There's Still Gold In Them Thar' Hills - Josephine County Historical Society's Passport To History

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Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Ideal Brokers, Inc.

There's Still Gold In Them Thar' Hills - Josephine County Historical Society's Passport To History

The Josephine County Historical Society's Passport To History program would not be complete without talking about GOLD!

Theres Still Gold In Them Thar Hills - Josephine County Historical Society's Passport To History

Exploring Southern Oregon is really fun!  Oregon's recorded history is quite short, and Southern Oregon's is even shorter.

It wasn't all that long ago that students in New York would be looking at a map of North America, and our area was "unexplored."

That's what makes it even more interesting, because our history is still being discovered in many areas.

As for instance, the year 1876

Theres Still Gold In Them Thar Hills - Josephine County Historical Society's Passport To History

when General George Armstrong Custer and the famed 7th Calvary were defeated at the Little Big Horn;  That same year,

Theres Still Gold In Them Thar Hills - Josephine County Historical Society's Passport To History

James Butler "Wild Bill" Hickok was killed in Saloon Number 10 in Deadwood, South Dakota.

In 1876 in Southern Oregon, Kerby (the Josephine County seat) was listed by the Department of the Interior as "Kirbyville" with an "I."  There was no Medford, it was "Fort Lane." 

Gold Beach on the coast was still Ellensburg, "One Horse Town" was shown on the map as being as large as Grants Pass, and the government spelled the Rogue River "Rougue" on the state map.

The mining town of Waldo, that was once the seat of Josephine County was the center of a gold rush.

Theres Still Gold In Them Thar Hills - Josephine County Historical Society's Passport To History

With all the history made in our part of the world, the mountains are still alive with gold seekers.

Theres Still Gold In Them Thar Hills - Josephine County Historical Society's Passport To History

The exploring of Josephine County has been our number one project for the last few months, and having met Tom Kitchar, who is the President of the Waldo Mining District, we are excited about discovering gold for ourselves.

Theres Still Gold In Them Thar Hills - Josephine County Historical Society's Passport To History

The Waldo Mining District was established in 1852 and made the laws before Oregon had its' statehood.

Tom is a full-time gold miner, and an exceptionally nice man.  He quickly showed us how to pan gold.

Funny thing, I've had panning equipment stowed in a backpack for 30 years awaiting a chance to be used.  Soon it will get its' chance!

Just a quick attempt really got us excited!  There's nothing quite like the thrill of washing through a pan full of gravel, and finding "color" in the bottom!

A note on the boomtown of Waldo.  Originally called "Sailors' Diggings", the town had a reputation of being a "wide open" town, and therefore was a natural draw for a "rougher crowd."

Eventually, Waldo followed so many mining towns, as better gold strikes caused the miners to migrate away, its' post office closed.  Then, in the 1930's it was discovered that the town had been built on a "gold rich" gravel bar, and a mining company purchased and mined the entire townsite.

Only the cemetery remains.  I guess it could be said that the cemetery residents were an exception to the "you can't take it with you" rule.

Please visit the Josephine County Historical Society's website Theres Still Gold In Them Thar Hills - Josephine County Historical Societys Passport To History for more information on thePassport To History

program.

Below are the links to my earlierJosephine County Historical Society's Passport To History blogs

Introduction      Caveman      Schmidt House

Blind George's Newsstand      Grants Pass Historic Homes Tour

Historic District Tour      Grants Pass Pharmacy      Rogue Theatre

Hugo Community Church      Haines Apple Tree      Ament Dam

Grants Pass Cemeteries      Pottsville      Sportsman Park

Griffin Park      Lake Selmac      Granite Hill Cemetery

Pleasant Valley Cemetery        Josephine County Bridges

Grants Pass Fire Department    Reinhart Volunteer Park   Wolf Creek Inn

Applegate Trail Interpretive Center        Golden Townsite

Grave Creek Covered Bridge        Robertson Bridge

Wilderville Store and Post Office Wilderville Cemetery

Granite Tombstone Quarry      Merlin Park - Veterans Walk of Honor

Gotcher Cemetery      Provolt Store      Missouri Flat Cemetery

Siskiyou Smokejumper Base      Rough & Ready Botanical Wayside

Rough & Ready Lumber Co.      Pacifica, A Garden In The Siskiyous

Riverside Park      Daily Courier      Daily Courier "Boss" Voorhies

Barnstormers Theatre    Ghosts In Southern Oregon National Monument

The Chateau at Oregon Caves National Monument

Oregon Caves National Monument      Hugo Ladies Club

Kerbyville Museum    Stith-Naucke House    Bigfoot Cavern Bar and Grill

Croxton Pioneer Memorial Park     Newman United Methodist Church

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Topic:
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Location:
Oregon Josephine County Grants Pass
Groups:
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Moving to Oregon
Posts to Localism
Tags:
gold mining
passport to history

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Todd Clark
Broker - Beaverton, Oregon Real Estate Expert - (503) 524-9494
Keller Williams Realty

We let our kids do this for a long time on a few of the rivers down your way, we didn't have the heart to tell them what they had found was actually fools gold rather than the real thing until we were on our way home. They said they still had fun though and I guess that is what counts.

September 09, 2010 01:16 AM
Rainer
361,535
Gary Swanson
RE/MAX Ideal Brokers, Inc.

I remember the same experience in Colorado, as a teenager. What a disappointment to have envisioned myself a millionaire for such a short time.

September 09, 2010 01:42 PM
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