The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised

Jackson County 1919

    Ashland (pop. 5,050, alt. 1,868 ft.) occupies a plateau overlooking the valley of the Rogue River and surrounded by the curving ranges of the snow-capped Siskiyou Mountains. The dominating peak is Mt. Ashland, or Siskiyou Peak, situated on the state boundary at a height of 7,662 ft. An auto road leads to viewpoints high up on its flanks. Its twin peak is Mt. Wagner, 7,000 ft. high. Another lofty summit is Sterling Peak, 7,377 ft. high. To the northeast rises Grizzly Peak, a pile of lava 6,000 ft. high.
    Ashland has numerous mineral springs owned by the municipality, whose waters show a higher mineral analysis than those of Saratoga, N.Y. Reaching the main business portion of the city, there is found a little plaza with a drinking fountain surmounted with a statue of the Pioneer, a gift to the city by one of its residents. To the left of the Plaza, about 100 yards, is Lithia Park, especially maintained for tourists. The "original" automobile campground is maintained here, and auto parties are welcome to camp with no other cost than 25¢ a day for the gas used for cooking purposes. The camp is well lighted with electric lights, has modern sanitation, private table and benches for each camping party and individual gas plates and lockers for food. A visit to this park would not be complete should the tourists fail to drive up Ashland Canyon, crossing and recrossing a swift-running mountain stream to a point where a signpost says to turn off. This is the upper end of the scenic drive, and continuing on this driveway will give the tourists a splendid view of Rogue River Valley and the city of Ashland.
    Like most of the mountain-walled towns of Oregon, Ashland's summer days are excessively hot, but the nights are always cool. It is a comfortable town and a good touring base for the Marble Caves, Crater Lake and the Klamath Basin. In the vicinity fossil flora has been found that is totally different from any living flora in Oregon. According to the U.S. geological reports, flora of the same type, and hence presumably of the same age, is found in the rocks of northern California about the big bend of the Pit River and on Little Cow Creek east of Redding. These flora are evidently closely related to the plants that lived during the period when certain of the gold-bearing gravels of the Sierra Nevadas in California were being deposited. The geologic age of these gravels has been determined in part by the aid of these fossil plants.
Automobile Blue Book, vol. 8, 1919, page 247

    Medford, with a population of 10,000, is located near the center of the Rogue River Valley, in Southern Oregon, on the main line of the Southern Pacific railroad. It is also the terminus of the Pacific & Eastern railroad and the Rogue River Valley railroad. Medford is the largest city, and the most important financial, trade, and shipping center of the district. It is also the gateway to Crater Lake. The chief developed industry tributary to Medford is fruit raising, and some of the most highly developed apple and pear orchards of the valley are nearby. A variety of smaller fruits, berries and market garden products are also grown, and large yields of alfalfa. Other industries are dairying, stock raising, farming, mining, lumber, etc.
    The 1910 census credits Medford with the most rapid growth, with two exceptions, of any city in the United States, during the past census decade. The population increase during the period was 393 percent.
    Medford receives an annual average rainfall of 25 inches, and the altitude is 1377 feet. It is located on Bear Creek, which is a tributary of Rogue River and which drains the greater part of the tillable area of the valley.
    Few if any cities the size of Medford have a greater length of first-class paved streets, there being a total of twenty-five miles; also twenty-eight miles of cement sidewalks, and a twenty-three-mile gravity water system. The water is brought from a natural lake reservoir in the Cascade Mountains. The city has gas and electric light and power, a public park, a $20,000 public library, a new $140,000 hospital, a four-story federal building, a $50,000 passenger depot, several first-class hotels, four banks, a large new opera house, a sanitarium, five fruit packing plants supplemented by pre-cooling houses and storage warehouses, two box factories, three lumber mills, two fruit and vegetable canneries, a large fruit dryer and evaporator, two large creameries, two ice plants, flour mill, sash and door factory, cabinet and office fixture factory and several other factories.
    Medford has a modern-equipped high school and four other public school buildings, with first-class schools, business college, Catholic school, music conservatory, eleven churches, and two newspapers, the Mail Tribune and the Sun, both of which have leased wire Associated Press news. There are about 30 lodges represented, a number of women's clubs and a University Club.
    Medford is headquarters for the Crater Lake national [park,] Forest Service, and the offices of the county pathologist and the U.S. Weather Bureau for Southern Oregon are located here.
    Medford brags of her beautiful streets, elegant homes, and modern business houses.
    Ashland, with a population of 6000, is located in the upper end of the Rogue River Valley, among the foothills of the Siskiyou Mountains. It is the second city in size in Jackson County, and is the division point on the main line of the Southern Pacific railroad. It is noted as a home town and health resort. It has a number of mineral springs, including hot and cold springs, sulfur, lithia and soda springs, and also for its beautiful park, one of the prettiest on the Pacific Coast, that cost $175,000. It has maintained a Chautauqua for a quarter of a century and has a new auditorium that seats 4000 people.
    Ashland is also quite a fruit shipping point, and dairying and farming are important industries. It has gas and electric plants, creamery, flour mill, ice plant and many other industries.
    Ashland has a high school building and a public school system second to none. It has a number of churches, splendid homes, nice streets, many of which are paved, and good business houses. Most of lodges are represented there and [it] has a number of women's clubs, the Tidings, a semi-weekly, and the Record, a weekly, are both published there.
    The other towns in Jackson County are Central Point, Butte Falls, Eagle Point, Gold Hill, Jacksonville, Phoenix, Rogue River and Talent, which vary in size from 200 to 1500. They have modern conveniences, such as electric lights, gas, water systems, etc., [and] are shipping points for fruit, grain, stock, lumber and other products of Southern Oregon. They have good churches, splendid schools, lodges, women's clubs and in fact are strictly up-to-date in every way. All the towns are connected by good roads, part of which are hard surfaced, and all will be in a few years. Most of them are also on one of three railroads.
    Gold Hill has a weekly newspaper, the News, and Jacksonville a weekly, the Post.
Grants Pass
    Grants Pass, with a population of 6000, [is] located in the lower end of the Rogue River Valley, just over the Jackson County line. It is the county seat of Josephine County, is one of the leading towns of Southern Oregon, with paved streets, electric lights and power, gas and other modern conveniences. It is on the Pacific Highway which is partly hard-surfaced through the county, contracts let and work being done on the balance. Fruit raising, dairying, farming, lumber and mining are the chief industries. It has splendid schools and churches, several active women's clubs, and many of the lodges are represented.
    It is located on the Southern Pacific main line and on the famous Rogue River. The Courier, a daily newspaper, and the Observer, a weekly, are published there.
Medford Mail Tribune, August 12, 1919, page B2

Last revised May 18, 2021