Pacific & Eastern Railroad
The railroad is coming; one old man has been looking out a route for it to run through his garden; another has a ¼-acre lot and he is talking of platting it and selling it by the foot.
"Eagle Point Notes," Valley Record, Ashland, April 25, 1889, page 2
Some of our citizens are much elated over the prospect of a railroad from Jacksonville, via Medford, to this place, thus connecting our thriving village with the "defunct" metropolis of the county, running from here to the heavy belt of timber on Big Butte and Rogue River. The train to be propelled by electricity taken from our beautiful and never-failing stream, Little Butte.
"Eagle Point News," Valley Record, Ashland, October 10, 1889, page 3
Our community was thrown into a fever of excitement over the advent of a party of surveyors, making a preliminary survey for a narrow-gauge railroad from Central Point via Eagle Point to the heavy belt of timber on Big Butte Creek and Rogue River.
"Eagle Point News," Valley Record, Ashland, October 24, 1889, page 3
An Extension Spoken Of.
It is now proposed to extend the Jacksonville-Medford railroad to Eagle Point, on Butte Creek, to connect with the talked-of flume from upper Rogue River at that place, and citizens of the Butte Creek country promise substantial aid to such an enterprise. The magnificent water power at that place is a temptation to capital to invest there, of itself, and, when taken in connection with the possibilities of the lumber trade and attendant manufactures of the future, offers unparalleled inducements. There would be no question of plenty of transportation to keep a well-equipped road busy all the time.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, January 16, 1891, page 3
Railroad to Eagle Point.J. S. Howard has compiled his preliminary survey of the R.R.V.R.R. from Medford to Eagle Point. The line as surveyed is 11¾ miles in length and extends through Eagle Point to 100 feet beyond the bridge of Little Butte. The proposed line after crossing the McAndrew place runs parallel with the county road, one-half mile west of it, until it strikes the northeast corner of the Crants place on the desert. It crosses Antelope just below the bridge. Mr. Howard is now engaged in setting his grade stakes, having left with his party this morning.--Medford Mail, 14th.
The articles of incorporation for $500,000 as the Rogue River Valley Railway and Improvement Co. with the above object in view were filed with the secretary of state recently by W. Honeyman, E. J. De Hart, W. A. Buchanan, T. T. Honeyman, Francis Fitch.
Valley Record, Ashland, May 21, 1891, page 1
The Eagle Point R.R.The R.R.V.R.R. & Imp. Co. have set the figure of their bonus to build from the S.P. line to Eagle Point at $12,000. They estimate the cost of building, etc., at $90,000. The Howard survey from Medford is 10⅞ miles, and Applegates from Central Point 9½ miles. A preliminary meeting was held at Medford Saturday for the purpose of bonding the town for $7500 for that bonus.
Valley Record, Ashland, May 21, 1891, page 3
The railroad excitement has abated.
A. C. Howlett, "Eagle Point News," Valley Record, Ashland, June 4, 1891, page 2
On the 9th inst. we had a regular railroad meeting in the interest of the R.R.V.R.R. Co. There was quite a number of visitors from Medford and other places. Among the visitors were Drs. Geary and Pickel, J. S. Howard, Ben. Webb, J. W. Grayborn and the railroad company's attorney, Mr. Fitch. The meeting was called to order by A. J. Daley who introduced Mr. Fitch, who was, of course, prepared to make a speech. He told us that he, as attorney for the company, had no definite proposition to make as to the amount of subsidy the company would require but it was estimated that the road from Medford to Eagle Point would cost $90,000, and that the company wanted to know the feeling of the citizens on the subject. He assured us that the object of the company was to reach the timber belt and that the subsidy that they would ask for was to be paid in three installments, Oct. 1st '91, '92 and '93, and that the railroad company was to build one-third of the road before they called for one dollar of the subscription. He then called on A. J. Daley to read the subsidy agreement, and when it was read it proved to be a petition from the citizens of this vicinity to the aforesaid company to build and operate a railroad between the towns of Medford and Eagle Point and pledging themselves to pay to Vawter & Howard at the bank at Medford the amount in gold coin, set opposite their names, provided the company commences construction. Now their attorney said that the company was to build one-third of the road before they received any money, and he seemed to have anticipated trouble over that "commences construction," so he assured us that the company could not collect one cent unless they completed one-third of the road, and that all the lawyers in Jacksonville and Medford agreed with him. But we have the verbal statement of an attorney on the one hand and the printed agreement on the other, and some of us are a little tenderfooted about promising to pay on such conditions. If the railroad company intended to do the fair thing why does their hired attorney take pains to tell us that the company can't get one dollar, and that all the attorneys in Medford and Jacksonville agree with him, when the printed agreement says that they shall have one-third, provided they commence construction. Now according to agreement they can "commence construction" and draw one-third, and then next year they can "commence construction" and draw another third and then the next year draw the other third and then have an indefinite length of time to complete the road. In addition to the money subsidy the company require the citizens of Medford and Eagle Point and the intervening country to secure the right of way from one point to the other. Such is life under the McKinley bill.
A. C. Howlett, "About the Eagle Point Extension," Valley Record, Ashland, July 23, 1891, page 3
To Be Surveyed at Once.
General Superintendent Graham of the R.R.V.R.R. has been in the valley for several days past for the purpose of getting the prospective survey of the extension for the road from the terminus of the present survey at Eagle Point to the Klamath country underway. J. S. Howard of Medford will have charge of the party in the field, and it is the present intention, if a suitable route can be found, to follow up Butte Creek from Eagle Point to a location above Brownsboro, where it will be necessary to make the bench land elevation or plateau which extends to the north of Mount Pitt, and thence to the lower divide which crosses the Cascades between the Dead Indian and Rogue River wagon roads. Once the elevation of the foothill plateau is attained, there will be no trouble whatever about crossing the Cascades, as there is quite a uniform grade around and over the divides. The through route will also be carefully looked out from Medford direct to Brownsboro, and the company will carefully estimate the cost of construction before determining definitely which route to follow. Either will open up a vast body of fruit land and foothill country that has heretofore been unavailable, on account of the lack of transportation facilities. It is thought the Eagle Point route will be selected eventually, although it will depend somewhat on the comparative ease of securing right of way and the asked-for bonus. We trust that our neighbors over in that section will take warning from the example of the county seat in being too dilatory once upon a time and thereby avoid sacrificing their chances for eventually becoming one of the manufacturing centers of Oregon, which we verily believe will be the result of making the place the railroad terminus of the first proposed extension. Right now is the time to act, and clinch a contract with the railroad company. The immediate enhancement of values will be tenfold the amount of the bonus asked for by the projectors of the enterprise.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, July 24, 1891, page 3
Mr. Graham has been securing the right of way for the R.R.V.R.R. Co. from Medford to this place. I understand that he is securing all the timber he can in the great timber belt on Rogue River and Big Butte.
A. C. Howlett, "Eagle Point Items," Valley Record, Ashland, August 6, 1891, page 3
I understand that a railroad party passed through our town a few days ago and secured the services of John Daley as guide to look out a way for a railroad to the big timber, and into Klamath County.
A. C. Howlett, "Eagle Point Items," Valley Record, Ashland, August 20, 1891, page 3
Those who thought that the idea of extending the railroad now in existence between this place and Medford, both east and westward from its present termini, would die out in time, have been mistaken in their surmises. There is much talk in the premises already, and it seems evident that the eastern company who are now contemplating the extension are in earnest in the matter. It will be a great benefit to this valley when we can not only have the coast connections, but a railroad to the head of the river as well.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, February 19, 1892, page 3
Has Bought the Iron.Medford, Or., March 27.--C. H. Leadbetter, of Tacoma, who has been in Medford several days, proposes to build an extension to the Rogue River Valley railroad, from this city to Klamath Falls, a distance of sixty miles. An engineering corps will leave Medford in a few weeks to make a survey of the proposed line. The new road will tap the sugar pine belt for a distance of 25 miles. Mr. Leadbetter has recently returned from the East, where he purchased the iron for 12 miles of the road at Pittsburgh, Pa. He expects to have this much of the road built by August 1. It is understood here that a deal has been made by the owners of the Rogue River Valley road with the Burlington & Quincy, whereby the latter will have a coast connection.
(The C.B.&Q. has been taken in out of the cold by most of the short roads and projected roads of the Pacific Coast, but it probably never expected such luck as to be taken under the wing of the Rogue River Valley Railroad. It doesn't pay to be claiming too much in such enterprises, it rather destroys than creates public confidence.)
Ashland Tidings, March 31, 1893, page 3
Mr. C. H. Leadbetter, president of the Rogue River Valley [railroad] system and a leader in matters pertaining to the extension of this road, was in Medford last Saturday and while here was interviewed by a Mail reporter.
What can we say to our readers regarding the railroad project? was asked by the reporter:
"You may say that Medford will get the railroad. If they don't get it this year they will next."
When and where will the survey begin?
"I will be in Medford again in two weeks. They may be long weeks--perhaps twenty days, but upon my return I will put a survey party in the field. They will begin work on the summit of the Cascades and will run a line into Medford."
Mr. Leadbetter gave the reporter many more points tending to the general good [omission?] of the enterprise, but which are as yet not intended to be made known to the public, as the publication of them might possibly retard progress in the work.
In conversation with Mr. J. S. Howard, who has been engaged to run the survey for the road, we learn that according to arrangements made between himself and Mr. Leadbetter he is to make a preliminary examination of the country in the vicinity of the north fork of Little Butte Creek to ascertain the most feasible route by which the desired point on the Cascade summit may be reached. As soon as this examination is completed a surveying party will be organized, with Mr. Howard as chief engineer, and a survey made over the route located by the examination and both ways from the summit or place of crossing the mountains. The date fixed for the examining party to start out is the second week in April, or so soon thereafter as the snow in the mountains shall have disappeared sufficiently to warrant expeditious work. The object in commencing work at the summit is that this one particular point is desired as a crossing and could not be so easily made--regarding grades--if commenced in the valley. When the survey is completed from the summit to Medford the party will return to the place of beginning and from there will run a preliminary line to Klamath Falls. It is possible Mr. Howard will go to Klamath Falls between now and the middle of April and look up a feasible approach to that city.
It is given out on good authority that Mr. Leadbetter, while in the East, purchased 1,100 tons of rails, or an amount sufficient to build twelve miles of road, and the same has been ordered shipped to Medford.
"It's a Sure Thing," Medford Mail, March 31, 1893, page 2
The party of railroad officers which left Medford last Friday for a tour of inspection in the timber belt in the Big Butte country returned Wednesday afternoon. Their first night's camp was made three miles from Eagle Point, on Little Butte Creek, and the next place of camping was at the bridge on Big Butte. Here they camped five nights, and from this point the party made a tour of inspection for quite a distance on all sides. They visited the Rancheria country and the base of Mount Pitt. Their guide, postmaster Howard, also located for them as near as possible the most feasible route through the pass. The entire party were very favorably impressed with the country, and Mr. Mills expressed himself as being greatly surprised at what he saw by way of timber and agricultural lands. He had associated the county with rugged canyons and high ridges, but when he found a level tract of country and heavily timbered with the finest of giant sugar pine trees, his astonishment and admiration knew no bounds. On Tuesday Mr. Leadbetter, Sr., joined the party at the camp and returned to Medford with them on Wednesday. The same evening Mr. Leadbetter returned to Portland, and the following morning Mr. Mills and his party left for San Francisco. The general conclusion to be drawn from these officials' visit over a portion of the proposed route and their report of entire satisfaction is that of the three possible routes mentioned last week from the S.P. to the Klamath country, the one from Medford is by far the most feasible and will be the one over which the road will be built. Mr. Leadbetter will return to Medford again about August 10th and will go over the entire proposed route, after which he says surveying will be commenced.
"All the Local News," Medford Mail, July 28, 1893, page 3
Ed. Worman:--"While passing through Idaho, upon my return home from Chicago, I was somewhat surprised to see C. H. Leadbetter get on the train. I made it a special point to find out what was in the wind on railroad matters. I had a good long talk with him on the subject. He seemed quite sanguine as to the very probable early building of the much talked-of railroad. He stated positively that if the then-pending silver bill before Congress was repealed he would have no trouble in placing his bonds. In fact, he stated that he then had his bonds placed--upon the one condition--the repeal, as above stated. If he was successful said he would build to Little Butte this fall and would push on east another year. The bill, I see, passed the Senate Tuesday, hence our chances for the road, according to Mr. Leadbetter's own words, are the very best."
"All the Local News," Medford Mail, November 3, 1893, page 3
"Utah has much in common with Oregon," continued Mr. Pracht, "and it needs only closer communication by rail to materially benefit both. Some years ago a local corporation built a line from Jacksonville to the main line of the Southern Pacific, which runs almost due north from Sacramento to Portland, at Medford. From the latter point surveys have been made and rights-of-way secured to a point near the headwaters of Rogue River, and it is the intention of the incorporators, if times ever get back to the point where capital can be enlisted in such enterprises, to build over the Cascade Range by way of the old Applegate survey to Klamath Falls, Lakeview and other points in the southernmost tier of counties, aiming for Kelton on the Great Salt Lake, hoping to meet there a railway direct from Salt Lake City, via the west shore. I am informed that the maximum grade over the Cascades is only seventy-six feet per mile, and neither tunnels nor snowsheds will be required. The largest forest of sugar pine timber in the world is tapped by this survey, and Crater Lake, Oregon's greatest natural wonder, can be reached by the line. A direct line from Salt Lake to Medford would be the base of two acute angles, one having its apex at Sacramento, the other at Portland, and a vast stretch of rich country from which the great markets of the United States cannot now be reached, except in an expensive and roundabout way, will he opened. There are great possibilities in store for Utah in this direction. Will she come to meet us?"
"Utah and Oregon," Daily Tribune, Salt Lake City, April 17, 1896, page 5
It is current rumor that Mr. Barnum, owner of the Medford-Jacksonville short line, has contracted with Mr. Gorsline for the sawing of a great number of ties for his railroad. The fact that Mr. Gorsline is preparing to establish his mill someplace in the Rogue River country, and the further fact that Mr. Barnum can secure tie timber, which is needed for use between Medford and Jacksonville, at a much nearer point than Rogue River, is significant in that the ties recently contracted for could be of use to advantage only in the construction of a line of road to the timber belt on Rogue River. There is a great opportunity for good business investment in the building of a railroad to tap the immense sugar pine timber belt of the upper Rogue River, and The Mail has an opinion that Mr. Barnum will labor to that end. The owners of the sugar pine land in that country can well afford to put up a considerable amount of money as a subsidy--and we understand the larger holders of timber land have already given a guarantee of one dollar per acre--which would represent about $80,000--and they could possibly be induced to do even better than this. There are many more small holders who would gladly do apportionately as well.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, May 4, 1900, page 7
Every day the importance of, and seemingly absolute necessity for, a railroad from Medford to the Rogue River timber belt becomes more apparent. There is an impression prevalent among many of our men of means that such a line of road could be built with local capital. There is this certainty--if twenty miles of the road can be built, enough outside money can be secured to extend it to any reasonable distance either or both ways. The advantage which such a road would be to Medford is almost beyond conception. With a line running into the vast and valuable timber belt of upper Rogue River, mills of gigantic proportions would be established. Box factories, sash and door factories and kindred other institutions that work in wood could, and doubtlessly would, be established. You say all these things would be built nearer the timber. Not so, when it is proven beyond a question of a doubt that the slab wood alone will pay the expense of hauling the logs to this point. Power to operate all these things? Is that the question you asked? Why, good people, the Fish Lake Ditch Company will be able to supply power for every need. Think this matter over, you who have the interests of the locality at heart, and when you have convinced yourself that a project of the nature outlined is not catalogued with the impossibles, go over and have a talk with Mr. Barnum, owner of the Medford-Jacksonville railroad. Mr. Barnum cannot build the road alone, but he owns a starter that would be good to build from at each end--and he is more anxious than any man in Jackson County to see the project take shape.
Medford Mail, September 27, 1901, page 2
While the enterprising citizens of Medford are looking around for something upon which they might give a push forward, they might do a little work on the proposition of an extension of Mr. Barnum's shortline railroad to Eagle Point. It is not improbable that Mr. Barnum would entertain such a proposition if it was backed by something a little more substantial than talk. While it may be true that a line of road to Eagle Point would not be of material advantage to Medford, it is quite as true that a line of road built to a point so near the timber of Rogue River would not stop there, but would push its way on to the immense sugar pine and fir forests of upper Rogue River, in which event Medford would derive a lasting benefit.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, September 26, 1902, page 7
Looking for a Mill Site.
MEDFORD, Or., June 17.--(Special.)--B. H. Harris, of Medford, who has a large timber tract in the vicinity of Big Butte Falls, located about 30 miles northeast of Medford, left this city yesterday with a party of surveyors to locate a mill site near the falls, also to run a line of survey from the mill site to Medford for the purpose of constructing a railroad which will tap the largest timber belt in Southern Oregon.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, June 18, 1904, page 4
EAGLE POINT SURVEY.MEDFORD, Or., Nov. 3.--(Special.)--Surveyor J. A McCall, of Ashland, and party left here this morning for Butte Creek Falls to make the final survey of the proposed railroad from the Butte Falls Milling Company's plant to Eagle Point, a distance of 15 miles. Preliminary survey has already been made between these two points and a permanent survey will be made in order to get everything ready for grading, which will begin when the survey is completed.
Surveyor McCall Leaves Ashland in Charge of Party.
Construction work will commence about April 1 next. There are two feasible routes from Eagle Point to the Southern Pacific Railroad, but so far as known the choice has not yet been made. The route from Eagle Point to Medford is probably three or four miles longer than to Central Point, but the fact that Medford is the commercial center of Rogue River Valley and Jackson County will go far toward making it the terminal of this road.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, November 4, 1904, page 4
ROAD INTO TIMBER.MEDFORD, Or., Dec. 28.--(Special.)--For several months past the Southern Oregon Development Company has been engaged in running surveys, securing rights of way, and doing other preliminary work toward the building of a railroad to the big timber belt located about 30 miles east of Medford, on the Crater Lake road.
New Railway From Medford Along Crater Lake Route.
The surveys have been made from the site of the Butte Falls Milling Company's plant to a point on the desert some seven or eight miles from Medford, and rights of way have been secured over most of the route. Yesterday the Medford and Crater Lake Railroad Company was organized by A. A. Davis, B. F. Adkins, J. M. Keene. R. H. Whitehead, B. H. Harris, W. F. Enthrop and W. I. Vawter. Articles of incorporation were prepared and filed with the Secretary of State today. The capital stock of the incorporation is placed at $500,000, and its object is to construct and operate a railroad from Medford east to the timber belt and Crater Lake.
This company supersedes the Southern Oregon Development Company, and takes over the rights of way, surveys, etc. of that company. A permanent organization, with election of officers, will soon be made.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, December 29, 1904, page 7
Road to Crater Lake.
MEDFORD, Or., Jan. 14.--(Special.)--The Medford & Crater Lake Railroad Company was organized today and elected as a board of directors and officers:
A. A. Davis, president; B. F. Adkins, vice-president; Dr J. M. Keene, secretary; W. I. Vawter, treasurer; R. H. Whitehead, manager; B. H. Harris and W. F. Entrop.
J. A. McCall, engineer, has completed the preliminary survey for 25 miles and was ordered to push to completion as soon as possible ten miles more, bringing the line to the Big Butte timber belt. In 60 days the company expects to commence grading from Medford.
Sunday Oregonian, Portland, January 15, 1905, page 6
Medford Subscribes to Railroad.
MEDFORD, Or., March 9.--(Special.)--The citizens of Medford during the last two days have subscribed for $17,000 worth of shares of the Medford & Crater Lake Railroad Company. The company desires that $25,000 in shares be taken in this city and vicinity. The full amount will undoubtedly be subscribed.
The company agrees to add $50,000 to the $25,000 for the purpose of constructing the first 15-mile stretch of the road. This will ensure the building of the road as far as Eagle Point, after which the company has assurance of the necessary funds to finish the 30-mile line to the big timber of Butte Creek.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, March 10, 1905, page 7
GRADE SOD BROKENMEDFORD, Or., April 4.--(Special.)--Medford took a day off today. The schools were closed, and every business in the town closed its doors from 1 to 3 o'clock to attend the breaking of the ground of the Medford & Crater Lake Railroad. The time set was 2 o'clock, and by that time fully 5000 people from Medford and vicinity had collected around the spot where the ground was to be broken.
Work Begun on Medford and Crater Lake Railway,
JACKSON COUNTY'S BIG DAY
Consul-General Miller, Attorney H. Withington and Others
Make Speeches Before Mrs. Davis Spills Wine Over Stake.
The first part of the programme was a selection by the Medford band. Then came the opening address by Holbrook Withington, attorney for the company.
Mr. Withington, in his remarks, took particular occasion to thank the committee of citizens who had secured the $25,000 subscription to the capital stock of the company, and to commend their enterprise. In outlining the advantages to be derived from this road Mr. Withington said in part:
"It is the desire of the company to assure you that the work now begun will be pushed with the utmost vigor until the whistle of the locomotive shall resound from the cliffs of the Big Butte country and the tall pines shall tremble with the vibrations of the timber-laden trains carrying the wealth of the Cascade Slopes to the markets of the world."
D. H. Miller responded on the part of the citizens of Medford, detailing his business connection of over 21 years with the people of Medford, and congratulating the citizens of this city on the inauguration of this great project.
Consul Miller Speaks.Hon. Henry B. Miller, late Consul at Niuchwang, China, now Consul-General at Yokohama, Japan, was then introduced and gave his experience in Rogue River Valley: "1 came here," said Mr. Miller, "81 years ago. I came in on a stage. Since then I have traveled over a considerable part of the world, and I am now convinced that the United States is the best country in the world, that Oregon is the best state in the United States and that the Rogue River Valley is the best part of Oregon."
W. I. Vawter then made a few remarks, giving a short history of the enterprise and congratulating the people on the prospect of opening up connections with the big timber.
Mrs. Davis Breaks Bottle.At 3:10 p.m. Mrs. A. A. Davis, wife of the president of the road, broke the bottle of champagne, presented to the company by W. A. Putton, over the first stake set on the Medford & Crater Lake Railroad, and turned the first sod on the grade.
This concluded the ceremony, and immediately thereafter teams and men took possession of the field and commenced the actual work of the building of the road which will develop one of Jackson County's greatest wealth-producing resources.
Charles E. Wing, the grading contractor, has made a camp near the western terminus and has everything in readiness, including machinery and supplies, to commence active work.
Route of New Line.Leaving Medford, the route for the first 17 miles of the road is in a northerly direction over a level plain, and then strikes up Reese Creek, running easterly to the falls of Big Butte Creek, 40 miles from Medford, and in the heart of the pine timber country. Here will be located the northern terminus of the line for the present, although the plan includes extension of the line, as the timber is cut and the growth of the country warrants it. The line traverses a territory already under cultivation, and having no other outlet save by wagon roads, is practically impassable in winter.
The total population from which the road will directly draw revenue may be estimated at 10,000.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, April 5, 1905, page 6
An event of great importance to Medford, as well as to all Southern Oregon, was the turning of the first dirt this past week in the construction of the Medford & Crater Lake Railroad. A contract has been let and bonds given to build the line as far as the Big Butte country this summer. Later it will extend to Crater Lake National Park. Besides opening up the wonderful Crater Lake mineral and timber country, this new road is a big link in the line that will ultimately crosscut Southern Oregon and tap the rich mineral districts on the California-Oregon line, districts that are at present idle because of their remoteness. The Medford & Crater Lake Railroad was fostered by President Enyart of the Medford Bank, and it was through his untiring efforts that the line was begun. With the liberal support of Southern Oregon capital the road will be built as far as Eagle Point, and bonds can then be secured to extend it deeper into the primeval. This successful conclusion of the original plans of Banker Enyart's may be classed as the greatest event that has occurred in Southern Oregon for some time. A. A. Davis has the management of the new company, Dr. Keene is secretary, and Holbrook Withington is attorney.
Dennis H. Stovall, "Southern Oregon Mines," Mineral Wealth, Redding, April 15, 1905, pages 8-9
Medford and Crater Lake Railroad Is Now a CertaintyMEDFORD, Or., April 29.--(Special.)--The history of the organization of the Medford & Crater Lake Railroad Company is one that shows what hard work and steady, consistent effort can do.
Projected Line Will Open Vast Timber Region and Attract Tourists
Last year Messrs. B. H. Harris, W. F. Entrop and others conceived the idea of a railroad from Butte Falls, 35 miles from Medford, to a point on the Southern Pacific. Surveys were made and considerable work done upon a mill site at Butte Falls. One of the persons interested, Emanuel King, one of the members of the Medford City Council, died. Mr. Harris then tried to interest Eastern capital, but could not do so. Finally Medford citizens took up the matter and organized a company, taking over the rights of the first organization. For several months the officers of the company have been quietly working to secure rights of way and in making surveys. They did not place their stock upon the market until they were sure of their ground. Then they made the following proposition, in effect, to the people of Medford: "If you will purchase $25,000 of the capital stock of the .company, said stock to be nonassessible, we will bond ourselves in the sum of $50,000 to construct the road to Eagle Point--12 miles--or to a point equally distant, construction to commence on or before April 10, 1905."
As a result of this offer, a committee of representative citizens of Medford, composed of J. D. Olwell, Dr. J. F. Reddy. D. H. Miller, I. L. Hamilton, J. E. Enyart and George L. Davis, took up the matter of soliciting the subscriptions. For ten days those gentlemen devoted their time to raising the subscription to the desired point, and they succeeded. The picture which accompanies this article shows why. Then the reputation of the men had a great deal to do with it. J. D. Olwell is a former Representative of Jackson County in the Oregon Legislature, has served a term as regent of the Oregon Agricultural College, and is one of the successful fruitgrowers of the valley.
Dr. J. F. Reddy is a mining man of general fame. He is one of the owners of the famous Opp mine, and now proprietor of the leading hotel of the city.
D. H. Miller is the pioneer merchant of Medford. He opened one of the first stores in the city, and is now serving his second term as County Treasurer.
I. L. Hamilton has been a resident of Medford for more than 15 years, during which time he has been Assessor of Jackson County one term, and is regarded as one of the solid business men.
J. E. Enyart is president of the Medford Bank. During his residence of 15 years here, he has built himself up by his own efforts to the position he now holds.
George L. Davis is one of the leading grocers of the city. He is self-made, and deservedly popular.
When the committee took hold of the matter, it seemed like a hopeless task. There had been so many "hot air" lines built in the state that people were slow to believe that this was a bona fide proposition, but they did believe it, and, as a result, within ten days ground will be broken on the Medford & Crater Lake Railroad.
Citizens of this city give great credit to Messrs. Harris and Entrop for inaugurating the project, although the road would naturally come in a few years, the enterprise of these two men started active work.
Of the officers of the company, A. A. Davis, president, is the proprietor of the Medford Flouring Mills, [and] one of the directors of the Jackson County Bank. He was one of the first men to take up the railroad proposition, and is one of Medford's most progressive citizens.
B. F. Adkins, vice-president, is a retired physician and also vice-president of the Jackson [County] Bank.
R. H. Whitehead, manager of the company, is one of the wealthiest men in the city, a member of the City Council and an ex-Mayor of Medford.
J. M. Keene, secretary, is a prominent figure all over Oregon. Everybody knows Dr. Keene.
W. I. Vawter, treasurer, is president of the Jackson County Bank and joint Representative for Jackson and Douglas counties.
The southeastern terminal of the Medford & Crater Lake Railroad is at Medford, which is on the main line of the Southern Pacific. From there for about 15 miles it passes over a prairie country to Eagle Point. Thence it proceeds to the falls of the Big Butte Creek, in the timber belt, which will be the northeastern terminus of the road for the present.
The line crosses and taps a territory in which there is absolutely no competition, as the only means of transportation at present is with wagons. The roads are impassable during the winter months. From the northeastern terminus stage lines run to Crater Lake and to Klamath County.
The new road will tap one of the finest pine timber belts in the state of Oregon, which is inaccessible at the present time except by wagon during the summer months. In this timber belt, which contains 230,000 acres, there are over 4,000,000,000 feet of lumber, about half of which is yellow and sugar pine.
This timber is practically undisturbed, although the owners of it are willing and anxious to market it. The only attempt to market the timber was made several years ago, when large traction engines were employed. The length of the haul and the nature of the roads made this project unfeasible, and it was abandoned.
The road will also shorten the long wagon haul from Klamath County to the Southern Pacific. When finally extended over the divide, it is believed the road will control all of the traffic which comes from this county. The construction of the road will also result in the improvement of thousands of acres of land which are now uncultivated because of the lack of adequate transportation facilities. The marketing of the timber further up the line will open up this vast timber area to the farmer and the fruitgrower.
J. H. Stewart, the pioneer fruitgrower of this valley, states that the orchards planted in the foothills, on tracts formerly covered by thick growths of timber, produce fruit of a larger size and better flavor. He has acted upon this belief by already setting out orchards in the timber country. Applications are being received for options and contracts on the timber land, to be operative as soon as the timber is removed. This land can all be placed under cultivation at small expense.
Another source of the revenue to the railroad will be the vast tourist travel which will eventually center at Crater Lake. As it becomes better known, it will rival the Yellowstone Park and the Yosemite Valley. The government has set it aside as a national park, and many tourists visit it each summer, in spite of the long, fatiguing trip which is necessary to reach It. The completion of the portion of the road now under construction will enable the tourist to reach the lake within a day's drive.
Medford, from which the road starts, is a thriving city of about 3000 inhabitants. It is the logical and actual business center of the Rogue River Valley, and is one of the most progressive towns in Southern Oregon. It is also the junction of the Rogue River Valley Railroad, which runs to Jacksonville, and the Southern Pacific.
Eagle Point and the other small towns along the route are distributing centers and headquarters for the adjacent farming and mining country. The total population contributing to the revenue of the road may be safely estimated at 8000 people, 4500 of whom live in the towns along the line.
Sunday Oregonian, Portland, April 30, 1905, page 33
BRIDGE CONTRACTS LET.
Crater Lake Road Also Buys Rails and Ties.
MEDFORD, Or., May. 8.--(Special.)--Contracts were let today by the M.&C.L.R.R. Co. for building two bridges between Medford and Eagle Point to J. Hartman. The bridge over Bear Creek is to be finished by June 20. One mile below Medford, the one over the Little Butte must be ready for service three months from date of contract. Tracklaying will commence as soon as the Bear Creek bridge is completed.
Over five miles of grade is now completed. Contracts for steel and ties have been made. The road will be completed to Butte Falls well within the time set.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, May 9, 1905, page 6
M.&C.L. EXCURSIONOn Sunday some fifty or more residents of Medford took advantage of [an] invitation extended them by the Medford & Crater Lake Co., to take a ride over the road to the end of the track. This was the first excursion run over the road and was enjoyed by everyone.
At the end of the track, near the Lofland place, the crowd left the train and walked down to the Butte Creek bridge, which is now ready for the steel.
The road is in very fair condition for a new road and when ballasted and straightened up a little, will make as good a piece of track as can be found anywhere.
On the return trip, after going about a mile, the forward tracks of the tender jumped the track, owing to the breaking of the king bolt. Fortunately tho train was traveling slowly, or the consequences might have been serious. Merchant F. W. Hollis, who was riding on the tender, was jarred up considerably, but was not injured to any great extent. The trucks were replaced on the track and the balance of the trip was made without further incident.
With a continuation of the present fine weather the rails should be laid us far as Eagle Point in a very short time.
Medford Mail, November 10, 1905, page 1
LINE WILL BE EXTENDED.The Medford & Crater Lake Railway, which now has its terminus at a point 11 miles from Medford, is to be extended 20 miles next spring. This will make the terminus in the heart of a timbered section and as preparations are being made to cut much of this timber when transportation facilities are provided, it is expected that Medford will receive material benefit from the extension.
Medford & Crater Lake Railway to Tap Fine Body of Timber.
W. I. Vawter, treasurer of the company, was in Portland yesterday a guest at the Imperial Hotel. He says plans are being made to begin work on the extension in the early spring and that the work will be rushed through to completion. While the parties back of the company ultimately expect to extend the road to Crater Lake, it will be several years before this improvement can be made. To reach the lake 40 miles of road, much of it through mountainous country, will have to be built.
The Medford & Crater Lake Railway is now under the control of Webber Bros., of Ione, Mich. The road was originally financed by Medford capital, but lately Webber Bros. have acquired the controlling interest.
Mr. Vawter reports that the Iowa Box & Lumber Company, of Medford, is doing a big business. About 200 men are now employed by the concern and from other sources it has been learned that the company contemplates extensive improvements in the near future. It has purchased about 9000 acres of timber land in the district to be tapped by the extension of the railroad.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, October 30, 1906, page 10
CRATER LAKE ROADMEDFORD, Or., Dec 20.--(Special.)--The Medford & Crater Lake Railroad line, extending from this city in a northerly direction to Butte Creek, but originally designed to afford an outlet to the timber lands on the Big Butte, is to be completed and equipped for operation by Boise, Idaho, capitalists, who have been inspecting the line in the interest of Eastern capital. At least this is the substance of a proposal made to the stockholders of the road at a meeting of the Medford Commercial Club last evening.
Boise Capitalists Are to Complete and Equip.
OPENS RICH TIMBER BELT
Medford People Have Succeeded in Laying Twelve Miles of Track,
but Ran Short of Money for Rolling Stock.
The company was organized by local capitalists some years since, for the purposes as stated, and local capital to the extent of $21,000 was invested in the enterprise. After a long struggle the line was completed for a distance of 12 miles to Eagle Point, and the first train, a borrowed one, dedicated the completed section.
For lack of funds to purchase the necessary equipment the road has never been operated. The right of way, however, has not reverted to the original owners, and the 12 miles of road completed is fairly serviceable. The road was originally capitalized for $500,000, and it is believed the projectors of the new enterprise are in a position to control all stock outstanding except the 21,000 shares held by local stockholders, and which the projectors ask as a consideration for completing and equipping the line.
The Iowa Lumber & Box Company, a Medford corporation, having large timber interests on Butte Creek, has entered into a contract for the delivery at its mills in this city of 4,000,000,000 feet of logs, this contract being contingent upon the completion of the road within one year. The company will erect a large mill in this city for the manufacture of its product, and will employ 250 men with an annual payroll of $1,500,000. There is no doubt of the successful outcome of the negotiations now pending.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, December 21, 1906, page 6
Dr. F. C. Page, of the real estate firm of Page & Lawton, departed a few days ago for a business trip to the East, his itinerary extending as far as Chicago. Mr. Page has several important matters that will claim his attention while on his trip and which it is hoped will prove a benefit to Rogue River Valley, but his principal object is to interest capital in the completion of the Medford and Crater Lake Railroad as far as Butte Falls. Messrs. Page and Lawton have been in communication with industrialists in the East for some time, and their prospects for their becoming interested in this important railroad project are encouraging. We wish the doctor success in his efforts.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, February 1, 1907, page 5
Report was current on the streets of Medford Tuesday that the Dudley Lumber Company, of Grand Rapids, Michigan, had purchased the Fee Brothers mortgage of $35,000 against the Medford and Crater Lake Railroad. This mortgage was held by the Webber Bros., of Iowa, Michigan, who purchased it some months ago from the Fee Brothers. The Dudley Lumber Company is said to be the company with which B. H. Harris of this city has been negotiating for some time. The company is reported to be a very strong one financially, and in all probability the purchase was made with the intention of identifying its members with the lumber interests of this part of Oregon.
"Additional Local," Medford Mail, February 15, 1907, page 5
STOCKHOLDERS MUST PAY UP
Receiver of Medford Is Squeezing Out Watered Stock.
MEDFORD, Or., March 7.--Stockholders in the Medford & Crater Lake Railway will be served with legal notices to pay for or relinquish possession of large blocks of stock held by them for which the books show they have paid nothing. The demand has created a sensation, as a number of wealthy citizens who have figured in the directorate of the defunct company will have to pay up or release their stock to the receiver. The demand has been made by the receiver, who is endeavoring to squeeze the water out of the "controlling interest" stock.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, March 8, 1907, page 7
The proposal of A. A. Davis for the purchase of the Medford and Crater Lake Railway is the first substantial move that has been made for the rehabilitation of the road, and as such should be entitled to the courteous consideration of the receiver.
Medford Daily Tribune, March 22, 1907, page 1
MARVELOUS RAILWAY PROJECT
The Oregon Journal's Medford correspondent has been imposing upon the credulity of the unsophisticated news editor of that sheet with a hot air tale that would gag the telegraph editor of the San Francisco Examiner. According to this modern Munchausen Medford is to have rail connection with Crater Lake during the present summer, and A. A. Davis is the fairy prince who is to effect this prodigious achievement.
The solution of the Crater Lake railway muddle has not been reached, and it is by no means certain that it will be very soon. In fact there is a difference of opinion as to the judicial right of the circuit court to order a sale as the correspondent suggests. It is even held by a good legal authority that unless the corporation, which is not in the receiver's hands, should, through its board of directors, acknowledge its further inability to handle the property of the corporation to the advantage of the stockholders; petition the court to sell the road for the benefit of the creditors; pay the mortgage judgment and legally established claims, and after officially confirming such sale, ask the court to dissolve the corporation, there might be some prospect of the early completion and operation of the road.
Under present conditions there is no assurance that the case will not go over until the fall term of court, in which event summer tourists will be obliged to make the trip to Crater Lake as usual, on the boiler deck of a Democratic "hoss."
The majority of those interested would prefer to see Mr. Davis secure the road if such a deal could be legally consummated.
Medford Daily Tribune, March 29, 1907, page 1
M.&C.L. ROAD WILL BE SOLD
At last there appears to be a chance for clearing up the long-drawn-out, troublesome and vexatious Medford & Crater Lake Railroad question, which has been the subject of so much bitter discussion and retarding litigation, and has been the hope of the citizens of Medford for some time.
The court has ordered the road to be sold by receiver Reddy, to the highest bidder, for cash, and the sale will take place on April 20th.
Although it is not definitely known who the bidders will be when the road is offered for sale, it is said that there will be several competing aspirants for possession of the road, among them being A. A. Davis, the Iowa Lumber & Box Co., [and] Dewing & Sons of Kalamazoo, Michigan.
There is no doubt that the road will bring a good price, possibly $80,000 or $90,000, considering the fact that there are several large holdings of timber in the Butte Falls section, the owners of which are seeking a way to transport it to the S.P. railroad and to a ready market. The growing demand for lumber and the rapid development of this section of the great state of Oregon makes the Medford & Crater Lake Railroad a good investment, and even if it has never been operated and is said to be "only two streaks of rust and a right-of-way," will not go begging for a purchaser when it is sold under the hammer.
The Medford & Crater Lake Railroad traverses a rich country, and it leads to one of the greatest timber belts in the state. Furthermore, if Crater Lake is to be made a summer resort, with hotel, camping grounds, boats on the lake, and other conveniences, the road will soon be completed not only to the timber belt but to the Crater Lake National Park, and someday may be extended further east through the state, connecting with some transcontinental road.
It is believed and hoped that the sale of the road means its speedy completion and operation, and we opine that the hope is not a bubble.
Medford Mail, April 12, 1907, page 1
Medford, Or., April 12.--The Medford & Crater Lake Railroad, which has been in litigation for some time, and a few weeks ago went into the hands of a receiver, will be sold, April 20, under the hammer to the highest bidder. Among those who will bid are a firm from Kalamazoo, Michigan, and the Iowa Box & Lumber Company of this city. This road, which is partially built and about 30 miles of which is projected, has been in litigation for a number of years, but at last the prospects are that under the new management which will secure control of it it will be pushed to completion. The road was originally planned to cover the territory lying between Medford and Crater Lake, a distance of about 60 miles, and the people of all the towns and surrounding country hail the prospect of very soon having the road in operation.
"Medford Has Things Coming," Oregon Daily Journal, Portland, April 12, 1907, page 6
THE CRATER LAKE ROAD.
There are many matters now coming up which are of great importance to the people of Medford. Chief among these and at this time the one which is the all-absorbing topic of discussion is the sale of the Medford & Crater Lake Railroad. The road was sold last Saturday at public auction by receiver Reddy, for $62,700, to Mr. Dewing, of Grand Rapids, Michigan. The question now being asked is:--Will Judge Hanna confirm the sale? Medford people are interested in this matter to the extent of about $22,000, which amount represents the stock which they paid for, and now own. Those holding about $14,000 of the stock have signed a petition asking Judge Hanna to confirm the receiver sale. There are other holders of stock, part of it bought and paid for by themselves, who are opposing the sale, but the most intense opposition comes from those who bought the stock a few months ago, presumably as an investment. When Medford people subscribed for this stock two years ago they did it because they wanted a railroad from this point to the timber lands in the Butte Creek country. Few, if any, of these subscribers ever expected to receive any valuable money consideration for the stock purchased--they didn't buy the stock as an investment[; they] bought it to help build the railroad, and never expected to get one dollar of the money back, but they did expect to get the railroad, and they are still wanting the railroad--and are not wanting their money back. It is these people who are now anxious to have Judge Hanna confirm the sale and by so doing permit Mr. Dewing to go ahead of complete the road and operate it. Should the sale not be confirmed it would mean another delay of several months, and as well no small amount of added expense, and while these delays are going on the road is deteriorating in values, and it could not reasonably be expected the road would bring as much money twelve months from now as it did when recently sold.
Medford Mail, April 26, 1907, page 4
The Pacific & Eastern Railway Company filed articles of incorporation with County Clerk Fields yesterday. The company will operate the Crater Lake road and will connect it with the narrow gauge line between Medford and Jacksonville. The road will be 100 miles in length, and will extend from Crater Lake in Klamath County to the Blue Ledge Copper Mine in Siskiyou County, California, and will tap one of the largest timber belts in the state.
NEW CORPORATION FORMED
Will Operate Crater Lake Road and Build Eleven-Mile Extension.
George Estes, formerly in charge of the bond department at the Oregon Trust & Savings Bank of this city, will be the manager of the road. He left last night for Medford, where his headquarters will be. The new corporation is capitalized at $1,000,000. Dr. S. W. Stryker and Alexander Sweek, both of Portland, are stockholders and directors in the new company. Mr. Sweek said last night that it was the intention of the company to continue the building of the line from a point 11 miles out of Lexington to Crater Lake. The road is already constructed from Jacksonville to the point named beyond Lexington. Ninety-pound steel rails will be used. A meeting of the directors and stockholders will be called within a day or two, when officers will be elected.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, May 21, 1907, page 13
TRAINS TO RUN ON JUNE 10
Medford and Eagle Point Road Is Nearing Completion.
MEDFORD, Or., May 29.--(Special.)--Manager Estes said today that on or about June 10 trains will be running on schedule between Medford and Eagle Point. The engine and freight cars and a combination passenger and baggage car will leave Portland on June 5 and should they arrive on June 8, the service will commence at once.
At least two trains a day will be run at first, and as soon as the business warrants and the Jacksonville extension has been completed, the service will be increased to meet the demands.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, May 30, 1907, page 6
An engine and several cars for the P.&E. are en route from Portland to Medford and are expected to arrive here by the 10th inst. The opening of traffic on the line between Medford and Eagle Point will date from their arrival.
"Social and Personal," Medford Daily Tribune, June 5, 1907, page 4
[E. E. Lytle, director of the defunct Oregon Trust & Savings Bank] told of the Medford & Crater Lake road, which was known as the Pacific & Eastern after the Oregon Trust officials bought it. In explaining that he knew of it, Mr. Lytle said:
"On several occasions Mr. [W. Cooper] Morris and Mr. [Walter H.] Moore had spoken to me about it. I finally agreed to look at it [apparently sometime in 1907], although after having looked at a map I had already told them I did not think the road a good one because of the country it traversed and its length. Morris asked me to go with him to look over the property and I agreed. I went with Fred Stanley and Morris and we went over the road carefully, from one end to the other. After examining it I said to Morris. 'I will tell you what it's worth; just what the old iron would bring F. O. B. Portland.' "
In testifying as to the condition of the road, Mr. Lytle said:
"It was just two streaks of rust. About two-thirds of it had been tied and one-half of the ties were rotten. The bridges were poorly constructed, and the line ran through an unproductive country. The whole thing could easily have been duplicated for $8000 a mile. There were no terminal facilities.
"When I returned from Medford I called up Moore on the telephone and told him the road was absolutely no good and told him under no circumstances to allow the bank to have anything to do with it."
"Lytle Freed and Tells About Bank," Morning Oregonian, Portland, March 26, 1910, page 5
Matters are being shaped up on the P.&E.R.R. as rapidly as possible in order that train service may be commenced by June 10th between here and Eagle Point. Coal bunkers are being erected at the terminal grounds, the replacing of piling washed out during the winter at the Bear Creek bridge has been completed, and the culverts and cattle guards along the line are being repaired, preparatory to the operation of a work train and the ballasting of the track.
Rolling stock is expected to arrive within a few days, when the line will at once go into operation.
Medford Mail, June 7, 1907, page 1
The engine for the Medford & Crater Lake Railroad was booked to have left the shops in Tacoma on Thursday of this week. Other rolling stock, consisting of a combination coach and baggage car, four ballast cars, two boxcars and six flats, are expected to arrive almost any day.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, June 14, 1907, page 5
P.&E. TRAIN SERVICE.
The engine and cars of the Pacific & Eastern railroad arrived in Medford Tuesday evening, and service was inaugurated Thursday morning. Trains leave Medford as follows: No. 1 passenger at 8 a.m.; arriving at Eagle Point at 8:45; No. 3 mixed leaves Medford at 4 p.m., arrives at Eagle Point at 4:45. No. 2 passenger leaves Eagle Point at 9 a.m., arrives at Medford at 9:45. No. 4 mixed leaves Eagle Point at 5:15 p.m., arrives at Medford at 6 p.m.
The inauguration of this train service will result in the Medford post office having more work to do, as the nine offices now supplied from Central Point through Eagle Point will be supplied from here, the mail being carried over the Pacific & Eastern. The P.&E. Co. have entered into an agreement with the government to commence this service July 1st, and although the Medford office has not been officially notified, necessary orders will doubtless be forthcoming. The offices affected are Eagle Point, Derby, Wellen, Peyton, Brownsboro, Big Butte, Leeds, Butte Falls and Lake Creek.
Wednesday afternoon on invitation about forty Medford citizens joined General Manager Estes and the officials of the road on an excursion to Eagle Point. In spite of what has been said about rusting rails and mouldering ties, the roadbed was found to be in good shape--in fact in excellent shape, everything considered, and no trouble was experienced in making the run in 40 minutes.
The people of Eagle Point were taken somewhat by surprise, as they did not expect the excursion until Thursday morning. Consequently there was no formal reception. But they more than made up for it when the first regular train went out Thursday. Things commenced moving early that morning in Eagle Point, urged on by the voice and example of "the only" John R. Cook, and when the train arrived a goodly portion of the population was there to receive it. Possession was taken of the engine, which soon looked as if it had left the right-of-way and had taken a shortcut through someone's garden. It was decorated from pilot to tender with Jackson County products. There were berries, beets--no deadbeats either--onions, cherries, apples, almonds, everything imaginable that grows in the earth or on top of the earth in this climate. There were some fifty of the Eagle Pointers who came over with the train and spent the day in our city.
Medford Mail, June 28, 1907, page 1
PROGRESS ON PACIFIC & EASTERN
The officials of the Pacific & Eastern railroad are not doing a whole lot of talking about their future plans nor about what they are doing now--unless you get one cornered and make him talk--but there is a general businesslike air about all of them that gives the impression that there will be something doing pretty quick.
The general offices have been established in the corner room upstairs in the Palm-Niedermeyer block, corner of 7th and D streets. The rooms have been entirely renovated, repainted and arranged for the business at hand. In these offices will be George Estes, general manager; George Donnell, chief engineer; H. R. Satchwell, auditor, who will also act as train dispatcher for the present; A. L. Kirkland, surveyor.
Carpenters are now at work equipping one room for the reception of the main battery for the telegraph line, also store rooms for stationery and office supplies, etc.
Mr. Kirkland and a corps of surveyors are now engaged in locating the Y at the terminal grounds at Medford, also the engine house, coach house and shops. The Y at Eagle Point is also being located. Everything needed for the Ys--switches, frogs, switch stands, etc.--are all on the ground, excepting rails and one and a half miles of steel rails is expected daily.
T. E. O'Connor, foreman of the bridge and building department, has plans adopted for the depot at Eagle Point, which will be 14x33 feet in size, with platforms, etc., covering a grounded space of 22x50. The building provides waiting room, freight room offices for the agent and telegraph operator, and will be fully equipped for freight, passenger, express and telegraph business. And will be the handsomest station of its size in Oregon. This depot will be built immediately.
The company has received four ballast cars of the Northern Pacific design, which will be used in ballasting the track between Medford and Eagle Point and beyond.
Full equipment for the telegraph line, including instruments, lineman's equipments, wire, 40 cells of the main battery together with office supplies, are now at Medford, and it is learned that the Pacific & Eastern intends operating its own commercial telegraph department and will push this branch to completion.
As soon as the Ys are in place and the line in shape between Medford and Eagle Point, the road will be pushed forward over the hills beyond the Onion City toward the tall timber.
There isn't any question now about this road going to the timber; it simply can't stop short of that. And in view of that, the knocker has thrown his hammer away and is hiding his diminished head until such time as people have forgotten about him.
All the necessary tools for construction and shop work are here on the ground--wheel barrows, scrapers, shovels, picks, tool steel and whatnot galore. Everything that is needed for construction of the road, except the ties and rails. The former are ready right along the right-of-way where needed, and the latter will be forthcoming at the proper time.
Medford Mail, July 5, 1907, page 1
A special train will be run Sunday on the P.&E. from Eagle Point to Medford, to allow the people of that place to attend the great game between the two champion baseball teams of the valley. The fare for the round trip will be 70 cents.
Harry Glacier, a Portland traveling man, was the first knight of the grip to get into Eagle Point by rail, taking the first regular train in.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, July 5, 1907, page 5
The railroad company is making preparations to extend the road. They are having ties hauled out, there being several teams engaged hauling from Custer's, where the Harris company is putting up a sawmill to cut ties for the railroad.
On Wednesday of last week the first car of the P.&E.R.R. came out and brought out a number of Medford folks and on Thursday entered formally on the work of the new railroad and a large delegation of our citizens turned out to meet the train and many of them brought the products of our soil, and had a long table, decorated with a grand display of flowers, fruits, vegetables, grasses, etc. John Cook made a few remarks on the arrival of the train after which Mr. Estes responded in a short talk setting forth some of the things that we may expect from the company. The train is now coming and going regularly, and I understand that the company is doing very well considering the fact that Eagle Point is but a small village, but during the past week business has been remarkably brisk.
A. C. Howlett, "Eagle Point Eaglets," Medford Mail, July 5, 1907, page 8
The R.R.V.Ry. carried about 1800 people from Medford on the Fourth without an accident and on time as per their schedule. The P.&E. also ran excursions from Eagle Point to connect with the Jacksonville train.
Manager Estes states that it is the intention of the P.&E. company to build to Butte Falls and Jacksonville at once, and that the delay will be limited to the time necessary to complete the preliminary arrangements. The Butte Falls line will be extended beyond the "Sticky" this fall and will be completed to the Falls in the spring. The Jacksonville extension will be pushed as soon as the route has been determined upon, and as soon as completed the train service will be completed the train service will be commenced and a rapid transit schedule, commutation tickets at ten cents for the trip to be sold good for the month in which issued. All the trains will make suburban stops, and several stations will be located at different points along the line. It is the intention of the company to help build up the section between the two towns, and thereby improve the prettiest section of the city.--Tribune.
"All Around the Town," Jacksonville Post, July 6, 1907, page 3
Have Opened Offices.
The Antelope Lumber Company has opened offices at the corner of North A and East Seventh streets, and the officers are now quartered therein.
This company has but recently put in a sawmill on Antelope Creek, and it is now in operation. An eighty-five horsepower boiler and engine have been installed, and all the mill machinery is first class in every respect, and the mill will have a daily capacity of 30,000 feet. The company has sufficient timber for a steady summer and winter run for several years. The lumber will be hauled by team to the Table Rock station on the P.&E. railroad, where a spur will be put in by the railroad company and the lumber there loaded onto cars for shipment. The distance from the mill to the railroad is seven and a half miles--and a downhill haul all the way. Shipping yards will be put in at Table Rock and seasoning yards at the mill. It is the intention of the company to later on put in a planer at the mill.
The company is incorporated, and the capital stock is $25,000, fully paid up. The officers and incorporators are J. M. Root, president and treasurer, A. H. Miller, secretary, and E. M. Andrews and L. F. Root.
Medford Mail, July 26, 1907, page 1
IS THIS TO BE THE END?
The Pacific & Eastern Co. has ceased to operate its trains between here and Eagle Point. Is this to be the end of all our roseate dreams of a few short months ago, when the road was "sold" by Receiver Reddy to Geo. Estes and his associates? Is there nothing more to come of that enthusiastic meeting at the opera house, where promises were made by Mr. Estes that brought visions of a band of steel stretching from the blue waters of the Pacific to the turbid flood of the Missouri? When Mayor Reddy with his coat tightly buttoned was gazed upon with awe as the possessor of that famous "$82,000 certified check," and of the banquet (at $2.50 per) where, in the feast of [omission?] reason a flow of soul, Estes was hailed as the deliverer of the people from bondage, and Reddy was the Moses who had led us out of the wilderness? That check is still in existence, perhaps, that is, the check was "deposited" in the same bank it was drawn upon and that bank failed, and there you are. Nobody ever received a cent for his stock, nor do we know that anybody ever paid a cent for the road. The road has ceased operations, and one lumber firm that expected great things from it and built upon those expectations has been forced into bankruptcy. The mail is still being carried, however, on a handcar, but no attempt is being made to rebuild the Bear Creek bridge or to resume traffic.
It is an unfortunate condition, and we ask again, Is this the end? Is there no redress?
It is our opinion, attributing no ulterior motives to anyone, that a statement of the affairs of the receivership is due at this time to the creditors of the road from Mr. Reddy. Some explanation should be made, and some assurance, if possible, given them of a settlement of the claims against the old Medford & Crater Lake road, which were to have been settled from the proceeds of this sale. Or if there can be no assurance given and the claims are a total loss, let it be frankly stated.
Medford Mail, January 3, 1908, page 1
The Pacific & Eastern Railroad Motor Car, 1908.
Will Try Motor Car.
An automobile equipped as a gasoline motor car for railway use is the latest device for trial in the interurban service in Oregon. A car of this kind has been fitted up in Portland and will soon be shipped to Southern Oregon, where it will be operated between Medford and Eagle Point on the Pacific & Eastern Railway. The car will be given a trial in Portland. It is expected that it will afford a convenient and satisfactory passenger service between the two Southern Oregon towns.
The rebuilt automobile is now stored at a Portland garage. It was originally a 45-horsepower touring car.
The tonneau has been remodeled so that the seats run lengthwise of the machine and will accommodate 15 passengers. The wheels have been adapted to travel on rails, and the rebuilt automobile is now a first-class four-cylinder gasoline motor car.
It is 12 miles from Medford to Eagle Point, and over this stretch the new car will make two round trips daily. The grade is not heavy, and it is thought the motor will be much more satisfactory for passenger traffic than the combination train now run. It will probably be given a test trip today.
Medford Mail, January 17, 1908, page 2 This story also ran on page 11 of the January 11, 1908 issue of the Morning Oregonian.
PACIFIC & EASTERN RAILROAD SOLD
TO EDGAR HAFER AND C. H. LEWIS
The Pacific & Eastern Railroad has been sold again. This time local people have become the possessor. It was on Tuesday of this week that Hunt Lewis, owner of the Lewis orchards, south of Medford, and Edgar Hafer, manager of the Iowa Lumber & Box Co., of this city, paid into the hands of W. C. Morris, George Estes and Dr. Striker, of Portland, the necessary cash to entitle them to the possession of the road above referred to. Portland papers state that the amount paid was $150,000, but that is incorrect. It was less than these figures, but the exact amount is not given out. However, this does not matter so much to the people generally in this locality. The more important questions being--will the P.&E. be again operated and will its line be extended? The Mail has it from one of the purchasers that a crew of laborers will at once be put to work, and just as soon as the road and track are repaired traffic will be resumed.
Further than this the present owners will not commit themselves as to future movements, but it has been whispered that before the close of next fall's work trains will be running to Derby, which is fourteen miles from Eagle Point, the present terminus of the road. Mr. Hafer being asked to confirm this report stated that neither Mr. Lewis nor himself would promise anything, more than to say that they proposed to operate the present line and extend it, but as to how far or how soon he would not say.
Should the road be built to Derby another season it will then be within two miles of the larger tract of timber land owned by the Iowa Lumber & Box Company. There has been current an opinion that if Mr. Hafer had a say in the extension of this road it would not be built beyond the Iowa Lumber & Box Co.'s timber. This The Mail believes to be untrue. While very little definite information could be gotten from Mr. Hafer, Butte Falls was referred to as the objective point, or immediately prospective terminus of the line.
The Iowa Lumber & Box Company has no interest whatever in the Pacific & Eastern, notwithstanding the fact that Mr. Hafer is manager for that company. As before stated this company has larger timber interests in that section, and they are materially interested in getting this timber to market.
In the purchase of the P.&E. Mr. Hafer and Mr. Lewis assume all indebtedness to the road--that is, all indebtedness which may have been incurred since the line has been owned and operated by Estes, Morris and others, which indebtedness could only come for equipment and maintenance. The liabilities of the old Medford & Crater Lake road are not assumed. These, it is claimed, including the Dewing mortgage, the A. A. Davis claim and the stockholders' claims must be paid from the $81,500 deposit which Receiver Ruddy made in the new-defunct Oregon Trust Company's bank. The purchasers do assume, however, the $100,000 in bonds which were issued by Estes and Morris, which bonds are drawing interest and will be paid at maturity.
The perplexing problem at this time for Mr. Lewis and Mr. Hafer to solve is how to get their line into the central part of Medford. The Southern Pacific Company will not permit them to run in on their line, neither will they permit the construction of a track on their right-of-way. The shops and other buildings can, of course, be erected on the P.&E. grounds, north of the city, but there is need for the running of a track to some place near the center of the city. Several routes have been suggested, but the one which may be the easiest acquired has not been determined on. Fact is, if they get into the city a right-of-way will have to be given over some one of our streets.
Indications are really and truly encouraging at this time, better than ever before, for the extension and operation of the road.
Medford Mail, January 24, 1908, page 1
The automobile railway car which was ordered a few weeks ago for service on the Pacific & Eastern railroad arrived on Thursday of this week and was put into service on that line, between Medford and Eagle Point. It has a carrying capacity of about a dozen passengers.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, January 31, 1908, page 5
The Pacific & Eastern tracks have been put in condition so that the train can make trips over it, hauling freight and supplies. The services of the motor for the carrying of the mail and passengers has not been discontinued, however.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, February 21, 1908, page 9
P.&E. RAILROAD MATTERS
Matters with the Pacific & Eastern Railroad are moving along steadily, and according to statements made by Edgar Hafer, vice-president of the road, to a reporter of The Mail, the regular passenger train will be running in the course of two weeks. The intervening time will be necessary for the repairing of the engine, which is being entirely overhauled and placed in good condition. Negotiations with the Southern Pacific railroad are under way for the obtaining of a lease so that the train will be able to run into town, instead of stopping at the junction.
At present there is a force of surveyors engaged in mapping out the road beyond Eagle Point. These surveyors will probably put in the greater portion of the summer at the work. As soon as ten miles of the road is surveyed the matter of obtaining right-of-way will be taken up. Mr. Hafer does not anticipate any trouble in this regard. As to the time of putting out construction crews Mr. Hafer is as yet unable to make a statement, as much preliminary work is to be done.
There have been no new developments during the past week in regard to the obtaining of a franchise for bringing the line into town from the junction, the committee appointed by the Commercial Club to look into the matter as yet not having made a report. If the franchise cannot be obtained the road will be operated from the junction.
Three carloads of machinery were shipped to Eagle Point during the past week by the Crater Lake Lumber Company, it being the machinery for one of the new mills to be erected on Butte Creek. This mill is one that the Iowa Lumber & Box Company have had stored for some time. A force of men has been sent up to erect the mill. Mr. Hafer purchased a new mill in Portland last week, and this one is expected to arrive within ten days and will be shipped immediately to Eagle Point, from there to be hauled to the company's property on Butte Creek. The boiler for the first mill started from Eagle Point on Monday, requiring ten horses to move it. The two mills are to be erected some distance from the railroad and the lumber hauled out. They will each have a capacity of 30,000 feet a day.
Later the company expects to erect a large mill and haul the logs to it. This mill will be reached by the P.&E. The mill formerly owned by the company at Jacksonville has been sold.
It will probably be a month before logging starts. Supplies are being shipped in at present, and as soon as arrangements can be made the work will start.
In spite of the persistent rumors that have been about town for some time, Mr. Hafer says that the Iowa Lumber & Box Company does not contemplate at present the erection of a large box factory on the thirty-acre tract at the junction of the P.&E. The present factory is to be remodeled, to what extent Mr. Hafer declined to state.
With the affairs of the new company in the hands of Mr. Hafer the people of Medford may be assured that matters will not be allowed to drag and that the new company will do what they have set about, as expeditiously as possible.
Medford Mail, February 28, 1908, page 1
Permission for the Pacific & Eastern Railroad Company to use the Southern Pacific tracks from the junction to the station in this city for the next ten days has been granted, and its train will arrive and depart therefrom on regular schedule time, leaving at 8:10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. daily.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail, August 28, 1908, page 5
RETIRES FROM MINE.
J. D. Heard Has Entered Partnership with W. A. Aitken.
J. D. Heard has disposed of his interests in the Sterling Mining Company and will again take up his residence in Medford. Mr. Heard has entered into partnership with W. A. Aitken, the plumber, and they will erect a $10,000 natatorium east of the Bear Creek bridge, and they will commence work on the structure in February--provided the city water question is settled by that time.
These gentlemen have purchased the four and a half-acre tract of land situated at the east end of the bridge, where now stands a brick residence, for the natatorium site. The purchase was made from J. W. Pratt, and the price paid was $6500.
This is an ideal spot for the purpose for which it is to be used, and the gentlemen are fortunate in securing it. That brick dwelling never did look quite right there--but we couldn't think what ought to take its place.
Medford Mail, November 5, 1908, page 1
S. Childers last week closed a deal with H. Doubleday whereby the latter becomes the owner of the neat little cottage in East Medford where Mr. Childers now lives. The price paid was $2300.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail, November 5, 1908, page 5
The Pacific & Eastern railroad has a small crew of men at work keeping their track in suitable condition for use. The company now runs its train in place of the motor car.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail, December 25, 1908, page 6
P.&E. MOTOR CAR SMASHED.
Smashing the motor of the gasoline car, slightly injuring one of the members of the crew and badly shaking up a number of passengers was the result of the wreck on the P.&E. railroad last evening shortly after 6 o'clock, when the motor car used on the road ran into the open switch near the junction and crashed into the rear end of the old engine which was standing on the siding.
The motor car was in charge of Conductor Frank Reed and Motorman George Gardiner when the accident occurred and was running at a slow rate of speed when it took the siding, the switch to which had been left open by somebody. The brakes were immediately applied, but the distance was too short and the collision was the result.
George Gardiner, the motorman, was cut by flying glass and the passengers, of whom there were five or six, were badly shaken up, but none, with the exception of one who had his hand cut, was injured.
The motor was smashed into pieces, and it is thought by officials of the road that it will be impossible to repair it. At any rate, if it can be repaired, it will amount practically to the building of a new motor.
The motor car cost $2000, and it will be a week or more before it can be replaced. In the meantime the company will use a wagon and team to haul the mail between this place and Eagle Point and to transport such passengers as may wish to ride between the two points.
Edgar Hafer, general manager of the road, stated to The Morning Mail last evening that the company would use every effort to have the motor car service running again in the shortest possible time.
Just how the switch happened to be left open had not been determined last evening, and an investigation will be made into the matter. The motor car left the depot about 6 o'clock, having been delayed in its departure at the regular hour of 2:30 by the motor refusing to work.
Medford Mail, January 22, 1909, page 2
SAILING ON P.&E.
Medford has a railroad that is unique in all the world. Sails are used to propel boats, and even iceboats, but who ever heard of a railroad using sails as motive power? Since the wreck of the motor car on the P.&E. some weeks ago, the company has been carrying the mail to Eagle Point on a handcar propelled in the usual manner. However, more recently the strong winds that have prevailed have been utilized, and the men that manage the handcar have hoisted a sail, which sends the car spinning on its way to Eagle Point, smashing all records by hand propulsion.
Medford Mail, February 5, 1909, page 1
The Pacific & Eastern has given up its mail-carrying contract, and now the mail is being carried between Medford and Eagle Point by stage. When this contract was first taken by the P.&E. the mail was carried in a combination passenger and baggage car, drawn by a real, live engine. A few months later an automobile car was put on, then a handcar and later a one-man-capacity "speeder," and now it is switched over to a stage. That is certainly finishing the mail-carrying contract to a "frazzle." The stage will leave Eagle Point at 9 o'clock a.m. and returning will leave Medford at 2 o'clock p.m.PACIFIC & EASTERN TO RESUME TRAFFIC
Medford Mail, February 26, 1909, page 6
NEGOTIATIONS DECLARED OFF
After more than 30 days of persistent effort, Colonel F. J. Mundy late Friday afternoon declared off all negotiations for the purchase of the Pacific & Eastern Railroad, and the work of selecting and securing a right of way for the coal road within the corporation boundaries of Medford will be commenced at once. Already members of the Commercial Club are agitating the scheme of asking the Commercial Club to lend its assistance to this end.HAFER READY FOR BUSINESS
These gentlemen point out that Colonel Mundy has not asked the city for any favors, but has gone ahead and made plans for developing the coal properties without aid from any source. It is also pointed out that there are other towns which would be glad to have the coal road make its connections, with the Southern Pacific where they are located, and that such a condition would be the cause of Medford losing the large volume of business that is bound to result when the mines get to producing coal.
As exclusively printed in The Morning Mail, when Colonel Mundy made the deal for the coal properties it was planned to take in the Pacific & Eastern. A road to the mines has been surveyed from Kolus on that line to the mines, and rights of way for practically all of that distance have been secured.
Now, however, these plans will have to be changed because of the failure of the negotiations for the purchase of the P.&E., and the coal road will run into Medford direct.
Responsibility for the failure of the deal rests with Edgar Hafer, who with Dr. J. F. Reddy controls the road. Dr. Reddy left for Chicago last evening, and before his departure stated that he had signed up and had made all arrangements for the transfer of his interests in the road to Colonel Mundy and his associates. Mr. Hafer, it is learned, refused to sign up.
One hundred and fifty thousand dollars is understood to be the amount that Colonel Mundy was ready to pay for the P.&E. The price that the road brought when sold at the receivership sale was $82,500. No improvements have been made on the property since that time, and it is said that it is in poorer condition than at that time.
The P.&E. has been the football of contending factions since it was built in 1905. It has passed through about every form of financial storm and has been a burden to all of its successive owners, except as it has been used as a pawn in the game of finance. Every form of motive power has been utilized at one time or another to propel a variety of cars over its rails, until some months ago it reached the stage of having only a rickety handcar equipped with a sail and propelled by the breezes that blew over the valley. The last several months even that makeshift conveyance has been discontinued, its mail contract thrown up and at the present time it is not used at all.
The road was organized in 1905, and $25,000 worth of stock sold to local people. The people back of the road at that time were A. A. Davis, W. I. Vawter, R. H. Whitehead. Dr. B. F. Adkins and J. M. Keene.
Later that season the Fee Bros. of Pennsylvania took a mortgage on the road for $35,000, which was used to pay for the rails. Fee sold the mortgage to Mr. Dewing, of Grand Rapids, Mich.
The next step was the receivership. On the petition of local shareholders the road was declared a bankrupt in 1906, and Judge Hanna appointed J. F. Reddy receiver. The road was then sold by the receiver to George D. Morris and associates of Portland for $82,500. The money for this purchase was deposited in the Oregon Savings & Trust Company, which later failed.
The German-American Bank then took over the liabilities of the other institution, including the certified check for the purchase of the road, and the bank was given two years to make good, which will be the fall of 1909.
In 1908 C. Hunt Lewis, Edgar Hafer and J. F. Reddy secured control of the road, and later Lewis retired, disposing of his interests to Hafer and Reddy, and there the matter stands.
Medford Mail (weekly) March 19, 1909, page 2
Editor Morning Mail: Under date March 13, in the Daily Medford Morning Mail, I note with much concern the news item under the following caption, which is printed in large, bold, black type. "Colonel Mundy Declares Off Negotiations for P.&E." [Both articles were printed in the same weekly edition of the Mail; the article Hafer is responding to is immediately above.]HISTORY OF P.&E. TO DATE
As the article under the above title, as well as your editorials, takes occasion to pass criticism on my conduct of the dealings with Colonel Mundy regarding the Pacific & Eastern Railway, I ask for space in your paper to set forth the exact conditions which have existed for the past four months, and are still existing between Colonel Mundy and myself in connection with matters pertaining to Mundy's endeavor to purchase and take over the property of the Pacific & Eastern Railway.
On November 15, 1908, I received, while in San Francisco, from A. E. Reames, attorney for Colonel Mundy, the following telegram:
"Edgar Hafer, care St. Francis Hotel, San Francisco, Cal.: Imperative you come here at once. Wire tonight Postal.
"(Signed) A. E. REAMES."
I left San Francisco that evening for Medford, arriving here the following evening. Upon arrival I was met at the train by Mr. Reames and Colonel Mundy, who started immediately to explain his reason for having Reames wire me, and to outline his plans toward the taking over of several propositions here, of which the Pacific & Eastern Railway was one.
Many Propositions.From that time until now I have had almost daily conferences with Mundy looking toward the solution of getting the Pacific & Eastern entanglement straightened out and putting the road in shape so that it could be financed to the timber and coal properties. Dozens of propositions have been made by Mundy to handle the Pacific & Eastern road, but not in one single instance has he ever offered to make a proposition in writing and to back the same up with money to show his good faith toward carrying out any one of them. This I requested that he do before I would consider seriously any proposition made.
Friday of this week was the first time I received a written proposition which I agreed to and signed, after altering one clause wherein I was personally held responsible to bring about certain results which, had I agreed to, would have worked an imposition on the local stock and bondholders in order to bring about Mundy's desired result. The contract was nothing more than a one-sided option for thirty days, with no money consideration to show Mundy's good faith, and nothing binding to hold him to his proposition. Colonel Mundy was out at the coal properties at the time, and I signed the contract in the presence of A. E. Reames. Mr. Reames agreed that upon Mundy's return, a duplicate of the contract as altered would be signed by Mundy and turned over to me.
Combination Didn't Work.On Mundy's return he refused to consider the contract because I would not enter into an agreement to bring about certain results advantageous to himself, although I voluntarily lowered my price to offset the alteration mentioned. I then requested that Mundy return to me the contract which I had signed. This he refused to do, but said that he would allow me to tear my name off the same, but when they came to open their safe to secure the contract the combination of the safe suddenly became confused and would not work. Thus I did not get the contract, nor the privilege of taking my name off the same.
As to the consideration for the purchase of the Pacific & Eastern, $30,000 for payment of current obligations would have been about the extent of Mundy's cash outlay. Balance of payments was to be made in stocks and bonds and in exchange for or assumption of present outstanding stock and bonds.
I have personally devoted nearly all of my time for the last year and a half, and have expended several thousand dollars, directly and indirectly, in trying to put the Pacific & Eastern Railway in shape to be operated and extended to the timber. Our company, the Crater Lake Lumber Company, have lost their entire business and our plant is closed down today, all on account of the making of vague opportunities and then the withdrawing of them.
Still Ready.If Mundy has the cash to do business, he and I can get together for much less than $150,000, but as for stocks and bonds, I have quite sufficient now.
Regarding your editorial suggestion as to rights of way into Medford, I have only to say that had the people of Medford furnished the Pacific & Eastern with a right of way into town it would now be a revenue-producing road, and easy to finance, and should such a right of way be furnished even now, I will start within twenty-four hours to build into town and resume passenger and freight operations.
Very truly yours,
(Signed) EDGAR S. HAFER.
Medford Mail (weekly) March 19, 1909, page 2
In 1903 B. H. Harris of this city became interested in a large tract of very valuable timber land near Butte Falls in this county, and since that time he has built large mills in the vicinity of Butte Falls for the purpose of manufacturing the timber into lumber, he being one of the members of the Butte Falls Sugar Pine Lumber Company.
It is a well-known fact that Medford is the natural distributing point for all of the country lying within a radius of many miles about, and especially is this true as to the country about Butte Falls, where the finest forests of yellow and sugar pine to be found anywhere in the United States stand.
After securing his timber holdings Mr. Harris conceived the idea of building a railroad from Medford to the timber line for the purpose of hauling out his lumber, and with that idea in view he organized the Southern Oregon Development Company, consisting of himself, a Mr. Parkhurst and other eastern parties, and secured a right of way for the present railroad from Medford to Butte Falls. About the time the right of way and franchise was secured Mr. Parkhurst died, and this put an end to the construction for a time. Mr. Harris, however, succeeded in interesting several local capitalists in the project, who agreed to pay to Harris and his friends the amount of money they had invested in securing the right of way and franchise, and to build the road to Butte Falls at once.
Relying upon the promises of these local men, Mr. Harris and his associates turned over to them the right of way and franchise, and the Medford & Crater Lake Railroad Company was formed with a capital stock of $500,000, and some 360,000 shares of stock were sold, out of which amount the company owned about 260,000, thus retaining control. They elected themselves to the offices and gave Harris and his associates stock in the new company for their interest in the former company.
The new company then went to Portland and tried to float bonds, but were unsuccessful, and it seemed that the undertaking would be a complete failure. Mr. Harris, however, and others went to work and circulated a subscription among the Medford citizens asking for assistance, and some $25,000 was subscribed in this manner, out of which amount about $21,000 in cash was actually paid in by the progressive citizens of Medford, who realized what the proposed road would mean to this city when completed. At the time this money was paid in the local capitalists, who were at the head of the matter, gave a bond to the citizen stockholders, guaranteeing them to complete the road to Eagle Point within a specified time, and to run a train over it. This they did, after a fashion.
Before they had completed the road the $21,000 had faded away and a mortgage for some $35,000 was given to Fee Bros. of Pennsylvania, who had become interested in the road on account of the efforts of Mr. Harris. The local men then gave Fee Bros. a guarantee that they would put the road in first-class bonding condition before the close of a year without further cost or expense to them, but this promise they also failed to keep. They did, however, put the road in its present condition after the additional $35,000 had been spent and presented a bill for some $26,000 more, which the Fee Bros. refused to pay.
Mr. Harris again came to the rescue and soon the mortgage of the Fee Bros. to Weber Bros. of Michigan, who intended to take hold of the road and complete it, but they were unable to agree with the local men, and Harris then interested Mr. Dewing of Michigan in the undertaking, as he also owns large tracts of timber in the vicinity of Butte Falls.
While Harris was negotiating with Dewing, some of the local men threw the company into a receivership, and although Dewing took over the mortgage and offered to pay every cent of indebtedness against the company, he was not permitted to do so, and the matter is still in the courts.
The court ordered a sale of the property under the receivership, and Dewing bid it in at a figure considerably higher than all other bidders, but for some reason the sale was not confirmed. Another sale was ordered later and the property resold to another party, who exhibited a certificate of deposit in a bank which afterward failed, and in which the money which was supposed to be paid to the company was deposited.
In the meantime the new purchasers had organized a new company under the name of The Pacific & Eastern Railway Company, which is composed of local men, who immediately took steps to finance the affair, but so far have succeeded in doing practically nothing, and at present the road is at a standstill, although there are several big eastern capitalists ready and anxious to take hold of it and make it a great success, as it can well be made.
Not a cent of the money invested has ever been returned to the stockholders. No reports were made, and no money changed hands in the different transfers, as the bank issuing the certificate of deposit was made the depository of the funds of the new company, and failed a short time later.
It is now almost certain that there is a movement on foot whereby an electric line is going to be built from the vicinity of Gold Ray to Butte Falls by the very men who have done all they could to get hold of this road from Medford and who very much prefer to bring in their lumber to Medford to manufacture it, but have been prevented from so doing by the manipulation of this railroad company.
Can any reader estimate the damage that such a step would mean to Medford? It is high time that the people of this city should wake up to the situation now confronting it. We will not rest until something is done to avert such a calamity as is now threatening.
Medford Mail, March 26, 1909, page 6
The contract for repainting the rolling stock of the Pacific & Eastern will be let today. As soon as the work is completed regular passenger service will be resumed to Eagle Point, announces president Edgar Hafer. The present plans are to operate one train a day each way. Since the motor was demolished service has been irregular.WORK TO BEGIN IMMEDIATELY
Medford Daily Tribune, March 30, 1909, page 1
TRAFFIC AGAIN ON THE P.&E.
After months of practically continuous idleness, traffic will, if the [omission] be today resumed on the Pacific & Eastern railroad to Eagle Point.
During the period of inactivity which the road has experienced of late the rolling stock has been overhauled and the passenger cars given several coats of paint and otherwise put in order for continuous service. Other improvements have been made where needed and every effort made to place the Pacific & Eastern railroad on a good and substantial footing.
Not only is the interurban service from Medford to Eagle Point now a matter of certainty, but the placing in operation of the large gasoline car on the Rogue River Valley Railroad will take place in less than a month. [The car was ordered in late May.] If no unexpected circumstances arise to prevent, the motorcar will be here in about three weeks and will immediately be placed on the route between here and Jacksonville. Trips at frequent intervals will be made and the county seat and the metropolis of the Rogue River Valley thus drawn much closer together in the point of time.
As was exclusively stated in The Morning Mail some weeks ago, the Southern Pacific Railroad company is now considering the advisability of putting on gasoline cars between Medford and Ashland, and also between this city and Grants Pass. The matter is now receiving serious consideration at the hands of the officials, and it is reported that before the summer months are far advanced such a service will be in operation. Other towns in Oregon are now being closely connected by means of gasoline motor cars, and it will be a matter of only a short time when Medford is included in the list.
Everything indicates that before fall this section of the Rogue River Valley can boast of the most complete interurban service on the Pacific coast. From the north, south, east and west tracks carrying trains at frequent intervals will lead the way into Medford. Hundreds of passengers will be carried daily, and the amount of trading carried on in Medford will increase many fold. Just what part these interurban lines will play inside of a very few years is not difficult to imagine. Already a new opera house superior to any outside of Portland is projected for Medford. To the plays which will be produced at the new theater will come men, women and children from Central Point, Jacksonville, Talent, Ashland, Eagle Point and other suburban towns in the valley. Swift interurban cars will bring them to Medford and convey them home again in a few minutes after the curtain has been rung down on the last act. Business as well as pleasure will swell the traffic on the interurban roads and aid in making Medford the busiest commercial center in Oregon, outside of Portland.
Medford Mail, April 30, 1909, page 6 The dream of an interurban rail system was never realized.
P&E Engine No. 1 arriving on the Southern Pacific line.
FROM CASCADES TO THE COAST
For many weeks previous to the sale of the Pacific & Eastern the public was worked up to a high pitch of expectancy as to what would eventually become of that road. Various rumors had been afloat at times as to the sale of the road to eastern parties, but not one of them materialized, and the public was kept in continual suspense until the final deal was closed last Saturday for the sale of the road to John R. Allen and associates of New York. Since then there has been a relaxation of railroad talk, everyone rejoicing over the fact that the P.&E. had been sold to parties who would resume traffic on the road at once.
Yesterday Engine No. 1 of the P.&E. was steamed up, the combination car with the trademark on its side--a triangle enclosing the words "The Crater Lake Route"--was attached and regular trips on schedule time were made to Eagle Point.
Excerpt, Medford Mail, May 21, 1909, page 6
P.&E. RAILROAD CHANGES HANDS
Property Purchased by John R. Allen, Owner of Blue Ledge Mine.
The sale of the Pacific & Eastern Railroad makes an epoch in the history of Medford and the Rogue River Valley which the most optimistic believer in the future of this section can scarcely realize. Certain events indicate that this railroad is to be a factor in the development of the coal mines, the copper mines, the lumber industry, the lime and cement industry, as also to make Medford one of the most important railroad centers of Oregon.
The purchasers of the Pacific & Eastern Railroad are John R. Allen and associates of New York City, who have been negotiating for some time with Edgar Hafer and associates, the owners of the road. The deal was practically closed Saturday, but in deference to Mr. Hafer's wishes The Morning Mail made no mention of it in Sunday morning's issue for the reason that the papers had not all been signed up. The purchase price has not been made public, nor the plans for the future operation of the road. Mr. Allen has visited Medford several times in the past two years and is familiar with all of the industrial conditions of Rogue River Valley. It was Mr. Allen who made the purchase of the famous Blue Ledge copper mines for Robert S. Towne, the multimillionaire copper operator of New York City, and there is little doubt that Mr. Towne is back of this railroad deal.
There are now 12 miles of track laid from Medford to Eagle Point, and it is currently reported that Mr. Allen has made arrangement with the Southern Pacific Company to supply the necessary rails to extend the road on east to tap the Big Butte timber belt and also run a branch from Medford to the coal mine. As it is quite certain that the purchase of this road is in the interest of Mr. Towne, it no doubt indicates that it will be his plan to extend the road west from Medford to the Applegate Valley and his copper properties in the Blue Ledge district. And this will mean that within the near future work will be begun on the 1000-ton smelter, plans for which Mr. Towne has had prepared for some time. This smelter will be located at Seattle Bar, where Mr. Towne some years ago purchased a large tract of land which gave him an advantageous smelter site and large water power from Applegate River.
There is every probability that the Pacific & Eastern will be extended up Rogue River to Crater Lake and thence on eastward into Eastern Oregon, and that it also will be extended westward to the coast with the terminus probably at Crescent City, where connection can be made with ocean traffic.
The line to the coast would bring transportation to at least a dozen copper districts that are as rich and as extensive as the Blue Ledge, and also make available for development some of the most extensive iron, marble, cement and lime rock in the United States.
Medford Mail, May 14, 1909, page 1
Construction on P.&E. Extension Ordered To Commence at Once.
Well, now, here is something to feel good over. Yesterday afternoon Dr. J. F. Reddy received a telegram from Mr. Allen, the recent purchaser of the Pacific & Eastern Railroad, directing him to secure the services of J. G. Rogers of Medford and instruct him to at once commence construction work on the proposed extension of the line.
Mr. Rogers, who is an old-time railroad builder, will at once commence upon his labors, and Monday morning will see him making up his crew of men and teams. He will undoubtedly put to work as many as 30 teams with scrapers and a much greater number of men with shovels. The grading work will commence at the end of the line at Eagle Point and will follow the survey made last summer by Messrs. Hafer and Reddy, this leading through what is known as the Hart place, and running considerably nearer Eagle Point than the old survey did.
There are now two miles of rails in the P.&E yards in Medford, and these will be at once taken to Eagle Point and used on this first two miles of grade. By the time this much of the track is laid, rails for a further extension will be here to extend the line farther in the direction of Butte Falls.
The present roadbed will be put in first-class shape for traffic, and if present indications are to be taken as a criterion, lumber will be coming into Medford over this line before fall.
Mr. Reddy has already contracted for the delivery of a considerable number of ties for this extension, but the company will need many more, and Mr. Reddy would like to have bids submitted for furnishing these.
Medford Mail, May 28, 1909, page 1
EXTENSION OF THE P.&E.
Engineer W. T. Beveridge, who is in charge of the construction of the extension of the P.&E. line, was in the city yesterday. He reports that the work is progressing in good shape and that two miles has been relocated. Work on this is now being done with men operating ten scrapers and a plow. President. Allen is expected here before these two miles are completed.
Medford Mail, June 4, 1909, page 2
A road scraper, or rather a grading machine, was unloaded at the depot here yesterday, consigned to Dr. Reddy, presumably to be used in construction work on the P.&E. extension.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail, June 18, 1909, page 2
The work of extending the spur on the P.&E. at the Davis siding, about five miles from Medford, will commence today. The extension will be about 600 feet in length and will reach to Mr. Davis' warehouse.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail, July 2, 1909, page 5
ONE MILE LAID.
The Superintendent of P.&E. Reports that Much Steel Laid.
Frank Kowalski (Big Frank), superintendent of the track-laying gang on the Pacific & Eastern, reported last night that he had one mile of steel laid and was now awaiting for ties with which to continue the work. The grading gang have one and a half miles more grading, ready for ties.
The company expects to get down 17 miles of new track this fall, but if Mr. Kowalski loses any more cars of ties in transit it is doubtful if they make it. He tells that Mr. Barnum of the Medford-Jacksonville short line now has a tracer out hunting for a lost car of ties--supposed to have been lost between Jacksonville, the shipping point, and Medford.
Medford Mail, July 23, 1909, page 2
Reports from [the] Pacific & Eastern extension is--two and one-half miles graded, rails laid one and a half miles--and waiting for ties.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail, August 6, 1909, page 5
ROAD TURNED OVER TO ALLEN
Money Is Passed for the Sale of the Pacific & Eastern Railroad.
The Pacific & Eastern Railroad will be built to the timber belt, and Medford's future is certain--that is the news that greets us today. Tuesday morning, John R. Allen of New York City paid over to receiver J. F. Reddy the sum of $77,425 for the bonds, which are valued at $100,000, and which were placed in receiver Reddy's hands by receiver T. C. Devlin of the now-defunct institution, the Oregon Trust & Savings Bank of Portland, which represented the $81,500 of certificates of deposit on that banking house.
By this transfer, Mr. Allen becomes sole owner and controller of the railroad, and he purposes to complete its construction immediately. Already Mr. Hammond, whom Mr. Allen brought out west with him, has assumed charge, and yesterday he went out over the line with E. B. Sawyer and son, local engineers. Mr. Hammond is a well-known and famous engineer, and the fact that he has accepted the position of chief engineer more than proves that the road at last is to be completed. Only those who have waited and watched for this news know what this means for Medford.
The millions of feet of timber in the Butte Falls country, which has been unmarketable for so many years, can now be turned into ready cash. Sawmills, box factories, logging camps, all these will be built, little towns will spring up and Medford, the hub of the valley, will receive a goodly amount of this benefit.
Knockers have scoffed at Medford, saying, "Where is your payroll?" Well, let them knock again, for Medford will soon have the biggest payroll in Southern Oregon.
It is not possible that this extension is all that is meant by the completion of the road to Crater Lake, for from the terminus of the Northern Pacific's Deschutes River railroad to the Crater Lake terminus of the Pacific & Eastern is only a couple of hundred miles, and this section of the country all on a watershed that will allow a joining of the two with practically no grade and easy construction work. This would mean another route out of the valley to northern states. It would mean a cheapening of rates and probably a railroad to the coast, either to some point in Oregon or Crescent City, in California, which route has already been surveyed by others and reported favorably on.
To those who are not familiar with the history of our baby railroad, the following will be of great interest:
The Medford & Crater Lake Railroad was started four years ago by Medford parties, and it was intended to construct it to the timber belt, Mr. A. A. Davis being president of the company. Stock was subscribed to the amount of $26,000 by citizens; Mr. Davis advanced about $20,000 personally to have the grading completed to Eagle Point; a mortgage was then given Fee Brothers for $35,000 to secure ties and rails. This mortgage was sold to Webber Brothers, who in turn sold it to the Dewing Brothers of Kalamazoo, Mich. After successive failures the road finally came into the hands of a receiver, and at public auction it was sold to George Estes and associates for $31,500. Upon the approval of the court a certificate of deposit was placed in the Oregon Trust & Savings Bank of Portland. The name of the railroad was then changed to the Pacific & Eastern, and the bank held new bonds for security. Then this bank failed and the railroad was again checked. Estes and associates sold out to Edgar Hafer and C. H. Lewis.
Then Mr. Allen purchased the stock with the agreement with the German-American Bank, which held the old bonds, that they would surrender them for new bonds. This agreement they afterwards repudiated, and also the certificates of deposit held by Mr. Reddy. Reddy brought suit to establish the validity of these and to force an accounting. Since then they agreed to surrender the bonds for the certificates of deposit.
Yesterday J. F. Allen bought these for $77,425. Messrs. Allen and Reddy in this sale were represented by A. E. Reames, and receiver Devlin by attorneys Franklin Griffith and S. B. Lithicum of Portland.
Mr. Allen had made two propositions, either that he would purchase the certificate of deposit for its face value of $81,500, paying down $10,000 immediately and the rest in quarterly payments within a year, or else he would purchase them outright for their face value, less 5 percent. This later proposition was accepted, and now Mr. Allen is ready to go ahead and complete the road.
To Dr. J. F. Reddy and Edgar Hafer much credit is due for their untiring efforts to finance and promote the road during the past three years, and in a large measure the adjustment of this unique and peculiar entanglement.
No person can longer doubt Mr. Allen's good faith in this railroad matter. The fact that he has now turned over in actual cash the above-named amount of money ought to be sufficient to establish this, if it ever was in question. Then, again, the fact that he has expended several thousand dollars in the extension of the line and at this time has 30 or 40 men and half as many teams at work establishes pretty good surface indications of good intent.
----For several years there has been all kinds of kaleidoscopic movements applied to the construction and maintenance of the Pacific & Eastern Railroad. The several different managements of this road have, in street parlance, been "bumped," and at times it has been quite as evident that the original investors were being bumped, but be that as it may, it is a good part ancient history at this time--this is the now of the situation. And this situation looks better to the Morning Mail than it has for a long time.
When Mr. John R. Allen of New York City purchased the road a few months ago, and he at once began turning wheels on the line, everybody in this locality felt that relief had come to them and that Mr. Allen would extend the line to the timber belt, where its construction and operation would be of some help to them in that the road would open a thoroughfare for the marketing of all the timber in the Butte Creek country.
Mr. Allen Modest.Mr. Allen, while not making any grandstand plays with trumpets and cymbals, has been doing business every day since he came into possession of the road.
He has run trains over the road every day; he has graded five and a half miles of new roadbed; he has laid two miles of steel rails; he now has bridge timber on the ground for two bridges--one of these 50 feet high and 65 feet in length, and one 65 feet high and 160 feet long. And this is not all-- the work of further extending the line is progressing as rapidly as men and teams can be handled.
Not Given Encouragement.Mr. Allen has done all this, and whether he completes the line to the timber belt this fall or not, it cannot but be said that he has not made the effort and has succeeded in getting the road at least five miles nearer that point.
Mr. Allen has not been given all the encouragement which his efforts warrant. In fact, he has met with quite the reverse of encouragement, and this from persons whose interests his undertaking will best serve when completed. This is all wrong. No person who really and truly has the interest of this great country at heart can afford to do aught else than lend all the assistance possible to this enterprise.
Medford Mail, August 27, 1909, page 1
Mr. and Mrs. John R. Allen, of New York City, and daughter, arrived yesterday and were taken about the valley in an automobile by Dr. J. R. Reddy. Mr. Allen is owner of the Pacific & Eastern Railroad.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail, August 27, 1909, page 2\
AT THE BEGINNINGMedford Mail, September 3, 1909, page 1
Medford's Starter for Recent Railroad and Water Developments
Recent developments in matters appertaining to the recent sale of the Pacific & Eastern Railroad to Mr. John R. Allen of New York City, and that gentleman declaring that he intends to push construction work on the line and complete it to the Butte Creek timber belt, brings back a memory of the long ago--revives, as it were, a little play made over sixteen years ago in a desperate effort to secure at that time what Mr. Allen has promised us now.
The story of the long ago can best be told by reproducing the following from the Medford Mail of date April 28, 1893, which paper, by the way, was printed by the present publisher of the Morning Mail, and associated with him was W. T. York, now the senior member of a real estate firm of this city.
Here is the item as it appeared at that time:
----"Every resident of Medford ought to feel proud of his neighbor, and his neighbor ought to feel proud of himself, and he doubtless does, and every good housewife or mother ought to feel proud of her husband and son; and all because why--because he walked up to the polls Monday and cast a vote in favor of turning the wheel of time from the deep-worn rut of inactivity peculiar to other localities in the valley, and cast a good, honest vote 'For Bonds.' Medford people have started the wheel to rolling, and by voting the bonds have said to Mr. Leadbetter, almost with one voice: We want you to build an irrigation ditch and a railroad, and we want you to supply our city with water, as it should be supplied, and we want you to light our city with electricity. In return for all these, we cheerfully subsidize you to the extent of $40,000. Besides this amount--which we know to be but only small compared to the amount you will by necessity be required to expend--we give to you this expression of our confidence in your ability and intention to carry out the projects as mapped out. We have proven to you by our vote that we are a live people and know wherein lies our best interests. We have proven to you that we are a people who are willing to help those who help us, and, further, that we are loaded and watching for chances to get in and 'roll logs' for ourselves when you, with your promised projects, open up a means for us to show our hustling propensities.
266 for Roads and Only 6 Against--
This Was the Complexion of the Tally Sheet Monday Night.
'Twas a Victory We Are All Proud Of
And Everybody Rejoices Over the Powers that Wrought It.
"The vote was a surprise to everybody--even the judges and clerks of election took off their hats and bowed in reverence to the ballot boxes. We all expected, as a matter of course, that the bonds would carry, but no one figured there would be less than one opposing vote out of ten. That was the lowest estimate, but think of only one out of forty-five.
"The total vote polled was 272. The north side cast 148 for and three against. The south side 118 and three against. Of the six that were cast against bonds, one was a mistake, as the voter stated after his vote had been cast. This would make the votes one to 55. As a grand summing up, the result was wholly satisfactory and in fine with the one thing most desired."
The irrigation ditch referred to in the above was to have had its head at identically the same point where the city is now getting the water--Fish Lake.
By reading the above and knowing the accomplishment of the end sought, even the more recent arrivals in the city will have to admit that Medford citizens were not devoid of all wisdom even so far back as over a decade and a half. Then again, the item clearly proves that Medford citizens were boosters then as now. They were not so strong numerally, but in spirit they were, and have been--boosters always.
The road was not built at that time because of the panic of 1893, making it impossible to float the bonds.
A crew of engineers leave this morning for the purpose of locating the extension of the Pacific & Eastern road to the big timber. The crew will consist of engineers Geary, as chief, Mr. Harmon, E. B. and J. S. Sawyer. Just where they will go to or stop they are not giving out, but that they are expecting to be busy for several months the Morning Mail knows, or rather has good reasons to believe such will be the facts.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail, September 3, 1909, page 5
CONTRACTS TO BE LETJohn R. Allen, who recently purchased the Pacific & Eastern Railroad, a line surveyed from Medford to Grants Pass, arrived in Portland yesterday for the purpose of letting contracts for the completion of the 32 miles of railroad between Medford and Butte Falls.
PACIFIC & EASTERN READY TO BUILD 32 MILES.
John R. Allen Here to Arrange for Laying Tracks From Medford to Butte Falls.
"I expect to have the contract for the remaining 17 miles let within a few days," said Mr. Allen at the Portland Hotel last night. "I bought that railroad and have sold bonds in New York for the building of this 32 miles of road. It connects with the Southern Pacific at Medford and runs up into some fine timber land and is just what I want. Eventually the little road will be built up to the Crater Lake and would then be a fine tourist route.
"Is this a Hill road? I should say not. Why, I am connecting with the Southern Pacific and am in no way connected with the Hill lines. Tomorrow I have an audience with Manager O'Brien, of the Southern Pacific, at which I hope to make arrangements for obtaining rolling stock and renting locomotives for our road. I'd hardly do that if this was a Hill road.
"As for any connection with the Central Oregon & Pacific Road, surveyed eastward from Brownsville, I can only say that I know nothing of the road. It is true that Franklin Griffith is my attorney, and I see that he is an incorporator of this Central Oregon & Pacific, but he has never spoken to me of that road.
"No; ours is just a little road to open up some fine new country, and I am trying to go ahead and get the contracts completed. If we are only let alone, and this 'Hill talk' done away with, we would like it better, as we are trying to work in perfect harmony with the Southern Pacific, with whom we connect, and don't like the idea circulated that we have any connection with its rivals."
Morning Oregonian, Portland, September 9, 1909, page 6
IMPROVEMENTS FOR THE P.&E.
John R. Allen, with chief engineer Geary and a few more of the Pacific & Eastern Railroad officials, made a tour of inspection of the road yesterday and report that everything was found in excellent shape.
The road has been extended about five miles from Eagle Point, and the work is being rushed as fast as possible. Engineer Sawyer and party are completing the survey to Butte Falls and may continue on to some point in Klamath County.
Resurvey to Medford.Engineer Harmon starts today to resurvey the road from Eagle Point to Medford, and the line will be changed as conditions demand it, and the road will be regraded immediately.
Several new cuts and fills will be made so as to take out as many of the curves near Eagle Point as possible. All reverse grades will be taken out, and when the work is finished the Southern Pacific's track cannot and will not be more straight or easy riding.
New Equipment.It is rumored that new coaches have been ordered and are on the way. New equipment for the engineers has been ordered and will soon be here. New blacksmith and track-laying outfits have arrived already and will soon be in use.
All disputes over rights of way have been amicably settled, and the road is now free to move on as fast as roadbed can be made.
It is rumored that Bear Creek is to be crossed at a different point, so that the line may be straightened.
One thing is certain. Mr. Allen intends to build the road and do a job, too, regardless of cost, and that is the spirit that succeeds. This valley needs more men like him.
Eagle Point is stirred up and are enthusiastic and are confident of the road being built and the great future of the town.
Medford Mail, September 10, 1909, page 3
WORK TO BEGIN IMMEDIATELY
Contract Let to Porter Bros. for Extension of Pacific and Eastern R.R.
Porter Bros. will build the Pacific & Eastern railroad,
the contract having been awarded to them on Wednesday.
So said chief engineer Gerrige last night.
"I went up to Portland early in the week and met representatives of Twohy Bros. and several other contractors, besides those of Porter Bros. at the Portland hotel. After a general conference the bids of the different companies were submitted. The bid of Porter Bros. was accepted, and they will immediately begin work.
Contract for 18 Miles."The contract calls for 18 miles of road to be built at present, or, in other words, to Butte Falls. The road then may extend much farther. The contract calls for the work to begin immediately and to be finished as quickly as possible.
"I have also sent in a large order for rolling stock, and within a short time the Pacific & Eastern will be equipped not only for its present service, but for the heavy traffic which will come over it in the next few years.
"The Pacific & Eastern has 14 miles already constructed, and the 18 miles to be built will give us a haulage of 32 miles.
Rich Section."The section which this new line opens up is one of the richest and finest I have ever seen" (and his opinion has great weight, for Mr. Gerrig has seen service as locating engineer for the Illinois Central, the St. Louis & Southwestern, the St. Louis, Indian Territory & Northwestern, the Union Pacific and the New York Central).
"I think this is one of the finest timber belts I have ever seen. There are 8,000,000,000 feet of timber there in the vicinity of Butte Falls of the best grade. It will take at least 35 years for this to be cut.
Fine Agricultural Section."Not only is this land good for timber, but after it is cleared it will make one of the finest agricultural sections in Southern Oregon. So that instead of just taking a product that is only a time proposition, we are preparing the way for a steady source of income.
"Two parties are waiting for us to build to Butte Falls, and then they will start building their new mills. Edgar Hafer is one, and he intends to put in another large mill. B. H. Harris is the other, and his company intends to erect two additional mills. As soon as they hear of the deal they will start work and build their mills so that they will be running by the time we get into Butte Falls."
Means Business.This announcement, coming as it does after the sale of the Pacific & Eastern to Mr. Allen, shows conclusively that he means business and proves his statement, "The Pacific & Eastern will be built to Butte Falls as fast as money and brains can put it there."
This announcement, too, calls to mind the application of local parties for the 7000 acres of timber land above Butte Falls that are in the reserve, and it means this: Big companies were sure that this road was a go and were going to take advantage of this fact and secure the timber which was inaccessible heretofore, but will be now in a position where it has greater commercial value.
Stimulate Other Industries.The news of this announcement will not only affect all of the lumber industries, but mining, agriculture and real estate. Property values are sure to rise, and Medford is assured of success and prosperity, besides being a large city by 1913.
Hurry Reconstruction.Construction engineer Harmon said: "The work of reconstruction, in straightening the line and regrading, is being hurried as quickly as possible, and we are all working under orders." Engineer Sawyer is almost through with his resurvey to Butte Falls, and his report is expected at any time. How much farther he will go is not known, but Allen has said that the road will go to Crater Lake; there is no reason to suppose that the survey will end at Butte Falls, but will keep on to its ultimate end.
Another item of interest that carries great weight is that yesterday the pay car for the Pacific & Eastern went out over the line and paid off all of the workmen.
Bonds Placed.Word comes from Portland, too, that John R. Allen has placed his bonds for the Pacific & Eastern Railroad with a New York firm, and that he states Crater Lake as the ultimate goal. And thus it is clearly shown that the railroad has some standing, even at this time, with eastern capital. This news is not the only good news that reaches us, for Jack Porter, one of the heads of Porter Bros.' contracting firm, will arrive today to take charge of the situation and get dirt to flying immediately.
Will Resume Operations.Edgar Hafer, when shown the report, said, "You may quote me as saying it is the intention of the Crater Lake Lumber Company to resume operations as soon as the Pacific & Eastern reaches Butte Falls." He was immensely pleased and said it was the best news he had heard for a long time.
Several prominent real estate men said: "We are almost positive that real estate property will jump 10 percent in valuation as soon as this is known. Land that now is worth $300 per acre will be worth $350 in 30 days, for at present transportation has bothered the orchard [omission] problem."
Start Mining Operations.A local mining man said: "I know of two propositions that will be paying good money in a few years that had no valuation before and were not even located. Two gentlemen left not an hour ago to locate the claims."
B. H. Harris, previous to the time he left, said: "I am willing to state that within 60 days after the Pacific & Eastern reaches Butte Falls three new mills will be in different stages of erection."
On every hand a feeling and expression of optimism is heard, and people who have said Medford is only built on boost will be surprised at her remarkable growth in the next few years.
City of 25,000 in Ten Years.James K. Ledring of Chicago, who for many years was a real estate man in that city, said: "This town needs a railroad to the timber, and as soon as it gets one it will grow in population at the rate of 2000 people per year. This place is destined to be a city of 25,000 people, and it will not take more than 20 years for it to become that large."
"Well, Mr. Ledring," a bystander said, "this place is sure of the railroad, for Porter Bros. have the contract."
"It has?" he said. "Well, it's Medford for me, for this place will be 25,000 in the next ten years, and I want to make some money. I will sell out my holdings in Chicago and come back immediately."
And so it goes. A spirit of better times and better prosperity is evident on every hand.
Medford Mail, September 17, 1909, page 1
MATERIAL COMING IN
Construction Outfit for Work on P.&E. Extension.
"Work on the Pacific & Eastern will be on in full swing by the end of next week," said H. N. Randall, brother-in-law of Porter Bros., and who will have charge of all the construction work on this road.
"At present I have all the blacksmith tools here and have quite a little iron. Before I left Portland I ordered all the camp outfit to be rushed down here immediately, besides all the other material needed. By the first of next week everything ought to be on the ground, ready to be taken up to Eagle Point.
Roadbed Wider."In our contract we are ordered to make the roadbed wider than it has been made heretofore. The first roadbed from Eagle Point to Medford was 12 feet wide in fills and 14 feet in cuts. On the new work just completed it was made 14 and 16 feet, but we are ordered to make the whole roadbed 18 feet in fills and 20 feet in cuts.
"This makes the roadbed ready for the heaviest steel and makes the road rank as a trunk road. The steel used will be very heavy, not less than 85 pounds and probably 96.
"We will have between 300 and 400 men at work as soon as construction is under full swing, and we expect to complete all the heavy work in 90 days."
20,000 Ties Ordered.Twenty thousand ties were ordered from B. H. Harris, with orders to rush them as fast as possible. Mr. Harris, when asked, confirmed this report and said that it would make the rails hum and that he would be "busier than a bee in a clover patch, with winter coming on."
Mr. Randall and Mr. Cunningham went over the road yesterday to look over the construction work that is to be done and to get estimates of the amount of heavy and light work. Mr. Cunningham represents Rector & Wiley, a team-contracting firm of Vancouver, Wash.
It is reported that a steam shovel has been ordered here immediately, and that it is on the road at present. Not only that, but that several of the finest powder men of Porter Bros. are coming here to do the rock work.
Steel Bridges.The bridges at Bear and Little Butte creeks will be replaced with steel bridges next spring, and the new engine and the rest of the rolling stock will be here within a few weeks.
Mr. Randall stated positively that not only would the work be rushed as quickly as possible, but that through trains would be running by spring.
The road will be reballasted and when completed the Pacific & Eastern will have as fine a roadbed as any good road and will be ready for all and any kind of traffic.
But when he was asked concerning the Deschutes road connecting with the Pacific & Eastern, he smiled and replied, "Time alone can tell."
Medford Mail, September 17, 1909, page 1
DIRT BEGINS TO FLY
Actual Work Starts on Pacific & Eastern Construction
"The first blast on the Porter Bros.' contract for the Pacific & Eastern extension will be fired Wednesday," said H. N. Randall yesterday. "I have about 30 men at work and am putting on more men every day, as fast as I can get them. I am also taking men from the local employment office. At present not all the men I want can be secured, and a few days more may pass before I can get a full equipment for my two camps, which will be about 100 men. One of the camps is three miles above Eagle Point, the other three miles above that.
"I have kept my men pretty busy the last few days cutting brush from the right of way and have had a few of them drilling holes, and I expect we will shoot them tomorrow.
"At any rate, you can say that we are plugging along at present, but in a few days will make things hum."
Office Location.Porter Bros. have rented the old offices of the Sunnyside Coal & Coke Company, rooms 29 and 30, Jackson County Bank building, and yesterday, under the direction of C. O. McPhall, who arrived Monday from Spokane, were put in proper shape for office use. Mr. McPhall is an old right-hand man of the Porters and is well liked all along the line.
"Dick" Porter will arrive today, after all his delays and misfortune. Dick probably will not say much, no doubt, about his adventure, so we won't; nevertheless, if the subject is broached he may tell of a cold, sleepless night with no supper and blankets.
Things Will Hum.As one of the officials said when speaking of the Pacific & Eastern work, "Well, we are letting it drag a little until R. B. Porter arrives, then things will hum, for everything will be straightened and the work made clear."
The Pacific & Eastern has received its car of steel switches and also a pump and some electrical supplies. Three carloads of rails also are on the way, and when they arrive the railroad will have received 16 cars of rails.
Medford Mail, September 24, 1909, page 1
EQUIPMENT IS STILL COMING
Additional Material for Pacific and Eastern Extension Received.
From all signs, and these signs are material and concrete, not visionary and abstract, the next week will show greater work and greater activity along the Pacific & Eastern, both new and old roadbeds.
The work beyond Eagle Point is progressing very swiftly at present, considering the amount of delays caused by lack of material and an insufficient number of men.
Already the people near Eagle Point are hearing the warning cry of "Look out!" "Fire!" and then the dull boom of the blast. A good crew, too, is working on the gravel and soil excavations and fills as well as on the rock work.
"Work will progress now faster than it has before, and by the end of next week we will be able to show a great improvement on the old roadbed and a great amount of new construction work." stated one of the road officials yesterday.
Big Shovel at Work.The steam shovel, too, will be at work by that time, and a great deal of extension and regrading work can be accomplished very quickly by this method, as each shovel load contains two and one-half tons of earth, or approximately two and one-half cubic yards.
The new engine, which the Pacific & Eastern secured from the Astoria & Columbia River Railroad, which is a Hill line and runs from Lyle to Goldendale, arrived yesterday. It is a wood burner and is not very heavy, being the lightest of the three owned by the Pacific & Eastern. It will be used for construction work and was run out yesterday to Eagle Point, as were also three flats of light rails.
With the engine came two flats of heavy steel, a car of lumber, and a car of switch points. A large safe weighing 2500 pounds, made by the Hall Safe Co. of Cincinnati, O., was also received yesterday.
Roundhouse at Junction.At the junction, a roundhouse is to be built right away on the southwest end of the old racetrack. It will be quite large, and not only will it house the three engines, but also several other cars.
It is rumored that besides this rolling stock which has arrived, Mr. Allen, on his trip east, bought two very fine coaches and that these will arrive soon.
In order to accommodate the crews who are working on the road, a traveling boarding or mess car is being built and will be in use in the next few days.
Mr. Randall is employing all the men that are available, and quite a crew is expected in a day or so.
This news, coupled with the coal operations, sound awful good to Medford and show that the men who placed their money in real estate hereabouts possessed a judgment to be commended.
Medford Mail, October 1, 1909, page 1
STEAM SHOVEL HERE
Will Assist in Work on Pacific & Eastern Extension
The steam shovel which belongs to Porter Bros., and which will be used on the extension of the Pacific & Eastern, arrived yesterday after a long delay.
The machine is a 70-ton Bucyrus steam shovel and has been used by the Porters before on the North Bank road, and is considered one of the best that they own.
The machine will be used on the work just beyond Eagle Point. At this place the ground rises too abruptly, and a cut will have to be made in order to get up on the Little Desert.
Work Starts at Once.The work will start at once, and as the formation at this place is of gravel, the work will progress very fast. The gravel will be loaded onto flat cars and hauled back to ballast up the roadbed between Eagle Point and Medford.
There are about 50 men working on the contract work of Porters, and the work at present is only rock. Work is very slow at present, since men cannot be secured, but by next week they hope to have a full crew. More teams will also be needed at that time.
The second carload of ties came in yesterday, and a carload of lumber is expected tomorrow, which will be used to make tool houses and a roundhouse near the junction.
Medford Mail, October 1, 1909, page 6
The last stick of cordwood was tossed aboard the engine and, with a final roaring toot, we puffed slowly out of Medford. I say slowly, for that is the proper word. It is only 12 miles to Eagle Point, our destination, yet a full hour was consumed in making the trip. On this 13-mile stretch there is no roadbed, no banking, no filling, nothing but a string of rails and ties stretched out over meadows and through orchards, with a consequent assortment of twists and curves that any baseball pitcher would be proud of. At every turn of any size, the engineer carefully slowed down to about four miles an hour. Just to keep the engine on the track, while at every switch we either left a flatcar on the siding, or added another to our collection of mixed rolling stock.
Walter F. Backus, "Up Rogue River to Crater Lake," Sunday Oregonian, Portland, October 10, 1909, page C5
Systematic Plan of Road Building Now Under Way.
A representative of the Morning Mail went out yesterday to the scene of activities along the extension work on the Pacific & Eastern Railroad. From Eagle Point, the present terminal, along the route of extension of several miles gangs of men were at work rapidly preparing a roadbed.
On the bluff this side of Little Butte Creek the big steam shovel is digging a trench and works without a hitch. Six to eight men are working along with the machine loading cars. At Little Butte Creek is a camp of 18 or 20 large tents that present the appearance of a small village. A gang of carpenters are framing bridge timbers. A small crew is working on a cut about four miles up the route.
Lack of Men.The work of construction on the extension is not going ahead as fast as is desired, because of inability to get men to do the work. Additional men are being secured right along, however, and it is expected in a few weeks to make more rapid progress.
A great deal of attention is being given to the old roadbed to Eagle Point, putting it in shape [so] that it can be used for heavy engines and trains during the wet season. To this end crews are fixing up the track, leveling the roadbed, putting in new ties and ballasting the bed with gravel. Two work trains are busy all the time hauling from 75 to 90 carloads of gravel for ballasting. The roadbed has been widened in many places and drainage ditches made.
Eagle Point Lively.Eagle Point presents a very lively appearance, with two work and one passenger and freight trains running in and out all day long. The depot is full of freight for Eagle Point and eastern places. Yesterday an extra boxcar had to be used to accommodate the local freight.
The town is full of strangers. At one hotel Tuesday there were 30 transient people for dinner and 20 for rooms.
Garig's Good Work.Engineer Garig is giving attention to every detail of the work on the road and is to be commended for the manner in which he is conducting operations. He is keeping in close touch with the engineers at the front on location work and passing upon their reports.
Everything indicates first-class work and permanency. As soon as the old bed and track are in proper condition the force of men employed in doing the work will be advanced to the new roadway, and the gap from Eagle Point to Butte Falls will be rapidly annihilated.
Medford Mail, October 22, 1909, page 5
MORE MEN WANTEDJohn R. Allen, of Medford, president of the Pacific & Eastern Railroad, was in Portland yesterday in search of additional workmen to be employed in building that road from Medford toward Crater Lake. Between 300 and 400 men are already employed on the extension of this line, which may connect with either the Oregon Trunk or the Deschutes Railroad, being constructed into Central Oregon from the Columbia River by the Hill and Harriman interests, respectively.
Pacific & Eastern President Comes for Laborers.
CENTRAL OREGON ITS GOAL
Road Complete in Two Years.
Line from Medford to Crater Lake Engages Big Force.
J. R. Allen Is Here.
Mr. Allen announced that it is the intention of the owners of the Pacific & Eastern to complete its projected construction into Central Oregon in two years. He also said it was immaterial with his company as to whether the desired connections were made with the Hill or the Harriman road, but he intimated it would be the purpose of the Medford road to connect, if possible, with whichever railroad was first constructed into Central Oregon from the Columbia River.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, November 9, 1909, page 18
April 6, 1905 Oregonian
A. C. Howlett of Eagle Point was in Medford Tuesday on a business trip. Mr. Howlett reports that the new locomotives jumped the track out on the desert and delayed the incoming train of the P.&E. a couple of hours.Suit for Right of Way Begins.
Medford Mail Tribune, April 5, 1910, page 2
MEDFORD, Or., April 8.--(Special.)--Suit for right of way has been brought by the Pacific & Eastern Railroad Company against I. J. Phipps and C. D. Wolverton, of Medford. The railroad company has completed its right of way in this city with the exception of the depot site and the present extent of their right of way. Phipps and Wolverton, owners of this land, would not accept the company's offer.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, April 9, 1910, page 6
Depot Work to Begin Soon.
MEDFORD, Or., April 10.--(Special.)--As nearly all of the right of way has been secured for the Pacific & Eastern Railroad, construction of the new depot will soon begin on the east side of Bear Creek, between Main and Jackson streets. The roundhouse and yards will be at the junction, but the terminal in Medford and the depot building will probably be used as the central station for the electric lines that are planned for the future by this same company.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, April 11, 1910, page 9
The Pacific & Eastern property, it is believed, was purchased about the time that Mr. Hill acquired control of the Oregon Trunk Line surveys. Since the taking over of the road active construction work has been in progress, and there is every reason to believe that the road, which now extends northeasterly from Medford, will be built across the mountains to a connection with the Oregon Trunk Line.
When construction work began, it was announced that the road would be extended from the old eastern terminus to Butte Falls, a distance of about 20 miles. Men who have gone over the line recently, however, say that gangs of laborers are now working beyond Butte Falls, clearing right of way. There are reports, too, that reconnaissances are being made southwesterly from Medford toward Crescent City. Color to the belief that the road will be extended to the coast has been given by recent activities by the Harriman system in the vicinity of Grants Pass.
"Passenger Depot Promised by Hill," Morning Oregonian, Portland, May 6, 1910, page 12
1000 MEN ARE BUILDING RAILROADPicking its way through the valley orchards, stretching its steel arms across the desert land, climbing the hills through wooded solitudes, is building the Pacific & Eastern Railroad.
FROM EAGLE POINT TO BLACK BUTTE
Costly Construction Leads to Conclusion That Road Will Be Part of Trans-State System--
Region to Be Tapped Is Rich in Agricultural Possibilities--Town's Growth Is Rapid.
What this road, when completed, may mean to that part of Oregon through which it goes is now unknown, so secretly are a railroad's advances made, but the popular idea is that it is not to he merely a local line. That Butte Falls is to be the end of the construction seems improbable; that so large an amount of money is being spent just to bring into touch with the Rogue River Valley, the rich but sparsely settled country through which the railroad now goes is not likely, and the fact that this same company is going to extend its electric line up as far as Eagle Point in the same direction seems proof that the road will be pushed not only eastward through the state, but farther. From Butte Falls one already sees the timber being slashed, miles ahead, preparatory for grading.
But the trip even now over the 12 miles of completed road is very much worth one's while, for in this short distance one sees in many changing varieties the beauties of Oregon.
Leaving Medford we passed through blossoming orchards and fertile alfalfa land and then suddenly, without warning, we were on the desert. The word desert usually implies a waste of drab-colored alkali, sagebrush land. At this time of the year the southern Oregon desert is a garden spot in comparison to such a place. Here is a stretch of level green, splotched here and there with dashes of yellow, white and blue made by the small flowers that grow profusely from one end of the desert to the other. It was these flowers and other growths that interested the irrigation company in the project that they are now considering of flooding these acres and acres of arid land with water which will make it of use for agricultural purposes. For the vegetation shows that the land has value and only needs water to bring out its qualities. At Agate, a small town on the edge of the desert, some venturesome man has already planted a little orchard, and it looks as strong and hardy as those famous ones in the more sheltered valley.
Traveling across the desert the view is unsurpassed; the panorama of mountains that hedge it in is clear-cut against the sky and Table Rock, Ashland Butte and snow-capped Mount McLoughlin flaunt their beauties boldly.
Eagle Point is the growing town situated between the two deserts over which the railroad goes. This is the town that J. R. Allen, president of the Pacific & Eastern, proposes to move. Three miles beyond at a higher elevation and what he considers a better townsite, he is going to build the depot, and he is now offering lots free at the new location to residents of the old town if they will move. Lots will also be given for schools, churches and other public buildings. The famous orchard of Tronson & Guthrie, which grew the apples that won the world's prize last year at the Spokane Apple Show, is a mile from the new townsite, and water power for light and irrigation is easily accessible.
At present it is necessary to drive over the second desert to the commissary camp and go over the right of way of the railroad on horseback. Here the heavy grade work commences, climbing on a 2 percent grade, up through oak, fir and stubby growth into one of the most splendid sugar pine forests left standing in the world today.
All along are small, rich farms, whose tilled lands look like opened books in the forests. There are five camps at work between Eagle Point and Butte Falls, over 1000 men in all.
The first construction gang we came to was composed of Americans working in a fill. The size of this gang changes more often than any, so the boss told us, as it is hard to keep the men on the job. Most of them are birds of passage, staying only long enough to make a few dollars. The pay checks here average $4 or $5 to a man. The second gang were Armenians drilling in a cut on a mile of road that will cost the company $100,000, and not only cost this amount of money but human lives as well. Only the night before our visit a man was fatally injured, and his countrymen were so depressed by the accident their foreman told us that none of them had exchanged a word during the morning at their work.
The Hindus, most despised of workingmen, were working in the next cut, their dingy turbaned heads bobbing in the glaring sun. These laborers work for smaller wages than any other gang and board themselves. The hatred is so strong between the Armenians and Hindus that constant vigilance has to be kept that they do not catch each other in a blast.
Where the steam shovel is now at work one sees the soil that a construction engineer dreads--hardpan and volcanic rock in its worst form. The eruptions that changed the mountains near Crater Lake threw rocks and lava over the country for miles, and through this section its ravages are very apparent. The steam shovel, that mammoth piece of machinery which tears away the most unresisting earth and fills the waiting cars with what looks like human intelligence, was brought from Eagle Point to the heavy grade a distance of four or five miles in the dead of winter when the roads through the sticky soil were impassable for teams. It took 31 days to get it to its destination. Considering the fact that all the heaviest work was done on this road during the winter months when ice, snow and rain had to be contended with, it seems that nothing is impossible in railroad building.
Butte Falls has a population of about 200. It is ideally located and has every evidence of growing to be a large place. Its inhabitants are optimistic and have laid out their streets, built a schoolhouse that would do credit to a place with 5000 population, with the view that they will soon grow into their improvements.
At the noon hour we saw one of the tragedies of railroad building. A laborer had broken his leg and had to be carried a quarter of a mile to the camp. Here he was placed in a heavy wagon filled with straw, and suffering keenly he was driven three or four miles over the roughest road imaginable through the sweltering sun to the train. From here he was taken to Medford to the hospital. Every few days an accident occurs, crippling some man for life or killing someone, and someday we will be leaning back comfortably in the train, enjoying the rugged scenery, or complaining of the price of railroad fares--never thinking of the time, the energy, the vast amount of money, the brains or even the lives that it takes to build a railroad.
John R. Allen, the president of this road, is the man to whom Southern Oregon, and Medford especially looks for the realization of all its dreams--and to prove his faith in the future of this valley is the projected electric line planned to be built to every town in this section of the country. He has bought an orchard near Medford, where he will make his home during part of each year, and whether the Pacific & Eastern railroad is to be a transcontinental line or not, John R. Allen has done an immense lot of good already for Rogue River Valley.
Sunday Oregonian, Portland, May 15, 1910, page 63
The P. & E. Railroad company is pushing their work along as fast as possible, with the available force. They are sending out timber almost every day, depositing it on the desert north of our town and at the end of the track about three miles from our town. It is estimated that they have now at the switch on the desert about a half million feet of bridge timbers already to be framed and carried forward for construction work.
A. C. Howlett, "Eagle Point Eaglets," Medford Mail Tribune, May 29, 1910, page 15
DR. REDDY SHEDS NO LIGHT"How was it that you were selling your own private stock of the Pacific & Eastern Railroad Company for from $31,000 to $33,000 for your own benefit, at the same time representing to the court that you, as receiver for the road, could secure but 77 cents on the dollar for its first mortgage bonds, and asking the court to authorize you to accept it?"
Attorney Demands to Know Why He Sought Profit in Road Deal.
This was the question propounded by Attorney A. E. Clark to Dr. J. F. Reddy yesterday afternoon, in the $82,500 suit of Thomas G. Devlin against Reddy, S. W. Stryker and the officials of the Oregon Trust & Savings Bank, H. W. Moore, W. Cooper Morris, H. A. Moore, E. E. Lytle and Leo Freide.
Reddy was at one time receiver of the Medford & Crater Lake Railroad. He is accused of having conspired with the bank officials to secure the road for their own private benefit with the aid of the bank. Attorney Clark's question remained without a satisfactory answer.
Reddy told of his relations with Morris, saying he had known him for 15 years, that he had been interested with him in the Arlington & Condon road and the Republic & Grand Forks road in Washington.
Alex Sweek, called to the stand yesterday morning, said he held $166,000 worth of Pacific & Eastern stock at one time, this being a third of it, but that he could not remember from whom he received it or to whom it was assigned by him. He declared he paid nothing for it and received nothing when he assigned it; that he held it only temporarily.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, June 7, 1910, page 12
HILL MAN AT HEADJohn K. Stevens has been made president of another railroad, this time the Pacific & Eastern, the road that is being constructed eastward from Medford toward a connection with the Oregon Trunk Line in Central Oregon.
J. F. Stevens Now President of Pacific & Eastern
ROAD MAY BE EXTENDED
Great Northern Official, It Is Understood, Has Acquired Control of Stock
Formerly Owned by J. R. Allen, Who Retires.
Mr. Stevens is now the head of all of the Hill railroads that are strictly Oregon properties. His election to the first position on the Medford road means, it is reported, that the Hill interests have recently acquired outstanding stock approximating 40 percent, which had been controlled by J. R. Allen, retiring president of the road. Mr. Allen apparently retains enough stock to permit him to qualify as director.
At the time of the visit of President Hill, of the Great Northern, in Medford, Mr. Hill let it be understood plainly that the Hill interests would not proceed further with extensions of the road unless they were able to acquire all the stock. At that time 60 percent of the stock only was owned by the Hills. Since then negotiations have been under way, it is understood, with the minority stockholders with the result that the latter have disposed of their holdings to Mr. Hill and Mr. Stevens.
At a meeting of the stockholders held in Medford this week a new set of directors and officers was elected. The officers are as follows : President, John F. Stevens; vice-president and manager, William Gerig; secretary, J. W. Lawlor. Mr. Stevens succeeds Mr. Allen as president and Mr. Lawlor succeeds J. H. Humphries as secretary. Mr. Gerig is re-elected. The directors are J. F. Stevens, J. R. Allen, C. E. S. Wood, S. B. Linthicum and William Gerig.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, June 10, 1910, page 22
Rather expensive price of railroad after all that, "twin streaks of rust worth their weight as scrap iron f.o.b. Medford" as the old Medford and Crater Lake road was facetiously referred to in the recent trial of Walter H. Moore for complicity in the wrecking of the Oregon Trust and Savings Bank. John R. Allen is reported to have been let off with a paltry $33,000 cash payment for his interest. But how about the others? W. Cooper Morris will serve the state without pay, don the felon's garb and forever remain an outcast among honest men. The depositors of the wrecked bank all become involuntary contributors to the extent of their respective deposits, while the reputations of others have been sadly besmirched.Twenty-Mile Post Reached by Road
Medford Saturday Review, June 11, 1910, page 4
John F. Stevens has been elected president of the Pacific and Eastern railroad company, a road which is being constructed eastward from Medford, Ore. toward a connection with the Oregon Trunk Line railroad in central Oregon. Stevens is now the head of all the Hill roads that are strictly Oregon properties.
San Francisco Call, June 11, 1910, page 4
Twenty miles of steel have been ordered for the Pacific & Eastern from the Great Northern Railway. This will be second-hand steel. It will be delivered at Medford in a few days and from that place will be sent to Eagle Point, whence it will be strung out as far as Butte Falls.
The tracks have already been laid to Eagle Point, a distance of 12½ miles, and the remaining steel will carry the line to Butte Falls. It is officially intimated that the tracklaying will be accomplished by the middle of September.
The contract price of the steel approximates $55,000. The steel weighs 2400 tons and will be brought here in 80 cars.
An instance of how traffic will follow improvement in service has just been given at Medford. Formerly, old cars were used on the Pacific & Eastern. Two new Great Northern cars were put in service and it was noticed the passenger traffic promptly increased by 25 percent. The new passengers were mostly women.
"Wires Are Ordered," Morning Oregonian, Portland, July 21, 1910, page 18
Laying of steel has progressed rapidly on the Pacific & Eastern during the past few days, and the road is now completed to a point 20 miles from this city. Bridge building is now under way, and track laying will be recommenced as soon as the timbers are in place.
Medford Mail Tribune weekly, August 4, 1910, page 1
Road Connection Delayed.
MEDFORD, Or., Oct. 11.--(Special.)--John F. Stevens, right-hand man of James J. Hill, while in Medford today said emphatically that the plan to connect the Pacific & Eastern Railroad from Medford to Butte Falls with the Oregon Trunk, now moving up the Deschutes, would ultimately be carried out. He explained that the reason construction work was not started immediately was the unsettled condition of the money markets.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, October 12, 1910, page 11
Some of the bridge men of the P.&E. railroad company were here Thursday night and report that they were driving the piling for the last bridge between here and Butte Falls, although they have two large bridges to build yet.
The railroad company have staked off the ground for the depot at this place, and work will commence on the building next week. It is to be 30x90 feet with porches, etc., to extend to cover an area of 60x120 feet and have it arranged so that teams coming in to load or unload can have a shed to work under during rainy weather. They have moved the building site a short distance north of the old station so as to have the depot on better ground and a better way to get to it.
A. C. Howlett, "Eagle Point Eaglets," Medford Mail Tribune, October 17, 1910, page 2
ROAD NEARS BUTTE FALLS
Pacific & Eastern Line Rapidly Approaching Completion.
MEDFORD, Or., Oct. 27.--(Special.)--Chief Engineer Gerig, of the Pacific & Eastern Railroad, reports that rails have been laid to a point within four miles of Butte Falls, the northern terminus of the road. Two more bridges are to be completed before the steel can be laid into the town. Mr. Gerig says that the road will be completed by November 10, in ample time for the "Jim Hill" day celebration.
Work is being rushed on the depots at Eagle Point and Butte Falls, and also at the Medford terminus of the line. A temporary structure is being fitted up at this end until next year, when the line over the Cascades will be completed.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, October 28, 1910, page 18
BUTTE FALLS IS REACHED BY P.&E.
Steel Is Laid to Little City in the Timber, but Much Ballasting Is to Be Done Before Regular Service Will Be Inaugurated--Butte Falls Residents Jubilant That Road Is There.
Track-layers on the Pacific & Eastern Railroad reached Butte Falls Tuesday evening, linking the little city amid the timber with the outside world. There still remains, however, considerable ballasting to be done before a regular train service can be inaugurated.
A large number of people witnessed the laying of the last rail and the driving of the last spike. Residents of that section are jubilant over the fact that they will now be able to get out to valley towns in the winter months without plowing through miles of mud. Regular train service will probably be instituted by December 1.
Medford Mail Tribune, November 16, 1910, page 1
The Pacific & Eastern, running between Butte Falls and Medford, covers a distance of 33 miles. The line between Eagle Point and Medford was completed last year. The extent of new construction was 12 miles and cost $250,000.
"Hill System to Spend $15,000,000," Morning Oregonian, Portland, January 5, 1911, page 15
TRAINS TO BUTTE FALLS APRIL 1
Saturday Will See Opening of Regular Train Service from Medford,
According to Statement by Chief Engineer Gerig.
EXCURSION WILL BE RUN SUNDAY, APRIL 9.
Train from Falls Will Arrive Here at 10 a.m. and Will Leave in Late Afternoon.
The first passenger train to reach Butte Falls will pull into the little city among the timber on next Saturday afternoon at 6:45 o'clock. And when the engine rolls in and comes to a stop, it will mark the consummation of development work which the residents of Medford and the Rogue River Valley have watched for six long years. Chief Engineer Gerig announced this morning that there would be no hitch in the plans of the road to institute a regular train on Saturday.
It was in 1905 that the residents of the city of Medford determined that a railroad should be built to Butte Falls to tap the huge timber tracts in that section. The Medford and Crater Lake Railroad was organized. Money was subscribed by local people. The road was built "on the top of the ground" between Medford and Eagle Point, 12 miles distant. Then came trouble. The road was thrown into a receiver's hands in 1907 when the Oregon Trust & Savings Bank of Portland failed. Then the road lay dormant for some time until it was finally sold to John R. Allen of New York, who disposed of it to James J. Hill. Work was immediately started on its construction, and it reached Butte Falls last fall, but rains came before the roadbed had a chance to settle and made the road beyond Eagle Point unsafe for travel. So no train service was instituted until workmen this spring put the track in shape. The first passenger train is to leave Medford Saturday.
The Pacific & Eastern is to be extended across the Cascades to a connection with the Oregon Trunk. According to present plans which have been announced by Hill officials, Medford is the terminal of the Oregon Trunk.
Chief Engineer Gerig has announced the new timetable which is to be placed in effect. The train will leave Medford daily at about 3 o'clock in the afternoon and lay overnight at Butte Falls. It will leave there at 7 o'clock in the morning, reaching Medford at 10. Then the train will double back as far as Eagle Point and be back in Medford in time for the trip in the afternoon to the Falls. This time will allow the Butte Falls people to come to Medford and spend the day shopping and return home the same day.
The time of the train will also prove a great boon to local business men this summer. Butte Falls has long been a favorite camping ground. Families can now camp in the woods during the summer, and the business men can leave Medford at 3 o'clock on Saturday afternoon, spend Sunday with his family and be back in Medford by 10 o'clock Monday morning.
Chief Engineer Gerig states that he intends to run an excursion train to Butte Falls Sunday, April 9.
Medford Mail Tribune, March 30, 1911, page 1
FIRST EXCURSION BIG
Medford-Butte Falls Trip on Pacific & Eastern Attracts.
MEDFORD, Or., April 9.--(Special.)--Before Saturday evening every available seat was sold for the first Sunday excursion today to Butte Falls from Medford over the recently completed Pacific & Eastern Railroad. Vice-President Gerig, of Medford, is pleased with the result of the excursion.
Mr. Gerig returned Friday from Portland, where he went to consult with the retiring president, John F. Stevens.
"Work on the Pacific & Eastern will not stop with the retiring of President Stevens," he said. "He assured me that the Oregon Trunk and the Pacific & Eastern would become one line as soon as it is possible to make them so, and work will be rushed from both ends as soon as funds are available. This means at an early date, and preparations are already being made for the prosecution of the work."
The Pacific & Eastern has been surveyed over the divide of the Cascades with a maximum grade of two percent. The greatest curve is of 10 degrees and the greatest height is 5200 feet.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, April 10, 1911, page 2
Medford Mail Tribune, June 6, 1911
SALEM, Or., Oct. 3.--(Special.)--By allowing a motion to dismiss the appeal in the case of Edgar Hafer against the Medford Crater Lake Railroad Company et al., as defendants, and A. Davis, claimant and appellant, against J. F. Reddy, a receiver of the road and respondent, that well-known case came to an end today in the Supreme Court. It was appealed from Jackson County, Judge F. M. Calkins sitting in the lower court. The opinion was written by Chief Justice Eakin.
In the complaint it is alleged that the original incorporators issued to themselves, as fully paid, 60 percent of the stock of the corporation, 20,000 shares, when, in fact, nothing was paid for it, except that it was shown by the minutes that a resolution was adopted to purchase from one of their number all of the rights of way, surveys, estimates and franchises for the sum of $260,000 and made it appear on the stock books and records that the sum had been paid.
It was alleged, further, that the whole proceeding was a device on the part of the promoter to secure a majority of the stock fully paid up, without expense to them. The plaintiff, Hafer, as a stockholder, commenced suit on behalf of himself and others, to have a receiver appointed. A receiver was appointed who sold the property to the corporation for the sum of $82,500, $46,457 of which was paid in satisfaction of the mortgage debt of the company.
After the sale of the property Davis presented to the receiver a claim for $21,753 for money advanced by him to the company and applied on construction work. This claim was disallowed by the receiver. Davis lost in the lower court and appealed. The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal because all parties to the litigation were not served with notice.
"Railroad's Appeal Is Not Allowed," Morning Oregonian, Portland, October 4, 1911, page 7
GERIG NOW HAS PRIVATE CARThe Pacific & Eastern building by the Hill interests already pierces the heart of the forests and commands 8,000,000,000 feet [of timber]. The empire builders officially announced that the Pacific & Eastern must and will go to a connection with the Oregon Trunk, now building. 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 advertising the Rogue River Valley far and wide.
The old combination passenger coach, freight car and handcar arrangement, made up of an automobile engine and body mounted on board gauge car wheels, which in years agone did all kinds of service on the Pacific & Eastern before the advent of the real locomotive, is being brought into service again, and General Manager Gerig will "jimmy" around with it for short trips over the line.
Medford Mail Tribune, November 7, 1911, page 2
The Hindu, a type seldom seen in central and eastern states, is much in evidence on the Pacific Slope from Southern California to Puget Sound, there being in the neighborhood of 10,000 of these turbaned Asiatics in the territory mentioned. The majority of them are employed in railroad construction and other contract work, but not a few find employment out on the ranches. While they have no acquaintance with agriculture, they learn quickly and are willing to work for a small wage.
F. E. Trigg, Central Point, "Farm, Orchard and Garden," Butler Citizen, Butler, Pennsylvania, December 25, 1911, page 8
"Medford Enjoying Great Era of New Building," Medford Mail Tribune, January 1, 1912, page 6
Medford Mail Tribune, January 1, 1912
BUILDING ALONG PACIFIC & EASTERN
Considerable building is being done along the line of the Pacific & Eastern between Medford and Eagle Point in the way of warehouses and shipping stations to facilitate the shipment of produce grown in that region.
The Rogue River Fruit and Produce Association has just constructed a large warehouse at Davis to handle fruit from that section, while Roguelands, Inc. have built two warehouses to handle shipments from their tracts, which are increasing rapidly.
Medford Mail Tribune, July 19, 1912, page 1
PACIFIC & EASTERN BUILDS UNDER BRIDGE
The Pacific & Eastern Railroad has a crew of men at work laying a side track under the new [Jackson Street] bridge over Bear Creek. The track will stub just south of the bridge.
When the work of laying the track started rumors of an extension to the coast became current, but alas, it was only a stub.
Medford Mail Tribune, March 18, 1913, page 6
HALL TAXI CO. TO TAKE CRATER LAKE CONTRACT
The Hall Taxi Company will have charge of the auto part of the Crater Lake excursions this year in connection with the Pacific & Eastern Railroad, taking the excursionists from Derby to the lake and return. They have also arranged to take people from Medford to the lake and return for $15 for the round trip.
A regular schedule will be arranged to leave Medford three times a week, but people will be taken any day not on the regular schedule. You can also make the trip from Medford to the lake and return via Derby and from there by rail or vice versa.
Court Hall, proprietor of the taxi company, says he thinks the season will be open about July 10.
The Southern Pacific will sell tickets from the San Francisco, Portland or intermediate points to Crater Lake via Medford this year for the first time. The Pacific & Eastern will also sell tickets to the lake and return.
Medford Mail Tribune, June 9, 1913, page 4
The Pacific & Eastern railway has a crew of ten men working on the tracks near Butte Falls, making repairs to the track, and will increase the force in a short time about 20 men. The work will last all summer, and a seven-mile extension will be made.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, March 17, 1914, page 2
The P. and E. will run the first excursion of the season to Butte Falls today, and a week from Sunday the S.P. will run an excursion to Colestin. Beginning tomorrow northbound No. 14 will stop at Ray Gold for the benefit of fishermen. Scores of Medford people will spend tomorrow in the hills.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, June 20, 1914, page 2
FAREWELL DINNER TO WM. GERIG
William Gerig, president of the P. and E., who leaves in a few days for St. Paul, where he will undertake some important engineering work for the Great Northern, was tendered a farewell banquet by the University Club by a few of his business associates and friends. About 30 guests were present, and there were many expressions of regret at Mr. Gerig's departure and a unanimous expression of hope that he would soon return. In expressing his appreciation of the courtesy extended Mr. Gerig said that he hoped he would return, fully expected to, and would always have a warm spot in his heart for Medford and Rogue River Valley, where, he declared, the finest people in the world have gathered.
Medford Sun, April 28, 1915, page 4
A GREAT OPPORTUNITY
With some forty billion feet of merchantable timber in the forests of Jackson County, our lumber resources are left undeveloped. Practically all the lumber used is shipped from other sections. Our fruit is shipped in boxes manufactured elsewhere. Our houses are built of wood from distant forests. Our vast timber belt is principally in the hands of non-resident speculators--holding for unearned increment.
The Pacific & Eastern was built to the timber belt so as to afford a rail outlet--yet the mills ceased to operate as soon as there was an excuse for [ceasing] operating. Hundreds of thousands of valley dollars are being spent to support payrolls in distant mills, while our own labor cannot get employment.
Much of the timber is "ripe"--that is, past its prime, and beginning to deteriorate. More or less of it is destroyed by fire annually. Despite this and the fact that a local market exists for the inferior products and an eastern market for the higher grade, no attempt is made for operation.
The United States is emerging into an era of great prosperity. Lumber is in demand in all parts, and will continue to be. Its price appreciates as building and business revives--just as iron and steel do. Jackson County, alone of the timber belts, with superior timber resources to other localities, fails to manufacture lumber.
It is not the fault of the railroad rates. The Southern Pacific offers as advantageous rates to this region as to any other. Medford and Ashland are not only on an equality with Portland and the Willamette Valley with respect to California shipments, but have the advantage of considerably lower rates to certain points in California north of San Francisco Bay. For instance, the carload rate on box shooks from Medford to Sacramento is 16½ cents per 100 pounds, while the rate from the Willamette Valley and Portland is 21½ cents. In addition, there are a large number of special commodity rates to northern California points considerably less than the rates applying from the Willamette Valley.
The cost basis of rates governs lumber shipments to eastern transcontinental points, to Idaho, Utah, Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas and territory east. Medford, 329 miles south of Portland, can ship its lumber to points in this territory as cheaply as the Willamette Valley and Portland. So there can be no claim of discrimination by the railroad against Jackson County.
With a railroad to the timber, with a downhill haul for logs, with cheap electric power, with a local market for box shooks and lower grades of products, with fair rates from railroads, there seems to be no section that offers better opportunity for lumber manufacturing than Medford. To secure such an institution should be the main work of the Commercial Club the coming year--for nothing will add more to the prosperity of the valley.
Medford Mail Tribune, December 16, 1915, page 4
Much is said about the P.&E. Unfortunately it is in the hands of a company that seems to be holding it for the sole purpose of keeping the Southern Pacific from invading Great Northern territory in other parts of the state. Were it owned by the Southern Pacific it would be to the interest to give very cheap logging rates for a milling company to haul their logs to Medford and saw them here and ship their lumber over the S.P. line. As it is, no reasonable rates have ever been quoted on logs or lumber. It is certain that something must be done to develop the resources of this community or Medford must shrink to its size of ten years ago. It's either go forward or back. We are like Macbeth after he had murdered Duncan, "Returning were as tedious as go o'er."
Ed Andrews, "Why There Are No Saw Mills on the P.&E. Railroad," Medford Sun, July 9, 1916, page 4
RAIL CLERK IS PROMOTED
G. W. Neilson to Be Superintendent of Pacific & Eastern.
George W. Neilson, chief clerk in the offices of General Superintendent Davidson, of the Spokane, Portland & Seattle Railway, will leave late this week for Medford, where he will become superintendent of the Pacific & Eastern Railway, a property owned by the Spokane, Portland & Seattle Railway, extending from Medford to Butte Falls. A. J. Witchell, assistant to the general superintendent of the Spokane, Portland & Seattle Railway, will handle the work in the local office, formerly attended to by Mr. Neilson.
G. E. Johnson, present superintendent of the Pacific & Eastern, becomes superintendent of the Gales Creek & Wilson River Railroad, a logging line that extends from Wilkesboro, on the line of the United Railways, west into the timber.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, October 10, 1917, page 11
The gasoline motor car formerly used on the railroad between this city and Medford has been transferred to the P.&E. line from Medford to Butte Falls.
"Local News," Jacksonville Post, December 22, 1917, page 3
When the little gasoline motor [arrived], the one the section men use in the repair work on the road, it had four passengers on for this section, and when I saw the crowd at the depot waiting to go to Medford I wondered how they were going to manage to ride on that little car--four women, four children and four or five men--but later I learned that provision was made for those who could not get on the motor to go in a jitney. During the season when the roads are bad so that most of the people dislike to take their Fords and autos out in the mud or the roads are so bad that they are afraid to try to run them, then they will rush to the train and if, as is the case now, the railroad company happens to have trouble with their cars they raise a howl about the poor service we get from the railroad company, but they never stop to think that the company has been running this route ever since they started at a loss of from $15,000 to $25,000 a year, and that the employees have to put up with such conveniences as they can get.
I noted a few days ago that there were twelve persons who wanted to go to Medford, and if the wagon road had been good and dry not one of them would have thought of traveling on the railroad, but would have gone in their own cars. I asked one woman why she did not go in her own car and she replied that they could not get the car out to the county road.
A. C. Howlett, "Eagle Point Eaglets," Medford Mail Tribune, January 3, 1918, page 3
Speaking of the motor on the P.&E., I see that the company have installed the old Jacksonville motor car on the P.&E. and are trying it out, and if it proves to be a success are thinking of purchasing it. It is to be hoped that it will prove a success, for surely the old one has been an eyesore to not only the men who have had to run it, but also to those who patronize the road.
A. C. Howlett, "Eagle Point Eaglets," Medford Mail Tribune, January 9, 1918, page 5
The P.&E. railroad seems to have [omission] ing considerable more business than they have been doing. I heard the superintendent remark the other day that during the month of August they had done three times the business they did the August before. They seem to have quite a number of passengers, especially on the eastbound trips, and are hauling out from four to seven cars of logs to the Applegate Lumber Company at Medford every trip, and almost every trip bringing out one or two cars of lumber besides more or less cars of wood for this place and points along the line between here and Medford, and we are living in hopes that their business will increase so as to justify them making a trip every day except Sunday.
A. C. Howlett, "Eagle Point Eaglets," Medford Mail Tribune, September 10, 1918, page 5
Amos Ayres, the man who has been acting as agent at the depot here, has been called off and the depot is left without an agent, and he has moved to Medford. The depot looks like a forsaken habitation sure enough, for when we made our daily trip to gather items of interest for the readers of the Mail Tribune we generally met Mr. Ayres or his charming wife and little baby boy to help make life cheerful, but now everything is changed and it is simply the dry routine of business and our conductor, Charley Bacon, is so busy that he only has time to give a passing "Hello" and is off looking after the freight, collecting bills, weighing out the freight that is to go out, etc., and the passengers that travel on the cars look as though they had lost their last friend. But we can't consistently censure the railroad company, for they have been running at a loss almost all the time since they started, and the jitney business and the fact that it seems that a majority of the farmers and many of the citizens of the towns of Eagle Point, Brownsboro and Trail own autos themselves and when they want to go to Medford jump into their car and go and if a neighbor happens to want to go they cheerfully take them along. And another thing that has helped to put the railway company out of business is the auto trucks, as they are used to haul the wheat and other grain to the mill and to haul the produce to the market and the orchardists use them to haul their boxes to the orchards and take a load of fruit back, and the farmers use them to haul their spuds and corn to market so that the railroad company does not have near the amount of business to do that they might if business was carried on in the old-fashioned style. It is predicted that as soon as the logging industry stops that the railroad cars will run only enough to hold their franchise, But looking at the subject from the different viewpoints there seems to be nobody to blame, but simply a change in business methods.
A. C. Howlett, "Eagle Point Eaglets," Medford Mail Tribune, October 21, 1918, page 3
RAILWAY OPERATION TO CEASE.--Operation of the Pacific & Eastern Railway will cease January 30, at 6 p.m., in accordance with an order issued by Judge Wolverton yesterday in federal court. No trains will be operated after that time and no business will be done other than that necessary to closing up the affairs of the company and care of the property during the receivership and foreclosure proceedings. Notice to this effect will be posted today at Medford, Butte Falls and stations along the line of the short railway.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, January 21, 1919, page 9
RAILROAD SERVICE HALTEDPursuant to the order of the federal court, the operation of the Pacific & Eastern Railway was discontinued last night. Of the employees of the company, all trainmen, trackmen, carpenters and station men, having been previously notified, are released and will be paid off. George W. Neilson, superintendent, is the only employee who will continue in service, pending closing out of the property.
PACIFIC & EASTERN MAY GO TO MEDFORD INTERESTS.
Suspension of Operation and Release of Employees Approved in Federal Court Order.
There is a possibility that the railroad will be acquired by Medford interests, through purchase from the receiver, and it is understood that a definite offer was made for the railroad yesterday.
Several months ago negotiations were in progress, the price asked at that time being $300,000, and presumably the present negotiations are with that valuation in view. An engineering estimate of the recoverable property, made preceding the application for a receivership, showed the value of material for scrapping to be approximately $338,000.
There have been numerous inquiries received by W. F. Turner, the receiver, as to portions of the material. One man made an offer for all of the steel rails, wishing to secure the steel to ship to the Orient. Dealers in second-hand railroad material and equipment have also been figuring on the scrap value of the property to them. The bridges are of standard type, and because of the present price of steel, would be worth as much if not more than their original price as scrap.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, January 31, 1919, page 12
TIMBER OWNERS MAY PURCHASE P.&E.Monday's Portland Oregonian says:
"Lumber interests with holdings along the line of the Pacific & Eastern railway and beyond the terminus of the road at Butte Falls are said to be undertaking the formation of a syndicate to buy the road. Operation of the railroad has been discontinued under orders of the federal court, preparatory to its sale by the receiver. Unless sold for the purpose of its continued operation it will be scrapped, owing to inability of the company to develop sufficient traffic to pay cost of operation."
Nothing is known locally concerning the above except that the Dewing and other timber interests secured a 30-day extension of the time limit set for the sale of the road, with a view of arranging a purchasing syndicate, if possible. Meanwhile local lumber interests are "marking time" until they are notified of the result of the pending negotiations.
Medford Mail Tribune, February 25, 1919, page 6
EVERYBODY URGED TO GET BEHIND THE P. AND E. DRIVE
No news was given out today by the Medford committee in charge of raising the $30,000 fund by subscriptions for the purchase of the Pacific and Eastern Railroad, and results will not be given out until the committee meeting tomorrow morning. This money must positively be raised within the next 24 hours if the railroad is to be saved to Medford, and it is up to everyone to liberally subscribe all that he can afford to. A pull all together will capture the $30,000 fund and land the great prize which otherwise will slip away. It means much to the future growth and prosperity of Medford and surrounding country.
The P.&E. Railroad company have offered the road for $270,000--terms $50,000 cash and the balance they will carry for a long term of years at 5 percent.
A definite and what is thought very satisfactory proposition has been made by one of the large timber interests to purchase the road on the following basis:
Sixty thousand dollars to be raised, $50,000 of which will be used to make the initial payment, leaving $10,000 as a working capital.
Of this the above mentioned company agrees to take $30,000 of the stock if Medford and vicinity will take the balance of the capital stock.
Medford Mail Tribune, April 16, 1919, page 8
FINAL DRIVE FOR P.&E., EXTENSION OF TIME GIVENThe committee in charge of the P.&E. railroad situation were unable to do much work Saturday, but are out again today to raise the amount they are still short, about $3,500. Business firms and loyal citizens who have not subscribed should do so at once and those who have subscribed should increase the amount if possible.
The committee has received a few days extension of time and will endeavor to finish the proposition by Wednesday night. It's up to the people to say whether they want to save the road and the lumber industry in this vicinity, as well as the payrolls, or whether they will lose them.
Following are some of the expressions the solicitors have heard:
"Some say the timber interests should buy the road without local support. The city is fortunate in not being called upon to raise $500,000 to donate a site for milling operations in Medford or vicinity."--Geo. Collins of Mason-Ehrman Co.
"Property just commenced to move and business became active when the saw mills and box factory were operating. When the P.&E. stopped the slump in business was decidedly noticeable. The payrolls must be saved and all should help."--Ray Toft.
"We are glad to do whatever the committee thinks is our part. Call on us for more if necessary, even if it is in excess of our proportion."--Pruitt-Hittson Auto Co.
"A few people think the timber people will be compelled to save the road. Thirty-five years ago Jacksonville people thought the S.P. railroad would be compelled to build through their town."--T. E. Daniels, of New York Life Insurance Company.
"If I had the money I would buy the road myself."--F. A. Welch of Medford Grocery Co.
"This is not a question of what we want to do but what we must do. My subscription will be increased if necessary."--Sam Richardson, of Model Clothing Company.
"We must save the road by all means and every property owner should do his part."--Charlie Palm.
"I'll ship enough hay this summer to pay my subscription if the road is saved."--Lee Watkins.
"The price of wood this winter should be one reason, at least, why everybody should do their bit to save the road."--C. F. Reichstein, of Valley Fuel Company.
Medford Mail Tribune, April 21, 1919, page 6
RAILROAD DEAL CLINCHEDMEDFORD, Or., April 23.--(Special.)--Medford celebrated tonight the successful conclusion of the drive to secure $50,000 to clinch the retention and operation of the Pacific & Eastern Railroad from this city to Butte Falls, The required amount was reached at noon after a campaign of one week.
MEDFORD RAISES $30,000 FOR PACIFIC & EASTERN.
Industries Are to Resume Operations and Payroll of $1000 a Day Is Expected.
This $30,000, with a like amount donated by timber interests at Butte Falls, will total $50,000 for initial payment on the purchase of the road and $10,000 for preliminary .operation. The sale price of the property is $270,000.
With the announcement of the successful result of the drive, John Tomlin announced he would start construction of a $20,000 box factory near the railroad. The Applegate Lumber Company, which has been idle several months, will resume, and the Big Pines Lumber Company will start logging operations immediately in the Butte Falls district. The Butte Falls Lumber Company, with a new $100,000 plant completed ten months ago, will also start operations. This will mean the establishment of a payroll of $1000 day.
A telegram was sent tonight to the owners of the Butte Falls Lumber Company in the East announcing the result of the drive, and it is expected the deal will be definitely closed in short time and the property turned over.
The details of operation have not been made public, but it is believed the timber interests will operate the railroad for the first few months as a logging road exclusively.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, April 24, 1919, page 5
Medford has raised the balance of the $60,000 required to finance the P&E railroad and prevent the outfit from going into the junk pile. An organization for the operation of the road is being made, and loggers, millmen and business men generally are rejoicing over the prospect of better times for the valley generally.
"Local News," Jacksonville Post, April 26, 1919, page 3
MEDFORD COMPANY TO TAKE OVER THE P.&E. PROPOSITIONAt a meeting of the subscribers to the Pacific & Eastern Railroad stock held in the public library last evening it was decided to finance the proposition with local capital and have the complete control of the road at home. The eastern people who were to handle the matter do not appear to be in any hurry about completing the deal and are not [as] impressed with the importance of early operation as local people are.
A committee consisting of C. M. Kidd, A. L. Hill, H. C. Garnett, Gus Newbury and Geo. T. Collins were chosen and instructed to work out a plan that will ensure the operation of the road without further delay. This committee met at once and decided to file articles of incorporation immediately and to take up with the federal receiver the matter of purchase. Within the next few days they hope to have a definite plan to submit to the subscribers. The intention is to make this a Medford proposition all the way through.
Medford Mail Tribune, May 28, 1919, page 6
Rev. A. H. Gammons returned Wednesday from a trip to Butte Falls. He reports that business is generally quiet in that district owing to the shutting down of the mills and the discontinuance of service on the P.&E. railroad. The people of that district have hopes that arrangements will be made whereby the mills and railroad may be enabled to resume operations soon.
"Local News," Jacksonville Post, July 5, 1919, page 3
RECEIVER'S SALE PACIFIC-EASTERN HELD TOMORROWMuch interest is being manifested in the sale of the Pacific & Eastern Railroad at auction at 2 o'clock tomorrow afternoon at the depot under orders from the federal court of this district, by Robert F. Maguire of Portland, who is expected to arrive in the city today.
According to rumors there will be several bidders for the property. The most prominent probable bidder is M. D. Olds of Sheboygan, Mich., who arrived in Medford on Sunday and is stopping at the Hotel Medford. Mr. Olds and his agents have spent much time here during the past year buying up timber along the route of the Pacific & Eastern. His main representative stated this noon that neither he nor Mr. Olds had anything to say about the big sale Tuesday, which means so much to the future welfare and development of Medford and the towns along the P.&E. railroad.
Medford Mail Tribune, August 23, 1920, page 6
SIX BILLION FEET OF PINE AND FIR TAPPED BY P.&E.
Now that the Pacific & Eastern Railroad has been sold, all the Medford and Jackson County public is wondering what the new owner's plans are in connection with the operation of the road, and when he will start it. But M. D. Olds won't talk.
However, the fact he has for the past year or more been busy buying up timber holdings and leases in the territory contiguous to the road and the fact that at least one new large mill is in contemplation for Medford leads to the general belief that he will operate the road partly in connection with this contemplated project.
Another patent fact to the well informed is that there are six billion feet of the best timber in Oregon, 60 percent fir and 40 percent pine, in the country east of Medford, mostly in the Butte Falls section, which would be tapped by the operation of the Pacific & Eastern.
While there have been and are many rumors in connection with Mr. Olds and his ownership of the road, some of which, if true, would have a stupendous bearing on the future welfare and development of Medford and the valley, nothing will be known until the Michigan lumber man's plans are perfected. The fact that Mr. Olds refuses to rush into print is taken by many as a good sign, showing that he is not the type of hot air promoter which has led the people of Medford to entertain false hopes so often in the past.
As it is now, the people of Medford, Eagle Point, Butte Falls and the general residents along the P.&E. line are happy that Mr. Olds has bought the road and the strong probability that he will put it in operation within the next year.
But about the sale yesterday: Notwithstanding the rumors that there would be several probable bidders and the fact that until a few hours before the auction the Miller Grier Construction Company of Portland contemplated bidding and had their first payment check of $15,000 deposited, the Pacific & Eastern went under the hammer to M. D. Olds, who was the only bidder, for $196,600, of which $15,000 was to be paid at once and the balance in 60 days.
The sale was conducted by attorney Robert F. Maguire of Portland, special master for the United States court in conducting this transaction before a crowd of about 100, and Mr. Olds' bid was just the exact amount set by the court as the minimum price which would be accepted at the sale.
The Pacific & Eastern had an estimated scrap value of $438,000, according to W. E. Turner, its receiver, who is vice president of the Spokane, Portland & Seattle Railroad Co. and System Lines, who after the sale before departing for Portland last night with C. H. Hart, attorney for the receiver, said that the Hill railroad interests favored the sale at auction at the minimum price set by the court, rather than to see the railroad torn up and scrapped.
The rolling stock of the P.&E. went with the sale, consisting principally of two engines, two passenger cars, one box car and six flat cars. The road also had been using for years six S.P.&S. railroad cars, which will probably be taken over by the new owner.
The Miller Grier Construction Company's failing to enter a bid at the sale yesterday is a mystery, as during the forenoon G. M. McDowell, its secretary and treasurer, while in the Mail Tribune office with receiver Turner stated that it would try and purchase the road, and that if it was successful at the sale the company would see that it was operated in the interests of development of the great timber territory east of Medford.
The Pacific & Eastern was built in 1909-1910 by John F. Stevens, the famous engineer, now in Siberia, and was then intended to complete the link of the Hill system between Bend and California.
Medford Mai Tribune, August 25, 1920, page 5
The best buy in the business district of Medford, the Williamson property across from [the] P.&E. depot. Large grounds, large buildings, cash or terms. See owner, 23 Mistletoe Street.
"Local Briefs," Medford Mail Tribune, August 27, 1920, page 2
P.&E. SOLD FOR $190,000.
The Pacific & Eastern Railroad was sold Tuesday afternoon at the auction held at the P.&E. station to M. D. Olds of Sheboygan, Mich. for $190,000.
There were no other bidders, though a large crowd attended from all parts of Southern Oregon and as far north at Portland. The Miller Grier Construction Company of Portland was represented and their $12,000 check deposited, but no bid was made.
Mr. Olds, who has purchased considerable timber near the road and holds a large block of the road's bonds, had nothing to say after the purchase except that his plans would be announced later.
Mr. Turner, receiver of the railroad and a former Medford resident, announced before the sale that the road would not be junked. He said the Miller Grier Co. was prepared to buy the road and if successful would see that it was operated and the development of the lumber country east of Medford allowed to proceed.
"The people of Medford need not fear the Pacific and Eastern will be torn up," said Mr. Turner.
The P.&E. has been in the hands of the receiver for over a year and a half. It was forced to suspend operations when the railroads went under government ownership and the small feeder lines as represented by the P.&E. were not given proper care. For some time the road has been operated exclusively as a logging road and will undoubtedly be so continued.
Jacksonville Post, August 28, 1920, page 1
PETITION CITY TO BUY P&E TERMINAL SITEA resolution, calling upon the common council of the City of Medford to immediately purchase the Pacific & Eastern terminal grounds, was unanimously adopted by the board of directors of the Chamber of Commerce.
Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors Urges Purchase of 19 Acres for Extensive Camp Grounds--Ideal Location for Camp.
This tract of land consists of approximately nineteen acres and is located in the heart of the city, therefore making it an ideal location for an auto camp ground and public park. Considerable of this land extends to the west of Bear Creek, which is now being used as the temporary auto camp.
These nineteen acres may be purchased at a very reasonable cost and at terms within the reach of the city finances. The board of directors also recommended to the common council that they proceed as soon as possible to acquire an entrance to this property from Riverside Ave.
The members present at the forum yesterday unanimously endorsed the purchase of this property, because it provided the necessary features to make it an ideal auto camp as well as giving exceptionally wonderful opportunities for landscaping for a public park.
Medford Mail Tribune, March 17, 1921, page 1
ASK IMMEDIATE HEARING ON BUTTE FALLS RAILROADThe citizens of Butte Falls have petitioned the public service commission of Oregon to declare the railroad recently purchased by M. D. Olds as a public carrier. The owner objects to such action by the commission on account of the hazardous risk of carrying passengers and because of the expenses of maintaining regular train service; however, he is willing to have the road declared as a carrier of forest products and is willing to deliver freight to Butte Falls about twice a week, free of any transportation charges. Mr. Olds is very anxious that the commission arrive at a decision by May 10th in order that he may perfect plans which he now has under consideration; therefore, the directors of the Medford Chamber of Commerce have authorized a telegraphic request to the Public Service Commission for an immediate hearing on the Butte Falls petition.
Medford Mail Tribune, April 27, 1921, page 8
PETITION FOR COMMON CARRIER.
Citizens of Butte Falls have petitioned the Public Service Commission of Oregon to declare the Pacific & Eastern Railway a common carrier. This railway, extending from Medford to Butte Falls, a distance of forty miles, was purchased by M. D. Olds some months ago by receiver's sale, and has never been operated by the new owner.
The Timberman, Portland, May 1921, page 34
The rumors of the reopening of the Pacific & Eastern Railway and the erection of a sawmill at Medford by the M. D. Olds interests is confirmed by the recent purchase of $7,500,000 feet of timber in the Fourbit tract of the Crater Lake National Park by M. D. Olds. The P.&E. railway extends from Medford to Butte Falls, a distance of forty miles, and was purchased last season by the Olds interests at a receiver's sale. Operations on the roads have been totally suspended ever since it went in the receiver's hands three years ago.
The sale of this tract of timber is the biggest in the history of Crater Lake park. It is situated twelve miles east of Butte Falls, and the stand consists of 81 percent western yellow and sugar pine. The bid on the pine was $3.75, while that on the remainder was 75 cents. The tract consists of 6200 acres, and the other species of timber included are white fir, Douglas fir and incense cedar. The contract makes it necessary for the buyer to begin cutting operations June 1, 1923, allowing two years in which to erect necessary roads for logging and transportation to shipping. The facilities for logging on this tract are excellent, due to the gentle topography of the country, and makes it possible to log with horses to advantage.
The expenditure of approximately $238,000 to extend the track of the P.&E. from Butte Falls to the timber site is the largest item of expense. The total cost of logging 1000 feet and delivering at Butte Falls is estimated at $11.20.
Few Jackson County mills are operating except the two J. T. Gagnon sawmills, one at Medford, and the other at Jacksonville, and the small mills throughout the county, which are supplying the local market with fir timber and some pine, which goes to the Medford box factories.
"Jackson County, Ore.," The Timberman, Portland, June 1921, page 105
P.&E. STATION AT EAGLE POINT IS BURNED UPEAGLE POINT, Ore., Aug. 16--(Special) The Pacific & Eastern depot at Eagle Point was completely destroyed by fire late Saturday night at an estimated loss of $3000. In addition to the building, 1500 pounds of barbed wire, a barrel of gasoline and sundry other articles stored in the building were destroyed.
Structure Is Completely Destroyed at Estimated Loss of $3000--Barbed Wire and Gasoline Stored in Building--Vandals Suspected.
The fire was discovered by E. J. Dietz, who has charge of the Eagle Point water tank, when he went to the station to secure some water. He made an effort to rescue the barrel of gasoline by throwing a rope over it but the flames gained headway too rapidly and he was forced to retire. As there was no hose available and Eagle Point has no fire department, there was no way of saving the structure.
Dietz found the gasoline tap open and the liquid running on the floor and believes someone was in there stealing gas, and perhaps going out dropped a lighted match on the floor. It is also known that men had been in the habit of playing cards in the station Saturday nights.
No officials of the Pacific & Eastern, now owned by W. M. Olds, are in Medford so the exact loss, amount of insurance and plans for rebuilding cannot be obtained. L. B. Buhrman, manager of the P.&E., who has been spending the summer in Michigan, will return to Medford about the first of the month.
Medford Mail Tribune, August 16, 1921, page 6
NEW OIL-BURNING ENGINE BOUGHT BY P.&E. RAILROADMedford Mail Tribune, March 31, 1922, page 6
The Pacific and Eastern Railway has recently received from the Porter Bros. shops in Pittsburgh, Penn., a new, prairie type, 62-ton, oil-burning locomotive. The new engine was shipped from Pittsburgh via San Francisco and arrived here via the Southern Pacific several days ago.
A test run was made with the new locomotive about the first of the week and the functioning was above the highest expectations of the officials of the road, the engine having drawn 25 cars from this city to Eagle Point and passing over the grades in the steepest places without difficulty.
It is understood that a number of men have been employed all winter getting the road in condition for operation this spring and that the work is nearing completion. It is expected that the transportation of logs from the Butte Falls timber district will soon begin and that the mills will start operation in the near future.
The Medford sheet metal works has constructed a galvanized iron tank of 7000 gallons capacity for the storage of the fuel oil to be used in the locomotive.
One of the largest deals ever consummated in the United States was closed in Medford last week, when the Owen-Oregon Company acquired some 16,000 acres of timber and the Brownlee-Olds mills and the Pacific & Eastern railroad. In this The Clarion sees more evidence of real prosperity for Jackson County than in anything occurring in the past ten years.--Clarion.
Jacksonville Post, May 9, 1924, page 4
EARLY HISTORY OF PACIFIC, EASTERN RAILROAD REVIVED
The announcement last week of the Owen-Oregon Lumber Company of plans for the construction of a logging railroad from Butte Falls to Klamath Falls has revived interest in the Pacific & Eastern Railroad. The following history was written by A. E. Kellogg of Central Point:
The history of the Medford & Logging Railroad, better known as the old Pacific & Eastern, has been a history of timber wars, beginning in the late '90s in Jackson County, and railroad wars following. It was back in 1902 the local people of Medford spent $200,000 in acquiring rights of way and grading a roadbed east of Medford, under the style and title of the Medford & Crater Lake Railway. The object was to tap the big timber belt up Rogue River and provide transportation to Crater Lake. Disaster came, and after passing through the courts, the assets of the concern fell into the hands of the Columbia Trust Company of Portland as trustees.
It was during the days of the race of railroad building up the Deschutes River into central Oregon by the Hill people and competing line that the Hill interests purchased the property. They spent $2,000,000 building and finely equipping the road to Butte Falls. Their objective was the low gap in the Cascade Mountains at the foot of Mt. McLoughlin over into central Oregon and making this a connecting road with their main road through this valley on to the coast. In the meantime, peace was declared down on the Deschutes and the building of the Pacific & Eastern was suspended.
The Hill people operated the local road between Medford and Butte Falls at a profit, in spite of a large corps of high-paid officers and office equipment until the war came on, as a connecting line with the Southern Pacific. The war restrictions so hampered branch roads that the company found it unprofitable and abandoned the local road, forcing the trustees of the original bondholders in the sum of $150,000 to foreclose its lien.
On passing into the hands of a court receiver, he suspended the operation of the road. For two years operations were suspended, and in the meantime it totally suspended operations of the large sawmills at Butte Falls and way mills tributary to the road and cut off the usual fuel supply of the entire valley. However, at the end of two years, arrangements were made with the receiver, and for several months a large amount of saw logs were brought in over the road to the Medford mills, but after the court sale these shipments were stopped.
Following the big timber boom in the late '90s, M. D. Olds, a retired timber baron of Sheboygan, Wis., acquired about 10,000 acres of choice saw timber in the Butte Falls district adjacent to the road. This he acquired from small holders, and in making these purchases he was considered an intruder by the several large holders of timber in the district.
The largest holder of standing timber in the Butte Falls district and tributary to the road, at the closing down of operations, was the Butte Falls Lumber & Milling Company, with a 40,000 [omission] capacity sawmill at Butte Falls and logging equipment into the timber. This company had been operating for a number of years and owned about 21,000 acres of timber tributary to its plant and the railroad. The Rogue River Timber Company, by Wheeler, Dusenberry and Merchean, of New York [sic]. Pennsylvania and Portland people owned 40,000 acres. The John S. Owen Company of Wisconsin owned 12,000 acres. L. S. Harkness of New York owned 6000 acres. W. L. Brownlee and associates of Medford owned 6000 acres, while about 10,000 acres were owned by the individual locators of 160-acre tracts.
At the sale of the property by the United States district court it was sold to M. D. Olds for $100,000, he being the only bidder, and this being the minimum sum the court would permit the property to be sold for. The new owner came unheralded from the East a few days before the sale and departed as quietly as he came, leaving the people of Rogue River Valley still guessing what his real object was in acquiring the key to the largest body of standing timber in the state. Only a few well-guarded remarks by the Wisconsin man while here were the basis of an opinion. The various interests hampered by the two years' suspension of the railroad were still at sea as to the future of the road. Some said that Olds would reopen the road and market his timber at once, while others said he would hold the whip hand over his envious co-timber holders by closing the road until they came to his terms. However, the Olds and Brownlee interests were combined, and later the Owen interests came in, and today Owen-Oregon Lumber Company has grown into one of the big firmly established enterprises of Oregon and has translated one of the many talked [omission] resources of Rogue River Valley into terms of business and big payrolls.
Medford Mail Tribune clipping dated May 26, 1929, Thomas scrapbook, SOHS M43B3
Medco Will Abandon, Relinquish Sections of Old Right-of-Way
The Medford Corporation railroad right-of-way, subject of considerable protest by citizens of the neighboring area when the lumber company revealed intentions in 1961 to convert it into a private truck road, is to be abandoned and relinquished, according to a declaration filed Friday at the Jackson County Clerk's office.
Included in the order are all sections of the right-of-way from Vilas Road northeasterly except lands owned by the Medford Corporation or the United States government.
A complete description of all properties involved is contained in the declaration. People who live along the right-of-way are advised to check the document to determine whether their property is included, B. L. Nutting, senior vice president of Medford Corporation, announced.
Take Up TracksIn 1959, the lumber company took up the railroad tracks from Butte Falls out into the woods, where the line had been loading logs bound for the mill for many years.
In March 1961, the company decided to take up the tracks from Butte Falls to Medford with the exception of those within the yard, where the diesel locomotive is used for interchanging freight cars with the Southern Pacific.
From Vilas Road to the Medco plant the railroad right-of-way, which goes by the log storage pond, was converted into a private truck road. The company made known its intentions to haul over the public highway until it could determine whether it would be economically feasible to convert the old railroad grade to a private truck road. The report provoked widespread protest from residents along the route.
The interim from 1961 to 1964 has given Medford Corporation time to check experience in hauling logs over the public highway and to determine the cost of the operation.
The decision recently reached was that it would be too costly to convert the old right-of-way into a truck road, particularly in the manner the company considered necessary to alleviate the undesirable features, cited by the residents of the area.
The investment would be excessive, Nutting said, and the maintenance costly. He explained that the corporation was mindful of its obligation to the residents along the right-of-way. It considered extensive safety measures for the protection of the many children living near, he said, and the paving or frequent sprinkling of the road required to keep down the dust in compiling the probable costs.
The provision of noise arresters on trucks was also included in the considerations to minimize what residents listed as annoyances that would result from use of the private truck road.
Haul on Public RoadThe corporation has been hauling over the public highway and will continue to do so. There are restrictions on size and weight of loads, which limit the hauling, but these have been accepted as preferable to the problems and costs to be considered in operating the private road, according to Nutting. The protest of the people, he added, did contribute to the decision.
In declaring the abandonment, Nutting stressed, the Medford Corporation is not disposing of fee simple rights. It is retaining all sections of the right of way which it owns.
Reviewing the history of the line, Nutting said that many years ago when the Crater Lake and Eastern constructed the railroad from Medford to Eagle Point, lands were either bought outright or grants obtained for operating over lands owned by other people. The original line went broke, and it was reorganized as the Pacific and Eastern Railroad.
Back to OwnersThe original grant rights stated that if the line was not constructed or abandoned at any time then the property would revert back to the owners. The Medford Corporation is now disclaiming any more interest in the property.
Any person who thinks he has reversion rights to the land involved is asked to check the descriptions included in the declaration now on file in the recording division of the County Clerk's office in the Jackson County courthouse.
Medford Mail Tribune, March 8, 1964, page B5
Central Point Man Recalls Ride on Old P&E Railroad
By ALLEN HALLMARK
Mail Tribune Staff Writer
Lester Gorden still remembers the ride he took on the old Pacific & Eastern Railway. After all, it was his 12th birthday, and it was the first train trip he ever took.
The date was May 16, 1915. Gorden, now a spry 80 and living in Central Point, then lived on his grandfather's ranch. The ranch was where Lost Creek Lake is now.
He remembers riding his horse from the ranch to the little town of Derby a few miles west of Butte Falls to meet the P&E train for a "scary" ride to Medford to visit his mother on his birthday.
In those days, the P&E was a mail and passenger train between Medford and Butte Falls. It mostly served the widely scattered farmers and ranchers who were trying to eke out a living from the hills of northeast Jackson County.
On the trip to Butte Falls, the train carried the mail, which consisted of almost everything. Flour, nails, bolts of calico, you name it. If it could be ordered from stores in Medford or from mail order houses like Montgomery Ward, it was likely to be on the train, Gorden says.
On the trip back to Medford, he says, the train carried cords of firewood for city dwellers.
In 1921, the railway was sold to one of the valley's early timber barons, James Brownlee, and ceased to carry passengers. It was named the Medford Logging Railroad and hauled logs from the forest to the big mills in Medford for Owen-Oregon, which became the Medford Corp. in the 1930s.
Medco operated the railroad until 1962, when the train could no longer compete with the new heavy-duty trucks and the extensive system of logging roads that had been developed by that time, says Russell Hogue, retired Medco chairman of the board.
Now almost everything but the memory of the old railroad has disappeared in the mists of time.
The tiny town of Derby is one. So is the handsome P&E Railway terminal building in Medford that once occupied a spot near where the Hawthorne Park swimming pool stands today.
Gone as well are the railroad tracks, the 23 trestles over the deep ravines, most of the locomotives and all of the cars that once chugged daily between Butte Falls and Medford.
And last month, even the railroad right of way itself was declared null and void when the Bureau of Land Management and Medco officials signed papers officially eliminating the railroad easement on federal land.
But Lester Gorden still remembers. So long ago, and so much change, but he still remembers. And probably a lot of other oldtimers still remember riding the old Pacific & Eastern Railway, too.
"There was the engine, one passenger car and one baggage coach," says Gorden. "As I remember, I was the only passenger. Some of that old track was kind of scary, going over those canyons . . . it was just up on stilts, it looked like to me.
"That's the only time I ever rode it," he adds with a wry grin.
The railroad began about 1906 when the Medford and Crater Lake Railroad Co. began construction of the track using crews of laborers imported from India, then a British colony, according to Jeff LaLande's book, "Medford Corporation: A History."
But the project proved too expensive for the original owners, who sold out to the James H. Hill interests in 1907. Hill, who ran the Great Northern Railroad, planned to build the new line over the Cascades to connect with his main line, which ran through Klamath Falls.
Hill's people had the route resurveyed in 1909 and filed the map with the U.S. Department of Interior in 1910, BLM records say.
It was Hill's people who renamed the line the Pacific & Eastern Railway, according to LaLande. But even with the magnate's backing, the track never crossed the mountains. The idea was revived in 1930, only to be rejected again.
The first train arrived in Butte Falls on Nov. 15, 1910. Because all the rolling stock was dilapidated when Brownlee bought it in March 1921, LaLande writes, it's safe to assume that the P&E probably never did too well financially as a passenger train.
"He reportedly paid about $200,000, quite a bargain compared to the $1.3 million it originally had cost to build the line," LaLande says.
The railroad found its niche in the logging industry and served Owen-Oregon and Medco well for years--as long as enough timber was concentrated along the miles of spur tracks built deep into the forests around Butte Falls.
To haul the logs from the woods to Butte Falls, Medco used four Shay-type locomotives, built by the Willamette Iron and Steel Works in Portland.
Two Baldwin-type steam locomotives and one diesel engine hauled the logs to the Medco mill in Medford.
Hogue says Medford had to keep a full-time crew on the payroll just to keep the trestles repaired.
Once the train made it to Medford, it had to cross Oregon 99, the main highway between California and Oregon. Despite the best efforts of flagmen, Hogue says, many minor accidents occurred at the crossing near the Medco mill--especially in the winter fog.
When the railroad was dismantled and the rolling stock disposed of, one of the Shay engines was given to the city of Medford. It's on display in Jackson School Park.
Medco officials once considered building a log truck road down the railroad right of way. That would have allowed the hauling of extra-long logs not allowed on public highways. But that plan was canceled, some say because of protests lodged by Eagle Point residents.
Hogue says the plan just didn't pencil out financially.
"Even a lot of the right of way has grown up with trees, and you can't even make it out unless you really know where to look," Hogue says.
Whatever the reasons, the railroad is gone and now even the right of way.
All that's left are some old photographs, the survey maps, the history books and the memories of people like Lester Gorden.
Medford Mail Tribune, January 19, 1984, page 8
Last revised December 31, 2021