Karewski’s Grist Mill

June 4, 2019

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