Medford Mail Tribune, March 24, 1910
My route led me next through the government reclamation project belt, where vast swamps of tule land were being reclaimed by drainage, and the arid lands by irrigation. At the first "city" I stopped "boom" was in the air.
In the hotel lobby several old stage drivers sat about, dispossessed and uneasy; they were full of their tales and ready to chat about their forty-odd years of experience in driving stage through this wild land; many of them dated back to the old Oregon-California line before there was a railroad west of the Rockies.
An ex-stage driver's readjustment to life is a far more difficult problem than that of our ex-Presidents, because there are so many more of him. All his life he has been boss of the road, a teller of weird tales, a chronicler of hold-up and pitch-over events; his bugle, echoing and re-echoing between the hills, has been the harbinger of news from the great "outside"; for his passing, ranchers, their wives and children, have waited and waved; and his gallant sweep into each town on his route, a triumphal flourish for the thrill of which he would willingly endure untold perils till the day of his death. No man on all his route is so big as he--not even the mayor, or the governor; none is so watched for, so royally entertained. And now here comes the grimy driver of the iron horse, and the stage driver's high- headed, snorting steed must be turned out to pasture; and he must sit about hotel corridors, shining henceforth in the reflected glory of a past ever becoming less consequential to his careless listeners. When the stage driver's occupation goes, there is nothing in all the West to take its place; for there is nothing that can ever give him such state and dignity.
I found that these old men, several approaching their three-score and ten, and many of them wealthy, were overjoyed at a chance to take a route away into the mountains, over a rough, lonely road, illy equipped, and with none of the old-time swing and hurrah; nothing was so bad as being left without a route. As I saw into their hearts I found myself hoping that expansion would not be too rapid, that the railroad company would not build its lines too fast into remote sections, and that the old drivers, at least, would have an opportunity to finish life "on the road."
There was another tragic aspect to the opening of this vast shut-in section by rail communications with the outside world. Men and women had come in, forty years before, with ox teams, settled on land in a belief that they were to have a railroad, but had grown old hoping against hope for an outlet to the world of markets and people. Time and again the railroad was promised, started, stopped, started and stopped until these early settlers had grown skeptical and grouchy; and now they were too old for it to do them any good; their children or their grandchildren might been fit, but for them the iron horse had puffed in too late.
But the younger folks, especially the newcomers, made up for the indifference of the old ranchers. A thriving commercial club kept an eagle eye out for strangers, and I was captured and taken to see everything. City lots were staked out for miles around the town, and farming land in ten- and twenty-acre tracts was ready for the intensive farmer. I was carried, by automobile, with other land lookers all over the great valley, and given an excellent insight into the settlers' opportunities. Each day was spent in a different section of the great project belt.
One of the Commercial Club men suggested that I get them out a special booklet for local distribution, at their expense. The same data I was collecting for the railroad company, enlarged upon, would do for them. I readily agreed, wondering why I had not thought of this before. As I was leaving town several of the "live wires" were at the station to see me off--and others on--and one of them remarked, as he told me goodbye. "At Alta they're preparing to get out a lot of advertising matter in the way of pamphlets and folders. Go after 'em right, and I'm sure you can get 'em lined up." I thanked him and made up my mind on the spot that I'd have those contracts or know why.
Anne Shannon Monroe, Making a Business Woman, New York 1912, pages 264-267
Oregon's Wonder City
Medford, Supported by Five Hundred Square Miles of Rich Territory,
Is a Beehive of Business Activity
By C. A. MALBOEUF
MEDFORD is called the "Wonder City." The title is appropriate. It is a city that does things. The loyalty of its citizens is remarkable. As a result, Medford is the most active point between Portland and San Francisco, and, with the exception of Sacramento, the station of greatest railroad receipts and shipments. It is not a boomtown, but a substantial, well-built, growing city, supported by a territory rich in a diversity of natural resources, five hundred square miles in area.
Newcomers alight from the trains at Medford averaging one for each hour of the day to take up permanent residence there. This was the record made last year. In 1910, the increase in population will be greater. One-half of these new arrivals locate in the city. The other half make their homes throughout the valley. Nearly all buy orchards. From a quiet country town of thirty-five hundred people three years ago has sprung a city of nearly nine thousand people, and the ten thousand mark will be passed before the end of 1910. The population last New Year's day numbered eight thousand, an increase of sixty percent in twelve months.
The location of Medford is excellent. It is 329 miles south of Portland, and 443 miles north of San Francisco, on the main line of the Southern Pacific. It is situated in almost the exact center of the Rogue River Valley, which in turn lies in the heart of Jackson County. The elevation is 1,390 feet above sea level, and the Pacific Ocean is seventy-five miles distant on a direct line.
The valley at Medford is about ten miles wide, east and west. In Jackson County, it has a total length of thirty-five miles. The area is nearly three hundred square miles. Almost as level and green as a lawn, the valley stretches to the foothills, the latter sloping toward the mountain ranges on all sides. Wealth is apparent in every direction. The valley floor is green and golden with alfalfa and ripening grains and dotted with a vast succession of orchards. It is the exception to see grass in a commercial orchard growing between the symmetrical rows of trees, which are carefully and scientifically pruned. The mountainsides and tops are thickly covered with fir and pine forests, and the outcropping of coal, lime, copper and other minerals tells of hidden riches.
From parts of the valley the eye looks upon ten billion feet of merchantable timber. If all the orchards with the same range of vision were under one fence, they would represent a solid block of one hundred square miles.
The city is delightful. The main business and residence streets are paved with asphalt, and twelve miles more of the latter will be laid in 1910. Ten miles of cement sidewalks will be augmented by twenty more this year. The business blocks are of brick and stone. The brick is made locally, and inexhaustible supplies of the finest grade of granite are in the hills close by.
The Medford homes are as fine as can be found in any city of similar size. By reason of its recent growth, few buildings are seen that are not up to date. The true type of bungalow prevails, but there are many handsome colonial residences, and a number of them represent the expenditure of more than $10,000 each. The three public schools are substantial structures of brick, and the course of teaching is quite complete. It includes manual training and domestic science, which branches are usually confined to the schools in larger cities. A new school building is needed each year to accommodate the increasing number of pupils. A six-story brick hotel is under construction. Another one of five stories is being erected. The largest passenger station in the Pacific Northwest, outside of those in cities upward of fifty thousand people, is being built by the Southern Pacific. One of the largest natatoriums in the United States will be open to the public this fall.
An opera house pretentious enough for a Class A city is to be erected. In every direction business houses and residences are going up. Two and one-half millions were spent in 1909 for building materials. Five million dollars are being expended this year for the same purpose. Hotels, apartment houses and dwellings are crowded to overflowing and tents are now being provided to take care of the unprecedented rush of newcomers. Financial conditions are sound. The four banks have deposits of over $2,000,000, which increased fifty percent in 1909. Postal receipts increased thirty-five percent that year.
The Medford spirit is proverbial. The people seem to get what they want. A new water system was needed, and the result is that one costing $450,000 has been constructed, furnishing a supply of water sufficient for a city of twenty-five thousand. The city has a good sewer system. Two telephone systems are required to satisfy the metropolitan ideas of Medford. It is said that Medford has more motorcars, cash registers and typewriters per capita than any city in the United States. Today over 325 autos serve their nine thousand people, or one for every twenty-eight persons. The climate scores a strong point, too, by permitting them to do so every month in the year.
There is an up-to-date daily newspaper in Medford with a circulation of more than twenty-five hundred. It has complete telegraphic news, and is one of the strongest editorial papers in Oregon. Nothing seems to daunt these people. For instance, Medford is the natural gateway to Crater Lake, one of the world's greatest geological wonders. It is eighty miles distant, and the route leads through some of the finest mountain and river scenery on the continent. The United States government recognized the scenic value and beauty of Crater Lake some years ago and created it a national park, in conjunction with the surrounding section. The accessibility of this great national wonder to the public, by good wagon and auto roads, will be of benefit not only to Medford and the state of Oregon, but to the entire Pacific Coast. The legislature of Oregon recently appropriated $100,000 for preliminary work on a suitable highway to the lake. Unfortunately this action was not upheld by the Supreme Court, but the Medford people did not abandon the project. They said the road must be built, and it will be. They are raising the money themselves, and the success they are making is most pronounced. Nearly $100 a minute was the result of their first hour's effort.
The city has eleven churches and twenty-four lodges. There is a large park in the heart of the residence district. The Commercial Club is one of the city's strongest features. Each member is a thoroughly lubricated boosting machine, with brain and brawn as the propelling power. The teamwork of the organization is remarkable and its publicity work is wonderfully successful. Hundreds of thousands of people have learned of the Rogue River Valley and its great opportunities through the untiring efforts of the Medford Commercial Club.
A look at the situation fully justifies Medford's aspirations to greatness. The best of conditions go to make apple and pear-growing successful. The climate is superb. It rains just enough--twenty-two inches a year, a trifle over two inches a month, distributed over nine months. There is, therefore, neither flood nor drought. The summer showers insure crops every year in abundance, and remove the necessity for irrigation. This is not an irrigated district, the rainfall and natural conservation of moisture in the soil being sufficient for the proper and perfect cultivation of fruits. Alfalfa, likewise, grows without irrigation for the same reason. The surrounding mountains form a complete rim, leaving the valley like a saucer in the center, and giving needed protection against high winds. The altitude of thirteen hundred feet, which is the average in the valley, and the clear atmosphere, temper the climate in winter and summer. The thermometer tries to climb up in summer, but seldom reaches one hundred degrees, and then the heat is modified at least twenty degrees by the rarefied air. In winter it gets down to thirty degrees above, and sometimes to twenty degrees above, but never lower. Zero and the Rogue River Valley are total strangers. The average annual temperature is fifty-five degrees above. The mild frosts of winter and spring are as invaluable as the elevation, the moisture or the quality of the soil. No fruit-growing section can survive without its frosts, but the latest period of so-called killing frosts is so early here as to render the fruit practically immune against danger. Climatic conditions give the fruit a growing season of forty-odd days longer than many other fruit districts on the continent. This admits of perfect growth, maturity and color, and the keeping quality thus obtained renders possible long-distance shipments.
As a place of residence this section is unsurpassed. The climate stands foremost in that respect, while the splendid landscape, the mountains and waterways complete the charm. The Rogue River has been aptly described by an ardent lover of nature as the "Enchanted Valley." Watercourses flow through the valley in many directions. All join the Rogue River, which is a beautiful mountain stream, discharging into the Pacific Ocean. The power back of these streams is tremendous. Within forty miles of Medford the principal falls and cataracts provide power equal to that of over 425,000 horses. The Rogue River alone has far greater power than Niagara. Water is plentiful for all uses. There is more than sufficient to irrigate the whole valley, and some projects of magnitude are now being carried out, which, when completed, will reclaim thousands of acres of hillside and tablelands.
About seventy percent of the entire number of trees planted consist of apples, and thirty percent pears. Seven of the best varieties of pears are represented. Of the apples, nearly ninety percent are the yellow Newtowns and the Spitzenbergs. The former is the favorite English apple, and the Spitzenberg is the big red apple so much in demand in the American market. All the Newtowns go to London, and the Spitzenbergs to New York, while the pears go to Chicago and the larger cities East. Indeed some of the pears go to Europe, and growers do not know of any case on record where the condition on arrival at destination was not perfect.
The unsurpassed quality of the Rogue River fruit insures the permanency of the industry. Growers smile at the idea of overproduction. The constantly increasing demand for high-class fruit will never be fully taken care of by the limited acreage that is capable of producing it. Thirteen years ago the apple production of the United States consisted of 300,000 cars. In 1908, it was 100,000. It steadily decreased every year. During the same period the prices of Rogue River apples and pears correspondingly increased, and each year a market record of prices was created. How many apples of the 300,000 cars of 1905 or the 100,000 cars of 1908 brought $7 a box weighing fifty pounds in New York and London? What other section produced pears which sold for $10 a box in New York City? The entire Union is a market for high-class fruit and yet the present supply cannot meet New York's demands alone. The argument seems convincing, and the planting goes on continually.
The production of these orchards is astonishing. Think of a carload of pears selling in New York City for over $4,600 in 1907, the year of the last panic! This is the world's record for an entire car of fresh fruit. Montreal paid $5.05 a box for a carload of pears. A single pear tree produced $225 worth of fruit. Another acre of pears, $2,250. Sixteen acres of pears yielded the grower $19,000. Newtown apples netted $2,000 an acre. One orchard has netted an average of $800 an acre for seven years. An acre of six-year-old apple trees netted over $700. A car of Spitzenberg apples netted the grower $5 a box in 1909. Forty cars of pears from forty-eight acres netted $40,000.
Medford people take great pride in their fruit records. They delight in telling of the marvelous prices paid in New York and London and of the premiums earned by the fruit wherever it has been exhibited. The carrying off by one of the orchardists of the new famous sweepstakes prize, with the title of Apple King of the World, at the Spokane National Apple Show in 1909, was an achievement of which any community might well be proud. It represented the highest ideal in apple culture, and the prize was awarded to an entire carload of Spitzenbergs, which eventually went to Washington, D.C., and paid the growers $5 a box at the shipping point.
Attention is called to other resources of the valley. Vegetables grow luxuriantly. A yield of $1,750 an acre a year from onions is authenticated. Two crops of strawberries are produced each year. Grapes, cherries, prunes, apricots and berries grow in the same profusion, but these industries are only starting. The flame tokay, the finest grape product of the fertile hillside lands, will in a few years set the eastern markets ablaze with its brilliant color and great size. These grapes, and other varieties, including the Malaga, pay the growers $250 to $400 net an acre each year. Four cuttings of alfalfa a year from non-irrigated lands yield a profit of $40 to $60 to the acre. Fifteen dollars a ton is a common price for it, and the demand is increasing.
Capital is taking active part in the work of development. Electric interurban lines are projected. The Pacific & Eastern, a modern standard steam railway line, is under construction from Medford into the great timber belts, thirty miles to the east, and will be in full operation in the near future. The opening of this vast forest will be of great benefit, and add largely to the industrial progress of Medford. Huge sawmills are projected. It will soon require one thousand cars of box material alone to pack the annual crops of apples and pears. The valley cities tributary to Medford consume thirty million feet of timber annually, and over twenty-five thousand cords of wood. All of this traffic must move to or through Medford. California and Nevada must have their supplies of fir and pine timber. The eastern markets are limitless in their demands. Not less than twenty-five billion feet of timber within fifty miles of Medford are awaiting the ax and the steam donkey. Forty years will be required to log this immense stumpage, and it will take the combined labor of fifteen hundred men working ten hours a day to do it. The headquarters of these men will be Medford and it will of itself mean an additional population of seventy-five hundred. Coal mines, copper properties and other industries are being developed, the power of the mighty rivers is being harnessed, and activity is the order of the day. The great fruit industry, upon which Medford is built, will only play a trifling part in the industrial work when all the wheels of commerce start in earnest here.
Sunset Magazine, November 1910, pages 585-588
Questions and Answers
Where is the Rogue River Valley?
Answer.--The Rogue River Valley is in southwestern Oregon, near the California line, with the gold-laden Siskiyou Mountains on the south, the timbered Cascade Range on the east with the beautiful Umpqua Divide on the north.
----How large is it?
Ans.--The Rogue River Valley proper contains about 1500 square miles.
----What is the population of Medford?
Ans.--Medford has about 9000 people, almost all of whom are Americans.
----Name a few of its prominent features.
Ans.--Medford is on the main line of the Southern Pacific railroad, about half way between Portland and San Francisco. It is the chief distributing point of the Rogue River Valley, containing approximately 50,000 people. It is the western terminus of the Pacific and Eastern Railroad, which will connect with the road now being built through Central Oregon by the Hill interests. This line will tap about 8 million feet of merchantable timber. Medford is also the eastern terminus of the Rogue River Valley Railroad, which at present connects it with Jacksonville, the county seat of Jackson County, and which will be at once extended to the famous Blue Ledge copper district. It is the center of an elaborate trolley system which will be built this year bringing every resident of the valley into close touch with Medford. Franchises have all been granted for this line.
Medford has four banks with deposits of about two and one-half millions.
It has more than 13 miles of paved streets.
It boasts of a magnificent, pure mountain water system with nearly 40 miles of mains; a complete and up-to-the-minute sewer system; miles and miles of cement sidewalks; electric lights; a gas plant is at present being installed; one of the finest natatoriums to be found anywhere; two laundries; a theatre at which are seen the best attractions coming to the Pacific coast; it is the second largest railroad shipping point in Oregon; has a new $50,000 passenger depot; has modern brick and stone business blocks; has the largest and most active commercial body in Oregon outside of Portland; a low tax rate; a death rate less than 6 per 1000; a daily newspaper; a fine weekly and several monthly publications; an excellent school system with modern brick school buildings; a public library; a city park; churches of all the leading denominations; the best hotels and grill rooms between Portland and San Francisco, with two new five-story hotels to be built this year at a cost of $100,000 each; all fraternal organizations represented by strong lodges; more automobiles than any city of its size on earth--one to every 30 inhabitants; department stores and shops that would be a credit to a city ten times the population of Medford; has a well-organized police force and a thoroughly equipped fire department; in fact, Medford people enjoy health, wealth and happiness and live in the best-watered, -sewered and -paved city in America. It has lumber mills, box, sash and door factories, machine shops, furniture factory, ice plant, coal mines, gold mines, copper mines, platinum mines, brick and tile works, and everything else needed for a self-supporting community.
Ans.--Yes, we have climate and the finest climate in the United States, with a summer temperature of from 70 to 100 degrees during the daytime, which falls to 60 to 70 degrees every night. Heat is never oppressive owing to the absence of humidity. In winter the thermometer seldom if ever gets below 20 degrees above zero. The average annual rainfall is 21 inches, coming chiefly in November, December, January and February with frequent summer showers. Spring opens usually in February, but farmers plow throughout the entire winter.
----Is that all?
Ans.--Not by any means! We grow every conceivable product that can be grown in the temperate zone and grow it to perfection.
----How about fruit, grain and vegetables?
Ans.--The best and highest priced deciduous fruits grown in America are grown here in abundance. Apples, chiefly Newtowns and Spitzenbergs, received the highest award at the last National Apple Show in competition with those of every section of the United States. The United States Department of Agriculture is on record as saying that as a pear-producing section, the Rogue River Valley stands in a class by itself. The best pears grown anywhere are raised here, and they stand shipping better than all others.
Peaches, cherries, plums, prunes, apricots, almonds, English walnuts, grapes, berries of every description, and many other fruits are most successfully grown.
Corn, oats, wheat, vetch, alfalfa, celery, tomatoes, melons, cucumbers and all grains and vegetables thrive as well.
Ans.--Yes, we have good society--the class of people you want your sons and daughters to associate with; the kind you will enjoy.
----How is the hunting and fishing?
Ans.--It is justly famed as one of the really great hunting and fishing grounds in the United States. Within a few hours' ride by automobile you can find bear, deer, cougars and wildcats, and the average hunter can take in one day the two deer allowed by law. While the mountain streams are all abundantly stocked with the speckled trout, cutthroat and for your "dyed in the wool" angler, the Rogue River steelhead (rainbow trout). These fish may be taken on a fly any month in the year. Chinook salmon, weighing as high as 40 pounds, may be taken on a spoon, and a battle with one of them would afford ample training for an athlete.
In addition the valley abounds in small game such as wild geese, duck, grouse, China pheasant, mountain quail, valley quail, snipe, squirrel and rabbit. Surely a paradise for the sportsman!
Crater Lake, an ancient crater in Mt. Mazama filled with clear, pure water of unknown depth, is situated in the new Crater Lake National Park and annually visited by tourists from all parts of the world.
The Marble Halls of Oregon consisting of caves far greater in extent and of more wonderful construction than the famous Mammoth Cave of Kentucky, extend for many miles under the mountains and are easiest reached from Medford.
----Anything you don't have?
Ans.--There are no cyclones, nor hard winds, earthquakes, sandstorms, mosquitoes or pests that annoy, contagious diseases or pulmonary troubles.
----How about the price of land?
Ans.--First-class fruit land ready for planting, within a few miles of Medford, can be purchased from $250 to $500 per acre. Farther out, but still on the main highways, it can be had at from $50 to $100 per acre.
Bearing orchards are worth from $800 to $2300 per acre, the latter price having recently been paid for a choice tract without buildings or other improvements.
----Can fruit be raised at a profit on such high-priced land?
Ans.--Apples have made yearly returns of $2100 per acre. Pears $1244 per acre. An entire carload of Rogue River Valley pears sold in New York in 1909 at 6½ cents [sic] per pear. Another carload lot sold in London last year at $10.08 per box.
Peaches net $500 per acre. Other fruits do equally as well.
----Can these figures be verified?
Ans.--They can and will be, if you so desire, by any bank in Medford. Henry J. Finck in Scribner's magazine for February says: "I was in Oregon 71 days last summer, and if I could have regulated the thermometer to suit myself I should not have touched it three times. A night's sleep in Oregon is worth a week's vacation in the East." On those three occasions he must have been in some other section of the state.
"I have examined and studied all the fruit regions of the United States, Southern Canada and Northern Mexico, as well as the principal fruit regions of Europe, and I can truthfully say that nowhere in the world are conditions so favorable for fruit as in the Rogue River Valley. It is the most perfect fruit belt in the world."--states Prof. P. J. O'Gara, pathologist of the Department of Agriculture in charge of government field work on the Pacific coast. And his opinion is amply justified by the practical results obtained. Any fruiterer in New York, Chicago, London, Eng., or other large market will says, "The 'top' comes from Rogue River Valley."
Finally--the Rogue Valley is a land of superlatives; it can be justly described in no other manner. When we say our fruit is the best in the world we mean it--not anything less. We say we have the best of everything that is good for man and mean that just as emphatically. We want you to believe it too, but realize that you can't do it until you see for yourself. If you were positive that what we have said was true, you would come to stay, wouldn't you? Yes. You can come prepared to stay then, for it is all true and more.
Medford Saturday Review, June 11, 1910, page 2
A WORD WITH THE VISITORS
Medford, with a population of 9000, is the commercial metropolis of southern Oregon and northern California. It is surrounded by more natural resources than any place in the West. It has the most enterprising and progressive class of citizens, the largest per capita of wealth, and more municipal improvements than any city of its size in the country.
Medford has three miles of paved streets, and contracts have been let for paving ten miles more. It is completing a half million dollar gravity water system, bringing pure mountain water 20 miles to supply a city of 25,000 population. It has over 25 miles of cast iron mains in its distributing system and 20 miles of sewer system constructed and under construction.
Medford is the best one-night theater stand on the coast, and enjoys most of the leading productions, including grand opera. Three hundred and fifty automobiles are owned here, more than in any city in the world of its population. Medford's bank deposits exceed $2,500,000, and are increasing at the rate of 50 percent annually; and postal receipts are increasing at the rate of 44 percent. Real estate transfers have totaled two and a half millions since the first of the year. More desirable homeseekers are coming here than to any other part of Oregon.
Medford is the largest fruit shipping point in Oregon, and its freight and passenger business exceed that of any station on the Harriman lines in the state except Portland. The Pacific & Eastern is employing a thousand men in constructing a railroad from Medford east over the Cascades, where connection will be made with the Hill and Harriman lines tapping southern Oregon, giving Medford competition and two outlets to the east. Franchises have been granted for an interurban trolley line to extend from Grants Pass to Ashland, connecting the various towns of the valley and enabling orchardists to ship their fruit at the groves. Construction work will be begun within a month.
The Rogue River Valley is the fairest of the many beautiful valleys of Oregon, altitude, soil and climate making it one of the great natural fruit belts of the world. Sixty-five thousand acres of planted orchard surround Medford, and within ten years the annual output will exceed 10,000 cars. It is one of the great pear regions of the earth, all varieties growing to perfection.
For five years past Rogue River pears brought the highest price in all markets wherever offered, hold the green fruit record of the world. Pears have sold as high as $10.08 a box in London, and $9.40 a box in New York. The finest Spitzenberg and Newtown apples grown are produced here. Rogue River Newtowns have for years commanded the highest prices in London and Rogue River Spitzenbergs in the New York market. Rogue River apples won sweepstakes prizes and title of "Apple Kings of the World" at the Spokane Apple Show in 1909, and Rogue River pears captured all the prizes at the Alaska/Yukon-Pacific Exposition.
Rogue River orchards are the best profit payers and command the highest prices of any in the Northwest, having sold as high as $2375 an acre. They have yield as high as $2250 an acre, and a yield of $1000 an acre net to the grower is not uncommon.
Rogue River Valley is freer from fruit pests and the war against pests can be more successfully waged than in any known fruit region. The United States Department of Agriculture maintains a branch here and has easily controlled even such fruit diseases as pear blight.
Southern Oregon is the greatest placer mining region in the world, its placers having produced over a hundred million in gold since their first discovery. Though quartz mining is in its infancy, there are many steady gold producers. A million dollars has been spent in developing the Blue Ledge Mine, 40 miles southwest of Medford, on the California border, proving the existence of one of the largest copper belts known. Smelter and railroad are essential to its development and indications are that both will be constructed within a year.
Twenty-two billion feet of merchantable timber must find its market through the Rogue River Valley. The Pacific & Eastern will tap the largest sugar pine belt in the world, containing eight billion feet.
These are but a few of the natural resources which, when developed, will make Medford the largest city between Sacramento and Portland.
Medford Mail Tribune, April 26, 1910, page 1
MEDFORD PROSPECTS OF BRIGHT HUE
Judge W. M. Colvig Tells of Wonderful Outlook for City and Valley.
(By Judge W. M. Colvig, President of the Medford Commercial Club.)
In eight years, or just as soon as newly planted orchards come into bearing, 8,000 to 10,000 cars will be required to transport the fruit products that will be offered for shipment from Medford. During the coming season 1,000,000 pear and apple trees will be planted in the vicinity of Medford.
200,000 Acres Fruit Land.There are 1,886,000 acres of land in Jackson County, and it would be largely a guess for me to say how much of that area is capable of being planted to fruit, but of that amount I can say positively that over 200,000 acres of tillable land is well adapted to pears and apples. In addition to this there is a large area that can be made tillable and equally productive.
The apple is a fruit that does not succeed in countries having warm winters, because if the sap is not sent down to the roots of the trees, the fruit always is mealy and stringy and is not a good commercial product. We need frosts and cold weather, but the weather must not be too cold. The apple is not an extreme northern nor a southern fruit, but thrives in a well-defined temperate climate such as we have in Jackson County, where irrigation is not an essential to the successful growing of the finest quality of fruit.
Lumber Land Good, Too.Situated in Jackson County there is also to be found the largest body of sugar-pine timber in the world. The bulk of this timber lies in the Upper Rogue River Valley, and when it has been removed the land will prove of great value for fruitgrowing purposes.
The county is also rich in water power resources. R. S. Towne, of a New York copper syndicate, has expended more than $1,000,000 in developing the Blue Ledge copper mine, located on the headwaters of the Applegate, 35 miles from Medford. This mine is virtually a mountain of solid copper, and has been practically inaccessible. The building of a railroad that will pass this valuable property is now probable.
Road to Cross Range.The Pacific & Eastern Railroad has been built fourteen miles out of Medford and active construction work is being prosecuted. We have the assurance of Mr. Allen that the road will be built, not only to the mine, but across the Cascades to an eastern connection. Mr. Allen recently announced at a meeting of our Commercial Club that when he had finished building the railroads he had projected, the people of Jackson County would have a railroad to the East. This statement from the builder of this road is taken by us to mean that he will construct a line that will connect with the Hill or Harriman road into Central Oregon.
I do not believe any other section of the state possesses greater resources than are to be found in Jackson County. We are not dependent on our agricultural interests. Our timber, mining and agricultural resources are contributing their share to the substantial prosperity of the entire state.
Medford Boosters Abound.Medford is a thoroughly cosmopolitan city and contains as many boosters to the square foot as any other section of the state. Not long ago the Commercial Club decided to raise a publicity fund. In one afternoon between 1 and 6 o'clock we raised $3,500 for that purpose, and within a few days the fund was increased to $8,400. We have spent $1,000 a month in publicity work during the past year. Our club has a membership of 300, but we expect to increase this soon to 400. Based on the school census, Medford has a population of 7,500. As an evidence of the general prosperity of the county, I might refer to the fact that the present assessed valuation of Jackson County property is $36,000,000. Seven years ago the total of the assessment roll was only $5,000,000. An increase in assessable values of $21,000,000 in seven years we regard as a record that defies duplication by any other county in the state.
Commenting on the above statement, the Portland Oregonian says:
A Happy Land.Judge Colvig does not exaggerate the advantages of the Rogue River Valley. All he says in praise of its climate and productiveness is true. The chances are that much more might be said of the same purport without overstating the facts. The time is sure to come when the charms of this favored region will be celebrated throughout the world. Nobody who has passed a winter in Medford or Ashland can forget the bright sunshine, the inspiring prospect of the country. It is destined to be one of the gardens of the world.
An observer who counts the fruit trees by the hundred thousand in the Rogue River country, and sees new plantings constantly under way, can scarcely realize how recently horticulture has begun to flourish there. Some twenty years ago, before Mr. Stewart set out his apple trees near Medford, few of the old inhabitants dreamed of the latent productiveness of their soil. But when the crucial experiment had once been made, it required only a short time to transform the aspect of the valley. Fortunes have already been made from Rogue River orchards, but they are nothing to the wealth the future promises. Nor should the immigrant make the mistake of believing that new men and fresh enterprises are not needed there. The orchards are large, but even the best of the fruit land has hardly yet been touched. There is abundant room in the Rogue River Valley for thousands of immigrants, and plenty of land lies untilled which will produce apples and pears as perfect as any ever grown there.
Medford Mail Tribune, January 2, 1910, page 5
MEDFORD'S GREAT BUILDING RECORD
Over a Million and a Half Dollars' Worth This Year and Next Year
Will Far Exceed That Amount--Architects and Contractors
Busier by Far on Projected Work Than Last December
Medford has experienced one of the best building years in 1910 ever seen in any town. Its development work in buildings is simply marvelous. Yet with all the buildings erected, the supply has not equaled the demand. The record of the year makes Medford the banner building town of Oregon.
Architects and contractors unite in saying that Medford will see in 1911 still greater building development, and that is saying a great deal. The contractors are doing all in their power to get ready for the spring rush, and already they find themselves with contracts for many buildings to be erected next spring. A local gentleman who is prominent in the political life of Jackson County said:
"I found in my trip north recently a wonderful spirit and feeling of prosperity. Everyone is acquiring more faith in the Taft administration, and as money is loosening there will be no panic nor hard times. At Portland every contractor and architect is straining his nerves to get ready for the new building era of 1911, and already they are being flooded with orders. The railroads, every business concern, is awakening to the fact that 1911 will bring the greatest period of development work in Oregon history."
Just what these statements mean can be shown by the following list of buildings erected in 1910, with their cost as shown:
The Natatorium . . . $100,000
Medford Furniture Company . . . 75,000
Garnett-Corey Building . . . 65,000
Southern Pacific Depot . . . 50,000
St. Mark's Block . . . 4,5000
Rogue River Electric Building . . . 25,000
Davis Block . . . 30,000
Medford Grocery Building . . . 30,000
Odd Fellows' Block . . . 20,000
Anderson-Green Garage . . . 30,000
Home Telephone Building . . . 15,000
Mail Tribune Block . . . 20,000
Schmitt & Slewing Building . . . 10,000
Four hundred homes, average cost $2500 . . . 1,000,000
Total . . . $1,555,000
Besides there are the government building, the hospital and two hotels under construction:
The Page Hotel . . . $100,000
The Medford Hotel . . . 150,000
Government Building . . . 110,000
Medford Hospital . . . 90,000
Then there are two schools, one in Queen Anne addition and one on Jackson Street, each to cost $35,000-$70,000.
The Jackson Boulevard bridge, $15,000. The First National Bank and the Masons will erect buildings also.
So that the buildings erected and those under contract for 1910 was $2,090,000.
When one takes in the buildings erected and the city improvements for 1910 the total is staggering, and more so when one knows that the supply does not equal the demand.
Every architect and contractor in the city reports that he is busier and has more work in prospect for the ensuing season by far than at this time last year. December has been a much busier month in the matter of making preparations for building to be undertaken next year than was December, 1909. Various kinds of contracting work, painting, heating and finishing, is to be had in abundance, for there is more work offering than there are people to do it.
In every case the large buildings projected are larger and finer than were those of this time last year. They are going higher into the skies and are more elaborate, costly and bear the marks of permanency in every day.
The best talent in the country is being enlisted to see to the planning of these fine buildings and to their superintendence according to the ambitious plans that are being adopted by Medford's up-to-date builders and owners of business lots.
The highest grade pressed brick predominates, and for general exterior and interior finish the best in granite and wood that Oregon can produce is being used.
Medford Sun, December 30, 1910, page 1
Sunset Magazine, December 1910
Few states in the Union have an agricultural population as wide-awake and progressive, as anxious for expert, technical advice as Oregon. The Oregonians are even willing to pay for this advice. At Hood River the apple growers raised three thousand dollars in one day to pay the plant doctor. Jackson County, in Rogue River Valley, the home of the big pear, went still further. It hired a plant doctor, the best it could find [P. J. O'Gara], on the Chinese plan, paying him five thousand a year to keep its orchards healthy and prevent disease from gaining a foothold.
The plan was a success. At the edge of the Rogue River Valley the dreaded pear blight, the scourge that had wiped out almost every pear orchard in the country during its triumphant march from New York to California, was beaten back. Every one of the pear-growing states saw its groves practically wiped out, except Oregon. The fifty thousand acres of young orchards around Medford, Ashland and Grants Pass, though attacked by the disease, escaped unscathed. No special properties of climate, soil or surroundings protected the trees. As in all the latter-day victories of Oregon, the human factor determined the outcome of the battle. Because the Rogue River horticulturists had the open mind, the open purse, the energy and the brains that make for success in any line, they not only succeeded in checking the course of the blight where all others had failed, but they also succeeded in raising more and larger pears and in selling them for higher prices than anyone else in the world.
Money talks. The voice of fruit money, the true tales of extravagant apple and pear profits that sounded like the dreams of the wild-eyed promoter, attracted the country's fleeting attention to Oregon. A masterly campaign of publicity, supported by a steady stream of fact literature, held and intensified this unstable attention. Portland started the publicity ball rolling. Practically every community in the state large enough to furnish a full set of officers for a commercial club followed suit, the Southern Pacific and the Oregon Railroad and Navigation Company keeping pace with the communities, dollar for dollar. The results startled even seasoned campaigners. In Medford, Judge William Colvig, a gray, young pioneer of the 1853 ox-team vintage, argued, pleaded, promised, exhorted, threatened, bullied and abused in turn until Medford's Commercial Club had six hundred members who spent ten thousand a year to promote the legitimate interests of the Rogue River Valley. Attractive exhibition pavilions--close to the railway station, that he who rides might see--sprang up everywhere. Two million descriptive pamphlets, in three colors, were sent out in one year. Whenever a town lagged behind the procession, revival meetings were held by the Portland boost evangelists to stimulate interest in and donations to the cause. No purse, not even the one with the time lock always set for tomorrow, could resist the fervid appeals. At one town noted for the tightness of its three thousand inhabitants the itinerant evangelists raised a promotion fund of four thousand dollars in a revival lasting two hours.
Persistent, systematic publicity, if based upon hard facts, never fails. Medford, though a new inn opens for business almost every week, though two five-story hotels are near completion, had to build a tent city to avoid hanging out the sign "Standing Room Only."
Walter V. Woehlke, "Where Rolls the Oregon," Sunset magazine, November 1910, page 494
What Medford Needs . . . From Woman's Standpoint
(MRS. S. A. NYE)
If I could have my wishes in regard to making Medford the "City Beautiful," I think I would begin by having the electric light, telephone and telegraph poles removed from the streets and alleys and the wires placed underground. Oakdale Avenue, otherwise a street of which any small city could be proud, is an example of the disfigurement caused by these poles.
I would like to see more parks for Medford, and believe that steps should be taken at once to secure them. The town is growing, the price of property is advancing, and it would be the best business policy to buy land for this purpose now. Nothing adds more to the attractiveness of a city than well-kept parks and plenty of them.
I would like to see a general movement toward the removal of fences and hedges abutting on the streets in the residence sections of the city. There is no particular utility in having fences where stock is kept off the streets, and certainly they add nothing to the appearance or value of property.
The saloon row along Front Street is an eyesore which will be more apparent when the various improvements contemplated by the Southern Pacific are completed. People going through on the trains will receive a bad impression of the town. This street is a poor advertisement for the city, and if some other location could be found for these places it would be an improvement very much to be desired.
The city should have an incinerator to dispose of garbage and rubbish; this is a necessity from the standpoint of health, if for no other reason. We cannot have a clean city without some means of disposing of rubbish.
I would like to see the billboards removed from the streets. I would like to see steps taken to abolish the distribution of dodgers, free samples and such trash throughout the residence districts. Billboards and dodgers are twin advertising nuisances. Let them patronize the newspapers.
(IRENE HAMPTON ISAACS)
In response to a request to write an article by way of suggestion for further betterment of Medford, my thought naturally turns to the subject of deepest interest to me personally and the one nearest my heart, namely, music.
Our wonderful natural resources continually extolled and utilized to such great advantage commercially by our energetic citizens are making Medford famous. Our business and civic improvements are progressing as rapidly as time and our county court will allow.
Musically, Medford again has unique advantages. In her midst are all the chief members of the once-famous Andrews Opera Company, together with an experienced musical conductor whose prestige has brought to our city many of the best theatrical productions of Portland and San Francisco, and who this last winter gave Medford her first grand opera. In addition to this, we have cause for pride that our first symphony concert will be American's greatest orchestra under the leadership of the far-famed Damrosch.
These attractions fill our local opera house with an enthusiastic, intelligent audience who appreciate what they hear.
Notwithstanding these facts, the question arises, Is Medford artistically keeping pace with her progress commercially? From the fact that a town must first be established commercially, it usually follows that art must wait indefinitely and not become an integral part of any community except a large and long-established one. When one would introduce music into a small town they have the pioneer task of hewing away, inch by inch, the dense apathy that enshrouds the people and of planting here and there a seed of interest which sometimes grows and spreads, but which more often dies at the very outset.
Many will be surprised to learn that in Medford, as in other towns, that difficulty arises chiefly over money. In a town so unusually prosperous financially, one really marvels to find this condition prevailing. Money is no object to our citizens when it comes to gratifying some material pleasure or in obtaining some temporal luxury.
Music is a part of the soul, one of the few spiritual and eternal acquisitions that it is our privilege to gain, and we hesitate to pay for it and fail to see that we are getting value for the money invested. What we gain spiritually surely surpasses our transitory, material acquisitions, and they who gain most mentally have the richest, happiest lives.
Perhaps Medford artistic spirit may awaken early, as has her commercial spirit, and what more do we need to command the admiration and respect of the rest of the world and to truly make our city the "Flower of the Rogue River Valley"?
(CATHERINE M. WAKEMAN)
Medford has so much of which to boast that it hardly seems fair to search out the few small points in which she is lacking; but as it is this same spirit that has made Medford the progressive little city that she is, I offer a few stray thoughts that suggest themselves.
Can anyone deny the fact that with all her beauty and enterprise Medford is a poorly lighted city? It would seem time that she had adopted a street lighting plan. Nearly all the cities are today using the curb cluster lights in the business portion, as being the most effective both from a practical standpoint and as an added means of beautifying the city. The small incandescent lights of the residence portion should be replaced by modern enclosed arc lights, placed at the intersections of every other street. A well-lighted city does much toward its advertising.
Has it ever occurred to you that our beautiful shade trees, of which we have a few, are frequently permitted to grow so low that their branches interfere with pedestrians and vehicles, besides detracting from an up-to-date appearance of the street over which they project?
We need more and good school buildings--not in the business portion, but in the residence district of the city, and built for the future.
And while on the school topic, why not give our boys a summer manual training school? Work of this kind is being done in all parts of our country and is meeting with the approval of educators and parents. The work not only gives the boy employment during six weeks of the summer, but is of permanent benefit.
Query: Has Medford an ordinance regarding expectorating on sidewalks?
(MRS. M. PURDIN)
I would like to see the water question settled and the city have a good supply of pure water; the projected paving of the streets completed; the old wooden sidewalks with the extended nail heads disappear and be replaced with new cement walks; the old fences in front of homes come down and each yard with a nice green lawn and flowers; a million more rosebushes in the yards in the city; all the back yards and alleys cleaned up; and all bad crossings made new.
(MRS. E. B. SHEN)
A good inspector would be a good improvement in Medford. It is rather trying for the housekeeper to pay the high prices she must for food and then have a great deal of it unfit for use. If there was a food inspector the commission men would not dare accept a great deal of the green stuff which is unloaded in Medford markets. Dairymen would not sell worked-over butter for first class at exorbitant prices, and the ranchers would be a little more particular about collecting eggs for market. If the housekeeper were getting first-class food she would not object to paying the high prices.
(MRS. L. G. PORTER)
The Medford Commercial Club and the ladies' Greater Medford Club are at present in the thickest of a great advertising campaign to let the people of the world know of this wonderful valley of the Rogue. Possibly through no other advertising medium has Medford been brought more conspicuously before the tourists than through the band concerts of the past seasons. Those who have heard these splendid programs can speak nothing but praise for the Medford band.
Let us have good band concerts this season.
(MRS. L. B. WARNER)
One of Medford's greatest needs is not only an interurban trolley line but a good system within the city limits.
(MRS. E. S. PARSONS)
I would like to see the hastening of installing of gas for domestic purposes.
(MRS. E. M. JANNEY)
My particular hobby [i.e., obsession] at this time is sanitary milk tickets. If the women demand them they are ours.
(MRS. G. L. DAVIS)
In my opinion have the residence streets uniform in width, the parkings in proportion to the width of the streets, and all well kept.
Medford Mail Tribune, May 15, 1910, page B1
MEDFORD AND ITS ERA OF BIG BUILDING
Thriving City Where Five Millions of Dollars
Is Being Invested This Year in Substantial Structures
By Charles A. Malboeuf, Manager, Medford Commercial Club
Medford looks like a city just built, torn down and rebuilt again. Streets are re-torn up in every direction, huge piles of building material block the way, and hundreds of men and horses are at work laying 16 miles of asphalt pavement. Frame structures stand astride the thoroughfares in the cause of removal from the business district and cause a still greater detour of traffic. In every quarter buildings are going up, either for business or residence purposes. Garages are to be seen on all sides. More than 350 automobiles are to be cared for, and additional sales are being made daily. Energy and activity are rampant. The Medford spirit, after the tremendous operations of the last year, has merely taken the second breath and gone at it again. Two and a half millions of dollars were spent in 1909 for buildings; this was thought enough for a city just passing the 7000 mark, but the record is to be exceeded in 1910.
Five millions will be expended before December, and the demand for space continues. Truly an era of new building has been reached, more befitting the ordinary city of 25,000 than one that has increased from 2000 to nearly 10,000 in less than three years. One six-story hotel is being erected, and another four-story structure is going up. Each will cost over $100,000. Five business structures are nearing completion. Four more have been started and more contracted for. The aggregate cost for those under construction today is not less than $750,000. Nearly $1,000,000 is being expended in dwellings, and public improvements represent over $500,000 more. Recreation is not lost sight of. One of the largest natatoriums in the United States is about completed. It will cost $60,000, and its composite features are complete in every detail. The swimming pool, 50x100 feet, required more than ten carloads of cement, and will keep a small part of the people cool for awhile. Twenty carloads of lumber are used in this huge building, and a whole carload of sash and doors are necessary to give light, access and egress. The dancing pavilion takes a solid car of maple lumber for floors alone.
Startling StatisticsThe building of a city upon solid modern lines presents some startling statistical facts. Over 1000 cars of lumber will be necessary in the construction of buildings in Medford in 1910. More than 800 cars of cement will be used. Two carloads of nails arrive each month, and the cost of building hardware and nails in the construction of residences alone will exceed $200,000. The transformation of the rough land into lawns of green has already caused the sale this year of nearly six miles of garden hose. One store alone will sell over 22,000 feet.
It is safe to say that the solidity of Medford, as well as its future prospects, were never more assured than at the present time. The 500,000 acres tributary to Medford of themselves constitute an area capable of supporting a city of 25,000 people. Back of this rich cleared land stand more than 23,000,000,000 feet of fir and pine. A great portion of this timber is on level land, making logging inexpensive and after being cleared will provide hundreds and thousands of acres suitable for all kinds of cultivation. One thousand men working every day for forty years will be insufficient to manufacture this vast amount of timber into lumber. This one great resource will support a city of 6000 people. The timber is within the range of vision from any part of the valley.
The Pacific & Eastern [Railroad] building by the Hill interest already pierces the heart of the forests and commands 8,000,000,000 feet. In less than six weeks the road will be in operation, after an expenditure of nearly $40,000 a mile of 32 miles. The empire builders officially announced that the Pacific & Eastern must and will go to a connection with the Oregon Trunk, now building, regardless of cost, and as far as men can do the work down the Deschutes River. The Hill line crossing the state east and west will connect with the Trunk System also, and Medford will be the terminus of two great transcontinental systems and the most important city between Portland and Sacramento along the Southern Pacific. The acquisition of these railroads is of immeasurable benefit to Medford and indelibly stamps its future progress. The Hill people, appreciating its great resources, are already prepared to advertise the Rogue River Valley far and wide. Local products, including the highest quality of apples and pears produced, are being shipped to the Great Northern people at Portland for their Oregon exhibit car, which will cover the entire eastern portion of the United States during the next fall, winter and spring months. The problem of securing equipment for the more than 25,000 cars of fruit that will be shipped in less than 10 years from Medford and vicinity is disposed of by the completion of three powerful railroads.
Population Growth.The fruit and agricultural resources of the valley have been fully demonstrated. More than 65,000 acres of apples and pears are now growing, and over 10,000 acres are being added every year. Two and a half million dollars will be expended in irrigation purposes, which will cover every acre in the valley and enable nearly every acre to be placed under cultivation. Upon each 10 acres a family will be supported. Electric lines, now fully capitalized and financed, will serve all corners of the district, and the great hand of transportation will be foremost in development.
Twelve months ago Medford had an estimated population of 6000 people; 8000 was the advertised population at the first of the year, but the census disclosed 9000. During the past 19 months newcomers have settled in Medford and the immediate vicinity at the rate of one person every hour day and night. Bank deposits, which increased 50 percent in 1909, further increased 40 percent the first six months in 1910. Postal receipts increased 33 percent in 1909, but for 12 months ending July 1, 1910 increased 36 percent. The fluctuation of stocks in Wall Street have no effect here. Confidence is supreme, and utmost faith in the city's growth is evident from the public improvements and building construction. Every accessory to the needs of a modern city is being displayed here. The water system, costing with the city mains nearly $500,000, is second only to Portland's famous Bull Run supply. Pure cold water from the eternal snows of Mt. McLoughlin reaches the city by gravity line 23 miles long, with a pressure of 93 pounds. The system is sufficient to anticipate a population of 30,000 people. The new sewer system is completed. The three miles of asphalt pavement completed in 1909 are being increased by 16 miles more this year. Asphalt will cover every street in the business district and the larger portion of the residence section. The main thoroughfare will be paved for a distance of more than two and a half miles long. More than 200 horses and 250 men are at work on the entire contract, which will be completed by November. A second telephone system will be in operation in a few weeks. A gas plant under construction will serve the city for illumination and cooking purposes.
The class of Medford's residences is very artistic. Bungalows generally prevail in the smaller structures. Colonial and many other styles are prominent. More than two score of residences already occupied represent a cost of from $5000 to $12,000 each. Great care and pride is being displayed in the surroundings. Natural groves of great oak trees have been selected in the location for many of the most beautiful residences. Civic pride, following in the wake of construction, predicts a city of unusual beauty. Shade trees [omission] roses that bloom nearly every month in the year are being set out, and the landscape is rapidly being transformed into magnificent footwork of velvet green. Cluster lights are being agitated for the main streets, and the acquisition of parks and beautification in general is the order.
Building Progress.The business district presents almost a solid mile of frontage. The structures are new, neat and modern. Granite and pressed brick prevail. Reinforced concrete is coming into use. The buildings now under erection will nearly all be of class A type. The new Medford Hotel, six stories in height, will cover an area 50 by 120 feet. [Hotel Medford was built at five stories; another story was added around 1925.] The four-story hotel will cover 88 by 146 feet, with basement. Both of these will be equipped with steam heating plants and telephones and electric lights, elevator system and modern grills. Building structures now range from four to six stories in height, with one contemplated at eight stories. Steel, granite, concrete, brick and stone is being used. The new Southern Pacific depot, costing $50,000, will be the largest one in the Pacific Northwest outside of Portland and indicates the confidence of the railroad people in the future of the city.
Interest from all parts of the union continues in the great fruit industry in the Rogue River Valley. The type of newcomers are of the highest class. Chicago, New York and other great eastern cities are represented in the wealthy capitalists now taking up orchards. The man of means is apparent on every side, and building improvements in the orchards are keeping stride with those in the city. Every newcomer is a booster, man and woman, and are untiring in their efforts to surround themselves with their own personal friend from their former section. Real estate values in Medford and the orchard districts have been largest on record during the past 12 months, and an immense influx of people is expected after harvest.
Carrying out its regular practice, the Rogue River [Valley] again stands prominent in high-class production in 1910. More fruit will be shipped than in any previous year, and the quality this year will be unsurpassed. The pear orchards are laden with fruit of enormous size. Picking is already under way, and many cars have been shipped. Market reports indicate the continued demand for Rogue River fruits and revenues are expected to surpass those of previous years. Not less than 300 cars of pears will go forward in the next few weeks, and about 400 cars of apples, yellow and red, will follow in September and October.
All these conditions more than justify what Medford is doing.
Medford Mail Tribune, September 11, 1910, page B1
What September Finds in Medford
September finds Medford maintaining its lead as the banner small city of the Northwest. Postal receipts show a gain over a year ago of sixty-eight percent. Bank clearances and deposits are nearly fifty percent greater. More and costlier buildings are under way than ever in the city's history. Railroad business has increased in proportion. The heaviest pear crop in the valley's history is being shipped, realizing the highest prices of any fruit in the eastern markets. Double the quantity of apples produced a year ago will soon be on their way east, while the 65,000 acres of young orchard show a most thrifty growth.
September sees grading completed on the Pacific & Eastern to Butte Falls and the grade into Medford nearly completed. Construction gangs are busy laying the rails, while other contractors are rushing the extension of the Oregon Trunk down the Deschutes, across the Klamath country and the Cascades to a junction with it, thus giving Medford two transcontinental railroads and opening up an immense timber district to lumber manufacturing.
September finds rival railroad engineers surveying lines from the Rogue River Valley through a rich mining district, and the largest redwood timber belt in the world, to a harbor at Crescent City.
September this year for the first time finds Medford with the best municipal water supply of any city in the West, with a gravity system bringing water twenty-five miles from its source in the snow-capped sentinels of the Cascades, with pure water ample for a city of twenty-five thousand people. It finds Medford with a completed distributing system, exceeding twenty-one miles of cast iron mains and with work begun on nine miles of main extensions.
September finds Medford with over ten miles of bitulithic and asphalt paved streets. New contracts totaling over 280,000 square yards of pavement, with curbing and guttering, amounting to over a million dollars, the largest contract ever made on the coast, is but forty percent completed. When completed, Medford will be the best-paved city of its size anywhere.
September sees phenomenal building activity in the business and residence districts. It sees the finishing touches being put on the palatial new depot of the Southern Pacific, costing $50,000, the largest in Oregon outside of Portland. It sees the grounds around it being graded preparatory to parking. It witnesses the near completion of the $50,000 natatorium and its galaxy of amusements, the finest institution of its kind north of San Francisco.
September will witness the completion of the four-story brick block being erected by the Garnett-Corey Hardware Company, of the granite block erected by the Episcopal Church, of the three-story concrete building erected by the Ray brothers [the Electric Building], of the three-story wholesale story erected by the Medford Grocery Company and of the new pressed-brick Davis block.
September sees construction well under way on the Howard brothers' four-story reinforced concrete block [i.e., the Medford Furniture & Hardware Co. Building], costing $100,000 occupying a quarter of a block, on the six-story $100,000 Medford Hotel, on the four-story $100,000 Page Hotel [This building was not built.], giving Medford two first-class hotels and the best hotel accommodations of any Oregon city, and the beginning of construction on the Root building [i.e., the Sparta Building], of the two-story 80x100-foot Mail Tribune building, and several other structures, as well as innumerable residences.
September will see the selection of a site and construction preparations under way for the new federal building, for which Congress has appropriated $110,000.
And now come the Sisters of Providence and offer to erect a $100,000 hospital at Medford, providing a bonus of $10,000, to purchase the site, be raised. Three-fourths of it has been secured.
September sees the completion of surveys, under supervision of the government good roads engineer, for an automobile boulevard to Crater Lake National Park, the scenic wonderland of the world, and contracts let for the construction of the most difficult portion of the road; paid for from a fund of $30,000 raised by public subscription by the patriotic citizens of Medford and vicinity. September also sees a survey for park improvements under way by the United States government.
Medford is growing by leaps and bounds. Yet rapid as the improvements are, they cannot keep pace with the demands. There is not now and has not been in five years a vacant building or a house to let. And Medford's future is brighter this September than ever.
Medford Mail Tribune, September 11, 1910, page B1 Compare this article with the editorial as originally written, in the Mail Tribune of September 1, page 4.
MEDFORD, Jackson County, incorporated in 1885, covers an area of one and one-half square miles, and has a population, on school census, of 8,840. It is situated on the main line of the Southern Pacific and Eastern [sic], and Rogue River Valley railroads. The assessed valuation of town property, in 1907, was $1,949,781, with a bonded indebtedness of $165,000. Receipts from the sale of postage stamps for the quarter ending June 30, 1910, were $6,198.17. The altitude is 1,290 feet. Two public school houses aggregate a value of $50,000, and twenty-five teachers are employed at salaries from $40 per month to $1,200 per year. Eight churches, Christian, Catholic, Presbyterian, Methodist, Episcopal, Methodist (South), Baptist, Episcopal and Free Methodist, approximate a value of $24,000, and the city hall and opera house $20,000. The city marshal and night officer receive $75 and $65, respectively. The chief of [the] voluntary fire department receives $110 per month. Common labor commands $2.00 to $3.00 per day; skilled labor, $4.00 and up a day, and man and team, $5.00 to $6.00. An electric light plant, private ownership, furnishes service at 10 cents per kilowatt hour, and scaled lower according to quantity. The city water system is under public ownership, and the rate to consumers is 15 cents per 1,000 gallons. Gold, copper, coal, cinnabar, iron, platinum, asbestos and placer mining, fruit growing and farming are the principal industries. Coal fields, lumbering, petroleum, marble, lime, granite and building stone deposits abound in the vicinity in an undeveloped state. Two marble and granite works, three livery stables, three planing mills, two boot and shoe stores, seven groceries, three hardware stores, four gents' furnishing stores, four general merchandise, four hotels, eleven saloons, cigar factory, four confectionery stores, and three banks are doing a good business. There is good opportunity for investment in a cannery, vinegar factory, orchards and timber. (Having been unsuccessful in obtaining data from Medford, most of the above information is two years old and does not show what is considered a remarkable increase along different lines.)Fourth Biennial Report of the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Inspector of Factories and Workshops of the State of Oregon from October 1, 1908 to September 30, 1910, Oregon State Printing Department, 1911, page 139
Last revised October 10, 2019