The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised

Jackson County 1909

Products Will Tax 8000 Cars in 8 Years, Says Judge Colvig.
Booster of Jackson County Metropolis Says District Is Best
for Fruit Zone Rich in Varied Resources.

    "In eight years, or just as soon as newly-planted orchards come into bearing, 8000 cars will be required to transport the fruit products that will be offered for shipment from Medford," said Judge W. M. Colvig, president of the Medford Commercial Club, yesterday. "During the coming season 250,000 pear and apple trees will be planted in the vicinity of Medford. I could say that the number of these trees to be planted in 1910 will be 500,000 and not be exaggerating the truth very much, for two nurserymen have told me that each has sold over 100,000 trees for delivery to Jackson County horticulturists after the first of the year. My estimate, that the number will be a quarter of a million, is extremely conservative."
200,000 Acres Fruit Land.
    "There are 1,886,000 acres of land in Jackson County, and it would be largely a guess for me to say how much of that area is capable of being planted to fruit, but of that amount I can say positively that over 200,000 acres of tillable land is well adapted to pears and apples. In addition to this there is a large area that can be made tillable and equally productive.
    "The apple is a fruit that does not succeed in countries having warm winters, because if the sap in not sent down to the roots of the trees, the fruit always is mealy and stringy and is not a good commercial product. We need frosts and cold weather, but the weather must not be too cold. The apple is not an extreme northern nor a southern fruit, but thrives in a well-defined temperate climate such as we have in Jackson County, where irrigation is not an essential to the successful growing of the finest quality of fruit.
Timberland Good, Too.
    "Situated in Jackson County there is also to be found the largest body of sugar pine timber in the world. The bulk of this timber lies in the Upper Rogue River Valley, and when it has been removed the land will prove of great value for fruitgrowing purposes.
    "The county is also rich in water power resources. Mr. Horn, of the New York copper syndicate, has expended more than $300,000 in developing the Blue Ledge copper mine, located on the headwaters of the Applegate, 35 miles from Medford. This mine is virtually a mountain of solid copper, and has been practically inaccessible. The building of a railroad that will pass this valuable property is now assured by J. R. Allen, of New York, who recently purchased the Pacific & Eastern.
Road to Cross Range.
    "This road has been built 14 miles out of Medford, and active construction work is being prosecuted. We have the assurance of Mr. Allen that the road will be built, not only to the mine, but across the Coast Range and down the Pacific Coast to Crescent City, Cal. Not only are we assured by Mr. Allen of a railroad to the west, but he recently announced at a meeting of our Commercial Club that when he had finished building the railroads he had projected, the people of Jackson County would have a railroad to the east as well. This statement from the builder of this road is taken by us to mean that he will construct a line that will connect with the Hill or Harriman road into Central Oregon. We are inclined in Southern Oregon to suspect that Mr. Allen is identified with the Hill interests, and that his operations in our section of the state are in reality a Hill enterprise.
    "I do not believe any other section of the state possesses greater resources than are to be found in Jackson County. We are not dependent on our agricultural interests. Our timber, mining and horticultural resources are contributing their share to the substantialprosperity of the entire state."
    Judge Colvig is a booster of the old school, but he is nonetheless enthusiastically aggressive in preaching the wonderful possibilities of Oregon to the homeseeker. He is numbered among the pioneers who braved the hardships of a journey across the plains and came to Oregon in 1851. With the exception of about 13 years spent attending college in the East, and service in the Union Army for three years during the Civil War, Judge Colvig has resided continuously in Southern Oregon, where he is a prominent lawyer, an honored and respected citizen.
Medford Boosters Abound.
    "Medford is a thoroughly cosmopolitan city and contains as many boosters to the square foot as any other section of the state," continued Judge Colvig. "Not long ago the Commercial Club decided to raise a publicity fund. In one afternoon between 1 and 6 o'clock we raised $2500 for that purpose, and within a few days the fund was increased to $8400. Our club has a membership of 275, but we expect to increase this soon to 400. Based on the school census, Medford has a population of 6500. As an evidence of the general prosperity of the county, I might refer to the fact that the present assessed valuation of Jackson County property is $26,000,000. Seven years ago, the total of the assessment roll was only $5,000,000. An increase in assessable values of $21,000,000 in seven years we regard as a record that defies duplication by any other county in the state."
Morning Oregonian, Portland, December 28, 1909, page 16

Last revised January 1, 2013