There wasn't a Medford newspaper in 1883: There was no Medford. This is the 1883 prehistory of Medford, as recounted in other towns' newspapers.
Speculation about the route abounds as the rails approach the future town site. Jacksonville alternately worries and whistles into the wind.*
Byers, John, carpenter, res Washington Hotel
Portland City Directory, 1883, page 96
Dolson's railroad surveying party will soon take the field again, commencing at Rock Point, where they left off last fall.
The probabilities now are that the railroad will pass through the valley at some point between this place and the Hanley Butte. Parties who know have given the information that the short tunnel--the highest one up--has been adopted by the railroad company, and in order to reach that elevation the road must commence climbing up along the foothills somewhere about the middle of the valley.
As to the final location of the road from the summit to the valley, it is too soon to predict its course with any approach to exactness. The preliminary work to be done this month may develop chances for improvement in what is now regarded as the most favorable general route; and even after the grade stakes are set there may be changes made, here and there, in the line.
"Railroad Notes," Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, March 10, 1883, page 3
J. H. Whipple of Evans Creek informs us that the railroad company has sent out agents to look after the right of way, who have arrived in the valley already.
"Railroad Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, March 16, 1883, page 2
The railroad is coming and the goods at the New York Store must be sold at any price to make room for the new stock that will arrive by the first train.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, March 16, 1884, page 3
Dolson's surveying party is expected in the valley soon.
"Railroad Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, March 23, 1883, page 2
According to the Ashland Tidings, "the people of Jacksonville have offered to pay the Oregon & California R. R. Co. $190,000 to have the railroad brought to, or near, their town. A public or private meeting of the citizens was held one day this week, and a telegram sent to Thomas G. Reames, who was then in Portland, directing him to make such proposition to the officers of the company."
We think this will be news to the aforesaid people of Jacksonville.
"Local Items," Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, March 24, 1883, page 3
We can state with a considerable degree of authority that the railroad route through the valley has not been definitely located as yet, and that there are some probabilities that it will run this side of Hanley's butte.
"Railroad Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, March 30, 1883, page 2
CHARACTERISTIC MEANNESS.--The Ashland sheet, with its usual small, jealous spirit, continues to place Jacksonville in a false light on the railroad question. Its item, headed "bonus offered," is untrue from beginning to end, possessing not a single statement that has any foundation in fact. The little pustule is so anxious for the downfall of this place that nothing would be too dirty for it to do if it could injure us any. While the people of Jacksonville are desirous of reaping the benefits of railroad connection, at the same time they are perfectly willing that Ashland shall have its share.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, March 30, 1883, page 3
Last week three of our citizens had an interview with Manager Koehler of the O.&C.R.R. in relation to the location of the road through this valley, but no definite conclusion was reached, and the question of location is still open. The company express a desire to swing the line as near as possible to Jacksonville but expect to be reimbursed, partially at least, for the additional expense as the line will be nearly a mile longer than a straight line through the valley. For this favor our people are quite ready to respond in a reasonable amount, and it is probable that before the line is finally located an arrangement will be made satisfactory to all parties. Under no circumstances will the line be nearer to us than the west side of Hanley's Butte and, if it is run there, our people will be perfectly satisfied and feel that it is sufficiently near to subserve our interest and, at the time time be an advantage to the company. Mr. Koehler announced that between the 25th of April and the 1st of May trains would be running to Julia [today's Glendale], two miles below Redfield's on Cow Creek, and that freights would be landed there instead of at Riddle.
"Railroad Matters," Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, March 31, 1883, page 3
Freight for southern Oregon will soon be landed some distance this side of Riddle, probably at Julia. No place will be the terminus long.
S. L. Dolson, who has been in the O.&.C.R.R.'s office at Portland during the winter, is expected to return to Jackson County this week and resume the location of the railroad route through the valley.
"Railroad Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, April 6, 1883, page 2
A BOOM.--Real estate is booming in Ashland, in anticipation of the benefits expected to accrue from the building of the railroad. Recently, surveyor-general Tolman of Portland purchased J. S. Eubanks' residence in the north end of that place, paying $2,600 for it, while W. R. Jones has sold his, situated in the same locality, to Jesse Dollarhide for $1,800. A year since this property could have been purchased for at least one-third less.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, April 6, 1883, page 3
A. Cole of Jump-off Joe made a call Friday. He says that the railroad right-of-way man, who is now on his way to this valley, is meeting with some opposition in that section, different parties demurring to the amounts offered in damages.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, April 6, 1883, page 3
Mr. Loring, right-of-way agent for the O.&.C.R.R. Co., has been at Kerbyville during the sitting of the circuit court, leaving for Douglas County Thursday to finish up his business on Cow Creek. He expects to be in Jackson County in a few weeks.
The right-of-way agent of the O.&C.R.R. Co. has compromised with Mrs. C. Sexton and J. G. Lanterman, residing in Jump-off Joe Precinct, Josephine County, by the payment of $100 to each of the parties, on account of damage likely to be sustained by them in running the railroad through their lands.
"Railroad Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, April 13, 1883, page 2
RAILROAD SURVEY.--Dolson's surveying party is expected at Rock Point next Monday, when the work of surveying through the valley will be commenced. A difference of opinion still exists as to which route will be selected through the valley, but the majority seem to believe that it will come by Fort Lane. As several lines will most likely be run it will be some time yet before the route is finally located to a point opposite Jacksonville.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, April 14, 1883, page 3
S. L. Dolson, chief of the railroad surveying party now in the vicinity of Rogue River, was in town this week. He has made the slight change near Grants Pass, referred to in our last issue, and will soon commence the location of the route to Ashland. Mr. D. informs us that it has been definitely decided to cross at Chavner's Bridge and run up the south side of [the] Rogue River to Gold Hill. He has not as yet received any instructions what line to take through the valley, but expects to be advised in the premises before long. The people of Jacksonville will therefore soon know how far out in the cold they will be left.
"Railroad Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, April 20, 1883, page 2
We received a pleasant call this week from S. L. Dolson, the genial chief of the railroad surveying party now working in the valley, who informed us that the road was definitely located to Chavner's Bridge, where it will cross Rogue River. The party is camped at the latter place and the work of surveying through the valley is now progressing. The road will run on the south side of Rogue River from where it crosses that stream and in passing through the valley will miss Jacksonville between three and four miles. The route has not been definitely decided upon as yet, however, and it is possible that some changes may be made before the work of locating commences.
"Railroad Items," Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, April 21, 1883, page 3
Mr. Loring, agent of the O.&C.R.R. to secure the right of way, was in town this week. He has not begun active work yet in this valley.
The railroad line, as located by Dolson's party, crosses Rogue River at Chavner's Bridge, thence goes up the river on the south side, between Gold Hill and the river, and at last report the surveyors were working toward the mouth of Bear Creek, at which point the road will leave the river and strike off through the valley. The Jacksonville people have not much hope now that the road will run between their town and the Hanley Butte. Important consultations have been held by citizens there, however, with Mr. Loring, right of way agent, and Mr. Dolson, engineer of the locating survey corps. It is reported that the R.R. officials have offered to swerve the line toward Jacksonville provided the people will raise $25,000, but we haven't learned from "Chawles" [Nickell] whether this is true or not.
"Railroad News," Ashland Tidings, April 27, 1883, page 3
Dolson's party have moved their camp to the vicinity of Fort Lane.
D. Loring, the right-of-way agent, was in town this week, en route to Ashland and vicinity.
In a few days the railroad terminus will be at Julia [Glendale], from which point freight for southern Oregon will then be distributed.
"Railroad Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, April 27, 1883, page 2
Dolson's party is surveying near Fort Lane.
Nothing new has been developed, but it seems as if the railroad authorities are not disposed to recede from their proposition to run the road this side of Hanley's butte for $25,000 and the right of way, and from present indications it looks like there is either not public spiritedness or money enough in Jacksonville to raise the required amount.
"Railroad Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, May 4, 1883, page 2
Dolson's party is in the vicinity of Central Point. It seems that the route is diverging more to the east than at first expected. There is no telling what will be done as yet, however, as the line can be easily changed on short notice.
"Railroad Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, May 11, 1883, page 2
The Roseburg Independent of last Saturday says: We learn that the mail train will run to Julia on the 15th inst. May 1882, to Julia by stage and "rail" (fence rail) 24 hours. May 1883, to the same point, three hours. Jacksonville is now within 12 hours, by stage in summer, of the O.&C. terminus, and before the close of the present year will be much nearer.
"Railroad News," Ashland Tidings, May 11, 1883, page 3
Dolson's surveying party is now camped at Phoenix. The line is being located through the valley and will probably miss Jacksonville about five miles.
"Local Items," Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, May 12, 1883, page 3
Chas. J. Howard is engaged in tying the section lines of the railroad route through the valley.
D. Loring, right-of-way agent for the railroad, is now in the valley and about commencing to pay damages likely to result from the construction of the route.
Dolson's party, which got as far as Phoenix last week, returned to near Central Point, to run another line a little west of the other. Mr. Dolson got a more satisfactory route, although deviating but little.
Gradually the gap between Rogue River Valley and the railroad is being closed, and soon the occupation of several teamsters will be gone. The distance to Glendale, where freight for Southern Oregon is landed, is about 55 miles from Jacksonville. The time will soon be when the familiar prairie schooner will not greet us on every hand. We may have cause to regret the innovation.
The railroad route now being run through the valley passes straight through from Fort Lane, and leaves Central Point nearly three-quarters of a mile to the east, while Phoenix will be missed by a few hundred yards, Dolson's objective point being the butte to the west of that place, where he joins Hurlburt's line. It is claimed that less damage will be done to farms by this route than any that could be run straight through.
"Railroad Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, May 18, 1883, page 2
It is now a certainty that the railroad will miss this town [by] nearly five miles. Well, suppose it does. Does anybody imagine that Jacksonville is to be ruined on that account? Some people, whose ill will toward this town is much more intense than reasonable, seem to be impressed with the idea that the first train that comes in on the new road will have a ready-made town aboard which will be unloaded opposite Jacksonville, and straightaway this town will be deserted. If such people could only crack the shell of selfishness in which they are imprisoned and look the situation fairly in the face, they would see that Jacksonville will be benefited rather than injured. It will be near enough to the railroad to receive all the benefits of it, and far enough away to escape all the disadvantages and inconveniences. As a place of residence, our town will be much more desirable on account of escaping the noise of clattering cars and screaming engines. As a place of business it will always be desirable because of its location, and it will be near enough to the railroad for all practical business purposes. A town such as this is not built in a day, nor without the motive power of those business interests depending upon the resources of the country. A very little insight into the influence of railroads upon the towns through which they pass would serve somewhat to dampen the ardor of these ideal town-builders. The money that is invested in property and business in this town will remain where it is, and will continue to improve and increase under the influence of the new encouragement afforded by the railroad. Imaginative corner lots on the direct line of the road will continue to be cultivated in corn and wheat, and the ideal town will evaporate entirely, or sink into the insignificance of a second-class saloon and a railroad lunch house.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, May 19, 1883, page 3
Dolson's party have run a line through the valley, which will probably be adopted. They are now at work in the vicinity of Grants Pass.
Engineer Dolson has located a line 250 feet west of any he has previously ran through the valley, which hits Colver's butte near Phoenix as desired. This ends his work there for the present.
"Railroad Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, May 25, 1883, page 3
The Dolson party finished surveying the second line from the mouth of Bear Creek to the McCall & Anderson mines about three miles below Ashland, last Saturday, and have returned to Grants Pass, to await the return of Mr. Dolson from Portland, when they will most likely begin setting the grade stakes at some point on the located route. The line this side of Wagner Creek is below the lowest of the preliminary lines run by Mr. Hurlburt last fall. Mr. Dolson did not come any further south because he had reached the end of his division, and because the location of the line at and below Ashland will depend upon the work on the descent from the summit south of here.
"Railroad News," Ashland Tidings, May 25, 1883, page 3
There is a difference of opinion as to where railroad depots will be located. Several parties near the middle of the valley think one will be located on their land, and some of them are liable to be disappointed. The depot for this place will probably be located about five miles east of us.
"Railroad Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, June 1, 1883, page 2
RIGHT OF WAY.--The following parties have sold the right of way to the O.&.C.R.R. Co. for the consideration mentioned: Anton Becker, Grants Pass, consideration $1; L. C. Hyde, Grants Pass, $50; Ole Severson, Grants Pass, $200; John Woods, Evans Creek, $50; Lincoln Griffith, Grants Pass, $200; W. Harper, Evans Creek, $100; E. M. Hill, Evans Creek, $100; James Savage, Rogue River, $50.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, June 8, 1883, page 1
The croakers who are constantly crying down Jacksonville, and who predict all sorts of misfortune for it, will be badly disappointed. There is too much capital invested and too much business done here to warrant a stampede to other places. Besides, Jacksonville is one of the healthiest and most delightful places in the State to reside in, and it will live and prosper long after its maligners will have more railroads than they want.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, June 8, 1883, page 2
The railroad line is nearly half a mile west of Magruder's store at Central Point.
Mr. Dolson, engineer in charge of the railroad division between Grave Creek and Wagner Creek, was in Ashland one day this week, in conference with Mr. Hurlburt. He tells us that the location of the road between [the] Rogue River and Phoenix, as recently made by him, is final, and that there will probably be but little alteration to make this side of Phoenix, in connecting with the line as brought down by Mr. Hurlburt. Mr. Dolson is now engaged in preparing estimates for the bridge and trestle work, and rock cutting in his division, and he is of the opinion that a force of men will be set at work upon portions of the construction in this valley within two or three months.
"Railroad News," Ashland Tidings, June 8, 1883, page 3
Capt. S. L. Dolson informs us that the railroad route is definitely located through the valley, and the setting of grade stakes has commenced. Another party as large as the one now employed will be put in the field at once for this work, and everything will be rushed along as fast as possible. Mr. Loring, the right of way agent, is meeting with good success and with less trouble than was anticipated. The road is expected to reach the valley before the first of next January.
"Local Items," Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, June 9, 1883, page 3
Grade stakes are being set along the railroad route and Mr. Loring is busily engaged in securing the right of way.
"Railroad Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, June 15, 1883, page 2
Mr. Dolson's headquarters are at Rock Point, where he has had a house built for his convenience. The [Western Union Telegraph] Co. is also having a station put up there, which will be in charge of Mrs. A. W. Cawley. Chas. Strang is acting as Mr. D.'s clerk.
The railroad bridge will cross Rogue River close to the Centennial Bridge, which will necessitate the moving of some of the buildings in that vicinity. Mr. Chavner says that he has been treated handsomely by the railroad agent, Mr. Loring, and that all damages have been settled.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, June 22, 1883 page 3
Chief Engineer Morris says the railroad will reach Ashland by the first of January, 1884.
We doubt it.
"Local Items," Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, June 23, 1883, page 3
The following deeds have been recorded in the county clerk's office since our last report:
D. Loring to O.&C.R.R.; lot on Rogue River. Consideration, $1. . . . . S. C. Snook and C. C. Beekman to D. Loring, agent; land in Grants Pass precinct. Consideration, $400. . . . . T. F. Croxton to O.&C.R.R. Co.; right of way. Consideration, $150. . . . . W. Croxton to O.&C.R.R. Co. Same. . . . . J. Neathammer to O.&C.R.R. Co.; right of way. Consideration, $1,000.
excerpt, "Real Estate Transactions," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, June 29, 1883, page 1
The assertion made by chief engineer Morris that the railroad will reach Ashland by Jan. 1, 1884, is open to much doubt.
"Railroad Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, June 29, 1883, page 2
The question which agitates many people nowadays is, where will the depot be?
Wm. Egan, lately of Silver Lake, has rented the old Drake place for two years.
Riley Hinkle, who lately returned from the coast, says R. Benedict and Wm. Egan have purchased 150 head of young cattle in Del Norte County.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, July 6, 1883, page 3
The clearing of the right of way has reached the vicinity of Grants Pass and is rapidly progressing. It will not be long before Rock Point will be reached.
Engineer Dolson will make his headquarters at Rock Point, and is busy getting things ready for the construction force, which will be in the valley before winter.
Several lines have been run in the vicinity of Ashland to ascertain the best location for a depot, which question has not been settled as yet. It has caused quite a commotion among Ashland property holders, especially the business men.
D. Loring, right-of-way agent, has secured almost the entire right of way for the railroad to Willow Springs Precinct, having settled the damages with nearly everybody along the line. He expects to finish his work to the state line before the end of the year.
"Railroad Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, July 13, 1883, page 2
The smoke that fills the valley comes principally from the right of way, which is being cleared of brush by fire. The adjacent hills seem to have escaped the devouring element as yet.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, July 13, 1883, page 3
The Hurlburt and Dolson surveys were joined in the vicinity of Wagner Creek last Tuesday and the road has been definitely located through the valley. Other permanent work is now under way.
It is thought to be reasonably certain that the depot for Ashland will be located on B. F. Myers' farm, about a mile below the woolen mills. Some seem to think the land in that vicinity will increase in value, while the present business property is likely to depreciate correspondingly. It may turn out differently, however.
"Railroad Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, July 20, 1883, page 2
Recorded since our last issue:
T. G. Reames to O.&.C.R.R. Co., right of way through land in Manzanita precinct. Consideration, $300.
Alex Martin to O.&.C.R.R. Co., release for right of way through Justus property. Nominal consideration.
excerpt, "Real Estate Transactions," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, July 20, 1883, page 2
The point for the depot for the center of this valley and where the freight and passengers for Jacksonville will be landed is yet unselected, no matter what anyone may say to the contrary. There is a manifest disposition on the part of the railroad managers to consult the wishes of the people of this town respecting the site and, as this is the most important shipping point in the valley, such a concession is certainly due us. It is then to be presumed that the depot will, in consideration of our convenience, be at the nearest possible point to Jacksonville.
"Editorial Notes," Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, July 21, 1883, page 2
TIED UP.--The work of connecting the railroad survey with the government land surveys in this valley was completed on Tuesday last by Mr. J. S. Howard. The "tying," as it is technically called, is now completed from the summit of the Siskiyou Mountains to the front, and this operation definitely settles the location of the road. The line is located a little over a mile east of Ashland on the farm of Mr. B. F. Myers, and some of our neighbors up there are beginning to debate the question of the possibility of a rival town at the depot. It is now quite evident that the railroad folks are building to accommodate themselves, and if we want to ride we must be ready when the trains comes, otherwise--walk.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, July 21, 1883, page 3
J. S. Howard, having finished tying up the section lines of the O.&C.R.R. to the Siskiyous, is now engaged in looking up the title to lands in that neighborhood through which the road passes.
The railroad company has entered suit against several of our substantial farmers for right-of-way through their lands, they being unable to agree on any terms of settlement. The cases will come up at the special term of circuit court next month.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, July 27, 1883, page 3
A number of the substantial farmers in the center of the valley will fight the railroad company for the right of way asked, and the company has entered suit against them, to be tried at the special term of court next month. Some of them have already got more railroad than they want.
"Local Items," Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, July 28, 1883, page 3
One of our more prominent farmers has always prayed that the railroad might miss Jacksonville at least five miles and run near his place. His prayer is granted and he has got the railroad--"right in the neck"--and is now suing the company for damages. Ill wishes, like the devil's chickens, always come home to roost.
"Local Items," Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, August 4, 1883, page 3
The railroad extension is moving forward more rapidly than is generally supposed. Engineer Dolson expects to have 1,500 men at work in the valley by the 1st of next month.
The railroad bridge across Rogue River will be put up about 100 feet below where Chavner's bridge now stands. A force of Chinese have already arrived and commenced getting things ready for the structure. Considerable trestle work will be necessary in that vicinity.
"Railroad Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, August 10, 1883, page 2
Hard cases follow the construction of a railroad, and the citizens of the valley should soon commence providing against footpads and petty thieves.
Among the farmers sued by the railroad company for right of way are F. M. Plymale, H. Amy and J. W. Baker. The case of White Bros. is the only one tried so far.
Thos. Chavner will move all of the buildings in the vicinity of the Centennial Bridge to this side of [the] Rogue River, in order to give the railroad company plenty of room for their bridge.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, August 10, 1883, page 3
Railroad rumors are thick.
We are informed by parties who claim that Col. Morris, chief engineer, so informed them that Phoenix will have a depot and other things that go with it.
Much blasting is being done at Dardanelles, near the crossing of the proposed railroad bridge. A considerable force is at work there, getting things ready for the structure.
"Railroad Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, August 17, 1883, page 2
The people of Jacksonville acted wisely in declining to pay the railroad company a large sum of money to construct their line nearer to that town than where it is now located. It will really be of more benefit to Jacksonville where it is than if it ran through the place. Such at least has been the experience of smaller towns.--Polaris.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, August 17, 1883, page 2
Haskell Amy compromised with the railroad company this week and the suit against him has been withdrawn. We learn that he got about $1,000.
A. L. Johnson, land agent, sold 100 acres of land in Eden Precinct, lying on the line of the O.&.C.R.R. known as the A. N. Jones farm, to Arthur J. Weeks, for $2,000.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, August 17, 1883, page 3
Cars will be running to Grants Pass sometime in October, it is expected.
It is expected that 1500 men will be at work in Rogue River Valley on the railroad extension by the first of September.
The railroad hands on the O.&C.R.R. now wear caps with their respective positions printed on the bands in front.
The railroad bridge across Rogue River will be about 100 feet below Chavner's bridge. A force of Chinamen have begun work there, and the bridge work at Evans Creek will begin soon.
Railroad men seem to be giving much attention to Grants Pass as a business point. Much of the Josephine County trade will go to the depot at that place, and in the event of a branch road being built westward toward the coast Grants Pass will be the junction.
"Railroad News," Ashland Tidings, August 17, 1883, page 3
Most of the depots in Jackson County are virtually located, but manager Koehler still keeps anxious people in suspense. Speculators would give a good deal to know where some locations will be made.
Homer Harkness of Grave Creek has bonded that portion of C. Mingus' place lying in Manzanita Precinct, with the expectation that the depot for this place will be located there. However, the people in the vicinity of Central Point also have aspirations in that direction.
"Railroad Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, August 24, 1883, page 2
Ashland is enjoying a boom, and prices asked for property are very high.
Wm. Egan, who has the Drake farm on Applegate rented, is offering some fine young bulls for sale. See his advertisement.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, August 24, 1883, page 3
The [Roseburg] Plaindealer says there will be a roundhouse built at Glendale, timbers and lumber for which are already sawed. As there is an upward grade all the way from Julia to near Grants Pass, extra engines will have to be used and the roundhouse is being built for their occupation. There is also an ugly upgrade through the big canyon and Riddle or some point near may get a roundhouse.
A new feature was observable in the court last week, the railroad company having secured the services of Mr. W. G. Lee as phonetic reporter. Mr. Lee has been an attache of Engineer Dolson's corps and is evidently an expert shorthand writer. This is nothing new in larger communities but here it seemed to add a greater air of importance to the proceedings.--Sentinel.
"Railroad News," Ashland Tidings, August 24, 1883, page 3
Railroad camps are being moved rapidly forward, which shows that grading is not being delayed any. It will not be very long before all the camps will be this side of Grants Pass.
A portion of A. LeFevre's right-of-way force is on Evans Creek and moving rapidly this way. The work will be light after Bloody Run is passed, excepting about a mile in the vicinity of Chavner's bridge.
"Railroad Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, August 31, 1883, page 2
AN IMPORTANT MATTER.--Everybody living on government land, surveyed or not, should lose no time in filing on it and give the land office due notice of the fact, so it can be used in evidence hereafter. The railroad land grant is being withdrawn as fast as earned, and all the unclaimed odd sections will then be in their possession. Settlers living on the same who have failed to give the land office due notice of their rights will be out and injured, no matter how great their improvements are. Those filing on land in even sections will thereafter be limited to 80 acres and charged $2.50 per acre for it. All those filing now will be allowed the time they have lived on the land they claim. All government land in the 20-mile limit to the east line of section 21, township 36 south, range 3 west, has already been withdrawn from the market. Settlers who are likely to be affected should act without delay.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, August 31, 1883, page 3
Some trestle work has been started in the vicinity of the Rogue River bridge.
The railroad depot at Jump-off Joe is said to be located on F. M. Nickerson's land and is called Josephine.
Messrs. Koehler and Morris' mission to Jackson County has not been revealed, and many anxious people are still in great travail.
Ben Haymond of Rock Point, who was in town this week, informs us that the right-of-way force is expected at that place in a very few days.
Woodville will also get a depot, which will be located back of John Woods' store. We have not learned of the definite location of any others.
"Railroad Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, September 7, 1883, page 2
Recorded in the Clerk's office since our last report:
Lindsay Applegate to R. Koehler, trustee O.&.C.R.R., 156 75/100 acres; near Ashland; consideration, $10,000.
L. Applegate to same, quitclaim deed; consideration, $1.
D. F. Fisher and W. Bybee to O.&C.R.R., right of way, $[omission].
D. F. Fisher to same, right of way, $50.
I. J. Phipps to O.&C.R.R., right of way, $85.
"Real Estate Transactions," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, September 7, 1883, page 2
From Jack Million, who came up from the railroad front on Wednesday, we learn that the heavy grading is nearly all done north of Rock Point, and all of the Chinese are to be moved soon to this valley, with the exception of two camps, which will be left back to finish up the grading. A large force will move this week to begin work between Rock Point and Woodville. Tracklaying has been suspended at Smith's owing to the delaying in the delivery of ties, until the repairs are finished in Grave Creek tunnel; so that there need be no other stoppage in laying the iron until Grants Pass is reached. A large portion of the timbers for Rogue River bridge are on the ground and the pile driver is expected to begin work there within a few days.
The railroad depot at "Jump-Off Joe" is located on the land of F. M. Nickerson, clerk of Josephine County, and is to be named "Josephine." As this will be the distributing point for Josephine County the name is most appropriate. Had it been called "Jump-Off Joe" unpleasant consequences might have resulted, as every time the brakeman yelled out the name of the station every Joe aboard the train would be bound to jump off and the place would soon become a noted bone yard.--Sentinel. [The station's name was later changed to Merlin.]
"Railroad News," Ashland Tidings, September 7, 1883, page 3
Mr. Phipps has settled the right-of-way question with the railroad company like a sensible man. This is the best policy and it will, if followed, result in advantage to everyone in this county.
"Local Items," Oregon Sentinel, September 8, 1883, page 4
I. J. Phipps to O.&C.R.R., right of way, $85.
"Real Estate Transactions," Oregon Sentinel, September 8, 1883, page 4
The railroad bridge across Rogue River is only about 40 feet below that of Chavner's.
The bridge across Rogue River is expected to be finished in a month. There are thirteen bridge carpenters employed on this structure and the timbers will be framed in five or six days. Part of the bridge is already in position.
"Railroad Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, September 14, 1883, page 3
Hon. Geo. Hearst, a capitalist and prominent citizen of California, accompanied by a mining expert, visited a number of quartz ledges in Josephine and Jackson counties last week, evidently with business in view if prospects justified.
On Saturday evening Mr. Hearst, in conversation with a representative of the Times, expressed himself as highly pleased with the general appearance of this country. In speaking of Jacksonville, Mr. Hearst said: Your people need not worry because the nearest railroad depot will be five miles off; that will not injure your town; there is too much wealth and business energy here for any other place in the county to supersede you, Jacksonville will continue to grow and prosper, and much more rapidly than heretofore. Real estate, both in town and country, will increase in value, and as soon as the railroad is completed there will be plenty of buyers here and real property will soon become a cash article.
Mr. Hearst is proprietor of the San Francisco Examiner, a man of wealth and a close observer, and his favorable opinion of our town and county is worthy of note and should be highly prized by our people.
excerpt, "The Opinion of a Competent Judge," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, September 21, 1883, page 2
LeFevre's right of way gang is in the vicinity of Gold Hill.
There are over 100 tents at Woodville occupied by employees of the O.&C.R.R. Co.
The track layers are about two miles this side of Grave Creek tunnel and progressing rapidly.
Everybody that goes to the front [of construction] expresses surprise at the amount of work being done on the line of construction.
It looks now as if the railroad would reach Ashland before 1884, although there is still considerable heavy work to be done.
Fifty scrapers and forty dump carts are employed on the embankment that is being constructed near Woodville by the railroad company.
There is a large amount of work being done on the railroad between Evans Creek and Birdsey's place, upwards of 500 laborers being employed on construction in that vicinity.
"Railroad Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, September 21, 1883, page 3
A gang of Chinese graders was this week set to work in the vicinity of Gold Hill.
Chinese graders in the Siskiyous, circa 1886.
Hurlburt has finished the preliminary surveys and the route that will be taken south of Dolson's location will soon be definitely known.
Some of the graders have reached the lower field of White Bros. of Rock Point, which is evidence that the railroad is being pushed rapidly forward, although a great deal of grading is yet to be done north of there.
The track has reached Louse Creek, where there will be a halt of several weeks, as a great deal of heavy trestle work is to be done. Freight will therefore not be landed at Grants Pass for some time to come.
Work is progressing rapidly on the Rogue River bridge, the piers being completed and in readiness for the span. It will not be many weeks before the structure is finished. There is considerable trestle work in that vicinity, however, which will require some time longer.
The commissioners appointed to receive twenty miles more of the O.&C.R.R. extension having completed their labors, a large area of government land has again been withdrawn from market, the line extending to the township in which Jacksonville is situated. Register Benjamin of the Roseburg land office, has forwarded us definite information concerning the withdrawal, but the letter was miscarried and has not come to hand as yet.
"Railroad Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, September 28, 1883, page 2
A MISTAKEN IDEA.--A Glendale correspondent of the Times writes as follows under a late date: "We notice that Jackson County merchants have as yet shipped very little heavy goods. This is perhaps attributable to the mistaken idea that seems to be prevalent that O.&C.R.R. freight trains will shortly run as far south as Grants Pass, and save them (the merchants) not a little in the matter of freight, which is no small item on heavy goods, such as coffee, sugar, salt, etc., when hauled by teams. But, for the advantage of all parties interested, it might be well to say that it is by no means likely that freight trains will run south of Glendale before the 15th of November, as we learn from the superintendent of construction that the track cannot be laid to Grants Pass before that time, on account of bridge and trestle work, which will not be completed before. And we also learn from the manager that no move will be made until they can move as far south as Grants Pass. Freight trains will be run as far south as Louse Creek, where the company will establish a supply depot, but these trains will carry nothing but construction freight. The conclusion then would be that those who are apparently waiting for the removal of the railroad terminus farther south to save wagon freight on heavy goods, are likely to wait until wet weather and muddy roads, and then be disappointed."
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, September 28, 1883, page 3
The whistle of the locomotive attached to the construction train can now be heard at Rock Point.
Now that railroad construction is going on in the valley, many engaged in the work visit Jacksonville and business has improved considerably of late.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, September 28, 1883, page 3
The railroad station opposite Jacksonville is unsettled as yet, but unless it is put at some suitable point for this town, with a good road leading thereto, our merchants will ship either via Chavner's bridge or Phoenix, the distance amounting to very little when good roads are found.
"Railroad Notes," Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, September 29, 1883, page 3
A scraper gang is expected at Dardanelles in a few days.
Five more gangs of Chinese have just arrived at Gold Hill.
Mr. Kirkland, who was in town Saturday, has a party in the vicinity of Phipps' place on Bear Creek, which is engaged in construction work.
S. Dixon informs us that there are twenty carpenters at work on the bridge across Rogue River, who are making good progress. The main span will be completed in two weeks.
It is a general inquiry why lands should be withdrawn in favor of the railroad company ahead of the track, as it is supposed that Congress intended the grant should only be awarded as fast as earned. Who can give the desired information?
"Railroad Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, October 5, 1883, page 2
Under a late date, Hon. W. F. Benjamin, register of the Roseburg land office, writes to the Times as follows: "It may be of interest to your readers to know that the O.&C.R.R. Co. has filed plots of definite location of their road to the southwest quarter of section 32, in township 37, south of range 1 west, and that the Commissioner has withdrawn from sale all odd numbered sections for 30 miles each side of said railroad line and parallel with their track. Said withdrawal was filed in this office Sept. 17th, 1883. Settlers within said limits will be restricted to the even numbered sections, and within the 20-mile limit the price per acre is raised to $2.50. All claimants on said lands--the 30-mile limit--who had settled prior to that date Sept. 17th, 1883--must place their claims on record within 90 days from the date of actual settlement, if they wish to hold them; otherwise the claims of the railroad will attach."
"Railroad Lands Withdrawn," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, October 5, 1883, page 2
A number of improvements are going on in Jacksonville, which shows that the people have as much faith in the stability of the town as ever.
Heavy blasts are being put in at the scene of railway operations in Willow Springs precinct, which can be plainly heard here, nearly twelve miles distant.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, October 5, 1883, page 3
Many of the people in the Butte Creek country have signed a petition to the railroad company for the establishment of a depot at Central Point, we are told.
The end of the railroad track is now within about four miles of Grants Pass, where tracklaying has been suspended for the present, on account of the heavy bridge work remaining to be done between those two points. About 1,000,000 feet of timbering remains to be put up, some 400,000 feet of which is yet to be sawed. Miller & Sons have a large force of men upon the work, and expect to have it finished ready for tracklaying within about six weeks. All the bridging this side of Grants Pass will be finished in about a month. The Rogue River bridge will be done in two weeks. The grading will be completed as far as the crossing of Rogue River within three weeks. At Gold Hill the heaviest work is found this side of the river, but it is easier than was anticipated, there being less rock work than was calculated upon. The condition of the extension to this place may be best understood, perhaps, from the statement that, after the heavy bridging north of Grants Pass is done the tracklayers will not be delayed until Ashland is reached, unless the grading force should be greatly reduced, or some unforeseen obstacle should intervene.
"Railroad News," Ashland Tidings, October 5, 1883, page 3
A force of scrapers are now at work on the Colver Butte near Phoenix.
D. Loring, the railroad company's agent, is meeting with success in securing the right-of-way in the upper part of the valley.
Many of the scrapers have gone to the vicinity of Phoenix. The railroad managers intend to work the sticky land first, so that they will not have it to contend with in the winter.
LeFevre's right-of-way force has about finished the clearing of the fourth division (Dolson's), which ends a short distance above Phoenix. It did not take it long to go through the valley.
It is definitely known that there will be depots at Grants Pass and Chavner's bridge, and the prospects are favorable that Woodville and Phoenix will be likewise fortunate. Where other depots will be located has not yet been made public. There are three or four candidates for the central depot of this valley, but whether it will be put close to Central Point or on either of the Beall, Mingus or Phipps places remains to be seen. As far as the people of Jacksonville and vicinity are concerned, they have no objections to going to the Dardanelles or Phoenix for railroad facilities.
"Railroad Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, October 12, 1883, page 2
We learn that a petition, requesting the railroad authorities to locate a depot close to Central Point, was forwarded to Portland not long since. It was signed by several hundred persons.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, October 12, 1883, page 3
J. L. Adams, who is clearing the right of way for the railroad, has the clearing done for a distance of nearly four miles south of the stage road crossing above Ashland. After next week he will begin north of town and cut towards Rogue River. If the right of way is obtained south of here all the way to the mountains, he may keep one party of men working in that direction, also.
"Railroad Notes," Ashland Tidings, October 12, 1883, page 2
Rapid progress is being made through the valley.
During the past month 25 miles of rails were laid south of Glendale.
Woodville is about deserted by railroad employees, the scrapers having gone south.
The force at work in the vicinity of Gold Hill is being increased and graders are expected there soon.
The bridge and trestle work is progressing rapidly, but it will be several weeks before it can be completed.
A force of scrapers are now at work at the Gore and Van Dyke places [at today's South Stage Road], not a great distance north of Phoenix.
The bridge across Rogue River is about finished, and Dan Large and his force will next engage in the construction of the Evans Creek bridge.
"Railroad Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, October 19, 1883, page 2
Central Point is improving, the population having increased considerably of late.
Jacksonville is holding its own wonderfully well and is more prosperous than ever.
Property is so very high in Ashland that persons in ordinary circumstances do not find it advantageous to invest at present. This fact, taken into connection with the scarcity of building materials, retards the growth of the place.
Notwithstanding the scarcity of lumber a great amount of improvement is noticeable on every hand. Jackson County is in a more prosperous condition than ever.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, October 19, 1883, page 3
The approaches for the Rogue River bridge are being built, the main structure having been completed.
It is said that the central depot for this valley will be located on Thos. F. Beall's place in Manzanita precinct. If such is the case, we congratulate our old friend.
"Railroad Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, October 26, 1883, page 2
The effects of railroad construction can be seen on every hand. Money is more plentiful than it has been for several years.
Jacksonville has presented a lively scene for the two past Saturdays, the town being filled with people and business proving exceptionally good.
Wm. Egan and New B. Hall have purchased Gen. Cross' saloon at Phoenix and will soon take charge. They will keep the best of wines, liquors and cigars.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, October 26, 1883, page 3
David Loring, right of way agent for the railroad, has been at Ashland for a week past. His work is about completed, the right of way having nearly all been secured to the Siskiyou tunnel.
"Local Items," Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, October 27, 1883, page 3
To all appearances the central depot for this valley has been definitely located 3½ miles northeast of town on a straight line. C. C. Beekman, C. W. Broback, C. Mingus and I. J. Phipps, on whose land it will be placed, have each agreed to donate several acres for the use of the railroad company, although the depot will be mostly on Mr. Broback's farm.
"Editorial Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, November 2, 1883, page 2
D. Loring, right of way agent, has succeeded in settling with nearly every farmer in the valley and grading will proceed with little interruption on that score.
"Railroad Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, November 2, 1883, page 2
A number of transactions at good figures are taking place in Jacksonville, which illustrates the fact that property holders and many newcomers have great confidence in the stability of the town.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, November 2, 1883, page 3
Grading has been commenced near Central Point and a considerable number of men are at work in F. M. Plymale's field.
It is reported that the depot for the central portion of the valley and Jacksonville has been located upon land belonging to C. C. Beekman, C. Mingus and C. W. Broback, about four miles from Phoenix. The report is that a tract of 160 acres belonging to the three gentlemen named is to be laid off in blocks, and every alternate block is to be given to the railroad company, in consideration of the location there of the depot. If the rumor be true, we may expect to see some lively speculation in "town lots" there soon.
"Railroad Notes," Ashland Tidings, November 2, 1883, page 3
OUR DEPOT--The Grand Central railroad depot has been located at last and the company have decided on putting it on the land owned by C. W. Broback, C. Mingus, C. C. Beekman and I. J. Phipps. It is on a corner owned by the four above mentioned parties but the depot property will be on the land owned by Broback. A town site will be laid out and property offered for sale.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, November 3, 1883, page 3
Grading is going on at several different points between Chavner's bridge and Phoenix.
The track is almost ballasted as far as completed, the work being carried on from both ends.
It is said that the railroad company will soon lay out a town site in the vicinity of Chavner's bridge.
All the forces in the Siskiyous will be concentrated this side of Ashland in order to finish the track, so that transportation to the tunnels will be easier.
All the grading between Grants Pass and Chavner's bridge, including the heavy cut at Bloody Run, will be completed in a few days. Most of it is completed now and some of the Chinese gangs will be shipped back to Portland. The work in the Gold Hill vicinity will also soon be finished, and it will not take long to finish the balance of the route through the valley.
"Railroad Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, November 9, 1883, page 2
JUDGE DAY, who has just returned from a visit to the Roseburg land office, says that the railroad withdrawal only reaches as far as Fort Lane on the south. The line runs up to within two miles of Deskins' sawmill on the northeast and nearly to the Klamath County boundary on the east. Less land in the Applegate region is withdrawn than expected.
A GREAT many timber claims are being taken up in different sections by residents of this county, who anticipate that they will be quite valuable in time. With advent of the railroad and the increase in our population, lumber will be more valuable than ever. Such is the rapidity with which the forests of the northwest coast are being destroyed, that in our opinion we will live to see a railroad built down the coast, in order to make the timber of the country along the route available.
The route south of Wagner Creek, as recently adopted, passes near by the barn of Jos. Robinson, then through Jas. Helms' fields and Wm. Patton's place to the rocky bluffs above he warm springs near the Eagle Mill, crossing through the low gap in the vicinity of Wright's Creek, cutting G. F. Billings' farm nearly in twain and hitting the corner of W. C. Myer's garden. It then crosses the wagon road and enters the northeast portion of Ashland, running near Daley & Co.'s mill, striking the Applegate place on one end.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, November 9, 1883, page 2
The county is filling up very fast and we will not be surprised to find 25,000 people in Jacksonville when the census of 1890 is taken.
The railroad company and Thos. Chavner have entered into articles of agreement relative to laying out a town site on the western side of the river, near the Centennial bridge.
A gentleman who proposes settling in the valley with his family found no vacant houses in Ashland and upon coming to Jacksonville discovered such to be the case here. So scarce are houses for rent, that four families occupy one building in town.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, November 9, 1883, page 3
Mr. Loring, the O. & C. Railroad right-of-way agent, has succeeded in obtaining the right of way without any legal fights up in this part of the valley, and parties who have had dealing with him nearly all agree that the terms offered on behalf of the company have been fair and reasonable.
Mr. Hurlburt has received orders from Portland to hurry the construction work at and north of Ashland in his division, even if he has to take men from the work south of here, the object being to push the road to Ashland as speedily as possible. Consequently, he will move a gang of men from the mountains down below town within a few days.
The report that the railroad company have agreed to locate a central depot for the valley upon the place owned by Messrs. Phipps, Mingus, Broback and Beekman is premature. The matter was not absolutely settled at last report, but there is little doubt about the depot being located there.
There are at least four camps of graders now at work between Phoenix and Gold Hill--one at Vandyke's place, one at the McAndrew's ford, one at Bill's [Beall's?] place and the last near Willow Springs. The rains are retarding work somewhat.
"Railroad Notes," Ashland Tidings, November 9, 1883, page 3
One of our subscribers came in and stopped his paper this week because the railroad company had located the valley depot in the wrong place. We have always been afraid the railroad company would work us an injury and we propose calling on Villard for "more mud" immediately.
"Local Items," Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, November 10, 1883, page 3
Nearly all those engaged in railroad work are stationed between Chavner's bridge and Ashland.
When tracklaying commences again it will not be interrupted much until Ashland is reached.
The right-of-way has about been cleared as far as Ashland, Mr. Loring having secured a settlement with nearly all of the landowners.
It seems to be a fully settled fact that the central depot of this valley will be located on the land of Messrs. Beekman, Mingus, Broback and Phipps.
Grading is progressing so rapidly that a considerable number of white men and Chinamen have been discharged and others are leaving every day.
Quite a force is being concentrated this side of Ashland, in order to finish the line through the valley as soon as possible. Some of the force at work on the Siskiyous will be moved down.
"Railroad Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, November 16, 1883, page 2
The streets of Jacksonville present a lively appearance nearly every day this week. Business is better than it has been for years.
Some are waiting to see what the central depot will amount to. Dr. Crook is already making arrangements to build a saloon and lunch house there.
A town site has been laid out in the vicinity of Chavner's bridge, on the west side of Rogue River, and the proprietor has high hopes for its future. The railroad company propose having a large, deep well dug there soon.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, November 16, 1883, page 3
We are to Rev. R. McLean for a nicely bound volume of each of two journals of which he was the founder and publisher in Concepcion, Chile. They are printed in Spanish, and we have not yet read them through, but we can say, at least, that they are well gotten up, and pleasing to a printer's eye.
Ashland Tidings, November 16, 1883, page 3
The building of the depot, roundhouse and repair shops at Grants Pass has begun.
The camp of railroad workers set at work at the McCall & Anderson mines, about three miles below town, last week, makes the sixth camp between Ashland and Rogue River.
Grading between Rogue River and this place is progressing much more rapidly than many people in the valley are aware. Within a few days the work around Gold Hill will be about finished, and from there to Phoenix the road bed is ready for the ties much of the way. Before the completion of this timber work which is now delaying the track extension, grading will most likely be all done as far south as Ashland, so that the track layers, when they can once pass the heavy trestle work north of Rogue River, will not be interrupted until they reach this place.
"Railroad Notes," Ashland Tidings, November 16, 1883, page 3
The citizens of Woodville and vicinity are striving to get a depot, and will probably succeed.
It having been decided to locate the central depot on the lands of Messrs. Broback, Beekman, Mingus and Phipps, a town site will be laid out there at once. C. J. Howard went out yesterday to do the surveying.
"Railroad Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, November 23, 1883, page 2
EXCITEMENT RUN WILD.--The railroad extension has caused quite a number of new towns to be thought of in this county, many people thinking their farms are especially designed for town sites. As a consequence, some good ranches will be spoiled to make sickly looking villages. Even the new place at Grants Pass, situated in the almost extreme northern end of the county, and the best location for a town on account of its isolation, is likely to be despoiled of some of its embryonic greatness through a rival now being conceived in the brain of the incorrigible Sol. Abraham, who is not in the syndicate which gave birth to Grants Pass and wants some of the pie himself. Sol. owns some wild land a short distance away and he has men at work clearing off the brush, and surveyors at hand ready to lay off his future city. He is selling lots so cheap (from $15 to $50) that he has already disposed of several. As Sol. only paid the government price for the land, he is not likely to lose anything; still, some one might, as two towns are not likely to flourish in that section.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, November 23, 1883, page 3
A large amount of track iron is being shipped from Portland up to the front of the O. & C. R. R. extension, preparatory to the resumption of track laying.
The Phipps place is about 12 miles from Eagle Point by the wagon road, somewhat further than Central Point, so the location of the central depot at the latter place would have pleased Eagle Point people better, they say.
"Railroad Notes," Ashland Tidings, November 23, 1883, page 2
A turntable is being built at Grant Pass, but no roundhouse yet.
There are nearly a dozen new buildings at the railroad town of Grants Pass.
The railroad addition in Ashland has been platted by the company, but no map of it has been received in town yet.
The name of our depot is still in doubt, some calling it East Jacksonville, while others persist in naming it Phippstown. "Grand Central" seems to have dropped behind.-- Sentinel. ("East Jacksonville" is pretty good. Better call it North Phoenix or West Eagle Point.)
"Brevities," Ashland Tidings, November 23, 1883, page 3
Chas. J. Howard with a force of men is now engaged in surveying the new town site opposite Jacksonville, located on the land owned by Messrs. Beekman, Broback, Mingus and Phipps. Lots will soon be offered for sale and those expecting to get rich on real estate investments will no doubt be on hand to make purchases.
"Local Items," Oregon Sentinel, November 24, 1883, page 3
Woodville will have a depot.
The lumber for the depot at Chavner's bridge is about being sawed and the building will likely be put up this month.
The tracklayers reached Grants Pass last Monday night and it was expected that the construction train would arrive there immediately afterward. It has been running into the town regularly since Tuesday.
"Railroad Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, November 30, 1883, page 2
A town has been laid out on the site of the proposed central depot. No name has been given the new candidate as yet, that being left with the railroad authorities.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, November 30, 1883, page 3
R. F. High has bought the building heretofore occupied as a dentist office and opened a barber shop this week. It is neatly fitted up.
"Brevities," Ashland Tidings, November 30, 1883, page 3
Chas. Howard, of Jacksonville, is engaged in surveying the new town site at the central depot in Manzanita precinct. About 200 acres will be laid off in town lots. A name for the town has not yet been finally adopted, but "Medford" or "Middleford" has been suggested by the railroad people, we are told.
The work of track-laying will probably be delayed several days at Rogue River Bridge, we learn, after which it may undoubtedly be continued without interruption to the Wagner Creek crossing, and possibly to the McCall & Anderson mines, about three miles below Ashland.
"Railroad Notes," Ashland Tidings, November 30, 1883, page 3
C. W. Broback, one of the proprietors of the new town down the valley, was in Ashland Wednesday. He says "East Jacksonville" is "no go."
"Personal," Ashland Tidings, November 30, 1883, page 3
C. J. Howard, with the assistance of James Elliott, Ed. Curtis and J. Johnson, is now engaged in surveying and laying out the new railroad town opposite Jacksonville.
"Local Items," Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, December 1, 1883, page 3
The whistle of the iron horse can now be heard in the valley and the dream of an age is realized. Not many years ago the building of a railway to the state line was treated with more derision than is the project of a road down the coast, to connect with San Francisco, at the present time. Human ingenuity can devise almost anything.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, December 7, 1883, page 2
Jas. Langshire, who has been bossing a gang of railroad employees at Gold Hill, says the work, with the exception of a rock cut, is about finished there. It was found necessary to put on night shifts for a short time past in order to keep ahead of the tracklayers.
A correspondent of the Times, writing under the date of the 5th from Rock Point, says: We heard the whistle of the locomotive here this morning for the first time. The construction train was a little this side of Woodville. Mr. Volk says the track will be here in about four days after today.
The favorable weather has allowed railroad work to progress much more rapidly than expected, and, as a consequence, not a great deal remains to be finished north of Phoenix. Most of the work is now being done south of Wagner Creek, and it may not be long, should the storms hold off awhile longer, until everything is ready for the track as far as Ashland. A large number of men have been discharged and many more will be dispensed with in a short time.
"Railroad Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, December 7, 1883, page 2
Since the railroad has neared us the tramps are on the increase.
So many new towns are springing up that lumber and other building materials are in great demand.
Times are unusually good in Jackson and Josephine counties, owing to railroad building, and everybody seems to have more filthy lucre than common.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, December 7, 1883, page 3
LAYING OUT A TOWN SITE.--C. J. Howard and party have nearly completed laying out 200 acres in lots on the site of the proposed central depot, the clearing of which will soon be commenced. So far, we hear that J. S. Howard of this place and Henry Smith of Wolf Creek will each start a branch of their present stores, Wm. Egan will put up a livery stable, Dr. Vrooman and D. H. Miller a drug and variety store, and G. W. Crystal and G. Wilprel each a blacksmith shop.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, December 7, 1883, page 3
The stage co. has as yet been unable to make any arrangements to connect with the railroad, and the mail is still carried on the old route from Glendale. Wm. Carll is running a wagon between old and new Grants Pass for the accommodation of stage passengers.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, December 7, 1883, page 3
Work has commenced at Grants Pass on a roundhouse to hold six engines.
With the exception of a little work north of the Gore place, the railroad grading is now completed as far south as the big fill north of Phoenix, we are told.
The track was expected to reach Chavner's station, Rogue River bridge, this week. The approaches to the bridge were not quite completed at last report but may be done in time to allow tracklaying to continue without detention there.
LATER--The trestle work at the north approach of Rogue River bridge is finished. Yesterday the track was four miles north of Rock Point. No track was laid Tuesday, as the iron did not arrive as expected. It is thought the rock cut at Rogue River will delay the track about two weeks.
"Railroad Notes," Ashland Tidings, December 7, 1883, page 4
THE NEW TOWN.--Chas. J. Howard and party finished surveying and laying out the new town opposite Jacksonville, making eighty-two blocks out of the place. Two blacksmith shops--one owned by G. Wilprel and the other by Geo. W. Crystal--have already been erected and ready for business. J. S. Howard and Henry Smith of Wolf Creek will open branch stores there, and Wm. Egan proposes starting a livery stable. Mr. Howard and party started for Chavner's bridge this morning to survey the new town at that point with instructions to lay out thirty-four blocks. After this they go to Phoenix where another new city of eighty blocks is to spring up. Jackson County will soon be well supplied with new towns.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, December 8, 1883, page 3
It is definitely settled that Phoenix will have a depot and the preliminaries for side tracks, etc., are progressing.
So rapidly is the large force of tracklayers progressing with their work that rails and ties can hardly be delivered fast enough. Some time has been lost for lack of material.
Work in the vicinity of Phoenix is almost done and the camps are moving further south. The only heavy work which remains unfinished is in the hills southwest of the Eagle Mills.
If the good weather which has been prevailing this fall should continue awhile longer, trains will be running into Ashland in less than three months. Rapid progress is being made everywhere.
It is said that the railroad company will change the name of Grants Pass. The station at Chavner's Bridge will probably be Dardanelles and the one in the middle of the valley Medford.
"Railroad Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, December 14, 1883, page 2
The screech of the locomotive is already becoming familiar in the valley.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, December 14, 1883, page 2
J. B. Cann, who is engaged in the liquor business in the Siskiyous, will become a resident of Medford.
A number of substantial improvements are contemplated by different residents of town, which shows that there is plenty of vitality and faith left in Jacksonville yet.
Mr. Voorhees is putting up a store at the central depot and M. E. Pogue also proposes erecting one shortly.
Frank Towne of Phoenix, who was in town Wednesday, informs us that considerable improvement is still going on in that place. Dr. R. Pryce is building himself a neat office there.
There is considerable of a demand for lots in the town just laid out in the center of the valley, mostly among newcomers. But very few residents of this place are investing, having the utmost faith in Jacksonville.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, December 14, 1883, page 3
WHAT WE WANT.--The railroad will soon be here and it behooves the people of Jacksonville to immediately take steps toward building a first-class road to the central depot and establishing an omnibus line on the same. This can be done at comparatively small expense when we consider the great benefit it will prove to this community. It is just such enterprise that has enabled San Bernardino and Bakersfield, California, to flourish in spite of the fact that they are both missed some distance by the Southern Pacific Railroad. We hope our citizens will see the point and act promptly.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, December 14, 1883, page 3
Emil Peil, an excellent blacksmith, has opened a shop at the central depot, and is prepared to do all kinds of blacksmithing, including horseshoeing, in good style and at reasonable rates. See his advertisement elsewhere.
"Personal Mention," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, December 14, 1883 et seq., page 3
Blacksmith and Horseshoer,
HAVING OPENED A BLACKSMITH SHOP
at the new town, five miles northeast of Jacksonville,
I am prepared to execute all work in my line
promptly and at low rates. Give me a trial.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, December 14, 1883, page 3
Railroad villages are numerous along the stage road north of Ashland. In the camp down at the [McCall & Anderson] mines are two neatly painted board houses which are built in sections and are moved from place to place.
The new R.R. town this side of Central Point is laid off in eighty-two blocks. Chas. Howard, who surveyed it, is now engaged in laying off thirty-four blocks of town lots at Chavner's Bridge, and will also stake off some eighty blocks of the railroad addition to Phoenix.
Messrs. Geo. Crystal and C. Wilprel have each built a blacksmith shop at the new town at the Phipps place, J. S. Howard intends to build a store there as soon as he can get the lumber, and several other persons are intending to put up buildings and start business. By the time the track reaches the place a town will be looming up.
"Railroad Notes," Ashland Tidings, December 14, 1883, page 3
New town sites are being recorded in the county clerk's office and lots are offered for sale. You pays your money and takes your choice.
The central station in the valley is to be called Medford, and the one at Chavner's bridge is named Bedford. With the passengers coming from the south it is all right, as they can commence undressing at Medford before reaching Bedford.
"Local Items," Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, December 15, 1883, page 3
Work in the vicinity of Phoenix is nearly done.
The track has been laid as far as Fort Lane and is moving steadily forward at present.
Very little work remains to be done on the route from the end of the track to Phoenix.
Owing to the difficulty of obtaining ties in time, there may be some delay in finishing the road to Ashland.
"Railroad Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, December 21, 1883, page 2
Medford has one saloon and a multitude of others are expected soon.
Wm. Egan and Pat. McMahon are putting up a livery stable at Medford.
John Slagle and H. C. Mulvany will engage in blacksmithing in Medford, which makes three shops in the place.
J. S. Howard has been appointed notary public. A petition is in circulation, praying that he be appointed postmaster of Medford.
J. A. Slover will not go to Medford, as announced, but will continue to furnish first-class meals and lodgings in Jacksonville.
No lots have yet been offered for sale in Medford. There seems to be a diversity of opinion as to how much shall be asked for them. We are informed that the railroad company will ask $300 for choice lots, while the balance of the syndicate think $250 apiece enough.
C. J. Howard and party, having finished laying off a townsite near Chavner's bridge, have gone to Phoenix to lay out an addition to that village. If the building of the railroad has done nothing else, it has at least furnished Rogue River Valley with an abundance of townsites.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, December 21, 1883, page 3
The people of Medford are expecting the track to reach that place by the first or middle of next week.
It is understood now that the railroad company will locate a depot and side tracks at Central Point. This makes four stations between Ashland and Rogue River, Phoenix, Medford, Central Point and Gold Hill. Whether a station will be established at Talent is not yet stated.
"Railroad Notes," Ashland Tidings, December 21, 1883, page 3
A visit to the new town of Medford, four miles below Phoenix, last Tuesday, revealed to us that the "foundations of the city" are already being laid. Several piles of new lumber were seen here and there over the town site, and three or four buildings were in course of construction.
The town site, as has been stated by us heretofore, comprises a tract of 160 acres, which was owned in equal shares by C. C. Beekman, C. W. Broback, C. Mingus and [I. J. ] Phipps. To induce the railroad company to locate a depot there, these gentlemen offered to give the company half the land. This offer was accepted by the company, and now as the town is laid off, every alternate block belongs to the railroad, and Messrs. Beekman, Phipps, Mingus and Broback each have a one-fourth interest in half the land of the town.
It is a beautiful site for a town, situated near Bear Creek, on high gravelly land, just sloping enough for drainage, but appearing at a distance to be almost a perfect level. Oak trees dot it with shade here and there, but aside from this it is a clear, grassy plain. The town plat had not been recorded when we were there, but will be within a few days. No deeds have been made out yet, but a number of parties have bargained for lots, and are already building, all the buildings being between the railroad track and Bear Creek.
J. S. Howard has just finished a house for his general merchandise business, and will call his place the Pioneer Store. He will put in a stock of goods at once. He will also continue his business at Jacksonville.
Emil Peil, recently from the East, has a blacksmith shop built and is at work at his forge.
Wm. Egan, recently from Goose Lake, is building a livery stable, and will soon be ready for business.
Dr. Vrooman, of Jacksonville, and David H. Miller had the foundation prepared for a good-sized store. One side will be occupied by the Doctor in the drug business, and the other by Mr. Miller, who will put in a good stock of general hardware.
F. B. Voorhies, recently from San Francisco, had men at work on the foundation of a house in which he intends to open a restaurant business as soon as it is completed.
Betterton & Work have a building already in use as a saloon, and T. E. Stanley intends to build for the same business.
Wm. Angle has on his lot a portion of the lumber for a dwelling house which he will put up this winter, and several others are intending to build as soon as lumber can be had.
Ashland Tidings, December 21, 1883, page 3
Phoenix people are indulging in as high hopes over the railroad prospects as any of the rest of us. They are to have a depot and a railroad addition to their town, and are going to strike out for a contest with the other railroad towns in the valley for the trade and business. The track is about a quarter of a mile west of the main street of the town and almost parallel with it.
The new railroad addition to Phoenix is to be laid off on both sides of the track southwest of the old town. It is in the midst of the pine grove, and about four or five hundred yards further from Bear Creek than the old town.
There are five saloons in Phoenix now; and four general merchandise stores.
Phoenix expects the cars within three weeks.
Excerpt, Ashland Tidings, December 21, 1883, page 3
It is understood now, says the Tidings, that the railroad company will locate a depot and side tracks at Central Point. This makes four stations between Ashland and Rogue River, Phoenix, Medford, Central Point and Gold Hill. Whether a station will be established at Talent is not yet stated.
It is reported that the new town at Chavner's bridge is to be called "Gold Hill," instead of Bedford, as stated by the Sentinel. Gold Hill is much the better name. The locality is already known by it, and to have two stations so near together with names so near alike as Medford and Bedford would be confusing in some instances.--Tidings. We agree.
"Local Items," Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, December 22, 1883, page 3
The roundhouse at Grants Pass is now being built.
P. West, Mr. Kearney and other carpenters are putting up trestlework not far from Medford.
The track is ballasted as far as Woodville. Capt. Hyzer is in charge of the Chinese gangs doing this work.
A report is in circulation to the effect that a station will be made at Central Point, but it has not been confirmed as yet.
The ground being very soft in the Coakley field, the track sank down on one side and the construction train went off into the mud the other day.
The track has been laid as far as Haskell Amy's place in Manzanita Precinct. Not a great deal of track laying has been done during the past week.
The railroad company charges $1.37 per hundred pounds from Portland to Grants Pass and teamsters charge $1 for the same from the terminus to Jacksonville.
Railroad building will now be much slower, as the storms have made the roads bad and interfered a great deal with general progress. Fortunately for the company, little grading remains to be done along the whole line to Ashland.
Surveyor McCall is engaged in staking off the railroad addition to Ashland into lots. This tract of land was purchased of L. A. Applegate and contains 130 acres, considerable of which will be occupied by the company's buildings, side tracks, etc. It has not been definitely announced as yet in what part of the addition the depot will be located.
"Railroad Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, December 28, 1883, page 2
WILSON--At Medford, Dec. 23d to Mr. and Mrs. Geo. Wilson, a daughter--weight 14 lbs.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, December 28, 1883, page 3
A. L. Johnson will put up a branch land office at Medford.
Wm. Angle is about putting up a dwelling house at Medford.
Geo. S. Howard is now a resident of Medford and will be in charge of his father's store at that place.
Talent entertains the same hopes that other places along the railroad do. Should it get the side track it is laboring for, somewhat of a settlement will spring up there.
Vrooman & Miller's building at Medford is nearing completion. They will engage in the hardware business, as well as keeping drugs, medicines and notions.
Betterton & Co. have opened a saloon at Medford and keep excellent liquors. T. E. Stanley and some others propose engaging in the same business there soon.
It is stated that Mr. Byers and other persons are about interesting themselves in the erection of a large brick building in Medford. We don't know how true it is.
Hundreds of wheelbarrows which have been used in railroad construction lie along the road in heaps, seemingly abandoned, from which some of the citizens in the vicinity are supplying themselves.
Chas. J. Howard and party finished laying off the railroad addition to Phoenix the day before Christmas. The citizens of that place are in good spirits over the prospects and indulge in high hopes of Phoenix being a good-sized town.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, December 28, 1883, page 3
The newly laid track through the valley, which has not yet been graveled, is sinking considerably in many places beneath the heavy weight of the construction train, since the rains.
The track had just reached the 125th mile stake, just this side of Central Point, when tracklaying was suspended this week. That is, 125 miles south of Roseburg. The adobe soil there will not allow the work to be resumed until it has dried pretty thoroughly, and even if the ground were in good condition, the track could not be extended until the obstructions [landslides] are cleared on the track at the north, so that the construction train can bring material to the front.
"Railroad Notes," Ashland Tidings, December 28, 1883, page 2
John Slagle and H. C. Mulvany intend to open a blacksmith shop at Medford.
"Brevities," Ashland Tidings, December 28, 1883, page 3
Last revised January 14, 2015
*For more complete names of persons identified by initials, see the Index.