which is practically a level plain covered with the usual bushy growths of the region. At the base of the talus is sandstone with indications of coal. To the north of these cliffs and not in view from the road lies Sams Valley, really a part of Rogue River Valley, and one of its richest sections. It is several miles in extent each way, and as an agricultural, horticultural and dairying region ranks high. The railroad from this point on to Grants Pass, about twenty-five miles, runs directly along the bank of Rogue River. At about six miles below Gold Ray we cross the river and draw up at Gold Hill, a prosperous and growing town of six or seven hundred people who are very enthusiastic in discussing the future of their little city, of which they are justly proud. Mining is extensively carried on in the vicinity, besides which, Sams Valley and the Meadows, a few miles to the northeast, are supplied at Gold Hill and from there do their shipping. From this point to Grants Pass the valley is narrow and most of the available spots are occupied by farmers, miners and fruit growers. As we go spinning down the north bank of the river we notice streams coming in from the mountains on both sides bordered with ranches, running back into the mountains, and everywhere we see mining operations and do not need to be told that in this occupation many of the farmers busy themselves during that season of the year when the streams are full. Nine miles west of Gold Hill we pass Woodville, another prosperous village. Here the lumber yards tell us of mills in the mountains; hop drying houses, fruit dryers and milk cans show diversified industry. Extensive mining is done in the vicinity, and the indications show that we are yet along the shoreline of the old island.
C. B. Watson, Prehistoric Siskiyou Island and Marble Halls of Oregon, 1909, pages 39-42. This excerpt was printed in revised and corrected form in the Ashland Tidings on January 21, 1909, page 3
Diagonally across Oregon, in the southwestern part, there is another unusually fertile field--the famous Rogue River Valley, over which the snow-capped peak of Mount McLoughlin presides with majestic dignity, while all about are row after row of sleek-limbed, healthy apple and pear trees that have sent their fruit to all the markets of the world.
Jackson County, in which Rogue River Valley is located, has an area of 3,000 square miles, an area as large as Rhode Island or Delaware and one-half as large as Massachusetts or Connecticut. The southern boundary of the county is the California line, along the summit of the Siskiyous. The border lines on the west and north are low-lying ranges, the highest "hogbacks" of which are about 4,500 feet elevation. The eastern boundary, with its length of ninety miles, follows the backbone of the great Cascade Range and is lifted to a height of over 9,000 feet at points where Mount McLoughlin, Union Peak and Cowhorn lift their peaks of everlasting white. Across the northern end of the valley flows Rogue River, a wild, turbulent stream fed by the Cascades' melting snows, carrying water enough to irrigate an empire and power enough to light and heat the whole of Oregon. The valley, in its entirety, presents a stretch of the finest country ever seen. Its soil is rich, deep and alluvial, much of it being a black vegetable mold, fat and productive.
Joaquin Miller has aptly called Rogue River Valley the "Italy of America," and there is far more in this than poetry and sentiment, the records of the United States weather bureau showing an average mean temperature for the past eighteen years of 52 degrees. The average yearly precipitation is less than in many of the eastern sections.
The commercial possibility of the apple under the modern methods of cultivation and shipment brought Rogue River at once to the attention of the world, and it is for this reason that the growth of the valley has been so phenomenal. Twenty thousand acres of new orchards have been planted in Rogue River Valley in the past two years alone--the chief and favorite varieties being the Aesopus Spitzenberg and the Yellow Newtown Pippin. Owing to the prices realized for fruits, the landowners of Oregon are at last beginning to realize what a bonanza there is in the orchards, but as yet they do not--in Rogue River Valley, at least--care to put any price upon their holdings. What valuation can be put on an orchard that pans out from $500 to $2,250 an acre from a single crop of fruit? Figure it out yourself. Ten acres of the right varieties of apple or pear trees in this valley will, when in full bearing, produce an average of $3,000 to $6,000 net income per annum, and instances are actually occurring every year where these figures are exceeded.
Available pear land is as plentiful in Rogue River as apple land. The hill slopes bordering the valley are being utilized for this purpose. Thousands of acres of such land await the orchardist, and offer unlimited opportunity to the small investor who will back his modest means with common sense and energy.
Rogue River Valley makes the same claim for superiority in the matter of the peach as it does for the apple and the pear and apparently backs its claim with convincing facts. The hill slopes form ideal peach lands, as the success of the orchards east and north of Medford has amply proved. In size, flavor and general excellence the Rogue River peach ranks with the best and the market is unlimited. Growers are regularly netting from $100 to $500 an acre. The available acreage of peach land in Rogue River Valley is very large, and here again the energetic man with a little money has a chance for absolute independence and a life of plenty. The apricot, like its sisterly fruits, is fast becoming a recognized product of the Rogue River Valley, while the growing of berries is likewise enlarging into a vast business. Plums, prunes and cherries all thrive abundantly in the Rogue River district, the trees being especially prolific and the fruit high grade. Rogue River cherries are widely shipped, the marketing of them being especially favorable in that they come in just after the California crop and before the Willamette Valley crop.
The vineyardist is also finding a lucrative field on the Rogue River hill slopes. There are several fine vineyards near Medford, but only a very small percentage of the land adapted to the grape is being used. Grapes of all varieties grow in Rogue River Valley--the fruit being unsurpassed in quality and color. Experts have indeed pronounced the Tokay brand--grown on the Rogue River hill districts--the finest in the world. The condition of the soil, the altitude and the climate are almost identical with that of the famous wine-producing districts of France and Italy, and the most delicate European varieties are now being cultivated. English and French walnuts, it has been found, will also do exceptionally well if cultured in the hill districts, and a splendid opportunity is offered to all who will engage in this business.
At the present time there are 2,500,000 young apple and pear trees in Rogue River Valley. Some of these are just in bearing, more than 8,000 acres having been set out this past year. If all were in one big orchard they would cover an area of 50,000 acres. And this is increasing at the rate of from 8,000 to 10,000 acres annually, an increase due to the flattering success of those who "have arrived" in .the business. There is absolutely no question but that in time--a few years at the most--all Rogue River Valley will be one vast orchard, one of the biggest and most productive anywhere.
Stockraising is another of the important industries of Rogue River Valley, and it is not confined to cattle alone, but including horses, mules, hogs, sheep and goats. The absence of snow, the mild climate, making the winter feeding season very short, and the excellent range through a large portion of the year, and the abundance of water, makes this section a most favorable one for the cattleman. There is a lively market for horses and mules--draft horses being frequently sold for $300 to $600 a span.
In the Medford district there is also a wide field for the marketing of lumber, the forests of Rogue River Valley being among the finest in Oregon. The fir, or "Douglas Spruce," is the most widely distributed tree in the Rogue region and often grows to immense size; trees seven to nine feet trunk diameter and 300 feet high being no uncommon sight.
The wonderful wealth of the Rogue Valley forests, together with the waterpower to be found in the streams and rivers tributary to Medford, all go far toward proving that the region is yet in its infancy in so far as the pursuit of the lumber business and its allied industries are concerned. As an example of the water power to be found in the Rogue River Valley a recent report shows that a few good sites for power plants, if properly worked, would develop a horsepower of 428,110--ample for the whole of Southern Oregon. So much for the possibilities of development of the Rogue River Valley. There are many other pursuits yet undeveloped, but lack of space prohibits a narration of them all.
Kenton B. Livingston, "Oregon--The Land of Opportunity," The Progress Magazine, Chicago, July 1909, pages 42-44
OPPORTUNITIES AND POSSIBILITIESThe Progress Magazine, Chicago, August 1909, pages 51-53
OF MEDFORD, OREGON, AND ITS VICINITY
BY LUCILE ROOD CONRAD
Mother Nature was good to the valley of the Rogue River, in Oregon, when she showered her choicest bounties upon it; and in the midst of this glorious valley she placed a little town called Medford. A rare and salubrious climate, a soil so rich as to almost surpass belief, beautiful scenery, mountains stored with coal, copper and gold, extensive forests of unestimated value, streams stocked with the delight of the fisherman's heart, "speckled beauties," quail, grouse, deer and bear in abundance, and the gateway to CRATER LAKE, the greatest natural wonder in the world--such, in the fewest possible words, is the condition in the famous Rogue River Valley, in Southwestern Oregon. If one were ever justified in lauding the wonders and possibilities of any land, he is certainly justified in giving this beautiful valley and its throbbing, wide-awake heart, the progressive city of Medford, a full measure of praise. The object of this article is to tell the readers of this worthy magazine something of the conditions existing here, that they may know and enjoy, if they will, this garden spot of the West.
Perhaps it may be said that the chief pursuit is fruit-raising, and well it may be said, for at present there are about 50,000 acres set to fruit trees, and it is fully expected that at least 1,000,000 more trees will be planted during the next tree-planting season. The orchards vary in size from five acres to 1,400 acres, and apples, peaches, pears, plums, apricots, prunes and cherries are raised commercially, while strawberries, loganberries and currants form no small part of the fruit-raising industry. Probably the most celebrated fruits from the valley are the Spitzenberg and Newtown Pippin apples and the various varieties of pears. At the present time there are 2,500,000 young apple and pear trees alone in the valley. From 200 to 300 cars of apples are shipped out of Medford each year, and if the newly planted and prospering orchards which will come into bearing within the next few years are any indication, there will be thousands of cars of apples shipped out of Medford annually in the very near future. The effect of this great industry upon Medford and the valley in general is becoming more and more evident, and Destiny points its finger inevitably to a future of extraordinary promise. The very best thought of the brainiest men in Oregon, and in the United States, has been given to this horticulture since the possibilities of the business have become known, and no effort is spared on the part of the orchardists or the government to produce the finest and best grade of apples and pears from this valley that there are in the world. Time and space will not permit one to go into detail about these orchards, but the accompanying pictures will give some idea of the scene in an orchard on a picking day.
Then there are the mines. Many localities have mines, but nowhere are they more thrifty than here. The Blue Ledge copper mine, on the California-Oregon line, is in an extremely rich stage of development, and it is tributary to Medford, owing to the plans of kind Mother Nature in laying out the valley. This is the pioneer mining district of Oregon. Gold was first discovered in Jackson Creek in 1851, bringing thousands of fortune hunters over the Siskiyous, and for years Jacksonville, which is now the county seat of Jackson County, and located five miles west of the present site of Medford, was one of the liveliest gold districts in the West, and is still a mining center. Marble is one of the chief sources of wealth. Sandstone for building purposes is found in several localities; cobalt, nickel, zinc, arsenic, graphite, clays, calcite of limestone, and also the rare metal, platinum, are found in the valley.
The present upbuilding of the railroad facilities, the recent discovery and the development of coal, now under way, and the opening up of the largest sugar-pine timber belt in the world adds decidedly to Medford's assets. Rogue River furnishes enough power for every conceivable purpose, and its influence will be tremendous in the development of this great and rich territory, besides adding to the comforts and pleasures of life. Nearly every ranch is equipped with electric lights, which makes their lighting problem simple and easy and indicates something of the prevailing wealth of the community. I might also add that Medford claims the distinction of having more automobiles than any other city of its size in the world and that there are more typewriters used. This is not only the case with the city residents, but the ranchers as well are nearly all supplied with typewriters and automobiles, and it is a sight to the newcomers to see the number of automobiles from the country lined up before the eleven churches on Sunday mornings, having brought their respective owners to their places of worship.
It is hard to realize that with the completion of the extension of the Pacific and Eastern Railroad, which is now being rapidly pushed, a new era of prosperity for Medford will dawn, and that it will tap one of the greatest timber belts in America. It is interesting to note that it is the largest body of standing sugar pine in the world and the largest body of timber accessible by a lateral road in the United States. This will inevitably mean factories and mills for Medford, which means payrolls and money in circulation. Some of the finest furniture material in the world today is accessible in this little city among the mountains.
Dear to the heart of all hunters and fishermen, and, it is almost safe to say, dear to the heart of every man and boy in the United States, here in abundance may be found what so many lovers of the gun seek for in vain--unlimited, diversified shooting. Quail, Chinese pheasants, mallards and teal, pigeon, ruffed grouse and mountain quail are some of the winged game that you can see on any bright fall morning a few miles out of the city, and the woods are full of deer and bear. So plentiful, in fact, are the deer that a large doe was shot and killed last October in a pear orchard within one-fourth of a mile from the city limits. The numerous streams that abound through this section are all well stocked with gamy trout, and the jackrabbits hop up and run along beside you if you go for a stroll outside of the business center of the city.
But, no matter how fertile a valley, how prospering the country may be, it must needs have an outlet to the outer world and a shipping point for the output of the produce and a thriving, throbbing heart for a business center--in other words, the concentrated activity of the people at large. Rogue River Valley has this in the city of Medford, situated on the banks of Bear Creek, surrounded with green fields and blossoming orchards, doing justice to the most critical of artists, beyond the art of artificial reproduction or the power of description by the author's pen. A climate that raises roses nearly the entire year, fresh strawberries on the table eight months in the year, with an invigorating atmosphere that refreshes, and a cool breeze that braces, makes Medford an almost ideal place in which to live. The paved streets, brick business blocks, banks, eleven churches, good schools, well-stocked and modern stores, abundance of fruit and vegetables at any and all seasons, and its remarkable healthfulness as shown by vital statistics, are only a few of the conditions that exist in Medford.
The government recognizes the possibilities in the great Northwest, where its projects cover nearly a million acres and each year marks a new era of development and civilization extended to the remotest corners. Now that the worst stages of development are overcome and railroad facilities are theirs, it is the man that comes in and helps make known the unlimited advantages that will reap the harvest of finances. The earnest, energetic, hustling business men of the East and Middle West are gradually looking towards the coast, as their grandfathers flocked to the Middle West in the earlier dates. It is quality that Medford and the Rogue River Valley are seeking, and they can justly pride themselves now on having the fewest foreigners of any city of its size along the coast.
With our fruit industry growing every year to an enormous size and bringing almost incredible results from the market, with our coal supply coming on immediately after the United States geologists have stated that there is only enough coal in the United States to last another hundred years, our unlimited supply of the most marketable timber in the United States and the other most natural resources make this inevitably a place with a future hard to realize.
And last, but not least, this is the natural gateway to CRATER LAKE NATIONAL PARK, a park set aside by the government covering 249 square miles and comprising one of the greatest natural wonders of the world, and the only one that historians, geologists, botanists and zoologists alike are baffled on, that seems to have no history, no base for history back of the past few years. That it is the rim of an old and extinct volcano, one that has blown itself out, and that it is filled with the clearest and coldest water, clear as crystal, with no visible outlet or inlet, is known to be true, but why it is true is a question that hundreds of intelligent men have failed to solve. The lake is oval in shape, six miles long and four miles wide, with a depth of from 4,000 to 6,000 feet, and so clear the bottom can be seen in places. The water is pure and cold and sweet. Snow men can be made and flowers picked from the rim of the lake in July; the place is filled with interesting places, and the legends told of it by the Indians and the early white settlers would make a book in itself. Scenery seldom surpassed for its naturalness, its wild, tumbling, happy-go-lucky, rollicksome spirit, must be gone through to reach the lake from Medford, which is the natural railroad point to the lake. It is here that campers and tourists prepare for the journey and start on this most interesting trip. Splendid hunting grounds and camping places are en route, and the trip itself is one of unceasing delight from start to finish, with this wonderful lake for a climax. The freedom of development and the unlimited beauty and grandeur and advantages invite inspection and settlement in this great Northwest, and it is the purpose of this magazine and this article to invite its worthy readers to participate in this opportunity and investigate it with the purpose of settlement and location in some of the healthful and delightful homes on the coast. Medford's advantages are most apparent.
The Rogue River Valley and MedfordOAKLAND, Cal., July 26--(To the Editor.)--I have just returned from a trip to your state. Great country, especially that region surrounding Medford. Mile after mile of orchards, the ground as free of weeds as a city pavement, trees loaded down with fruit of the varieties which the wealthy people of Atlantic Coast cities and of England crave and are ready to pay for, even to the extent of seven or eight or nine dollars a box, a valley ten miles wide and 30 miles long of soil capable of producing that sort of fruit and on either side of this valley the sides of the mountains covered with forests--there is a picture calculated to stir the blood and to increase confidence in the future of this Pacific Coast empire.
Impressions of a Californian Who Made a Discovery in Profitable Horticulture
That Caused Him to Sit Up and Take Notice.
In the midst of this valley is the town of Medford. (The advertising matter distributed by the alert business organization call it the City of Medford). It has a population of something like 6000, three banks whose business is so prosperous as to encourage the establishment of a fourth, the building for which is now in course of erection, two daily papers which would be a credit to a community of much greater size, a newly installed water system providing an abundance of cold, clear water from the mountains, and at rates so cheap as to astonish Oaklanders who have been paying more for water than for bread, a mild climate and everybody busy and happy. Fortunate people, those Medforders. However, there is some confusion in my mind as to the exact number of automobiles the residents of the town and vicinity own. One man fixed the number at 125, another at 150 and a third at 175. Whatever the truth of that matter may be, they own as many as they need, I judge, and when they require more they will buy them.
Another matter which was not made exactly clear to me is as to who it was that planted the first orchard in the Rogue River Valley. "I am the pioneer in this business," said a man who looked as though he had a proper regard for the truth as a general proposition. "My brother and I planted the first orchard set out here," remarked another. "Our father was in the nursery business back East and we understood the business of fruitgrowing before we came here." But on a moving advertisement of John D. Olwell displayed in front of his real estate office is a proclamation which goes still farther. He announces in type so large that not only "he who runs" but also he who walks and he who stands still may read that John D. Olwell is the leader in the orchard business in that locality, that 20 years ago he planted the first orchard at Medford and that, 14 years ago, he began the shipping of fruit to European markets. I am inclined, under all the circumstances, to give credit to Olwell as being the real, the simon pure, pioneer in this industry which is revolutionizing business methods in fruitgrowing on the Pacific Coast. I rode out in his machine on a tour of several miles and his conversation was such as to give confidence in his regard for the truth. But for one brief moment that confidence was shaken. Pointing out a particular portion of an apple orchard he remarked, "The net profit on those trees last year was $2200 per acre." I have read many stories about California fruit profits--and, indeed, have written a good many myself, but never tackled so severe a strain as that and never read of so marvelous a profit in this state, or any other, in fruitgrowing.
The agent of a big nursery company of Salem told me that 60 per cent of the fruit trees of the state were in the Rogue River Valley. A Mr. Schenck, a Seattle merchant, said that he and two others had recently paid $60,000 for fruit land 12 miles north of Medford, a part of it in bearing, and that they were so well pleased with the investment that they intended to increase it. Near the town is a fine orchard owned by Mrs. Pullman, of Chicago. A local pastor is credited with the remark that in his congregation may be found former citizens of every state in the Union, and there are so many ex-North Dakota people that they have organized an association. No attention is paid to the raising of apricots, prunes, peaches or grapes in the vicinity of Medford, as commercial propositions. The soil, climate and conditions generally have been found to be peculiarly adapted to the growing of Newtown Pippin and Spitzenberg apples, both excellent keepers and of fine flavor, and the profit in shipping these has proven so great that there is no temptation to raise any other variety. The local conditions have also been found adapted to the successful growing and handling of a few varieties of pears, and the list is not extended by the big orchardists.
JOHN T. BELLOregonian, Portland, August 1, 1909, page 50
CALLS IT "A PET OF NATURE"The following article was taken from the Chicago Evening Post of September 2nd, from the pen of Glen Sterling, special correspondent of that journal, perhaps the leading and most influential evening newspaper in the West. Mr. Sterling wrote under a Medford dateline of August 30th, and more articles may be looked for, as he evidently was traveling northward through Oregon, noting his observations en route. The article follows just as it appeared in the Post:
NEWSPAPER WRITER THUS REFERS TO THIS REGION
The Home of Luscious Fruits and Equable Climate--Special Correspondent of Chicago Evening Post Describes Ashland and the Valley
All Oregon is divided into three parts--eastern, western and southern. The first comprises all the territory lying east of the Cascade Mountains; the second contains the great Willamette Valley and the country lying between the Cascades and the Pacific Ocean and extending from the Columbia River on the north a hundred and fifty miles southward; the third includes the part which is situated between the head of the Willamette Valley and the California line.
The third part is more diversified than either of the other sections, and is composed of two of the most picturesque and productive valleys in the world--the Rogue and the Umpqua.
The Valley of the Rogue, situated at the foot of the towering Cascade and Siskiyou mountains, and traversed by the wild swirling river from which it takes its name, presents to the eye of the tourist and to the critical mind of the investor unusual possibilities for employment and profit.
"America's Italy," exclaimed the poet of the Sierras, Joaquin Miller, when he first beheld its Alpine beauties and its luxuriant fertility. Italy it is in topography, in climate and in resources.
The region is a thousand feet at its lowest elevation above the level of the sea, caressed by zephyrs made soft and balmy by the proximity of the Japan Current, rendered fruitful by alluvial and decomposed, granite soils and watered by the mild, ample rains that render all Western Oregon an agricultural and horticultural paradise.
Guarded by Nature's BulwarksSurrounded by nature's bulwarks, which ward off the extremes of both heat and cold, the Rogue River Valley indeed reminds one of the country where Verdi and Horace piped their lays.
Coming northward, the traveler first beholds the valley spread out before him when the Southern Pacific trains reach the summit of the Siskiyou Mountains. As the trains pass, before making their descent, the whole valley extends like a panorama before the eye. Then curving and winding and looping again and again, the train makes it way down the mountain and into the city of Ashland.
No sooner does the tourist step from the train than he is presented with evidences of this valley's charms. Boys with the most delicious of fruits--peaches, apples, pears, cherries, berries--tempt the jaded appetite.
Taste, sight and later experiences bear out the first one--the longer he stays the more is he surprised to find that fuller knowledge proves this favorable impression to have been an underestimate.
Fine Fruit Lands on SlopeAbout the city and extending far back on the slopes that line the tortuous course of the tumbling Rogue stretch the fruit lands that have made Ashland famous commercially.
The Yellow Newtown and the Spitzenberg apples that yield the grower $400, $500 or $600 an acre greet him on every hand. Peaches that command fabulous prices in the best markets of the world, Bartlett, Du Comice, Winter Nelis and D'Anjou pears that the growers will prove to you net as high as $800 on an average, and not unusually $1,000 an acre; cherries, strawberries, blackberries and loganberries--all these could be seen growing as he never dreamed fruit could grow.
Happy, contented and wealthy are the fruit men of the vicinity. Good houses, with all conveniences; good roads. automobiles and a thriving city--what more do they want? Nothing, so they tell the visitor daily.
Region Ideal as Health ResortAshland has another claim to distinction, however, besides her fruit and general adaptability to diversified farming. This is based on the natural advantages which make the region an ideal health resort.
Take the climate. The weather record for the last seventeen years shows a mean temperature of 51.8 degrees. But this gives one no idea of the general mildness and balminess of the climate the year round. The summers of this region have already become famous, and tourists are becoming more and more numerous every year.
With a night temperature that varies between 60 and 70 degrees, with the green valley and the blue mountains, with an atmosphere surcharged with ozone and giving life and exhilaration to wearied hearts and jaded nerves, with the finest of trout fishing, and with an absolute freedom from irritating winds and suffocating humidity, its fame as a summer resort is certain to increase.
Famous for Mild WintersMoreover, the region round about Ashland has wonderful possibilities as a winter health and pleasure retreat. Situated as it is right in the heart of the mountains, with Mount McLoughlin, Mount Thielsen and other snow-clad peaks towering thousands of feet into the blue heavens, one would think that the winters would be cold and the entire valley ice-locked. On the contrary, the temperature is most equable and mild.
The thermometer rarely reaches as low as 20 degrees above zero, and the occasional snow that mantles the valley seldom stays longer than one day.
Ashland Tidings, September 16, 1909, page 1
Eugene, Roseburg and AshlandEugene is situated in the southern end of the Willamette Valley, considered one of the most fertile as well as the most beautiful valleys in the state; population 30,000; well built, with well-paved streets, good street car system and everything that goes to make a good, up-to-date town. The country round about the city is good, well watered and settled by industrious farmers of the better class. This is a good fruit country, also, as well as a good farming country, and anyone wishing to invest in Oregon land could do better here than anywhere else in the state. Eugene is the university town and the buildings are good, solid structures, situated in the most lonely and advantageous manner. The campus is all that anyone could wish, kept in perfect order and exceedingly pleasing to the eye.
By D. K. McCarty
We stopped here for the purpose of visiting an old friend and some kinfolks of Mrs. Mc.'s. The old friend was Mrs. Norton Gaylord. Mrs. Gaylord was born and partly raised near Concord, Ill. She is a niece of the great Methodist, John Sargent. This probably accounts for her talking qualities, for she could talk a man's arm off and not do her best, either. Mr. Gaylord is just as good at the talk game as his wife, but both being above the ordinary in intelligence they always interest their company by saying something when they talk. This couple own the Encore Hotel, situated one block from the depot, and just east of the new government building, a very desirable piece of property. They also own a nice residence uptown. Their new house was not finished when we were there, but they expected to move in by the first of November. The other party we visited here was a Mrs. Ferguson and her daughter Lizzie. Mrs. Ferguson was also an Illinois girl who went west in an early day. Her husband [Joseph C. Ferguson] was successful in accumulating property, but was taken from his family by the grim hand of death a few years ago at Medford, Ore., leaving two children, a son [and] the daughter above named. The daughter was educationally inclined and was soon teaching in the public schools, but this did not satisfy her desires in an educational way, so Mrs. Ferguson bought a lot in Eugene, close to the university grounds, and built a cottage thereon for the purpose of giving her daughter all the advantages possible for a higher education, and here we found them. The desire of the young lady was to climb the educational tree to its very top branches, where she could sit securely and make faces at those below her, but of course she would never do that, because she is very demure, tenderhearted and ladylike. We were only saying she could if she felt so disposed, etc. On the east side of Eugene, within the city limits, is situated a butte about five or six hundred feet high. The city water works are located here, and one can have a fine view from this elevation of miles and miles of the Willamette Valley, as well as the city and all its surroundings. Miss Ferguson told us a good story about this butte, in her peculiar way. We forgot to say that Miss Ferguson has a streak of humor, of the Mark Twain variety, which makes her conversation very entertaining, and the best part of it is she has not the least idea that this streak exists. She said there were two girls, once upon a time, who were attending the university here. One was fat as a pig and the other was as fat as a rail. The one that was as fat as a pig desired to become lean, not quite as lean as a rail, but just a good average. The one who was as lean as a rail wished to become fat, not as fat as a pig, but just a nice ordinary rotundity. So they decided that a walk every morning before breakfast to the top of this high butte would have a tendency to accomplish the desired effect. They figured it this way: the exercise would strengthen the appetite and digestive organs of the lean girl and she would soon become fat, while the same exercise would have a tendency to deplete the fleshiness of the fat girl and she would become lean, and when they were able to strike an average they would desist from their strenuous exercise of the early morning. These girls indulged in this exercise for about thirty days consecutively, when they began to look for results. They found that the lean girl was just as lean and the fat girl just as fat as when they commenced, but they had gained considerable in lung expansion and the strengthening of limbs, but as a cure for leanness and obesity it was a failure.
We do not say that Miss Ferguson told this story in these words, for that would not be giving her full justice as a recounter. She told it much better than we have in our awkward way.
As we were looking over the city with Mr. Gaylord he drew our attention to a cherry tree growing in the street just inside the curb. He informed us that probably there had been twenty-five bushels of fruit picked from this tree during the summer. We would not have believed this had we not seen the tree. We asked Mr. Gaylord to stand with his face to the tree and put his arms around the trunk as far as they would go. We did likewise from the opposite side and we could barely make our fingers meet. We estimated this cherry tree to be twelve feet in circumference. Had the father of our country tackled such a cherry tree as this his little hatchet would have failed to get to its work, and the American people would have missed that nice little historical story of the "Cherry Tree and Hatchet."
After spending a few very happy days with our friends in the beautiful and thriving little city of Eugene, we traveled on to Roseburg, seventy-four miles further down the road. We stopped here to visit Douglas Smith and his family. They had stopped here for the purpose of looking around, and after a few months' sojourn moved up to Portland. Roseburg is a business town, situated in the Umpqua Valley, the county seat of Douglas County. The natives claim that this is the finest part of Oregon for fruit growing, stock growing and gardening. While there is a great deal of good land in the Umpqua Valley, it is us nothing compared with [the] Willamette. We had the pleasure of visiting one of those fine orchards and found it all that the natives had claimed. Their apples, pears and peaches are certainly fine, and their small fruit cannot be surpassed. An old Illinois man, by the name of Standly, a brother to Uncle Dick, lives near Roseburg. He has planted several orchards and become immensely rich. This goes to prove that a man can make all the money he wants in that country if he is industrious and willing to give his whole attention to his line of business.
Roseburg looked as if a cyclone had recently visited in her midst. The streets were torn up, and new houses in every direction were being built. They were paving the streets, and the new houses were the healthy growth of the little city. These Douglas County people will tell a stranger all kinds of tales about the productiveness of the country; they will try to make you believe that if you will only settle among them you will soon have your pockets full of money, and all you have to do to live well is to keep your mouth open and it will be filled. As for dying, they have never made any calculations on that important problem. Douglas Smith told us of a young man by the name of Shawble of Jacksonville, who visited at Roseburg last summer and was continually hearing of the longevity of the people in that locality till he became tired, and determined to throw back at them in their own kind. So the next time some of those people were explaining to him how the pure atmosphere would give one as long a life as any ordinary man or woman would wish to live, Mr. Shawble made the following report: "Yes, I believe all you say, for I have had an opportunity to demonstrate the facts. I was out in the country yesterday, and passing a house I saw an old man sitting on a stone crying. This old fellow must have been ninety-five or one hundred years old. Feeling a good deal of sympathy for the old fellow, I went to him and asked why he was weeping. The old fellow looked up, and rubbing the tears from his eyes with the back of his hand, said, in a whimpering tone, 'Pa whipped me.' I said. 'When?' and the old man replied. 'Just a while ago.' I then said, 'Where is your pa?' and the old fellow pointed toward the house with his thumb, saying, 'In there playing checkers with Grandpa.' "
One can buy good fruit land in Douglas County for from $40 to $150 per acre. The markets are good, provided you do not get too far from the railroad.
We were glad to find Douglas Smith and family were pleased with the western country. Mrs. Smith declared she would never think of going back to Illinois to live, and we do not blame her, for she looked fifty percent better in health than we ever saw here in Illinois. Mr. Smith was working at the carpenter trade at $3.50 for a nine-hour day. The boys all had good jobs and seemed to be enjoying their work. Since we were there Mr. Smith has moved to Portland, where he bought a good property. He is holding a good job as shipping clerk in a large asbestos manufactory at $80 per month, with a raise in salary on the first of the year. Doug offered to take us into the mountains and kill a bear, but we know all about his hunting qualities and declined. We also informed him that in our opinion he could make more money by sticking to his job and enjoy just as good health, if not better. We had a fine visit at Roseburg, but the best of visits must have an ending, and one fine morning we pulled out for new scenes. In getting out of the Umpqua Valley into the Rogue River Valley you cross the spurs of the Canyon mountains, and there is some very fine scenery along this route. The first town of importance in this valley is Grants Pass, population 6,000. In this part of Oregon there is considerable mining going on. We saw placer, hydraulic and quartz mining here, and was informed that $2,000,000 had been taken out of the celebrated Greenback mine. Everything is raised in this valley, and if you will take the word of the natives, this is the only place in the world where perfect fruit is raised. We will admit that we saw extra fine fruit in this valley. They are raising a great many grapes of the Flame Tokay variety. This is a table grape and a good seller. They are extensively grown in California. Vegetables of every kind thrive here, also grain and hops. We do not know of anything to prevent the Rogue River Valley from being all its inhabitants claim for it. It is so situated that no heavy winds, such as cyclones and tornadoes, ever reach its surface, electrical storms are unknown, the atmosphere perfect, with no radical changes during the year. There are mountains on every side, north the Canyon, south the Siskiyou. west the Coast Range and east the Cascades. The inhabitants of this valley think they live in paradise, at least you would think so to hear them talk. But we became acquainted with a lady on the train who had lived in this valley for seven years, and she said there was more liars in the Rogue River Valley to the acre than anywhere else in the whole western country. Whether this woman was the only truthful one in the valley or the biggest liar we cannot tell. Late in the evening we arrived at Ashland, a good little town in the upper end of the valley, a divisional point on the Southern Pacific railway. A round house and shops are located here, which makes quite a busy little town. Ashland is situated at the foot of the Cascade Mountains, and you are compelled to search for the main part of the town, but you can find it nestled in the mouth of a nice little canyon, where a little clear, cold creek comes down from the mountains, fed by the melting snows. If you travel a short distance up this little creek you will find a real nice little park, where you can sit down and have a good rest and commune with nature.
We did not stop here for the purpose of sightseeing, but because it was Saturday evening, and we wanted to go to church on Sunday. We found a nice little Methodist church Sunday morning and attended Sunday school and heard a good sermon from the text, "For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." After a good dinner we wandered up the little brook and enjoyed the afternoon in a good long walk. The little park was deserted, on account of a ball game, and we had all the room we wanted, and the little brook sang its sweetest song, and went rippling and dancing over the pebbles in the most contented way imaginable.
We saw no good farming land near Ashland. Nevertheless our landlady pointed out to us where parties were going to open up farms near the town. We had no desire to live here, and would not advise others to locate here, especially if they intended to make a living by farming.
D. K. McCarty.Daily Illinois Courier, Jacksonville, Illinois, December 21, 1909, page 1
Products Will Tax 8000 Cars in 8 Years, Says Judge Colvig.
250,000 TREES WAITING
Booster of Jackson County Metropolis Says District Is Best
for Fruit Zone Rich in Varied Resources.
"In eight years, or just as soon as newly-planted orchards come into bearing, 8000 cars will be required to transport the fruit products that will be offered for shipment from Medford," said Judge W. M. Colvig, president of the Medford Commercial Club, yesterday. "During the coming season 250,000 pear and apple trees will be planted in the vicinity of Medford. I could say that the number of these trees to be planted in 1910 will be 500,000 and not be exaggerating the truth very much, for two nurserymen have told me that each has sold over 100,000 trees for delivery to Jackson County horticulturists after the first of the year. My estimate, that the number will be a quarter of a million, is extremely conservative."
200,000 Acres Fruit Land."There are 1,886,000 acres of land in Jackson County, and it would be largely a guess for me to say how much of that area is capable of being planted to fruit, but of that amount I can say positively that over 200,000 acres of tillable land is well adapted to pears and apples. In addition to this there is a large area that can be made tillable and equally productive.
"The apple is a fruit that does not succeed in countries having warm winters, because if the sap in not sent down to the roots of the trees, the fruit always is mealy and stringy and is not a good commercial product. We need frosts and cold weather, but the weather must not be too cold. The apple is not an extreme northern nor a southern fruit, but thrives in a well-defined temperate climate such as we have in Jackson County, where irrigation is not an essential to the successful growing of the finest quality of fruit.
Timberland Good, Too."Situated in Jackson County there is also to be found the largest body of sugar pine timber in the world. The bulk of this timber lies in the Upper Rogue River Valley, and when it has been removed the land will prove of great value for fruitgrowing purposes.
"The county is also rich in water power resources. Mr. Horn, of the New York copper syndicate, has expended more than $300,000 in developing the Blue Ledge copper mine, located on the headwaters of the Applegate, 35 miles from Medford. This mine is virtually a mountain of solid copper, and has been practically inaccessible. The building of a railroad that will pass this valuable property is now assured by J. R. Allen, of New York, who recently purchased the Pacific & Eastern.
Road to Cross Range."This road has been built 14 miles out of Medford, and active construction work is being prosecuted. We have the assurance of Mr. Allen that the road will be built, not only to the mine, but across the Coast Range and down the Pacific Coast to Crescent City, Cal. Not only are we assured by Mr. Allen of a railroad to the west, but he recently announced at a meeting of our Commercial Club that when he had finished building the railroads he had projected, the people of Jackson County would have a railroad to the east as well. This statement from the builder of this road is taken by us to mean that he will construct a line that will connect with the Hill or Harriman road into Central Oregon. We are inclined in Southern Oregon to suspect that Mr. Allen is identified with the Hill interests, and that his operations in our section of the state are in reality a Hill enterprise.
"I do not believe any other section of the state possesses greater resources than are to be found in Jackson County. We are not dependent on our agricultural interests. Our timber, mining and horticultural resources are contributing their share to the substantialprosperity of the entire state."
Judge Colvig is a booster of the old school, but he is nonetheless enthusiastically aggressive in preaching the wonderful possibilities of Oregon to the homeseeker. He is numbered among the pioneers who braved the hardships of a journey across the plains and came to Oregon in 1851. With the exception of about 13 years spent attending college in the East, and service in the Union Army for three years during the Civil War, Judge Colvig has resided continuously in Southern Oregon, where he is a prominent lawyer, an honored and respected citizen.
Medford Boosters Abound."Medford is a thoroughly cosmopolitan city and contains as many boosters to the square foot as any other section of the state," continued Judge Colvig. "Not long ago the Commercial Club decided to raise a publicity fund. In one afternoon between 1 and 6 o'clock we raised $2500 for that purpose, and within a few days the fund was increased to $8400. Our club has a membership of 275, but we expect to increase this soon to 400. Based on the school census, Medford has a population of 6500. As an evidence of the general prosperity of the county, I might refer to the fact that the present assessed valuation of Jackson County property is $26,000,000. Seven years ago, the total of the assessment roll was only $5,000,000. An increase in assessable values of $21,000,000 in seven years we regard as a record that defies duplication by any other county in the state."
Morning Oregonian, Portland, December 28, 1909, page 16
Last revised April 21, 2021