Boxing Day

December 26, 2017

December 26 is the day that upper and middle-class Victorians celebrated as “Boxing Day.” Church alms boxes were broken open and their contents distributed to the poor; servants were given the day off and sent home with presents and boxes of Christmas leftovers for their families. Jacksonville’s prominent 19th Century pioneer Beekman family honored this tradition—sometimes on the early side. When two local boys wanted to be part of the Presbyterian Church’s Christmas Eve celebration but lacked appropriate attire, Cornelius Beekman bought them both new suits.

Historic Homes in Winter

December 19, 2017

For the holidays, we’re sharing some of our favorite winter scenes of Jacksonville’s historic homes. Clockwise from top left: the 1861 McCully house; the 1878 von Helms house; the 1880 Kahler house; and the 1873 Beekman house. Join us at the Beekman house on Saturday, December 23, when costumed docents will be sharing the origin of Christmas traditions and typical Victorian holiday celebrations in hour-long tours beginning every 15 minutes between 11am and 3pm. And on Tuesday, December 26, we’ll be offering Victorian Boxing Day tours. You can join the Victorian middle and upper class in sharing with those less fortunate when tour admission is $2 with a canned good donation to ACCESS. Pay full admission price ($5, adults; $3 seniors/students) and all monies over $2 are donated to ACCESS.

Otto Biede House

December 12, 2017

The house located at 360 S. Oregon Street in Jacksonville was probably constructed around 1893, for the Otto Biede family, shown here—although it may have been a “remodeled” version of an 1880s house. Otto and Marie Biede were both born in Hanover, Germany in 1858. They immigrated to the U.S. in 1884, arriving in Jacksonville in 1890 where Otto established a hardware and tinsmith business and Marie taught piano lessons. An earlier structure existed on the lot no later than 1864. Occupied by German-born William Kreuzer, grocer and owner of the City Bakery and Saloon, it was also reportedly used as the “German school” for children of Jacksonville’s German-speaking population—about 1/3 of the town’s early settlers.

James M. Hutchings

December 5, 2017

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.

Crater Lake Discovery

November 28, 2017

In 1853, Prospector John W. Hillman of Table Rock City (Jacksonville) was reportedly the first American of European descent to see Crater Lake—and he nearly fell into it. While with a party of miners seeking the storied “Lost Cabin Gold Mine,” Hillman was riding a mule along a high ridge when the animal lurched to a stop and would not budge. Hillman looked down and saw that the beast had come right to the rim of a huge crater with a brilliant blue lake at its bottom. “Not until my mule stopped within a few feet of the rim of Crater Lake did I look down,” he later wrote, “and if I had been riding a blind mule I firmly believe I would have ridden over the edge to death and destruction.” But with no luck in their quest and provisions exhausted, Hillman and his fellow miners returned to Table Rock City. Although they debated whether to call their find Deep Blue Lake or Mysterious Lake, a lake was of only passing interest when gold was the objective. Deep Blue Lake was forgotten until it was discovered by another party 9 years later.

California & Oregon Street Crossroads #3

November 21, 2017

The plaque and display windows on the telephone exchange building at the corner of California and Oregon streets tell part of the story of telephone service coming to Jacksonville. 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.

California & Oregon St Crossroads #2

November 14, 2017

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.

California & Oregon Street Crossroads #1

November 7, 2017

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.

Catholic Rectory

October 31, 2017

Although the structure at 210 North 4th Street in Jacksonville is known as the Catholic Rectory, it was not purchased for that purpose until 1875. The house had been built around 1868, probably for Nathaniel Langell whose brother had acquired the property in 1859. For many years Langell ran a boot and shoe store and repair shop at various locations on California Street. He served as President (Mayor) of the Jacksonville Board of Trustees; he was elected in 1872 and again in 1896 as a Jackson County representative to the State Legislature; and for a period he was Master of the local Masonic lodge. Later in life he was appointed U.S. Forester of the Cascade Rogue Forest Reserve, i.e. Forest Supervisor of the Rogue River National Forest.

Kubli House #2

October 24, 2017

Although the house at 305 S. Oregon Street in Jacksonville is known as the Kubli House, the Kubli family didn’t occupy it until 1872. The principal portion of the house was constructed around 1862 for its original occupants, Reuben Maury and his wife Elizabeth. Maury, a native of Kentucky, was a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy. Following service in the Mexican War, he came west as a 49-er. He supplemented his mining efforts with a “packing” business and came to Jacksonville as a “freighter” in 1852. Two years later he sold out his freighting business and opened a general merchandise store with Benjamin Davis on the site of Jacksonville’s Old City Hall. The partnership lasted until 1861 and the outbreak of the Civil War. Maury became an officer in the Union Army, eventually being promoted to Colonel and named as the army’s last commander of the District of Oregon. Davis, a nephew of Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederacy, returned to Missippi and the Confederacy.

Carl B. Rostel

October 17, 2017

Carl Berthold Rostel, born in 1849, was an immigrant from Germany who found his way to the Rogue Valley. According to The Oregon Sentinel advertisements from the 1880s, he had been an “Asst. Surgeon of the German Army.” Here he chose to be a “Professional Hair Cutter” and became known as “The Popular Barber and Hair Dresser” in the Orth Building on S. Oregon Street in Jacksonville. An 1881 issue of the Sentinel noted that “Rostel shaves in the highest style of the art” and is “one of the best barbers on the coast.” C.B. Rostel went on to become a prominent Rogue Valley businessman, owning several properties in the Valley, including a saloon, a variety shop, a barber shop in Medford, and the Kurth & Miller building in Central Point. After using the latter for a “store and business offices” for a decade, Rostel remodeled and doubled the size of the building in 1909, and the “Rostel 1909” building was born. Today it’s the home of The Point Pub & Grill.

George Schumpf Barbershop

October 10, 2017

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.”

Zigler and Martin Blacksmith

October 3, 2017

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.

Queen Ann Style Homes

September 26, 2017

In the late 1800s, three successful businessmen—Dr. James Robinson, Jeremiah Nunan, and John “Gunsmith” Miller—built large, elaborate Queen Anne-style homes in Jacksonville. These represented a movement away from the more modest architectural styles of the mid-1800s to houses celebrating financial success—not unlike the “MacMansions” built in recent years. House plans were purchased from pattern books published by architects and constructed using local materials and labor. The Robinson house on N. Oregon Street burned in the 1930s. The top floors of the Miller house at the corner of 3rd and Main streets burned in 1944 and the house was later remodeled into the current 1950s ranch-style structure. While other Jacksonville houses of the period incorporated elements of Queen Anne style, the true remaining tribute to the unabashed exuberance of the era is the Nunan estate at 635 N. Oregon.

Miller Gunsmith Shop

September 19, 2017

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.

Dr. Charles B. Brooks & A Flag Pole

September 12, 2017

Flags and flagpoles have always been an important way of expressing political opinions and “freedom of speech”—perhaps even more so in the 19th Century than now. Historic Jacksonville has previously shared the story of Zany Ganung, who in 1861 returned home to Jacksonville from tending a sick patient only to find that someone had erected a flagpole flying the Confederate “palmetto and rattleshake flag” across the street from her front door. Without a word to anyone, Zany 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, Zany had a precedent. In 1855, 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. Dr. Charles B. Brooks, a local physician, saved the day for the feminine part of the population by hauling it down, thus allowing the women to march off in triumph.

Beekman Express Office

September 5, 2017

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.

Ish Family

August 29, 2017

The most photographed plot is Jacksonville’s Pioneer Cemetery is that of the Ish family. Jacob Ish, son of a Virginia plantation owner, came west in 1861 to escape the Civil War. He purchased 320 acres about three miles from Jacksonville and started a ranch. When opportunity arose, Ish added to his holdings. He eventually became one of the largest landowners in Jackson County with over 5,000 acres, including the site of the Medford Airport. His fields were some of the most productive in the Valley, and his ranch became known for its “broad fertile acres, sturdy stock and immaculately maintained buildings.” Ish died from bronchitis in 1881, leaving his wife Sarah one of the wealthiest women in the county. A “woman of strong character and rare business ability,” Sarah managed the Ish ranch until her death in 1906.

Abstract Company Concrete Building

August 22, 2017

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.

Mary Probert (“Worm Lady”) House

August 15, 2017

The small yellow cottage at 205 N. Oregon Street in Jacksonville, across C Street from the historic train station, was for many years the place for local fisherman to source their bait from Mary Probert, affectionately known by all as the “Worm Lady.” A sign out front would let them know whether or not her red wigglers “that always catch the fish” were available that day. However, what most fishermen or Jacksonville residents do not know was that that corner was originally home to the Excelsior Livery Stable from 1865 until at least 1890. Established by Sebastian Plymale and later owned by his brother William (shown here), the Plymales provided transportation for fellow citizens by driving or renting out horses and buggies to paying customers.

Witteveen House #2

August 8, 2017

The original portion of the house at 305 N. Oregon Street in Jacksonville, commonly known as Kate Hoffman’s house or more recently as Elaine Witteveen’s home and studio, was constructed around 1868 by Sebastian Plymale. In August of that year, the newspapers noted the “pretty building of Mr. S. Plymale” which was “completed and ready for the occupancy of any ‘young and ardent lovers’ who desire to enter matrimonial alliance.” The first occupants were probably Plymale’s younger sister, Sarah Plymale Zigler (also Ziegler), and her husband Louis who was part owner of the property. Louis Zigler was a miner, blacksmith, proprietor of the Adams Hotel, and at one time the County Sheriff. Sarah had married Louis in 1854 when she was 15. The couple moved to Roseburg in the 1870s. However, in 1878, Peter Britt sold Sarah 8 acres of his property for $1. No one knows why. But Sarah’s granddaughter donated the property to the Jacksonville Woodlands Association and you can now hike the 0.7 mile Zigler trail.

Witteveen House #1

August 1, 2017

As previously noted, the original 1-story portion of the house at 305 N. Oregon Street in Jacksonville was constructed around 1868. The 2-story portion was built almost 100 years later in 1964 by John and Elaine Witteveen. The Witteveens had moved to Jacksonville that same year and opened a color printing business. John was the photographer and printer; Elaine was the typesetter and marketer. Elaine was already an established artist and her artwork was the first thing they printed. John became a key player in the establishment of Jacksonville’s National Historic Landmark District. Elaine, a graduate of the Art Institute in Chicago, had been a founding member of the Maude Kerns Art Center in Eugene and served three years as a board member of the Oregon Arts Commission. In 1979, she pioneered the Rogue Valley Artists Workshop. John died in 1992 at age 83. In later years, the house became Elaine’s gallery as well as home. Elaine, the doyenne of Southern Oregon artists, passed away in 2015 at the age of 98.

Plymale-Hoffman House

July 25, 2017

The house at 305 N. Oregon Street in Jacksonville has 2 distinct portions built roughly 100 years apart. The 1-story wood frame Classic Revival portion was built around 1868 by Sebastian Plymale, the original owner of the Excelsior Livery Stable which occupied the adjacent block between C and D streets. A later owner was Kate Hoffman, the youngest daughter of revered pioneer, William Hoffman. Like a dutiful daughter, Kate stayed home and cared for her parents until their deaths. Prior to her mother’s passing in 1900, Kate had taken a liking to a second cousin, tinsmith Horace Hoffman. The two were “inseparable” but the family did not approve of the relationship. After her mother’s death, Kate purchased this property, and within a year married Horace. She was 52; he was 60. Unfortunately, their happiness was short-lived. Horace died in 1905, only 2 days after their third anniversary. Kate continued to live in their home until her own death in 1934.

Truax House

July 18, 2017

For half dozen years in the 1850s, the core of the house at 410 North 5th Street in Jacksonville was home to pioneer civil engineer, Sewell Truax. Raised and educated in Vermont, Truax caught “Oregon fever” while on a surveying trip after encountering emigrants at Council Bluffs. A day later he joined them, arriving in Jackson County in August 1853. For 7 years he was U.S. Deputy Surveyor in Southern Oregon. When the Civil War broke out, he entered the U.S. volunteer cavalry as a captain, was soon promoted to major, was made commander of Fort Walla Walla in the Washington Territory, and then commander of Fort Lapwai in Lewiston. After the War, he remained in Lewiston as a merchant in the gold fields but by 1870 had returned to engineering. He supervised construction for the Walla Walla and Columbia River railroad, laid out the town of Morengo and invented and built grain shutes along the Snake River to load steam wheelers. He was also elected to the Washington Territory Legislature and served as President of the Assembly in the 1880s.

Ulrich House

July 11, 2017

The vacant lot at 640 South 3rd Street in Jacksonville was for many years the site of the Christian Ulrich House. The house was probably constructed around 1876 following Ulrich’s marriage to Alice Gilson. The builder may well have been Ulrich himself. Born in Iowa in 1853, Ulrich had come west with his parents in the 1860s. By age 19 he had become a carpenter’s apprentice and from the late 1880s until sometime after 1907 he owned and operated a planning mill and sash and door factory at the corner of California and 5th streets. By 1906 he was engaged in the flour and feed business as well and within 4 years pursued that exclusively. Ulrich was also involved in Jacksonville government, serving on the City Council at age 30 and later acting as city street commissioner.

Fourth of July

July 4, 2017

Well into the 20th Century, the Fourth of July was a bigger holiday than Christmas. Christmas emphasized religion and family; Independence Day was a huge public celebration! And Jacksonville celebrated along with the rest of the country. A typical 1800s Fourth would begin with a reveille of cannon and gun fire, followed by an elaborate parade. This week’s photo shows typical parade floats—one carrying 38 young girls representing each state, a second carrying the Goddess of Liberty and the Angel of Peace. The parade would culminate in a full day of oratory, food and drink, music, games, dancing, and other activities. For a full description of Jacksonville’s 1876 Centennial Fourth of July celebration see the July 2017 Jacksonville Review:

James Miller

June 27, 2017

Colonel James Napper Tandy Miller is remembered most often for setting aside the original acreage for Jacksonville’s Pioneer Cemetery around 1859, which he subsequently sold to the City, four fraternal orders, and two religions for amounts ranging from $1 to $100. The cemetery acreage was originally part of Miller’s 320 acre Donation Land Claim. Under a Donation Land Claim, a settler could claim 160 acres of free land if single, 320 if married, provided he farmed it for four years. Miller emigrated from Kentucky to Oregon in 1846 and to Jacksonville in 1854. He was a renowned fighter in the Indian wars, he planted some of the valley’s earliest vineyards, and he was a well-known figure in state politics, serving as both State Assemblyman and State Senator. Miller also began publication of Jacksonville’s second newspaper, the Democratic Times.

Greenman House

June 20, 2017

Like a number of other Jacksonville buildings, the 1 ½ story house at 340 N. Oregon Street was moved from its original location—the corner of California and 5th streets. By 1866, Dr. E.H. Greenman had acquired the property at the California intersection and constructed a small rectangular building. Regular advertisements in local newspapers soon promoted Dr. Greenman’s services. In 1869, Greenman sold the property to Dr. Will Jackson, for many years the local dentist. It’s unclear whether Jackson’s office survived the catastrophic fire of 1874, but the present structure appeared on that site by the early 1880s. Jackson appears to have occupied the building for the next decade, after which it housed another doctor and then a notary public. The structure is believed to have been moved to its present N. Oregon Street site in the late 1920s.

Luy House

June 13, 2017

The Frederick Luy House at 490 S. Oregon Street in Jacksonville was probably built in the 1870s. Early maps and photographs of Jacksonville do not include the southern area of the town so it’s hard to date the structure. Luy’s wife was Frances Young, the elder daughter of G.W. Young who had purchased the property in 1864. Frederick Luy, a native of Baden, Germany, was a boot and shoe maker by trade. He came to Oregon in 1852 and probably arrived in Jacksonville a year or so later. Luy initially obtained a position with Nathan Langell, an established local cobbler, then later went into business for himself. Frederick and Frances had 8 children. A son, Frederick Jr., became a barber in Medford. A second son, George, inherited the family home in 1905. The house as since undergone significant alterations.

Ganung House

June 6, 2017

160 E. California Street in Jacksonville, now home to Pico’s Worldwide, was once the site of Lewis and Zany Ganung’s residence. The Ganungs had traveled west from Ohio, arriving in Jacksonville in 1854. Lewis Ganung was a doctor, and Zany frequently acted as his nurse. On June 11, 1861, so the story goes, Zany returned home tired and exhausted after spending the past 24 hours with a very sick patient. Overnight, someone had erected a flagpole flying the Confederate “palmetto and rattleshake flag” across the street from her front door. No one knew who had raised it, and no one ventured to remove it for fear of starting a local civil war. Without a word to anyone, Zany entered her house, returned with a hatchet, crossed the street, and chopped the pole down. She then untied the flag, returned home, and used the flag to stoke the stove. The “rattlesnake flag” never again flew over Jacksonville.

Caton House

May 30, 2017

The house at 135 South 3rd Street in Jacksonville was either built or moved to this location around 1902 as home to Captain Milo Caton. Caton came to Jacksonville in the 1850s and for many years was proprietor of a California Street boot & shoe store. He fought in the Mexican and Indian wars and served as a captain during the Civil War. Caton later served as town constable and then as deputy sheriff. He occupied the house until his death in 1913 from “old age.” Since that time the house has intermittently been used for retail businesses and as a dwelling. It’s one of the featured houses on Historic Jacksonville’s Haunted History walking tours.

Wilson House

May 23, 2017

The 1867 house at 410 East D Street in Jacksonville was home to members of the James A. Wilson family from about 1870 to 1940. One of the last owners was Wilson’s grand daughter, Grace, the second wife of noted Southern Oregon architect Frank C. Clark. The couple took up residence here following their marriage in 1924, and the house saw the birth of four children. In 1930, shortly after the last child was born, Frank Clark built the dream home he specifically designed for his young family at 1917 E. Main Street in Medford. At almost sixty years of age, with two major projects in Medford just completed (the Holly Theatre and Washington School), the architect could afford this gift to his wife and children.

Union Livery Stable

May 16, 2017

Following the death of Dr. Franklin Grube in the Jacksonville smallpox epidemic of 1868-69, the house at 410 East D Street, originally constructed for pioneer Henry Judge a year earlier, was purchased by James A. Wilson. The Wilson family retained ownership for nearly 70 years. Wilson was a prosperous livery stable owner who for 6 years operated in partnership with Kaspar Kubli. Their imposing 2-story frame structure at the Northwest corner of California and C streets where the Umpqua Bank is now located was known as the Union Livery Stable.

Judge’s House #2

May 9, 2017

We’re continuing our saga of the house at the corner of 6th and D streets in Jacksonville, commonly called the “Sheriff’s House” but constructed around 1867 for pioneer harness and saddlery businessman Henry Judge. Within a year, Judge sold his new residence to Dr. Franklin Grube, an Oregon newcomer. Grube, a graduate of Yale College and the University of Pennsylvania Medical School, had served as a member of the Kansas House of Representatives prior to enlisting as an assistant surgeon in the Union Army’s Pennsylvania Volunteers during the Civil War. Grube’s tenancy here was brief. In December 1868 Grube wrote a letter to the Oregon Sentinel positively identifying the existence of smallpox in Jacksonville and recommending treatment for the dreaded disease. Smallpox soon reached epidemic proportions and by late spring had taken the lives of over 40 town residents. Grube himself succumbed to the disease only a year after he purchased this residence. He is buried in the Jacksonville Cemetery.

Judge’s House #1

May 2, 2017

The house known as the “Sheriff’s House” at 410 East D Street in Jacksonville was actually built for Henry Judge around 1867, shortly after he married Anna O’Grady (shown here). Judge, a pioneer in the harness and saddlery business in the West, had arrived from San Francisco in the mid-1850s, and on several occasions returned there for 3 or more years at a time. At various times, Judge was also in partnership with Jeremiah Nunan, who later married Anna’s sister, Delia O’Grady. Judge became one of Jacksonville’s wealthiest residents, and on at least 2 occasions served as a Trustee for the City.

Wilson House

April 25, 2017

The simple rectangular residence located at 370 S. Oregon Street in Jacksonville is believed to have been constructed around 1880 for James A. Wilson. Arriving in Jacksonville in the early 1860s, Wilson was for several years part owner and proprietor of one of Jacksonville’s most well established livery stables—the Union Livery Stable. Prior to 1879, the elongated narrow Oregon Street lot had a succession of 7 owners, including some of the towns more successful merchants who commonly invested in property in and around Jacksonville. Wilson owned the property until sometime after 1885, and it’s possible that the house was constructed for Wilson as a rental property since he and his family occupied a house at 410 East D Street during that entire period.

Herberger House

April 18, 2017

We fell behind schedule in posting our History Trivia this week so we’re making up for lost time!
In 1876, John Herberger was deeded almost the entire block on which the house at 415 W. Oak now stands. He had probably arrived in Jacksonville only shortly before he purchased the property. Born in Austria in 1839, Herberger was a carpenter by trade so very likely constructed his home around 1877, providing his future family a lovely view of town and valley. Sometime after 1880 he married. He and his wife, Belle Elizabeth, had one surviving child, Mary Barbara. John died of “consumption” (tuberculosis) in 1899. Per the 1990 U.S. Census, the widowed Belle became a landlady, running her home as a boarding house until her own death in 1911.

Greer House

April 11, 2017

Because the history of the house at 250 N. Oregon Street in Jacksonville is one of change, adaptation, and alteration, we identified the wrong house on 2/7/17 as the home of Dr. G.W. Greer! Here’s the correct image and info: Dr. G.W. Greer, a prominent early physician, had arrived in town by 1856. Originally from Missouri, Greer was a Benton County representative to the Oregon Territorial Council of 1854. Soon after coming to Jacksonville, he married his second wife, Irene Lumbard, who purchased this property in 1858. Mortgage documents indicate the house was constructed soon after. Greer placed regular ads for his medical services in local newspapers and leased “hospital buildings” at 3rd and C streets and then 3rd and California. However, by 1865, the Greers had sold this house and moved on. Subsequent owners have altered windows and doors, added the front portion of the house, reconstructed chimneys, made numerous changes to the rear addition, and extended the porch roof.

Griffen House

April 4, 2017

The house at 410 S. 3rd Street in Jacksonville was built between 1862 and 1864 for William M. Griffen, the eldest son of Burrell and Sally Griffen. The one-story portion of the house with its mortise and tenon floor joints would have housed William, his wife Mary Ann, and at least five of their 13 children—two of whom were born there in 1864 and 1866. William arrived in the Rogue Valley from Kentucky in 1852 with his parents who took out a donation land claim in the area of the creek which still bears their name. According to the 1860 census, William also engaged in farming, but by 1870 had become a “wagon trader.” It appears, however, that he had moved his family back to the Griffen Creek area at least 2 years earlier. In 1871 the property was deeded to Patrick McMahon, a local Irishman known for his real estate investments, whose family apparently occupied it until McMahon’s death in 1886

McMahon House

March 28, 2017

The house located at 525 South 3rd Street in Jacksonville was built as a rental property around 1880 by Patrick McMahon. McMahon, a native of Ireland, was known for his speculative real estate investments. Aside from his involvement in real estate, he was also a “mail contractor” and owned the Jacksonville and Crescent Stage Line. McMahon was also part owner of the Union Livery Stable. In the summer of 1886, McMahon died of a heart attack at age 46. His obituary described him as “a man of great energy, …one of [Jacksonville’s] most industrious and enterprising citizens.”

Cameron House #2

March 21, 2017

When Theodoric Cameron married the 33-year old widow Mollie Krause in 1892, she already owned the 1-story wood frame dwelling located at 425 South Applegate Street. Cameron had come to Oregon with a brother 40 years earlier. He had mined for 2 years before taking up a donation land claim near Eagle Point. In the late 1850s he operated a bakery at Sterlingville then moved to the Applegate where he resumed farming. 1861 found him again engaged in mercantile pursuits, this time at Uniontown—a venture that lasted over 30 years. In 1872, Cameron opened the very productive Sterling Mine, the largest hydraulic mine in Oregon. He later developed other mines in Galice and Waldo. After marrying Mollie, he managed his various business interests from Jacksonville. Cameron also played an active role in state politics, being elected as State Representative in 1885 and again in 1890, and State Senator in 1896. Despite Mollie being 30 years his junior, Cameron outlived her by 10 years, passing away in 1914 at the age of 85.

Cameron House #1

March 14, 2017

In 1890, Mary Krause bought the 1-story wood frame dwelling located at 425 S. Applegate Street for $1,000. The house now consists of 3 adjoining rectangular blocks. The first was probably constructed in the 1860s by the original owner, E.G. Reiman; the other 2 sections added in the 1870s by Andrew Hauser and his wife, Margaret Krause. Mary (better known as Mollie) Krause was Margaret’s daughter-in-law and the young widow of Frank Krause, who had been proprietor of The Oregon Sentinel newspaper for several years in the 1880s and ‘90s. Mollie subsequently married Theodoric Cameron, a prominent merchant, miner, businessman, and politician. The house is now known as the Cameron House.

Sterlingville Cemetery

March 7, 2017

Both John Cantrall and Patrick Fehely, featured in our last 2 History Trivia Tuesdays, mined in Sterlingville, located about 6 miles south of Jacksonville. An entire town sprang up after miners James Sterling and Aaron Davis struck gold in 1854 in nearby Sterling Creek. With the gold miners came boarding houses, saloons, general stores, a casino, a dance hall, a barbershop and blacksmith shop and many houses. Within 2 years Sterlingville was home to over 800 people; at its peak Sterlingville had a population over 1,500. Jacksonville’s South 3rd Street (shown here in front of the Fehely House) connected to the Sterlingville Road. In 1877, the Sterling Mine Company built the Sterling Ditch, diverting water 23 miles from the Little Applegate River for hydraulic mining. Sterling Mine quickly became the largest hydraulic mine in Oregon. But as the gold diminished, so did the township. After the Great Depression, what little business and population were left slowly faded away and nature eventually reclaimed the buildings. Today, the cemetery is the only remaining sign of Sterlingville’s existence. Patrick Fehely and his wife, Sarah Jane, are both buried there.

Patrick Fehely House

February 28, 2017

When 34-year-old Sarah Jane Fehely died from typhoid in 1871, she left her husband Patrick with 7 children to raise. Following the Fehely’s marriage 20 years earlier, the birthplaces of their children traced their travels in pursuit of gold from Wisconsin to Jacksonville. “Fehely Gulch” near Lewiston in Northern California marks one of their stops. The Fehelys arrived in Jacksonville prior to the 1860 census, which shows Patrick as a “farmer.” During the next decade he appears to have periodically left his wife and children, venturing to gold fields in Idaho and Montana and engaging in farming near Seattle. He had returned to Jacksonville prior to Sarah Jane’s death, and 2 years later built the 2-story brick home at 710 South 3rd Street to house his family. The 1870 census shows Patrick employed as a “brick maker.” He is credited with constructing many of Jacksonville’s early brick commercial buildings, possibly in partnership with fellow Irishman P.J. Ryan. Fehely’s brickyard was reportedly located behind his house on Daisy Creek and considerable amounts of brick have been found in the area.

William Moore House

February 21, 2017

The Jacksonville home currently being restored at 635 South 3rd Street was built in 1878 for William Moore. In 1899, Moore and his wife Rebecca sold the house to Sarah Cantrall. Sarah had moved to town 9 years earlier after the death of her husband John. John had come to Southern Oregon in the late 1850s and mined Sterling Creek during the boom years. In 1865, the Cantrall family left Sterling Creek and took up an 80 acre land claim across the Applegate River from Uniontown. Cantrall continued to mine and farm for the next 25 years, also purchasing adjoining land. From pioneer days to the present, a rock rimmed pool on the Cantrall’s Applegate River property was a natural swimming hole. In 1960 the Bureau of Land Management built a bridge across the river just above the swimming hole to access some of its forest tracts. The bridge made it possible for the Jackson County Parks Department to purchase 45 acres and develop a large park, now known as the popular Cantrall-Buckley Park in honor of the Cantralls and their neighbors.

The Jackson House

February 14, 2017

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. His 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. His 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.

The Greer House

February 7, 2017

The history of the Greer house at 250 N. Oregon Street in Jacksonville is one of change, adaptation, and alteration. Dr. G.W. Greer, a prominent early physician, had arrived in town by 1856. Originally from Missouri, Greer was a Benton County representative to the Oregon Territorial Council of 1854. Soon after coming to Jacksonville, he married his second wife, Irene Lumbard, who purchased this property in 1858. Mortgage documents indicate the house was constructed soon after. Greer placed regular ads for his medical services in local newspapers and leased “hospital buildings” at 3rd and C streets and then 3rd and California. However, by 1865, the Greers had sold this house and moved on. Subsequent owners have altered windows and doors, added the front portion of the house, reconstructed chimneys, made numerous changes to the rear addition, and extended the porch roof.

The Prim House

January 31, 2017

The site the Jacksonville Buggy Wash now occupies on North 5th Street was originally home to Judge Paine Page Prim. A successful lawyer, Prim represented Jackson County at the Oregon Constitutional Convention, served as a state senator and a Circuit Judge, and was a Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court for 21 years. In 1860, local contractor, David Linn, built an attractive home at this location for Prim and his growing family. However, Prim’s young wife Theresa, left at home with 2 small children, grew tired of his extended absences and disenchanted with him. She told him she no longer loved him and publicly declared him to be disagreeable and offensive. In order to save face, Prim sued for divorce. However, he never followed through and the couple eventually reconciled. A third child was the result, and Theresa learned to endure Prim’s absences by opening a millinery shop.

Keegan House #2

January 24, 2017

The Owen Keegan house located at 455 Heuners Lane in Jacksonville was actually built around 1865 for Thomas Devens—a substantial dwelling for someone listed in the 1860 census as a “common laborer.” Subsequent owners used it for speculative purposes until it was acquired in 1874 by another “laborer,” Thomas Bence, who retained ownership until 1893 when he committed suicide. Keegan acquired the property that same year and resided there until his death in 1912. In the late 1800s, Keegan served as Jackson County Jailor for over 20 years. In 1906 he was the courthouse janitor, and in 1910 he served as Jackson County Bailiff. In recent years the house has not been maintained and is currently owned by a bank. The City of Jacksonville and a local neighborhood group are trying to prevent the property from becoming a victim of “demolition by neglect.”



Strickland House – 415 East C Street

January 17, 2017

The small house now located at 415 East C Street is not only one of Jacksonville’s oldest wooden buildings, but also one of the most frequently moved. Constructed some time in the late 1850s, the house “built by Strickland” was purchased in September 1859 “for the County Clerk’s office, Sheriff’s office, and jury rooms…and removed to the Court House block” where it stood at the corner of 6th and C streets. For 25 years, all the daily business of Jackson County’s Clerk and Sheriff were conducted in this small, wood frame building. When the County Clerk and Sheriff moved into the new brick courthouse, their old offices were “set apart for the use of the Court House Janitor,” possibly as his dwelling, even though the tracks for the new railroad connecting Jacksonville with Medford were laid only a few feet from the building’s southeast corner. Sometime after 1907, the house was moved to its present site.