The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised

Jackson County News: 1882

Southern Oregon Mines.
    In Southern Oregon mining is the great special industry. All the mines operated in Jackson County are placers, and at this season present the unsightly appearance of scars upon the country, very much resembling abandoned brickyards. There are several fine quartz ledges in the county, but to operate them mills must be employed, and none have yet been put in. Just what the annual yield of the mines here is, it is impossible to say. The dust is used as a circulating medium among the miners, part of it is sold at the Jacksonville bank, part is traded at the stores, part is shipped by registered package, part is shipped by express, and part is carried out by the miners themselves. The difficulties of the situation may be seen. Only in a general way we may say that the annual gold production of the county approaches half a million dollars, much of which finds its way into the hands of farmers and merchants of the county. Fully one-half of the men engaged in mining are Chinese, and one of the principal mining bosses and proprietors is a Chinaman. The mining season commences in November or December, with the winter rains, and lasts till May, the miners generally making enough during these months to keep them the rest of the year. Every process of water mining, from the old-fashioned rocker to the most approved hydraulic methods, are employed in these mines. Mining is the great and almost the only industry of Josephine County. They are similar to the mines of Jackson. The annual gold production of the various districts in Josephine is estimated at $192,500.
    The number of men engaged in these diggings is about five hundred, more than 250 being Chinamen. The various hydraulic methods are in use. The mines of Douglas County are mostly quartz, and are undeveloped. Very rich silver ore is found in several places, whose owners would like to sell.
    For more than thirty years black sand mining has been carried on along the beach south of Coos Bay. The Lane mine was first worked sixteen years ago, and is now under the management of Mr. Bailey, to whom it is leased. The works represent an investment of $25,000, and employ sixteen men. The Eagle company spent $50,000 in building works, etc., and after conducting a failing business for some time sold out for $40, 000 to a California company, who spent $25,000 more and then abandoned the claim. First and last a good deal of gold was taken out of the Eagle, but the business never was profitable. Miners working by hand along the beach have always made good wages, and some few have picked up fortunes. "Big Mac" took $100,000 out of the sand in a few weeks, spent it in a few months, and is now keeping a hotel in Crescent City. The town of Randolph, which is marked on the maps, exists nowhere else. It was once a thriving mining camp, but the sands shifted, the mines failed and Randolph died--died as only a mining town can die.

Mining and Scientific Press,
San Francisco, January 28, 1882, page 59

    R. D. Hume will start a salmon hatchery on Rogue River next summer. He intends making it a permanent institution.
"The City," Daily Astorian, Astoria, Oregon, February 5, 1882, page 3

Wagon Road Meeting at Eagle Point.
    At a meeting called Feb. 18, 1882, at Eagle Point, for the purpose of obtaining the sentiments of the people of Eagle Point and vicinity in regard to a wagon road to Fort Klamath, J. G. Grossman was called to the chair and H. C. Fleming chosen as secretary. The chairman stated the object of the meeting to be as stated above. After remarks by Wm. Simpson, A. J. Daley, M. Peterson, James Miller, J. M. Matney, A. W. Clemens, E. Emery, Charles Griffith and A. H. Osborne, a motion was made and carried that James Miller, M. Peterson, Wm. Simpson, J. M. Matney and A. J. Daley be appointed a committee to designate the route for said road, commencing at old Camp Stuart, near H. Amy's residence, and ending at the eastern boundary line of Jackson County, and to petition the County Court to grant a survey for said road from the terminus of the county road to said eastern boundary line. On motion our county papers were requested to publish these minutes. The meeting then adjourned sine die.
    H. C. FLEMING, Sec'y.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, February 25, 1882, page 3

A Good Class of Immigrants.
    Inquiries at the Bureau of Immigration for Oregon and Washington elicit the fact that about eighty percent of the white steerage passengers who arrived within the last month are actual settlers. Each family brings from $500 to $1,000 in cash, and more than half of them bring their household effects. From one-fourth to one-third of the number go to the Umpqua and Rogue River valleys, being induced thither by the immediate prospect of a railroad, while the remainder are about equally divided between Eastern Oregon, the Walla Walla Valley, the Palouse region and the district lying between the Northern Pacific Railroad and the Columbia River. A considerable number have also gone to the Yakima and neighboring valleys, and a few into the Clearwater country. The immigrants are principally from California, Kansas, Nebraska, Minnesota, Illinois, Michigan and Texas--proportions in the order named.--Portland Oregonian.
The Times,
Goshen, Indiana, June 8, 1882, page 6

    WAGES IN OREGON.--The following is from a circular of the Oregon Railroad and Navigation Company, in answer to one of many questions propounded by intending immigrants: Farm labor, $1 a day and board; harvest work, $1.50 a day. On the Sound wood choppers earn from $60 to $90 a month. All good hands find work on railroads at the following prices: Common laborers, $1.75 to $2 a day; foremen of gangs, $75 to $100 a month; blacksmiths, $2 to $4 a day; carpenters, $3.50; tracklayers, $2 to $2.50; team and driver, $4.50. These figures are intended to apply to Willamette
Valley, and are equally applicable to Southern Oregon. In Jackson and Josephine counties a good many hands are employed in placer mining, the wages generally being $1.50 a day and board.
Mining and Scientific Press, San Francisco, June 10, 1882, page 375

    One hundred and thirty hands are now at work on the Crescent City wagon road, and it is being rapidly completed.
"Douglas County," Corvallis Gazette, September 15, 1882, page 3

A Serious Affray.
    A number of men working with a threshing machine near this place came to town last Sunday night and, after imbibing considerable of the ardent, announced themselves in readiness for anything that was on the programme. Shortly after this a row started between Wm. Colwell, Chas. Dodson and Tom Curly in which some of the parties engaged received nothing more than bruised heads. After this, about eleven o'clock p.m., Charles E. Hanna, a clerk in Reames Bros.' store, arrived on the scene and, making some remark favorable to Curly in the first trouble, a row was started with him in which pistols and knives were freely used. During the affray young Hanna was shot in the face by Colwell, just below the left eye, the ball ranging downward and lodging in the back of the neck near the base of the skull. After being shot and lying helpless on the ground, someone, said to be Chas. Dodson, a stranger here, rushed on him and cut his throat, inflicting a serious though not a fatal wound. Hanna was immediately removed to the U.S. Hotel and Dr. Aiken summoned and his condition at last account was so much improved as to give strong hopes of his recovery. Colwell was arrested immediately by Marshal Payne and Constable Birdsey and lodged in jail, after which the Constable and Sheriff Jacobs went to Cardwell's ranch, where the crowd was camped, and arrested Dodson. Both parties will have a hearing before Justice Huffer on Monday next, the trial having been postponed to that date on account of the absence of the district attorney and nearly all of our lawyers.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, September 16, 1882, page 2

    R.R. NEWS.--Dolson's party have finished their surveys and have been disbanded for the winter. The road is now definitely located to the Centennial Bridge across Rogue River [at Gold Hill] and two lines have been run from there to a point just below the mouth of Bear Creek--one on the north and the other on the south side of the river--and one of these lines will surely be adopted, leaving the terminus of the survey at the same point in either case. It is not likely that Hurlburt's party in the Siskiyous will do any more work this season as the surveyors are more than a year ahead of construction, and the machinery required for tunnel work on the Siskiyou Pass could not well be got there this winter. The work on the construction north of us is still progressing.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, November 4, 1882, page 3

Last revised January 29, 2020