Abstract Company Concrete Building


The small building at 215 North 5th Street has in recent years been a perfumery and an antique store among other uses. However, it was constructed around 1915 for the Rogue River Valley Abstract Company, what we would today call a real estate title business. It is believed to have been the first reinforced concrete building constructed in Jacksonville, Oregon. The building immediately to the north, now the Magnolia Inn, was built around the same time for the Rogue River Sanitarium. When the County seat was moved to Medford in 1927, the Abstract Company appears to have moved as well and the building was converted into the Sanitarium’s laundry. It apparently remained so for a number of years since the laundry plumbing still existed well into the 1970s.

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Anderson & Glenn General Store

 
 
The building at 125 W. California Street in Jacksonville now occupied by the J’ville Tavern was once the Anderson & Glenn General Store. Built in 1859, it was one of the few “fire proof” brick buildings to actually survive the major fires of 1874 and 1884 that took out all the surrounding structures. Anderson was one of Jacksonville’s first merchants. James Glenn joined him in partnership in 1859. Born in Virginia around 1825, Glenn was one of the 49-ers who came west seeking gold. He later turned his hand to farming and became a large landowner with investments in quartz mining and a flour mill. In 1859, he was Treasurer of Jacksonville when it was first incorporated and the town’s 3rd wealthiest citizen. In 1862, Glenn married Minerva Gass, 20 years his junior. Glenn apparently continued in the general merchandise business until the mid-1870s. By 1875, he had moved to Alameda, California where he was a “real estate investor.” The Anderson & Glenn brick store continued to be used as a general merchandise store into at least the early 1900s.

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Applebaker Barn

 

The Applebaker Barn, located at the corner of North 3rd and D streets, is one of the few remaining structures directly linked to Jacksonville’s early agricultural economy. The building was originally a steam grist mill, located in the 800 block of South 3rd Street. Constructed in 1880 at an estimated cost of $11,000, it was described in that December’s Democratic Times newspaper as 3 stories in height with a solid stone foundation. It boasted the “latest most improved machinery” that could grind the “finest quality flour” at the rate of 1,100 pounds of wheat an hour or 150,000 bushels a year—equivalent to all the surplus wheat grown in the Rogue Valley at that time. Businessman Gustav Karewski purchased it in 1881 and within three years it ranked third in the state in flour production. In 1915, Joseph Applebaker dismantled, moved, and reconstructed the reconfigured building at its present location to serve as his blacksmith’s shop.

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Beekman & Reames Banking House

beekman-reames-bank

In 1887 Thomas Reames joined his California Street neighbor Cornelius Beekman as a co-partner in the C.C. Beekman Bank, creating Beekman & Reames Banking House at the corner of California and North 3rd streets in Jacksonville. In addition to general banking, Beekman & Reames invested heavily in county warrants and large land holdings. The partnership continued until Reames’ death in 1900 from complications from a cold. However, Beekman continued to use the Beekman & Reames imprint for some years afterwards—after all, why waste perfectly good stationery and business cards….

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Beekman Express Office


When Cornelius Beekman opened his express office in at the corner of Californis and S. 3rd streets in 1856, he shared the space with Dr. Charles B. Brooks’ drugstore. The present building on that site is a 2003 faithful reproduction of the original. A 17-year-old Brooks had graduated from Centre College in Danville, Kentucky with a degree in “necrology”; continued his study of medicine in Louisville; and then lured by the promise of the West, joined a wagon train of settlers heading for Southern Oregon, arriving in Jacksonville in 1853. For the first 2 years he practiced medicine and ran a hospital at the corner of 3rd and D streets, “back of Union House.” When Beekman opened his Express Office in 1856, Brooks joined him, adding “drugs, medicines, perfumeries, oils, etc.” to his offerings. The partnership had ended by the time Beekman constructed the current Beekman Bank in 1863 since 1864 ads show that Brooks had moved his practice to the Dalles. He subsequently became Wasco County Coroner, married, and then died of pneumonia in 1875 at age 43.

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Beekman’s Bank

Cornelius C. Beekman erected his second bank building in 1863 at the corner of California and North 3rd streets in Jacksonville. Begun as a gold dust office in 1856, Beekman saw over $40 million in gold cross his counters during Jacksonville’s heyday in the 1800s—equivalent to over $1 billion in today’s currency! Beekman’s Bank is the oldest financial institution in the Pacific Northwest and remains furnished exactly as it was when Beekman closed and locked the doors for the last time in 1915. Explore the “Secrets & Mysteries of the Beekman Bank” during 45-minute candlelight tours beginning at 6, 7, and 8 p.m. on April 5 and 6. Admission, $5. Reservations required!

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Bella Union #1

The oldest part of the Bella Union Restaurant and Saloon at 170 W. California Street was constructed in 1874 by pioneer woodworker and builder David Linn after the fire of 1874 destroyed many of the original buildings in Jacksonville. Linn had purchased the lot in 1856 and erected a one-story brick building to house his woodworking shop. After Linn relocated his business to the corner of California and Oregon, he rented the space to a series of tenants, including Prussian native Henry Breitbarth. Breitbarth operated the original Bella Union Saloon at this location from 1864 to 1871. It was one of 7 saloons in early Jacksonville and offered its customers billiards and liquors.

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Bella Union #2

The Bella Union Restaurant and Saloon at 170 W. California Street is not one building, but three. The old brick portion, constructed in 1874, replaced an earlier building that housed the original Bella Union Saloon. The middle portion and main entry is straight out of Hollywood. It was built in 1970 when Jacksonville became the movie set for The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid starring Cliff Robertson as Cole Younger and Robert Duvall as Jesse James. The film is based on the James-Younger Gang’s most infamous escapade—the September 7, 1876, robbery of “the biggest bank west of the Mississippi.”

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Blue Door Garden Store

Blue Door Garden Store

The building that is now the Blue Door Garden Store at 130 West California Street in Jacksonville was built around 1862 by German-born John Neuber to house his jewelry store. Neuber was Jacksonville’s first goldsmith and silversmith. He specialized in solid gold buckles for women’s belts. While running to fight one of the periodic fires that broke out in the town’s early wooden structures, Neuber incurred severe head injuries. In 1874 he was declared insane by the Jackson County commissioners and ordered to the state insane asylum where he died a year later.

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Brick Buildings

brick-buildings

Look closely at Jacksonville’s historic brick commercial buildings. Most are second generation structures constructed in the late 1800s after fires wiped out the original wooden buildings. The bricks used in these buildings were fired locally, often on site. They would be stacked into an igloo shape, forming their own kiln, with holes left for the firewood. While convenient, this firing method produced inconsistent results—the middle bricks would be good, but the bricks closest to the fire would be blackish brown and overdone. The bricks on the outside would be peachy pink and underfired. Over and underfired bricks are porous, allowing water to seep through, so most of the Jacksonville brick buildings were originally painted to seal them from the elements.

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Brunner Building #1


Constructed around 1855, the Brunner Building at 170 S. Oregon Street was the second brick building erected in Jacksonville and remains the town’s and Oregon’s oldest brick building still standing. Jacob Brunner was an early arrival to the young gold mining camp and by 1854 had established himself as a merchant carrying one of the heaviest stock of goods. A year earlier, Brunner had purchased the Main and Oregon corner lot at the new settlement’s first commercial street intersection. By January 1856 he was advertising his “fire-proof brick” store. An 1860 rear addition made it not only the “largest store building in Jackson County” but also “the largest south of Salem.” Brunner was among the first elected Trustees of Jacksonville after the town government was organized in 1860. However, by 1863 he had sold the “Brunner Building.” Belatedly catching “gold fever,” he appears to have moved on to the mines of southern Idaho.

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Brunner Building #2

Last week Historic Jacksonville, Inc. shared the fact that Old City Hall stands on the site and is built from bricks from the first brick building constructed in Jacksonville—the 1854 Maury & Davis store. Directly across W. Main is the second brick building erected in town, the 1855 Brunner building. Although it has undergone numerous modifications over the years, it remains the town’s and Oregon’s oldest brick building still standing. Jacob Brunner was an early arrival to the young gold mining camp and by 1854 had established himself as a merchant carrying one of the heaviest stock of goods. A year earlier, Brunner had purchased the Main and Oregon corner lot at the new settlement’s first commercial street intersection. By January 1856 he was advertising his “fire-proof brick” store. An 1860 rear addition made it not only the “largest store building in Jackson County” but also “the largest south of Salem.” Brunner was among the first elected Trustees of Jacksonville after the town government was organized in 1860. However, by 1863 he had sold the “Brunner Building.” Belatedly catching “gold fever,” he appears to have moved on to the mines of southern Idaho.

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Chinatown

Chinese Quarters

Jacksonville was home to the first Chinatown in Oregon, located along West Main in the area where Gogi’s, Elan Guest Suites, and Veterans Park are now to be found. This area was the town’s original commercial center, but as businesses relocated to California Street in the 1850s, this block became home to hundreds of Chinese workers brought here by labor bosses to work the gold mines. As the gold played out, the Chinese Quarter was gradually abandoned. In 1888, most of what were by then derelict buildings burned in one of Jacksonville’s many fires.!

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Democratic Times Newspaper #1

Early Jacksonville had a succession of newspapers over the years, many of them competing and espousing opposing political viewpoints. When the Democratic News plant was destroyed in the fire of 1872, it rose again as the Democratic Times. Initially housed in the Orth Building on South Oregon Street, the Times soon outgrew that space and established its own offices at the corner of C and North 3rd streets. The Times lasted into the early 1900s when it merged with the Southern Oregonian. Depression era miners of the 1930s uncovered the Times door step as they undermined almost every inch of Jacksonville. The current private residence was built as a rental property in the 1930s over one of these old mine shafts.

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Democratic Times Newspaper #2

A reader responded to last week’s history trivia about the Democratic Times building at the corner of C and North 3rd streets, noting that anyone who thinks political opinion is too radical in 2020 needs to look back to the election of 1876 and the Times’ coverage.  So, for this week, Historic Jacksonville, Inc. thought we would follow that train of thought and expand on Jacksonville’s Democratic Times. The paper was established by Charles Nickell, a boy genius, who became sole owner at the age of 17.  It was a solid success from as early as 1869 right down to the 20th Century.  Aside from Portland papers, it had the largest newspaper circulation in Oregon.  Nickell’s editorial policy embraced the Democratic party and championed its leaders.  [This was before the Republican and Democratic parties switched policy positions and the Democratic party, which had been pro-Confederacy, continued in that vein, promoting states’ rights and opposing civil rights for African Americans.]  No one could accuse Charles Nickell of being objective. Today he would be sued out of business before nightfall, but at that time, readers apparently appreciated an editor who told them how to think.  Nickell seems to have enjoyed the tacit dispensation to do just that.  He was a distinguished and influential citizen until the turn of the century when he unfortunately brought about his own downfall by entering into some shady deals that were beyond the limits of the law.  But that’s another story….

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Eagle Brewery Saloon

The Eagle Brewery was probably Jacksonville’s first brewery, in operation no later than 1856 on the block between Main and California streets that now houses the Orth Building. By 1859 the Brewery was in existence at its current location, 355 S. Oregon Street, and under the ownership of German-born Joseph Wetterer. Two years later Wetterer “commenced the building of a large beer saloon in front of his brewery.” For the next 18 years, Wetterer and his wife Fredericka (show here) ran the saloon, advertising “the best lager beer in Southern Oregon.” Little is known of Wetterer; he seems to have been uninvolved in the town’s social, political or fraternal activities, and does not even appear to have owned a liquor license. Fredericka continued operating the brewery for a period after Wetterer’s death in 1879, but by 1892 the Eagle Brewery and its complex of buildings containing the “malt kiln,” “mash tub,” “cooler,” “furnace heat,” and “beer kettle” were no longer in operation, the saloon stood vacant, and the property was labeled “dilapidated” on local maps. In the 1960s, the complex became the studio and residence of nationally known artist Eugene Bennett, a far cry from its more raucous years as one of Jacksonville’s earliest saloons. It now serves as a private residence.

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Early Newspapers

Early Jacksonville had a succession of newspapers over the years, many of them competing and espousing opposing political viewpoints. When the Democratic News plant was destroyed in the fire of 1872, it rose again as the Democratic Times. Initially housed in the Orth Building on South Oregon Street, the Times soon outgrew that space and established its own offices at the corner of C and North 3rd streets. The Times lasted into the early 1900s when it merged with the Southern Oregonian. Depression era miners of the 1930s uncovered the Times doorstep as they undermined almost every inch of Jacksonville. The current private residence was built as a rental property in the 1930s over one of these old mine shafts.

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Excelsior Livery Stable

Livery Stable

The northwest corner of Oregon and C streets was home to the Excelsior Livery Stable for over 40 years. It can be seen in today’s picture as the tall building behind Jacksonville’s train station, now Visitors Center. Established by Sebastian Plymale in 1866, it was purchased by his brother William in 1875 when he, wife Josephine, and family moved into Jacksonville from the Applegate. The Plymales provided transportation for fellow citizens by driving and renting out horses and buggies to paying customers. Josephine assisted William with the enterprise, even driving horse teams for clients when needed. She was described by one such client as a “gallant lady pilot, efficient and successful at her business.”

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Farmhouse Treasures Building

Farmhouse Treasures at 120 West California Street is located on one of the few spots in Jacksonville that was used continuously for medical related purposes for almost 140 years. G.W. Greer, “physician and surgeon,” operated an office at this site as early as 1855. By 1862, Dr. L.S. Thompson had joined Greer in dispensing drugs and medicines. In 1868, Sutton and Stearns were carrying “everything usually found in a first class drug store.” Three years later Robert Kahler owned the City Drug Store. Kahler had the current 1-story brick building constructed in 1880, shortly after taking Dr. J.W. Robinson (shown here) into partnership. As late as the 1980s it was an osteopath’s office.

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Franco-American Hotel

ushotel-3

December 23, 2014

Madame Jeanne DeRoboam Holt opened her grand brick U.S. Hotel in 1880, but 20 years earlier she had established the Franco-American Hotel at the southwest corner of Oregon and Main streets in Jacksonville where the Jacksonville Inn cottages are now located. The Franco-American became a famous regional hostelry and the leading hotel and stage stop in Jacksonville, noted for its “table d’hôte,” and holiday balls “worthy of the patronage of epicures and connoisseurs.”

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George Schumpf Barbershop


In 1874, George Schumpf erected the 1-story arcaded brick building at 157 W. California Street (no doubt simultaneously with its “twin” next door) after a raging fire destroyed most of the block’s original wooden structures in spring of that year. Schumpf, a native of Alsace, Germany, was probably Jacksonville’s most successful and longest established barber. As early as 1868, he may have had a barbershop in this building’s wood frame predecessor, possibly part of the notorious El Dorado Saloon. In fact, according to the Oregon Sentinel, the 1874 fire may have originated over Schumpf’s store in the “Town Club Room.” But by November of that year, Schumpf was occupying his new establishment. In addition to shaves and haircuts for men (and women), patrons could also enjoy “neat bathing rooms and bath tubs” where they could obtain “a bath, hot or cold,” and a boot black stand where they could have their shoes shined in a “most artistic style.”

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Ghost Signs

 
In the late 1800s Jacksonville was the hub of Southern Oregon’s commerce and government. During this “exuberant period of American capitalism,” some of Jacksonville’s brick buildings also doubled as billboards featuring large painted signs promoting local businesses. When ownership changed, a new sign might be painted over an old one. These historic brick business ads, known as “ghost signs, were painted by “wall dogs.” Wall dogs, who were usually itinerant sign painters, were a unique combination of muralist and rock climber. Their designs and execution were done by hand while the painter hung from the side of the building. They were called wall dogs because they worked like dogs and they needed to be tethered, or leashed, to the wall. Each wall dog typically mixed his own paint formula, but all formulas contained large quantities of lead—the element that made wall dog careers short lived but ensured the survival of these ghost signs to this day.

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Haines Building

 
The 1854 date on the historical marker on the building at the corner of California and Oregon streets is correct, but it was not the site of a butcher shop. The “fire-proof store” now home to The Cotton Broker was constructed in 1861 for Israel and Robert Haines, replacing a wooden building at the same location they had occupied since arriving in Jacksonville 7 years earlier. This one-story brick structure is one of the oldest commercial buildings to survive 3 major fires that ravaged the town. The brothers’ variety store occupied the building until the mid-1860s when they experienced financial difficulties. Robert went on to study medicine and relocated to San Francisco. Israel (shown here) read law. He moved to eastern Oregon where he became a prominent Baker City lawyer and politician and founded the town of Haines. Post-1866 records show a series of short-term occupants until Louis Solomon moved his mercantile business to this location following his $8,000 loss in the 1874 fire. He was still occupying the building in 1888 when another devastating fire wiped out much of that end of town. However, “the fire proof character of Solomon’s store building was fully demonstrated, as the flames were raging against the rear wall fully half an hour before being extinguished, without raising the temperature inside.”

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Haines’ Variety Store

Hanines Variety Store

Israel and Robert Haines’ variety store, constructed in 1861 at the corner of California and Oregon streets, replaced a wooden building they had occupied since arriving in Jacksonville 7 years earlier. This one story brick structure is one of the oldest commercial buildings to survive 3 major fires that ravaged the town. The construction expense may have over extended the brothers financially, since by 1862 Israel was reading law and Robert was studying medicine. Robert relocated to San Francisco. Israel (shown here) moved to eastern Oregon where he became a prominent Baker City lawyer and politician and founded the town of Haines.

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Henspeter’s Service Station and Motor Court

Last week Historic Jacksonville, Inc. celebrated the World Series and the early 1900s when baseball was “king” and our Ray’s Food Place at 401 North 5th Street in Jacksonville was the site of the town’s baseball field. Well, by the 1930s and 40s, the automobile had become “king” and the baseball field had been replaced by Henspeter’s Service Station and Motor Court—you remember the little cabins that used to house weary travelers before the current motel concept became popular. We’ve included the first image we’ve ever seen of Henspeter’s Service Station at the corner of 5th and F. And the pretty lady is Joyce Henspeter whose family owned the station.

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Jacksonville Brick & Tile Co.

jacksonvcreek

November 8, 2016

The banks of Jackson Creek across from Mary Ann Drive and Reservoir Road are the site of The Jacksonville Brick & Tile Co., one of the biggest brick kilns in Southern Oregon. Incorporated in 1908 by German immigrant Peter Ensele and his sons, the brickyard could burn 200,000 bricks every 6 weeks. The steep banks of nearby Jackson Creek had previously been the site of a major gold strike. When the gold played out, the rich clay supplied the bricks for major projects in Jacksonville, Ashland, and Medford. But with gold flakes still sprinkled throughout the site, “rich clay” took on a new meaning. To this day, flakes of gold still work their way our of Jacksonville Brick & Tile Co. brick buildings.

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Jacksonville Brickyard

The banks of Jackson Creek across from Mary Ann Drive and Reservoir Road were the site of The Jacksonville Brick & Tile Co., one of the biggest brick kilns in Southern Oregon. Incorporated in 1908 by German immigrant Peter Ensele and his sons, the brickyard could burn 200,000 bricks every 6 weeks. The steep banks of nearby Jackson Creek had previously been the site of a major gold strike. When the gold played out, the rich clay supplied the bricks for major projects in Jacksonville, Ashland, and Medford. But with gold flakes still sprinkled throughout the site, “rich clay” took on a new meaning. To this day, flakes of gold still work their way out of Jacksonville Brick & Tile Co. brick buildings.

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Jacksonville Inn & Restaurant

jacksonville-inn_restaurant

Irish immigrant Patrick Ryan was perhaps early Jacksonville’s most prolific builder of brick “fire-proof” commercial buildings. In 1861 he constructed a 1-story brick mercantile storehouse at 175 E. California. When that building burned in the fire of 1873, Ryan erected a 2-story brick mercantile warehouse on the previous foundation. The Oregon Sentinel proclaimed it to be “as fine a building of the kind as there is in any town this size in the state.” A third story wooden “penthouse” (later removed) made it the tallest commercial structure ever built in Jacksonville. Today it houses the Jacksonville Inn and Restaurant.

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Jacksonville Inn  Origins

With the successful reopening of the Jacksonville Inn and its restaurant’s “full house” for Father’s Day, Historic Jacksonville, Inc. thought we would remind you of the Inn’s origins. It was originally P.J. Ryan’s storehouse. Irish immigrant Patrick Ryan was perhaps early Jacksonville’s most prolific builder of “fire-proof” brick commercial buildings. In 1861 he constructed a 1-story brick mercantile store at 175 E. California variously occupied by Judge’s Saddlery, H. Bloom, and “M. Menzer Gen’l Mdse.” Ryan himself was occupying the building when it burned in the fire of April 1873. He suffered one of that fire’s heaviest losses—$30,000 in merchandise and, of course, the building itself. But within a year, Ryan was erecting a 2-story brick mercantile warehouse on the previous foundation. Months later, the building “continued heavenward” with a 3rd story wooden “pent house,” making it the tallest building in Oregon. The Oregon Sentinel proclaimed it to be “as fine a building of the kind as there is in any town this size in the state.”

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Jacksonville Marble Works

Stone mason J.C. Whipp came to Jacksonville from Portland in 1883 to build the foundation for Jackson County’s historic courthouse, including laying its cornerstone. He opened his Jacksonville Marble Works around 1885. They were originally located “just north of town,” but after the 1888 fire destroyed David Linn’s furniture factory, he moved them to the corner of California and Oregon streets. Whipp was described as “doing the best of work,” and having “no peer in this part of the state.” Whipp may be best known for his many marble monuments in Jacksonville’s pioneer cemetery as well as cemeteries throughout southern Oregon and northern California, but he also built culverts and bridges. In 1887, he turned the Methodist Episcopal Church 180 degrees to face the new North 5th Street thoroughfare, and in 1893 he created a stone mantelpiece that won a blue ribbon at the Chicago World’s Fair. Whipp operated his Jacksonville Marble Works until 1902 when he was persuaded to move to Ashland.

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Jacksonville Mercantile Store

The brick building at 120 E. California Street was probably the second 2-story brick building erected in Jacksonville. Constructed around 1861, it’s historically known as the Wade, Morgan & Co. building after some of its earliest tenants. However, it was actually commissioned by P.J. Ryan, the Irish immigrant who was the early town’s most prolific owner and builder of “fire-proof” brick commercial buildings. Ryan himself occupied the building in the early 1870s but by the end of the decade the Oregon Sentinel newspaper occupied the top floor and the ground floor had been converted to a saloon. Today it’s home to the Jacksonville Mercantile, a specialty store for gourmet food and gifts.

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Jacksonville Train Depot #1

When the Oregon & California railroad bypassed Jacksonville in 1884 in favor of the flat valley floor, the town struggled to retain its role as the hub of Southern Oregon commerce, government, and social life. Residents funded a spur line to connect the city to the main railroad in Medford, and in May of 1891, the Rogue River Valley Railway’s small steam locomotive, Engine No. 1, pulled into the Jacksonville depot. The railroad survived until 1925, but after a year, the undersized engine was relegated to hauling a single pullman car, and in 1895 it was replaced by 20-ton Engine No. 2. However, the depot, also completed in 1891 still stands at the corner of N. Oregon and C streets, although it has been turned 180 degrees. You know it as the Jacksonville Visitors Center and Chamber of Commerce. We’ll be sharing more RRVR history in the next few weeks.

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Jacksonville Train Depot #2

From 1893 to 1915, the Jacksonville-to-Medford 5-mile spur Rogue River Valley Railroad was a “family affair.” In 1893, William S. Barnum leased the railroad from the RRV Railway Company, running the trains with the help of his 2 sons. His 14-year-old younger son, John Barnum, became the youngest train conductor in the nation! In the 1890s, you might have seen John, resplendent in his uniform, standing at the Jacksonville train depot at the Corner of N. Oregon and “C” streets. In 1899, William Barnum bought the railroad for about $12,000. Nine years later he added a gasoline motor car and 3 freight cars. In 1915, the family sold the RRVRR to the Southern Oregon Traction Company for $125,000—part cash, part mortgage.

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Jacksonville Train Depot #3

According to “old timers,” this 5-mile spur not only served as a railroad; it also became a “school bus.” Dates are unclear—it may have been around 1903 when the 2nd Jacksonville school burned; or around 1906 when the 3rd Jacksonville school burned; or it may have been because the Medford schools offered curriculum not available in Jacksonville; or it may have been during World War 1. Pick your time frame! Regardless of the date, we know the spur railroad ran a block away from Medford’s Washington School, constructed in 1896 on the site of the current Jackson County Courthouse. Kids could ride the train for 5 cents. And naturally kids would be kids. They would periodically put lard and grease on the train rails, causing the train wheels to spin. The conductor soon realized he had to carry a bucket of sand. When the train rails spun, he would jump off and sand the track.

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Jacksonville Train Depot #4

The Rogue River Valley Railway’s first engine—Engine No. 1—was put into service in May of 1891 to haul gravel, bricks, timber, crops, livestock, mail and passengers over the 5-mile, single track spur line that connected Jacksonville with Medford. Nicknamed Dinky, the Peanut Roaster, the Tea Kettle, and the Jacksonville Cannon Ball because of its small size, Engine No. 1 soon proved too underpowered to haul the heavier freight loads up the 3% grade from Medford and was relegated to passenger service, pulling a single Pullman car. In 1895, the little 12-ton Porter engine was sold. It changed hands a number of times over the years until it was badly burned in a logging camp fire. In 1946, Helen O’Connor spotted the abandoned engine in Cottage Grove, OR, and bought it for her husband Chadwell, a steam engine enthusiast, inventor, and a Sci-Tech award and Oscar recipient from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The couple had Engine No. 1 rebuilt from the original Porter blueprints. Over the next 6 decades, the little engine saw new life as a private plaything, a Cottage Grove tourist promotion, transportation for families wanting to cut their own Christmas trees, and a “prop” in commercials and motion pictures until Mel and Brooke Ashland arranged for its purchase and restoration in 2014. Engine No. 1 now sits on original track on the Bigham Knoll Campus at the end of East E Street in Jacksonville.

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Jacksonville’s 1856 Brunner building

Brunner-Building

Jacksonville’s 1856 Brunner building, at the corner of Main and South Oregon streets, is the oldest brick building in Oregon that’s still standing.  Built as a dry goods store, it has at various times been a garage, a museum, and the town library.

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Judge & Nunan Saddlery

Judge and Nunan Saddlery

The small brick building at 166 E. California Street, tucked between the Jacksonville Inn and the U.S. Hotel, originally housed the H. Judge and Nunan Saddlery and Harness Shop. Constructed in 1874 following the disastrous fire that had wiped out the entire block the previous year, the building replaced Horne’s Hall, a 2-story building with rooms and offices below and “a steel sprung floor on the second floor expressly made for dancing.” One year later, Henry Judge, one of the town’s first trustees, broke his partnership with Nunan. Jeremiah Nunan continued to operate the business but by the early 1880s was dealing in general merchandise rather than saddles and harnesses.

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Kahler Home & Drugstore

In the late fall of 1880, Robert Kahler built the house at the corner of North 6th and E streets for “occupancy by himself and family at cost of $1,500.” Kahler was a member of a prominent Jacksonville family that came to Southern Oregon from Ohio in 1852. He became a successful druggist, selling not only drugs, but also books, stationery, paints, oils, and other goods. He built a new brick drugstore next to the Beekman Bank on California Street the same year as he built this home, replacing previous wooden structures he had occupied since 1871.

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Kahler Office

For many years, 155 North 3rd Street in Jacksonville was the site of law offices. By 1856, Paine Page Prim, Supreme Judge and ex-officio Circuit Judge of Jackson County’s 1st Judicial District, hung out his shingle here. In 1862, Joseph Gaston, lawyer and editor of the Sentinel took over the space. Charles Wesley Kahler, a prominent lawyer and District Attorney acquired the property in 1874, but it was 1886 before he erected the current brick building, replacing what was by then one of Jacksonville’s vintage wooden structures.

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Karewski’s Grist Mill

The “unidentified” house at 890 S. Oregon Street in Jacksonville was probably constructed around 1889 although the builder is uncertain. Early photographs from this period for the town’s outskirts do not exist. We do know that the house was on property owned by Gustav Karewski that included his steam powered grist mill. Karewski had come from Prussia in 1853 in search of gold, but soon found there was more gold in selling shovels than in using them and opened his own dry goods store. When farming became more important than mining, he opened “Karewski’s Agricultural Implements”—the only dealer in the Rogue Valley for big farm machinery. By 1881, he also operated a steam-powered grist mill on this South Oregon Street property, one of the first ones in Southern Oregon. Within 3 years the mill ranked third in the state in flour production. In 1915, the grist mill was dismantled, moved, and reconstructed on North 3rd Street as Joseph Applebaker’s blacksmith shop. The house in question was sold in 1908 by Karewski’s son-in-law and has passed through numerous hands. Today it’s a private residence with owners who are passionate about gardening.

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Kaspar Kubli Building

Kubli Building

Adjoining Jacksonville’s Red Men’s Hall at the southwest corner of California and 3rd streets, and probably constructed by brick mason George Holt at the same time in 1884, is the almost identical Kaspar Kubli Building.  The ground floor rear housed Kubli’s tin shop while the front was occupied by Jeremiah Nunan’s Farmers and Miners Supplies through the turn of the century. The site had originally hosted the first court ever convened in Jacksonville.

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Kennedy’s Row – Carefree Buffalo Store

Carefree Buffalo at 150 W. California Street in Jacksonville was originally part of “Kennedy’s Row,” a block of shops owned by the first elected sheriff in Jackson County. Kennedy ran a “tin shop” at this location, which he sold to John Love and John Bilger in 1856. Sometime before 1861, Love and Bilger replaced the original wooden structure with the present stone and brick building. When Love died in 1869, Bilger continued to run the business, becoming one of Jacksonville’s wealthiest merchants. When Bilger died in the cholera epidemic of 1877, his wife, Amanda Schenck, took over the hardware store. By the mid-1880s she had expanded into manufacturing in partnership with a Mr. Maegly. Bilger and Maegly became one of the leading suppliers of agricultural machinery and implements in Jacksonville.

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Kubli Building

August 13, 2019
 

“What goes around comes around”! Where Willow Creek now sells jewelry, accessories, personal items, and an array of other indulgences at 115 West California Street in Jacksonville, J.S. Howard, the “Father of Medford” originally enticed customers with the merchandise in his “Crystal Bazaar.” When the building and all its contents were destroyed in the 1884 fire, Howard “abandoned shop” and moved to Medford, selling the lot to Kaspar Kubli. Swiss immigrant Kubli, who had found success in ranching, business, and politics, had the current structure erected at the same time as the adjacent Red Men’s Hall. Probably built by brick mason George Holt, the two buildings have almost identical facades. Originally, Kubli housed his tin shop in the ground floor rear. The front was occupied by Jeremiah Nunan’s Farmers and Miners Supplies through the turn of the century.

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Livery Stable

From the mid-1850s until at least 1907, it was the site of the Union Livery Stable.  Horses, saddles, wagons, buggies, and tack could be rented as needed, and drivers could be provided.  Carriages for residents were stored there and horses stabled.   In 1911, the Union was replaced by the Bailey Livery Stable.  Before long, however, “horseless carriages” replaced horses and a Mobil gas station replaced the old livery stable.  It operated at this corner for a number of years, but by the 1950s there were FOUR gas stations in Jacksonville!  The Mobil station went out of business, and for a short time the building was occupied by a barber shop.  However, there were still 3 gas stations in town.  We’re not sure how many people had cars, but with lots of folks not having washing machines, what was needed was a laundromat.  Enter the Wash and Dry washateria.  It lasted until about 1970.  In 1972, the Jackson County Federal Savings & Loan took over the site, erecting a new building.  Founded in 1909, JCF S&L became part of Key Bank in 1993, which was subsequently acquired by Umpqua in 2014.  Whew!

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Lyden House

When J.C. Whipp moved his Marble Works to Ashland in 1902, John Lyden converted the old Jacksonville showroom at the corner of California and Oregon streets into the Lyden House, the site of today’s telephone exchange building. John Lyden and his wife Mary ran the boarding house, charging 35 cents for a night’s lodging in one of its 11 rooms. Rooms were furnished with washstands, a pitcher, a wash bowl, a chamber pot commode, a “well supplied” towel rack, an iron bedstead with ample bedding, and a good supply of “Buhac” used to discourage unwanted bedfellows. The hotel was usually full by nightfall. About 1903, Mary Lyden and 2 of her daughters started the “Hooligan Restaurant.” It became famous for its “good homey table” and “wonderful filling meals,” served for 65 cents. Special dinners could also be ordered. The enterprising Lydens also carried a good supply of items such as pots, pans, canteens, and other tinware in demand by miners and prospectors still hoping to strike it rich in the hills around Jacksonville.

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Magnolia Inn

The Spanish Revival style building at 245 North 5th Street in Jacksonville was built in the early 1900s as a sanitarium and health spa. It was part of the “Wellville” movement pioneered by the Kellogg brothers. This approach to medicine advocated holistic treatments and vegetarianism, and such sanitariums typically focused on nutrition, enemas, and exercise. John Harvey Kellogg also created the “health food,” Kellogg’s Corn Flakes in hopes that it would reduce what he considered unwelcome sexual impulses. In the 1930s, the County began placing most of its poor in buildings in Jacksonville because property values were some of the lowest in the County and there were plenty of potential caretakers among the people looking for work. Mitchell’s was one of these “poor houses,” but it was as much hospital as sanitarium. Apparently, it was originally known as the Rogue River Sanitarium, but by the 1950s had been renamed the Mitchell Sanitarium. Today it houses one of Jacksonville’s popular bed and breakfast establishments, the Magnolia Inn.

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Miller Gunsmith Shop


The historic marker on the building at 155 W. California Street in Jacksonville reads “Miller Gunsmith Shop circa 1858.” It’s half correct. The current structure did house John F. Miller’s Hunters’ Emporium, which specialized in guns, and later hardware and cutlery, for at least 20 years. However, this commercial Italianate-style structure was not built until 1874. As early as 1852, the property was originally part of Jacksonville’s most notorious “temple of vice,” the El Dorado Saloon, home to gamblers, courtesans, and others seeking to part miners from their gold. Miller acquired the property after the disastrous fire of 1874 which destroyed most of the original buildings on this block. A native of Bavaria, Miller had arrived in Oregon in 1860 and became one of Jacksonville’s most prosperous early business owners.

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Orange Jacobs Law Offices

For 142 years, a small wooden building stood at the corner of 5th and C streets, kitty-cornered from the Mustard Seed. Built around 1865, it housed the law offices of Orange Jacobs, one of Jacksonville’s most prominent early attorneys and the editor and publisher of The Jacksonville Sentinel. Jacobs moved to Washington sometime in the 1860s, becoming Chief Justice of the Supreme Court for the Territory of Washington, representing the state for 2 Congressional terms, and serving as Mayor of Seattle. His Jacksonville office was subsequently occupied by prominent attorney C.W. Kahler and by E.B. Watson, who became Chief Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court. By 2007, the structure was too dilapidated to repair and became a victim of “demolition by neglect.”

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Orth Building #1

 The 2-story Orth building, located at 150 S. Oregon Street in Jacksonville, was erected in 1872 by German born butcher, John Orth. Prior to the building’s construction, Orth’s butcher shop had occupied a wooden frame building on the same site, sharing the block with the Palmetto Bowling Saloon, the Old City Brewery, and the City Drug Store which served as both pharmacy and hospital. When Orth razed the older buildings to make way for his new edifice, the Democratic Times newspaper noted that the site had been “devoted to almost every purpose except printing a newspaper and serving God.” The Democratic Times rectified one omission, taking office space in Orth’s new brick building.

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Orth Building #2

The 2-story Orth building, located at 150 S. Oregon Street in Jacksonville, was erected in 1872 by German born butcher, John Orth. Prior to the building’s construction, Orth’s butcher shop had occupied a wooden frame building on the same site, sharing the block with the Palmetto Bowling Saloon, the Beard House and Eagle Brewery (later the Old City Brewery), and “an old hospital building.” When Orth razed the older buildings to make way for his new edifice, the Democratic Times newspaper noted that the site had been “devoted to almost every purpose except printing a newspaper and serving God.” The Democratic Times rectified one omission, taking office space in Orth’s new brick building.

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Pioneer Village
Jacksonville’s current Pioneer Village at 805 North 5th Street is the namesake of an earlier 5-acre Pioneer Village constructed by George McUne between 1961 and 1964. For over 20 years, McUne’s Pioneer Village was an adventure into Jacksonville’s past with authentic buildings from nearby locations that were filled with the historic relics McUne collected. In the village stockade, visitors watched western fights and “black snake whip” demonstrations. They took pony rides and boarded a stagecoach. They watched a blacksmith make hand rolled wagon tires in his forge. They enjoyed Victorian melodramas. They explored Yreka’s Dogtown Saloon, still sporting bullet holes in the front door; or visited a jail, a moon-shiner’s cabin, or a little red schoolhouse that served Valley Falls students in southeast Oregon from 1880-1919. When George died in 1979, his passion for historical treasure died with him. His collection of 8,000 items was sold in 1985, leaving an empty lot that would later become the Pioneer Village Retirement Community.

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Rasmussen’s Super Serve

For most Jacksonville residents, the northeast corner of California and 3rd streets has always been home to Rasmussen’s Super Serve. Established by Ernest Rasmussen in 1950 as a combination gas station and car repair shop, the gas station portion has long been closed but Ernest’s grandson Steve still operates the popular local repair service. However, that corner has an older history of servicing local transportation needs. David Cronemiller, a native of Pennsylvania, arrived in Jacksonville in the early 1860s, and opened a blacksmith shop on that site in competition with the successful Patrick Donegan smithy diagonally across California Street. Business must have been booming since Cronemiller’s original smithy was soon replaced by a large, well-equipped blacksmith and wagon shop. He was described as “an excellent mechanic,” “always kept busy by satisfied patrons.” Donegan had closed shop by the late 1800s but Cronemiller continued to operate successfully until 1904 when his health began to fail. Cronemiller died in 1910, mourned by many for both his “honest and upright” nature and “his gentle forbearing ways.” Cronemiller’s smithy and wagon shop were torn down in 1929.

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Rogue River Electric Company #1 

Transmission Station

The Alaska Gold Rush brought electricity to the Rogue River Valley. When prospective Alaskan gold mines did not pan out for Dr. Charles Ray in 1900, he checked out Southern Oregon and purchased the Braden mine in Gold Hill. But to make it productive, it needed electricity. He began construction of the Gold Ray log “crib” dam in 1902, discovering in the process that electricity was more valuable than gold. By 1907, the Rogue River Electric Company supplied power not only to numerous gold mines in the region, but also to the cities of Medford, Jacksonville, Central Point, Grants Pass, Rogue River, and Gold Hill. The transmission line to the small one-story brick building at 225 W. California Street in Jacksonville was completed in 1905, and the building remained in service as an electricity substation until 1940.

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Rogue River Electric Company #2

Ray Substation 2

The Charles R. Ray Electric Substation at 225 E. California Street is located on an historic parcel of land that once was part of Jacksonville’s Main Street. The original wooden buildings subsequently became Jacksonville’s Chinatown, the oldest Chinatown in Oregon. Although the Chinese were greatly discriminated against and denied property rites, this site was conveyed to Lin Chow in 1859 and later to Leong Chow in 1872. In 1888, a fire originating n David Linn’s furniture factory across the street destroyed the entire block. The lot sat vacant until 1905 when the present brick building was constructed as the substation that brought electricity to Jacksonville.

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Rogue River Valley Railway

The Rogue River Valley Railway, which operated from 1891 until 1925, was Jacksonville’s attempt to maintain regional economic supremacy after the main Oregon & California/Southern Pacific railroad line by-passed the town in favor of the flat valley floor. The RRVR hauled gravel, bricks, timber, crops, livestock, mail and passengers over a 5-mile, single track spur line that connected Jacksonville with Medford. The Jacksonville Visitor’s Center at the corner of Oregon and C streets was constructed in 1891 as the depot for the Railway. The depot originally faced Oregon Street and a small railway switching yard occupied the present-day entrance to the post office parking lot. Today, the building serves as Jacksonville’s Visitors’ Information Center.

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Sachs Brothers Dry Goods

The brick building now housing Jacksonville’s Pot Rack at 140 West California Street is historically known as Sachs Brothers Dry Goods. However, the site first housed Mathew Kennedy’s tin shop and then Dr. Louis Ganung’s office and residence. The current brick structure was commissioned in 1861 by Lippman and Solomon Sachs for their Temple of Fashion, featuring ladies’ wear and dry goods. It was one of the town’s most successful early businesses, and Sachs brothers ran it for the next 15 years.

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Saloons

Gold Rush Jacksonville purportedly had as many as 36 saloons opened by “entrepreneurs” following the “eruption of miners” who rushed to the Rogue Valley upon the discovery of gold. Initial saloons were simply tents or rough log structures with a liberal supply of whiskey. But by the summer of 1852, the notorious El Dorado was in business, also offering gambling, courtesans, and other enticements. Across the street were the Palmetto Bowling Saloon and the original Eagle Brewery. By 1856 Veit Schutz had erected a huge brewery that also featured a bar and elaborate dance hall. A second Eagle Brewery and Saloon was also in operation along with the New State Billiard and Drinking Saloon. In 1860 Von Helms and Wintjen constructed their brick Table Rock Billiard Saloon, and from 1864 to 1871 the Bella Union Saloon was in operation not to mention all the smaller saloons and the bars in every hotel. So why the proliferation? A perusal of the minutes of the early Jacksonville Board of Trustees revealed that much of their business involved the approval of liquor licenses. It seems that residents were averse to approving any property taxes and that liquor licenses were the sole source of funds for the town into the late 1870s!

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Scheffel’s Toys #1

The corner of California and Oregon streets where Scheffel’s Toys is located is the oldest known business site in Jacksonville. Early in 1852, soon after news of the gold discovery in Jacksonville spread to California, Kenny and Appler, two packers from Yreka, established the first trading post on this site. They stocked it with a few tools, clothing, boots, “black strap” tobacco, and a liberal supply of whiskey, essential items for an infant gold mining camp.

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Scheffel’s Toys #2

The brick building at the corner of California and Oregon streets that houses Scheffel’s Toys is the 6th structure at this location. The site was originally home to Kenny & Appler’s 1852 tent trading post, the first business in Jacksonville. By 1856, their tent had been replaced by a wooden store and then by a brick storehouse. In 1860, merchants Abraham and Newman Fisher acquired this prime corner location for their dry goods and general merchandise store. Fires consumed their stores in both 1868 and 1874. Despite a $28,000 loss in the latter conflagration, the Fisher brothers rebuilt, and the 1874 A. Fisher & Brothers structure still stands today.

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Scheffel’s Toys #3

The 1874 Jacksonville brick building at the corner of California and Oregon streets that houses Scheffel’s Toys is historically known as the Fisher Brothers Store, but one of its longest tenants was the Marble Corner Saloon also known as the Marble Arch Saloon. The saloon occupied the building from around 1890 to 1934. The saloon was presumably named after the Jacksonville Marble Works which relocated to the corner directly across North Oregon after the fire of 1888…or because the saloon’s recessed entryway was tiled with marble at roughly the same time. The 1912 SOHS photo #1978.63.53 shows Ed Dunnington behind the Marble Saloon bar.

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Scheffel’s Toys #4

The corner of California and Oregon streets where Scheffel’s Toys is located is the oldest known business site in Jacksonville.

Early in 1852, soon after news of the gold discovery in Jacksonville spread to California, Kenny and Appler, two packers from Yreka, established the first trading post on this site. They stocked it with a few tools, clothing, boots, “black strap” tobacco, and a liberal supply of whiskey, essential items for an infant gold mining camp.

By 1856, their tent had been replaced by a wooden store and then by a brick storehouse. In 1860, merchants Abraham and Newman Fisher acquired this prime corner location for their dry goods and general merchandise store. Fires consumed their stores in both 1868 and 1874. Despite a $28,000 loss in the latter conflagration, the Fisher brothers rebuilt, and the 1874 A. Fisher & Brothers structure still stands today. Although it has been through a few changes.

One of its longest tenants was the Marble Corner Saloon also known as the Marble Arch Saloon. The saloon occupied the building from around 1890 to 1934. The saloon was presumably named after the Jacksonville Marble Works which relocated to the corner directly across North Oregon after the fire of 1888…or because the saloon’s recessed entryway was tiled with marble at roughly the same time.

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Shell Station

The array of businesses at the southeast corner of California and 5th streets were once home to a Shell service station as early as the 1920s owned by R.A. Childers and R. McKee. Although Jacksonville was becoming a backwater, “automobile-ing” was popular and the town even boasted a “car camp” where you could park and sleep overnight. The station was subsequently sold to Otto Heckert, and in 1950, Liz Shrout Legg Pursell and her first husband, Dick Legg, purchased the Shell station. Liz helped run the gas station, doing whatever was needed: picking up and delivering customers’ cars, chasing parts, doing the books, etc. The gas station (and liquor store) became known as the last stop heading out of town. The Leggs closed it when Rasmussen’s gas station opened less than a block away at the southeast corner of California and 4th street. The Leggs divorced. Liz joined the post office and became Jacksonville postmistress before retiring. Always a community activist, she especially focused on creating a Jacksonville Community Center and served as Secretary of its board until the new center opened. Liz passed away on July 9th at age 95. We will miss this longtime Jacksonville “fixture” who has been so much a part of its history.

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South Stage Cellars

South Stage Cellars

South Stage Cellars, at 125 South 3rd Street in Jacksonville, has had many incarnations. Built around 1865 by Irish immigrant P.J. Ryan as his residence, it subsequently housed hotels, a restaurant, a doctor’s office, a butcher shop, an ice cream parlor, and a saloon. In the 1960s it became the home of Robertson Collins, the individual credited with preventing Highway 238 from taking out 11 of Jacksonville’s historical homes and the leader of the organization that established the city’s National Historic Landmark status.

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Table Rock Billiard Saloon #1

Table Rock Saloon

The Table Rock Billiard Saloon, constructed in 1860, was also Jacksonville’s first museum. Saloonkeeper Herman Von Helms collected fossils and oddities to attract a clientele that then stayed for his lager. For many years the saloon also functioned as an informal social and political headquarters, home to business deals, court decisions, and even trials. Fire gutted the building in 1960, leaving only the façade. The restored structure now houses the Good Bean Coffee House.

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Table Rock Billiard Saloon #2

The building at 155-165 S. Oregon Street in Jacksonville that now houses Good Bean Coffee was built in 1860 by German immigrants Herman von Helms and John Wintjen, partners in the “Table Rock Bakery.” This Italianate brick structure replaced their earlier wood frame bakery that also provided space for a butcher shop, groceries, and supplies. Helms and Wintjen may have operated their bakery into the mid-1870s. As entrepreneurs, it’s quite likely they became saloonkeepers after the 1874 fire destroyed all the adjacent wooden buildings, including the notorious El Dorado saloon, a Jacksonville “institution” as early as 1852. The “Table Rock Billiard Saloon” sign was painted on the building in the early 1880s by which time Wintjen had retired. The saloon became an informal social and political headquarters, home to business deals, court decisions, and even trials. It was also Jacksonville’s first museum, “The Cabinet” – a collection of pioneer relics, fossils and oddities designed to attract a clientele that stayed for the saloon’s lager. Herman von Helms ran the saloon until his death in 1899. His son Ed operated it until his retirement in 1914.

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Telephone Exchange

telephone exchange

The Telephone Exchange building at the corner of California and Oregon streets was originally the site of David Linn’s cabinet shop, furniture factory, and planing mill. Linn constructed most of Jacksonville, Oregon’s early wooden structures. He also made furniture, mining equipment, and even baseball bats. And when the time came, he would make your coffin. He lost everything in an arson fire in 1888, which also destroyed a neighboring home and most of Jacksonville’s Chinese quarter.

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U.S. Hotel #1

us-hotel

The U.S. Hotel, located at the northeast corner of California and 3rd streets in Jacksonville, looks much as it did when local brick mason George Holt constructed it in the late 1870s for his wife, hotel proprietress Madame Jeanne de Roboam Langier Guilfoyle Holt. De Roboam, who had established the Franco-American Hotel as a famous regional hostelry, longed for a grand brick hotel. It was even rumored that she married Holt in order to fulfill her dream.

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U.S. Hotel #2

us-hotel-2

Shortly after the U.S Hotel was completed in 1880, Jacksonville and proprietress Madame Jeanne DeRoboam Holt welcomed President Rutherford B. Hayes and his entourage for an overnight visit with brass band, speeches, and elegant dinner. Madame Holt also presented the presidential party with a bill double that charged by San Francisco’s finest hotel. General William Tecumseh Sherman, a member of the presidential party, complained about the cost, saying they didn’t want to buy the hotel, only to rent rooms. Madame Holt is said to have replied that the President of the United States could afford to pay a little more than common people….

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U.S. Hotel #3

US Hotel - 3

Following his sister’s death in 1884, Jean St. Luc de Roboam, inherited the U.S. Hotel, located at the northeast corner of California and 3rd streets in Jacksonville. He and his wife, wealthy widow Henrietta Schmidling, made a number of improvements, including a skating rink. But with the cost of renovations, DeRoboam soon accumulated unpaid mortgages, the lenders foreclosed, and the hotel went on the sheriff’s auction block. Henrietta saved the hotel by making the highest bid—$4,325 in gold coin from her own inheritance.

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The Warehouse Store

oregon-sentinel-office

We wish the Jessers well with their new Ashland store, the Culinarium, although we bemoan our loss of the Jacksonville Mercantile. However, the building at 120 East California Street has seen a lot of reincarnations over the years. Built as a warehouse around 1861, it was later home to The Oregon Sentinel and the Luy and Keegan Saloon. In 1931, it was Amy’s Café—a combination of saloon, restaurant, market and bookstore. It was subsequently a grocery store, then a book store, before becoming the Mercantile. Who knows what it’s next incarnation will be!

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Veit Schutz Hall

As you climb the stairs from Highway 238 to the Lower Britt Gardens in Jacksonville, have you ever wondered about the stone walls and cavern you see on your left? That was the cellar and barrel cave of Veit Schutz Hall, the largest brewery in Jacksonville. Constructed in 1856, it also featured a bar and an elaborate dance hall. A prominent local attorney wrote the following lines in 1874:
“Oh! Dear Walter, I like to recall
The pleasure we had at Veit Schutz hall
The fun that we had I’ll n’er forget
Nor will I ever those days regret….”

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Zigler and Martin Blacksmith


From as early as 1852, an almost unimaginable conglomeration of frame shops, sheds, and outbuildings lined the intersection of Jacksonville’s California and S. Oregon streets. Among them was the Zigler and Martin Blacksmith shop. It supposedly stood at 157 W. California Street, now home to Rebel Heart Books. Louis Zigler was a miner, blacksmith, proprietor of the Adams Hotel, and at one time the County Sheriff. However, by 1870 he had moved his family to Roseburg. Alex Martin, his partner, appears to have gone into the general merchandise business. The fire of 1874 wiped out this entire block, but was quickly replaced by the current brick structures.

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California & Oregon Street Crossroads #1 

One legend has it that the crossroads of California and Oregon streets were so named to avoid the tax collectors. Oregon tax collectors were supposedly told they were in California; California tax collectors were told they were in Oregon. True or not, many businesses have occupied the prime commercial location at the northeast corner of that Jacksonville intersection. One of the earliest was David Linn’s furniture factory, showroom, and planing mill. When it burned in an 1888 arson fire, J.C. Whipp’s marble works took its place. Around the turn of the century, millwright John Lyden expanded Whipp’s display room into the Lyden House which became a popular boarding house and restaurant. A 1962 Mail Tribune wrote the Lyden House obituary. Sometime after 1962 the Lyden House was torn down and replaced by the current telephone exchange building.

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California & Oregon Street Crossroads #2


From around the mid-1890s to 1962, the Lyden House stood on the corner of California and Oregon streets at the site of today’s telephone exchange building in Jacksonville. John Lyden and his wife Mary ran the boarding house, charging 35 cents for a night’s lodging in one of its 11 rooms. Rooms were furnished with wash stands, a pitcher, a wash bowl, a chamber pot commode, a “well supplied” towel rack, an iron bedstead with ample bedding, and a good supply of “Buhac” used to discourage unwanted bedfellows. The hotel was usually full by nightfall. About 1903, Mary Lyden and 2 of her daughters started the “Hooligan Restaurant.” It became famous for its “good homey table” and “wonderful filling meals,” served for 65 cents. Special dinners could also be ordered. The enterprising Lydens also carried a good supply of items such as pots, pans, canteens, and other tinware in demand by miners and prospectors still hoping to strike it rich in the hills around Jacksonville.

 


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