Jackson County 1912
See also the Medford Commercial Club's 1912 booster booklet.
(Jacksonville, County Seat.)
Jackson County lies in what is known as the Rogue River Valley in the southwestern part of the state. It is bounded on the north by Douglas, on the west by Josephine, on the east by Klamath counties, and on the south by California. The population is 25,756; of these 89 percent are United States born; of the foreign 11 percent about one-fourth are German; the remaining three-fourths are made up principally of Canadians, English, Irish, Scandinavians and Austrians. The total area of the county is 1,779,662 acres. There are 50,191 acres unappropriated and unreserved, of which 47,946 acres are surveyed and 2,245 acres are unsurveyed. Of the assessed appropriated land 128,500 acres are cultivated and 1,076,601 are uncultivated. Cultivated land is worth on an average of $68.40 per acre, and uncultivated land $12.30. The total value of taxable property in the county is $38,027,086. The surface is level, rolling and mountainous. The rock formation in the western part is pre-Cretaceous; in the eastern part it is a combination of Cretaceous and Eocene. The natural forest growth consists principally of yellow and sugar pine and fir. Fruit of all kinds, especially peaches, apples and pears, have been found to grow well on this soil, which is rich in all the essential chemicals. It is likely to be a very lasting soil. Its first need will probably be phosphoric acid. The soil is black and deep, ranging from ten inches to several feet. The subsoil is hard and white. The sugar beet, hemp, onions, sorghum and strawberries should grow well on this soil. The soil in the immediate vicinity of the valley consists of successive alluvial deposits of different geological periods and is very rich. Rogue River and its branches furnish excellent water power for milling purposes. The fuel used is wood and costs from $4 to $6 per cord. There are several mineral springs with good curative qualities in the county. The leading industry is farming. Lumbering is carried on extensively. There are seven sawmills, three saw and planing mills, one box factory, [and] five planing mills, employing in all 86 skilled men at a daily wage of $3.25; 100 unskilled men at a daily wage of $2.25; two women at a daily wage of about $1.15. Mining is also an important industry. There are sixteen gold quartz mines yielding ore valued at $24.15 per ton, a number of placer mines, five asphalt mines, two copper mines yielding 30 percent ore, one iron mine, also quantities of asbestos, quicksilver and building stone. Among the industrial plants of the county are found brick yards, breweries, creameries, cold storages, electric light, flour and feed, fruit canneries, laundries, machine shops, printing, soda water and water power, employing in all 115 skilled men at a daily wage of about $3.75, and 158 unskilled men at a daily wage of about $2.25. The roads are in good condition. The climate is mild and congenial. The mean temperature during the spring months is 50.5 degrees, summer 61.1 degrees, fall 56.4 degrees, and winter 42.7 degrees. The mean precipitation during the spring months is 2.64 inches, summer 1.34 inches, fall 1.43 inches, and winter 4.21 inches. About 75 percent of the Rogue River Valley has been put under irrigation.
Fifth Biennial Report of the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Inspector of Factories and Workshops of the State of Oregon from October 1, 1910 to September 30, 1912, Oregon State Printing Department, 1913, page 131
JACKSON COUNTYSouth Central Oregon; Rogue River Valley.
Population--25,756; 89% American born. Of the foreign born one-fourth are Germans and the remainder Canadians, English, Irish, Scandinavians and Austrians.
Transportation--Main line of Southern Pacific traverses the county from the middle west to central southeast. The Pacific & Eastern (Northern Pacific) railroad operates from Medford, junction point with the Southern Pacific, to Butte Falls, in Cascade foothills, a distance of 35 miles. Rogue River Valley Railroad operates from Medford to Jacksonville, the county seat, 5½ miles. Klamath Lake Railroad, in extreme southeastern corner of the county, three miles.
Water--Rogue River and its numerous tributaries drain an immense watershed
and furnish an abundant supply of water for domestic, irrigation and other purposes. Of the 235,000 hydro-horsepower available in this county, only 1,460 has been developed.
Roads--There are 800 miles of public highways maintained by taxation and
Timber--Natural forest growth, which is quite extensive, consists of oak, yellow and sugar pine, fir and willow.
Minerals--Coal, asbestos, serpentine, limestone, gold, silver, copper, fire clay,
granite, marble, etc. Mineral springs, with acknowledged therapeutic properties, abound in the county, and the waters from them are extensively shipped.
Fuel--Wood is principal fuel used and costs $4.00 to $6.00 per cord.
Lands--Surface: Level, rolling hills and mountains. Soils: Alluvial, ranging in depth from 10 inches to several feet. In the immediate vicinity of Rogue River Valley are successive rich alluvial deposits which are particularly favorable to the raising of fruits of all kinds, especially peaches; sugar beets, hemp, onions, sorghum and strawberries also thrive. The finest quality of apples, peaches, pears and strawberries is produced in this county, which has attained an international reputation for pears and apples, which command a widespread and remunerative market. Products are marketed through the association cooperative plan, and there is a preserving and cold-storage plant in connection. Average value farm lands $90.60 per acre, cultivated and uncultivated (U.S. census 1910).
Industries--Fruit growing is the leading industry in the valleys, but lumbering
is carried on extensively in the foothills and mining in the northern and southern portions. Products have won high awards in competitive exhibits in which they have been shown.
Ten to 40 acres, intensified and diversified farming; 20 acres and upwards, dairying and general farming pay good dividends.
Average daily wage for skilled labor $3.25; unskilled $2.25.
First Southern Oregon District Agricultural Fair held at Ashland, Medford
and Grants Pass, each year in rotation.
For information address: Ashland Commercial Club, Central Point Commercial Club, Medford Commercial Club.
Newspapers will send copies: Weekly Valley Record, Ashland Tidings, Ashland; Weekly Herald, Weekly Globe, Central Point; Weekly News, Gold Hill; Weekly Post, Jacksonville; Weekly Sun, Daily Mail-Tribune, Rogue River Magazine, Weekly Review, Medford.
CITIES, TOWNS AND VILLAGES.Ashland--Altitude 1,960 feet. Population 5,020 (U.S. census 1910). Local
estimate 6,000. Division terminal on main line of Southern Pacific Railroad and special motor service between Ashland and Grants Pass, Josephine County, in Rogue River Valley. In midst of rich and fertile agricultural section and lumbering and mining district, and leading industries are fruit growing, general farming, stock raising, lumbering and mining. Country surrounding and climatic conditions especially suited to fruit growing, stock raising, dairying, poultry raising and mining. Peaches attain highest state of perfection in this section, and the product enjoys a widespread reputation. Average annual rain fall 21 inches. City has modern, improved, well lighted streets, sewerage system, fire protection, telephones, etc. Has high and graded public schools, a business and normal college and 12 churches: Baptist, Catholic, Christian, Christian Science, Congregational, Dunkard, Episcopal, Methodist Episcopal, Methodist (Free), Nazarene, Presbyterian and Spirituality. Surrounding environment picturesque and hunting and fishing conditions ideal. Ashland Lithia Springs and Wagner Soda Springs are near this city. Southern Oregon Chautauqua Assembly is held here annually, also First Southern Oregon District Agricultural Fair upon alternate years with Grants Pass and Medford. City owns gravity mountain water system and electric lighting plant. The original lighting and power plant is under corporation ownership. Creamery, cannery and fruit associations. Manufactures include foundry and machine shops, ice, granite works, cement blocks, brick, shoes, etc.
Central Point--Altitude 1,298 feet. Population 761 (U.S. census 1910). Local
estimate 1,400. On main line of Southern Pacific Railroad and in Rogue River
Valley. Principal shipping and distributing point for rich agricultural and fruit growing district and center of great alfalfa district of the valley. Packing and shipping point for many great orchards. Abundance of water for irrigation,
power and other purposes. Fruit growing is most important industry, peaches,
apples, pears, apricots, berries and grapes being the most favored varieties. In agriculture, alfalfa, potatoes, onions, melons and all varieties of garden truck are prolific producers and highly remunerative. Dairying, lumbering and mining are also important industries of this vicinity. Low altitude, with favorable climatic conditions, contribute to high state of cultivation for fruits, nuts, vegetables, etc., and early ripening season affords advantage of best market prices for products. City owns water works system and electric lighting plant owned by private parties. Has high and graded public schools and five churches: Baptist, Christian, Christian Science, Methodist Episcopal and Presbyterian. Average annual rainfall 22 inches.
Gold Hill--Altitude 1,109 feet. Population 423 (U.S. census 1910). Local
estimate 618. On main line of Southern Pacific Railroad and on Rogue River in
Rogue River Valley. In midst of rich and fertile fruit and general farming country and surrounded by extensive forestry and mining district and the principal industries are mining, stock raising, fruit culture and farming. Water works system and electric lighting plant are owned by private parties. Has high and graded public schools and church, non-sectarian, in which all denominations hold services. Is gateway to Crater Lake, being the nearest railroad point to this great nature's wonder.
Jacksonville--(County Seat)--Altitude 1,600 feet. Population 785 (U.S. census 1910). Is terminus of Rogue River Valley Railroad, which connects with the main line of the Southern Pacific at Medford, 5½ miles distant. In midst of excellent fruit growing district in Rogue River Valley, and fruit growing and mining are the principal industries in the early stages of development. Has high and graded public
schools and three churches; Catholic, Methodist and Presbyterian. City owns
water works system, and electric lighting plant is under private ownership.
Medford--Altitude 1,337 feet. Population 8,840 (U.S. census 1910). Local estimate 10,500. On main line of Southern Pacific Railroad, western terminus of Pacific & Eastern, which taps great timber belt in upper Rogue River district, and terminus of Rogue River Valley Railroad, with daily 10-train service to Jacksonville, the county seat. In midst of extensive and exceedingly fertile section of Rogue River Valley, especially adapted to fruit raising, particularly apples, pears, peaches and small fruits, and to dairying and general farming. Mining is also an important industry in the near vicinity. Exhibits of products, including fruits in carload lots, have been awarded first prizes at leading apple shows of the West for three consecutive years. City owns gravity water works system, and electric lighting plant is under private ownership. Streets improved with hard-surfaced pavement, well lighted, and city has good sewer system and cement sidewalks. Has
high and graded public schools and one sectarian school (Catholic) and 12
churches, including Baptist, Catholic, Christian, Episcopal, Methodist Episcopal, Methodist (South), Methodist (Free) and Presbyterian; fine hotels and business blocks and beautiful homes. Irrigation necessary for assurance of best results in all fruit products and is practiced generally throughout the valley. Average annual rainfall 27.21 inches. U.S. Weather Bureau, District Forester's office and pathologist's office located here. Claim is made that within a 50-mile radius of Medford there is a greater diversity of resources and opportunities than can be found within 50 miles of any other city in the world.
Phoenix--Population 250 (U.S. census 1910). On main line of Southern Pacific Railroad. In upper Rogue River Valley and in center of extensive and fertile agricultural and horticultural district, and the leading industries are farming, grazing and fruit growing. Electric lighting plant is owned by private parties. Has graded public school and two churches: Christian and Presbyterian.
Other prominent trade centers of the county are: Butte Falls, Sams Valley,
Siskiyou, Talent and Trail.
Oregon Almanac: The State of Oregon, Its Resources and Opportunities, 1912, pages 81-84
SILVERSIDES AND RAINBOWS
A DAY'S FISHING ON THE RUSHING ROGUE RIVER
By DENNIS H. STOVALL
We set our mark that day at one hundred pounds each--one hundred pounds of the finest fish of the Rockies [sic]. When we weighed up at the end of the seven hours' angling, Tom had one hundred and twenty; I had one hundred and three pounds. Not bad fishing that. Yet neither of us had "beat the record," for amateurs have been known to hook their two hundred pounds a day from the turbulent waters of Rogue River. As a fishing stream the "Tra-het," or "Evil Waters," as the Indians called it, certainly belongs to a class of its own.
The Rogue is a Southern Oregon river, and men who love real fishing come a long way to cast their lines into the restless current. Naturally enough, fishermen, those who have lived on or near its banks for years, have the best success in fishing from the Rogue. That is because they know the old river's whims; moreover, they have learned the "just how and when and what" of catching the fish that belong to this stream. Be it known the Rogue has many qualities peculiarly its own. No matter how good a fisherman you may be, or how many medals you may wear as an expert angler on other waters, you must "begin at the beginnin'" when you shy your bait over the Rogue's eddies and pools. I've seen men come all the way from Los Angeles to fish for a season on the Rogue, and go away cursing the stream in seven different languages. The fault was all their own. They tried to fish on Rogue River as they had fished elsewhere. It won't work, gentlemen. As a veteran of the rod and line told me several years ago, "When you're on the Rogue, do as the Rogues do."
Among the fish that abound in this stream are the famous silverside (salmon), rainbow and mountain trout. The stream is easily accessible. One may get off the train at Medford, Gold Hill, or Grants Pass, and be on fine fishing grounds within an hour. There are few, if any, "favorite riffles." There are places, of course, where trout are more abundant, but the angler may strike the stream at almost any point, select his own riffles, and soon be filling his basket--if he knows how. As a matter of truth, Rogue River is but a grown-up mountain brook. Its source is the everlasting snows of the Cascades, and it is but a leap or two from its head in Crater Lake Park to Gold Hill or Grants Pass. It affords the finest fly fishing of any American stream. I got this from men who have angled in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Maine. It is claimed by those who know that even the world-famous Restigouche is outclassed by this queen fishing stream of the West.
The silversides and rainbows rise freely to the fly, as freely as brook trout in a well-stocked stream. The exciting and fascinating feature of fishing on the Rogue is that the angler never knows whether the next one will weigh a mere pound or twenty. This uncertainty keeps him constantly on the qui vive. The large fish are just as plentiful as the small ones, and take the fly with the same snapping eagerness. It is no unusual thing for a fisherman, during either the winter or summer season, to catch all he can carry after from five to six hours angling. Exceptional catches of from sixty to one hundred pounds have been made in two hours.
The steelhead (salmon) is one of the gamiest fish of the Rogue. It attains a size of from two to six pounds. It will rise as freely and fight as furiously as the eastern bass or the "ouananiche" of Maine and Canada; moreover, it is a much better fish.
The swiftness of the Rogue and the multitude of rapids does not allow angling from a boat, except on a few short sections of river near Grants Pass and Gold Hill. The successful angler hits the stream in high boots, in winter time, or eliminates the boots and all clothes "below the belt" if in summer. Boots, however, are best for all seasons, for the water is ice-melted and not pleasant wading even in midsummer. The angler wades the stream either up or down, casting out toward midcurrent, placing his flies upon the water in the same manner as casting for speckled trout on smaller mountain brooks, except that the flies are allowed to sink an inch or two below the surface, and then by constant twitching of the rod are made to imitate the action of a struggling insect. When Mr. Silverside or Rainbow takes it, he loses no time in making a dash for midstream. If he is a small fellow, well and good; but if he has a weight of fifteen to twenty pounds you won't get him out with that one quick swish of the rod. And that is one of the things that makes fishing on the Rogue very, very different. That is why you must have plenty of line. The rod does not matter.
Rogue River anglers use the same weight rods as are in vogue in eastern waters--No. 6 specially tied flies (Royal Coachman and Jungle Cock preferred), exceptionally good nine-foot leaders, and from eighty to one hundred yards of line. Don't get this wrong; I said yards and not feet. This may seem like entirely too much line, but even with this length the angler is often given a merry time as well as a long chase trying to keep up with his fish, for the Rogue is wide in most places, and Mr. Steelhead or Silverside makes a dash for the deep waters midstream as he takes the fly. Out there he "lies down," or sulks. When routed from this he starts up- or downstream as suddenly and swiftly as if shot from a catapult. Unless the angler has a long line and a good one, he will sure lose his fish.
Chinook salmon are plentiful in the Rogue during the summer season. Formerly they were seined by hundreds and thousands of tons for commercial purposes, but this past year a law was passed in the state prohibiting the taking of fish from the Rogue by any means other than hook and line. The real fisherman's method, where a hook was not used, was to take this royal fish by spoon. Fifty- and sixty-pound salmon are landed by this method, but not till after a battle of from a half to a full hour. The man who gets in a hurry drawing a forty-or fifty-pound salmon from the Rogue will be sure to sacrifice half his line and ultimately lose the game.
In fishing for salmon the angler needs a good heavy bait of angleworms or salmon eggs, a flexible but stout rod, and at least 300 yards of line.
A splendid feature of Rogue River fishing that the local angler thinks but little about, but which meets with high favor with the man from abroad, is the absolute freedom from annoying insects. Such pests as blackflies, gnats and mosquitoes are unknown on the Rogue. So the fisherman, even though baldheaded, may fish in the shade without his hat, and put in all his time fishing rather than fighting flies.
Camp and Trail, Columbus, Ohio, April 13, 1912, page 1
Rogue River Valley, Southern OregonDirectly tributary to the city of Medford is one of the great fruit-raising sections of the continent. Its horticultural products have brought renown to Oregon and wealth to the producers. Orchard planting, as time is counted, is comparatively new. Some trees were planted years ago, but the commercial orchards are of more recent origin.
By JOHN SCOTT MILLS
The "Apple King of the World" was the title bestowed on a Rogue River orchardist for his showing at the Spokane National Apple Show in 1909. A carload of Spitzenbergs won the grand sweepstakes prize in competition with fruit from all over the nation. This was $1000 in gold coin.
The Spitzenberg and Newtown are the principal varieties of apples grown in this valley. Yet all the other standard apples, such as Jonathan, Winesap, Grimes Golden, Ortley, Arkansas Black and Rome Beauty, grow to perfection here.
Pears are another product of the Medford district worth more than passing mention. Think of shipping 40 cars of pears from a 48-acre orchard--$40,000 for the crop! The Winter Nelis pear record of the world is held by the Snowy Butte orchard at Central Point, four miles from Medford. Sixteen and one-half acres of 19-year-old Winter Nelis pears yielded the record average of 435 boxes to the acre, which sold F.O.B. orchard at $2.12 a box, or $900 an acre. The fruit was marketed in London and New York. A seven-and-one-half acre Bartlett pear orchard is another record-breaker for yield and price. Its owner shipped 12 cars of pears, which netted him $9335.10, or nearly $1250 per acre.
Peaches, plums and prunes are grown in the valley. Peach fillers are planted in the pear orchards. This means the removal of the tree when the pear trees come into bearing, the pear being more profitable than the peach. While the latter is of good flavor and size, its keeping quality is limited. It must be marketed within a certain time. The pears are good keepers, and their marketing does not of necessity have to be done until such time as may be convenient.
Cherries grown here maintain the excellence of the reputation of the district for its splendid products. Berries of unusual size and flavor are early on the market and supplant the earlier product of California. The blackberry, raspberry, loganberry, gooseberry and currant bushes of the valley are all revenue-producers.
GENERAL FARM PRODUCTSIn the early period of its settlement the land was planted to grain and hay. With the planting of orchards and the demonstration of the fact that fruit of superior quality could be grown, less attention was given general farm products. Fruit trees were set out, and even the inter-crops omitted, until with the growth of the cities and the increase in rural population the people became aware of the fact that they were not growing the cereals, hay and vegetables needed for home consumption. Dairy and poultry products were imported. This situation led to plantings along other lines. Experiments proved that every variety of vegetable could be grown in surprisingly large quantities. Potatoes yield five tons to the acre, onions give larger returns, and tomatoes run as high as fifteen to twenty tons and over.
FARMERS SELL DIRECTThe Medford district is now raising its own garden truck. One of the new methods of disposal is the public market, opened in May of this year. The grower brings his fruits, vegetables, dairy and poultry products on regularly advertised days, and the housewife makes her own selection from a variety that is unsurpassed. The stalls are leased for a small consideration, the grower or some member of his family does the selling, and sales are made for cash. This enables the orchardist and the gardener and farmer to pay cash for the staples needed in the home, for the clothing and other requirements. What little opposition there was at the beginning toward the market, on the part of merchants, has disappeared. The dial on the cash register records better transactions. The men who till the land now have a regular weekly income, instead of having to "wait until they thresh."
PUTTING WATER ON THE LANDThere was a time in the history of the cultivation of this valley when there was no application of moisture. The annual precipitation averages 28 inches. This insures many crops, but there is a growing season when there is little if any rain. Additional moisture means increased production. To provide this, irrigation systems have been established. Operations are well advanced on a series of canals and laterals which will irrigate 55,000 acres. This is a gravity system. It covers the land directly tributary to Medford. Storage reservoirs will permit supplies to adjacent territory, and pumping plants along the river will add to the system until every acre of cultivable land in the Rogue River Valley which will be benefited by irrigation can have the amount of water needed.
WATER POWER AVAILABLEThe Rogue River is a power stream from its source in the mountains until it loses its identity in the Pacific. Confluents of the Rogue are also power streams. At Gold Hill and other places electricity is generated, but on a scale so small as to be almost negligible when the available power is considered. Not that the valley towns are not well illumined. Medford, Jacksonville, Central Point, Ashland and other Jackson County municipalities are well lighted, and this is particularly true of Medford, along whose principal thoroughfares cluster lights and electric signs that turn night into day. The harnessing of this water power must soon come about. Jackson County will eventually be one of the manufacturing centers of the Northwest.
VAST MINERAL DEPOSITSJackson County is also rich in mineral resources. Millions of dollars have been taken from its placers, and there are many quartz locations. Gold, silver, copper, lead, zinc and other metals are found. Gold-bearing quartz indications cover a large area. The development of this industry is in its infancy. Even the placer ground is largely unworked, operations having been confined to the lower-lying deposits. Coal is traced on the surface for nearly one hundred miles from the California line. Coal mining operations are being conducted a few miles from Medford. A good quality is being taken out, and it is used in the home market. Granite, sandstone and other building rock are plentiful.
GREAT FORESTS CONTIGUOUSThere are twenty billion and more feet of lumber directly tributary to Medford. A railroad has been built into the timbered section, and the line is to be extended through it. There are also sugar and yellow pine, fir, cedar and other forest growths. This great body of timber is in a virgin state. When mills are in operation another valuable industry will be operative to the Medford district.
ATTRACTIVE TO TOURISTSMedford is a starting point to Crater Lake and other scenic resorts. The Crater Lake road is bordered by picturesque streams, mountains and forests. The lake itself is one of the wonders of the continent. It is part of an area set apart as a national park. The lake is oval in shape, six miles long and four miles wide. The twenty-two miles of shoreline are sheer precipices, towering from 1000 to 2000 feet above the surface of the water. Adjacent peaks tower to a height of 9000 feet. The lake surface is 6239 feet above sea level, and the water has a depth of 2000 feet. All of the peaks nearby are snow-covered at all seasons.
The Oregon Caves, located in Josephine County, are easily reached from Medford. They have never been fully explored, but are known to extend many miles under the mountains, having openings in both Oregon and California.
The streams of the valley are abundantly stocked with native mountain trout, rainbow trout and other fish. The Rogue River steelhead (rainbow trout) is a gamy fish. It attains a weight of 14 pounds, but the average size of those taken with the fly is from four to eight pounds.
Bear, deer, cougars and wildcats are found in the mountains. Small game, such as wild geese, ducks, grouse, Chinese pheasants, quail, snipe and squirrels, abounds in the valley.
ABUNDANCE OF INDUCEMENTSThe Medford district offers many inducements to the homemaker, the capitalist and the pleasure-seeker. It is a land of plenty. The products have been but briefly outlined in the foregoing article. It would take volumes to tell what the Medford district has in the way of developed resources, and countless pages to set forth its undeveloped and wonderful possibilities. Living here is a delight at all times. The climate is one of the attractions, and healthfulness is another. There are no epidemics, and none of the discomforts experienced in localities where severe weather is encountered. To any reader of Sunset who is interested in this vale of plenty, let me suggest that he or she write to the secretary of the Commercial Club at Medford, outlining what it is desired to know. The organization has bulletins telling of products, of hunting, fishing, camping, and beautifully illustrated literature generally descriptive of the section. It is well worth reading and may be helpful to those who are looking for a home in a land so favored in every respect.
MEDFORD, THE CITYMedford is on the main line of the Southern Pacific, 329 miles south of Portland, and 434 miles from San Francisco. Through and local trains give good service. The city is well built. It has miles of paved streets, splendid business blocks, charming homes, good schools, churches, water and every requirement of an up-to-date city. It has a present population of about 10,000 and is destined to grow rapidly. It is a natural site for a large city.
Sunset, November 1912, page 591
A TOWN THAT LIVES IN THE PAST
Many Interesting Incidents, Intimately Associated with
Jacksonville's Yesterdays, Are Recalled by Pioneers
Written for the Journal by Fred Lockley.Few indeed are the western communities that live in their yesterdays. Some there are that live in the present. More, by far, live in the future and capitalize values accordingly, but Jacksonville lives in the past.
With Astoria, Vancouver, and Oregon City it can look back to a storied past, an historic antiquity.
You may name on the fingers of one hand Oregon's oldest cities, and Jacksonville will be one of the five. Yet so young is the West, so short its history; you need go back but a brief three score years to a time when there was no Jacksonville.
Some years ago I met Peter Britt, one of the pioneers of Oregon and one of the first settlers at Jacksonville. During my visit to Mr. Britt he showed me a wonderfully interesting collection of photographs that he had taken in the early fifties of men who later became famous in Oregon's history. Desiring to look over these photographs again, I visited Jacksonville recently.
Mr. Britt's son and daughter live in the old home place. When I told Emil Britt what I wanted he said: "The gallery is just as Father left it. We have not disturbed it since his death. I will be glad to show you through. My father, Peter Britt, was born in Switzerland and when a young man was a portrait painter. This was before the days of photography, in the late thirties and early forties."
On the walls of the reception room and the studio were a number of excellent portrait studies in oil. Upon my admiring them Mr. Britt showed me a score or more canvases of landscapes and portraits.
First Camera in Oregon.
The latest date shown on the paintings was 1843. As we entered the next room Mr. Britt pointed to an old-fashioned camera and said: "That was probably the first camera that ever came to Oregon. It is one of the old daguerreotype style. My father brought it across the plains with him and when he came to Jacksonville he brought this old camera with several hundred pounds of photographic equipment in a two-wheeled cart. Here is the first camera he used. As you will see, it is the 'wet plate' type. I remember in the early seventies we went to Crater Lake to take what I believe were the first pictures taken of Crater Lake. We had, of course, to take in all of our plates, plate holders, cameras and other equipment on pack horses. We took in several hundred pounds of equipment--a very different thing than nowadays when one can go in with a kodak and a few rolls of films in the coat pocket."
Hanging on the wall was a picture of a small cabin, the sign on which read "P. Britt, Photograph and Daguerreotype Room." "That is a picture of my father's photograph gallery in 1854," said Mr. Britt; "people used to come from all over Southern Oregon to have their photographs taken in that little gallery." Scores of daguerreotypes were to be seen about the room either in cabinets or in their old-fashioned plush and brass frames. It was like stepping back through the years into the past to look at some of the fresh and smiling faces of these old daguerreotypes amt realize that the babies looking at you with solemn stare have long since been grandfathers and grandmothers. Here, standing primly and formally by a chair, was a little girl with tightly curled ringlets hanging down her shoulders and stiffly starched pantalets showing below her plaid skirt. More than 50 years have passed and yet, changeless and unchanging, this demure little maid looks down from her frame upon the visitor of today.
Some Well-Known Oregonians.
As we looked over the pictures I noticed many familiar faces. There was a picture of Judge Colvig when he was a young man, here one of Sylvester Pennoyer, taken long before he became governor. Pictures of Binger Hermann, Judge Deady, D. P. Thompson, ex-Governor Woods and dozens of other men who have made their mark in Oregon's history were here. "Whose picture is this?" I inquired. "That is a picture of David Linn. His son Fletcher Linn lives in Portland now. The picture next to that is one of Rev. Flynn taken about 50 years ago." I picked up a photograph of a round-faced, smiling boy and wondered if perhaps it might not be [a] picture of Bill Hanley or Colonel Robert A. Miller or of some other of the well-known men who first saw the light of day at Jacksonville.
"My father came to Jacksonville on November 8, 1852. He camped with his cart on the site of our present home. When he came, the hills and gulches for miles around were staked and men were making big wages with rocker and long tom. My father went in with several others equally inexperienced in mining and took a claim on Ashland Creek. [Throughout this article Lockley confuses Ashland Creek with Jackson Creek; presumably that's the case with the location of Britt's claim as well.] They built sluice boxes and for two weeks worked hard. In the evenings they discussed what they would do with their money when they made a cleanup. They finally decided upon going to South America, where they heard there were good opportunities to be found. When the cleanup was finally made, it netted them 75 cents each so they did not go to South America, and that was the last mining my father ever did. I don't know whether they didn't have their riffles properly arranged or whether the ground they mined held no gold or what was the trouble, but in any event it cured my father for all time of the mining fever. Thereafter he was content to make a slower but more certain living in his gallery.
"Come on out and I will show you over our place." Mr. Britt, having Swiss industry and love of fixing up his home, has made it a perfect bower of beauty. Bay trees, fig trees, almonds, persimmons, bamboo, walnut, grapes are to be seen on every side. I stopped under a "celestial" fig tree and ate several handfuls of sweet, ripe figs. A wide-spreading English walnut in the front yard had scattered the lawn with its fruit. I stopped to fill my pockets with English walnuts. Going back of the house toward the 60-acre park, we came to a sturdy sequoia. "My father had lots of sentiment," said Mr. Britt, "He planted that sequoia the year I was born--50 years ago. It is four feet through at the base and, as you know, the California sequoias live to be more than 1000 years old."
When Gold Was First Discovered.
From Mr. Britt's I went to the original site of the discovery of gold in Rich Gulch. In the garden, near at hand, I saw an old woman at work with a hoe. I stopped to chat with her for a moment or two. "You have a pretty good garden," I said. "No, this isn't really a garden. It is a mining claim. I am raising a few chickens and a little truck but since my husband and son died we are not doing anything with it as a claim. My girl and I live here alone and of course we can't do any mining ourselves. We used to get a good deal of gold out of this place but we haven't any water now." Borrowing a gold pan and pick from her, I went up the gulch a short distance. Several little chaps were attracted by my gold pan and pick and followed me eagerly to watch me wash out a few panfuls of dirt. "You can't go up the gulch. Some Frenchmen own it and have got a fence across and they skin you alive if they find you on their place," said one of the little chaps.
Sure enough, I came to a high fence across the gulch. Two gates had been swung across the stream to prevent entrance. I took down the two gates, much to the horrified delight of the small boys who followed me, prepared for instant flight if the Frenchmen should appear on the scene. Digging from near bedrock some gravelly soil I bent over a pool of water and began washing it out. After five minutes of careful manipulation I had worked away all of the dirt with the exception of possibly half a cupful. When I had this panned down to a spoonful several coarse colors showed up, to the great delight of the small boys. As I was panning the next panful suddenly one of the boys whispered excitedly, "We'll have to cut and run for it. Here comes the Frenchman."
I looked up and, sure enough, a man was hurrying over the brow of the hill toward me. I stopped, waved my hand to him and said, "Come on down and help me pan out some gold." He seemed undecided as to what to do but finally accepted my invitation. He asked me in broken [English] if I was a stranger. I told him I was. He watched me work with much interest and finally volunteered to take the pan and show me how to work the coarser dirt out more quickly. We had a good visit, and when I left he would not think of letting me fix the gates up but assured me it was a pleasure and hoped I would visit him again.
Going back to return the gold pan and the pick, the owner brought out a small glass bottle of coarse gold. She poured it in the palm of my hand and said, "Take several of the nuggets along if you wish. After a rain I can often pick small nuggets up on the hillside where the ground has been washed away from bedrock, and frequently when we kill a chicken we will find nuggets in its craw."
Later in the afternoon I went down to the livery stable and, sitting on a box in front of the stable, I talked with some of the pioneers. Before I left there was quite a group of old-timers, and their talk certainly was very interesting.
One of the pioneers who told me much of interest of the early days was Oliver Harbaugh, who came to California in '49, drifting up to Jacksonville later. He is young for his 87 years. Todd Cameron, who built the first house in Eagle Point, and who came to Jacksonville in '52, also told me many interesting things. Mr. Cameron was former owner of the Sterling mine, which he sold to D. P. Thompson and Mr. Ankeny for $25,000. They took out $100,000 in one year, but Mr. Cameron philosophically remarks, "I was glad to see them do well on the purchase, for I have noticed that it very often takes two dollars to dig one dollar out of the ground."
Boiling down the tales told me by the different pioneers, this is the story they tell of the discovery of Jacksonville.
In the Days of '49.
From the spring of '49 to the winter of '51 the present site of Jacksonville was a favorite camping place for the eager throng who were hurrying southward from the Willamette Valley to the gold fields of California, as well as for the packers who were coming and going between the valley and the gold fields. Late in December of '51 two young men camped on [Jackson] Creek. One of them, in washing their tin dishes in the stream, saw a small nugget. Looking more carefully, he found other nuggets. They did not stop to stake out a claim, as they did not attach great importance to their find. Meeting J. R. Poole and Jim Clugage they told them of having found gold at their camp on [Jackson] Creek. A little later, or to be exact, early in January, 1852, Clugage and Poole camped there and near a spring in a ravine not far distant from [Jackson] Creek found coarse gold in large quantities. So abundant were the nuggets and coarse gold that they called their discovery Rich Gulch. They took in two friends named Wilson and Skinner and soon the rumor ran up and down the trail that new diggings had been struck so rich that a man could pan out a cupful of gold in a day.
Farmers in the Willamette Valley heard the rumor and the next day they were headed south. Miners from creek and gulch and bar of California joined the northbound exodus. By February, Rich Gulch was entirely staked.
Appler & Kenney at Yreka hastily loaded a pack train with whiskey of a cheap and deadly variety, tobacco, boots, rough clothing, beans, flour and bacon and went to the new diggings, arriving in February and starting a store in a tent.
A few weeks later W. W. Fowler put up a log cabin, the first real house to go up in the new camp. Lumber was in immediate demand, and woodsmen who felled the nearby trees and whipsawed them into lumber sold the rough lumber for $250 a thousand.
The winter of '52 was a hard winter; provisions ran very short. Tobacco went up to $16 a pound and salt was not to be had. Men went out over the trails on snowshoes, bringing in provisions on their backs and getting very high prices for all supplies.
Jacksonville's First Hanging.
The year 1852 also saw the first occasion for primitive justice. A gambler named Brown without provocation shot a man named Potts. The miners gathered and appointed W. W. Fowler as judge. Twelve men were selected as a jury and after hearing the stories of the witnesses, the jury announced that in their opinion it had been a cowardly murder and that Brown should be taken to a nearby oak and hung. The sentence was immediately carried into execution and he was buried under the tree upon which he had been hung.
There were more miners than claims and as a consequence there were many disputes about jumped claims, and as to the ownership of water. There being no regular law in Jacksonville, the miners from the whole district gathered together and elected a man named Rogers as alcalde or mayor. His decision was to be final on all disputes. Unfortunately Rogers was a very poor umpire and finally the matter was brought to a crisis by what the miners deemed a piece of rank injustice.
A man named Sims and another named Springer had taken up a claim together as partners. Sims desired to spend the winter in the Willamette Valley. During his absence his partner held down the claim, and while doing so met with an unfortunate accident, breaking his leg. When Sims returned from the valley he decided that he did not want a partner who could not do his share of the work, so he told Springer that he had decided to take the whole claim himself, and that he had better look elsewhere for a claim and a partner. Springer appealed to the recently elected alcalde. Rogers decided that possession was nine points of the law, and that the other point didn't matter much, anyway, so he upheld Sims. Since there was no way of going back of his decision the miners had no recourse. Springer, however, refused to tamely submit to such an unjust decision. He visited the miners throughout the entire district, explaining the matter to them and demanding a fair trial and an impartial decision. Finally a meeting was called, which was attended by more than 1000 miners. The matter was publicly discussed. Rogers was shown the injustice of his decision and asked to reverse his judgment. He refused to do so, and said the decision, once made, would have to stand, right or wrong. There was no recall of judicial decisions, nor was there any recall of corrupt or incapable judges. Finally a man secured the attention of the chairman and suggested that since there was no way to remove their present official, the same body which had authority to appoint him certainly had authority to appoint someone over him, and therefore he suggested the election of an official to be termed superior judge or some similar title, to have supreme jurisdiction over all officers previously appointed.
This happy solution was adopted and Mr. Rogers found himself minus authority. U. S. Hayden, a New Englander, was elected as supreme judge. A jury was immediately selected. P. P. Prim and Dan Kenney were chosen to represent Springer, and Orange Jacobs, a newcomer from Michigan, was selected to represent Sims. The jury found for Springer, and the mining claim was divided equally between Sims and Springer. A year later Prim was admitted to the bar and later became chief justice of Oregon, while Orange Jacobs was chief justice of Washington Territory at a later period.
Law Comes to Jacksonville.
Clugage, who had taken up the original mining claim, desired to make his title secure, so took up the site of Jacksonville as a donation land claim. Inasmuch as there were several thousand mining claims filed in the district, he did not attempt to interfere with the mining rights. So many technical questions and questions of property arose that in September, 1853, Matthew P. Deady, the United States district judge, was sent to Jacksonville, and held the first regular court.
In the spring of the same year Cram and Rogers of Yreka opened up a branch of Adams & Co.'s express office. C. C. Beekman, still at Jacksonville and for the past 60 years proprietor of Beekman's bank, was employed as a messenger, traveling from Jacksonville to Crescent City, Cal., with letters and gold dust.
This same year also saw, on August 27, the birth of the first child in Jacksonville, a son being born to Dr. and Mrs. McCully, the proprietors of the bakery at Jacksonville. He was named James Clugage McCully, in honor of the discoverer of Jacksonville.
Jacksonville in 1854 was the center of a very large trading district. Appler & Kenney had been followed by many other mercantile firms, the principal ones being Maury & Davis, Birdseye & Ettlinger, Fowler & Davis, Sam Goldstein, Little & Westgate, Wells & Friedlander and J. Brunner.
A considerable number of families had come to Jacksonville, so a school was started that winter, Miss Royal being employed as teacher.
Jacksonville's First Newspaper.
The next year Colonel T'Vault, with two partners, started a newspaper, called the Table Rock Sentinel. Colonel T'Vault, however, soon bought out his partners and ran the paper alone. He was a brilliant man and a forceful writer. He met his death in a very distressing way. In 1868 smallpox broke out in Jacksonville and the citizens were panic stricken. More than 40 died, and those who were sick were given but scant attention. Colonel T'Vault took the smallpox, and the only one who attended him during his sickness and death was a faithful priest, who was with him when he died and was the only mourner at his funeral.
Scores of interesting incidents were mentioned by the pioneers, but I can only mention one or two. "Do you remember Veit Schutz?" said one of the group who were sitting in front of the livery stable. Several of the others nodded. "He was running a pack train when I first knew him," said the first speaker. "I remember he brought in a load of supplies for Abe Fisher. Fisher stood him off in the payment for the freight, as well as for the goods. On the second trip he brought him some additional supplies. Again Fisher stood him off. Meanwhile Fisher had indiscreetly confided to someone that there was so much Indian trouble that he was standing Schutz off with the hope that he might be killed, in which case, since Schutz had no help, he would not have to pay anybody for the supplies or the freight. When Schutz heard this he went to Fisher, and the way he cussed him was something fierce. He got his money at once."
Clerk Strikes It Rich.
"I remember a funny thing happened once to a clerk who was working for Dave Birdseye. He got homesick and went to Birdseye and said: 'A hundred and twenty-five dollars a month is good wages, all right, but I want to go back to my home in the East. I don't like this kind of life at all.' He wanted to borrow the money but was unable to do so. Finally he threw up his job and secured a rocker and went out to try his hand at mining. He knew nothing about it, but by the merest blind luck he struck a rich pocket and washed out over $5000 in the first week. He abandoned his rocker and tools and started at once for home."
"First man I ever saw killed," said one of the old-timers, "was in front of the livery stable just around the corner. He was coming by slowly on a horse, when a man ran out from the livery stable, jumped on a horse behind him, pulled out his knife, stabbed him through the heart, threw him off his horse and galloped away. A group of us ran up to the man, but he was dead, the knife having severed a large artery near his heart."
"What became of the murderer?" I asked.
"Oh, he was caught afterwards and released on the plea of self-defense."
"Do you remember the Spaniard that killed Alex Williamson?" asked one of the group. "Williamson was foreman of a pack train. A Spaniard driving for him stabbed him, thinking he would be able to get away, but by the merest chance another pack outfit came in sight of the camp just as the murder occurred. They caught the Spaniard, put a rope around his neck and threw the rope over a tree and pulled away. The Spaniard, whose hands were not tied, grabbed the rope above his head and began climbing up. One of the packers grabbed him by the legs and brought him down with a jerk, and hung to him until he had strangled to death. It was swift but sure justice."
Their Last Sleep.
Later in the afternoon I met one of the pioneers and fell into talk with him. "I suppose there must be six or seven hundred people in Jacksonville," he said. "But you haven't seen the largest part of Jacksonville. There are more than fifteen hundred in the permanent city of Jacksonville. In fact, most of us are there. My wife, my child and my father are all buried there. If you like, I will walk up the hill with you and tell you about some of the old-timers who are buried there."
Entering the graveyard, my attention was attracted by a stone reading "Gabriel Plymale, died November 14, 1852, age 48 years." Next to it was the grave of Anderville Plymale, who also died in 1852. Near this was the grave of the young son of W. G. T'Vault, who died in 1857. Here Judge P. P. Prim lies buried, as well as many other well-known men and women of the early days of Oregon. "Here is a part of the graveyard I never like to go in," said my companion. "It is the potter's field." We walked to the corner of the cemetery, where the manzanita brush and weeds grow thick. "Do you see that sunken grave with the wooden headboard fallen in upon it? That is the grave of a man named O'Neil, who was hung in Jacksonville for the murder of a man named McDaniel. It was the old, old, three-cornered trouble--two men and one woman. All of those sunken graves are the graves of Chinamen who were buried here and whose bones were later taken up and shipped to China. At one time there were several hundred Chinamen in Jacksonville, but now only one lives here. Negroes, Indians, Chinamen, paupers and murderers have all met here in equality."
As we walked from the graveyard we passed a stone. My guide, pointing to it, said: "This is the grave of Alec Williamson. He was 28 years old when he was killed." We stopped to read the dim inscription, which said, "Died December 24, 1855."
"He was the packer that the Spaniard killed. The one I told you of a while ago."
As we walked down the hill the old pioneer pointed to the gravelly banks of [Jackson] Creek and said: "I have seen that gravel shifted two or three times, and every time men have made good when working it. Jacksonville is one city that is strictly on a gold basis. You could wash Jacksonville's streets and make good wages. Some time ago an old miner was employed to dig a well here. He struck bedrock on the old creek bottom and washed out over $300 in gold from the dirt that came out of the well."
Oregon Journal, Portland, November 24, 1912, page 63
O. H. Barnhill, Who Is Serving on the Jury at the County Seat, Writes.
It is with a sense of relief that the county seat visitor, on official business bent, turns from the busy courtroom, where the air is befogged with tobacco smoke and legal technicalities, to a quiet contemplation of the surrounding city. Jacksonville resembles an old-fashioned new England village, some of the houses having fireplace chimneys and small-paned windows, the roofs greened over with the moss of many years. It is said that some of the oldest inhabitants have moss on their north sides, but this is only hearsay. These oldtimers love to sit in sunny places and slowly consume plugs of eating tobacco, while they recall the stirring days of sixty years ago, when Jacksonville was a wild and woolly western mining camp, the chief city of Southern Oregon. It was only a couple of years after the forty-niners made their memorable rush for the California diggings that gold was discovered near Jacksonville, since which time ten million dollars' worth of the yellow metal has been taken from the bosom of mother earth in Southern Oregon. That is the estimate of C. C. Beekman, Jacksonville's venerable banker and most notable figure. Coming to this place ten years before the Civil War began, he carried the mail from Yreka, traveling by night to avoid the Indians. While engaged in this and various other enterprises young Beekman lived a clean and frugal life, saving his money until enabled to start a bank, which he is still operating, although now in his 85th year. The Beekman Bank is the oldest business house between Yreka and Salem and is worthy of being preserved by the state historical society as an interesting relic of pioneer days. The first object to catch the visitor's eye is a huge brass balance scales which cost $1,000 and is so nicely adjusted on its jeweled bearings that it will turn at a quarter of a grain, yet is large enough to weigh several pounds. Hanging on the wall are framed signs which seem strangely out of date in this day and age. "Gold dust shipped to the Atlantic states and insured." There is a large steel engraving, appropriately inscribed, advertising a stagecoach line. The Wells, Fargo Express Company has had an agency here for more than forty years. There is an old wooden bench that has been in continuous use by patrons of the bank since 1855. There is no metal screen above the counter, and it was with difficulty that the writer convinced one of Ashland's leading business men that this quaint little shop was really a bank. As a matter of fact it is one of the safest and solidest financial institutions of Oregon. Panics come and panics go, but Beekman's Bank remained undisturbed.
The present discounting of county warrants reminds Mr. Beekman of Civil War times, when greenbacks were bought at 40 to 90 cents on the dollar. From the cavernous recesses of the ancient, stone-walled vault a number of golden nuggets were produced, some of them curiously shaped and worth $200 each.
As the aged banker slowly performed his self-allotted tasks, talking interestingly of pioneer days, I asked the good old man why he did not retire from active business.
"I've tried to," he replied, "but they won't let me, these oldtimers. They know nothing about checks, passbooks and the new way of doing business. They insist that I stay here and hand them their money whenever they want it, as I've always done."
Jacksonville has four saloons, which means that it is far more plentifully supplied with these hellholes than is Medford, population considered. Much of the poverty and destitution here is doubtless directly due to these booze joints, which give nothing of value in return for the many thousands of dollars which they take from the people every year.
There is an old brewery, which now stands idle, the local red-noses preferring to drink Schlitz, the beer that made Milwaukee infamous, or some other outside brew. This is a good place to controvert that old chestnut about there being no more drinking and drunkenness in a saloon town than in a prohibition place. The writer hasn't seen a drunken man during the three years he has resided in Ashland, yet observed one the first day he came to the county seat. Another day a farmer was observed driving home with a load of tile, so drunk that a bystander remarked that there wouldn't be much tile left at the end of the journey. However, brighter days are in store for Jacksonville. The better half of its citizens now have the ballot, and the splendid victory which their Ashland sisters recently won over the forces of evil has put new courage into the reform element here. Jackson County saloons may make their last stand at this place, where for more than half a century they have debauched and robbed the people, but the chances are that within a few years the infamous traffic will be relegated to the realm of past evils.
During the past year or so Jacksonville has taken on a new lease of life. Several blocks of cement sidewalk have been laid, a fine brick business block erected, and a splendid school house built on a hill which overlooks the town and valley, an ideal site for an educational institution. This is one step toward the attainment of that ideal, "A school house on the hill and no saloons in the valley." The semi-annual teachers' examinations are being held here this week, some fifty pedagogues, present and prospective, being put through the sweat-box. The writer has given a list of over 200 questions, some of which would puzzle even an editor, which the teachers are struggling to answer correctly.
Jacksonville has the cleanest, prettiest, most attractive, orderly and best-kept post office in the state. It is really a marvel along all these lines and reflects great credit upon its master, John Miller. Not a speck of dirt, dust or litter can be found anywhere. The woodwork is all varnished and kept spotlessly clean. The walls are decorated with pictures and hunting specimens, while plants and shrubs adorn the windows, lobby and office interior. There is a good-sized lemon tree bearing many ripe fruits, one of which is handed to every patron who gets gay. The office is now in mourning, owing to the death Thursday morning of Mrs. Miller, who did much to help her husband magnify his calling.
O. H. BARNHILL.Ashland Tidings, December 23, 1912, page 8
REMARKABLE PROGRESS IS MADE BY ROGUE RIVER VALLEY
Towns and Country Grow Fast in Last Year--"Go Ahead" Is Watchword in All Lines.
GRANTS PASS, Or., Dec. 28.--(Special.)--The new year in Rogue River Valley looms bright. The last year has witnessed unceasing efforts of brains, capital and labor, united in an effort to turn Rogue River Valley into an ideal country.
The towns have grown with startling rapidity. Only the villages remain without paved streets, waterworks, sewers and electric lights; all the other towns have taken on a cosmopolitan aspect that makes first views and impressions permanent. Miles of paved streets and sidewalks have been laid, restaurants and hotels have been enlarged, one- and two-story brick structures have been replaced by more modern buildings, and, in business centers, there may now be seen structures of five stories. Some of the hotels even are equipped with wireless telegraphy, besides the many other accommodations that the traveling public demands.
Trains are no longer met by the carriage, but by autos. The old dingy climb up a round of stairs has been superseded by quick service elevators.
It could not be expected that the towns would push forward so rapidly, were it not for other forces aiding. Acres and acres of raw land have been cleared and planted in fruit trees of every commercial variety. Much of this clearing work has been done with the aid of dynamite and donkey engines. The largest farms have been cut into small tracts so that the intermediate farmer and fruitgrower have found a home. His capital may not meet his needs, but his surplus labor in harvesting times becomes a welcome factor to his neighbor who must have help.
Diversified farming is receiving greater attention than ever before. Capital now is turning to the passed-over details, with a view of bringing into the country citizens who will become permanent residents. The shipping from outside points into the local markets of hay, feed, grain and garden truck raised by Oriental labor no longer is tolerated.
Apples of Fine Flavor.By the first of December all the commercial apples have been shipped or else packed and held locally for the Christmas market. Many fruitgrowers hold special lots of fruit for the holiday trade, because the price is better, and bright red apples are always an acceptable gift. The excellent flavor of Rogue River apples gives them an added value. When Rogue River gets too many apples and cannot sell them the people will begin to make the old-fashioned apple butter, apple pies, home cider and other good things for the market.
Now the markets are calling for apples, and in this respect the growers are meeting the demands. The Newtowns and several other varieties find favor in the European markets. J. C. Gilbert, who recently returned from Germany, is authority for saying that in the open markets many apples labeled Rogue River Valley could be purchased for $5 a box.
Pioneers here took all the land they could obtain and held it for grazing purposes. Now when a man obtains from 2000 to 5000 acres it is not for grazing purposes, but usually for fruit-raising. Last year the Sunset Country Orchards Company finished planting 13,000 apple and pear trees. This concern holds 200 acres, all of which has been cleared and prepared for tree planting. A large majority of the houses being built in the country are exceptionally convenient and modern in every respect. It is not an uncommon sight to visit bungalows with ten rooms, basements, steam heat, hot and cold water and sewer systems complete.
Auto Trucks Used.Wherever large acreages have come under one water system owners have adopted for domestic use a complete station for distribution. The largest concerns, like the Leonard Orchards Company and several others, have used auto trucks on the farms in transporting the wood from cleared-off land to market.
The last year has witnessed hundreds of men and teams working under contract clearing land. The big corporations are dressing down the country to a garden view of prosperity.
Local and district fairs have done much to educate and stimulate industrial pursuits. The magnificent display of farm products has caused many to look upon soil culture as a movement free from dependence upon towns. With the coming of diversified farming dairying has received much attention, because it affords a monthly cash income, requires but little outlay and gives to the average man assurance of some independence.
Dairying and butter-making, along with cheese factories, will be classed among the best-paying industries of the valley in the next five years.
To aid these industries blooded bulls and cows have been brought in from Eastern dairying countries by the carload. Butter, cheese and dairying products find ready market and at a good price.
Moving pictures of various industrial activities here were taken last summer. The photographer desired to depict the raising of Tokay grapes, which fruit constitutes one of the leading varieties raised in this valley. Tokay grapes were increased in acreage a few years ago, and their raising is now yearly emphasized by street carnivals. It was while one of these carnivals was taking place that the pictures were obtained for the purpose of giving to the public demonstrated achievements in soil development.
Poultry Raising Is Done.Poultry organizations have done much toward raising thousands of chickens where none were raised before. Model poultry plants have been established all over the valley. Old hen houses have been replaced with good, clean structures, some of which will hold 2000 hens or more. Fancy breeds have been introduced. Nothing but best strains are being kept.
As a summer resort, Josephine County Caves stand out unique from a scientific point of view. A whole course of nature may be studied in the wonderful subways. A modern highway from Grants Pass to the caves is being built, much of which has been paved or underlaid with a coat of crushed rock.
The Hotel Association of Oregon at a recent meeting went on record with a resolution that each member would pledge himself to confer personally or by mail with the members of the state legislature and Representatives in Congress, asking that a permanent highway be established from Grants Pass to the caves. It is the last eight miles of the route that these men desire to get into first-class order, so that no packing will have to be done to reach the mouth of the caves.
All the county roads leading in the direction of the caves have received attention. About $80,000 has been spent to eliminate curves, grades and fills on the roads of the county. The Good Roads Club looks after this end of the business in an organized manner. Luncheons are held often for the purpose of disseminating knowledge and exchanging ideas. Edward H. Richards is president of the club.
Mines Yield Income.The mines of Josephine County will always be a valuable asset. They yield a steady income. Two years ago the mining congresses began a series of meetings that brought to Southern Oregon an influx of capital. The rich exhibits taken from here to Spokane and Yreka, Cal. had a lure about them that made the sightseer follow the trail from whence they came.
A large amount of machinery already has been taken to the hills to be installed for the winter's run. The echoing blast and hum of machinery greet the ear in every mining district. The rains have swollen the streams, and there is plenty of water to use in the mining operations. This has been a good year in the copper mines. The Takilma smelter shipped matte by automobiles all summer until the roads became too soft. Now teams are used. This one concern hires teams and men to haul matte 40 miles. The journey by team takes three and four days, while the auto trucks ran day and night. The mines promise always to be an unrivaled producer of wealth to the capitalist as well as the "pocket hunter" with pick and shovel.
The leading question now before the people is a road to the coast from Grants Pass to Crescent City, a distance of 90 miles, in order that Grants Pass may become a distributing point for all of a large interior country when the Panama Canal is finished. Then the idea of having water rate over present carload rates from San Francisco to Portland with another rate attached to bring back broken carload lots neither pleases the consumers nor stimulates trade. This condition will not last long if the persons who are capitalizing the Pacific-Interior [railroad] have their way. The lumber and mining industries are lending a hand to this new line. The enormous tonnage moved from mines and lumber camps and mills is only one of the many examples of railroad revenue to be reckoned with.
The owners of the lime quarries south of here say that the smallest plant that could be construed upon the premises would turn out 500 barrels a day, with an income tonnage of about 30 tons of fuel a day. The present output of these quarries is about 10 tons a day and is carted to railroad by aid of trucks and traction engines.
From this mountain of limestone with the aid of railroad transportation could be turned out lump lime, hydrated lime, patent plaster, fertilizer and ground limestone. A barrel factory would have to be erected that would call for about two carloads of barrel stock a week.
Bond Issue Carries.A city election was held recently, at which time the question was submitted to the voters to bond the city for $200,000 to assist in building a railway to the sea. The bond issue carried. The Pacific-Interior will be met halfway by the big lumber interests of the Coast.
The incorporators of the Pacific-Interior are E. T. McKinistry, George Colvig and W. P. Quinlan. The board of directors is composed of H. C. Kinney, E. T. McKinistry, O. S. Blanchard, George W. Donnell, G. H. Carner and C. H. Demary. The following officers have been elected: H. C. Kinney, president; E. T. McKinistry, vice president; C. H. Demary, secretary and George W. Donnell, treasurer.
Sunday Oregonian, Portland, December 29, 1912, page D8
Last revised October 30, 2023