Booster Booklet 1912
A 48-page descriptive brochure mailed by the Medford Commercial Club to correspondents interested in Rogue Valley real estate.
Medford"Medford/Rogue River Valley/Southern Oregon," Medford Commercial Club, publisher, 1912. "Issued under the cooperative publicity plan of the Southern Pacific lines in Oregon."
Rogue River Valley
ROGUE RIVER VALLEY has formed the theme for other publications. This booklet is intended to be another chapter in the history of its development and to tell the story of its progress. It is written for the men who are looking for homes, seeking for investment or in search of a locality where healthful conditions are found. It will narrate in simple language what has been accomplished in a few years in this garden spot and treasure house of the Pacific Northwest.
Its settlement was begun when the lure of gold led men into an undeveloped and an unknown country. Oregon had its Argonauts as well as California, and the placers of Jackson County well repaid the men who washed the auriferous deposits in various localities. Following these pioneers came the stock grower and the farmer. Their herds and flocks waxed fat on the native and cultivated grasses, and bountiful crops of grain were harvested. In time, fruit trees were planted and their yield established the fact that superior varieties could be grown. Commercial orchards followed and Rogue River products have received the highest awards and the grower has been paid the highest prices commanded by fruit grown in the Northwest. The cities of the world are the market places, with the supply always far short of the demand.
The possibilities of this section for fruit growing, dairying, stock growing, poultry raising and intensive farming, its value as a mineral producing section, its wealth of timber, its enormous undeveloped water power, its importance as a manufacturing center, its transportation facilities and its accessibility to markets will be considered and told of separately. The climatic conditions, which are so desirable and so near perfection, the majesty of its mountains, the grandeur of its scenery, the delights of life in the open will go to make up the remainder of the subject matter. This in conjunction with the illustrations will convey in part a knowledge of this valley and its surroundings.
When all is written or said the story of the Rogue River Valley will be told in part only. There are limitations to description and narration, but there is no restriction as to product here. The artist may portray the orchard, the river, the canyon, the mountain, the lake and the cascade but he cannot photograph the life-giving air, and the genial climate must be experienced to realize its value.
The dwellers in the Rogue River Valley would not exchange their residence with the dwellers elsewhere. The people here love their home and its surroundings. They are content.
This booklet will tell of what men have done and are doing in this favored section. There is a splendid citizenship gathered here. These men and women invite others to come and share in the prosperity and join in the delights of living in this fair and fertile valley.
ROGUE RIVER VALLEY
FOUR hundred thousand acres of tillable land are found in the Valley of Rogue River and in the valleys along the tributaries to this stream. In the territory directly adjacent to Medford there are about one hundred thousand acres. Attention is called to the productive capacity, per acre, of this region, whether in fruits, grains or vegetable crops. It is much greater than in localities intensively farmed in the East, the South, the Middle West. The returns, as verified by horticulturists and agriculturists, are somewhat voluminous and are to be found under suitable captions. The contents of this publication have been procured at the expenditure of much time. The Medford Commercial Club, in inviting the homeseeker and the investor to the Rogue River Valley, has had in mind the collection of data which will truthfully set forth what the newcomer may do, if he follow in the footsteps of those who have achieved success.
Land Easy of Cultivation.Jackson County, in which for most part lies the Rogue River Valley, is in Southwestern Oregon, adjoining the California line. The surface is level, rolling and mountainous. The valley is completely surrounded by mountains, on the south the Siskiyous, on the east the Cascades, on the north the Umpqua Range and on the west the Coast Range. The Pacific is 75 miles west. The valley lands lie so that their cultivation is easy, their drainage good and irrigation possible with a small expenditure. The slope is toward Bear Creek and the Rogue River in the Medford district. Large areas under cultivation are ideally located for the purpose of the fruit grower and the farmer. The map occupying the central pages of this book will convey an accurate idea as to location. It shows the broad stretches in the valley and the upland areas now being tilled. The snow-capped mountain peaks tell of an unfailing water supply and the course of the streams is indicated. The great extent of bottom land in the floor of the valley is largely added to by the cultivable acres of the foothills. Even what were not long since characterized as desert lands are proven productive and are being rapidly settled upon.
Holdings Easily Acquired.It is an easy matter to get a tract of land in the Rogue River Valley or in the foothills which border it. The prices as fixed are low in comparison with the value of the land from its producing standpoint. More than this the prices are far from exorbitant, even were the yield not so large. It does not require a large tract of land to constitute a farm here. If the soil is to be intensively cultivated, the owner of a 10-acre tract will have to hire men to assist him. The price of labor has come to be an important factor on the farm. Where the head of the household is able, with the assistance of other members of the family to do the necessary plowing, planting and harvesting the returns are more satisfactory. Economic management is the solution of the economic problem the wise men of the East and other points of the compass are worrying over. The small farmer is the one who makes the most money, and the opportunity offered in this respect in the Rogue River Valley is one that should be eagerly grasped. On the 20-acre or 40-acre tract the owner may have a commercial orchard, he may keep a small dairy herd, a few swine, a flock of poultry and raise other products for home use and for the market. Let us get away from the idea that all land is held at extravagant prices, because some orchards are worth $1500, $2000 or more per acre. Their products warrant their being held at such figures and the man who buys land today for $100 or $150 per acre can make it worth as much as the highest priced tract in the valley in a few years. It is the planting and the care that makes the increase. It is also well to consider that this is not solely a fruit growing section. Success and fame have come to the owners of fruit trees, but all men do not want to grow apples or pears, and they may engage in any pursuit they elect, in the assurance that they cannot fail if they follow the right methods of cultivation. The Rogue River country is just as good along other lines as it is in the production of fruit.
Class of People Desired.The Rogue River Valley needs farmers, stock men, poultry growers, bee keepers. It has room for others to engage in fruit growing. It has openings for capitalists in its mining, timber and manufacturing industries and possibilities. It is the land now idle and the industries which are dormant which call for cultivation and awakening. The mercantile and professional man will come without invitation. The city is the outgrowth of the country. The cities of Jackson County and of Josephine County attest the value of this section. According to the census returns of 1910, Jackson County had a population of 27,576. It has an area of 1,779,662 acres. Figures previously appearing show that the Rogue River Valley alone can take care of many times the number now scattered throughout the county. Everyone may have a home and live in comfort. The invitation to the men who will till the soil and grow farm products, or fruit, who will keep dairy cattle and hogs, and horses and poultry is general. Rogue River Valley wants this class of settlers. It wants the privilege of putting before them exact facts as to what each one may do. It is sending out an appeal to the homeseeker to better his condition and the capitalist to invest his money in paying enterprises.
Orchards in the Medford District.Figures prepared by the Commercial Club of Medford in October, 1911, show the following areas devoted to fruit trees: Orchards in bearing, 3,640 acres; trees two years old and over, not in bearing, 31,140 acres; improved orchard land under two years, 27,720 acres; total, 62,500 acres. With an average planting of 60 trees to the acre, this will show that the number of trees set out is 3,750,000. Of this number 218,400 are in hearing. There is a reason behind these large plantings. It has been conclusively demonstrated that fruit of a superior quality can be grown here. The demand for this and the price paid is convincing proof of any claim for excellence which may be made.
Rogue River Apples.Oregon has gained renown for its apples. They are more uniform in size, better in appearance and surpass in excellence of flavor the product of most, if not all, other fruit growing sections. We are to consider the fruit grown in this acknowledged "better quality" district, and the cause of its commanding place in the markets. Soil is a primary factor in the production of any crop, and its properties are put to their most trying test in the raising of deciduous fruits. Experiments showed that Rogue River Valley soils were particularly adapted to apples, pears, peaches, apricots, grapes and the smaller fruits. The orchardist, in the beginning, was usually a man conversant with soil culture. He knew by experience that care in preparing the land and in cultivating his crops brought results much greater than if the attention was not given. Hence when commercial orchard planting began in earnest in the Medford district, the owner of the land to be set to trees planned for the harvest he expected. The ground was prepared in a scientific manner, selection was made of the most approved varieties of trees, and from the date of their planting they were given the care necessary to protect them from injury by pests and in cultivation. The spraying, pruning, cultivation, thinning, picking and packing were under the supervision of experts. The industry was a new one and right methods were adopted in its inception. The trees respond to the care bestowed, and the ripened fruit, flavored by nature's methods, rich in coloring from the sunshine, amply repays the owner for the attention given.
Commercial Varieties Grown.Newtowns and Spitzenbergs are the principal varieties grown in the Rogue River Valley. Other standard apples, such as the Winesap, Jonathan, Ortley, Rome Beauty, Grimes Golden and Arkansas Black, grow to perfection. The apples grown in this district might have achieved greater renown had it not been for the diffidence of the grower. Had Rogue River products been shown in carload lots at all the world's apple shows, the trophies now boasted of elsewhere would have been brought here. Entries of carload lots have been made on three occasions, and each time received the highest award. In 1909, a carload of Spitzenbergs from this district won the Grand Sweepstakes Prize at the Spokane Apple Show, together with the title of ''Apple Kings of the World" for the growers. In 1910, but one car of Rogue River apples was in competition, and that car captured the first prize in its class at the World's Apple Show held at Vancouver, B.C. In 1911, a carload of Newtowns grown in Rogue River Valley was sold to the King of Denmark for his private use. With the permission of this ruler, these apples were packed commercially and entered in the car lot class at the Apple Show in Spokane, Washington. This car scored highest of any car which has ever been passed upon at an apple show and was awarded the gold medal in the Newtown Pippin class. The growers also won first prize, a silver cup, for best five boxes of Newtowns on display. It is notable that these are the only times when Rogue River apples have been in competition with the fruit from other districts, and each time they have been awarded the highest prizes. Experienced fruit growers in this valley maintain that there has never been a year, since commercial orchards have been in bearing, but a prize-winning car of either Spitzenbergs or Newtowns could have been secured from single orchards in the Medford district had the growers realized the advertising value of such exhibits.
Fruit Commands High Prices.The apple growers are rewarded for the care given the trees and the scientific methods of cultivating, spraying, thinning, picking and packing by the prices received for their product. An association has charge of the shipping. Uniformity of pack of carefully selected fruit makes it possible to order a carload or an entire train of Rogue River apples without the formality of the buyer being on the ground to personally inspect the consignment. The district has made a reputation which it is careful to maintain. The acreage planted might lead to belief that there will be overproduction. This is an error. There never was and never will be an excess of a commodity of high class which enters into the daily bill of fare. The population of the United States is rapidly increasing and the demand for fruit is growing in proportion. There are exceedingly few localities in this great country especially adapted to commercial fruit growing. Let the reader investigate this statement and the findings will prove a revelation. The home market must be kept supplied, and foreign trade is constantly increasing. On the banquet table where royalty dines the Rogue River fruit is the piece de resistance. Old World monarchs have set the seal of their approval on the Spitzenberg and Newtown, and the kings and queens and members of the royal family of Americans have issued their decree that of all deciduous fruits the Apple is King.
The Home of the Pear Tree.The pear has been a favorite among deciduous fruits for generations. Homer sang its praises in the isles of Greece and Pliny told of its excellence in the Roman Empire. If the varieties grown there could evoke the lyre of the poet and arouse the enthusiasm of the naturalist, a worthier rhapsody and a more fitting tribute would be allotted this luscious fruit could these men have eaten of the Rogue River Valley product. The valley orchardists grow pears de luxe. They have brought out good qualities that have lain dormant through long ages. The pear soil is here, and the perfect soil and air drainage and sunshiny days, with the cooling influence of the night produces fruit that has no superior of its kind. In many localities this is regarded as one of the perishable products, but the Bartlett pear of this district is on the table during the holidays. It is classed by the lexicographer and the pomologist as a summer fruit, but all seasons are summer to the Rogue River Bartlett. It is not only the earliest to come into market but it stays with the market until the price is right. Other varieties such as the Anjou, Bosc, Howell. Winter Nelis and Comice are grown, and every known variety may be planted with the assurance of an excellent crop. Like the apple, the pear is produced to meet the demand. Any particular variety in either fruit for which there is a call will be grown to order here. True, a little time will be needed, but the want will be filled.
Fruit Brings World's Record Price.Hardy trees are grown in the valley. They come into bearing at six and seven years of age, and history records the fact that fruit has been grown on trees 300 years old. The men who are today setting out pear orchards are making generous provision for posterity for generations hence as well as meeting a present demand for the good things of life and also adding to their bank accounts. A part of this booklet is devoted to telling of products and profits. The reader is asked to peruse this prior to passing judgment on the value of a pear orchard or criticizing any statement as to the desirability of growing this variety of fruit. Exposition awards are splendid testimonials, but cash returns are even more convincing proof of excellence. Money talks and it spoke in no uncertain voice when the highest price ever paid for green fruit in open market was that given in exchange for Rogue River pears in the New York and London markets.
Peaches, Plums and Prunes.Many varieties of peaches are grown here. In size, flavor, shipping and keeping qualities they are up to the Rogue River standard of excellence. In the Medford district the trees are planted as fillers in the apple and pear orchards. This means that in time they will be removed. While peaches command a good price, their production is more general than the higher priced fruits, and in this particular it is merely a question of the survival of the fittest. In some districts there are exclusive peach orchards, and their owners are content with their yield. The tree is not only a prolific bearer but is extremely hardy. In an orchard at Jacksonville there is a tree which was planted in 1857. It began bearing at three years and has yielded a crop every year since. In 1910 the Riverside orchard, 40 acres, yielded 14,000 boxes, which netted grower $1.10 per box in Portland. Plums and prunes are also grown, but in small quantities. These, too, give way to specialized productions.
Cherries Are Profitable.Other fruits are delicious, and cherries grown here maintain the reputation of the valley. The fruit attains unusual size, the quality is unsurpassed, the yield is prolific and the profit large. One Rogue River man sold his 1910 crop, grown on a half acre, for $972 net. The trees were 14 years old. Bings, Lamberts and Royal Annes are among the principal varieties grown, but any kind may be produced, and at a profit.
Table and Wine Grapes.American and European grapes alike yield bountiful crops. The well-known Concord, the Flame Tokay and the Malaga are the principal varieties grown, the intent of the vineyardist being to produce the kinds having a commercial value. The vines become profitable the fifth year after planting. The yield of Flame Tokays is five to six tons per acre. Malagas will yield six to seven tons per acre. Tokays will net the grower $60 per ton and the Malagas $50 per ton. California and other grape-growing sections have their most formidable competitor in the Rogue River Valley. The famous vineyards of the old world cannot produce grapes of the superior excellence of those grown here.
Berries Yield Prolific Crops.The Oregon berry is in a class by itself. It does not mature within a week or ten days as soon as the California strawberry, but when once on the market the southern product is outclassed in every respect. There are land owners who make a living from their strawberry patches, and others who add to their revenue by setting out the plants between the rows of orchard trees. This is considered more fully elsewhere in this booklet. The blackberry, raspberry, loganberry and the gooseberry and currant bushes of the valley are all revenue producers. The vines need little care. Their growth has to be discouraged rather than encouraged, for unless pruned back or grubbed, they will become an impenetrable thicket, and spread everywhere. There is something in the size and delicate flavor of the berries of Rogue River Valley which stamps them as a favorite.
Farm and Garden Products.It is an undeniable fact that in late years attention has been given to fruit production to the exclusion of other crops. It is equally true that on Rogue River Valley lands bounteous yields of cereal and hay products and all kinds of vegetables may be obtained. There is need for more men who will raise the products now being shipped into Medford and other cities of this valley. Hay, grain, foodstuffs, vegetables of all kinds, butter, condensed milk, poultry and eggs are imported. These come in carload lots and the empty cars are hauled out of the valley. Wheat, oats, corn and barley yield large crops. Five to eight tons of alfalfa in three cuttings are had. Potatoes will average more than five tons to the acre, onions will give greater return and tomatoes will run as high as fifteen to twenty tons and over. Cabbage, turnips, parsnips, beans, peas, carrots, beets, squash, melons, cucumbers, cauliflower, celery, asparagus--everything, in fact, will grow and in quantities surprisingly large. And yet grain is bought in Central Oregon, mill stuff in Portland and vegetables in California. The butter comes from the Middle West and the condensed milk from some other state. The stores of the provision dealers are stocked with canned products of other localities. The people here are sending away their money for the household necessities which can be produced in better quality at home. Grape juice from New York, pickles from Pittsburgh, vinegar from Illinois are some of our imports. Rogue River Valley can grow finer wine grapes than the Empire State, better cucumbers than the Smoky City manufacturer puts on the market and can manufacture purer vinegar from its leftover culls in the apple orchard than can be squeezed out of an Illinois product.
Farmers and Gardeners Needed.There is need for men to come into the Rogue River Valley and engage in raising the products now bought from outside localities. There is imperative necessity for the production at home of the foodstuffs bought outside of Jackson County and the state of Oregon for consumption in the Rogue River Valley. There is no desire to detract from the fruit growing industry. That has outgrown its swaddling clothes. It will take care of itself. There is enough money invested in orchard land to warrant the assertion that Rogue River fruit will maintain its supremacy. But our fruit industry has been exploited to the exclusion of other profitable callings, and the Medford Commercial Club wants it generally known that for diversity of resources this section is unequaled. It is intended to publish to the world that in conjunction with raising the best fruit which can be grown Rogue River Valley can offer a home and not only a living but a competence to the man who will engage in soil culture aside from fruit growing. The very fact that we have not been insistent along this line has had the effect of attracting very desirable settlers elsewhere. The idea gained ground that our lands were high priced and adapted to certain fruits only. This is a grievous mistake and one which it is hoped this booklet will remedy. Land is not held at unreasonable prices. In fact it may be bought cheaply. The Rogue River Valley is not a one-crop section. It will produce anything grown in the temperate zone, and will pay better returns for less labor than any other locality of which we know. It is not expected that the reader will accept the word of any individual or organization without investigation, but inquiry will serve to substantiate every claim made. False statements will prove injurious, and it will prove a pleasant task to verify every word herein relative to the productive capacity of the soil of this valley and as to the opportunities it affords to the homeseeker.
Oregon a Dairy Country.The state of Oregon, as a whole, is adapted to the dairy industry, and Western and Southern Oregon are especially suited for this calling. There is plenty of green feed twelve months in the year. The dairy cow is not confined to a limited area. The weather conditions are such that housing is not necessary. In the meadow, the animals not only get the food they like, and which will add to the flow of milk, but they get the exercise which is needful to keep them in perfect health. In addition to the pasturage there is alfalfa hay. The value of this is too well known to require comment, and there is the kale and the other milk-producing foods which are grown in such abundance and available at any time needed. An acre of ground here will keep a cow. The cow will give milk which will bring from $90 to $125 per annum. Then the calf is to be considered. The creameries will call at the dairy for the product.
Imported Products in Use.Notwithstanding these favoring conditions, the industry in Oregon is not generally engaged in. Butter in carload lots is shipped not only to the larger cities, but to the towns and the hamlets and to the railroad stations for distribution. The patrons of the hotels and restaurants and the people in the city homes use imported butter and not infrequently condensed milk. In the home of the fruit grower the farmer and even of the stockman the butter used is made in some other state. This is true in the mining and lumber camps and wherever people are living. From an economic standpoint this is deplorable. Cows are more profitable here than where dairies are found on a large scale. It takes more ground to keep a cow in the dairying states of the Middle West than in Oregon. The animals have to be stabled in expensive buildings there, while here a shed will afford all the protection needed. There the animals are stall-fed for months, while here they roam in green pastures. The freight charges and the middlemen's profits must be counted every time a piece of butter is spread on your bread. The byproduct of skim milk is lost, unless dairy cows are kept, and another waste occurs, as this milk can be turned into dollars by feeding it to swine. Hog-growing will be referred to elsewhere. It is another neglected farm industry.
Large Herds Unnecessary.The cities of the Northwest have large and growing populations, and the market prices for butter and cheese are good at all times. It is desired to call attention to Oregon's unsurpassed opportunities for dairying. The agricultural colleges, commercial organizations and the merchants are endeavoring to enlighten the men who are looking for locations as to what may be done in this state, and the Medford Commercial Club asks that Rogue River Valley be considered by those who are interested in dairying. It does not require large capital to begin. It is, in fact, advisable to begin on a small scale, and build up the business. A hundred men with a few milk cows each are of more value to a community than one concern with large herds. The small herd is a possibility, while pasturage must be a first consideration where a great many cows are kept. When the requisite number of cows is being milked, a creamery will be established, and Rogue River butter will take the place of the Eastern production. It can be supplied for less money and its quality will rank as high as any on the market. It is hoped that attention will be given this matter. Our home people can aid by writing to prospective settlers and telling them of the value of this as a dairy country, in addition to its numerous other advantages.
Stock Growing.The men who first saw the Rogue River Valley realized its desirability as a stock-raising section and for some years it was one of the principal supply points. But with the settlement and cultivation and fencing of its lands the range became restricted. Time was when at every station along the Southern Pacific the stock pens were filled with beef cattle, sheep or horses for shipment to Portland, San Francisco and other points. These pens are now grass-grown in most part, though livestock is loaded at Medford and other points in limited numbers.
The raising of purebred cattle for dairy purposes has been referred to. It is desired to call attention to the valley as a swine-growing section. Without going again into details as to climate and abundance of green feed, we desire to say that the owner of a tract of land in this valley who does not set apart a portion for hogs is overlooking something of importance as a moneymaking factor. It does not matter to what uses the balance of his land is put, whether he engage in fruit-growing, general farming, truck gardening, dairying or any other calling on the land. There is room for a few hogs. Not razorbacks or mongrels, but purebred Duroc-Jerseys, Poland Chinas, Chester Whites--any of the acknowledged breeds. The animals are easily fattened for market on alfalfa, and the product brings in more money when sold in the form of pork than in any other way. A little grain will harden the flesh of an alfalfa-fed hog until its meat is as appetizing as the corn-fed animal of the Middle West or the boasted beechnut product of the Southland. There's always feed for a litter of pigs on the farm--good, nourishing, fattening roots, vegetables, grass, grain and skim milk. A hog will wallow in the mud if offered the chance, but a hog will not eat filth unless forced to by hunger. The prejudice against pork is not well founded. If it were, and man's ills were attributable to his diet of ham, bacon, sausage, spare ribs, roast pork and other items on the bill of fare provided by the lowly hog, there would be a falling off in demand and in price which would do away with that branch of the animal kingdom. There is money in raising swine. This statement is based on the daily market reports. Hog-growing is an industry in itself. Someone is destined to make a fortune in the business in the Rogue River Valley. His name is legion if he will but improve the opportunity.
Purebred Draft Horses.The land owner who has a work team may not be able at first to purchase a team or teams of thoroughbred mares, but as soon as the bank account will permit, he will make a wise expenditure in buying the best animals to be had. There are registered sires, the services of which are always available. At four and five years of age a span of draft horses will sell for from $500 to $750. The mare will drop a colt each year and may be worked practically up to the time of foaling. A good brood mare will cost $175 to $200. The cost may be more. In ten years the cost is swallowed up in profits on her colts and her work has many times paid the cost of purchase. Do not raise cayuses. The farmer who is up to date will not have any animal on his place, from the high-class, thoroughbred, brood mare down to the family cat, that is not registered and entitled to entry at the shows where only pedigreed stock is on exhibition. Rogue River fruit products have won prizes in money, in medals, and in diplomas. It ought to be a matter of pride to its people to do in the stock-growing line what it has done in other respects. To get to the top here is merely a matter of trying to do so.
Sheep and Goats.Sheep need large pasture areas. The forest reserves so convenient to Rogue River Valley afford plenty of grazing facilities in the summer, and the animal may be winter fed with profit, where hay is grown in such abundance. The shearing will bring about the establishment of woolen mills or scouring mills, adding to the wealth of the county and to the number of its inhabitants.
Angora goats are valuable for clearing land and for their mohair. There are large areas of timber land adjacent to the valley. With the marketing of the lumber these lands--the logged-off lands--will be ready for clearing for cultivation. Goats will do a work that no other animal will do and do it well. There is a saying to the effect that civilization follows the flag. This is a fact. It may be said with equal truth that the plow follows the goat, and this humble brute is therefore a prominent factor in the advance of the settlement of the land where once stood the great trees of the western part of the American continent.
Bulletin No. 5, issued by the Medford Commercial Club, is devoted to dairying and stock growing in the Rogue River Valley. Write for it. It is possible that this publication may repeat what is said on these subjects, but the statements cannot be made too frequently. It is the man who stands outside his tent and cries his wares who attracts the attention of the public to what he has to offer. Medford is at the door of her tent, pitched in the Rogue River Valley. The city is telling of what it has in circulars and booklets. It is making an offer not for personal gain, but for the benefit of those who are looking for locations in a land such as this. It is telling of pursuits which are adapted to the use of man. It is telling of the home life and allurements of this great and productive valley and its environs.
Poultry Growing.The raising of chickens, turkeys, ducks and geese, particularly the two former, is a moneymaking proposition in the Rogue River Valley. One of the bulletins issued by the Medford Commercial Club goes into the matter in detail, and it is suggested that this publication be read by interested persons. Climate has much to do with successful poultry farming. Both the flesh of the fowl and the eggs advance in price with the coming of the months called winter in other sections. Winter, in its accepted meaning, does not put in an appearance here. We have the autumn tints and the falling leaves, but from the end of autumn until the beginning of spring winter means occasional rainy days, on rare occasions snow, and many days of sunshine when the farmer plows his land and pursues other outdoor vocations and when beast and fowl range in the open on the green feed practically always available. It is needless to say that poultry will do well in a climate such as this, and that there is little difference in the egg production of June or January.
Fowls Live Outdoors.Prices are always good. Eggs rarely sell for less than 25 cents per dozen and from 50 to 60 cents per dozen is the price during fall and winter months. This is when the American hen in the great poultry sections of the Middle West, where Oregon gets her supply of eggs, devotes her energies to keeping her feet warm and her comb from being frostbitten in lieu of devoting her time to filling the nest with eggs and the purse of her owner with the coin of the realm. The holiday season is also the time when the dealers pay more and charge for the fowl for table purpose. Depletion of the flock means diminished egg production and the poultryman winter feeds his hens for what they may do later on. In other words he is dealing in futures. The Rogue River poultry grower does business differently. He does not have to build expensive houses, nor to provide artificial heat. His flocks roam at will, and they find in the gardens and meadows and orchard the food they relish. They select their own variety of grit and do not rely on the bone crusher or the manufactured product. They get the exercise they need, and are not only healthy, but in large part immune from disease. The hens keep on laying, the variation from month to month being scarcely perceptible.
The poultry industry is one of the neglected opportunities of the valley. The land owner either does not realize the income-producing qualities of well-bred poultry, or regards it as troublesome to watch the flock. A well-selected breed of chickens will not only pay for themselves, but they will bring handsome returns on the money they cost. It is not unusual to hear of families whose entire revenue is derived from the poultry they keep, and the owners live well. Other instances are known where a flock of laying hens pay the entire running expenses of the farm. Men engage in poultry farming as an exclusive business and are getting rich. Hens of the right breed will net their owner $2 and upward each per annum. It is a mistake to keep any but the best, and it is an error to have mixed flocks. The fowls should be selected with a view to their egg-laying qualities or their value as food. Favorite breeds are the Plymouth Rocks, Orpingtons, Rhode Island Reds, Wyandottes, Leghorns and Minorcas. The fowls will have to be penned separately to prevent mixing of breed, but the results will pay for this care. If necessary one variety may be kept and this will not necessitate as much labor in building enclosures. As an adjunct to any farm or orchard, a flock of chickens will prove of value. There is always waste from kitchen and table, and the leftover food will bring a return in dollars and cents, if fed to the fowls. The little grain required for feeding may be grown on a limited area. Unless kept in confinement, the fowls will forage for themselves and need little additional food, except in the case of young chicks. Read our bulletin on Poultry Raising. It will enlighten anyone on the subject.
Vast Mineral Resources.Jackson County's mineral resources have not been developed. There have been millions of dollars taken from the auriferous gravel and sands, and gold-bearing quartz veins have added to this amount, but notwithstanding, the era of development has not yet really begun. Experts who have made careful examination of the mineral zone and assayed the quartz do not hesitate to say that it is one of the richest districts in the United States. Before going further into this subject, it is desired to impress upon the reader that the Medford Commercial Club as an organization has nothing for sale. It is not interested in lands, mines, stocks or bonds. It will frown upon any scheme to defraud the unwary and will aid in bringing to justice the man, company or corporation bringing into disrepute the country tributary to this city. There have been so many wildcat mining propositions launched elsewhere that legitimate interests have suffered. We will exploit nothing that is unreliable, nor urge investment in anything unsafe. Any expenditure of money in any enterprise should be made only after thorough and painstaking investigation. Even then there may be errors of judgment, but there will not have been reckless waste. Great as are our mining prospects, we will treat them in the most conservative way.
Little Done in Late Years.There has been little done, even in the way of prospecting, in the Jackson County mineral belt for years. Mining differs from other pursuits. The discovery of one paying lead will cause all the surrounding country to be located, and operations will be confined to a particular district. This is true here. The country at large is virgin. The very ease of access prevents its exploration. Men risk their lives in the North and brave death in the South looking for bonanzas and mythical "lost" lodes, while what is acknowledged to be one of the greatest mineral sections of the continent is passed by. It will require time and the expenditure of money to open up these deposits of gold, copper and other metals, but the ore bodies are there, say mining experts, and simply await the development that will make millionaires of some of today's prospectors.
Gold and Copper Predominate.In the mountains adjacent to the valley, the ore values are principally in gold. There are low-grade propositions where assays will run from $3 to $10 per ton. Other returns go to $5000 per ton and even higher. A 20-stamp mill is in operation at Jacksonville, five miles from Medford. The values here are in tellurides. There is ore enough in sight to keep the stamps dropping for five years. Nine miles south of Medford, in the Siskiyou Mountains, a local company is developing a property of great promise. In the southern part of the county and just across the line in California there is a copper belt which is pronounced by men who have examined it, and who are familiar with other copper regions, to be the largest deposit in the United States. There are large areas of placer ground in the county which are untouched. To work these, water will have to be conveyed to the ground, but there is gold to warrant the construction of ditches. The value may be known prior to expenditure of money save in prospecting. This will be inconsiderable.
Extensive Coal Measures.Outcroppings of coal run through Jackson County and are found for more than fifty miles, and within four miles of the city of Medford a paying mine is in operation. It is not being worked on extensive scale, the owners putting back every dollar received for the output into development work. The miners are encouraged by the better quality of coal they get with depth. Their product is used in the local markets at present. The vein is from five to eight feet wide in the present workings. The surface indications are borne out by exploration and the mountains are underlain with coal.
Other Deposits.The prospectors in Jackson County as a rule are looking for gold. They not infrequently encounter other substances. Cobalt, jade, nickel, zinc, arsenic, graphite, mica, iron, asphaltum, agate, asbestos, onyx, carnelian, garnets, talc, antimony, fire clay, kaolin, hematite, lead and tellurium have been found. In the building line there are marble, granite and sandstone, these being available in any quantity.
A Banquet of Good Things.At the table spread in Rogue River Valley there is a feast of good things. The valley products cannot be excelled. The juice of the grape may be drunk from a goblet of gold, the material for which was taken from a mine adjoining the vineyard. The fruit baskets, too, are of the yellow metal, the product of a mine within easy walking distance of the orchard. The fuel which was used in cooking the viands for this banquet was brought from workings of a coal mine but four miles away. The brilliant illumination is from electricity generated on the banks of the Rogue River, which flows through the valley. This sumptuous repast is the product of field and stream, orchard, vine and garden of this mountain vale. The service is of gold and silver taken from the hills which border this land of bounteous plenty. The decorations are the fragrant roses and the many-hued state flower. You are bidden to this feast.
Resources Are Enduring.Without desire to boast, it is asked, where else, in this or other lands, can such an array of edibles and an equal display of riches be found, within the same area? It is the practical that will appeal to the people it is desired to interest in our valley, and it is intended to tell of practical things. But there are means of ornamentation which brighten the home and lighten life's burdens. Wealth has its allurements. A meal eaten from dishes of gold may taste no better than one from the plainest material, but the daintily served meal has its appetizing qualities. It is a good thing to have this costly table service, whether it is used or not. It is inspiring to live within hailing distance of a storehouse of precious metal. This valley is a gold mine. The hills are paying tribute in precious metal. In time this will end. But the basic, the perpetual, enduring wealth of soil products will never diminish. From these broad plains and gently undulating hills will flow a stream of wealth, increasing in volume with recurring years. Other industries will wane. Agriculture will endure, even unto the end.
Our Forest Wealth.In the mountain ranges adjacent to Medford there are 20,000,000,000 feet of timber. This is a virgin forest. It is but recently that a railroad line was built to penetrate this magnificent growth of merchantable lumber. The largest sugar pine belt remaining uncut is included in the timber area. Other varieties are Douglas spruce, red and yellow fir, cedar, larch, hemlock and oak. The timber is in private ownership, and must be so considered, all the valuable interests having been acquired. Logging roads will extend from the main line into different sections. The employment of men to fell the trees, the transportation of logs to the mills and the conversion of the material into the finished product will form an industry of exceeding importance. Medford is the only gateway through which the lumber can be shipped. It will also be the supply point for the army of operatives which the handling of the product will necessitate. The lumber industry will be an important one here for years. Favorably situated on a transcontinental railroad, Medford will be the shipping point for the trade in the cities and mining centers of the Northwest, for California, Mexico and Atlantic ports upon the completion of the Panama Canal.
Conserves Water Supply.The timber grows at altitudes much higher than the valley. Adjoining the forests owned by individuals and companies are the great reserves under supervision and protection of the government. Here are feeding grounds for flock and herd, under certain restrictions, lumber is obtainable, but general cutting is not permissible. There is a twofold object in the forest reserve, covered by one word--conservation. The trees are not available for commercial use and must be allowed to stand. The timber is not only thus preserved, but the watershed is protected. The tree-clad mountains mean protection to the snow from the sun's rays and the retention of moisture. They further mean that life-giving streams will continue to flow through the Rogue River Valley.
Water Power Available.The Rogue River is a power stream practically from where it leaves the mountains until it loses its identity in the Pacific Ocean. Confluents of the river are also power streams. There is a greater Niagara undeveloped in application to the use of man in this valley. True, there are plants where electricity for lighting and power is generated, but on a scale so small as to be scarcely noticeable when the available power is considered. The uses to which electricity may be put are so varied that its generation must be accounted of untold value to this region. It will turn the wheels of industries which alone would make the country prosperous. In the mines and mills, in the manufacturing plants, in the business house and home of the city and rural towns, on the farm and in the operation of railways, the invisible current will cheapen production and add to the wealth of the community, the county and the commonwealth. It will revolutionize heating apparatus, simplifying the labor and enlighten the burdens of the people. The Electric Age is close at hand. Under its transforming influences great changes for the better will be wrought. As the spring transforms the tree, so will this great energy work to the betterment of a country where its application can be made with such ease and facility as in the Rogue River Valley.
Water for Irrigation.The water supply of the Rogue River Valley has its source in the everlasting hills, where perennially snow-clad peaks and glacier-covered sides are fountains unfailing. These are Nature's reservoirs. Their contents are purified by distillation in cauldrons far from human habitation. Unpolluted, they flow in generous abundance to the valley where they meet the needs of man and the wants of growing vegetation. The precipitation, which averages 28 inches per annum, ensures crops of all kinds. But there is a growing season when there are no rains, and additional moisture means increased production. To provide this, irrigation systems have been established. In some places water is already on the lands, and the results of its application warrant the extension of canals and ditches. A company has been formed and operations are well advanced on a series of canals and laterals which will irrigate 55,000 acres. This is a gravity system. Storage reservoirs will increase its capacity. Pumping plants along the river will add to the volume of water available, and every acre of cultivable land in the Rogue River Valley which will be benefited by irrigation can have the amount of water needed. Dry farming may be done here, and there are subirrigated sections where additional moisture is not needed. There is, however, need of water in places where the yield may be increased from 50 to 500 percent. This has been done in other localities, under less favoring environments, and where the soil was less responsive to intelligent cultivation. Applied moisture has been found necessary in regions where the precipitation is almost double the amount here. Water users are pronounced in favor of the irrigating ditch and the enhanced value it brings. Irrigation will figure prominently hereafter in Rogue River Valley. It will entail a little additional outlay, which will be forgotten in the increase in every variety of soil product. Artesian wells are in use in sections removed from running streams, and shallow wells are found in places. The windmill is rarely found.
The City of Medford.Medford is the commercial and financial center of Jackson County. It is the principal shipping point of the Rogue River Valley and the largest city in Southern Oregon. Its present population is given as 12,000. Tn 1910 the census enumeration was 8842, and in 1900 it had less than 2000 inhabitants. This growth is phenomenal and significant. It is indicative of the country surrounding. Cities are not builded upon insecure foundations. The demands of commerce and the requirements of the people are met by the erection of costly structures and the inauguration of industries. Mercantile establishments, homes, schools, churches, fraternal organizations spring into existence because of a manifest need. Medford is not only a city of rapid growth, but it is a place of imposing edifices for the transaction of business, for the education of the youth, for spiritual aid and for social intercourse. Its site, its climate, its diversity of resources, its transportation facilities, its strategic location commend it to the favorable consideration of those who desire to locate where progress is being made, where opportunity is present for the bettering of conditions, where the air is pure and where the surroundings are attractive.
The city government has been wisely administered. In making provision for present needs the future was considered. The streets are wide and alleys are roomy. The water system, under municipal ownership, was built at a cost to date of more than $500,000, the supply being obtained in the heart of the Cascade Range, twenty-five miles distant, and in volume it is sufficient for a city three times as large as the present one. There are eighteen miles of paved streets, representing an outlay of $746,000. The sewer system has cost $215,000. The sidewalks cost $100,000, and its fire apparatus $15,000. It was the first city in Oregon to install an automobile fire truck. The city has gas and electricity and is a striking example of Western energy and progressiveness. In 1910, more than $5,000,000 was spent for buildings. Among these were nearly 500 homes, some of them costing $5000 and $10,000 each. In 1911 more than a half million was expended in erecting hotels, a hospital, a public library building and two school buildings. Many new and handsome homes were constructed. The enrollment in the public schools showed an increase in one year from October, 1910, of 14 percent, the present number of pupils being 1600. In addition, three private schools are maintained. The grades, grammar and high school are taught, experienced instructors being employed. There are thirteen church organizations and most of them hold services in well-built, commodious edifices. There are various organizations of business men, the Medford Commercial Club being the largest. There are two daily and three weekly newspapers and printing plants, an opera house, natatorium and four theaters. There are strictly modern hotels and eating houses. There are two national and two state banks, three railroad lines and automobile service to nearby points. There are two hospitals and the usual benevolent societies.
Civic Pride Is Evidenced.On every side there is evidence of pride in the city. The railroad passes through the center, and its right of way is free from unsightly buildings. There is a handsome depot where the Southern Pacific trains stop. This structure cost $50,000. The Pacific & Eastern line--the Hill line--has a handsome depot a few blocks away. The streets in the business district are wide, smoothly paved, and at night brilliantly illuminated. In the residence section the homes are attractive and are set in well-kept enclosures. There is no evidence of crowding. Spacious lawns, with trees, shrubs and flowers are everywhere. There are rows of pretty bungalows, which vie with the more pretentious residences in calling for admiration. It is, in addition to a thriving city, a home town, where comfort is a consideration and where the inhabitants are engaged in friendly rivalry along lines of beautifying the home surroundings. It would seem that the people who have chosen this as a place of abode had in mind the building of "a home that their feet may leave, but not their hearts." Perhaps that man who grew homesick in heaven wanted to go back to Medford. It is the kind of a place that grows on one, and there's a homelike appearance to the city and a homelike feeling in the air that causes the visitor a pang of regret when he makes his adieus to the genial people and says farewell to the lovely city of this mountain vale.
Growing in Business Importance.Medford is one of the important shipping points of Oregon. In 1909, it ranked second to Portland in carload shipments of commodities. This, too, with the partial development of but one of its many industries. The fruit trees now in bearing are planted on [an] area of 3640 acres. In five years the area in bearing will be 32,500 acres. No one can correctly estimate the quantity of fruit which will be ready for shipment in 1916. By that time dairying should have grown to an important industry; stock growing should be commensurate with its value and importance. The lumber will be moving from the great forests; there will be trainloads of best monumental and building granite moving; there will be quartz mines in operation and Medford may be supplying the cities of the Northwest with coal from its apparently inexhaustible measures. The market gardeners will have found a selling place for their products, and Rogue River poultry and eggs will take the place of the imported Eastern product in Washington and Oregon. This is a forecast which may be regarded as truthful if the resources receive but a part of the development they should and if the industries mentioned are begun even on a small scale, and will mean added importance to Medford shipping. If proper steps are taken California produce will find other consumers and the Eastern packing house will have Medford to consider as its most formidable rival in bidding for the trade in the Pacific Northwest. The city must grow. The settlement of the country tributary and the handling of products of field, orchard, garden, forest and mine will necessitate building commodious workhouses and the employment of many laborers. The claim is not put forth that there is present need for an inrush of city workers. The building up of the municipality will come through the peopling of the valley lands and through operations in woodland and in the quarries and shafts and tunnels of the mines. Rapid as has been the growth of Medford in the past few years, it is safe to say that this will be greatly surpassed within the next decade.
Attractions for Visitors.Medford has attractions of a superior character to offer the visitor. Within a radius of one hundred miles there are mountains, lakes, rivers, streams, the roads to which wind through gorge and canyon, past rapids and cascades. These pathways lead through foliage so dense that the sky is obscured at times, to heights from which vistas of exceeding beauty are unfolded. It is only eighty-five miles to Crater Lake, one of the greatest wonders of the continent. This body of water occupies what was once the crater of a monster volcano. The waters are blue, of a tint nowhere else seen. The mirrorlike surface reflects the precipitous sides and the depths reveal a panorama of forest-clad mountain and the towering, snow-clad peak rising to majestic height. In Indian story and tradition, this is the abode of spirits, and the red man will not look upon the waters. The awe with which the aborigines regard these surroundings has its counterpart in the reverence with which the visitor of this and other lands beholds the beauties and admires the grandeurs of this mountain retreat. There are islands to visit, nooks to explore, precipices to climb. There is majesty everywhere. There is eloquence in the silence unbroken save by the cadence of whispering winds and the moaning of the waters of this inland sea.
Caves, greater than those of Kentucky, are within easy reach, just across the Josephine County line. These caverns are in a spur of the Siskiyous and are but partly explored. The grotesque formations and the size of these chambers make them one of the interesting places to visit.
Hunting affords delights to the nimrod after large or small game. Deer, elk and bear are found in the mountains while feathered game is plentiful in lowland and foothill. The lakes, rivers and creeks teem with fish of different kinds. The trout found here are exceptionally fine and will provide exhilarating sport to the man with rod and line.
Camping-out places, where there are wood and water and convenient to hunting and fishing. are plentiful. From July until the winter rains begin in November the life in the open is most enjoyable. The days are warm, but not hot. The nights are just the right temperature to induce sleep and refresh the body. There are no insect pests to annoy. At Crater Lake and other resorts there are comfortable hotels for those who do not desire to carry camp impedimenta. Automobiles ply between Medford and places of interest during the season, and are for hire.
Good Roads Being Built.Jackson County people as a whole are progressive. In September, 1911, they further evidenced their intention of keeping a place at the head of the procession, by voting $1,500,000 in bonds to build new roads, so that their progress would be in no wise impeded. In this respect the county leads in the state. The amount voted will build 300 miles of good roads and it may be said that no better investment can be made. They benefit the people in larger measure than any other investment. They are of incalculable benefit to the farmer, the orchardist, the lumberman and the miner. They lessen the cost of transportation and make travel comfortable at all times. It is arranged so that burdensome taxation cannot result from the bond issue. With an assessed valuation of $38,000,000 and an indebtedness of $500,000, Jackson County is in good shape financially. The tax levy for 1911 was six mills. Increase in property valuation will preclude an advance in taxation. Good roads not only benefit the users who live here by facilitating delivery, but they enhance the value of their holdings. A community having highways such as will be made here will attract tourist travel. The sightseers are good spenders, and they are an asset well worth having. Southern California is a striking example of what the tourist crop is worth. It has built a city in Los Angeles County that is the marvel of the world. It will do for Southern Oregon what it has done for its neighbor.
Jackson County.The area of the county is 2851 square miles. It is larger than Delaware. Delaware with its area of 2050 square miles is credited with a population of 202,322 in the census returns of 1910, Jackson County was given credit for 25,756 inhabitants. With its 800 square miles greater area, Jackson County had at the last census 176,566 fewer inhabitants than the state of Delaware. Comparison of resources, climate and surroundings will convey some idea as to what this county of Southern Oregon will have by right of preeminent worth when people are familiar with conditions; it is no reflection on either that the present status of affairs exists. Delaware was admitted as a state in 1787--three-quarters of a century before Oregon's star had a place on the flag.
In 1846 Daniel Webster said when Oregon asked for a territorial form of government, "It is so far off that a delegate to Congress could not reach its nation's capital until a year after the expiration of his term." Webster died in 1852, seven years before Oregon became a state. The renowned statesman, orator and jurist did not live to realize the greatness of this country of the West. Today it is the best part of the nation. The American union has no grander subdivision than the state of Oregon. Jackson County, gold-enriched, forest-bedecked, endowed with riches of soil and blessed with equable climate, is a proud possession of this great and growing commonwealth. It is in itself an empire where the sons of men are blest beyond the lot common to humankind.
Towns of the County.Ashland, twelve miles southeast of Medford, is the second city in the county. It has a population of 6000 and is division headquarters of the Southern Pacific. The city is well laid out and has substantial business houses and many handsome homes. Its churches, schools, fraternal buildings are in keeping with the progressive people who live there. The improvements recently made in street grading and paving here added greatly to the city. It has Rogue River Valley as its environment.
Jacksonville, the county seat, is five miles west of Medford. Settlement of Southern Oregon began here with the discovery of gold in Rich Gulch. The city has about 1000 inhabitants. Substantial county buildings and good business houses and homes are in evidence. The town is at the edge of the valley, which spreads out in magnificent distance to the east, north and south.
Central Point, four miles northwest of Medford, has a population equal to that of the county seat and has all the accompaniments of a thriving town. It is surrounded by a fruit-growing, farming and stock-raising sections.
Phoenix and Talent are smaller communities on the line of the S.P. between Medford and Ashland. Gold Hill is also on the railroad northwest of Central Point. It has a population of about 1000. Woodville and Eagle Point are thriving and progressive towns, which may become cities. All these cities and towns are sharing in the prosperity which has come to the Rogue River Valley.
Success in Fruit Growing.Fruit growing in the Rogue River Valley has been made a success through proper methods of cultivation and care. The enviable reputation acquired is the result of attention bestowed on soil and trees. Thinning, picking and packing require experience and intelligence, but they are the aftermath of growth. Right varieties must be planted and the care of the tree begins when it is set out. Shape has much to do with the tree, and scientific pruning is essential. The pests are present to destroy limb and product, and these are eradicated by correct spraying. The root as well as the branch must breathe, and the surface is kept tilled to allow air and moisture to enter and nourish. Fruit and tree are protected from frost when necessary by the use of smudges. The orchardist who knows how to do these things is the one who gets results. Some of Rogue River Valley's most successful fruit growers are men who entered into the business without any knowledge whatever. They knew their ignorance and hired men to do the work who were skilled in their line. The owner became the pupil of his employee and learned how to care for his belongings and how to market to the best advantage. The city man often makes good where the man reared on the farm fails. The former knows and admits his lack of knowledge and studies under competent instructors. The latter thinks he knows it all, disdains advice and disregards warnings. The "tenderfoot" succeeds where the other man fails. In a new country it is wise to be guided by advice of those who know how to do things in a way that will bring the best results. These count.
Climate and Health.Frequent reference is made in this publication to the climate of the Rogue River Valley. The official figures of the United States Weather Bureau will prove interesting. Here, in detail, are statistics which are fully explanatory:
Average Minimum Temperature
Average Maximum Temperature.The climate is healthful. There are no epidemic or contagious diseases, no malaria, no insect pests. Thunder storms are rare and light winds predominate. Snow seldom falls and soon disappears. There is no alkali in the soil and dust storms do not occur. The rains come during fall and winter months, interspersed with days of sunshine. To sum up, the climate in the Rogue River Valley is one which is a good one 365 days in the year. It has variety enough to ward off monotony and a salubrity conducive to health. More than this cannot be found anywhere.
Price of Land.The cost of land depends upon its location and soil. Tracts may be bought for $100 to $300 per acre suitable for growing high-grade fruit. Land some distance removed from the railroad and towns can be had for from $50 to $75 per acre. This land will be suitable for dairying, poultry raising and gardening. Alfalfa land will cost $150 to $250 per acre, but it must be borne in mind that crops of any character will grow on most land. Bearing orchards command good prices and they are worth all that is asked for them. The man willing to do pioneer work and clear land will be well repaid for his trouble. It will cost to maintain an orchard until it comes into bearing, at seven years, a little more than $100 per acre. This includes trees, cultivation, pruning and spraying. This outlay may be more than met by growing crops in the orchard. The cost of putting fruit on the market will run from 50 to 60 cents per 50-pound box. This includes everything up to loading for shipment. Net returns to growers will vary. A special bulletin gives prices in detail. Write for it. It will suffice to say that a well-kept orchard will net the owner from $250 to $500 per acre annually. Some pay much more. The fruit is handled through an association and owners of large and small orchards receive equal treatment. The grower is relieved of all care in connection with packing and shipping. When sales are made he gets his money.
Perhaps the strongest attraction of the Rogue River Valley to the man whose heart is turning back to country life conditions is the fact that here exist in perfection the natural conditions which give to country life its greatest charm. The conditions under which Jefferson lived at Monticello or Washington at Mount Vernon would not be tolerated for a moment by the men who are making their homes in the Rogue River Valley today. Here one can surround himself with all the amenities of city life in his country home. Twenty years hence what would have been scoffed at as a visionary's dream twenty years ago will be an accomplished fact all over the Rogue River Valley. Twenty years hence a pipeline covering all the foothill belt surrounding the valley will bring to every farmhouse the purest of mountain water and sanitary conditions now enjoyed alone by the city dweller. Twenty years hence the most remote of these foothill homes will be in close touch with the city over hard-surfaced roads, the best turnpikes in America. These roads will be lighted with electric lights in better fashion than most cities; and the people living here will levy a tax upon themselves to turn into a public utility the unlimited water powers with which nature has blessed Southern Oregon. Aside from the interurban trolley line, a beltline will be constructed, enabling the foothill orchardists to handle their orchard products with the minimum of time and exposure, and speed them on their way to the world's fruit markets in best possible condition, utilizing motor trucks where not on beltline, where most of the precooling stations will be located. Nature has done so much for this valley, the cool nights almost rendering precooling plants unnecessary, that the men now peopling the valley will have only the best that life can afford.
These matters of man's highest development, which will be attained in the future as in the past, in country homes, are no longer idle dreams but are even now becoming actualities. Just as the motor car, the telephone and free rural delivery have already added so much to the enjoyment of country life, so in the near future will good highways, the trolley, water under pressure everywhere, electrically lighted roads be available in favored districts like the Rogue River Valley. Even now many of our best country homes are lighted with electricity, and electric motors render good private water systems possible.
And then that rare climate which makes life worth living the whole year through, the thousands of beautiful home sites on the spurs of the mountains, the foothills, from which entrancing views of the smiling valley and its encircling mountains are had--where in the whole wide world can a combination of attractions be found to equal it? It is said that somewhere in the faraway Andes Mountains there nestles a valley as beautiful as the Rogue, but the Rogue is here, and the only other competitor may be a dream. Men who have seen the Rogue River Valley all live in the hope of one day having a home here. All over America you will find them. Can you wonder at the feeling of idolatry which the residents of this valley feel for the home of their adoption?
Results That Count.The pages of this booklet have set forth what may be done in the Rogue River Valley. Following are statements of what has been done. These are verified accounts, prepared by orchardists and land owners. The originals are on file in the office of the secretary of the Medford Commercial Club. They are convincing proof as to fertility of soil, indubitable evidence of the quantity and quality of product and substantial confirmation of the profits which are claimed. The story of the man who has done something tangible and can show results is the story that counts. Here are brief statements as to products and profits in the Rogue River Valley.
Tronson & Guthrie, from five acres of 16-year-old Spitzenbergs, picked 2,700 boxes of apples, averaging 540 boxes to the acre, which netted them an average price of $3 a box, or $1,620 au acre. In addition they secured $1,100 in prizes at Spokane and $3.40 a box for their prize Spitzenberg apples. The lowest price received was $2.50 a box net. They secured $1,000 sweepstakes, first prize, for carload of Spitzenbergs; first prize, $100, for best three-box display of apples. Last year they averaged $2.47 a box.
R. C. F. Astbury, from 500 trees on his Riverside orchard, near Gold Hill, has marketed four cars of Spitzenbergs and Ben Davis, principally the latter, which has grossed him $5,000, or a net profit, deducting all expenses of operation, of $3,000.
From his 17-year-old Spitzenberg orchard near Central Point, W. H. Norcross averaged 420 boxes per acre, which netted him $2.50 a box at the orchard, or $1,050 per acre. The fruit was marketed in New York City. From 16-year-old Newtown Pippin trees, 592 boxes per acre, which sold, F.O.B. orchard, for $2.40 a box, or $1,420.80 per acre. The fruit was marketed in London, England.
The Mountain View Orchard at Talent yielded one fall 13,500 boxes of Newtown Pippins. Twenty-three acres yielded 12,000 boxes, which netted $2 a box or over $1,000 an acre. So far as sold, the Newtowns have netted $2.25 a box. One tree yielded 57 boxes, a record yield for any section. Twenty-eight Gravenstein apple trees yielded $600 worth of apples, the crop being 450 boxes, an average of over 16 boxes to the tree, or over $21 per tree. One tree of Gravensteins yielded 35 boxes; three and a half acres of WinesapS and Spitzenbergs yielded 1,500 boxes of apples, selling for $2 a box net, or $3,000--an average of $880 an acre.
From 18 trees of Newtowns on the Western Oregon Orchards tract, comprising 2,100 acres, over half of it in young trees, said to be the largest orchard in the Northwest, Manager J. A. Westerlund picked 93 boxes of apples, for which he received $1.80 per box net. The trees are seven years old. The greatest yield for any one tree was seven boxes, which netted $12.70. The average yield per tree was five boxes and the average return per tree was $9.45. He exhibited Newtowns at Spokane and Denver, which were awarded first prize at Denver and second at Spokane.
S. L. Bennett, from one and a half acres of Newtowns, picked 700 boxes, at an average price of $2 a box or $930 an acre. From the same orchard a year ago Mr. Bennett picked 2,200 boxes, which netted him $2,100 per acre.
A. Conro Fiero has a two-acre orchard of mixed varieties from which he marketed 1,200 boxes of apples, netting him $2,500. His total expense of labor and operation was under $500.
E. B. Waterman won sweepstakes and two prizes on Bosc and Howell pears at the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition at Seattle. Seven-year-old Comice yielded their first crop, averaging 50 boxes to the acre, bringing $5.30 a box in New York. Bosc pears averaged six boxes to the tree and sold at $3 a box in New York.
Colonel R. C. Washburn picked eight cars of apples from ten acres of his Table Rock orchard, consisting of Newtowns, Spitzenbergs and Winesaps. Two hundred and forty trees of 6-year-old Winesaps yielded 1,200 boxes, which netted him $2 a box. His Winesaps are extra large, running 72 to the box.
W. G. Holdridge, at Talent, from 10 acres of 7-year-old peach trees, planted as fillers between apple trees, picked 8,000 crates of peaches, which netted him 60 cents a crate or $480 an acre.
W. E. Foss of the Walnutmere orchards, near Talent, reports: Yield of one acre of Crawford peaches, 125 trees, 1,107 boxes, sold at 75 cents per box F.O.B. Talent, or total of $830.25; entire cost of raising, taxes, etc., 14.2 cents per box. $157.19; entire cost of packing, boxes, etc., and delivery to car, $164.94; total expenses, $322.13; net profit per acre, $508.12. These trees are 19 years old and have had a peach crop every year since coming into bearing--16 crops in 16 years.
J. C. Pendleton of Table Rock reports from his family orchard, consisting of 38 21-year-old trees, covering two-thirds of an acre, for the year 1909: Nine Spitzenberg trees yielded 82 packed boxes, sold at $3 per box, net, $2.46; from 29 Yellow Newtown Pippins, 301 packed boxes, at $2.50 per box, $752.50; culls, 60 cents per box, $24.25; total receipts, $1,022.75. Cost of spraying four times, $33; cost of boxes, $42.60; cost of wrapping paper, $21; cost of packing, $23; extra labor hired, $18; total expense outside of own labor, $137.60. Net receipts off two-thirds acre, $885.15.
From 7 acres of Newtown Pippins, near Ashland, A. D. Helms marketed $9,100 worth of apples, or $1,300 per acre. In 1907 his yield was $16,000. The yield in 1905 was $7,800; in 1904, $4,500; in 1903, $6,500. This orchard on foothill land has never had a crop failure.
From not more than thirty-five 18-year-old d'Anjou pear trees, occupying considerably less than one acre of land, G. E. Marshall harvested 604 full boxes of packed fruit, or just a carload. These sold in New York for $2,750 gross. The average gross price per box was $5.46. Highest price on 46 boxes, $6.75. Net average in Medford (about) $4.50. Several of these trees packed 25 or more boxes, thus netting about $112.90 per tree. The net return per acre was not less than $3,200. From two acres of 18-year-old Bartletts Mr. Marshall had 1,250 packed boxes. They brought practically $2 net per box, or $1,300 per acre. Three acres of Winter Nelis yielded Mr. Marshall 1,500 boxes at $2 a box.
The Hillcrest orchard quotes the following records: In Bartlett pears, 440 7-year-old trees, covering 5.86 acres, yielded 1,489 boxes which netted an average per box of $1.93, or a net return of $490.40 per acre. Expenses did not exceed $50 an acre, leaving a profit of $440 per acre. In Howell pears, 342 7-year-old trees, covering 4.56 acres, yielded 1,393 boxes, 4.07 boxes to the tree, 305.48 boxes to the acre. The average net returns were $2.35 per box, or $3,273.55--at the rate of $717.88 per acre. The cost per acre is estimated by the owner at $50, making a net profit of $667.88 per acre.
Alfalfa is one of the leading of these diversified farm products. It requires no trick of magic to produce three crops of alfalfa on Rogue River Valley 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 margin of profit in alfalfa growing is liberal. Fifteen dollars a ton was the minimum price received for alfalfa here in 1909.
Crops of all kinds of tubers and vegetables grow here in abundance. 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 yield large returns in Rogue River Valley. The Eagle Point district northeast of Medford has a wide reputation for its immense onion output. One man harvests from a field of but one and one-quarter acres an average of 73,000 pounds of onions every year.
Tomatoes attain a fine growth and flavor, and produce perfect fruit without blemish. They are very hardy, making them good shippers. Fifteen tons an acre is not an uncommon crop in Rogue River soil. Good shipping tomatoes command $20 a ton and are in great demand.
Records from the Phoenix-Talent district, made in 1909, in diversified farming, as follows: From 15 acres of land, James Allen got 75 tons of alfalfa; from one acre, 20 tons of tomatoes, from ½ acre of onions, 6 tons.
James Roberts and Son, from 15 acres of land, took 600 sacks of potatoes, for which they received $700; 150 sacks of onions, netting $225; $40 in tomatoes, $15 in peas, $75 in carrots and beets, $50 in cabbage, turnips and parsnips; $15 in rhubarb, $15 in squash, $100 in berries, $250 in hay, $25 in beans, or a total of $1,540.
S. S. Stephens, from 1½ acres of unirrigated land, cut 11 tons of alfalfa. His potatoes (unirrigated) yielded 80 sacks per acre and his irrigated onion patch 340 sacks per acre.
C. Carey, from 2 acres of potatoes, got 160 sacks, unirrigated, specimens of which took gold medal at the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition. From a quarter acre of berries he picked 180 crates. His unirrigated alfalfa field of 6 acres yielded 20 tons of hay.
M. D. Brophy, on Wagner Creek, above Talent, has four acres of land in apples three years old. The land between the trees was planted with tomatoes and the yield was 60 tons, which netted $750.
Manager George Rae, of Rae & Hatfield, of New York City, the largest firm dealing in Western fruit, says: "The finest fruit in the United States, without exception, is produced in the Rogue River Valley. Some years ago I thought that, with the constant planting of new orchards, there would be an overproduction and that the fruit could not be marketed at a profit. Experience, however, proves that there is no such thing as an overproduction of high-quality fruit such as is produced about Medford. The demand exceeds the supply."
Single trees make remarkable showings: William Sheble has two d'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 16 to 20 boxes of merchantable pears, worth $1.50 to $2 per box. One Yellow Newtown tree in the Bennett orchard produced 51 boxes of fancy fruit, which sold for $98. A single d'Anjou pear tree in the Griffin Creek district produced 46 boxes of fancy pears, which sold for $226 net. This tree has not failed to produce a crop for the past 36 years.
The green fruit record of the world is held by Rogue River Valley. A carload of Comice from the Hillcrest orchard sold in 1909 at London for $10.08 a box. A carload from the Bear Creek orchard sold in New York for $4,622.80 or $8.10 a box, net. A carload of d'Anjou pears sold in 1909, at New York, for $2,215.89 net, the entire car selling at the rate of 6½ cents per pear. A carload of the same variety from G. E. Marshall's orchard sold in the same market in 1909 for $2,750 gross, an average gross price of $5.46 a box. Medford Bartletts have sold at $5.05 a box in Montreal, and in 1909 brought as high as $4.25 a box in New York.
Bartlett pears in 1909 averaged growers $2 a box, net; Howells averaged $2.50 a box, net; Comice have brought from $3.50 to $6.50 a box; d'Anjou have netted from $3 to $4.50; Winter Nelis, $2 a box and better; Bosc, $2; Newtown Pippins so far have averaged $2 to $2.50 a box F.O.B. orchard; Spitzenbergs, from $2.50 to $3.40; Ben Davis sold at $1.25 to $1.75.
The Winter Nelis pear record of the world is held by the Snowy Butte orchard at Central Point. Sixteen and a 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. In addition there were two carloads of culls. The same orchard yielded $19,000 worth of pears two years ago.
Pears from the George A. Hover orchard near Medford were awarded gold medal and sweepstakes at the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition at Seattle. Thirty trees of Bartlett pears yielded 400 boxes that netted $1.75 a box at the orchard. A car of Comice pears in New York sold for $5.50 a box, and a car of Bosc at $3.65 a box. Four hundred trees of young Bosc pears yielded 900 boxes, and brought $2.50 a box net. Howells brought $3.60 a box in Chicago. Eight-year-old Newtown Pippin apples yielded from three to five boxes per tree and sold for $2.50 a box, F.O.B. orchard.
The Burrell orchard broke all records for quantity this year, shipping 40 cars of pears from 48 acres, which averaged $2 a box at the orchard, $40,000 for the crop. Their Bartletts netted $1,000 an acre and for the past nine years have netted annually an average of $600 an acre. One car of Bartletts, this year, sold for $4.25 a box in New York City, the high record of the year for Bartletts. Four cars of Howells were sold at $2.65 a box, F.O.B. Medford.
The seven-and-a-half-acre Bartlett pear orchard, owned by John G. Gore, south of Medford, is also a record breaker of the valley for yield and price. Mr. Gore shipped 12 cars of pears from the orchard, which netted him $9,335.10, or $1,244.68 per acre. From an apple orchard of the same size, Mr. Gore picked a crop of Newtowns that will run a carload to the acre, and net him nearly $1.000 an acre.
From seven acres of 16-year-old Bartlett pears, W. G. Estep, from his Talent orchard, sold an average of 514 boxes to the acre, which netted $2 a box. The entire crop grossed $10,750. or $7,000 net, or $1,000 an acre, net.
The Bear Creek orchards shipped, from 6 acres [of] 7-year-old Bartlett pears, 230 boxes per acre, which sold in New York for $2 a box, netting $500 an acre. Four acres of 21-year-old Bartlett pears yielded 600 boxes per acre, which sold at $2 per box in Medford, netting $1,080 an acre. Four acres of d'Anjou pears, 11-year-old, yielded 250 boxes per acre, selling for $5.12 a box in New York, netting $980 an acre. D'Anjous from this orchard broke the d'Anjou record, selling as high as $7.25 a box. An entire car sold at the rate of 6½ cents per pear. Comice and d'Anjou pears, from this orchard, took first prize at the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition.
Other Information Available.In addition to the foregoing, the Medford Commercial Club has bulletins on fruit growing, diversified farming, stock growing, dairying, poultry raising, mining, timber, water power, outdoor life, hunting and fishing. These are more fully descriptive of subjects mentioned than this publication. They will be mailed to any address upon application. If specific information on any subject not mentioned is desired, a letter to the Commercial Club will be given prompt attention and the inquirer advised along the line he desires to be informed. For literature or for information regarding Rogue River Valley, Jackson County, or the cities and towns of the Medford district, address Secretary Commercial Club, Medford, Oregon.
Last revised August 4, 2020