It’s History Trivia Tuesday!


Historic Jacksonville shares tidbits from Jacksonville history every Tuesday on our Facebook page. Like us at Historic Jacksonville (historicjville) and enjoy our tales and stories of the people and places that made Jacksonville the major hub of southern Oregon in the late 1800s.  And visit the Southern Oregon Historical Society Library and Archives for access to the historical images included in our posts.

November 24, 2020

With the school experience being “virtual” for students these days, Historic Jacksonville, Inc. thought it would use the opportunity to revisit some of the real structures that have served as school buildings for the town’s youth over the years.  The southern portion of the house located at 560 North Oregon Street in Jacksonville is believed to have been the first official schoolhouse in Jackson County.  In the spring of 1855, $600 in taxes was raised to construct a schoolhouse in this vicinity, but its precise location is unclear.  An 1864 town map shows a small “District School” located several hundred feet west on property owned by James Clugage, one of the town’s founders. By 1866, the population had outgrown the original structure and a new tax was levied to purchase or lease a new schoolhouse on Bigham Knoll.   Shortly after the new school opened, the original structure was deeded to R. Sergeant Dunlap in payment for the $137 owed him for digging a well, building fences, constructing walks, etc. at the new school.  The original building appears to have been moved to its current location at that time.

“Like” Historic Jacksonville, Inc. (historicjville) on Facebook, follow us on Instagram (historicjacksonville) and enjoy weekly Jacksonville history trivia.  Explore a treasure trove of Jacksonville history on our website at www.historicjacksonville.org.

#nationalhistoricdistrict #oregonhistory #goldminingtown #jacksonvilleoregon #historicjacksonville #historiclocation #history #historicbuildings #school #schoolhouse

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Jacksonville Brickyard


November 17, 2020

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.

“Like” Historic Jacksonville, Inc. (historicjville) on Facebook, follow us on Instagram (historicjacksonville) and enjoy weekly Jacksonville history trivia.

Explore a treasure trove of Jacksonville history on our website at www.historicjacksonville.org.

#nationalhistoricdistrict #oregonhistory #goldminingtown #jacksonvilleoregon #historicjacksonville #historiclocation #history #historicbuildings #brickyard #goldbrick

Jacksonville Politics

 

November 10, 2020

Jacksonville residents are usually so civil that we can’t imagine men “egging” a lady and burning her in effigy, but that was the case when Abigail Scott Duniway campaigned for women’s suffrage in Jacksonville in 1879.  Her offense was unearthing the past marital difficulties of one of the town’s most prominent citizens, Judge Paine Page Prim. She wrote scathingly in her newspaper, the New Northwest about Judge Prim having abandoned his wife, even though he and his wife had reconciled years before.  The editor of the Democratic Times wrote: “If these are the teachings of woman suffrage, it should be prohibited by statute.” Prim in turn prevented her from speaking at the region’s Fourth of July celebration. 

Duniway admitted in her autobiography, Path Breaking, that she was partly to blame for the incident, but dismissed the Jacksonville men as “old miners, or refugees from the bush-whacking regions of Missouri, whence they had been driven by the exigencies growing out of the Civil War.” But she also presented a more forgiving face writing that Jacksonville had become the “center of a large degree of Equal Suffrage sentiment.” Aside from her one unfortunate experience, she said she was always made to feel at home here.  

And Abigail eventually won the “battle of the sexes.”  After five previous attempts, Oregon gave women the vote on November 12, 1912, the 9th state to do so, and 8 years prior to the passage of the 19th Amendment.

“Like” Historic Jacksonville, Inc. (historicjville) on Facebook, follow us on Instagram (historicjacksonville) and enjoy weekly Jacksonville history trivia.  Explore a treasure trove of Jacksonville history on our website at www.historicjacksonville.org.

#nationalhistoricdistrict #oregonhistory #goldminingtown #jacksonvilleoregon #historicjacksonville #historiclocation #history #historicbuildings #voting rights #abigailscottduniway #women’ssuffrage #suffrag

Voting

November 3, 2020

Today is not only History Trivia Tuesday, it’s Election Day!  Historic Jacksonville, Inc. is taking the opportunity to remind everyone of how voting has been a hard earned right, one not to be ignored and one to be exercised with thoughtfulness.  In 1789, the U.S. Constitution gave property-owning or tax-paying white males the right to vote—only 6% of the population.  It was another 67 years (1856) before most states adopted universal white male suffrage.  In 1870 the 15th Amendment to the Constitution prevented states from denying males the right to vote on grounds of “race, color, or previous condition of servitude”—but it did not prevent them from disenfranchising racial minorities and poor white voters through poll taxes, literacy tests, grandfather clauses, and other restrictions applied in a discriminatory manner. 

Oregon gave women the right to vote in state elections in 1912, but it was 1920—8 years later and 100 years ago—when the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified giving (white) women the right to vote in national elections as well. 

In 1964, poll taxes were prohibited as a condition of voting and in 1965, the Federal Voting Rights Act protected voter registration and voting rights for minorities.  But that did not eliminate voter discrimination with some states still choosing to limit polling places, voting hours, and access to absentee ballots among other things.  In 1971, voting age was lowered to 18—if you were old enough to fight for your country, you were old enough to vote.  And in 1986, service personnel and U.S. citizens living overseas were given the right to vote in federal elections.

On November 7, 2000, Oregon became the nation’s 1st all vote-by-mail state—if you have an address, you receive a ballot.  However, in 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act, paving the way for states and jurisdictions to enact restrictive voter identification laws.  23 states created new obstacles to voting.  Oregon did the opposite.  In 2016, Oregon’s Motor Voter Law took effect, automatically registering to vote anyone applying for or renewing a driver’s license.

As individuals, we may have different visions of what we want our future to be, but Oregon has chosen not to limit our citizens’ participation in the conversation about that future.  Historic Jacksonville looks forward to a time when we will again be able to talk—and listen—to each other in search of the unity and compromise that made us the United States of America.

“Like” Historic Jacksonville, Inc. (historicjville) on Facebook, follow us on Instagram (historicjacksonville) and enjoy weekly Jacksonville history trivia.  Explore a treasure trove of Jacksonville history on our website at www.historicjacksonville.org.

#nationalhistoricdistrict #oregonhistory #goldminingtown #jacksonvilleoregon #historicjacksonville #historiclocation #history #historicbuildings

Halloween in Jacksonville


October 27, , 2020

In 19th Century Jacksonville, Halloween was all tricks, no treats, and of course, boys were the culprits.  Since Halloween is this coming Saturday, for today’s history trivia Historic Jacksonville, Inc. is sharing 3 documented pranks.

William Puhl, who had a barbershop in the Masonic building, kept a milk cow at his residence. One Halloween, several boys decided to take the cow to the barbershop.  Once the Puhl family was asleep, the boys stole “Bossy,” broke into the shop with a skeleton key, lured the cow in with bran, and then skedaddled.  When Puhl arrived at his shop the next morning, he found that Bossy had kicked over the barber chair and had generously “painted” the mirror, floor, etc.  We would not have wanted to be one of his customers that day!

Another year, lawyer Gus Newbury arrived at his law office one Halloween only to find it had been relocated.  His shingle was now hanging from an outhouse at the intersection of 3rd and California streets.  We’re not sure if that meant his legal skills were worth ….

On still another Halloween, several boys soft soaped the tracks of the Rogue River Valley Railroad near the school yard.  Crew sanded the tracks, but despite much snorting and puffing, the engine could not gain any traction. The train crew had to use gunny sacks to wipe off 50 yards worth of soft soap.  RRVR had a trainload of unhappy passengers and Barnum, the owner of the railroad, was “one angry gent”!

No wonder the 20th Century introduced treats as an alternative to tricks!

#nationalhistoricdistrict #oregonhistory #goldminingtown #jacksonvilleoregon #historicjacksonville #historiclocation #history #historicbuildings #halloweentricks

The Democratic Times #2

October 20, , 2020

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….

The Democratic Times

 

October 13, , 2020

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.

John Miller

 
 
October 6, 2020

Although Jacksonville’s City Administrative Offices are now housed in New City Hall (Jackson County’s historic 1883 Courthouse), for almost 40 years they were “temporarily” housed at 110 E. Main Street in what was once one of several elaborate “Queen Anne” style homes built in Jacksonville during the late 1800s.   The Queen Anne structures represented a movement away from earlier modest architectural styles to houses celebrating financial success. 

In 1883, John Miller had purchased the entire block, consisting at the time of 2 wood frame buildings and a dense thicket of trees, later referred to as an “orchard.”  However, it was almost 10 years later that the Queen Anne home was constructed at the corner of 3rd and E. Main using house plans published in one of architect George F. Barber’s pattern books. 

“Gunsmith” Miller, born in Bavaria, was one of Jacksonville’s many German-speaking settlers, arriving in Oregon in 1860.  Miller was probably the town’s most successful gunsmith.  For at least 20 years his Hunters’ Emporium on California Street specialized in guns, and later hardware and cutlery.  Given that the house was built around the time of Miller’s death, it may have been constructed by his son, John F. Miller, rather than “Gunsmith” Miller.  John F. continued to operate his father’s hardware store well into the 20th Century and also served as Jacksonville Postmaster from 1898 to 1913.  The Miller family occupied the home into the 1930s.

In early 1944, a fire destroyed the top floors of the house.  The owner at the time, Harold Lind, remodeled the surviving first floor into the current L-shaped structure. 

Oktoberfest

 

September 29, 2020
 
Due to Covid-19, the official Oktoberfest was canceled for this year, but Historic Jacksonville, Inc. thought we would at least acknowledge the German brewers who brought German lager to Jacksonville. Although Viet Schutz and his Viet Schutz Hall may have been the most famous, 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.” The complex of buildings eventually included a “malt kiln,” “mash tub,” “cooler,” “furnace heat,” and “beer kettle.” For the next 18 years, Wetterer and his wife Fredericka ran the saloon, advertising “the best lager beer in Southern Oregon.”
 

Jacksonville Stagecoach

 

September 22, 2020
 
This photo of a stagecoach arriving in Jacksonville is dated 1851. Whoa, Nellie! In 1851, Jacksonville didn’t exist. It wasn’t until gold was discovered the winter of 1851-52 that Table Rock City (later renamed Jacksonville) became a mining camp. Which also means there was no photographer around to take the picture. Not to mention there were no roads for stagecoaches to travel. The Siskiyou Trail mountain crossing was a rough and difficult passage best made on foot or horseback. Few wagons tried it, and only in summer months. Regularly scheduled local stage runs began in the early-to-mid 1850s and the stops were Ashland, Jacksonville, and Rock Point. They traveled what we know as “Old Stage Road.” Stage service to Jacksonville from Yreka first began in the summer of 1854. But it wasn’t until August 1859 that the Siskiyou Mountain Wagon Road, the first “engineered” road over the Siskiyous, opened. It was a toll road, owned and operated by Lindsay Applegate of Applegate Trail fame for the next 10 years. We think it’s safe to surmise that, while this may be a photograph of a stagecoach arriving in Jacksonville, it was not in 1851!”

James Mason Hutchings

 

September 8, 2020
 
In the winter of 1855, seasoned English traveler James Mason Hutchings spent time in Jacksonville, then a major hub in the vast Oregon Territory. He recorded the following in his diary: “The population is about 700 — 22 families — and over 200 families in the Rogue River Valley. There are 53 marriageable (women) within a circuit of 12 miles of Jacksonville — nine within Jacksonville”—and “there seems a number of long-faced religionists.” He listed 10 stores, three boarding houses, one bowling alley, one saloon, four physicians, one tin shop, one meat market, one livery stable, one church and one schoolhouse. He also noted that apples grown in the Willamette Valley were being sold in Jacksonville for 90 cents a pound.

Ghost Signs

 

September 1, 2020
 
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.

Shell Station

August 25, 2020
 
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.

Women’s Suffrage #2

 

August 18, 2020
 
It’s the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that gave (white) women the right to vote. But Oregon had an 8-year jump on the nation—the state granted women voting rights in 1912. One of the foremost leaders of the suffrage movement in the West was Oregon’s own Abigail Scott Duniway—teacher, author, newspaper publisher, and lecturer. Because of her efforts she was given the privileges of drafting the state’s Equal Suffrage Proclamation and being the first woman in Oregon to vote. Duniway made multiple trips to Jacksonville during her voting rights campaigns, but her strong determination and outspoken manner were not always well received by the local menfolk. During an 1879 tour, when an inflammatory editorial she had written was made known, she was burned in effigy and pelted with eggs. Abigail laughed it off saying, “Only one egg hit us and that was fresh and sweet.”

Women’s Suffrage

 
 
August 11, 2020
 
Since August is Women’s Suffrage Month marking the 100th anniversary of the adoption of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, Historic Jacksonville, Inc. is using the opportunity to recognize a Jacksonville suffragette—Josephine Martin Plymale. Josephine was in many ways a product of her time. She crossed the Oregon Trail with her family in a covered wagon, came to Jacksonville at age 17 as a teacher, and a year later married William Plymale. However, Josephine also defied the standards of her day.
 
In a time when anti-suffragists claimed women had no time to vote, Josephine raised 12 children and worked in the family livery business; became an orchardist and was a frequent speaker at Granges and agricultural societies; and was a journalist and served as Vice President of the Oregon Press Association. She was Vice President of the Oregon State Women’s Suffrage Association, described as “one of the most active workers in the Women Suffrage field…anywhere.” She was such an active suffragist that she once had an angry mob outside her Jacksonville home.
 
In 1892 Josephine officially filed for the position of Jackson County Recorder, but her name never appeared on the ballot. Not to be denied a role in politics, she obtained the position of committee clerk for the Oregon State Legislature and 2 years later clerked for the senate chamber. Josephine took her 2 youngest daughters with her to Salem to give them a taste of politics and to learn how laws were made.
 
Josephine died in 1899 at the age of 54. She never realized her political ambitions or the right to vote. But her daughters did. Oregon gave women the right to vote in 1912—8 years before the U.S. afforded them that privilege.

First Gold Found Here

 
 
August 4, 2020

Have you visited Jacksonville’s “Gold First Found Here” site where Applegate Street crosses Daisy Creek?  This is the approximate location where James Clugage and James Pool, two packers carrying goods to the mining camps in California, did a little panning in the creek and found their first “color.”  But the story is a little more complex than the marker would lead you to believe.  They were not the first Whites in the area to find gold.  That honor probably belonged to the son of Alonzo Skinner, the local Indian agent, and one of his employees, a Mr. Sykes.  They had found gold in nearby Jackson Creek the previous fall.  Cluggage and Pool learned of the discovery when they spent a night at the Skinner homestead so took time to pan a little before heading to Yreka.  And, voila! 

Clugage and Pool hightailed it south and immediately filed land claims on what is now most of Jacksonville.  They returned and spent the next few weeks mining, but then Clugage did something unheard of—he publicized his “find,” even boasting to California newspapers of taking out 70 ounces of gold a day from his claim.  And guess what!  Thousands of miners poured over the Siskiyous into the Valley, closely followed by merchants, gamblers, courtesans, and settlers—all needing a mining, business, or home site.  Clugage did indeed find gold—he made a fortune selling land! 

Hops Fields

 
July 28, 2020
 
Have you ever noticed the hops plants growing on the field at Bigham Knoll at the east end of E Street?  The German-speaking immigrants who contributed so much to early Jacksonville culture also brought with them their recipes for German lager with its pronounced flavors of malt and hops.  Joseph Wetterer and Veit Shutz were 2 of the most prominent early brewers.  Initially, these early brewmeisters probably grew their own hops, a flowering vine trained to grow on tall strings strung between posts. Really tall strings. So tall, in fact, that before the advent of hop harvesting machinery, farm workers had to use stilts to tend the plants. Harvesting hops was so labor intensive before mechanical harvesters were invented that entire families of migrant farm workers took part in the harvesting process, taking advantage of the plentiful work and employment opportunities. 

Anderson & Glenn General Store

 
 
July 21, 2020
 
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.

Brunner Building

July 14,2020

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.

Old City Hall


July 7, 2020

Since Jacksonville’s City Council will be meeting tonight, Historic Jacksonville, Inc. thought it would share a little history on what has been the Council’s traditional meeting place—Old City Hall. Jacksonville’s 1880 Old City Hall is the oldest government building in Oregon to remain in continuous use. It stands at the intersection of S. Oregon and Main streets, the heart of Jacksonville’s original business district, on the site of the 1st brick building in town—the1854 Maury & Davis Dry Goods store. Reuben Maury and Benjamin Davis had run a very successful general merchandise business at this location until 1861. Their partnership ended with the outbreak of the Civil War when Maury became an officer in the Union Army; Davis, a nephew of Confederate President Jefferson Davis, was claimed by family ties. Various enterprises occupied the original building until a fire in October 1874 gutted the interior. The burnt-out building sat empty until the Jacksonville’s Board of Trustees purchased the site for a town hall. Bricks from the original store were recycled into the current building’s construction. Completed in 1881, Jacksonville’s Old City Hall has continued to host City Council meetings, City commissions and committees, municipal court, various community organizations, and monthly movie nights until the current pandemic limited public gatherings. We look forward to the time when both city and community groups can gather again in this historic structure!

Jacksonville Inn Origins

 


June 30, 2020

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.”

Bank of Jacksonville


June 23, 2020

Since the historic Jackson County Jail was this weekend’s featured stop on Historic Jacksonville, Inc.’s Virtual Walk through History tour, we’re sharing a bit more information about one of the jail’s more distinguished “guests”—the President of the Bank of Jacksonville. In 1907 the Bank had opened on the ground floor of Red Men’s Hall at the corner of California and South 3rd streets. In August of 1920, W.H. Johnson was arrested and indicted on 30 felony counts including misstatement of the bank’s condition, receiving monies in a known insolvent banking institution, false certification of checks, and making false statements to a bank examiner. Johnson was not only bank President and cashier, he was also City Treasurer and deacon and treasurer of the Jacksonville Presbyterian Church. Johnson was convicted and spent 10 years in the state penitentiary. Dozens of prominent citizens were eventually charged with aiding and abetting the defrauding of the bank—including the Jackson County Treasurer. Depositors were both shocked and panicked—bank monies were not insured! In 1930, when the investigation was finally closed and the remaining bank assets liquidated, depositors received at best 17 cents on the dollar. Most lost their life savings; the County lost $107,000.

Mary Ann Harris-Chambers #2


June 16, 2020

Not only did Mary Ann Harris Chambers hold off an Indian attack that cost the lives of her first husband and son, she took in her daughter and 4 young grandchildren after her son-in-law died from tuberculosis in 1867. To accommodate 3 generations, she razed her old home and constructed what we know as the Harris Chambers house on Jacksonville’s North 3rd Street. When her daughter and a granddaughter died in a smallpox epidemic in 1869, she raised her 3 surviving grandchildren. Following her second husband’s death 6 months later, she moved with all the grandchildren to his farm, located 1 ½ miles outside of Jacksonville next to the J. Herbert Stone Forest Service tree farm on what we now call Hanley Road. Mary Ann Harris Chambers picked up the pieces and went on with her life. After all, that’s what she had learned to do—she was a survivor.

Jacksonville Library


June 9, 2020

With our libraries moving to the next phase of reopening, Historic Jacksonville, Inc. thought it would remind you of how lucky we are to have our library and all the services it offers. In 1885, Jacksonville residents began fund raising efforts for a public library, but it was 1908 before a free public library was finally established for town residents. The Library Association rented the “Beekman building on Main Street” and fitted up a reading room with table, bookcase, desk and chairs. It was initially stocked with 50 books from the State traveling library, 80 donated books, and a collection of Harper’s Monthly magazines dating from 1868. Library hours were Tuesday and Friday from 7 to 9 pm and Wednesday and Saturday from 2 to 6 pm. Books could be checked out for 1 week. There had been earlier town libraries—a subscription circulating library; a Catholic library established by the local priest; and a Young Men’s Library & Reading Room Club. In 1920 Jacksonville, with a population of 489, was the first town to respond to a cooperative arrangement with the County, finding a “suitable room” in the 1855 Brunner Building at the corner of S. Oregon and Main streets—the oldest brick building still standing in Jacksonville and the Pacific Northwest. On 2 afternoons and 1 evening each week Mrs. H. K. Hanna, the first librarian, supervised the circulation of 290 books. But long before the end of the 20th Century, the Brunner Building was a very “tight squeeze.” A 2000 County-wide bond measure funded construction of the current Jacksonville library on West C Street.

George Schumpf


June 2, 2020

The Classical Revival style home at the corner of Fir and South Oregon in Jacksonville is known as the Colvig House. Since Historic Jacksonville, Inc. recently had a Colvig family descendent ask about it, we thought we would share a little of its history. The house was probably built in the late 1870s for George Schumpf, the town barber. Schumpf, a native of Alsace, Germany, was the town barber for most of his life, also providing “bathing rooms and bathtubs” in his California Street shop. In 1887, Schumpf sold the house to William and Addie Colvig following his first wife’s death.

William Colvig, a lawyer, served three terms as Jackson County District Attorney. After this latter appointment, he finally got around to taking the bar exam. Colvig was an authority on Shakespeare and spoke fluent Chinook, the language of the local Indian tribe. He was also a soldier and was among the party of soldiers that first mapped Crater Lake.

The house is also known as the “Bozo the Clown House.” Vance “Pinto” Colvig, the youngest of the Colvig children, was the original creator of Bozo the Clown. Pinto worked as an animator for Walt Disney and supplied many Disney cartoon voices, including those of ‘Goofy,’ ‘Pluto’ and two of the seven dwarfs. He also wrote the song, “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf.”

Zany Ganung


May 26, 2020

Zany Ganung would have appreciated all of the American flags flown for Memorial Day yesterday. However, she did not appreciate the Confederate “palmetto and rattlesnake flag” she found flying across from her house at 160 E. California Street when she returned to Jacksonville on June 11, 1861, after nursing a sick patient all night…or so one story goes. Supposedly, she entered her California Street house, returned with a hatchet, crossed the street, chopped the pole down, and used the flag to stoke her stove. However, the story may have been confused with an 1855 incident, when town women protested their men folk leaving them unprotected during the Indian Wars. Local “wags” ridiculed them by hoisting a petticoat at half-mast on the post office flagpole. The women were greatly incensed but had no means of getting the petticoat down. A neighbor came to the rescue, hauling it down and allowing the women to march off with it in triumph. Zany was there at the time, having arrived in Jacksonville in 1854 with her husband Lewis, but no one knows if she was involved. The Ganung house was razed in 1965, having subsequently served as saloon and post office. The site is now home to Pico’s Worldwide.

Applebaker Barn

 


May 19, 2020

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.

Presbyterian Church


May 12, 2020

The historic Presbyterian Church, located at the corner of 6th and California streets, is one of Jacksonville’s most striking examples of Victorian Gothic architecture. For 24 years prior to its construction, the local Presbyterian congregation had been meeting in various locations throughout the Rogue Valley, including Jacksonville’s Methodist Episcopal Church, schoolhouses and private homes. Plans for their own “religious edifice” got underway in 1878 when William Hoffman and C.C. Beekman purchased the land. The design of the building may have been inspired by one of the architectural pattern books popular at the time or supplied by the Presbyterian Board of Church Erection. Brick mason, George Holt, laid the foundation; carpenter David Linn constructed the wood frame, roof and belfry. Beekman made a special trip to San Francisco to purchase a 1,000-pound bell for the belfry. While the estimated cost for the structure was $4,500, the actual cost was more than $6,000, half of which was contributed by Beekman. The church was dedicated on December 4, 1881. After its completion, it was eulogized in journals and newspapers as “a model of architectural beauty” and “the most ornate and handsome [church] in Southern Oregon.”

Saloons

May 5, 2020

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!

David Linn

April 28, 2020
 

Today we’re using our imagination to visit a residence no longer on the map—the home of David Linn, one of the town’s most prolific early builders. Born in Guernsey County, Ohio, in 1826, Linn was a self-supporting carpenter and cabinet-maker at age 14 and an active contractor and builder by 25. Arriving in Jacksonville in the spring of 1852, Linn was instrumental in transforming the mining camp of Table Rock into the town of Jacksonville. During his active career, he built a fort, public and commercial buildings, 2 churches, houses, staircases, furniture, mining equipment, and coffins. Linn also served as Jackson County Treasurer for 14 years; was a member of the Jacksonville City Council and served as Mayor; and was on the school board. Around 1883, he constructed his large Italian Gothic “villa” at the corner of West F Street, across North Oregon Street from the home of his father-in-law, Squire William Hoffman. It’s possible that Hoffman gave the land to Linn or his wife, Ann Sophia. Linn died in 1912. The house outlasted him by 42 years, when it was razed to make way for contemporary housing.

Britt Gardens

April 21, 2020
 
On March 6, 2020, the Peter Britt Gardens became the newest Jacksonville’s landmark to be recognized on the National Register of Historic Places. Home to Swiss-American entrepreneur Peter Britt and his family from 1852 to 1954, his homestead fronting on 1st Street now houses the Britt Festival grounds, the Britt Gardens, and a popular Jacksonville Woodlands trailhead. Although he arrived in Jacksonville with only $5 in his pocket and a cart of photography equipment, Peter Britt became a renowned photographer, agricultural innovator, and capitalist. Britt’s photographs documenting prominent people, places and events in the second half of the 19th century were known throughout the Pacific Northwest. Britt helped pioneer the pear orchards that became a powerful driver of the region’s economy in the 20th Century and the grape cultivation and wineries that lead part of the region’s 21st century economy. Britt is also known for creating lavish Victorian botanical gardens on this property that became a popular Pacific Northwest tourist destination. The National Historic Landmark Designation, submitted by archaeologist Chelsea Rose, deems Britt’s homestead a landmark of statewide significance, home to two generations for over 100 years and augmented by a robust documentary record of photographs, diaries, letters, and family heirlooms. You can read the full story in the Jacksonville Review on-line: https://jacksonvillereview.com/jacksonville-landmark-peter-britt-gardens-added-to-national-historical-register/

Mercy Flights

April 14, 2020
 
With medical care in the forefront of the news these days, Historic Jacksonville, Inc. thought it would take the opportunity to give a shout out to Mercy Flights – our regional air and ground ambulance service and the nation’s first non-profit air ambulance. It was founded in 1949 by George Milligan, a Medford air traffic controller, after a friend died of polio, unable to survive the long, slow drive to Portland. Mercy Flights added ground transportation in 1992, creating a regional medical transportation network. Normal ambulance service can be expensive–$1,200 or more for ground; $20,000+ for air. Mercy Flights offers membership subscriptions that accept any insurance you have as payment in full and discounts costs by 50% for those without insurance. Jacksonville’s own Mike Burrill, Jr. is currently serving as Mercy Flights interim CEO. Mike has been a Mercy Flights board member for 12 years and board chair for 6, following his father and grandfather in Mercy Flights service. We’ve come a long way since 1851 when Jacksonville boasted the first ambulance service west of the Rockies!
 

Fires in Jacksonville

April 7, 2020
 
Fire was a significant hazard in early Jacksonville with major fires destroying portions of the town in 1867, 1873, 1874, 1884, and 1888. The town’s volunteer fire department, Engine Company #1, responded to the call of the Applebaker Fire Hall bell well into the 1950s. Fire was the impetus for most of the brick construction that now comprises Jacksonville’s historic commercial district. Or perhaps it would be more accurate to say “fire insurance.” The City Fathers did not mandate brick commercial buildings until 1878. However, very early on, insurance companies penalized owners of wooden structures—and buildings adjacent to wooden structures!

Carrie Shelton

March 31, 2020

Did you know that Oregon had the nation’s first female governor? And it was 3 ½ years before Oregon women gained the right to vote? The woman was Carrie (aka Carolyn/Caralyn) B. Shelton. She was acting governor of Oregon for one weekend – 9 a.m. Saturday, February 27, through 10 a.m. Monday, March 1, 1909. It seems that the outgoing governor, George Earle Chamberlain, had been elected to the Senate and had to leave for Washington, D.C., before his term was over if he was to make it to D.C. in time to be sworn in with the rest of the freshman class of senators. Arriving late would make him the last man on the roster in terms of seniority. The incoming governor, Frank W. Benson, had gotten sick and couldn’t assume office early. So Chamberlain left his 32-year-old secretary in charge. For a weekend, Shelton, a woman who couldn’t legally cast a ballot, possessed the power to issue pardons, veto bills and sign executive orders. And in another wrinkle to the story, in 1926 Shelton married Chamberlain, her longtime boss and mentor, making them the first and only pair of former governors in U.S. history to wed.

Catalpa Tree

March 24, 2020

Historic Jacksonville, Inc. decided this week to address the reported toilet paper shortage. Jacksonville’s early settlers did not have the opportunity to “squeeze the Charmin.” A Sears Roebuck catalog was considered a welcome amenity in an outhouse. However, the large soft leaves of the Catalpa tree might have served a similar purpose. These quick-growing trees were certainly popular plantings in pioneer settlements throughout the West. For years, a huge Catalpa tree with its large heart-shaped leaves and popcorn-like clusters of flowers has been a prominent feature in the yard of Jacksonville’s historic Beekman House Museum at 470 E. California Street. Also known as the Indian bean tree, the Catalpa was valued for its medicinal uses. Tea brewed from its bark was used as an antiseptic to treat snake bites and whooping cough. A light sedative could be made from the flowers and seed pods, and the flowers were used for treating asthma. The leaves could also be turned into a poultice for treating wounds. However, prior to the days of indoor plumbing, the large, soft Catalpa leaves may have also been a welcome alternative to the Sears

Scheffel’s Toys #4

March 17, 2020

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.

Dr. Will Jackson

March 10, 2020

Dr. Will Jackson was a popular Jacksonville dentist from the late 1860s to the late 1880s. Actually, he was probably the only Jacksonville dentist during that period. Although he pulled teeth and supplied “nice natural looking teeth…for those wanting,” he is also believed to have been the first dentist in the Valley to use fillings as an alternative to extraction. A colleague remembered him as “quite a large man, with black hair…who wore that determined look that made the small boy in need of his services feel that he was not to be trifled with.” Jackson’s house at 235 E. California Street was his second home at that location, constructed in 1873 after a fire took out most of the block. It’s now home to the Miners Bazaar. Jackson’s dentist office was “12 feet east” where Quady North’s tasting room now stands. The entire corner of California and 5th streets was originally the site of the corral and stables of Cram & Rogers, the company that brought C.C. Beekman to Jacksonville, but from 1857 on, that corner housed a succession of doctors’ offices.

DeRoboam House

March 3, 2020

Since our recent saga of Snafu, the yellow crested cockatoo, included Jackosnville’s 1893 DeRoboam house, we thought we would tell you more about the house itself. After Henrietta Schmidling DeRoboam used her own fortune to rescue the U.S. Hotel from foreclosure following her husband’s mismanagement, she decided she wanted her own residence. She commissioned the Queen Anne style home at 390 E. California Street in Jacksonville, replacing an 1855 pioneer wood frame structure. Although not from the same George Barber catalog of house plans that inspired the Nunan House and 2 other structures in town (which have since burned), its style and features indicate that its design did come from an architectural pattern book. It’s one of the few houses in town with a “jerkin head” roof—a combination of gable and hip roofs.

Early Newspapers

February 25, 2020

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.

Snafu #4

February 18, 2020

And Snafu, the pet “cussing cockatoo” whose vocabulary had been “enriched” by 3 ½ years in World War II South Pacific army camps, is finally arriving in Jacksonville. So far Snafu and his uninhibited ability to mimic everything from profanity to hymns to fire sirens and alarms has had him kicked out by his owner’s family, a Portland pet shop, the Jackson County Jail, the County Fire Department and a local feed store. When we left him, he was resident in the Surge Dairy Supply store where he entertained the customers. He also proved to be a ladies’ man with a habit of whistling at any girl passing. On more than one occasion this left Traffic Officer Dick Baize in an awkward position since he was the only male in sight. In June 1947, Snafu moved to Jacksonville to the residence of Mrs. Frank (Bernice) Janosky, joining other cockatoos and parrots in her aviary at 290 East California Street for the next 8 years. There, Snafu finally found his medium. He joined “show business” and the Jacksonville Footlighters in a production of Moss Hart’s “Light up the Sky.” And we should mention there’s an “oops” to end our story. After moving to Jacksonville, Snafu laid an egg. He was not supposed to be that kind of bird…. His original owner’s sister was skeptical, saying, “Trust me, he was no lady!”

Snafu #3

February 11, 2020

We’re continuing our saga of Snafu, the pet yellow crested white cockatoo whose vocabulary had been “enriched” by 3 ½ years in World War II South Pacific army camps. So far Snafu’s uninhibited ability to mimic everything from profanity to fire sirens and alarms has caused the bird to be “kicked out” by his owner’s family, a Portland pet shop, the Jackson County Jail, and the County Fire Department. His travels and travails have been reported in newspapers all over the country, and his owner, Lt. Hugh Collins, now a local attorney, has received multiple offers to buy Snafu, but has refused to sell. Snafu’s next home was a feed store where he spent his time “moulting and pouting.” From there he moved on to the Surge Dairy Supply store where he apparently enjoyed performing acrobatics for visitors. In the process of putting on a show, Snafu fell off a wire, landed on his tail feathers, and broke off one beneath the skin. It became infected, and seeking relief, Snafu applied self-surgery, pulling out tail feathers and bursting a blood vessel in the process. Snafu was found on the floor near exhaustion and rushed to a pet hospital where a shot of thronorozion stopped the flow of blood and cured the infection. However, it took a few months for the tail feathers to regrow and for Snafu to resume next week’s reported antics.

Snafu #2

February 4, 2020

We’re resuming the story of Snafu, the pet yellow crested white cockatoo who became literally a “jailbird.” The fowl’s foul language, learned in World War II army camps in the South Pacific, had made him unadoptable. Arrangements had been made for Snafu to be housed in the Jackson County Jail where even the inmates were shocked by his profanity and the jailor himself learned many new swear words. But while in jail, Snafu began attending the weekly religious services. In the process he became more inclined to sing a portion of a hymn than to exercise his extensive vocabulary of cusswords. Deemed reformed, Snafu was paroled to the fire department. Snafu liked his new home, and mimic that he was, began imitating the fire bells and sirens. Unfortunately, he made such a clatter when the telephone rang that the firemen couldn’t understand reports of fires. Moreover, Snafu was a great attraction for the small boys in the neighborhood who then climbed on the equipment and generally got in the way. So once again, Snafu had to find a new home…and he still takes a few detours before arriving in Jacksonville. We’ll continue the saga of Snafu next week.

Snafu

January 28, 2020

So what does a yellow crested white cockatoo have to do with the 1893 Queen Anne style home at 390 E. California Street in Jacksonville? It’s a long story so it’s going to be a multi-part history trivia. Let’s start with the cockatoo. It’s name was Snafu. Snafu had been brought home from Biak Island in the Dutch East Indies at the end of World War II by Lt. Hugh Collins. During 3 years in Army camps, the cockatoo had acquired an extensive vocabulary of cusswords. Snafu’s fluency in profanity proved a problem for Lt. Collins’ father, Medford Coucilman James C. Collins, and the cockatoo was sent to a Portland pet shop. Unsurprisingly, Snafu was deemed unadoptable and was sent back to Medford where Collins arranged for Snafu to be housed in the County Jail where the cockatoo had the run of the jail’s corridors. County jailor, Tony Solger, reported the bird to be well behaved until it would let loose with streams of profanity that shocked even the inmates. We’ll share more of this “jail bird’s” story next week.

Orange Jacobs Law Offices

January 21, 2020

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.”

 

Kahler Office

 
January 14, 2020

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.

Kahler Home

 
January 7, 2020

The northeast corner of 6th and D streets in Jacksonville is the site of the Kahler family home. Robert Kahler acquired the entire block in 1879 then sold this portion to his father 2 years later. His parents were one of the first pioneering families to settle in the Rogue Valley. Three of the Kahler boys did quite well. Robert, a druggist, dispensed drugs, books and stationery from his building on California Street. George was a practicing surgeon and physician. Charles Wesley Kahler was a prominent Jacksonville attorney. C.W. owned the building by the late 1890s. This house was either constructed by another family member after C.W.’s death in 1904 or the original house was redesigned from its original Classical Revival style to incorporate its current Queen Anne influences.

Redmen’s Hall

December 31, 2019

Jacksonville’s Redmen’s Hall, the U.S. Hotel, the Masonic Hall, the Odd Fellows building, and Veit Schutz Hall all had ballrooms or dance floors, and weekly dances were a popular form of local entertainment. Masquerades, or fancy-dress balls, were particularly popular over the holidays. At masquerades, prizes were typically awarded for best costume. And it was also common for spectators to pay to watch the costumed partygoers entering the ball—like fans today paying to watch celebrities attend a gala or awards ceremony today. For Jacksonville’s 1901 New Year’s Eve ball, the local newspaper noted that a Portland costumer came down with trunk loads of costumes that could be rented or purchased for the occasion.

Telephone Exchange

December 17, 2019

As you use your telephone to connect with family and friends via calls or text this holiday season, Historic Jacksonville, Inc. thought it would share how telephone service came to Jacksonville. The plaque and display windows on the telephone exchange building at the corner of California and Oregon streets tell part of the story. After Alexander Graham Bell was awarded the first U.S. patent for the telephone in 1876, demand for this novel invention spread. Initially, pairs of telephones were connected directly with each other. In 1888, Jacksonville’s first telephone line connected the U.S. Hotel with the Riddle House in Medford. However, it appears to have been short-lived due to costs. Six years later, a syndicate installed a 2-point, 3-instrument Medford-Jacksonville line connecting the G. H. Haskins drug store in Medford with the county clerk’s office at Jacksonville’s county courthouse and the Reames, White & Co. store. A 5-minute talk cost 25 cents. By 1899, a regular telephone exchange serving 10 subscribers was established. An operator switched connections between lines making it possible for subscribers to call each other at any location on the exchange. By 1918, service had at least doubled since Carrie Beekman was listed as #22 in the Jacksonville telephone directory.

Lyden House

December 10, 2019

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.

Jacksonville Marble Works

December 3, 2019

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.