Although not quite as famous as Hollywood, the Rogue Valley has long been a part of the motion picture industry. “Grace’s Visit to the Rogue River Valley,” produced in 1914 for display at the Panama-Pacific Exposition in San Francisco, was the first film made in Southern Oregon. “Last of the Wild Horses,” a western made in 1948, and “Girl of the Limberlost,” a 1989 PBS television special, are just two of the films that have used the valley’s historic setting and local residents to provide a dramatic background. This photograph is thought to show members of the crew that worked on a western film in the Prospect area during the 1920s that included Pinto Colvig, a Jacksonville lad who ran away to join the circus and eventually spent a large part of his career working in Hollywood for Walt Disney.
The United States Hotel in Jacksonville is pictured shortly after its completion in 1881. Built on the site of an earlier hotel of the same name that burned in 1873, the hotel was operated by Mme. Jeanne DeRoboam Holt. Legend has it that she married brickmaker George Holt with this hotel project in mind. At the right are the salesman’s sample rooms of the rival New State Hotel.
School friends gather about 1895 at H.C. Mackey’s studio in Medford for this very balanced photograph. The curved-handled umbrellas are on the extreme right and left. Behind them are the hats with turned-up brims and curling feathers. The two ladies with open umbrellas have matching strap cloak closures. The friends from left to right are Miss Mary Davidson (Mrs. Brownlee), Miss Emma Coleman (Mrs. G.N. Anderson), Mrs. Mary Peters (Gus Newberry’s sister), Miss Elva Galloway, Miss Robin Warner (Mrs. John G. Gore), unidentified, Miss Emma Read, Miss Fannie Hoskins (Mrs. J.H. Cochran), Miss Della Pickel. Standing in center back is Professor Gregory.
Bert Nason was a ranger at the Mill Creek Ranch guard station, which was halfway between Prospect and Union Creek. Shown here about 1920, Nason was well known for his bean pie. A life-long bachelor, he attended most community affairs, and when food was called for he made a white navy bean pie.
Between 1920 and 1930, Medford’s population doubled. Existing schools were overflowing at all levels and the school board found it necessary to rent outside rooms in two churches and the armory. In January 1931, by a vote of 12 to 1, a $265,000 bond issue was approved for the construction of two new schools and an addition to an existing school. Begun in March, the new schools were ready for occupancy in September. Superintendent E.H. Hedrick stated, “The building program went through in record time and without a hitch.” In the new high school on South Oakdale Avenue, the school board was particularly impressed with the special features of the splendidly equipped science, cooking and sewing laboratories.
This motley crew is not the cast from some strange comic opera that they appear to be! It’s the baseball team from the Medford Elks Lodge out to have some fun in 1913. Originally founded in 1868 by a group of New York entertainers looking for something to do on a Sunday afternoon, the Benevolent and protective Order of Elks conducts programs for handicapped children, sponsors scholarships, and supports the work of Veterans Hospitals, among many other benevolent projects.
Trips through the wild sections of our rivers have not changed much in the last seventy years, but the food has. Homemade doughnuts are seldom part of a meal on river excursions today. This unnamed gentleman has prepared another dozen doughnuts to add to those on the table behind the stove, circa 1920.
The Weeks & Orr Bear Creek Orchards in Medford in 1895. The building and wagons are filled with pears.
Ross Dollarhide rides his bucking bronco Tracy at the Elks rodeo, circa 1914