A Newspaper from Medford's Lost Era

Medford, Oregon  Nov. 10th 1887


In and About the City.

    The following "boiled down" is in reply to an inquiry from the east.
    Medford is on the line of the Oregon and California [Railroad], about midway between Portland and Sacramento, and is the chief city in Southern Oregon. It is in the heart of the valley, surrounded on every side with miles of the finest fruit, grain and grape lands in this state. It is a wide-awake, enterprising city. Church and school interest dominant. Moral tone and sentiment higher than that of any place of its population in the state. Eastern people as citizens, principally. It is the chief shipping point for the great fruit belt of Southern Oregon. A 1,000 tons make the fruit shipments this season. Some manufacturing industries. Its growth is rapid and of a wholesome, permanent character. It is the point at which to leave the cars for a look at the best, most attractive portion of Southern Oregon. The people will greet the stranger cordially.
    The climate is about perfect. It is a happy medium between the dry of California, and the extreme rainy season of the Willamette. The valley here is about 1400 feet above sea level, and the air is dry and pure. In both valley and mountain, nature has provided just the climatic conditions required by the industries of the county, fruit-growing, agriculture, mining and stock raising. To the eastern man especially, who desires in summer a warm climate without the excessive heat of his native state, and in winter a clear, bracing atmosphere unaccompanied by extreme cold, and exemption from continuous snow and rain, this valley presents attractions peculiarly inviting. It is beyond question the Paradise of Oregon. Storms, tornadoes and cyclones which visit other countries and scatter desolation and death in their track are here unknown. Spring and summer, autumn and winter, seed time and harvest, come and go in regular succession, but the transition from one to the other is so gradual that one fails to note the end of one, or the beginning of another.
    The health of the people all over this valley is something remarkable. There are no diseases that can be said to be prevalent in this valley. The climate is peculiarly beneficial to those who come here suffering from asthma, catarrh and the like.
    As to the soil, we call it somewhat spotted, here it is decomposed granite, there sandy loam, again adobe, sticky in the rainy season, but when rightly worked as it is by our farmers, the strongest, most inexhaustible soil we have. It will yield fine crops of grain year after year without the use of any fertilizer. The granite soil is specially adapted to fruit growing, and when properly manured is excellent for garden purposes. Nothing more astonishes the novice than the crops found growing on lands which appear to him as of little worth. This is a peculiar country, and its soils are not less remarkable.
    On this black soil near this city 22--500 [sic] pounds of fine large large [sic] potatoes, is an average crop. Thirty to thirty-five bushels of wheat to the acre, is common enough. Corn, as good in quality and as large in both stalk and ear, as any raised in the corn states of Iowa or Illinois, is a common crop in this vicinity. Alfalfa yields three and four crops, of 2½ to 3 tons to the acre. It is worth about $8.50 a ton for hay.
    All the climate and other conditions, natural and acquired are just right for the growing of fruit. Medford is in the great fruit belt of this valley. It is in the central point in that belt. We grow to perfection in and about Medford and its precinct, apples of the best summer, fall and winter varieties; peaches very large in size, beautiful in color, and choice in flavor. Pears of a superior quality, and almost phenomenal in quantity. Cherries fine in all respects. Apricots choice ones. Plums and prunes of all the fine varieties, are grown to perfection in this valley. Some of the latter are marvelous in size, and all are unmatched in flavor. Grapes find a natural home in this valley, and along the foothills to the east and west. Grape growing will be one of the chief interests here in a few years. General fruit growing is the principal industry and is increasing every season.
    Wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, clover, alfalfa, timothy, all the vegetables, cabbage, squash, turnips, beets, sweet potatoes, common potatoes, beans, peas, radishes, celery, carrots, parsnips, onions, and almost every kind of berry nameable, and sugar cane are cultivated here with marked success. A few figs are grown here. Peanuts grow and produce well. The flora wild and cultivated, is attractive. Walnuts and acorns and almonds thrive in this climate. We have in this country fir of a number of varieties, prime white and black oak, ash, maple, laurel and some other varieties of timber. Gold and silver mines are profitably worked in the mountains. Water power is abundant all through this region of country.
    So far as general crops are concerned irrigation is not needed, not practiced, not at all necessary. Gardeners and persons engaged in raising berries and other small fruits generally resort to irrigation in order to prolong the season and produce several crops from the same piece of land. It is not required on the farm in order to raise vegetables or fruits for family use. There is not a farmer in the county who cannot with a reasonable degree of industry, raise vegetables, cherries, all his prunes, grapes, plums, peaches, apples, &c., without irrigation.
    The mountains are full of game, bear, deer, elk, grouse, hens, quail and the smaller birds. Transportation is good. Portland is only 14 hours away for the fruit and berry shipper. San Francisco is as near. Rates for freight are made so as to help the grower and induce shipment. The grower will never be without a prompt market. All the region east of the Cascades in Oregon, and all that region embracing the vast territory of Washington, Idaho, Montana, Dakota, and even beyond that, is not adapted to fruit raising and the people there must come to Oregon for fruit.
    Every foot of land in the valley and on the hills will raise good fruit when properly cared for, and the experience of California fruit growers would lead to the conclusion that an acre of land set out with peaches, prunes and other fruits, and taken care of, will in a very few years furnish a good income for the support of a family. As a rule, no country is more prosperous, more beautiful in appearance, and filled with more cultivated, comfortable homes than one devoted to horticulture.
    Good water is one of the things this city and valley can boast about. The water in the wells of this city comes from mountain springs, through gravel undersoil. It is cold and pure; wholly free from anything like vegetable matter.
    Medford and the immediate precincts sustain excellent schools. In this city we have a graded school, employing four teachers.
    The social status of Medford and this valley will compare favorably with that of communities in the older states. The people are from the eastern states, and for the most part, American born and raised. The proportion of foreign born is small.
    Land is selling in the immediate neighborhood of Medford, at prices ranging from $15 to $59 an acre. Improved farms; land good for fruit, near town; within 3 miles $25 to $40. Nearer, $35 to $50. Unimproved in the foothills, 6 or 8 miles away, $5 to $12. Very little arable government [land] remains in this county. Farms rent for from $2 to $3.50 an acre in cash. In crop 1/3 gathered. House rents cheap in this city; about $10 for a five or 6 room house. Store rents reasonable. Family living expenses are about 10 per cent higher than in the east. The cost of living is being reduced rapidly, since railway connection with 'Frisco has been made [a month in the future, on Dec. 17, 1887].
    Mechanics get good wages. Farm laborers from $20 to $25 per month and board. Building lumber from $12 to $15 and $30 per M. Common cows are worth from $30 to $40. Horses for farm use from $100 to $160 each; calves $10 to $12. Sheep $1.75. Furniture and bedding costs 20 per cent more than in the east. Meat, beef 12 to 15 cents.
    A man willing to roll up his sleeves and take hold can get work. Idlers not wanted. In this city, the stranger will find honest, fair-dealing real estate men, to assist him in making a purchase. Other citizens will aid him with trustworthy information. The secretary, or any member of the Board of Trade will help the stranger in making a location. He has only to be candid and frank to obtain candid and frank treatment. If he comes with a family he can always obtain good accommodations, at reasonable rates at the hotel here. Builders and contractors will put him up a house in a jiffy; or he can rent for awhile. The real estate men will take him behind a team of horses and show him the country. He will meet a cordial reception from citizens generally. He need not have any fears about finding a place to suit his taste or his purse. It is a good plan to come and look over the country, but if you have made up your mind to change, just bring your family and household goods, and cast your lot here. It is an exceptional man who misses it, in making the change. The fault is with him, not with this country. Buy your ticket to Medford, either by Portland or San Francisco, the latter is the best for people east of Omaha or St. Paul.
Our Mail Sack.
    Writing from a farm home near Cincinnati, Ohio, a young man says: "If I should come to Medford with money enough to buy a small farm, and a willingness to work, could I find employment on a farm until I could look about and make an investment."
    We have no hesitancy in saying, yes. Half a dozen times within as many weeks, have farmers been in this office, inquiring if we knew of any help they could get. We have had to say no. If you were here to-day, you could put your money away, and go to work, within an hour, at fair wages. You will have no difficulty in finding such a farm as is within your means, whether you have $800 or $1000 or $3000. If you are cramped for elbow room on the old home place, and your father cannot afford to buy you a farm at Ohio prices, let him give you any one of the above named sums, and we can assure you a farm here, equal to any of three times the price where you now live.
    A young lady writes from Amherst, Massachusetts, saying, "I saw a copy of the Transcript at the house of a friend here, and I write to ask if a girl of nineteen, fairly educated, knows something of music, does Sunday school work, knows all about housework, in a word is a working girl in that sense, can find an opportunity to make a living and a little money over in the city of Medford?"
    There is but one reply to make to this letter, come, and our word for it, the opportunity for a home, and a good one, will present quickly enough.
    A man dating his letter at Bangor, Maine, says, "I want to find a climate that is better than this for a man inclined to asthma. What about your part of the state?"
    It is not claimed that Southern Oregon is a sanitarium, or that the temperature is suited to the cure of all kinds of diseases, but we do assert that the climatic conditions in this valley are peculiarly conducive to health, and because of the fact that we are greatly elevated above sea level and have a pure, dry air, these conditions are highly favorable to the cure of asthma, catarrh and kindred troubles.
    In order to save space we here bunch up three or four letters, one from a watchmaker, one from a photographer, another from a dentist and still another from a stone cutter.
    There are good openings for these tradesmen, if, as they say, they can land here supplied with implements of their business, and some little money to pay their way until they get to to work, two or three or a half a dozen months perhaps. The first and third can get business from the start, if they come to stay. Transient people in either business, will get but little patronage.
    Writing from central Michigan a farmer who can sell out for $3000, asks "What can I do with that sum of money on hand when I land in Medford?"
    Double the acreage you now have in Michigan.
    Double, if not treble, the profits of your farming.
    Get the best climate on the Pacific Coast.
    Locate in the midst of excellent social, church and school interests.
    Buy choice fruit or grain land adjacent to the best town in Southern Oregon, Medford.
    Increase your chances of health by having an even and splendid temperature.
    Exchange the intensely bitter cold of the winter in Michigan, for a climate in which open air work is possible the year through.
    Purchase land close to market, on which all kinds of fruit can be produced, and which, when marketable, will bring you $200 an acre, net.
    Find a summer temperature which admits of field labor, without any possibility of being overcome by heat or sunstroke; an air that invites labor.
    Obtain soil peculiarly adapted to the culture of apples, pears, peaches, plums, prunes, cherries, all the berries and melons belonging to the temperate zone of America, grain of all kinds, corn, clover, alfalfa, in a word almost anything nameable.
    Find a location where stock can pasture almost all the year around, and where it is an uncommon thing to feed more than week or two during the winter.
    Your $3000 will give you an excellent farm in this splendid valley, and, if you plant an orchard on ten or fifteen acres of it, and attend to business, that farm will make you rich in ten years.
    A farmer out in the valley wanted a man to do chores, and an Indian youth was the first tramp presenting. The Indian agreed to work, and the farmer told him to milk the cow and rake his hay. The Indian stood and reflected a little, as though endeavoring to get at what the farmer meant. It dawned on him finally and he said smilingly, "Me suck em calf and scratchem grass; me saba."
    Claus Spreckles says that in Germany farmers become rich growing sugar beets, 100 acres being a large farm for the purpose, and only about one-third of the land planted to beets each year, in order that a rotation of crops may be had. Here is another opportunity for the farmers of this valley.
Odds and Ends.
    Medford a growing, thrifty, wide-awake city on the main line of the Oregon and California railway, and in the very heart of the great fruit belt of Southern Oregon, has become the chief shipping point of this portion of the state. It is naturally, and in an acquired way, the principal shipping point for the fruit grown in this immense stretch of country.
    During the present season we have shipped about 1000 tons of fruit, nearly 100 tons going as express matter. One of the shipments consisted of a train of ten cars, loaded and dispatched as a single shipment by H. E. Battin & Co. of Portland.
    In order to have an adequate conception of the almost marvelous development of the fruit business in this portion of the state, one will have to come here and see for himself. Fruit growing will from this on, be the chief interest for the people of this valley, in the midst of which Medford is located. Instances are very common this year where fruit farmers have received from one to five hundred dollars per acre for the produce of their orchards. The figures might seem large, but they are vouched for and are correct unquestionably.
    The following article published in the Transcript a few weeks ago, will be apropos in this connection:
    A mile or so south of the city of Medford, Mr. E. E. Gore, one of the prominent citizens, and farmers in this valley, has quite a large orchard, mainly, fine varieties of apples. For weeks the trees there have been bending under the weight of a magnificent crop of fruit. To-day, these apples are turning into a handsome pile of twenty dollar gold pieces. H. E. Battin & Co., who purchased this orchard, have already handed Mr. Gore checks for $350, and expect to make him several more payments of that figure, before the produce of this orchard is in boxes at the depot in Medford. Mr. Gore may not have found the legendary stone, transmuting all to gold, but he certainly has discovered that an orchard well cultivated, in this climate and soil, is the much heralded goose that lays the golden egg.
    For the past 60 days J. S. Howard the agt. of the railway company, has sold upwards of 80 town lots; consideration $4500.
    A Portland merchant, who owns a lot or two in Medford and who has not visited the place for more than a year, made a stop here one day last week and expressed himself as greatly and agreeably surprised at our advancement. He says it will pay him to make a further investment in property in such a growing city. This is what every practical man says, who gives Medford an examination.
    Medford maintains a Board of Trade of 60 members, as well as a city council.
    This organized effort has several enterprises under way:
          Flour Mill,
                Water Works,
                      Public Park,
                            Public Library,
                                  Tile Factory,
                                        County Fairgrounds.
    Medford is confessedly the handsomest, the best located, and the most wide-awake and business city in this valley. The citizens do not intend to permit anything to interfere with an uninterrupted progress. Popular interest in the welfare of the city is kept constantly alive.
    The railway company has given block 68 to the city for the purpose of a public square.
    Heaped up in a pile in this office, the visitor will find about two bushels of the finest specimens of potatoes ever shown in this valley. They were grown on the farm of Thos. McAndrews, about a mile northeast of the city. They are well-named the Prolific. Twenty of these potatoes weigh 55 pounds. One of the lot weighs 5 pounds and 5 ounces. Mr. McAndrews gathered 45,000 pounds of potatoes from the two acres, or 750 bushels.
    These potatoes are a surprise even to old-time settlers, who have had an idea that good crops of potatoes could not be grown in this valley. The truth is, there is no stronger, or more fertile soil in Oregon, than just here about Medford. Good cultivation will always bring such happy results as these contributed by Mr. McAndrews.
    If any of our farmer friends in the east ask what opportunity [exists] for a farmer or a fruit grower in Southern Oregon, we tell him in part in [sic] the following article descriptive of a farm near Medford.
    It is said that the man who owned it, used to rent other land on which to grow his potatoes for family use.
    To-day the visitor stands on the lawn in front of a large handsome residence, recently built, on the highest ground of the farm, and looks out upon these acres to see the results of diligent application of the practical methods of farming: the results of a long, patient and close study of the science of dealing with the soil, in the agricultural sense. Close at hand, an acre or two of young orchard, representative of all the varieties of fruit on the entire place, growing there close at hand for the use of the family. To the right, a splendid variety of California fruit; an acre or so. West of it all, long rows of well trimmed and trained raspberry, blackberry, currant and gooseberry bushes then wide stretches of strawberries, vegetables of all the different kinds--acres of sweet potatoes; the yield of which is enormous, then far-reaching patches of watermelons, and muskmelons. Beyond these fields of ripening corn. To the south of the house, we find about thirty acres of a peach orchard, and another stretch of corn. Upon this land we have been describing the owner has an orchard, all told, of about 140 acres; largely fall and winter apples which will be bearing in two or three more seasons. Besides this several acres of a nursery; trees chiefly to experiment with, or to replace any in the orchard, that may be injured in any way.
    Make such farms as this, and Jackson County would be the choice portion of the Pacific Coast. We have the soil and the climate. No better anywhere, when used to the best advantage.

--Dealers in--
$2000              No. 106      117 acres
    Good young orchard, fair buildings and nicely located; fair improvements--six miles from Medford.
$8000              No. 107      312 acres
    All under fence and cross-fenced into 5 different fields, building insured for three years for $3070--two orchards 25 acres in alfalfa, post office on the place, pays $200 yearly, mostly rich sandy loam, good water and nice location.
$300                No. 108      80 acres
    The improvements on this tract for sale; four acres under fence and in cultivation, small house and stable, 50 fruit trees; this is government land, and can only offer the improvements.
$30 per acre   No. 109      143 acres
    One-half mile from Central Point, on Bear Creek, mostly rich bottom, and part on time.
$2500              No. 110      120 acres
    Eighty acres under fence and in cultivation, house 24x26, fair barn and outbuildings; good bearing orchard; mostly free land; adjoining store and post office.
$3000               No. 111      160 acres
    Good buildings and within sight of school house--all under fence and in cultivation; mostly free land.
$1900               No. 62         120 acres
    Choice fruit land, will sell in 40 acre lots at $20 per acre.
$6660               No. 112       666 acres
    Seven miles from Medford--partly rich bottom land, one-half mile river front; $3000 cash, balance from one to five years time, 10 per cent interest.
$5250               No. 95          21 acres
    One mile from city. Splendid land, 150 acres under cultivation, 20 acres timber.
$5460               No. 51           273 acres
    All arable land; about one-half sticky soil, balance free land. Choice fruit and grape land. Will sell all or in lots to suit at $20 per acre. Four miles northeast of Medford.
$4000               No. 55           600 acres
    This fine ranch is situated on Antelope Creek, 12 miles from Medford 80 acres under fence, mostly arable lands. Box house, 5 rooms, good frame barn. Well watered.
$8000               No. 52           349 acres
    300 acres under fence and in cultivation; fine orchard of prunes, plums, apples, peaches, etc., and ½ acre of vineyard; fair buildings, splendid water and in good neighborhood. $4000 cash, balance on time to suit.
$3840               No. 81            480 acres
    Eight miles from city. Unimproved lands.
$4500               No. 95            160 acres
    Seven miles from Medford, all under fence and well improved, splendid grain land, good water and splendid neighborhood; handy to school. Terms: One-half cash, balance, time to suit.
$1300               No. 96             80 acres
    Six miles from Medford--all under fence and cultivation, small house, outbuildings.
$19,200            No. 25             320 acres
    All under fence and well improved, good orchard, rich bottom land, with water advantages; the farm can all be irrigated when ditch is completed; rich elevated soil.
$550                  No. 115           35 acres
    Two-one-half miles from Central Point in the Willow Springs precinct.
$1400                No. 116           39 acres
    One-one-half miles from Medford--near the road leading to Jacksonville, young orchard and small building.
$900                  No. 119            20 acres
    Good new house and barn and spring, all rich bottom lands, 5 miles from Woodville, one-half cash, balance on time, 8 per cent.
$3000               No. 119             160 acres
    Situated 2 miles from Eagle Point. 14 miles from Medford; Little Butte Creek runs through the place affording abundance of water for irrigating purposes, fifty acres under fence and in cultivation, good irrigating ditch.
$1480               No. 120             280 acres
    Thirteen miles from Medford, 160 under fence, mostly prairie land, a number of good springs, good out range for stock.
$1100               No. 121              40 acres
    14½ miles from Medford; rich bottom land.
$500                 No. 122              40 acres
    Situated 20 miles from Medford--splendid meadow land and in the good stock country.
$450                  No. 113             160 acres
    Twelve miles from Medford--splendid land, good buildings and well watered must be sold at once or will be withdrawn from the market; this is an extra bargain.
$2000                No. 64                119 acres
    12 miles from Medford, adjoining the town of Eagle Point; fine bottom land, mostly under good irrigating ditch. Splendid alfalfa ranch.
    125 acres under cultivation, good alfalfa land, with a No. 1 mill-site and race on the farm; orchard, good buildings and splendid outrange. Handy to good school; one mile from Eagle Point, 13 miles from Medford.
$2000                No. 67                 160 acres
    20 miles from city, 100 acres under fence, 25 in cultivation, 4 acres young orchard. Mostly rich, sandy loam.
$800                  No. 68                  235 acres
    75 acres deeded land including improvements on pre-emption right of 160 acres. Splendid water, good location, and a Big Bargain.
$1650                No. 63                  160 acres
    All under fence, fine location; fair house and barn. 80 acres in cultivation. Handy to outside range.
70 Choice residence lots in city $40, $50 and $100 each.
From $350 to $1,500, on the principal streets of Medford. Call on or address,
Medford, Oregon.
$7200               No. 97                  240 acres
    Five miles from Medford--Splendid location; mostly rich adobe soil; splendid orchard and fair buildings: one-half cash; balance on time to suit with 10 per cent interest.
$3500               No. 98                  240 acres
    Ten miles from Medford--150 acres under fence, 80 in cultivation; good house and barn, 100 acres splendid alfalfa lands, running water through the farm; one-half mile good church, one mile from school, three miles from post office.
$2500               No. 99                  200 acres
    One-half mile from Brownsboro--fifteen miles from Medford--all under fence; 40 acres in cultivation, 100 acres arable lands, 349 fruit trees partly bearing, small house and outbuildings, two good living springs, also good irrigating ditch which cost $250, can irrigate 75 acres; would leave part on the place at 10 per cent interest.
$1500               No. 93                  100 acres
    Three-fourths mile from Eagle Point--12 miles from Medford--40 acres under fence. 100 acres arable land, young orchard, fair building and good springs.
$800                 No. 94                   320 acres
    This place is located on Little Butte Creek, suitable for stock ranch; splendid water advantages, no improvements; part creek bottom, balance rolling hills.
$500                  No. 117                160 acres
    Situated on Evans Creek, good irrigating ditch and in a good location for keeping stock, 300 rails and considerable improvements, only the improvements for sale government lands.
$2000                No. 144                160 acres
    Ninety acres under fence and in cultivation, fair building, good springs. Situated on Rogue River.
$3500                No. 100                 160 acres
    All under fence, 125 in cultivation, forty acres rich bottom land, two hundred fruit trees, three-fourths mile from church, two miles of Eagle Point, good stock water.
$2700                No. 101                  165 acres
    Eleven miles from Medford--6 miles from railroad station--85 acres under fence and in cultivation, good orchard, splendid water, mostly rich sandy loam.
$2200                 No. 102                  900 acres
    This tract is situated on Rogue River. 10 miles from Medford--partly rich bottom lands--fronting Rogue River; a bargain.
$4000                 No. 103                  320 acres
    Situated on Little Butte Creek, ten miles from Medford, 260 acres under fence, ninety in cultivation, good house and barn and orchard, mostly rich sandy loam.
$1500                  No. 104                  100 acres
    One and one-half miles from Eagle Point--splendid location and good neighborhood and handy to school, etc.
$2800                  No. 105                   160 acres
    Adjoining the townsite of Eagle Point--good fruit land and mostly good grain land; this is an extra good bargain.

Address: M. E. BEATTY & CO., Medford, Oregon.

Last revised April 20, 2008