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SOHS Library

on 15 March 2013

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John R. Poole and James Clugage discovered gold on a tributary of Daisy Creek. Soon other miners arrived at the Rich Gulch strike, and the town of Table Rock City, now Jacksonville, began to grow. Many miners and entrepreneurs followed, including Peter Britt, who built a cabin and worked as a mule packer before becoming a successful early photographer and building his home on the land that now includes the Britt Festival and Britt Gardens. In 1853 the town became the county seat of Jackson County. 1852—Gold discovered,
Jacksonville founded 1826—First Euroamericans In 1826/27, Peter Skene Ogden led a brigade of "nearly forty French-Canadian and Indian trappers, their native wives and well over a hundred horses" down the Deschutes River to the Klamath region. They crossed the Siskiyous and traveled to the Rogue River. In 1828, Jedediah Smith entered Oregon from the California coast, up the Smith River to the Umpqua. 1846—The Applegate Trail Jesse and Lindsay Applegate, Levi Scott and 12 other men left LaCreole, Oregon (near Dallas) on June 20, 1846, to explore and establish a new route to Southern Oregon. On July 4, they reached the Klamath River and from there continued east across the Modoc Plateau and the Black Rock Desert to join the California Trail at the Humboldt River in Nevada. On the return trip Jesse Applegate led a group of pioneers across the new, not yet marked, trail. After gold was discovered in the Jacksonville area in 1851, Chinese from California migrated north. By 1870, 60% of the local miners, and one in eight of all Jackson County residents, were Chinese. Gin Lin hired Chinese to work hydraulic mining operations in Jacksonville and the Applegate area. He deposited more than one million dollars worth of gold dust in the Beekman Bank in Jacksonville. Chinese in the Rogue Valley ` 1854—First church and school Joseph Smith began building the first church in Southern Oregon in 1853. It was completed by Reverend Thomas Fletcher Royal in 1854. Although officially Methodist, it also served Baptists, Presbyterians and others. St. Andrew’s Anglican Church is now in this historic building in Jacksonville. Royal also served as the first Superintendent of Schools for Jackson County, and his brother taught the first public classes in 1854, in a rented cabin. The first dedicated school building, was Eden school on Bear Creek. It was a subscription rather than public school. 1853-
1856 Rogue River Indian Wars The Fruit Industry begins Once the railroad had arrived in 1884, fruit was shipped from Jackson County. J. H. Stewart and J. D. Whitman planted the first commercial orchards (now Eden Valley Orchards) in 1885, but the land speculation boom based on the industry occurred from about 1905 to 1912. This photo of Conro and Grace Fiero, first owners of Mon Desir, captures the atmosphere associated with that era. Some Southern Oregonians may have supported women’s right to vote even before Susan B. Anthony spoke in Jacksonville in 1871, but Oregon did not pass a ballot measure until the sixth try in 1912. Jacksonville residents tended to oppose women’s suffrage, and gave Abigail Duniway a particularly rude reception in 1879. Ashland and Phoenix audiences were supportive. Marian Towne, shown above, became the first female legislator in Oregon in 1914, no doubt assisted by the women’s vote. 1912-Women's Suffrage 1933–Good Government Congress, Murder and a Pulitzer Llewellyn Banks led the Good Government Congress and attacked the “Courthouse Gang” in his newspaper, the Daily News. The GGC’s efforts to elect Earl Fehl as a county judge (now called Commissioner) and Gordon Schermerhorn as sheriff succeeded, but when a recount was demanded, Banks and others stole ballots. Faced with arrest at his home for the theft, Banks shot and killed Constable George Prescott. Robert Ruhl, editor of the Medford Mail Tribune, won a Pulitzer for his opposition to and coverage of the GGC effort to “establish an armed dictatorship in Southern Oregon” (quote from New York Times, May 8, 1934.) Ruhl had also opposed the Ku Klux Klan when they were active in Oregon, about 1920-22. Seely Hall and Floyd Hart purchased Mayfly, the area's first plane, in 1919. Newell Barber Field, Oregon’s first publicly owned airfield, was established by the City of Medford in 1920. The U.S. Army Air Service and the Forest Service operated forest fire air patrols for southern Oregon from the field. The office was in a nearby farmhouse, and aircraft were stored in canvas hangars. The army pilots soon had to be banned from stunt flying over downtown. Medford was also the first airmail stop in Oregon and the place where Mercy Flights originated. Vern Gorst founded Pacific Air Transport, which merged with 3 other companies in 1931 to create United Airlines. 1920–Aviation in the Rogue Valley Camp White, known as the Alcatraz of training camps due to its rigorous demands on recruits, opened in 1942. The Camp comprised 1300 buildings and covered 77 square miles, but tent cities also formed in Medford and elsewhere to accommodate workers and families. As the need for training recruits waned, White City also housed German prisoners of war. Partially due to Camp White, the greater Medford area population doubled in the 1940s, from 50,000 to 100,000. Today, the VA Domiciliary still operates in Camp White buildings, and many White City homes and businesses are built on former Camp White property. 1942–Camp White & World War II The Southern Oregon Normal School was founded in 1926. As it evolved from a school for teachers to its present status as a university, its name changed multiple times. In 1997 it became Southern Oregon University.
From 1872 to 1890 Ashland College, which also had several name changes, provided education in Ashland, and from 1899 to 1910 the Southern Oregon State Normal School had operated at a different location. 1926–Southern Normal School, now SOU Gold Ray Dam, completed in 1903 by brothers Frank and C. R. Ray, began generating electricity in 1904. It was the first hydroelectric dam to serve the Rogue Valley. As early as 1908, sportsmen complained of its effects on salmon and steelhead, a primary reason for removing the dam from the Rogue River in 2010. 1904—Electricity in the Rogue Valley Although Prohibition became federal law in 1919, Oregon was a dry state from 1916 until the end of Prohibition in 1933. Ashland settlers in particular fought this battle from 1853 on. Once alcohol became legal again, the wine industry in the Rogue Valley slowly began to grow, but was insignificant until the 1960s. Mount Mazama Eruption
Creates Crater Lake 1852—Ashland is founded Demands for a separate state began in California in 1852, with requests for a State of Shasta, and continued with a proposal in 1853 for a State of Jackson that would include part of Oregon. The State of Jefferson movement in 1941 caused demonstrations and road blocks in November, but faded after Pearl Harbor was attacked in December. Although Jackson County never agreed to participate, the notion and name persist in northern California and southern Oregon. 1941—State of Jefferson The eruption of Mount Mazama, ca 5700 BC, created the caldera that now holds Crater Lake, the deepest lake in the United States at 1,943 feet. Prior to this climactic event, the mountain had reached a height of 12,140 feet. Traces of human life in the area predate Mazama’s eruption, and stories related to the volcano were passed down through generations. The name Mount Mazama, though, comes from an Aztec word that means small deer. It was chosen by William Steel, “father of Crater Lake National Park.” Jackson County’s first courthouse was built in Jacksonville in 1859. In 1883/84, the original building was replaced with the brick building that still stands. Although in 1920 Jacksonville had no banks and insufficient water, the courthouse was crowded, and Medford was the largest town in the county, county offices did not move to Medford until 1927. Before the county courthouse was completed in 1932, the county shared space with Medford City Hall. 1926/27—Medford becomes the county seat Archeologists, beginning with Luther Cressman in the 1930s, have dated human occupation in Oregon back to at least 12,000 years ago. Evidence from Oregon's Paisley Caves indicates the oldest dated human presence in North America. These sandals in the SOHS collection may be 11,000 years old. Paleoindians in Oregon Southern Oregon Hospital opened in Ashland in 1907. Prior to that, Dr. Overbeck, perhaps the area’s first physician, ran a single room hospital in Jacksonville in the 1850s. Dr. Cameron operated a 3–bed Medford hospital in 1903. Sisters of Providence began Medford’s first large hospital, Sacred Heart, in 1911, and the Rogue Valley Memorial Hospital opened in 1958. 1907—Southern Oregon Hospital The Mexican Farm Labor Program, known as the Bracero Program, was initiated in 1942 to address the labor shortage caused by World War II. The program, which lasted until 1964, affected Oregon orchard practices and increased diversity in the Rogue Valley. WW II Brings Diversity 1904 1933—Prohibition Ends The Medford section of I-5, dedicated in 1962, includes the 3,229 foot viaduct that elevates the highway above the town. Long before I-5 existed, Jackson County paved the first section of the Pacific Highway in 1913. This became Highway 99 in 1926. 1962—I-5 is Built 1962 Floods in the Rogue Valley affect areas differently. In 1997, Ashland Creek overflowed. The 1964 flood hit many areas, but 1962 was worse for Eagle Point and Medford. The worst flood since the Gold Rush was in 1861/62. And SOHS has photos for the floods of 1890, 1927, 1955… 1997–New Years Day Flood 1828 1846 1851 1884 1912 1920 1926 1933 1941 1942 1997 1907 1854 1852 1935 1935–Ashland Shakespeare Festival Angus Bowmer, with a little financial help from the City of Ashland, began performing Shakespeare plays in 1935, on the site of the former Chautauqua building in Lithia Park. The WPA had helped him erect a roofless Elizabethan stage. By 1937 the Oregon Shakespearean Festival Association was incorporated. The first Donation Land Claim in the Rogue Valley was given to Alonzo A. Skinner, a territorial judge and Indian agent, in 1851. On his claim, on Bear Creek between current day Medford and Central Point, he built the first log cabin in the area. Samuel and Hiram Colver and Nathaniel Dean were other very early settlers. 1851—Donation Land Claims Before it was a town Ashland was a Shasta Indian village, but its people were driven away by settlers. Abel Helman, with brothers Eber and James Emery, built the Ashland Sawmill in 1852 and brought their families to live in the area on donation land claims. Ashland Mills was incorporated in 1855, and Abel became its first postmaster. He also built the first hotel, planned for future growth, and organized the first school district. Unlike the wilder gold mining town of Jacksonville, Ashland was settled by families who prospered through agriculture and industry, and fought against drinking, saloons and gambling. 1884—Railroads come to the Valley
and Medford is founded When the Oregon and California Railroad built its tracks through what is now Medford and selected this location for a depot in November 1883, Medford was founded. On December 17, 1887, the Golden Spike was driven in Ashland, connecting Southern Pacific’s San Francisco–Portland line. In the treaty with the Rogue River Indians, September 10, 1853-Rogue River Indians ceded territory south of the Rogue River and agreed to allow their people to be tried for crimes in U.S. courts, in return for $60,000 (with conditions), property called the Table Rock Temporary Reservation, and protection from white settlers. Sadly, the Lupton Massacre on a group of Takelma precipitated war, which ended in 1856 when the indigenous people were forced to go to the Coast Indian and Grand Ronde reservations. "Indian Jennie", posed in this Britt photo in a robe she made, was romantically portrayed at her death in 1893 as "the last of her tribe." 1994 The Southern Oregon timber industry, which began with fruit boxes in the 1880s, expanded and contracted with economic times. The industry was booming in the 1980s, but over-logging, plus efforts to protect the Northern Spotted Owl, eliminate clear cutting and save old growth forests, culminated in The Northwest Forest Plan, adopted in 1994. 1994–Northwest Forest Plan Source: http://www.nps.gov/crla/historyculture/index.htm Source: http://www.oregonencyclopedia.org/entry/view/mt_mazama/ Source: First over the Siskiyous: Peter Skene Ogden's 1826-1827 journey through the Oregon-California borderland, by Jeff LaLande Source: Blazing the Applegate Trail, On to Oregon, Table Rock Sentinel Supplement, 1993, p. 38 Source: Land In Common: An Illustrated History of Jackson County, Oregon, published by the Southern Oregon Historical Society, 1993 Rich Gulch, A mining History of Jacksonville Oregon, Jacksonville Woodlands Association
Jacksonville, by Margaret LaPlante, Images of America Series Sources: Sources: http://www.oregonencyclopedia.org/entry/view/ashland/ (article by Jeff LaLande)
Land In Common: An Illustrated History of Jackson County, Oregon, published by the Southern Oregon Historical Society, 1993 Sources: Minorities of Early Jackson County: The Chinese, the Negroes, the Jews, by Kay Atwood, 1976

Sojourners in the Oregon Siskiyous: Adaptation and Acculturation of the Chinese Miners in the Applegate Valley, CA. 1855-1900, by Lalande, Jeffrey M. Thesis. Oregon State University, June 1981

Religion as an Influence in Life and Thought: Jackson County Oregon, 1860-1890, by Farnham, Wallce D. Thesis. U of O, June 1955 Sources: Treaty with the Rogue River, September 10, 1853 (in SOHS Archives)
SOHS Indian Jennie file, various newspaper accounts Sources: One Hundred Twenty-Three Years’ Search for Community: The Unwearied
Effort for Public Education in Jackson County, Oregon 1854-1976, by Margaret Nesheim Source: Southern Oregon History, Revised Sources: The Cradle of the Commercial Fruit Industry in the Rogue Valley, by Stephen DeCoste. Southern Oregon Historical Society Magazine, v4 no 3, March 2002, p. 5
Grace Andrews Fiero, Table Rock Sentinel, v6, no 3, March 1986 Sources: SOHS Gold Ray Dam file, including Medford Mail Timeline and "Brothers C. R. and Frank Ray build Gold Ray Dam, providing the valley’s first hydroelectric power", Medford Mail Tribune article, 1904 Sources: SOHS Overbeck file and Hospitals file
Our Valley 2005 and 2011, Medford Mail Tribune Sources: SOHS Women’s Rights file, Marian Towne file Source: Aviation in Southern Oregon , by Bill Alley Source: Fifty Years, SOSC 1926-1976, Golden Jubilee Alumni Magazine Source: The Courthouse Story. Table Rock Sentinel, February 1984, p. 3-19.
Crowning Glory, a Retrospective of the Old Brick Courthouse, by Dawna Curler. Southern Oregon Heritage, v. 3 no. 3, 1998, p. 35 Sources: Liquor and the Law: Prohibition in Southern Oregn, by Joseph G. Follansbee. Table Rock Sentinel, May 1988, p. 4-11.
http://www.pbs.org/kenburns/prohibition/prohibition-nationwide/timeline/ Source: Land In Common: An Illustrated History of Jackson County, Oregon, published by the Southern Oregon Historical Society, 1993 Source: Double-crossed: Secession and the State of Jefferson, by Richard N. Boich. Southern Oregon Heritage Today, v5 no7, summer 2003 Source: Comunidad en Transicion: Mexican Migrants in Southern Oregon, by John Enders. Southern Oregon Heritage Today, v. 7 no. 3, 2005, p. 12 Source: Southern Oregon History, Revised, Ben Truwe website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northwest_Forest_Plan Sources: The New Year’s Flood, Mail Tribune, January 9, 1997
SOHS Flood files Sources: Source: Land In Common: An Illustrated History of Jackson County, Oregon, published by the Southern Oregon Historical Society, 1993 What’s Past is Prologue, the Bard Celebrates 60 Years in Ashland, by Molly Walker Kerr. Southern Oregon Heritage, v. 1 no. 2, 1995, p. 14 SOHS 1978.55.583 Wikipedia image Wikipedia image, Peter Ogden SOHS 256, Jesse, and SOHS 13118 Lindsay Applegate SOHS 11555 with Ann Long SOHS 755 detail (not Clugage or Poole) SOHS 1142 Gin Lin SOHS 403 Abel, Martha and child SOHS 6454 Indian Jennie photo by Peter Britt SOHS 672 first church SOHS 5943 detail, first Portland to Ashland train, 1884 SOHS 3546 SOHS 8686 Gold Ray Dam SOHS 11594 SOHS 13367 Marian Towne SOHS 16334 SOHS 9882 SOHS 9548 SOHS 7891 confiscated whiskey still (1922) SOHS 6928 Robert Ruhl SOHS 16944 Chautauqua bldg 1909 SOHS P201221 (a replica, not an artifact) SOHS 13408 SOHS 20898 ODOT website image SOHS 2586 Medford Lumber Co. skid load SOHS 21212 SOHS 21212 "The People" For thousands of years the people who lived in the area now called southern Oregon shared a general hunter-gatherer way of life, but they were not all of one tribe, nor did they share one language. The Takelma, Shasta, Klamath, Modoc, Umpqua are names used to describe some of the groups who lived in the area. Their cultural traditions varied, and they did not always live in peace. They did survive, however, until Euroamerican settlers arrived, bringing devastating diseases and guns. Courtesy of Siskiyou National Forest, Twomile Creek Rock Art Sources: Messages in Stone, by Janet Joyer. Southern Oregon Heritage, v2 n2, 1996, p.30-34
Living with the Land: the Indians of Southwest Oregon, 1990 1873 1873—The Modoc War In 1864 the Klamath Indian Reservation was established and the Klamaths and Modocs ceded their lands for the reservation and payments. Captain Jack led a group of Modocs who refused to stay on the reservation, and eventually the war occurred. In the end Captain Jack was hanged, with three of his men, and the Klamath and Modoc Indians were forced to relocate to the Quapaw Agency (in present day Oklahoma). Source: Modoc Vengeance: the 1873 Modoc War in Northern California and Southern Oregon as reported in the newspapers of the day. Compiled and edited by Daniel Woodhead, III SOHS 21160 Captain Jack 1991 1991—Rogue Valley AVA The Rogue Valley American Viticultural Area received federal approval in 1991. Although Peter Britt first brought grape vines to Jacksonville in the 1850s, and sold wine under the Valley View label from about 1873 to 1905, modern vineyards were encouraged by research begun in 1967 at the Oregon State University Experiment Station on Hanley Road. In 1978 two wineries, Valley View and Siskiyou Winery, were bonded. A 2011 report indicates 120 vineyards in the Rogue Valley. Source: http://www.rvwinegrowers.org/RV-vineyards.html http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/HWY/REGION3/Pages/I-5-Corridor-Plan.aspx http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/COMM/Pages/interstate50_I5.aspx Sources: The Klamath Mountains The mountains formed, according to plate tectonics theory, when a plate under North America collided with one under the Pacific, beginning about 190 million years ago. About 30 million years ago, the Modoc Plateau was formed, but the Klamath and Sierra mountains as they are today were formed only in the past 2 or 3 million years. Many varieties of flora and fauna evolved in the region, and moved into the region, to create an area of rich biodiversity. Source: The Klamath Knot, by David Rains Wallace SOHS postcard 1859 Hudson’s Bay Company provided some authority over trappers and settlers in the Oregon Country until 1846, when the Oregon Treaty with Britain “gave” the US. the land south of the 49 Parallel. The provision government that had formed at Champoeg in 1843 continued to function independently until the Organic Act of 1848 formed the Oregon Territory and Joseph Lane became governor in 1849. In 1853, the Washington Territory was created and Oregon’s current boundaries were defined. On February 14, 1859, Oregon became the 33rd state in the Union. Source: http://www.bluebook.state.or.us/cultural/history/history13.htm 1859—Oregon Statehood SOHS 12788 Salem Courthouse ca 1906 1963 1963—Peter Britt Gardens Music and Arts Festival John Trudeau and Sam McKinney initiated the first Pacific Northwest outdoor music festival in the Pacific Northwest, with help from Southern Oregon College, the City of Jacksonville and many volunteers. The Festival has grown from a 2 week classical music event to the summer long celebration it is today, still held on land that once belonged to pioneer photographer Peter Britt. From 2004 Britt poster by William Phillips, Ashland artist SOHS Files: Britt Festival programs 1963, 1964, 1987,
SOHS Eugene Bennett archives, Britt program 2004 Sources: Background photo source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Upper_Table_Rock_from_Denman.jpg#filelinks
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