Ms. Daley's 1948 pioneer history of Southern Oregon.
Rogue River Valley's Early History ReviewedA hundred and twenty years ago Rogue River Valley was an unknown wilderness inhabited by fierce Indians. Its mountainous portions were densely timbered with majestic evergreens; pines, firs and cedars. Giant, well-branched madrona and large white and black oaks were also plentiful in the higher elevations. Its foothills were covered with thickets of manzanita and chaparral. Some open hillsides and the valley floors were carpeted with wild bunchgrass, rye and other grasses, garlanded in spring and summer with many wildflowers and hedged with arrowwood, wild lilac and wild rose bushes. Its roguish river meandered swiftly along.
By VENITA DALEY
From Indian Trail to Emigrant Road
One trail, through a canyon (Cow Creek) led into it from the north and proceeded southward across Wolf, Coyote and Jump-Off Joe creeks, then followed up Rogue River. [In 1828 the trail followed neither Cow Creek nor Canyon Creek, but ran along the ridge of the divide between the two.] Within the valley proper a network of trails led to and from the numerous and scattered Indian villages. One trail, with Pilot Rock for its guidepost, led out southward over the Siskiyou Mountain Range and into California.
Trappers Were FirstThe first known white men to travel this trail were a party of Hudson's Bay Company trappers who passed through on their way to the Sacramento River in the summer of 1828. They were led by A. Roderick McLeod and young Joe McLoughlin. They returned via the trail as winter approached. Thereafter, within the next few years, several other Hudson's Bay Company men followed their route.
In June, 1835 nine American trappers, some of them accompanied by their Indian wives and led by a Mr. Turner, camped at Rock Point, on the north bank of Rogue River. The local Indians, probably attracted by the presence of Indian women [there's no support for this assumption], came into their camp and turned upon the white men, killing two and wounding others. Several Indians were killed during this affair, after which the remainder withdrew and the party managed to reach white settlements in the Umpqua Valley, where two of their wounded died.
Foots Creek FightIn  Ewing Young, leader of American trappers, P. L. Edwards, Hawkshurst, Carmichael, Bailey, Erequette, Despau, Williams, Tibbetts, Gay, Wood, Camp and several others, guided by Turner, organized a cattle-buying expedition and traveled this trail into California, where they purchased 700 cattle. While returning to the Willamette Valley, they encountered Indian troubles in the Siskiyou Mountains and near Foots Creek in Rogue River Valley, but finally reached their destination with 600 cattle. Since it is known that one member of this party shot an Indian here during the trip south, probably the Indians retaliated during the return trip. Such a business of killing to avenge was soon in general practice among both Indians and whites.
Michel Laframboise, [Canadian] leader of a Hudson's Bay Company party, was attacked twice while passing through this valley. About 1838 another party of 15 men was attacked while crossing the Siskiyou Mountains, or "Boundary Ridge," as it was then called. ["Boundary Ridge" appears only once in contemporary writings.] One man was killed here and two died later of their wounds.
Explorers VisitIn September, 1841, an exploring expedition, headed by Commodore Charles Wilkes and consisting of Lieut. George F. Emmons, in command; Passed Midshipman Henry Eld, Passed Midshipman George W. Colvocoresses, Assistant Surgeon [J. S. Whittle] and 34 others, including the celebrated geologist J. D. Dana and a number of emigrants including women and children, camped on the bank on Rogue River and passed safely through this valley.
Annually, beginning with 1843, emigrants passed back and forth between the Willamette Valley and California.
Seek Wagon TrailIn June, 1846, 15 men on horseback with 15 pack horses started from the Willamette Valley and passed through Rogue River Valley seeking a southern route by which emigrant wagon trains could enter Oregon. These men were Jesse Applegate, Lindsay Applegate, Levi Scott, John Scott, Harry Boygus, Benjamin Burch, John Owen, John Jones, Robert Smith, Samuel Goodhue, Moses Harris, David Goff, Benit Osborne, William Sportsman and William Parker.
En route they camped overnight along Rogue River and saw many Indians and their campfire smokes, but were not molested. They crossed the river and continued through the valley. However, instead of continuing on over the Siskiyous, they turned eastward in the foothills about where Klamath Junction is now located and followed a branch Indian trail up Emigrant Creek (named for those who came later).
They traveled on over the Greenspring and Parker mountains and camped overnight in Long Prairie. Then they followed the shore of Lower Klamath Lake (now drained) and entered California via Lost River Natural Bridge, over which they were guided by a friendly Indian, July 6, 1846.
In October that party returned to the Willamette Valley, having accomplished their task of opening a roadway into California. They were thereafter acclaimed "The Trail Blazers." Their roadway was little more than parts of Indian trails clearly blazed and widened.
Great hardships were suffered by the first few travelers who attempted it--one emigrant train brutally massacred thereon. Then a few years later many emigrant trains came safely over it, and it was acclaimed a great distance saved. [The Southern Route was only sporadically used; it was a longer route to the Willamette Valley, destination of most emigrants.]
(Continued next Sunday)Medford Mail Tribune, September 19, 1948, page 9
Photo captions from the installment:
1. A bit of the emigrant road as it appears today--102 years after its opening. Built by the "trailblazers," June to October, 1846, the roadbed shown lies near the banks of Emigrant Creek. [The road shown is a broad, level, bulldozed dirt road.]
2. Lost River Natural Bridge is shown above as it appears today with the U.S. Reclamation dam resting upon it. The natural bridge is at the eastern end of "Emigrant Road," near the Oregon-California line. The "trailblazers" were guided across it by friendly Indians in 1846.
3. The above monument to the "trailblazers" was erected in 1921 by Crater Lake chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution. It is located on Highway 99 just south of Phoenix.
Rogue River Valley's Early History ReviewedBy 1849 the nearest approach to a road over the Siskiyous and down into Rogue River Valley was a well-blazed and widened Indian trail. Although rough and dusty, it was a beautiful trail in summer, shaded by tall evergreens and gnarled oaks and banked on either side by wild lilac and arrowwood brush, and honeysuckle and wild berry vines. In winter it was muddy or snow-covered, hazardous and untraveled.
By VENITA DALEY
California-Oregon Stage Routes; the Siskiyou Toll Road and Old Stage Stations
That summer Lindsay Applegate piloted the first six wagons over it as far as Wagon Valley [near the city of Mount Shasta], and the following summer Governor Lane of Oregon took one wagon to the same point.
Gold Lures OregoniansDuring those two years a steady stream of gold seekers afoot, on horseback and with pack mules, stirred by gold strike reports in California, left Oregon via this route. [Oregonians began traveling to the California gold fields in 1848.] The same stream came back over it two years later, twice reinforced and with emigrants, stirred by gold strike reports in Oregon and by tales of favorable land grants.
An article in the Marysville (California) Herald dated Dec. 2, 1854 read: "The great Oregon-California Trail passed through the very heart of the country, upon which the travel is yearly increasing. That seems to be the only available route, pointed out by nature for that purpose, being, too, on almost a direct line from the valley of the Sacramento through Shasta, Yreka and Jacksonville, to the valleys of Oregon. The time is no doubt at hand when the stage line will stretch from the Sacramento to the Columbia."
Dark Hollow RoadA stage and freight wagon line was established early between Yreka, California and Jacksonville, Oregon [in 1854]. The road came down off the Siskiyous as far as Phoenix and then, in order to avoid passing Indian camps which were generally believed to occupy the Bear Creek Valley floor, the road detoured into the foothills and continued on westward into Jacksonville. (This road is now called "Pioneer" and "Dark Hollow" roads). [The reason for this little-used western detour is unknown.]
The Jacksonville-Roseburg link of the stage road continued from Jacksonville high around the valley foothills via Willow Springs and to a ferry crossing on Rogue River at Rock Point (just north [sic] of Gold Hill), then followed the northeast bank of Rogue River to Evans' Ferry (town of Rogue River). Crossing there it followed the southwest bank and crossed a third time near Vannoy's Ferry, Grants Pass. [At times there were three ferries operational; no one crossed the Rogue more than once on their way through the region.] It left Rogue River Valley at Galesville (Cow Creek) for the Umpqua Valley and the north.
In 1853 a mule pack trail was opened from Jacksonville to the port at Crescent City, Calif. From Jacksonville it followed the Applegate River to Slate Creek and Wilderville in the Illinois Valley, continuing southwest to Deer Creek and Kerbyville, then to Waldo just three miles inside the Oregon line. It then crossed into California and continued on to Crescent City. Later [in 1858] a stage and freight wagon road was built to Crescent City, entering the older stage route at Vannoy's Ferry.
Stage Houses BuiltMany stage houses [were] typical frontier hostelries, and feed and relay horse barns were built along these stage routes.
The first stage stop at Siskiyou summit was [Byron] Cole's Mountain House, one mile north of the Oregon line. Nothing remains of it today. Lower down the mountain stands Barron's stage station on Old Highway 99. It is in a fine state of preservation, still in use as a picturesque old farm home, and is still owned by a member of the Barron family.
Ashland's first hotel was built by John H. Foster in 1854, but by 1859 "The Ashland House" was built by Eber Emery, and became the stage stop hotel.
The first stage house built in Phoenix was opened in 1854. Nothing remains of it today. Colver House was built there by Samuel Colver in 1855 for a hotel. It was used for Colver's family residence, later as a place of refuge during the Indian wars [it was never attacked], and still later, for a stage stop.
Now considered the oldest standing building in Rogue River Valley [Barron's is older], it faces Highway 99, at the south entrance of Phoenix and near the Trail Blazer's monument. It is 50x50 feet square, made of smooth-hewn logs, 14 inches thick and planed, and dovetailed together at the corners. Wooden pegs hold the logs together in parts of the building. The logs were pierced by loopholes for rifle fire. Several years later the building was sheathed with sawed lumber.
Jacksonville LargestIn Jacksonville, the Robinson House, built in 1853 by Dr. Jesse Robinson, was the largest stage stop hotel en route north of Marysville. The U.S. Hotel stands upon its site today.
In  a toll road was built upon the Siskiyou Summit, and a toll station was erected a few miles inside the Oregon line, whereat each freighter paid a toll for entering. This station was last known as "Dollarhide's Toll Station." No buildings remain on the site today, but sections of old fencing and the road mark the spot.
In Jacksonville, C. C. Beekman and John Klippel ran a large barn for the relay horses of the stage company. [Hentry Klippel and Beekman partnered in mining ventures after the 1870s; any partnership in the express business is unknown to history, as is any John Klippel.] Long out of use, it was removed.
The stage horses were rested and watered at The Willows, the N. C. Dean donation claim north of Jacksonville. ["The Willows" was the Hanley farm; N. C. Dean's claim was at Willow Springs, several miles away.] This lovely old place is still owned by members of the Dean family. Of its original buildings, there still stands a shed and smoke house made of hand-hewn logs held together by wooden pegs and roofed with handmade shakes.
Rock Point HouseThe enormous structure of Rock Point House still stands 200 yards off present Highway 99, north [sic] of Gold Hill. Built by J. L. White in 1864, it served as a stage station until 1883. The two-story tavern, Colonial style, is built of hand-hewn logs. It is rectangular in shape with a double-decked porch running [the] full length of the front. A large chimney decorates the west end of the house.
This is perhaps the only complete surviving example of the old stagecoach taverns having its horse stalls and carriage house attached in a long wing at the rear. The approximate length of the entire structure is 150 feet. The building is of heavy box-type construction, built of undressed boards placed on end with no studding and then covered with dressed siding, painted white.
The northbound Oregon-California Stage Station was long maintained near the present site of Grants Pass. Horses were changed there and a hotel provided meals and lodging for tired passengers.
Farther north, Wolf Creek Tavern, built [around 1883], is still standing near Stage Road Pass. The pass, now abandoned, gave way to a modern highway constructed 100 feet below.
12½ Cents per MileThe stage and freight companies carried passengers at a charge of 12½¢ per mile. Freight was hauled for 4¢ per pound, in large, heavily built wagons with sides built up high to accommodate as much cargo as possible. Six- or eight-horse teams were required to draw the freight wagons.
There were many stage stations and barns along the Crescent City route also. Leaving Jacksonville via [the] Applegate River route, the first stop was at Williamsburg, where C. W. Savage maintained a hotel and boarding house. The triweekly stage stopped briefly in Murphy before crossing the Applegate River. The next town is Wilderville, where a large barn, property of the stage company, remained in a fair state of preservation until just a year ago, when fire destroyed it. Opposite it was the Slate Creek Stage Station, a later-day station along the route.
At Anderson Station [Fort Hay], the old tavern still stands in use today as a private residence. A highway marker across the road now reminds one that this is the site of early Indian battles.
Kerby Barn StandsIn Kerby, the former county seat of Josephine County, and a town which lacks only one year of being as old as Jacksonville, the last old stage barn still stands, dilapidated but not deserted. [Kerby was founded in 1855, three years after Jacksonville.] It is still in use as a hay storage place, a horse stall, a chicken roost, a pigeon roost, and it has a dog in the manger.
The route through the Illinois Valley was always a hazardous one on account of first, Indian attacks, and later, stage robberies. The former occurred mostly between Deer Creek and Indian Hill, while the latter occurred on Oregon Mountain, or between it and Gasquet.
The last stop in Oregon was at old Waldo (no longer in existence), the first county seat of Josephine County. The first stop in California was at the Monumental Mine, where a hotel and stage sheds were maintained. [The Monumenal mine is unknown before the 1900s.] There the last of the old stage coaches, dismantled and too worn for further duty, went to pieces, as did the old sheds and the hotel, in the 1920s.
Gasquet RestoredThe picturesque home of Monsieur Gasquet, French nobleman, who so graciously accommodated many travelers and stage drivers, has been restored inside his hand-piled rock fence at Gasquet Station. Local legend weaves an entertaining story of bold stage banditry about this old place and Oregon Mountain. The story vies only with the local tales of the notorious Black Bart, who held up the stages on the Siskiyou Mountains about the same time.
There were two types of stages in use, both built by the Ben Holladay Company: the short Concord, accommodating nine people (ordinarily), and the "mud wagon," used for perilous roads. They had seats inside and out. The front inside seat faced backwards, the middle seats were removable and the rear seat was considered the most desirable, although in good weather many preferred riding with the driver or on top.
The coach body was made of white oak, braced with iron bands. It was suspended upon two leather thoroughbraces, which were leather straps on top of each other to a thickness of about three inches. This leather spring absorbed the jolts and jars and permitted the coach to rock back and forth. Behind the body was the "boot," triangular in shape, to carry mail, express or baggage.
Treasure CarriedUnder the driver's seat was another leather compartment, for the iron treasure box (usually the Wells, Fargo and Co. box), in which such valuables as gold dust and bullion were carried. The mail, usually carried in the boot, was sometimes strapped on top or piled inside.
Four horses comprised the usual team, though six were used on extra bad roads or in the case of a long distance between stations, or long uphill stretches. They started off and approached the station at a mad gallop. Between stations they settled down to a steady trot, kept up for hours. The drivers were, with few exceptions, warmhearted, kind and obliging "kings of the road," who seldom engaged in conversation while driving.
The Concord stage and freight wagon were the only commercial method of transportation and passenger travel until , when the railroad entered the Rogue River Valley. [This ignores the pack trains, which often carried passengers as well as freight.]
(Continued next Sunday)Medford Mail Tribune, September 26, 1948, page 10
Photo captions from the installment:
1. Colver's House, on Highway 99, just south of Phoenix, is one of the best known and best preserved of the old stage stations still standing in the Rogue Valley. Formerly the Colver family home, a refuge place during the Rogue River Indian war and a stage stopping place, the stately tree-shaded old mansion is now the residence of the C. G. Peebler family, the present owners.
2. Barron's Stage Station House, six miles south of Ashland on Old Highway 99, is still in use today as a farm home and is still owned by members of the Barron family.
3. Rock Point House, 200 feet off Highway 99, north of Gold Hill. The old stage tavern with horse stalls and carriage house still attached at the rear is now the property of the Del Rio Orchard Co., H. S. Deuel, owner.
4. Above is shown a section of the old Siskiyou Toll Road as it looks today where it is crossed by Highway 99, between Steinman and Siskiyou railroad stations, near the summit of the Siskiyou Mountains.
5. Anderson Stage Station [Fort Hay] opposite the Indian war site marker on the Redwood Highway in Josephine County. A private residence today, it is the property of Smith Bros. Lumber Company nearby.
6. The old stage horse feed barn stands near the Redwood Highway in Kerby, Josephine County. It is still in use as a hay and grain storage and horse feed barn for the Kerby community.
Rogue River Valley's Early History ReviewedAbout 1850 the Rogue River Indians, a well-scattered, superior tribe, were roughly estimated at 600. They were under four chiefs and three principal subchiefs, namely: "Old John," head of the Applegate River band; "Joe," also called "Yo" and "Ive," the peace chief; and "Sam," the war chief, heads of the larger bands who had their camps in the valley center and between the Table Rocks; and "Limpy," head of the Lower Applegate and Illinois Valley band. Those four were thought to be brothers.
By VENITA DALEY
Rogue River Indian Wars and Military Garrisons
Subchiefs "Jim," head of the Big Butte Creek band, and "Jake," head of the Little Butte Creek band, were thought to be their cousins. Another tribal branch, under "Tyee Tipsu," lived in the Siskiyou Range and between Bear Creek and the Applegate River. To the south, north and east, their neighbors with whom they bartered, counciled and sometimes warred, were the Shastas, the Umpquas and the Klamaths and Modocs.
Lived Near StreamsThe Rogue Rivers lived near the streams. Their homes were wigwams, conical and inverted bowl-shaped, over a circular hole from two to five feet deep and of varied width, around which poles driven in the ground served as rafters and were covered with animal skins in winter, grass and tule matting, ferns and sometimes brush in summer.
The men were expert hunters and fishermen living in a region that abounded with bear, elk, deer, antelope, cougar, wolves and smaller game animals and many birds, which they snared or shot with bow and arrow. The streams were full of salmon and trout, which they caught by twig dam, gigs and nets or speared by torchlight.
They made canoes by hollowing out trees. They made rock mortars and pestles, jasper and agate knives and implements and traded for obsidian (natural glass) among their neighbors to the east. Most of their activities were in pursuit of food or their enemies. They held secret councils and fairs and were brave and steadily pursuant in warfare. The skin of the albino deer and the scalp of the redheaded woodpecker [acorn woodpecker] were among their most prized possessions.
The women gathered roots, berries and seeds in this valley, which abundantly produced acorn, camas, epua, wocus, various grass seeds, huckleberries, blackberries, raspberries, elderberries, serviceberries, manzanita berries and other fruits including the wild plum, crabapple and cherry. They wove grass, tule and willow baskets and mats. They made the clothing, cooked and prepared the foods, dried and smoked meats and fish, tended the camps, gathered firewood and cared for the children.
White Man ComesFrom 1849 to 1854 a great and rapid change took place in Rogue River Valley. The Indian's primitive wilderness and hunting grounds became the white men's stamping grounds, nearly overnight. A roadway for hundreds of emigrant caravans, a gold rush stampede grounds, mushroomed settlements and towns and a scramble for donation claims.
All these rapid changes met with brusque Indian opposition. The old story of white man's conquest and Indian subjection was reenacted here as it had been in the middle and eastern parts of the United States.
At first there were many encounters between the whites and Indians, and retaliations were carried out by both sides Then, as these affairs increased, volunteer armies were organized among the whites. Lindsay Applegate organized the first emigrant caravan guard of 42 men, armed, mounted and equipped. Later, when open warfare began, the establishment of fortified camps and armies became necessary. [Stockades were thrown up and militias organized briefly during hostilities.]
Rogue War LongThe complete details of the Rogue River war are too long to enumerate here and many of the more specific details are still missing. However, the numerous and hard-fought campaigns started about [June], 1851, and lasted until [May], 1856. The battles ranged from brief skirmishes involving a few soldiers against a "handful" of Indians to long engagements involving several armies against several Indian tribal branches united. These wars were interspersed by sometimes several months of comparative peace by signed treaty and then resumed with added vigor and great loss.
The list of battlefields [few of these encounters could be accurately described as "battles"] in the valley and the nearby localities are:
May, 1851--Along Bear Creek near Phoenix. [This may be a reference to the murder of Jacob Parsons.]
June, 1851--"Green Willow Springs," 20 miles the other side of Rogue River Crossing. [This took place at Willow Springs around the first of May, precipitating Kearny's 1851 attack below.]
June 26-27--On right bank of Rogue River, 10 miles above Table Rock and above Little Butte Creek.
July, 1851 [actually 1852]--Big Bar on Rogue River. Also at the three ferry crossings: Vannoy's (near Grants Pass) later Perkinsville, Perkins' and Evans' (mouth of Evans Creek).
[June], 1851--At Battle Rock, Oregon coast. [While the Port Orford adventurers were under siege at Battle Rock, Phil Kearny was laying waste to the locals in the Rogue Valley, 90 miles away.]
Autumn, 1851--Along the Siskiyou Trail. [This might be a reference to the Siskiyou Massacre of September 1855.]
1852--At mouth of Galice Creek in Josephine County. [This took place in October 1855.]
1852--Near the Dardanelles (Gold Hill). [John R. Hardin and Dr. William R. Rose were killed near there in August 1853.]
Massacre of a large emigrant caravan took place at Bloody Point near Tule Lake, northern California [in September 1852]. While not a part of the Rogue River war area, it called out Col. John Ross and the Jacksonville volunteers and volunteers from Yreka, Calif. Ross returned early, escorting the Snelling emigrant train, the largest of the year, safely into Yreka and on to Jacksonville. Ben Wright's Yrekans carried on a three months' campaign there among the Modoc Indians, for which they retaliated 20 years later with the Modoc Indian war.
1853--Bear Creek Valley, two and a half miles below Phoenix. On "Pioneer," "Dark Hollow" roads, near Jacksonville. Upper Bear Creek Valley around Ashland settlements. [Apparently the attack at the Dunn and Alberding places in August.]
Spring, 1853--Cow Creek canyon.
August, 1853--Open warfare and bloody atrocities the length and breadth of Rogue River Valley. Battle near Table Rock. [The battle was named after Table Rock, but took place on Evans Creek, ten miles away.] Around Jacksonville. Miners killed on Foots Creek and Applegate districts. Pillages on Neil Creek above Ashland settlement.
August 9--Applegate River near mouth of Williams Creek. Josephine County.
August 10--One mile north of Willow springs (Old Stage road)
1854--General Joseph Lane's campaign from Camp Alden, beginning two miles northeast of Table Rock and ending two miles from mouth of Evans Creek. [The "Battle of Table Rock," August 24, 1853.]
August 17--Little Meadows at Battle Creek (Evans district).
August--Seventeen miles up Trail Creek, Ely's battleground. [Ely's August 17 prequel to the battle of the 24th, on Evans Creek.]
August--High in the mountains northwest of Evans Creek, Battle Mountain. Tipsu's raid from around Ashland settlement to Klamath County.
1855--Hostilities of Happy Camp on Indian Creek, Siskiyou County, California (opposite the Illinois Valley in Oregon). At Humbug Creek in Siskiyou County, Calif. Murder at Keene Creek, Greenspring Mtns. Murder and skirmishes on Sucker Creek, Illinois Valley. Plunders and setting fires to buildings in Jacksonville, on Applegate and Sterling creeks. [Jacksonville suffered a fire during the 1855 hostilities, but no one blamed it on the Indians at the time.] At mouth of Little Butte Creek.
October 31, 1855--Battle of "Hungry Hill," Grave Creek in Josephine County.
1856--Deer Creek at its junction with the Illinois River. At Fort Hay in Illinois Valley. General depredations on Galice Creek and Grave Creek in Josephine County. Cow Creek Canyon in Douglas County. Skirmish at Vannoy's ferry.
February 26--Battle at foot of Eight Dollar Mountain, Illinois Valley. On Deer Creek, Illinois Valley.
Spring campaign--First battle of The Meadows. On Little Butte Creek. On Big Butte Creek, Cow Creek in Douglas County, Murphy in Josephine County. Battle of Oak Flat in Curry County. Second Meadows campaign.
April --The Ledford massacre at Rancheria Prairie, Big Butte.
May and June --The business of rounding up the Indians to be placed on reservations. Difficulty with Chief Jake at Wasson Canyon, Little Butte Creek. [This latter was on December 25, 1855.]
July--1,300 Indians of various tribes, including Chief Limpy's band and subchiefs, John's and George's (coast tribes), were placed upon a temporary reservation at Port Orford.
September--2,700 Indians, including Chief Sam's band, were placed on a 70-mile-long reservation extending from Cape Perpetua. The Umpqua tribe was also removed to that place.
[Note that nowhere in this list are white outrages against the Indians listed.]
Become FarmersUpon that reservation, Chief Sam learned to raise apples and onions, which he disposed of to his less provident subjects for exorbitant prices.
Chief John, after two years inaction at Yaquina, tried to instigate a revolt. He and his son, Adam, were assigned to Alcatraz prison. [Where they were incarcerated is unrecorded.] En route they attempted to take over the ship. In the melee Adam lost a leg. Hospitalized in San Francisco, he recovered. A trial held there pardoned them and they were returned to Klamath reservation in eastern Oregon. There Adam became a chief. The final fate of John is unknown. [John and Adam were returned to the Grand Ronde Reservation on the Oregon coast in 1862 in response to the pleas of his daughters and at the request of the Oregon Superintendent of Indian Affairs. There was no trial. John died on the reservation in 1864.]
The other chiefs and subchiefs lived peacefully in exile.
Chief Joe had died a natural death [of tuberculosis] at his lodge near Big Bar on Rogue River, during the war and shortly after signing Lane's treaty. [Joe's government-built cabin was on Evans Creek.]
An accurate census of 1857 placed the Indians living on the coast reservation at 2,048 souls from 14 different tribes.
There were a few remnants of the Rogue Rivers against whom no charges were placed who preferred to remain here. At the end of all hostilities a few robberies were committed on Sucker and Althouse creeks in the Illinois Valley, on the Camas Prairie road near Big Meadows, in Cow Creek Canyon and on the Siskiyous, but by the early part of 1857 these troubles had all stopped and thus closed the Rogue River Indian war.
A few war trials and punishments for crimes were held up until November, 1864, when Skookum Jim was tried and hanged at Fort Klamath for instigating the Ledford massacre. Two other crime suspects were hanged there and Tyee George was shot at Camp Baker. [Tyee George was hanged at Camp Baker; Skookum John was murdered at Fort Klamath, both in late 1863.]
Peace Council PlacesThe peace council and conference places:
July, 1851--Gov. Gaines' treaty which set aside the north bank on Rogue River as Indian territory, took place at Rogue River crossing [near today's Grants Pass]
1852--Meeting near Ambrose's ranch. Big Bend on Rogue River, during which the Indians present agreed to stop molesting whites and to remain on their territory.
1853--Celebration in Jacksonville honoring the soldiers' accomplishments. It was attended by Chiefs Sam and Joe and many members of their tribe. [Indians are not known to have attended the banquet.]
August 24, --Armistice at Table Rock.
September 10, --Signing of the peace treaty. Gen. Lane and Chief Joe, principals.
1856--The council of Oak Flat on right bank of Illinois River, three miles above its mouth in Curry County. Final peace arrangement and surrender of arms at Port Orford.
Forts and fortified buildings:
May, 1851--Camp Stuart near Bear Creek and Phoenix. [This temporary camp, briefly occupied, was not fortified.]
July, 1851--Army headquarters for this district [at Port Orford] on the coast 30 miles north of the mouth of Rogue River, then supposed to be accessible from the [Battle] Rock battle area.
1852--Fort Jones in Siskiyou County, Calif. Army headquarters at Myrtle Point, for military road project from Scottsburg into Cow Creek Canyon. Yreka volunteers' headquarters in Yreka, Calif. Jacksonville volunteers' headquarters in Jacksonville. Fortified stockades on Tolman, Angel and Wagner places in Upper Bear Creek Valley. T'Vault's place at The Dardanelles. N. C. Dean's place at Willow Springs.
1854--Camp Alden near north bank Rogue River and Table Rock.
1855--J. A. Brunner and Bro. building in Jacksonville where the townspeople and nearby settlers took refuge. [Jacksonville was never attacked and was never realistically in danger of attack.] Blockhouse near Phoenix, manned by 15 men who withstood a siege there. [There was no siege.] Later Camp Baker. [Camp Baker was a few miles away from the "blockhouse," which was in Jacksonville.] The Colver house in Phoenix. Forest Dale farm, a barracks, stables and other buildings for the military in Jacksonville. [Forest Dale was somewhere near Bear Creek.] Fort Birdsey, built of square-hewn logs, on Highway 99, near mouth of Birdsey Creek. Fort Briggs on Sucker Creek, Illinois Valley. Fort Hay, also in the Illinois Valley. Fort Vannoy at Vannoy's ferry. Fort Lamerick in Big Meadows area. Fort Lane (Gen Lane's headquarters). [Fort Lane was built after Lane left the Rogue Valley, never to return.] Marker on Tolo Road.
Fort Lane (not existing today) was a log stockade enclosing quite a spacious area in which there was a parade ground, barracks for private soldiers, houses for officers, an armory, a hospital and other necessary buildings. [There was no stockade surrounding Fort Lane.] In 1852 William Hughes erected a small sawmill using water power to saw the lumber for Fort Lane, for which he received $125 per thousand feet. Fort Lane continued to be military headquarters of the forces in this region for three years and at the end of the last Indian war was abandoned.
A partial list of the army officers, state officials and distinguished soldiers and volunteers of the Rogue River Indian war includes:
Governor Gaines of Oregon, General Joseph Lane of Oregon; Judge A. A. Skinner, Indian agent; Samuel Colver, the second Indian agent [Samuel Colver was never an Indian agent; he's often confused with Samuel H. Culver]; Elijah Steele of Yreka, Calif.; General Hitchcock, Commissioner of Pacific Department of Indian Affairs, Port Orford, Oregon Coast; Judge M. P. Deady. first County Judge in Jackson and Josephine counties [Deady was a district judge, not a county judge]; Joel Palmer, Superintendent of Indian Affairs in Oregon, Dr. Anson Dart, Superintendent of Indian Affairs in Oregon; Brevet Major P. Kearny; Captain Stewart, who died of wounds and was temporarily buried in Phoenix; Major B. R. Alden, 4th U.S. Infantry of Fort Jones, Calif.; Colonel Freaner; Colonel John Ross and his Jacksonville volunteers; Captain A. J. Smith and company of First Dragoons from Port Orford, later called "Port Orford Minute Men." [The "minute men" were a volunteer group; Smith commanded U.S. regulars.]
Halstead and his mounted volunteers; Terry's Crescent City Guards: Captain Alvord of the military road company; Captain Lamerick and company; Captain John F. Miller and company; Captain J. W. Nesmith and company; the Humbug Volunteers of Siskiyou County; the Althouse Mounted Guards of Illinois Valley; Prather's spy company; the Lookingglass Guards; the Coquille Guards; Captains Scott, T'Vault, Pleasant Armstrong (killed in battle), Blanchards, Boon, R. L. Williams of Jacksonville, L. F. Mosher, J. P. Goodall and Jacob Rhodes of Yreka; Captain Walker of the Rifles; Lieutenants Irvine (kidnapped by Indians) [Irvine's kidnapping story is suspect]; E. Ely, A. V. Kautz, R. B. Metcalfe, J. D. Mason and T. T. Tierney; Col. Bill Martin; Privates John Scarbrough and Isaac Bradley (killed); and the hospital attaches, B. B. Griffin, Abel George, W. W. Fowler and Elias A. Owens.
The Port Orford Minute Men accomplished a feat yet considered nearly impossible, that of marching through the Rogue River Canyon country to the Table Rock area.
Graves of a few of the soldiers who were buried here, as well as graves of miners and settlers, killed during the Indian wars, are still in the pioneer cemeteries of the valley, namely:
The Isaac Hill cemetery on Old Highway 99, about four miles south of Ashland. Logtown and Sterling cemeteries in Applegate district. Jacksonville Pioneer cemetery in Jacksonville. Butte Falls Pioneer cemetery near Butte Falls. Pioneer cemetery in Illinois Valley, Josephine County. Yreka Pioneer cemetery near Yreka, Calif.
Local legend tells of three soldiers who were killed on Battle Mtn. in Evans district and were buried there.
There are a few cases of unmarked graves of soldiers of the Indian wars.
Indian Graves RemainThere are a number of Indian burial grounds known to still exist in the valley. Some have been accidentally opened in cultivating or high water in creeks have washed ever and exposed them. They were never marked. One, of great antiquity, was opened in recent times during plowing on the William Hittle farm near Echo Mtn. and Gold Hill. It was in a rounded knoll near [the] Rogue River bank. A large number of beads, spear points, Indian pipes and other artifices and a couple of Indian skeletons were unearthed under the able direction of Dr. Luther Cressman, professor of Archaeology of the University of Oregon, who was called to take charge of further excavations of historical value.
Along the banks of the streams where the earth is not under cultivation Indian mounds and wigwam holes still plainly show, having survived nearly a hundred years.
(Continued next Sunday)Medford Mail Tribune, October 4, 1948, page 3
Photo captions from the installment:
1. A natural salt lick which attracted deer on the old Indian camp site on the bank of Lake Creek in the Little Butte district. Five wigwam holes near the lick are still visible today.
2. Stone mortars, pestles, bread-mixing bowls, hide scrapers, arrowhead shapers, jasper and agate arrowheads, knives, Hudson's Bay Trading Company's beads, nut and bone beads, a wild boar's tusk necklace charm and flat baskets are shown above. All are relics of the Rogue River Indians are owned by the author.
3. The Birdseye House and marker at Birdseye Creek on Highway 99 North. Fort Birdseye, once an army hospital, occupied the site during the Rogue River Indian wars. The house is now owned and occupied by Mrs. Effie Birdseye. [Though wounded may have been brought to the Birdseye House, it was never a hospital.]
4. A marker on the highway in Sams Valley, between the two Table Rocks, is on the site of the signing of a peace treaty during the Rogue River Indian wars between General Joseph Lane of Oregon and the regular and volunteer armies of the United States and Chief Joe of the Rogue River Indians. [Many other chiefs were involved. The treaty was signed about a mile away, on the shoulder of Lower Table Rock.] The marker was placed by Crater Lake chapter, D.A.R.
5. A marker on the Tolo Road just off Highway 99 North shows the site of Fort Lane. The fort was built by order of the government in 1853-4 and was occupied by troops of the regular army for three years. The marker was placed by Crater Lake chapter, D.A.R., in 1929.
Rogue River Valley's Early History ReviewedThe tired, travel-worn emigrants, weary from their long journey across the plains and Rocky Mountains, knew they had found their "Land of Promise" in their very first glimpse from the Siskiyou Summit down upon Rogue River Valley with its luscious grass, belly high to a horse, open fields upon which their stock could roam; and its wooded hillsides and tree-fringed streams, to provide shade, lumber and water for their future homes. [Emigrants on the Southern Route didn't cross the Siskiyous; they crossed the Cascades near the present route of Highway 66.]
By VENITA DALEY
First Pioneers and Earliest Settlements
Those pioneers, a people of strong, self-reliant character, already tested and proven by hardships and endurance, had a faith in their future aspirations--and so they halted their caravans and proceeded to claim the Rogue River Valley.
Miners Came TooAlong with them came the miners, thrilled by tales of gold, eagerly seeking and who, after his hard-won treasures were collected, remained to claim a parcel of farm land or to become a leading character within a newly established township. [Most miners left, many of them disappointed.]
Until the spring of 1851 only three houses or stations had become permanently occupied by white men. They were the three ferry crossing stations on Rogue River, namely: Long's, Evans' and Perkins'.
The Indian troubles, arising steadily from the very first, neither checked nor hindered the determination of the pioneers. Even Judge A. A. Skinner, first Indian agent here, took up the first donation claim and upon it built a small log cabin, the first in the whole of Rogue River Valley. [N. C. Dean may have preceded Skinner.] Chesley Gray, interpreter, who came to live with Skinner, soon adjoined him on a donation claim. Moses Hopwood took a claim nearby in December, 1851. Daniel Fisher, Nathaniel C. Dean and a Mr. Kennedy settled at Willow Springs (Old Stage Road north of Jacksonville); Jacob Wagner and L. J. C. Duncan located on Wagner Creek, with Stone, Poyntz and Lewis locating at the crossing. These last three left the next year.
Colver at PhoenixSamuel B. Colver [He apparently didn't have a middle initial] settled in Bear Creek Valley center (Phoenix). Major Barron, John Gibbs and James R. Russell took the Mountain House claim in the Siskiyou foothills. Patrick Dunn, Thomas Smith and Fredrick Alberding were located on the James Clark Tolman place. Edward Magruder took a claim on Sampson Creek. Mr. Bills and son were at The Dardanelles (Gold Hill). John Swinden was at Kane Creek. Davis Evans and two others were at Evans' ferry, and Mr. Perkins and an assistant were in a log house fortress at Perkins' ferry.
R. H. Hargadine, Pease and Samuel Morgan were in the vicinity of Ashland. Joseph B. Saltmarsh was at Sterling. Peter Britt and John Wilmer McCully were in Jacksonville district. So, on New Year's Day, 1852, an old record lists 28 persons, all males, permanently located in this valley. [Britt and most others of this list didn't arrive till later in 1852.]
More ArriveLater that year the list swelled by these additions:
In Jacksonville--William M. Mathes, George Kahler, Francis M. Plymale, Charles W. Kahler, David Linn, Col. Reuben F. Maury, William J. Plymale, Paine Page Prim, John E. Ross, George Black, Henry Blecher, Andrew Davidson, W. W. Fowler, Henry Klippel, ------ Smith and John L. Grubb.
On the Applegate River--Carrel B. Matney, John S. Miller, Robert J. Cameron and John O'Brien.
Near Central Point--Thos. F. Beall, Robert V. Beall and Haskel Amy.
On Sterling Creek--George Yaudes.
At Uniontown--Theodric Cameron, merchant.
At Ferris Gulch--John T. Layton.
Near Willow Springs--James McDonough, John W. McKay, ,David Peninger and Thomas Wright.
On Bear Creek--O. D. Hoxie and E. E. Gore.
In Bear Creek Valley midway to Jacksonville--J. A. Cain and Merritt Bellinger.
Ashland--Eber Emery, Jasper Houck, A. V. Gillette, Dowd Farley, J. A. Cardwell, A. M. Rogers and John M. McCall.
Brownsboro on Little Butte Creek--Henry R. Brown.
Central Point--William Chambers and Isaac Constant.
Eagle Point on Little Butte Creek--James F. Fryer.
On Antelope Creek--Tobias L. Linksweiler.
Phoenix--Louis A. Rose, Edwin Morgan, Hiram Colver, Louie Colver, Samuel Morgan. Mathew Little, Samuel D. Van Dyke.
North side of Rogue River--John B. Wrisley.
In Illinois Valley, later Josephine County--Daniel Fisher, who later settled in Jackson County (Willow Springs), has the distinction of being the first claim owner.
On Canyon Creek--John M. Bour and Malachi Boughman.
On Sucker Creek--Rhoda and James Turner.
At Democrat Gulch--A. G. Walling, E. J. Northcutt, ------ Bell, ------ Cochran and George E. Briggs.
On Althouse Creek--Philip Althouse.
On Galice Creek--Louis Galice, French miner.
At Cow Creek--Israel Boyde Nichols.
In Upper Bear Creek Valley, during January, 1852, E. K. Anderson and brother and Chris Thompson came to Wagner Creek. A Mrs. Lawless, who settled near Skinner's, had the distinction of being the first woman settler in the valley. Shortly afterwards Moses Hopwood brought his wife and family here from the Willamette Valley and Judge Rice and wife and children located near Skinner's.
Griffin Takes ClaimLater that year Burrel B. Griffin took a donation claim four miles southeast of Jacksonville on the creek named for him. Abel D. Helman located in Ashland. Isaac Hill settled near Kingsbury Springs (Klamath Junction). So many others came about the same time or in rapid succession that it became impossible to list them all.
The first buildings erected in Rogue River Valley were small log cabins, the very first of which were rather crudely and quickly thrown together. The round logs, without even the bark removed, were dovetailed together at the corners and the cracks chinked with mud. They had bare, earthen floors, no windows and often no door, save for an animal skin hung over the opening. Log benches and log bunk beds were their furniture.
The second development in more improved buildings took much more time. The logs were stripped of bark, hand-hewn, smoothly planed and fitted together with notched-locked corners. The doors were split logs fastened tightly together and swung on wooden pegged hinges. The floors were also split and planed logs fastened together by wooden pegs.
The windows, during bad weather, were closed by a square of thinner split boards, pegged together and fastened inside the building by wooden latches. These were removed entirely in good weather and a square of bleached muslin pasted over the opening for a window pane. The roofs were covered with hand-split shakes. A large stone fireplace was built of the rocks found on the place.
Many of these first buildings were enclosed within a stockade built of logs set up on end and fastened securely together on the inside, for protection of settlers and their cattle.
Later on, when the Indians were finally suppressed, the settlers cleared their ground for farming by picking up the rocks and piling them into rock fences, many of which still stand today. In places where timber was more plentiful than rocks, the hand-split rail fence, often called "snake fence" or "the worm," surrounded the place. A hand-split picket fence surrounded the house and garden lot.
For the first furniture, willow poles were used for beds and chairs, fastened together with wooden pegs and rawhide. The bed springs were small willow twigs twisted together and covered by mattresses on fir boughs or wild hay. A wick of twisted rags in a pot of bear's grease furnished the illumination, with that from the open fireplace. Wild game animals, birds, fish and berries were as plentiful for food for the settlers as for the Indians. The farmers planted wheat and potatoes just as soon as the land could be cleared, and vegetables and other crops followed shortly thereafter.
The boundaries were set and Jackson County was created January 12, 1852. A board of commissioners was appointed in 1853, comprising James Clugage, N. C. Dean and Abel George, the county commissioners; Dr. C. E. Alexander, clerk; E. H. Blanchard, elisor; Thos. McF. Patton, prosecuting attorney; and Richard Dugan, treasurer.
Precincts were established as Emery and Co., sawmill, in Ashland Mills; Wm. Lawless' house, at The Dardanelles; Ben Halstead's house, at Perkins' ferry; the Harkness and Twogood house on Grave Creek; Hardy Elliff's house, on Cow Creek; Dr. Edward Sheil's house, on Applegate River; Miller and Co., on Canyon Creek; J. C. Anderson and Co., on Althouse Creek; Robinson House, in Jacksonville; Gamble and Tichenor's, in Port Orford.
The first crops were harvested in 1852, although that summer was a very dry one and the crops were not very satisfactory. The winter of 1852 was a hard one. Snow blocked all trails, flour rose to a dollar a pound and provisions ran low. The salt supply gave out and wheat, ground in coffee mills and made into pancakes, was used until provisions could be obtained from Yreka and the Willamette Valley. A few natural salt licks were used in an effort to extract salt locally. Walter Gore, the first white child, was born in the valley in December.
(Continued next Sunday)Medford Mail Tribune, October 10, 1948, page 7
Photo captions from the installment:
1. The old flour mill, its wheat grinding machinery driven by a water wheel, is located on the O'Brien farm, on the Applegate Highway between Ruch and Provolt.
2. Old farm home of hand-hewn logs, later partly sheathed with sawed lumber. Double-decked, two-story style with outside stairs. Built about 80 years ago by Jonas Douden on his donation claim on Gold Hill-Table Rock Highway in Sams Valley. The farm's barnyard was [the] site where a Hudson's Bay Company man was tied to an oak tree and burned by Indians, according to early legend. [I have found no other printed source for this legend.] An Indian burial mound containing beads and artifacts was exposed while cultivating the front yard near the house. Ernest Lyman, step-grandson, owns the house today.
3. Traveler, here is Hill Water. They drank from this spring, the pioneers, as you drink now, and here their oxen rested. The marker, near a spring on Highway 99, between Birdseye Creek and the town of Rogue River, was dedicated December 12, 1937 by County Judge Earl B. Day and the following committee: C. L. McDonald, Jane Snedicor, A. T. Lathrop, Lois Blankenburg, Tony Ross and Effie Birdseye.
4. Hand-split rail fences were most common of early-day land delimiting methods. A fairly well-preserved specimen of this type [of] fence may be seen on a farm near Old Highway 99 in the Siskiyou Mountain district.
5. Pioneer landmark: A rock fence, hand piled from rocks gathered on the place, on the farmed side of Upper Table Rock in Sams Valley.
Rogue River Valley's Early History ReviewedGold was first discovered in Oregon on Canyon and Josephine creeks in Illinois Valley, southwest of Rogue River Valley. [Gold was discovered in Southern Oregon previously, but not extensively mined.] It was found there in 1851 by several prospectors coming north over the mountains from the Klamath River in California. Even so, the actual development of the Rogue River Valley preceded that of the Illinois Valley by about four years. [This may be a reference to agricultural development.] Daniel Fisher, John E. Ross, Nathaniel Mitchell and James Tuffs were among the very first to mine in the Illinois Valley, and very shortly they all came into the Rogue River Valley to settle.
By VENITA DALEY
The Gold Rushes and Developments Therefrom
During Indian troubles in June 1851 Major Kearny dispatched a subordinate officer to the Illinois Valley. [Kearny himself with his men murderously "chastised" the Indians on their way to Benicia in 1851.] A number of miners there responded to the call and proceeded to Camp Stewart on Bear Creek, where they served until released by the Gaines' Peace Treaty.
Gold Found Here in '52In January 1852, James Clugage and J. R. Poole, owners of a mule pack train carrying supplies between Willamette Valley and Yreka, stopped to rest their animals a few days near Bear Creek. Clugage, familiar with gold prospecting in Northern California, wandered into the foothills on the west side of the valley to Jackson Creek and there, in Rich Gulch, struck gold. The first mining claims were taken up by Clugage, Poole and their associates, Sykes, James Skinner and Wilson.
The news traveled fast. [Clugage himself publicized the strike after mining for several weeks.] Miners poured in from the Willamette Valley and from the gold fields in California. Emigrant wagon trains, fresh from the East, halted and the menfolks rushed to stake claims. Many, already settled on farms, left their holdings to try their luck in the gravel bars.
In February every foot of Rich Gulch had been claimed and staked out. By March there were a hundred or a hundred and fifty men working in Jackson Creek. Young Skinner took out a decent fortune in a few weeks' work. Later "Old Man Shively" took $50,000 from the gulch that bears his name.
The mining effort soon spread out, and all nearby creeks, gulches and hillsides were prospected. More strikes were made including one on the Cameron place at Forest Creek [then called Jackass Creek], which was invaded by a small army of miners. Other strikes were made on Big and Little Applegate forks and on Palmer and Sterling creeks. By midsummer not less than a thousand miners were engaged.
Althouse Rich FindIn the spring of 1852 immigration had set entirely towards Jacksonville. Then, in the fall, Althouse Diggings were discovered and ten miles or more were worked, with pay dirt surpassing any in Jacksonville district. [The discoveries on Althouse predated that of Rich Gulch.] Hundreds of claims were staked there. Gold was then discovered in Democrat Gulch, separated from Althouse by a divide; and at Sailor's Diggings (Waldo), between east and west forks of the Illinois River. Sailor's Diggings was named for its discoverers who are said to have deserted their ship in Crescent City port, in their excitement for gold. [Luther Hasbrouck recalls the sailors were aboard a schooner wrecked at Crescent City.] A large amount of gold was taken from both localities.
More new strikes were made that year in Rogue River Valley where a big one occurred at Willow Springs. Gold was discovered also on Galice Creek in northeastern Josephine County.
During the summer the valley population was greatly increased by the Snelling train of 159 wagons, coming via the "Southern Pass Route" [sic--the "Southern Route."] and escorted into Yreka and on to Jacksonville by Captain Ross and the Jacksonville volunteers. This large group consisted of 400 men, 120 women, 170 children, 2600 cattle, 1300 sheep, 140 loose horses and 40 mules, with agriculture and household implements. [I'm unable to find the Snelling name associated with any wagon train. This may be a reference to the Preacher Train of 1853.]
The hard winter of 1852 and 1853 caused many miners to leave the Illinois Valley in search of food, until pack trains carrying provisions from Crescent City arrived in the spring, But in the summer of 1853 nearly a thousand men were mining there again.
Every spot where gold was likely to be found was prospected in the Illinois and Rogue River valleys, and a steady stream of miners continued to pour in via the Siskiyou route, from the Willamette Valley and from Crescent City.
Trade FlourishesWith such an influx of miners and emigrants there sprung up a great demand for the necessaries of life, from whence packers and merchants entered upon their occupations and trade took root and flourished. Jacksonville, the center of activities and trade, mushroomed first in Rogue River Valley. Kerbyville followed the next year in the Illinois Valley.
About ten miles west of Jacksonville, Uniontown (Logtown) sprang up as a miners' supply base. Its buildings were built of heavy logs for protection against the elements and the Indians, whence its name. [It was more likely named after resident Francis Logg.] That community was at the junction of Forest and Poorman's creeks, from which rich deposits were being taken. Near Althouse, Browntown and "Hogtown"; and near Waldo, Frenchtown served the same purpose. Later Buncom was built for Sterling's supply base.
More placer discoveries were made on Foots Creek, Big Bar on Rogue River, Kane Creek, Sardine Creek, Wards Creek, Evans Creek, Pheasant Creek and Galls Creek. They produced coarse placer gold. Then rich strikes were made on Grave Creek, Jump-Off Joe, Louse and Coyote creeks in northern Josephine County, and at Cow Creek near the Douglas County line. In the upper Bear Creek Valley, gold was discovered on Wagner Creek and at the Forty-Nine Diggings near Phoenix.
In all these rich placer grounds all the earliest work was done with pick, shovel, pan and rocker (cradle). Then sluice boxes were made, using the water from the gulches and streams to wash the pay dirt.
Indians Busy, TooDuring the Indian wars, all of which took place during the gold rush, most of the miners came into Jacksonville or to the nearest fortified settlements, and returned to work just as soon as the disturbance was quelled in their particular locality. [Indian wars usually took place when there was no water available for mining.] Some miners who were caught alone or in small groups were brutally murdered by the Indians and their camps or cabins were set fire to. Yet, there are several tales about miners who braved a surprise attack and survived, including nearly a hundred men who persisted in working the gravels of Big Bar on Rogue River at intervals between distinguishing themselves as Capt. Lamerick's volunteers.
By 1853 nearly all the fertile lands along Bear Creek and Rogue River had been claimed, mainly by Oregon farmers who had come down from Willamette Valley. The larger portion of the mining camp population were Californians. Many men engaged in both occupations, farming in the summer and mining in winter while the streams were high.
Rapid development was taking place throughout the valleys. The communities and small towns included: Jacksonville, Ashland Mills, Wagner (Talent), Phoenix, Willow Springs. The Dardanelles, Woodville (Rogue River), Brownsboro, Eagle Point, Ruch, Williams Creek, Murphy; and in the Illinois Valley: Pearsoll Bar and Deer Creek and near Cow Creek, Galesville, and Leland on Grave Creek.
In 1856 the gravel bars were being worked with renewed vigor and improved methods. The output of gold had then risen to $3,000,000 annually, including the Jacksonville, Althouse, Cow and Grave creeks and ocean beach districts.
Chinese ComeOriental miners began to come into the mining districts. The Marysville newspaper, dated Sept. 9, 1856, reported: "The Chinese are going to Jacksonville from Yreka to avoid the foreign miner's tax imposed in California." [Chinese began to arrive in numbers in 1854.]
Cheap labor in experienced miners had been imported from China during the California gold rush. The Chinese had been shipped to the United States in large numbers. They worked under Chinese leaders, going quietly to the mining districts. They moved from one "worked-out" locality to another, reworking each with considerable profit and sending their gains back to China.
So, John Chinaman came to Oregon, dog-trotting or trudging along the roadsides, avoiding stages, emigrant and freight wagons, and clearing the trail for mule pack trains, horseback riders and white men on foot. They came in picturesque native costume, each with a pole slung across his shoulders, pendant from either end of which was about fifty pounds or more weight of provisions, clothes and tools.
Great numbers crowded the mining areas before their presence was realized. They worked everywhere--in Jacksonville district, in Applegate district, on Canyon and Josephine creeks, in Althouse district and on Cow Creek. Their contracts belied their numbers; for example 20 Chinese leased the "worked-out" Cameron mine on the Applegate and, under the leadership of Jim Ling [Gin Lin], a hundred Chinese worked it and took out $500,000.
They piled boulders, dug long water ditches to convey water to the mines, scraped tiny fissures in bedrock with a Chinese knife made for such a purpose, brushed the bedrock with their "Chinese miner's broom," and used both placer and hydraulic methods of mining. The later method of mining was coming into general usage here then. It was later estimated that 1800 Chinese worked in the Jacksonville district and nearly 3000 at one time worked in the Illinois Valley.
Some Hawaiian laborers also came, but in much smaller numbers. A camp near Jacksonville bore the name "Kanaka Flat" in recognition of their presence.
Districts DividedThe mining districts became somewhat divided when Josephine County was set aside from Jackson County on January 22, 1856. Then, in 1857 and 1858, Josephine County mines lost to the Fraser River excitement.
Hydraulic method of mining way extensively used here by 1859. Expensive hydraulic equipment capable of handling more ore in a day than the old prospector could handle in a season was a great improvement. Ditches carried the water to the mining area and to a reservoir. From there it was piped to the "giant head" and forced out at great pressure. With the sway of the powerful "giant" and a steady flow of backwash, hills were washed down to bedrock, and the gold-bearing gravel was washed into sluice boxes. The gold particles, being heaviest, lodged against riffles in the bottom of the boxes. The fine gold was often gathered by the use of quicksilver.
Nearly all of the early placer mines have been reworked by hydraulic methods.
First Quartz MineThe valley's first quartz mine was [the] Hicks Lead on the left fork of Jackson Creek, above Farmer's Flat. It was discovered in 1859 by Sonora Hicks and his brother. It yielded $1,000 in two hours.
The second quartz locality was the famous Gold Hill Lode, discovered the same year by Mr. Graham, who took George Ish, James Hayes, Thomas Chavner and John Long as partners. The first quartz mill in the valley was built there. It was purchased in San Francisco and shipped to the mine by the firm of Klippel, McLaughlin and Williams at a cost of $12,000, including the freight; $400,000 was taken out the next year.
Henry Klippel, who was called "The Father of Quartz Mining in Southern Oregon," found a piece of quartz mixed with gold weighing 13 ounces which yielded $100.
Swinden Ledge on John Swinden's donation claim near Gold Hill was discovered in 1859. A shaft was dug and the quartz was reduced by arrastra. The McDonough and [Schumpf] claims were nearby.
The Foots Creek mines of Johnson, Lyons and Peebler were discovered that year also. In Shively's Gulch on Jackson Creek a quartz ledge was discovered and called Holman Ledge, after its discoverer. It was worked by a mill erected by Henry Pape, and yielded $10,000. At Davenport Claim on the right branch of Jackson Creek, $75 per ton was obtained by an 8-stamp mill. It was exhausted within a year and the engine was used in a sawmill on Forest Creek. The stamp battery was used on Wagner Creek where Anderson and Rockfellow were working a quartz lead. The boiler of another smaller mill with an amalgamating pan and settler, that first worked Timber and Shively's Gulch, was converted to use at Karewski's flour mill in Jacksonville.
Steamboat LargestThe largest quartz mine in Jacksonville and Applegate districts was Fowler Ledge or Applegate Quartz Mine, later called Steamboat. It is on Carberry (right fork) of Big Applegate, was discovered by Frank Fitterman and William Billings, and yielded $18,500 in one week. Its owners included Captain Barnes, John Ely, William P. Ferris, W. W. Fowler. G. W. Keeler, D. L. Hopkins, McKay and O'Brien, Anderson and James T. Glenn. Its total yield was $350,000.
An 8-stamp free gold mill was installed at Grants Pass in 1860.
A 12-stamp mill, amalgamating in the battery and crushing wet, was located at The Dardanelles. It was later sold to Jewett Bros. and Douthitt and removed to Jewett mine near Vannoy's, and still later the engine powered a sawmill at Parker's on Big Butte Creek.
There were many larger plants later, including the Greenback Mine that had 40 stamps.
Total Yield HugeThe gold yield of the entire area between 1852 and 1870 has been estimated at between $15,000,000 and $18,000,000 [around half a billion dollars in today's purchasing power].
The Ester Mine of Grave Creek was discovered by Browning and Son in 1876. The rock yielded $12 and $14 per ton.
The Blackwell Lead was discovered near Gold Hill, and a rotary quartz crusher was installed in 1882. Its yield was from $10,000 to $12,000.
Jewett Ledge yielded $40,000 and exhausted itself in 1874. Then Klippel and Beekman possessed it and installed an engine, boiler and two steam arrastras. After more profit it became exhausted again.
Placer and hydraulic methods are still in use today near old Waldo district. In later years many of the earliest mines were remined a third time by dredge methods. Such is the case at old Logtown district (dredged out), Foots Creek (dredged out), Althouse (dredged out), and Evans Creek, where a dredge is now working.
So different are the modern methods from the old--in recent years huge diesel bulldozers cleared ground at Sterling for a diesel shovel which scooped dirt into 5-yard trucks at a rate of 3,000 cubic feet a day, and worked day and night, excepting Sundays and holidays. The dirt was then put through the mill and sluice boxes, leaving the gold in the boxes. The bedrock was then gone over by a crew of men and the fine dirt shoveled into smaller sluice boxes.
Fossils Also FoundBesides their wealth in gold, the mines of this area have produced many valuable specimens of prehistoric life.
During hydraulic operations, the fossiliferous sandstones of Grave Creek revealed perfect shells of the giant mollusk and tiny gastropods of ancient marine life. In the Logtown and Sterling mines many tusks and bones of the woolly mammoth (ancient cousin to the elephant), were washed out. A perfect specimen of the skull and horns of an ancient broad-faced water oxen was unearthed more recently near the early Logtown district.
(Continued next Sunday)Medford Mail Tribune, October 17, 1948, page 7
Photo captions from the installment:
1. The author's Chinese relic collection. Porcelain rice and tea bowls, Chinese coins, large crockery jars, ginger jars, gin bottles, tiny medicine bottles, brass bowls with Chinese designs and lettering, large iron cooking vessel with two handles [a wok] (rocks were piled high in a circle around a small fire, the vessel was then set in the top to cover hole), and tea and rice boxes. All were used by the early Chinese miners in Rogue River Valley and by later Chinese railroad construction workers from Yreka to Ashland over the Siskiyou Mountains.
2. Site of Logtown on Jacksonville-Ruch Highway. The town's well and a bush of the covered wagon variety (Harrison's yellow) sweetbrier rose are all that is left to mark the spot.
3. Marker in Rich Gulch on Jackson Creek [the marker is actually in the Dairy/Daisy Creek drainage], on the spot where James Clugage found gold in January, 1852.
4. The gold dredge above is at work today on Evans Creek in an ancient "worked-out" placer and later hydraulic mining area.
5. Old placer mine on Illinois River near Josephine Creek mouth and Canyon Creek region, where gold was first discovered in Oregon.
Rogue River Valley's Early History ReviewedThe history of Jacksonville begins with the discovery of gold in Rich Gulch on Jackson Creek, by James Clugage, January 1852. It has the distinction of being the first town in Southern Oregon and second in the whole state.
By VENITA DALEY
Jacksonville, First Town in Southern Oregon and Second in State
During the early gold rush there, all ground in and around Rich Gulch was turned, washed and thoroughly worked. Later, when the mining method changed to underground tunneling, approximately 16 miles of tunnels were dug, up and down, crisscrossed and every way within the small area which now confines the town. Now, in our times, the back wall of a building may settle more than is expected, a spring rain may cause ground to give way in some front yard or a tree may fall over and reveal a tunnel opening.
First Building 1852The first building was a log cabin erected by W. W. Fowler in March 1852. Many tent houses were erected that spring and summer, also a number of log buildings. Then, lumber was "whipsawed" in the gulches and clapboard houses with real sawed doors and window frames began to rise among the tents and log cabins, and before the end of summer, the busy town took on a look of solidity.
The first population was all male. Then, Mrs. McCully, Mrs. Evans, Mrs. Lawless and Mrs. Gore had the distinction of being the only women there before 1853.
Henry Klippel and ------ Smith partially surveyed the town and laid out Oregon and California streets. [The town plat is dated September 1, 1852 and signed "G. Sherman."]
A judicial tribunal was created to settle disputes about land, mining, water rights, etc. Several public trials and a few hangings took place, including the well-known case of gambler Brown who shot and killed miner Potts, without provocation. Brown was tried and convicted by the people's court and hanged from an oak tree, and was buried a few yards west of where the Presbyterian Church now stands.
Then, Thomas Wills and a man named Nolan were killed by Indians near the town and two young Indian boys, who wandered into the town at that time, were caught by the bitter mob and hanged from an oak on Jackson Creek.
First Court 1853On September 5, 1853 a regular court was held with United States District Judge for the Territory of Oregon Hon. Matthew P. Deady on the bench. The officers of the court were L. F. Grover (subsequently Governor of Oregon) and U.S. district attorney pro tem.; Columbus Sims, territorial prosecuting attorney; Joseph W. Drew, deputy marshal; and Matthew G. Kennedy, sheriff.
Further progress of the town was marked by the arrival of many respectable families.
During that spring a large religious element had come with the immigration from the middle and eastern states and steps were starting to found a Methodist church.
In May communication was ripened by Cram, Rogers and Company of Yreka, a branch of the express house of Adams and Company of San Francisco. C. C. Beekman was regularly dispatched as messenger, carrying letters, papers and hundreds of thousands of dollars in gold dust to Crescent City [Beekman rode to Yreka]. He crossed the mountain often at night, and in all those troubled times, was never molested.
In August, James Clugage McCully, the first child, was horn in Jacksonville, and named for the discoverer of gold there.
In September, 1853 Rev. Father James Croke, Missionary of the Archdiocese of Oregon, held the first Catholic mass in the private home of Charles Casey.
1853 ProsperousEighteen hundred fifty-three was a year of general prosperity. The weekend street crowds were a motley lot of buyers and sellers, colored-shirted miners, farmers, Mexican packers in colorful costume, with silver trappings and broad sombrero; and an occasional sullen Indian, moving about with ill-concealed hatred of the strangers who were pushing him from his hunting and camp grounds.
The nights were gay with drinking, gambling, music and merrymaking. With the gold rush had come gamblers, courtesans and sharpers of every kind. Faro and monte games ran full blast and saloons multiplied beyond necessity.
Before the year's end, the walls of the town's first brick building were well underway. A kiln of brick had been burned for that purpose and marl from the "desert" beyond Bear Creek was used instead of lime. The building was the store of Maury & Davis, completed the next year.
Other merchants who carried heavy stocks in the beginning of 1854 were: Appler & Kenney, who had opened a trading post there in February, 1852 [a store is not a "trading post"]; Birdsey & Ettlinger; Sam Goldstein, baker; John Anderson; J. Brunner; Wells & Friedlander; Fowler & Davis; Little & Westgate, saloon keepers; Joseph Holman; Henry Blecher, butcher; The Robinson House, owned by Dr. Jesse Robinson; The Arkansas Stable, run by Joe Davis; Dr. McCully's Bakery; Hazeltine & Gilson, bakers; Pyle & McDonough, carpenter shop; James C. Burpee, furniture manufacturing; Zigler & Martin; Cozart & Ralls, and Thomas Hopwood, blacksmithing. Hopwood is said to have made the first plow manufactured in the valley.
First ChurchThe Rev. Joseph S. Smith and wife, and the Misses Overbeck and Royal, solicited money from miners, gamblers, sports, townspeople and churchmen, and the Methodist church, first Protestant church west of the Rockies, was built in 1854. The church building, of hand-hewn logs, covered with a shake roof, was erected by Pyle, McDonough and David Linn. The Rev. Joseph S. Smith was the first pastor.
With the increase of the gentler sex, society began to crystallize. Balls, teas and gay festivities were frequent affairs of old Jacksonville.
The first school was organized by Miss Royal, a minister's daughter. Mrs. McCully taught it.
A number of talented women artists, one nationally recognized, were the products of early Jacksonville culture.
The second brick building was that of J. A. Brunner and Bro., and was built in 1854. (It is still standing and is the oldest brick building in the state.) A large number of dwellings were added to the town during the year 1854.
Masons Found LodgeOn March 15, 1855 Warren Lodge No. 10 A.F.&A.M. was organized with the first officers: T. McF. Patton, W.M.; Patrick Dunn, S.W.; A. M. Berry, J.W.; A. B. Carter, Treas.; S. H. Taylor, Sec.; Lewis Graf, S. D.; Jacob Solomon, J. D., and J. S. Burpee, Tiler.
The Table Rock Sentinel, first newspaper, was established in 1855, by Messrs. T'Vault, Taylor and Blakely.
During the year a Catholic mission was held by Rev. Father James Cody of Yreka.
Chinese miners in native costume, with long braided queues, flat woven bamboo hats on their heads and sandals for shoes, appeared on the streets.
In 1856 the Catholic church building was completed and opening services were conducted by His Grace, Archbishop Blanchet of Oregon City. St. Mary's Academy was established by Catholic Sisterhood, shortly thereafter.
By 1857 Jacksonville, with a population of 3,000, was the richest town in Oregon.
In November a Presbyterian church was founded. They shared the Methodists' building for about twenty-five years.
In  a wagon road from Waldo in Josephine County was opened for travel to Crescent City and prices in Jacksonville dropped, owing to greater transportation facilities. The Mexican packer no longer came whooping into town with his independent swagger. To take his place, there was an increasing number of Chinese.
In 1861 a recruiting headquarters for military guards was opened.
In 1862 C. C. Beekman established the first bank in the state. Most of the gold mined thereafter, in the area, passed through it. [Beekman began banking in 1856 when he bough the Cram, Rogers express business, which had offered banking services since 1853. Beekman built his own building in 1863.]
Population 15,000Eighteen hundred sixty-five was considered the year of greatest population in Jacksonville and its surrounding mine areas, which altogether reach approximately 15,000 persons. The town then had 14 dry goods stores, 14 saloons [there may have been this many saloons in the Jacksonville voting precinct, but not within the town limits], a bank, two hotels, three churches, several blacksmith shops, small shops and boarding houses.
A smallpox epidemic broke out in 1868, first among some half-breed Indians who camped near the town, then among the townspeople. In its darkest hours the Catholic priest and the Sisterhood rendered valuable assistance, along with some members of the Odd Fellows organization.
A cloudburst of gigantic force caused a damaging flood in Daisy and Jackson creeks in 1869.
In 1872 S. Oregon wagon road project started with S. J. Day, commissioner.
In the spring of 1873 a $75,000 fire broke out and the following year another big fire removed many of the early landmarks.
During the first week in October, 1880 President Rutherford B. Hayes, General William T. Sherman, the president's physician, J. W. Herron and wife; Mrs. Hayes and their son: Gen. Sherman's daughter, and Mrs. Autenreith, widow of the President's aide; Mrs. Mitchell, news correspondent, and three others came from Yreka, Ashland, and to Jacksonville in two special stage coaches. They spent the night at the newly built U.S. Hotel, where a ball was given in their honor. Next morning. as they were preparing to leave, Madam Holt, French proprietress, presented them with the bill for $100. It has been told that she finally settled for $50.
New Church ErectedIn 1881 the Presbyterians erected a handsome and ornate church with beautiful stained glass windows.
The Jackson County Court House, crowning glory of the town, was built in 1883-84 at a cost of approximately $35,000.
Several fine vineyards were set out by R. Morat and J. N. T. Miller on the hillsides above the town.
Within the town many beautiful dwellings were built, several of which remain in good condition today, including:
The former home of Peter Britt, pioneer photographer, with its beautiful garden containing rare fruits, shrubs, plants, a palm tree and a redwood tree; and the original photograph studio, containing many early photos of valley notables. A son and a daughter own the home today.
The elaborate former home of Jerry Nunan contains wrought iron finishings that were shipped around Cape Horn to Jacksonville. [The house was built long after the arrival of the railroad.]
Among the larger houses are the former homes of Reames, Beekman, Dowell and McCully (recently remodeled). Then, there are many less costly built and less elaborately finished homes, but just as rich in antiquity and pioneer lore. The stained glass windows, fancy old staircases, the "gingerbread" trimmings of Carpenter Gothic Revival days, the old mill wheel, a picket fence and a handmade shake roof are reminders of the early constructions in Jacksonville.
Oldest SidewalksThe town has the oldest sidewalks and stone doorsteps in the state. The "Sacred Tree of Heaven" planted by the hand of the "heathen Chinese" volunteer along the creek and streets. Beekman's Banking House is still there. A very old firehouse with its antiquated equipment is there, and the Alice Applegate Sargent collection of Indian and pioneer relies are housed in a room in the J. A. Brunner and Bro. building. Another collection of early-day relics is housed in a room in the U.S. Hotel.
Among the very interesting old business buildings is the J. Orth building (1872); an old lodge building with tall doors reinforced with strips of iron that were freighted in from Redding, Calif.; The Redmen's Hall; the Kaspar Kubli Building (188)1; the former Table Rock Saloon; part of an old brewery, the old printing office, Barnum's depot and a humble wooden-front Chinese laundry. Most of the business buildings are built of the old-fashioned red brick, characteristic of early Western mining towns.
The gold yield of Jacksonville and its surrounding area, since 1852, has been estimated at approximately $12,000,000. The Wells Fargo & Company had forwarded $10,000,000 since 1856.
Among its present citizens, the town retains several descendants of its early pioneers.
(Continued next Sunday)Medford Mail Tribune, October 24, 1948, page 14
Photo captions from the installment:
1. J. A. Brunner and Bro. building, erected in 1855 on Oregon Street in Jacksonville, now houses the Alice Applegate Sargent collection of historical relics.
2. One block of California Street in Jacksonville showing oldest sidewalks and doorsteps in Oregon.
3. Sacred trees of heaven, first planted by early Chinese miners and now volunteered until they are the most abundant variety of shade trees in Jacksonville. Being sacred to the Chinese, they were planted by them in every mining locality in the West where they lived and worked. [Edward Sheil ordered ailanthus seeds for Jacksonville on September 26, 1853, before the Chinese arrived in numbers.]
4. Old Jackson County courthouse in Jacksonville, Ore. The county seat was moved to Medford about 16 years ago.
5. U.S. Hotel building on California Street in Jacksonville. It now houses a museum, public library and lodge halls.
6. First Presbyterian church west of [the] Rocky Mountains. Built in Jacksonville in 1854, the church was dedicated to the memory of the Rev. Joseph Smith and the pioneers who organized the church on June 1 of that year.
7. The C. C. Beekman banking house on California Street in Jacksonville.
Rogue River Valley's Early History ReviewedThe "Mountain House" district south of Ashland was settled first, before the town started. Gen. James Clark Tolman crossed the Siskiyou [sic] Mountains into Rogue River Valley with a portion of an emigrant train in August 1852, bringing the first families to the valley from across the plains direct.
By VENITA DALEY
Ashland Site Settled Early
Most of them located on large farms and took up stock raising and general farming in that mountainous district.
Besides Tolman and Thomas Smith, early land owners there were Patrick Dunn, J. R. Russell, ------ Gibbs, H. F. Barron, Fred Alberding, John Murphy, Joshua Patterson, Claiborne and Leander Neil (on Neil Creek), W. C. Myer, R. B. Hargadine (sheep raiser), and others. A few of these fine old farms are still owned by members of their families.
Sawmill Town FirstThe city of Ashland on Upper Bear (Ashland) Creek had a very humble beginning as a sawmill village. A. V. Gillette erected a sawmill there in 1852. A. D. Helman settled nearby. The first building erected was the dwelling of Hargadine and Pease. The second was a sawmill for Eber Emery, J. B. Emery, J. A. Cardwell and Dowd Hurley (or Farley) [only recorded as "Dowd Farley" elsewhere], costing $8,000. The third was a home for A. D. Helman, and the fourth was a home for Eber Emery.
Four or five men argued the question of a name for the place; finally it was called Ashland Mills, after Helman's former home in Ashland, Ohio, and Henry Clay's home, Ashland, Kentucky. A. M. Rogers was also among the first to settle there.
The first hotel was built by John R. Foster. A butcher shop was built for Marian Westfall and a carpenter shop for Buckingham and Williams. John Sheldon had the first wagon shop and the first store was opened by R. B. Hargadine. The mail, which came very irregularly, was carried by pony.
The immigration of 1853 brought many settlers. A considerable amount of wheat was raised in the valley in 1853, so in 1854 two flour mills were erected in Ashland Mills. The first, "The Eagle Mill," was built by the Thomas Brothers and later owned by Farnham heirs, at the foot of the hill north of the town.
The buhrstones for grinding the flour had to be freighted from Roseburg, a job contracted by Williston Hamilton and his partner (unknown).
En route back to Ashland Mills they camped for the night near Rogue River, south of Gold Hill. Next morning, while preparing their breakfast of coffee and flapjacks, an Indian approached them. Believing him to be friendly and hungry, Hamilton flipped a warm cake towards him. Misunderstanding the action, the Indian attacked them. Hamilton was killed. His partner escaped by quickly entering some nearby brush and finally made it on foot to a settlement, where he reported the affair.
The buhrstones were brought on to Ashland Mills later by others; the team of horses, having been taken, were never recovered from the Indians. This grist mill was used as a place of refuge for the women from nearby farms during one phase of the Indian wars.
Second Mill BuiltThe second mill was called "Ashland Mill" and was erected in 1854 also, at a cost of $15,000 by Helman, Emery and Morris, and was later owned by Jacob Wagner. The mill's first blacksmith shop was built by the mill company. Siskiyou County, California, was a large consumer of Ashland's flour.
Ashland's first school was an abandoned log cabin. Its furnishings were logs split for seats, an old fireplace for heat and one or two slates. A little later District No. 5 was organized by the Rev. Myron Stearns at Mrs. Erb's residence, two miles east of the town. The district was later divided. The first school taught in Ashland Mills proper was in the Eber Emery home in 1854-55 with Miss Lizzie Anderson, teacher.
Bennett Million's farm covered a portion of the townsite in 1854.
The first church was held in the dining room of the Sampson Tavern.
Wheat crops had increased throughout the valley, flour was then 4 cents per pound and Rogue River Valley vegetables were sold in great quantities in Yreka during 1855. Jackson County was then Oregon's foremost, and as soon as the Indian wars were over the following spring, new firms were established at various points and all business was quickly resumed.
The Ashland House was built by Eber Emery in 1859 at a cost of $3,000. It ran two years under his ownership and then sold to Jasper Houck for $6,000. The business section of the town had been moved up from the sawmill district to the plaza square.
First School in 1860The first public school building in the town was a substantial frame building 18x20 feet square on a stone foundation. It cost $600 and was built in 1860 on a lot donated by R. B. Hargadine. An addition of about the same size was put on the following year.
By 1860 the building of log cabins and even hand-hewn log houses had about ceased. Sawmills and carpenter shops were turning out enough lumber to build all new buildings of sawed, finished lumber with a smooth side for painting. The best hand-hewn log houses in the valley were being sheathed over with sawed lumber and painted.
In the towns many small log cabins were torn down to make room for sawed-lumber ones. Within a short period of a few years many fine homes were built, some of which have survived and are still in use today. "Gingerbread" Carpenter Gothic, a fancy decorative finish of Elizabethan and Tudor English origin in architecture, was added to Ashland's better homes by the contractors and builders who erected the new homes of the later 1860s, 1870s and early 1880s.
Many beautiful examples of those homes are to be seen yet in Ashland's residential district. The use of cemented cut stone and brick for foundation and building materials was also being steadily employed.
The Methodist Church of Ashland was organized in July 1864 by the Rev. P. M. Starr of the Jacksonville circuit.
Marble Works in 1865A marble sawmill and shops, utilizing native marble, were built in the years 1865 and 1869 by James Russell. They were the first marble works in Oregon.
The planing mills and cabinet shops of L. S. P. Marsh and Co. were built by H. S. Emery in 1868.
The extensive nursery of Orlando Coolidge was established in 1868 and was the most extensive of its kind in Southern Oregon. It contained many varieties of hardy fruits, nuts, shrubs, flowers and ornamental trees. Mr. Coolidge was the fruitman, and Mrs. Coolidge was the florist.
Sheep were being raised in the valley to a considerable extent then. In the foothills east of Ashland Mills, on property of Robert Hargadine; W. C. Daley, Steven Hamilton and J. R. Tozer, Ashland Mills carpenters, built the largest sheep barn in the county.
In 1867 the Ashland Woolen Mills was established by a joint stock company of 30 members, with J. M. McCall, leader. The building was built by John Daley, William C. Daley, Eber Emery and company, on a cemented cutstone foundation. Operations began in 1868 under the name of "Rogue River Woolen Mfg. Co." S. M. McCall was president; C. K. Klum, secretary, and John Daley, superintendent.
The building cost $32,000; it was four stories high and the largest building in the county. After three years it was sold to G. N. Marshall and Chas. Goodchild, and after five years to James Thornton, associated with W. H. Atkinson, Jacob Wagner and E. K. Anderson, and changed its name to "Ashland Woolen Mfg. Co." Its capacity was 16,000 pounds of wool per month and it operated day and night, Sundays excepted. Underwear, hosiery, shawls, blankets and woolen goods were manufactured.
The company maintained a retail store in Ashland Mills and shipped its first produce to San Francisco and later supplied Rogue River Valley, Klamath and Siskiyou Co. The mills were run by water power supplied through a ditch from Ashland Creek, acting on a 26-inch turbine, with 32 ft. pressure. When the ditch was being dug an Indian skeleton, with a large abalone shell over its head, was unearthed.
Mill Burned in 1901This mill furnished employment for many men and women, running continuously until it was destroyed by fire in 1901.
Gillette's sawmill and a candle factory were operating along Ashland Creek at about that time. A soap factory opened also.
Ashland College and Normal was inaugurated in 1869 at a quarterly conference of the Methodist Episcopal church, at which Rev. C. Alderson proposed the enterprise. Plans and specifications were made by Rev. J. W. Kuykendall and the building was built by Blake and Emery and finished in 1872 under direction of Rev. J. N. Skidmore.
The Ashland Lodge, No. 45, Independent Order of Odd Fellows was organized July 23, 1873, and the Odd Fellows' Hall was constructed at a cost of $6,000.
In 1874 the planing mills and cabinet shops of L. S. P. Marsh and Company were sold to Marsh and Valpey and additional machinery was installed to the value of $8,000.
Ashland Mills changed its name to Ashland and was incorporated October 13, 1874. The first officers were: Jacob Wagner, F. W. Ewing, J. R. Tozer, and H. C. Hill, trustees; Chas. K. Klum, recorder; Wm. C. Daley, marshal, and J. M. McCall, treasurer.
Methodists Build in 1875The Methodist church was erected in 1875 at a cost of $3,500 and was 36x56 feet square [sic].
Ashland Lodge 23, A.F.&A. Masons, was organized June 1875. The society possessed the Masonic Hall built in 1870 at a cost of $7,600.
The First Presbyterian Church of Ashland was organized August 12, 1875 by Rev. Thos. Frazer. The church was erected in 1878 at a cost of $3,200.
Ashland's Baptist organization began February 1877 with the Rev. J. F. Bradford as first minister.
The W. C. Daley, J. R. Tozer and H. S. Emery planing mill and cabinet shop was built in 1878 at a cost of $3,000, at the junction of Mechanic and Helman streets. Its power was water from Ashland Creek acting on a turbine wheel. It turned out a large amount and variety of carpentry and cabinet work annually. When the survey for the railroad was made through Ashland this mill was on the right-of-way, so that company sold to the railroad company and their business closed.
The public library of Ashland was organized December 1879.
In 1880 a two-story building, 36x50 feet, was erected near the school building at a cost of $2,000. This was to accommodate the increasing number of pupils.
The Alpha Chapter of the Eastern Star was founded there on March 13, 1880 and was the earliest established in Oregon. Its meeting place was the Masonic hall.
Templars OrganizeAshland Lodge No. 453 Independent Order of Good Templars was organized November 9, 1883 with their meeting place in the Odd Fellows' hall.
The Ancient Order of United Workmen, Ashland Lodge No. 66, was also organized.
The Ashland Bank was incorporated February 9, 1884 by J. M. McCall, W. H. Atkinson and H. B. Carter.
The population of the town in 1854 was 25; in 1864 was under 300; in 1874 was approximately 500 and in 1884 was 1,000.
G. A. Walling (1884), historian, paid Ashland the following compliment:
"Architecturally, Ashland is one of the finest of towns. Its situation is all that could be desired: its buildings are really creditable; its surroundings are beautiful; and its social advantages are of very high order."
Ashland has been Southern Oregon's educational center. It has produced some fine artists as well as high business officials. Its natural park was first the camping place for visiting Indians (Klamaths) who often came to trade at Rogue River Valley stores, after the Indian wars had been forgotten. Then, with some artistic development, it became the gathering place for church conventions, Southern Oregon Chautauquas and summertime festivities.
Many SpringsThe natural mineral and soda springs in and near Ashland, including Helman Sulfur Baths, Jackson Hot Springs, Buckhorn Mineral Springs on Emigrant Creek, where Tolman built a tavern, Indian Camp Soda Spring on Sampson Creek, Wagner Soda Spring (old spring house and bridge still in use over Emigrant Creek), Kingsbury Soda Spring at Klamath Junction and Colestin Soda Spring (old hotel gone) on Siskiyou Summit, were patronized by Indians before the coming of the emigrants and became very popular resort places for the pioneers.
A number of the descendants of the pioneer families are still residing in Ashland.
Mt. Ashland Chanter of the D.A.R. shared with Crater Lake Chapter D.A.R. in erecting "The Trail Blazers' Monument"--picture shown in Part I. Their name did not appear on the monument because they were in the act of organizing when the monument was erected.
(Continued Monday)Medford Mail Tribune, October 31, 1948, page 12
Rogue History Review ShowsStarting at the southern end of the Rogue River Valley, below Ashland, we have:
Talent Among First Towns in Valley Farming Region
By VENITA DALEY
The Small Towns and Early Localities
Talent. That community was first settled for farming by donation claims extending from just north of Ashland, west to Wagner Creek and to the foothills on the opposite side of Bear Creek (first called "Mary's River," then "Stuart Creek" and finally, "Bear Creek.")
The town was first called "Wagner" after Wagner House, built there in 1853 by Jacob Wagner, who came to the creek named for him in 1852. Among the settlers who came in 1853 were John P. Walker (nearest Ashland), D. P. Brittain, Welborn Beeson, John Holton and Samuel M. Robinson. Later G. H. Lynch (1869), Wm. Patton (1874) and Geo. F. Pennebaker (1879) came. In 1875 A. P. Talent came. The present townsite was platted by Talent in 1880, in honor of whom the name was then changed. The town's development came about 1884 when it became a railroad station.
Phoenix Was GasburgPhoenix, on Bear Creek, was early nicknamed "Gasburg." It was settled in the fall of 1851 by Samuel B. Colver who took up 640 acres in one donation claim. The following summer his brother, Hiram, came, bringing the families of both and took up another 640 acres adjoining Samuel. In 1852 Samuel D. Van Dyke, Matthew Little, E. E. Gore, O. D. Hoxie, Dr. Geo. Kahler and Edwin Morgan came. In 1853 James Sterling, John and H. M. Coleman, George T. Vining, Grindley, C. S. Sargent, James P. Burns, W. Lynch, Mathes, Harry and Harvey Oatman, Milton Lindley, James R. and Thos. G. Reames, Louis A. Rose and Stephen Clark Taylor (4 miles northeast) settled there. In 1854 Frederick Barneburg came. He had a government recipe [i.e., contract] for making oxen shoes.
In 1854 the townsite was laid out on Samuel Colver's land. The same year Milton Lindley built a flour mill. In 1855 S. M. Wait built a waterpower-driven flour mill on land donated by Colver. Later Wait left for Washington, turning his mill property over to E. D. Foudray, who built a new building and dug a mill race. That mill's owners, thereafter, were: Wm. Hess, James T. Glenn, E. D. Foudray, G. H. Wimer, the Grangers and P. W. Olwell.
Oatman Built HotelHarvey Oatman built the first hotel. Henry Church and H. B. Oatman were the first merchants. Judge Orange Jacobs was an early juvenile teacher and lawyer. Jeptha Davison settled northwest of the town in 1859, and in 1860 came Samuel Furry, Wallace G. Bishop (2 miles north), and C. Kleinhammer.
In February 1861 placer diggings were opened nearby. For a while it threatened to rival Jacksonville's activities. The total yield of the Coleman and Reames mines was $170,000.
During 1864 Phoenix enjoyed a period of prosperity and progress. It was the home of lawyers, doctors, artisans and merchants. It had four dry goods stores, one hardware store, three blacksmith shops, two flour mills, a shoe store, a school, three hotels, several boarding houses, four saloons and a livery stable. A church was begun by Methodists and Presbyterians jointly in 1862. The population was then about 300, not including a number of miners camped nearby and the military garrison at Camp Baker.
Camp Baker. During the War of the Rebellion the government made arrangements for the formation of several regiments of troops to garrison the various military posts, even though that affair was far removed from this part of the United States.
Southern Oregon's quota was four companies, whose duties were to repress Indian affairs (trials of earlier Indian offenders), maintain general law and order and supervise the building of important military roads. R. F. Maury was commissioned lieutenant colonel, with recruiting headquarters in Jacksonville, in 1861. He raised the first regiment of Oregon state cavalry.
"The Mountain Rangers," Co. A, first regiment, first brigade--Oregon militia, included: Captain A. D. Helman, 1st Lieut. Ivan Applegate, 2nd Lieut. Welborn Beeson. Others were Walter Myers, Frank Applegate, Mr. Osborne, Minus Walker, John Grubb and Walter Baldwin.
Baker Guards Formed"The Camp Baker Guards," named in honor of Senator Baker of Oregon, included: Captain Thos. S. Harris, 1st Lieut. Jesse Robinson, 2nd Lieut. J. W. Hopkins, and others totaling 80 men. They were stationed at a blockhouse at Camp Baker, near Phoenix. [There was no blockhouse at Camp Baker.]
"The Jackson Rangers," with Captain Sewall Truax, did service on the Upper Columbia and Snake rivers until their discharge. They were mainly residents of Jackson County.
Lindsay Applegate's company of 42, mounted and armed, patrolled the old emigrant road district and helped with the construction of the military road, which was built through rough mountain terrain from Fort Klamath, via 4-Mile Lake, Cat Hill and down Big Butte Creek to Brownsboro, thence to the valley and Jacksonville.
Only short, picturesque sections of this old road surprise the present-day hunters and mountaineers who occasionally stumble upon it in darkened, overgrown forests. Likewise, all evidence of the existence of Camp Baker is now gone, save the name of the present-day road leading westward out of Phoenix, along which the Crater Lake Chapter D.A.R. has placed a small wooden sign and red-leafed plum tree, marking the site in a vineyard.
West of Phoenix is Coleman Creek, named for the Coleman family, early settlers there. Northwest, nearly west of Talent, is Anderson Creek, named for the Anderson family. East of Phoenix, across Bear Creek, is Fern Valley, named for the Fern family who settled there; and the high sandstone rim along that side of the valley is Payne's bluff, named for C. T. Payne, who located under them in 1868. Prehistoric, petrified logs and broken chunks of petrified wood are exposed in the Payne's Bluff and Beeson Cliffs, nearby.
(To Be Continued)Medford Mail Tribune, November 1, 1948, page 3
Medford Bore Nickname "Chaparral City"Medford. Located about five miles north of Phoenix and the same distance east of Jacksonville is Medford, newest and largest city in Bear Creek Valley, with the creek running through its center. Today this is the shipping point for Jacksonville, Upper and Middle Applegate districts to its west; Eagle Point and Little Butte Creek districts, Butte Falls and Big Butte Creek districts and the Crater Lake Highway communities of Shady Cove, Trail, Rogue Elk, McLeod, Prospect, Union Creek and Crater Lake resort, to its northeast.
in Early Day, Valley History Reveals
By VENITA DALEY
Part VIII, continued from yesterday
Barn, Blacksmith Shop Formed Nucleus of Medford, Town Incorporated in 1885
Medford, early nicknamed "Chaparral City," had its beginning very late and does not belong to the pioneer times to which this writing is dedicated. However, about three donation claims cornered on this site, one of which belonged to Mr. Phipps, father of I. D. Phipps, the dentist, who still lives here.
In the beginning a barn, blacksmith shop and a few other buildings were erected at the Bear Creek ford on the road that then went through the valley towards Jacksonville. [This ford was at the present McAndrews Road, a mile from the original townsite. No structures are known to have been built there. Early histories commonly assumed there was a crossing of Bear Creek at today's Main Street bridge.]
Then, in 1883, about 40 wooden buildings had been built and one brick building was under way. Among them was a hotel (Riddle House), several stores, a livery stable and a few business offices. The railroad, which was nearing completion through the valley in the spring of 1884, really started the growth and life of the town. [The railroad depot was the sole reason for the start of Medford.]
Incorporated in 1885Medford was incorporated in 1885 and a board of trustees was organized with J. S. Howard, president. Phipps, Howard and a third man (unknown) named the streets of early Medford. [The streets were only lettered and numbered until 1908; they were named by the ladies of the Greater Medford Club.] Howard's administration was a good one and he was later called "The Father of Medford."
Between Medford, Jacksonville and Central Point (three miles north), on the floor of the valley, there are quite a number of fine early-day farms, some still owned by members of their original families. They include the lands of William Bybee, one of the largest land owners in Southern Oregon; Merritt Bellinger's farm on Bellinger road (Bellinger came to the valley in 1852); Granville Naylor's farm (a pioneer of 1853); the John R. Tice farm (pioneer of 1853, whose son, Fred, was a Concord stage driver and cattleman, and whose grandson, Oliver, is a cattle raiser today); the Jacob Ish farm; the Michael Hanley farm (early cattleman whose sons became leaders in cattle raising in Southern and Eastern Oregon and whose grandchildren today still own and manage the Hanley lands). Nearer Central Point are the farms of Conrad Mingus; the farm of Col. John E. Ross and the Thos. F. Beall and Robert V. Beall farms on Beall Lane (still owned by members of their families).
Dean Farm OldOne of the earliest farms in the valley, still owned by a member of the original family, is the N. C. Dean farm, which was taken up in 1851, and located on "Old Stage Road," Willow Springs district. It includes the spring of Willow Springs. The old farm home is surrounded by aged shade trees and spacious lawns, a characteristic of nearly all the early-day farm home yards in the valley. A flagstone walk laid by Mrs. N. C. Dean in the 1850s is still in use from front gate to front porch and around the side of the house.
Willow Springs was a community of gold rush times. John Kennedy joined Dean in 1852, and the two kept a wayside hostelry for miners for several years. Daniel Fisher had a claim nearby in the gulch where gold was discovered in 1852. Nicholas Cook had a store there. Lane's Gulch, nearby, was very rich.
Willow Springs mines were worked over several times with considerable profit and were later abandoned as exhausted. Nothing remains today of the original community of Willow Springs, but most of the land around is taken up for beautiful country home sites. The Old Stage Road affords a beautiful scenic drive today.
Central PointCentral Point at Bear Creek was so named because of its central location. Since the earliest donation claims in the valley were in that vicinity (John B. Wrisley's, 1852; Skinner's; Hopwood's; Isaac Constant's, 1852 and Grey's), the most extensive early farming was carried on there. The townsite was donation land of Magruder brothers settled in 1868. They opened the first merchandise store.
Central Point was a midway trading point for people of the Butte Creek districts who had previously had to travel to Jacksonville. Among its early settlers were: I. Cornelius Gage, Geo. W. Cooksey (1858), Haskel Amy (1852), Wm. Chambers (1852), Mrs. Artinecia Merriman (1856), John E. Harvey, English hotel keeper (1867), Wm. T. Leever (1854) and G. T. Hershberger (1877). The first girl born in Rogue River Valley was Alice Wrisley--born on [the] north bank of Rogue River at the John B. Wrisley farm, near Central Point. Central Point became a railroad station in 1884, but the town remained small and the surrounding district clung to fanning.
East and southeast of Central Point were the portions of the valley known as "the Desert," on the east side of Bear Creek and south of Rogue River and Butte Creek. That land was first considered worthless for farming. Samuel B. Hamilton learned early from the Indians that it was their hunting grounds. A band of antelope and many deer were seen and hunted there in the early 1850s. In later years stock grazed there.
Big StickyBig Sticky was located southeast of "the Desert" and had better land for cultivation. It extended from below Phoenix on east side of Bear Creek to "the Desert." Some of its very early settlers were: Alexander French, Asa Parker, John E. and Charles Seyferth, John and Nicholas Cook, Major James Lupton, whose farm was called "Mound Ranch" on account of an isolated hill standing thereon. Rev. Martin Peterson, minister and farmer located there in 1864. On Sticky Flat, about the center of Big Sticky, lived James F. Gregory and John W. Smith.
Antelope and Dry Creek valleys were still further east. James W. Collins settled on Dry Creek in 1853. He had come into Rogue River Valley in 1852, first locating on the Gordon ranch near Ashland. In 1853 he moved to Dry Creek to raise stock, then to Table Rock district and finally to Phoenix. He is credited with having sown the first grain in the valley and to have erected the first frame house in Jackson County.
Antelope Creek was named so because of the band of antelope ranging there in the early 1850s. A fortified house was erected in that vicinity for protection of the Little Butte Creek and surrounding area settlers, during the Indian wars. In very recent years Indian pestles were dug up by road scrapers on former Indian camping grounds en route to Climax, near the head of Antelope Creek. Chimney Rock is a familiar landmark near Climax. Land near the present Antelope school was the early home of Mr. Swingle, a first settler and landowner in Little Butte Creek districts.
Eagle PointEagle Point, on Little Butte Creek about three miles from Rogue River, was taken up by Abram Robinson, George Ludlow and Freeman Smith; 800 acres, jointly for gardening and livestock raising for market in Jacksonville, 16 miles away. Smith sold to James J. Fryer in August, 1853. T. Cameron built the first building there in the fall of 1853. Samuel B. Hamilton came and established an Indian trading post, but his story was shortened owing to Indian hostilities.
John Mathews, who settled nearby, named the place after the national bird that nested in a rocky ledge nearby. [Early resident A. C. Howlett recalled the name being suggested to commemorate the shooting of a large eagle on the point of rocks above the town in the early 1870s by a schoolmaster named McFadden.] Fred Westgate and N. A. Young (1851) and a Mr. Little opened another trading post about a mile away. During the Indian wars these settlers abandoned their claims and after the wars only Mr. Fryer returned. Then new efforts to establish the town were made. Peter Simon, who came to the county in 1854, located there.
Finally, in 1872, a post office was established by Andrew McNeil and James Fryer, A. J. Daley, Eber Emery and Peter Simons became proprietors of Eagle Point. Arthur Pool was blacksmith and hotel keeper, M. Purdin was also a blacksmith, John Daley Sr. opened a supply store; and Robert Brown opened a general merchandise store with warehouse built of local stones and mortar.
Flour Mill BuiltIn 1872 the "Snowy Butte Flour Mill" was built by John Daley Sr. and Eber Emery for Adoniram John Daley, miller. It contained two run of buhrstones, with a capacity of 40 barrels of flour a day. Its motive power was a turbine wheel, with a water fall of 17 feet. Water supply was from Little Butte Creek, upon the bank of which it had been built. This mill ran under the ownership of A. J. Daley for 20 years. It furnished flour for both Butte creeks, the valley stores and also filled its later orders which were freighted by wagon and team to Medford and then shipped by train [after 1884] to Grants Pass.
The flour sacks containing best grade white flour were printed with a large picture of Mt. McLoughlin, better known to pioneers as "Snowy Butte" and "Mt. Pitt." The sacks containing brown (whole wheat) flour were printed with a large Indian chief's head, were called "Big Chief" brand. The latter proved popular with the Indians.
A very familiar sight in the fall of the year was the long line of Klamath Indians trekking on foot and on horseback over the old Indian trail from Fort Klamath via Rancheria Prairie (near Butte Fails) and into Eagle Point, where they lined up in the road in front of the mill to get their winter's supply of flour--"Big Chief" brand.
Mill Serves AgainA. J. Daley sold the mill in 1892. Holmes Bros., millers, ran it for a number of years, and finally Brandon Bros. ran it last, closing down in the early 1920s. It remained vacant for several years, its machinery too old and out of date to run longer. Then, in recent years, the machinery was removed, the building cleaned and with few repairs it has served as a feed and supply store and cold storage lockers. [The machinery was not removed.] It is today Eagle Point's oldest standing business building in use.
Across the street stands Eagle Point's other pioneer enterprise building, the warehouse of two generations of "Brown and Sons' Cash Store," picturesque today but out of use.
Descendants of a number of the communities' early families still live nearby.
(To Be Continued)Medford Mail Tribune, November 2, 1948, page 3
Rogue River Valley's Early History ReviewedSucker Creek; named on account of some of its miners, is an affluent of the east fork of the Illinois. Its earliest settler was ------ Rhoda, who established a dairy there in 1852, but did not remain long.
By VENITA DALEY
Part VIII continued
The first house was erected by A. G. Walling (Southern Oregon's historian), E. J. Northcutt and ------ Bell, at the mouth of Democrat Gulch off Althouse Creek. They sold supplies to the miners on both creeks. At "Walling Ranch" miners left their horses in charge while they mined at several diggings. Walling and Company sold to Cochran in 1853. George Briggs also took up land there, and his cabin with stockade later became Fort Briggs.
In 1858 Sepoy Diggings was an extensive placer on the head of Sucker Creek and was mined by both white miners and Chinese.
Here I must include an old Chinese legend, which was told to me by Mr. Paul Pearce, son of a pioneer miner.
Huge Nugget FoundWhile mining at Althouse district, the Chinese, working under their Chinese leader, discovered a very large nugget of gold. So large was this nugget that they held a Chinese celebration in its honor and set fire to a large pine tree. Then, fearing that the white miners (the early Chinese always feared the white American) might demand it from them, they tediously cut it into three pieces. One piece they sold in Jacksonville, one piece they sold in Yreka and the third piece they kept.
In 1868 a sawmill was built at the mouth of Sucker Creek by Beach, Platter and Brown. It had a daily capacity of 1,000 feet of lumber.
Althouse Creek was named for Philip Althouse, who mined there in 1852. There were hundreds of claims there shortly afterwards, and in 1853 there were nearly 1,000 miners. Browntown, on Althouse, was named for "Webfoot" Brown. It had about 300 to 500 inhabitants. Hogtown and Frenchtown were two mining camps nearby. The population of the Althouse district was very high for half a dozen years.
The hills near Browntown were tunneled into by the Virginia Tunnel Co., Patton and Co., Peterson, Drake and Co., and Lanigan, Miller and Co. Coarse gold was recovered frequently in large water-worn slugs, the largest of which weighed nearly $1,200, and was found 1½ mile above Browntown. In 1865 Althouse was thought to be exhausted and was deserted.
Drain RemarkableOn Althouse Creek is one of the most remarkable and extensive engineering works ever constructed in Oregon for mining purposes: the drainage tunnels through the divide between Althouse and Illinois Valley below Democrat Gulch. In 1871 Frederic and Peter Hansen, Gustaf Wilson and Chris Lutz commenced the first of these, 1,200 feet in length, and ran Althouse Creek through it.
In 1875 Beach, Platter and Leonard drove another tunnel, tapping Althouse half a mile above the first. This was completed in 10 years. It was 6x7 feet and contained a flume 4x4 feet, through which Althouse Creek passed.
In 1877 Beach and Platter opened a store on Democrat Gulch.
In 1860 Althouse had a quartz excitement, Enterprise Mine, 3 miles east of Browntown. It was worked at a profit and closed in 1867. By arrastra, the yield was $26 per ton. In 1875 The Oregon Mining and Milling Co. revolutionized mining there by building a $10,000 mill at Browntown, with five stamps, amalgamating pans, settlers and other apparatus, operated by water power. After a few successful months the company suspended operations. In 1878 the Webfoot Quartz Milling and Mining Co. succeeded them and they too, suspended work a little later.
Waldo was the largest town in Josephine County and the county seat in 1856. Its population was then 500. In 1858 several substantial buildings were built, including a hotel. In 1861 Hunt's Gulch brought water to Shelby Gulch and [the] Butcher Gulch flume was in operation. Two sawmills were selling 20,000 feet of lumber per week and trade was brisk. The stage stopped there. Wimer, Simmons and Co. brought hydraulic equipment in 1880, and took out considerable wealth. Later on Simmons and Ennis dug a four-mile-long ditch for water (10 feet wide and four feet deep). Their hydraulic pipe was 22 inches in diameter, and the working head was 150 feet.
Copper FoundCopper was found at the "Queen of Bronze," nearby in 1859. In 1864 the Emerson and Co. copper mine developed.
In northwestern Josephine County, Galice Creek district was named for Louis Galice, a French miner, who came there in 1852. Very important mining was done at Galiceburg, a trading post, established by Willis. McCully built a hotel there. The siege of Galice Creek in the fall of 1855, and the hanging of Chief Taylor, were important events of the Indian wars.
In 1858 Young and Co. put a hydraulic in Rich Gulch there and in 1860 a quartz excitement started with Sims, Martin, Cassiday and Dinsmore having the best claims. Mammoth and Yank ledges were discovered in December 1874. They were 200 feet thick and extended across the bed of Rogue River below the mouth of Galice Creek. Two hundred claims were taken during the rush. Captain Pressley boated several tons of provisions from Vannoy's Ferry down Rogue River to them.
Saunders, Gupton and Buck built two hotels. Ashland people incorporated a mining company there with a capital of $1,800,000. The town of Quartzville was established at the mine, and was later called "Lumberville."
A rush for claims and land took place, then stopped just as suddenly, and the towns were deserted. Three years later Green Bros. discovered the Sugar Pine quartz ledge, on Galice Creek, and it yielded $30 to $80 per ton. In 1875 English Company purchased 500 acres of gold-bearing gravel and brought water in ditches there. In the spring of 1875 they took out $20,000.
"Old Titus" diggings was opposite them, with its seven-mile-long ditch built in 1878, and owned by D. C. Courtney. Bybee installed hydraulics at the Taylor Diggings, and the Centennial Company and Blue Gravel Co. worked extensively.
Oregon Trail CrossedIn the northern end of Rogue River Valley, the Old Oregon Trail [actually the Siskiyou Trail, later part of the Southern Route of the Oregon Trail] crossed two streams; Jump-Off Joe, named in 1837 from an Indian word sounding like that; and Grave Creek, named for a girl in the Crowley family (emigrants piloted through by Applegates in 1846), who died and was buried there. An act of the legislature later named it Leland Creek. [Jumpoff Joe Creek was named after a poorly recorded incident involving Joe McLoughlin, son of Hudson's Bay Company chief factor John McLoughlin. Note that there are several natural features in the Pacific Northwest named "Jumpoff Joe," all within a 300-mile radius of Fort Vancouver. These features would, were they located on the East Coast, simply be called Jumpoffs.]
James Twogood and [McDonough] Harkness built a traveler's entertaining place at Grave Creek crossing and they remained until the Indians killed Harkness in 1856. [Twogood remained for several more years.] Successful placers and hydraulics were established early on Grave and Coyote creeks. There was also an important quartz ledge, Esther or Browning Mine, on Grave Creek and the Lucky Queen, on Jump-Off Joe. A 10-stamp mill was built there in 1875 and suspended in 1879.
The Grave Creek House was an army headquarters in Indian war times, and the Battle of Hungry Hill, which took place October 31, 1855, are the points of historical interest.
IN CONCLUSIONFrom the ending of the early Indian wars and the gold rushes, the Rogue River Valley, Illinois Valley and central and northern Josephine County have had an unbroken record of mining, lumbering, stock raising, grazing, dairying, general farming, fruit, berry, nut, vegetable and flower growing; all self-sustaining. Wheat growing, which had early taken first importance, gave way to wool, then bacon, and finally beef. The first agriculture society was formed in 1860, and held annual exhibitions.
Development in building, in establishment of churches, schools and societies; and the growth of the towns and general businesses date also from that time.
In 1864 the Overland Telegraph brought news into the valley.
In 1867 the society of the Pioneers of Southern Oregon was formed in Ashland. It has met annually--alternately in Ashland and in Jacksonville--ever since. Its purpose is to perpetuate the knowledge of the Rogue River Valley's important events [of] history and to retain early-day acquaintances.
Modoc WarIn 1872 the Modoc Indian War broke out near Tule Lake in Northern California. It was the last, the farthest west and perhaps the fiercest of all Indian wars. Brigadier General John E. Ross in command, with staff composed of Majors Owen, Bell and Adair; Captains Neil and Foudray, and a company of valley volunteers, represented armed forces from this valley.
In December 1872 Capt. H. R. Kelley's Company was mustered. Its staff was composed of 1st Lieut. J. W. Berry; 2nd Lieut. E. R. Reames; Sergeants C. D. Wood, J. H. Snyder, J. W. Scranton, W. H. Roberts and Jasper Schockley. Teamsters, wagons, horses and supplies were also sent from this valley. Details of the war, however, do not belong to the Rogue River Valley history.
The greatest event in the early history of the valley, second only to the settlement of the valley, was coming of the railroad. In 1865 and 1866 Simon G. Elliott procured a land grant from Congress for a railroad line and incorporated a company, managed by Ben. Holladay. Bonds were sold and 200 miles of railroad was laid from Portland to Roseburg in 1872. Then, through litigation, Holladay became bankrupted. German bondholders then sent Henry Villard, and in 1882 the Central Pacific extended its line northward from Sacramento Valley to Delta, Calif.
Then work began to continue the Roseburg end of the line to the Oregon boundary, and from Delta to the Oregon boundary. R. Koehler supervised the work. The roadbed was dug by Chinese and local laborers. The utmost resources of the sawmills of the whole region were brought into use to provide lumber for bridges, culverts, etc. Other supplies were purchased from the surrounding country and employment was given to many neighboring settlers. Great engineering skill was employed in construction of the bed and tunnels through the Siskiyou Mountains.
In the spring of 1884 the Oregon terminus had reached Ashland. In October 1887, the first passenger train went through the Siskiyou Mountains. [No passenger trains passed through the Siskiyous until December.] December 17, 1887 the California end was completed. At 5:04 p.m. the golden spike was driven in the east side of track at the south end of [the] Ashland yard before a large gathering. The last Concord stage trip ended. A bright future for all towns along the railroad line was insured, and pioneer days were over.
(The End)Medford Mail Tribune, November 7, 1948, page B1
Photo captions from the installment:
1. Snowy Butte Flour Mill, built in 1872 for A. J. Daley, miller. The mill structure is Eagle Point's oldest business building today and is occupied by a feed store and cold storage locker plant.
2. Modoc Indian War monument in Lava Beds National Monument, Modoc County, Northern California. General Canby's cross and rock fortifications are in background.
3. Big Butte Creek at Butte Falls, Ore., near last site of Rogue River Indian War. [This must be a reference to the Ledford Massacre, which took place three years after the Rogue Rivers were removed to the Coast Reservation.]
Venita Daley, 78, of 343 N. Grape St., Medford, died Wednesday in a Grants Pass nursing home. Funeral arrangements will be announced by Conger-Morris Funeral Directors, Medford.
Medford Mail Tribune, January 8, 1981, page 12