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The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised


Medford News: 1923

Medford-related news items from 1923. Also see descriptions of Medford and Jackson County for this year.


   
Medford's new play grounds, opposite the high school building, will be opened to the public Saturday evening under the auspices of the Brotherhood of American Yeomen and will be known as the Yeomen Park Public Play Grounds. Music by the high school band. Fruit punch will be served free.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, May 17, 1923, page 2


A POOL OF ROGUE RIVER VALLEY PEARS
Meeting Held at Medford To Perfect Marketing Plans--
Trade and Crop News of the District.
    Medford, Ore., June 15.--At an enthusiastic meeting of pear growers and business men held here several days ago it was decided to form a pool for the sale of the Rogue River Valley Bartlett pears to the canneries, or to Eastern buyers, on an f.o.b. basis. An advisory committee was elected and empowered to perfect plans for marketing and organization. At this meeting there was considerable interest shown by the growers to sign up tonnage, and all agreed not to sell their Bartletts to any of the canneries until after the committee had reported its plans to the growers. On the committee are two members from the Bankers' Association, two from the Chamber of Commerce, and two from the fruit growers.
    At a second meeting of the committee it was decided to send two representatives to California to advise with the California Pear Growers' Association, and the committee named D. R. Wood and Harry Rosenberg, who will leave shortly for California, where they will make a thorough survey of the situation.
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    Growers here are expressing interest in the new fruit Coates 14-18, more commonly known as the "date prune." A five=acre tract has been set out by E. C. Faber in the Willow Springs district, and if it is shown that this fruit can be grown successfully more plantings will be made. The Willamette Valley has set out large acreages of this new fruit.
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    The local cherry crop will be small this year, as the trees on the floor of the valley are carrying a very light crop. Hillside Orchards will harvest normal crops. Ox Hearts are bringing 15¢ a pound to the growers, and it is expected that Royal Annes will bring around 12¢.
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    The various fruit marketing agencies here will be busily engaged the next few days visiting the various orchards in the district estimating the crop. Early estimates now place the crop at about 1,000 carloads more than last year, or about 2,500 cars. Thinning of apples will commence next week, and the scarcity of labor is already causing much concern here, as every orchard is heavily loaded with fruit, and much thinning will have to be done.
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    The Rogue River Fruit and Produce Association is shortly to dissolve and distribute its assets pro rata among its shareholders. This concern several years ago sold its plants to the Oregon Growers' Cooperative Association, but did not dispose of its "good will" and labels, the "Blue Triangle" and "Red Triangle" brands. From well-informed sources the information comes that the liquidation will be on a basis of 75¢ on the dollar on the outstanding stock.
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    As yet no cannery offers have been made locally for the Bartlett pear crop. The California Canneries Company has established a local agency, with Court Hall as local representative.
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    Box factories are quoting prices on box shook at about one-third higher this year than last season. As a result of this the minimum price that will be charged by the packing houses will probably be 50¢ a box for pears, and apples may go to 55¢ a box.
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    An appeal from the Sacramento Valley for blight cutters resulted in about 20 experts in that line of orchard work leaving here last week for that district.
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    Local cherries appeared on the Medford market several days ago and were sold at prices netting the growers 15¢ per pound. Owing to the heavy crop of the cherry buds the crop in the valley will be light. Cannery offers of 9¢ f.o.b. are apparently not acceptable to growers, as no reports are heard of any sales at that price. The growers hope to get around 12¢ for Royal Annes from the canneries.
The Chicago Packer, June 16, 1923, page 10


MEDFORD NEWS NOTES.
    Medford, Ore., June 29.--Work was started this morning on the construction of a new packing house for the Denney & Co. local branch. The roof of the present building is being removed to make room for a new roof, and an addition which will practically double the capacity of the plant will be built on the west side of their present building. The improvements, according to Myron E. Root, manager, will cost approximately $5,000. New and complete equipment will be installed and when finished the Denney concern will have one of the largest and best-equipped packing plants in the state.
The Chicago Packer, June 30, 1923, page 17


SHINN NEW DISTRICT MANAGER
    A new district manager was appointed July 1 to take the place of Jas. E. Edmiston, at Medford, who recently resigned.
    Robert Shinn was chosen after all available men were carefully checked over. His experience in both the Mosier and Hood River districts largely guided this.
    Mr. Shinn graduated from the Oregon Agricultural College about 1914 and has been associated with various branches of the fruit industry in Oregon since leaving Corvallis.
    He left a very attractive orchard proposition to join the personnel of the Association.
    The Medford district is largely planted to apples and pears. The Oregon Grower plant at Medford is one of the best equipped packing houses in the Northwest.
The Oregon Grower, magazine of the Oregon Growers Cooperative Assn., July 1923, page 16


News Notes from Rogue River Valley.
    Medford, Ore., July 6.--The local cannery is now operating on a heavy run of cherries, principally Royal Annes. The cherries this year are exceptionally large and good quality, and it is understood that the entire pack has been sold to Sprague, Warner & Co. of Chicago.
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    Pear growers here are making preparations for packing practically the entire Bartlett pear crop, instead of selling them to the canneries. Concessions made to the growers by the canneries have so far been unsatisfactory, and unless prices satisfactory to the growers are made the canneries will not secure any quantity of pears from this valley this season.
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    Hail did some damage here a few days ago, but fortunately for the growers most of the damage was covered by insurance, and all losses have been satisfactorily adjusted. It is as yet too early to make any definite crop estimates, but it is safe to say that the crop that will be harvested in the Rogue River Valley this year will be a very heavy one and may prove to be the largest crop ever harvested here. There is a very heavy apple set, and all pears, except Anjous, are set heavily. This valley should roll in the neighborhood of 2,500 cars of apples and pears this fall.
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    News has just been received announcing the prices to canners for this year's crop of Bartlett pears, as follows: No. 1 grade, $50 a ton; No. 2 grade, $30 a ton. The price of No. 1 grade last year was $75; these prices are set by the California Pear Growers' Association. There is a differential in rates on Rogue River Bartletts, which means that $15 less a ton will be paid to growers here. This will result in most of the crop here being packed and sent East.
The Chicago Packer, July 7, 1923, page 14


News Items from Rogue River Valley.
    Medford, Ore., July 20.--The Rogue River Valley will harvest about an 80 percent pear crop this fall. The apple crop will be above normal, and the shipment of apples from here will probably be the heaviest in years. Continued rains late into the season, and the increased acreages coming under irrigation, are two factors that will mean better-sized fruit.
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    Denney & Co. will operate two packing plants in Medford, one at Gold Hill and one at Roseburg.
The Chicago Packer, July 21, 1923, page 12


SHINN BUSY AT MEDFORD
Large Association Plant Working on Bartletts
Precooled Pears Packed and Shipped in Iced Cars

    The Association is making history in the Rogue River valley this year on the pear deal. When the board of directors threw open the doors and allowed certain dissatisfied growers in the Medford district to go back to the joys of a single life, so to speak, the remark was made along Produce Row in Medford that the large growers, with the cream of the tonnage, were out and that the Association had left the small orchards and the poor tonnage. The reverse has proven true. A few large growers who did most of the kicking apparently thought that they represented the great group of loyal fruit men. The members at Medford are now united and are doing their utmost to revive the Association activities in Southern Oregon.
    Director Vern Marshall and Hamilton Patton, backed by aggressive
committees, are doing what has been said was impossible at Medford--making a success of cooperative marketing.
    Sales Manager McNary is working with this committee and as this paper goes to press reports that practically the entire Association Bartlett tonnage at Medford is sold at fancy f.o.b. prices.  Approximately 60 cars will be shipped from the large Association plant at Medford.
    Robert E. Shinn, district manager, is pushing the packing operations like a veteran, and the Association flag is again floating gracefully in the breeze after two years of fitful fluttering in Southern Oregon.
    Rogue River pears have long been established with the trade, having the reputation as being of exceptional quality. However, the Medford district has been somewhat handicapped heretofore in not having the best facilities for handling the more highly perishable varieties. The Oregon Growers Packing Corporation operating in the Medford district is pioneering the way in a more efficient method of handling the crop this season.
    The Oregon Growers plant has a cold storage capacity of 30,000 boxes. The storage space is divided into four rooms. All of these rooms are cooled by the circulation system. Air is driven by a high-powered fan through cold coils and carried direct into all compartments. The cold air is always in rapid circulation about the fruit, which eliminates the danger of deleterious effects often prevalent in cold storage rooms.
    This year new equipment has been installed in two rooms by which the lower temperatures can be reached by combination of the circulation system and direct expansion combined. At the time of writing this added facility, in conjunction with those already in use, has been thoroughly tested out, and we find that the temperature in these rooms can easily be lowered to the zero mark.
    All of the Oregon Growers Bartlett pears shipped out of the Medford district this season will be precooled and packed in storage. The pears which are picked during the day will be hauled to the plant in trucks during the following night, being allowed to cool down with the night temperature. In the early hours of the morning all pears received during the night will be placed in one of the above described precooling rooms. The temperature in the precooling room will be held at a low point and the heat rapidly withdrawn. During the process of precooling a thrust test will be taken of the pears by which the actual temperature of the inside of the pear will be ascertained. When the pear has been chilled to 32 degrees at the core the entire contents of the room will be removed to a storage room held at a 32-degree temperature and packed under storage. After having been packed the pears will be transferred direct to the refrigeration cars and rolled immediately to their destination or stored in another cold room to be shipped out at a later date.
    In the past it has been necessary to ship the crop as soon as or almost immediately after the harvest. This has resulted in overloading the Eastern markets with fruit during a short season. The  result has been that the consumption has not been able to keep up with the immediate supply, and low prices to the producer has been the inevitable result. Through the above described methods of precooling and storing it will be possible to feed the fruit to the markets in a gradual and orderly way, which should result in larger returns to the grower.
    The Rogue River district this year is enjoying one of the best growing seasons it has experienced for several years, with a resulting  high quality of fruit. The codling moth is in extremely small evidence in this district this season and fungus infection is practically unknown. The pears are sizing up in an entirely satisfactory manner, and the growers are endeavoring through their harvesting methods to put the pears on the market in a condition which will continue the high reputation which this district has well earned in the past.
The Oregon Grower, magazine of the Oregon Growers Cooperative Assn., August 1923, page 11


News Notes from Rogue River Valley.
    Medford, Ore., Aug. 3.--A careful check of the apple crop in the Rogue River Valley places the estimate at about 800 carloads. A few weeks ago the estimated crop was about 1,000 cars, but a careful recheck now places the crop at 800 cars. Orchardists have taken better care of their apples this year than in past years, and as a result fruit of much better quality and size will be picked and packed.
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    Local packing houses are now being put in shape for the handling of the Bartlett pear crop, which will commence moving about the last of this month. At a meeting of fruit growers held several days ago it was practically decided to pack all Bartletts this year, instead of turning them over to the canneries, as the price established by the canneries is unsatisfactory to the growers here. The Rogue River Bartletts will move onto the markets in the East after the California crop has been disposed of. As this goes to press information has been received by wire from California that canners there are making further cuts in the prices they will pay for Bartletts, and that a cut from $50 to $40 a ton can be expected. With this information at hand local packers are making preparations for the packing of the entire crop.
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    Denney & Co., Rogue River District, will this season introduce to the trade their new pear label and brands "De Luxe Pears." All extra fancy pears will be packed under this label, which is a most striking and attractive label in blue and gold.
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    Local apricots are now being picked and marketed. It is expected that the demand will exceed the supply, as heavy orders are being received from nearby markets for practically all the apricots that will be picked. Prices range from 6 to 10¢ to the grower.
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    At a special meeting of the Board of Directors of the Rogue River Fruit and Produce Association held July 17 it was unanimously voted to dissolve the corporation and close up the affairs of the same, and divide the assets pro-rata among the stockholders. Under the plan of dissolution it is expected that stockholders will receive about 75¢ on the dollar on the outstanding stock. This concern has been inactive for the past several years, having disposed of its plants and business to the Oregon Growers' Association.
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    The first car of Bartlett pears left Medford on the 26th, and went directly to London, England. The pears on this order are all extra fancy pack and are expected to command a top price when they arrive on the market.
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    Bartlett pear picking commenced this week, but it will be another ten days before the harvest will be on in full swing. This will be the first time in a number of years that practically the entire crop of Bartletts will be packed and shipped, and packing houses as a result have been busy preparing for the heavy tonnage that will be handled and shipped. Some f.o.b. sales have been made, but most of the fruit will be consigned. Bartletts this year will be exceptionally fine and of good quality and pack and growers and packers are determined to place on the market only fruit that will come up to all expectations of the trade.
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    In former years the cannery here has always canned a considerable quantity of apricots, but this year the run has been light, principally on account of the reluctance of the growers to turn over their apricots at two and a half cents a pound. Most growers are disposing of their apricots to dealers within a short radius of here at prices that are netting the grower 5¢ a pound and better.
The Chicago Packer, August 4, 1923, page 18


Pear Crop Moving from Rogue River Valley.
    Medford, Ore., Aug. 17.--Up to this week 114 cars of Bartletts had rolled from here, and this week about 30 cars a day are moving.
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    The cannery representatives who are "camped" here are at last realizing that their chances of securing some of the tonnage from here are mighty slim, and as a consequence they are now out buying up culls at $5 a ton from the various packing concerns and shipping these to their plants. In talking to several of these representatives they expressed themselves a few days ago as being sure that as the season came to its height the growers would flock to them with their pears, but their guesses were wrong. It may be that the grower might have realized more by turning over his pears to the canners at $20 a ton, but they are up in arms at what they term holdup of the canners and would rather take a chance on anything than to give up their pears at the above price. It is common gossip around Medford that the canners have sold heavy futures on pears at prices equaling last season's prices and that it was their intention to make a cleanup this year on pears in order to offset the heavy losses they have taken on other fruits they have canned.
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    As soon as the Bartlett crop is disposed of the movement of Comice and Anjou pears will commence. There is a fine crop of these pears here this year, and already some very good orders have been placed. it is also believed that Bosc pears will this season command a better price than they have in several years. About 75 cars of Bosc will represent the total crop of that variety this season.
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    Pear packers are being paid 5¢ a box this season, sorters 30¢ an hour and packing house laborers 45¢. There are plenty of packers here, and no shortage is anticipated during the balance of the season.
The Chicago Packer, August 18, 1923, page 22


News Notes from Rogue River Valley.
    Medford, Ore., Aug. 31.--Five hundred cars of Bartlett pears have been shipped from Medford to this week, and many orchards as yet have not commenced picking their second picking. It is now estimated that close to 700 cars of Bartletts will roll from here this season.
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    Returns received from Bartlett pears in the East seem to be highly satisfactory to growers here, and many are feeling quite elated over the prices being quoted on Eastern sales.
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    Cannery representatives who have been here during the Bartlett season, and who have been hopeful of receiving all the pears they wanted at $20 a ton f.o.b., are now eagerly buying pears at $35 a ton, but growers are reluctant to dispose of their pears even at that figure in view of the good prices Bartletts are bringing in the Eastern markets. Canneries will as a result have a very light run of pears.
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    It is now estimated that 2,200 cars of pears and apples will roll from the Medford district this season. A large part of the apple crop will be packed for export and will move by water from Portland, through the Panama Canal.
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    There has been no car shortage as yet this season, and a good supply of refrigerator cars is on hand and more coming in daily to handle the record-breaking pear crop that this valley is moving this year.
The Chicago Packer, September 1, 1923, page 19



Apple and Pear Situation at Medford.
    Medford, Ore., Sept. 14.--Considerably more than 1,000 cars of pears have been shipped from Medford this season up to this date, and from present indications the total pear tonnage will amount to 1,500 cars. Bartletts are now out of the way, and d'Anjous are shipping out heavy now. These will be cleaned up in a few days, when Bosc and Comice shipments will follow. Some cars of Bosc and Comice are now rolling.
    The Bartlett season is expected to be very successful to growers and shippers alike. Prices have maintained a very satisfactory level, and growers will realize an average of better than $70 a ton. This is in the face of recent offers from canneries of $20 a ton for No. 1 and practically nothing for lower grades.
    Several cars of Winter Banana apples rolled from here last week, but it will be some time yet before apple shipments are on in full swing. The valley is having continued hot, sultry weather, and this is tending to mature fruit rapidly. It is hard to make any estimates as to the apple tonnage that will go from here this season, but it will be heavier than last year by far. There will probably be in the neighborhood of 1,000 cars of apples shipped from Medford.
The Chicago Packer, September 15, 1923, page 24


Pears and Apples at Medford.
    Medford, Ore., Sept. 21.--Up to this week 1,324 cars of pears had left Medford and shipments will continue at the rate of about 30 cars a day for a few days, when the pear season will be over. This will bring the total pear shipments up to 1,600 cars, the largest year in the history of this valley. Bosc, Comice and Anjous are now rolling.
    Apple packing will commence this week, and a heavy tonnage of Yellow Newtown Pippins will roll from here this year. A large part of the apple crop is being consigned to Europe and will go by steamers from Portland, through the Panama Canal. The apples this year are good size and of excellent quality.
The Chicago Packer, September 22, 1923, page 41


Pear Deal About Over at Medford.
    Medford, Ore., Oct. 5.--One of the highest prices paid for pears in years is reported here in a sale of Seckel pears from the Del Rio Orchard, prices realized ranging from $7.85 a box to $10 per box. These pears were marketed through Sgobel & Day and sold in New York City. There were 1,535 cars of pears shipped from this point up to this week, and the total pear shipments will be in the neighborhood of 1,600 cars this season. The crop is practically cleaned up now, only two or three cars a day moving out of here.
    With the Bartlett crop out of the way and nearly all of the crop sold, marketing agents here will soon commence making disbursements to growers. This has been the most successful Bartlett year in many years for Rogue River growers, and prices realized will range from $65 to $110 a ton, computed on a tonnage basis.
    Apple picking is now on in full swing, and from now on apples will roll from here rapidly. The Newtown crop is very good this year. Cars going from here now are practically all consigned for foreign shipment. Owing to heavy rains the past week picking has been delayed somewhat, but as soon as the weather permits picking will commence in earnest.
The Chicago Packer, October 6, 1923, page 6



Last revised June 20, 2015