Just wanted to start off the new post with a photo I captured. I am mesmerized with this amazing image from a few years back, taken in our Beloved Bandon-by-the-Sea.
Just wanted to start off the new post with a photo I captured. I am mesmerized with this amazing image from a few years back, taken in our Beloved Bandon-by-the-Sea.
My, my, my. You are in for a real treat with this amazing upcoming 2nd Annual Jefferson State FLIXX Fest… I have always wondered about film festivals… Ashland, Oregon has one every year and although I think the concept sounds MARVELOUS and I have still never attended it, I certainly know film festivals exist.
I finally experienced my first ever film festival in September, 2015. It was the 1st Annual Jefferson State FLIXX Fest held in the town of Fort Jones, Siskiyou County, California. We’re talking way up at the Oregon border, in rugged, gorgeous, extreme northern California. I will shout from our mountain tops: LAST YEAR’S FLIXX FEST WAS BEYOND PHENOMENAL!!
I learned a lot in a few days, viewing a select group of independent films that were chosen to be featured in that first ever FLIXX Fest. I was treated to films with depth… films with heart and soul… films that made me THINK! … films that made me laugh and films that made me cry, with both joy and sadness… Above all else, I was entertained. My wick of interest has been lit by these cool independent people teaching me about life and enlightening me about new concepts. I have been transformed through their unique and creative films, pondering concepts that I had no awareness of before, and this flame burns to explore more film festivals.
I was incredibly blessed to have already made acquaintance with the group of individuals who put on this film festival, earlier in 2015. I was invited to embed their Official Program inside our September Jefferson Backroads Publication and we ran with it. This gave the film festival attendees something additional to read between films. Lots of local history, events and businesses frost the pages of Jefferson Backroads each month and the joining of it all just delighted every one of us! It was one of the coolest projects I have ever been a part of. Scroll down on our Publication Page at www.jeffersonbackroads.com and download the September 2015 edition of Jefferson Backroads to see the first FLIXX fest program, if you like.
I am grateful to be publishing their 2nd Annual Official Program in our upcoming September edition and I am here to say IT IS GORGEOUS!! Created by their extremely talented graphics design team, it will blow your minds. I could not be more proud or more honored to share their amazingness with you: the delightful readers of our happy little local publications.
Check out their website at www.flixxfest.org and click around on the Schedule and Films tabs. You will be able to read some amazing film descriptions to get a taste of what is coming our way the long weekend of September 21-25, 2016 at their festival. Many other events and activities are going on in Siskiyou County the same weekend such as the Montague Hot Air Balloon Fair, McCloud Bike-Toberfest and Yreka’s Sizzling September Car Show, so start planning and making reservations now if you want to secure your FLIXX Fest tickets.
See you at The FLIXX FEST!! It’s going to be another phenomenal year… I KNOW IT!
You know that feeling you get when you walk into a home and all the decor and neat items the people have displayed are so cool you just can’t get enough? Well it happened to me again last week. I was honored to have been invited to the home of Gerry and Marlene Ludlow and what I found there was downright exciting!
First let me say that you can gaze upon, marvel at and even purchase some of the truly amazing items these two have created at the Siskiyou County Fiber Arts Show, being held at the Snow Creek Studio in Mt. Shasta City.
As individuals, Gerry and Marlene have many unique artistic skills and talents. As the perfect peanut butter and jelly team, their combined efforts deliver creations that are out of this world! Their whimsical hand-crafted, hand-painted wooden “boxes” (above) are just one example of their joint talents. He builds the boxes and they both take turns painting in fun imaginative styles! Their boxes even have names! Cute fun adorable names! Some of the wooden boxes are more elegant in their old world craftsmanship and are perfect for holding your precious treasures.
The first items I saw and fell in love with that Gerry creates in his perfect wood shop are his hand-crafted wooden knitting needles. These are stunning! I bought a set and I don’t even KNIT! I have always been a crocheter from wayyy back but the smooth and perfect feel of these creative wooden tools is impossible to resist. You can choose a set of these heirlooms for your very own at Weston’s Quilting and Crafts in Mt. Shasta City along with delicious yarns, threads and fibers…
Continuing on through their gallery, I mean their home, I found a delightful work of art that Marlene created. It is so unique! Hand-painted face, leather nose, perfectly placed rovings for its fur, patchwork fabric background, oh my! This is a one of a kind!
Everywhere I looked in their home I saw something else to ooooh and ahhhh about. He makes gorgeous musical dulcimers, she hand paints fish on the walls of their gorgeous ocean themed, hand-made thick ceramic tiled bathroom, and they both built the most incredible solid 4×4 foot wooden coffee table with hand carved branches and leaves surrounding it and decorating the many drawers!
Below is a wooden cabinet the two of them built and painted. Makes me smile just thinking of their sweet artistic realm!
My hat is off to Gerry and Marlene for sharing their beautiful works of art. The love and attention to detail that pour out of their partnered creations, surrounding them each day in their perfectly unique artistic styles is solid and so very inspiring.
I hope you take the time to go see the Fiber Arts Show at Snow Creek Studio and witness all the magic for yourself! Create cool stuff… and enjoy your summer!
It took from 1850 until December 16, 1887 before the railroad had the last piece of rail connecting San Francisco with Portland. It was with great angst that the railroad decided to bypass Yreka, the county seat, in favor of a different route via Montague. But, with determination and pluck Yreka set out to build a connecting line from Montague to Yreka so our residents could easily access the direct rail line for shipping and travel.
Many Yrekans took advantage of the train routes, but travel from Yreka to San Francisco and back was a mainstay for many Yreka shippers, merchants and travelers. It is interesting to note that special excursions were often advertised about the beautiful Shasta Route and the lovely scenery one could enjoy along this route from San Francisco all the way to Portland. In 1915, during the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco, Southern Pacific had special round trip tickets from Montague to San Francisco. A 9 Day Exposition Rate, good with stopovers was $17.00 per person for the round trip. A 10 Day rate was on sale for a round trip cost of only $14.25.
If a person traveled from San Francisco to Yreka on this route their journey would begin at the Ferry Building in San Francisco at the foot of Market Street. The ferry boats of the Southern Pacific would take the traveler across to bay to the Oakland Pier. Boarding the train at Oakland the traveler would ride along the eastern shore of the bay and quickly arrive at Port Costa where the train actually was loaded on a ferry boat and was carried across the Carquinez straits. From there the train would be able to get back on the railroad tracks and head to Sacramento. Once they passed through Sacramento they would head north on the advertised “Road of a Thousand Wonders.”
The passengers would pass Mt. Lassen, chug through Redding and on up through the Sacramento River Canyon. They would pass Castella, view the beautiful Castle Crags, and arrive at Dunsmuir. Near Dunsmuir they would next pass by the beautiful Mossbrae Falls and stop at Shasta Springs which was known as one of the best all-the-year-round resorts! The passengers were able to stop long enough for a drink of the famous sparking Shasta water. The view of gorgeous Mt. Shasta would be seen as the passengers wound through the canyon and past the base of the mountain. Black Butte, also known as Muir’s Peak, was another advertised site along the way. The train would pass into the Shasta Valley via Edgewood on through Gazelle and Grenada and make its way to Montague. Once at Montague a passenger would either take a taxi service to Yreka or ride the short line to town. The Shasta Route continued as far as Portland.
This kind of service for Yrekans was available for many years, but unfortunately much of the route is no longer easily available for passengers. Those that do ride the train miss most of the beautiful scenery as the time table runs past the most scenic areas in the dark of night.
Well, very sad news… this lovely, historic and majestic place burned to the ground on Christmas morning, 2015… The history that you will read below was written and published just over a year ago…….. there are already plans to re-build this amazing place… if you are interested in offering any support and/or assistance, please go to:
E Clampus Vitus currently has 42 Chapters and one Outpost located in nine western States. When Clampers in new territory want to start their own chapter they must petition Grand Council with the blessing of a sponsoring Chapter.
Southern Oregon Clampers, sponsored by the Yreka Humbug Chapter 73, began their official E Clampus Vitus existence in 2004 after being recognized by Grand Council as the Umpqua Joe Outpost. The new organization erected their first plaque at the Butte Creek Flour Mill in Eagle Point, Oregon. During the Outpost’s third Doin’s held in May 2006, the plaque was dedicated on a sunny Saturday. Twenty five Red Shirts and assorted community members witnessed the first ECV plaque unveiled in the State of Oregon. During the last 70 or 80 years, ECV has erected over 3,000 historical monuments.
One of the guiding hands for the new organization was one Leo Champagne. On a trip to Medford to view the historic Hanley Farm he and his wife met Bob Russell, new owner of the Butte Creek Mill. After listening to Bob talk, Leo visited the mill and thought to himself, “We need to plaque this place.” With Bob Russell’s permission, Leo presented the idea to Outpost officers. Wagon Masters Glenn Hearrell and Zeke Van de Bogart approved the project. With the go ahead, Glenn took matters under his control, visited the Mill, did research and came up with wording for the plaque. Since the Outpost didn’t have much money at the time, a low cost solution was required. Glenn acquired 1/16 inch thick brass sheeting, had the wording etched and mounted the plaque on the Butte Creek Mill near the main doorway.
Dedication ceremonies followed a kick off breakfast of mill ground flour pancakes. Speechifyin’ was conducted by Leo, sponsoring ECV Humbug Chapter 73’s Noble Grand Humbug Jim McConnell, Zeke and Glenn. Bob Russell and Clamper helpers couldn’t get the keg tapped behind the old 1885 Placerville saloon back bar, so canned beer a plenty was made available to all dedication ceremony participants. Leo had also arranged for both former and current mill owners, Peter Crandall and Mr. Russell, to speak.
Bob Russell and his wife bought the mill in 2005 from Mr. Crandall. A decorated World War II veteran, Peter Crandall owned the mill for 33 years before selling. At the dedication Crandall spoke about how he came to own the grist mill, his restoration activities, the fight to retain water rights and the value of whole grain food. Local miller Mike Hawkins added to Peter’s discussion by sharing considerations for milling grain into stone ground flour.
Following these speakers, Russell led a tour of the mill. On that May 6th day ECV Redshirts learned how water driven belts and pulleys turn the mill stones as wheat grain dropped from a hopper above. Although the plaque wording conflicts with the actual dedication date, Clampers take that in stride as many of their activities don’t always turn out exactly as planned as noted above. Situated on Little Butte Creek, the mill is the last water powered grist mill commercially operating west of the Mississippi River. Built in 1872 when Ulysses Grant was president, it began its first year of operation almost 150 years ago. Serving as “community hub,” farmers traveled many miles to reach the mill. Waiting to have their grain ground into flour, wagons lined the Old Military Road at Snowy Butte Creek Mill during harvest time. The miller was paid for his services in 1873 by keeping every eighth bushel of flour which he sold in the general store as Snowy Butte flour. Old timers say when the mill operated in the nineteenth century, pitchforks were used to spear salmon in the mill raceway. Local Indians and farmers would drive wagons into the creek and shovel salmon into the back. Little Butte Creek, a major salmon and steelhead fishery, was most likely the source of food for bald eagles in the area, after which the town of Eagle Point was named.
On the National Register of Historic places, the mill has a fabulous web site describing its history, country and antique stores and hosted events. An excerpt from their web site below describes how the mill operates. (See photo of grinding stone on top of Page 32.)
“The Butte Creek Mill is not a water wheel operated mill, rather the water in the millrace flows into a penstock twelve feet deep, where its weight provides pressure to activate the turbine that runs the wheels, belts and pulleys. This movement also turns the large millstones that grind the grain. To reach the grinding stones, the grain is fed into a hopper that in turn feeds it into the “eye” of the stones. In about three hours, it is ground to flour or cracked wheat depending on how the stones are set.
The mill has a basement where water power is harnessed and three floors where grain is received, stored and ground. Architecturally the building is interesting because the frame was raised first. The beams were mortised together and pinned with hard wooden pegs. The walls of whipsawed lumber were nailed to the frame with square nails. Foundation pillars are two feet square and were hewn with a broad ax.”
The turbine discussed above, dates from 1916 and is still in use. The original turbine dating from 1872 is on display on the front porch at the mill.
Majestic Mount McLoughlin rising to 9,495 feet stood sentinel over the weekend Doin’s Clampout. Held at Medford’s Elks Lodge picnic grounds along the Rogue River, Clampers arriving from Oregon and California rolled out their bed rolls and had a grand time. Frolicking friars of yore would have been proud. Dining in the shadow of the snow covered volcanic peak was followed by Bob Russell being “taken in” by the Ancient and Honorable Order. His sponsor, Glenn Hearrell, mused he was probably “taken” by the old fraternal order.
Well worth your time, a visit to the Snowy Butte Mill should be on everyone’s “bucket list” when traveling through the Medford, Oregon area. Allow at least a half a day for the visit. Meet mill owner Bob Russell who is most cordial and easily accommodates on-site tours seven days a week. Learning how grain is ground into flour and the history of this location is a terrific way to spend the day. Walk away with wholesome mill products from the general store, and your visit will be complete.
To visit the Butte Creek Grist mill and view the ECV plaque, take Interstate 5 to Medford, Oregon and use exit 30 east bound. This road is called Crater Lake Highway 62. Travel ten miles to Eagle Point and turn right on Linn Road. Proceed to the first stop sign, which is Royal, and turn left. Their address is 402 N. Royal Avenue in Eagle Point, Oregon. A map and other information can be found on the mill web site: http://buttecreekmill.com.
Check out their Facebook page:
Facebook Butte Creek Mill
Address: Butte Creek Mill
402 N. Royal Avenue
Eagle Point, OR 97524
Phone Number: (541) 826-3531
A terrific booklet titled Historic Butte Creek Mill by Barbara Hegne can be obtained at the Eagle Point Historical Society Museum.
Ft. Jones plaque. Photograph courtesy E Clampus Vitus.
For Fort Jones’ 2010 September sesquicentennial celebration, E Clampus Vitus Humbug Chapter along with Scott Valley Bank commemorated Fort Jones and the bank with a granite plaque. James “Dirt” Ordway, Chapter President, was responsible for leading the charge to get this historical marker completed. James, along with Clampers Dan Weimers from Montague, Glenn Hearrell from Grants Pass, and Lisa Wright representing the bank, researched and prepared the plaque wording.
A brochure advertising Fort Jones sesquicentennial anniversary gave James the idea to do this particular plaque subject matter. Seeking council from Ex Noble Grand Humbug Jim McConnell, and help from Lisa to make sure the plaque was factual, James and Lisa insured the project came to fruition. Dan worked with Eric Brophy from Oregon Granite to do the engraving and master craftsman Hearrell secured and mortared the plaque into the south side of the bank building next to the ATM (automated teller machine).
Saturday sesquicentennial celebrations began with a hearty September 4th — 7 a.m. pancake breakfast provided by the Fort Jones Fire Department. E Clampus Vitus sold hamburgers for the Saturday parade festivities providing a noon time repast. The Chapter also participated in the parade; Dan Weimers drove his blue 1933 Chevy pickup truck with Glenn Hearrell and Leo “Brut” Champagne in the back holding up the ECV banner. (See Photo below.)
Dan Weimers drove his blue 1933 Chevy pickup truck with Glenn Hearrell and Leo “Brut” Champagne in the back holding up the ECV banner. Photograph courtesy E Clampus Vitus.
After the parade the plaque was dedicated with speechifying by James, Dan and bank representatives. The plaque is easy to locate and view in Fort Jones on the side wall of the Scott Valley bank next to the ATM right there on Main Street.
Known for its founder, Adam Baker Carlock, the bank has been an area institution for 105 years. Carlock was born in Dark County, Ohio in 1833. In 1852, gold fever found him seeking his fortune in Weaverville. Like many entrepreneurs such as Sam Brannan, Carlock discovered mining was less profitable than supplying miners with tools of the trade.
About 160 years ago on the rough and tumble frontier of California’s northern diggin’s, Scott Valley Bank, California’s oldest independent bank, began in its earliest form. In 1856, Carlock made his way to Deadwood in Scott Valley where he opened a general merchandise store. By 1858, he began holding gold in trust for miners and merchants.
When Fort Jones became a town and overland Stage Stop in 1860, Carlock moved from Deadwood. He quickly became an important civic figure serving the community as merchant, banker, insurance agent, postmaster (appointed by Abe Lincoln), investor and state senator.
In 1870, Carlock formed A.B. Carlock Banking Company. He reincorporated as Carlock Banking Co. in 1902. In 1910 he retired and sold his banking and insurance interests to George W. Smith who also owned the bank of A.H. Denny. Later that year Smith merged both interests renaming the new company Scott Valley Bank.
1948 Deadwood plaque dedication. Photograph courtesy Ft. Jones Museum.
In 2009 I was Humbug (Club president) of the Yreka E Clampus Vitus Humbug No. 73 Chapter. My summer Doin’s was the Scott Summit Saloon and Plaque Tour. One of the stops we made along the Saturday route was the old town site of Deadwood on Greenhorn Road. It was right there, as we viewed the vandalized plaque, that Dan Weimers and I had the notion of repairing the historic monument. I thought then it would be a perfect function to rededicate it. Dan talked to the Siskiyou County Historical Society about the notion and to obtain their permission. ECV agreed to refurbish and repair the monument, and in return we were able to place a small bronze plaque below the original 1948 plaque commemorating our rededication.
Glenn Hearrell with help from Jim Ragsdale did the repair work and clean up. The plaque had been shot up several times; people tried to pry the old bronze plaque off the rock monument. We applied new epoxy and tightened the 1948 bronze plaque as securely as we could.
I prepared the wording for our little rededication plaque and had it cast in bronze for mounting. We invited members of the SCHS to our rededication ceremony which included an event hand out discussing the history of the old town site.
On the first weekend in October we held our overnight Doin’s and campout right there on the Deadwood town site. Or did I mean to say Clampout!
Perfect sunny weather Saturday October 3, 2009, greeted the plaque rededication ceremony. Dan Weimers, Chapter Historian, did a presentation along with John McDonagh who lives in the area. John knows a lot about Deadwood history. Almost 30 Redshirts attended the dedication ceremonies along with a few civilians and SCHS representative.
Wording of the Deadwood Plaque.
The following excerpts concerning the history of Deadwood come from the 2009 dedication event handout I compiled using various source material:
By 1849 the California Gold Rush spawned interest in the Siskiyou County region. Lindsay Applegate, traveling south from Jacksonville, Oregon in 1849 to mine along Beaver Creek conducted the first mining in this region. In June 1850, prospectors from the Trinity River crossed the Salmon-Trinity Alps and found enough gold to whet their appetites. John W. Scott, from whom the valley and river were later named, discovered gold at “Scott’s Bar.”
Within a year, the “northern mines” were drawing prospectors from every part of the world, perhaps as many as 20,000. Siskiyou County swelled. Without roads, the only manner of travel was by foot or mule train; pack trains began crossing the rugged terrain of Western Siskiyou County’s mountain ranges, becoming a lifeline to the area. The May 14, 1851 Sacramento Union reported, “Over 1,000 pack mules left here again today loaded for the northern mines.” From 1849 to 1856 they constituted the sole form of transportation in and around Siskiyou County. Before long, 2,000 pack mules were traversing the region’s narrow, rugged, and often snowy trails each year.
Deadwood, a settlement established at the forks of Deadwood and Cherry Creeks during the summer of 1851, once grew to great prominence. Deadwood’s two creeks flow into McAdams Creek and finally the Scott River. Folklore has it that a prospector making a new discovery looked down and noted a dead tree near the creek, so he called the site Deadwood.
“Desolate though it is now, Deadwood was once a crowded, smoky, smelly tent city filled with people and commerce and hope. Imagine it…. churned mud paths between canvas cabins that lent little shelter and less privacy. The smells of wood smoke, burned camp coffee, frying bacon, and inadequate sanitary arrangements overlaid dreams seductive enough to lure sensible people from their comfortable former lives.”
By 1853, there was a store, butcher shop and trading post. In the spring of 1854, smallpox took its toll. Later a second butcher shop opened up in the trading post. Two log houses and one shake house were erected in the town proper. When rich diggings were found along nearby McAdams Creek, more and more miners swarmed the area. Deadwood became a major center of activity, second only to Yreka in regional importance.
A county convention held in 1856 resulted in Deadwood losing its bid for county seat to Yreka by just two votes. By 1857, there were three stores, two stables, three saloons, two hotels, a blacksmith shop, a butcher shop, bakery, dairy and several residences.
Deadwood’s fame receded nearly as quickly as it rose. Fort Jones, a thriving new community in the valley below, competed for business and trade. On Thursday morning, December 26, 1861, a large fire burned down most of Deadwood. Later fires destroyed what little remained of the town.
Mining continued in the general area until the early twentieth century. Water wheels first employed to generate power were used in stamp mill and mining operations. Later dredgers were used on the creeks. Today you can see the mining tailings left over as you drive along Greenhorn road.
To view this historical monument take Exit 773 west off of Interstate 5 in Yreka, California and proceed north on Main Street. Turn left on Greenhorn Road and continue past the park. Continue over the Greenhorn Divide for about 10 miles to Deadwood which will be on the right hand side of the road. Turn right into the old town site which is about 100 yards off the main road. After six miles of paved road Greenhorn Road becomes a smooth graded dirt/gravel road. If you end up in Fort Jones you missed the turn by about another 10 miles.
To learn more about Deadwood view following web site; it has a well written short write up: www.siskiyouhistory.org.
Photo of Modern Day Wilderville Store in Wilderville, Oregon was provided by E Clampus Vitus.
In 2009 when I was Humbug of the Yreka Chapter of E Clampus Vitus, our Oregon Umpqua Joe Outpost was searching for a site to plaque. Glenn Hearrell, the founder of Umpqua Joe had recruited John “Dick” Tracey, owner of the Wilderville general store. After talking to John and his wife they hatched a plan to plaque the store. With all the approvals in place, Glenn and John made a first cut at the plaque wording. With the usual wifely support, John’s Widder refined the wording. With final language in hand, Outpost Wagon Master Keith Long obtained the granite from a local tile company and had Recognition Specialties chisel the lettering into the granite.
Next, a Clampsite needed to be secured. Umpqua Joe officers selected Lake Selmac and the last weekend of April for the ECV Doin’s, historical monument erection and dedication. With all of us camped out at Lake Selmac, Glenn rounded up volunteers. Friday morning a number of us drove into beautiful downtown Wilderville, installed and taped the plaque, prepared the footing, set the monument forms, and poured the concrete. By early Friday afternoon the Wilderville plaque was ready to go, covered up pending the next day’s dedication ceremony.
Saturday, April 25th was another beautiful spring day in sunny southern Oregon. The sun and sleepy eyed Clampers rose at Lake Selmac that morning. As Joaquin Miller so eloquently might have put it about the Clampers that morning “stretched themselves in the sweet, frosty air, shouted to each other in a sort of savage banter, washed their hands and faces in the gold-pan like utensil that stood by the door of their tent, and partook of the eternal beans and bacon and coffee, and coffee and bacon and beans.”
Once fed, Umpqua Joe member Ken Kudrna, who owned a bus touring company, pulled up in the sleekest eight wheeler ya ever saw. Forty Clampers boarded the bus and off we went to the plaque dedication with nary another vehicle. Once in beautiful downtown Wilderville, the party started. Dan Weimers from Humbug Chapter 73 did a history presentation for attending Redshirts and civilians. When the plaque was unveiled a hearty cry was sounded, “What say the Brethren?” The response from all was a hearty “Satisfactory.”
Little information can be found about Wilderville’s early days. An 1869 narrative furnished by long time county resident Dr. Watkins mentions the town of Slate Creek. We do know the “Slate Creek Post Office” was established September 30, 1858, and later changed to Wilderville August 12, 1878. Some believe the post office was renamed after its postmaster, Joseph Wilder.
Historic Wilderville Plaque image provided by E Clampus Vitus.
Long ago one of the greatest marble mines in the United States looked down on this community. Nearby Slate Creek runs behind Wilderville and is a tributary of the Applegate River which held tremendous reserves of placer gold. An 1870 recollection from the Kerby Jackson archives includes a colorful illustration.
“Decades ago, when my grandmother first came to Oregon and wished to live a solitary existence, she lived on an old mining claim high up on Slate Creek and made her way with nothing but a gold pan and a rifle.”
To view this historical monument and enjoy a day in beautiful Applegate River Valley, drive north on Interstate 5 to southern Oregon. Use Exit 55 and take the Highway 199 route to Crescent City. Twenty seven miles from your freeway exit Wilderville can be found by taking the turn, off 199, to Wilderville. Enjoy the plaque, and a sandwich or snacks behind the general store in their lovely garden overlooking Slate Creek.
Historic Map Sketch showing Dardanelles from the 1800s provided by E Clampus Vitus.
Oregon’s Umpqua Joe E Clampus Vitus Outpost, under the oversight of sponsoring Yreka Chapter Humbug 73, relocated and rededicated a plaque lost during the 1960s era construction of Interstate 5 and new overpass. Tom Daily, an Umpqua Joe member, brought the idea forward at a meeting about relocating an old historical plaque that had become overgrown by brush near a freeway exit. An expedition was mounted. Tromping through underbrush, Redshirts located the old plaque. Finding the original plaque presentation area and monument in disrepair and inaccessible to the public, members contacted the Oregon Governor’s office to gather information and permission. Many phone calls later resulted in the Oregon Department of Transportation agreeing to pull up the monument and place it in their maintenance yard for later ECV access.
Meanwhile, Outpost members began discussing the notion of placing the plaque nearby at the Dardanelles Store. Checking Jackson County court house records they found the people leasing the Dardanelles store didn’t own the property. Further investigation revealed the store owners name. Outpost members contacted him, receiving permission to place the plaque on his property. With the original plaque intact, the old monument base was removed. After all the research and phone calls by Keith Long, the Umpqua Joe monument erection crew was ready. Headed by Glenn Hearrell, with the help of Matt Perkins, Keith and Ruben Robles, the crew poured the concrete base for the old plaque and new rededication granite marker. Now the Outpost was ready to host their weekend Clampout Doin’s, plaque unveiling and dedication ceremony.
By the Friday night before the dedication things were jumpin’ at the Doin’s Clampsite. Umpqua Joe’s cook crew kicked off the weekend spring function with a feast fit fer large bellied Clampers. Chief Clamp Chef and Old Prospector Glenn “stumble” Hearrell served Umpqua Joe’s “Braves!” Brave Clampers then sampled a Friday five course chow down consisting of barbequed baby back ribs, salmon, Oregon oysters and Oregon red (chili) complimented by a nice salad. Yours truly did a little on the job trainin’ fer some of the young Bucks wantin’ ta know how ta cook up a hundred half shells or two of oysters. Gary “Gato Pelon” Kammerer and Ricky “Rickshaw Walks Naked With Dogs” Schrier did the oyster shuckin’. Hallelujah! Saturday morning rolled in with perfect sunny warm weather, unbelievable for Oregon that time of year. With barely time for breakfast, Wagon Master Zeke called the column of ECV vehicles together for a short march down Interstate 5 to the Dardanelles.
April 26, 2008 under sunny southern Oregon skies at the Dardanelles store, Humbug Chapter and their Outpost rededicated one of southern Oregon’s famous historical plaques. Coordinating the event, Outpost Vice Wagon Master Keith “Longhorn” Long, Old Prospector Glenn Hearrell, Yreka’s Humbug Steve “Zeke” Van de Bogart and store owner Donnie Stoner conducted an outstanding ceremony attended by 40 Redshirts and approximately 25 civilians Dardanelles’ proprietress Donnie spoke to the crowd followed by the usual retinue of blessings and toasts from Umpqua Joe’s appointed indignitaries. To say the least, the Plaquin’ was a grand success. Pictures just can’t do it justice. Ya should’a been there. This was an outstanding day, outstanding historical monument resurrection and dedication.
Image of Dardanelles Plaque provided by E Clampus Vitus.
Looking back in time over 150 years ago, entrepreneur Davis Evans first promoted the area as Evansville in 1857 where he operated a ferry across the Rogue River at the Dardanelles. He later constructed the first toll bridge in the area. However, it was William Green T ’Vault who named the settlement Dardanelles. T ’Vault was a prominent southwest Oregon pioneer who started this settlement south of, and across the Rogue River from the present town of Gold Hill just upriver from Rock Point. At this point the river passes from the wider valley into a much more constricted section, with hills close on each side. Apparently this natural setting suggested the Strait of the Dardanelles to T ‘Vault, although it could hardly be more than a suggestion. The original Dardanelles gets its name from the city Dandanus.
Dardanelles, Oregon became a place of importance during the Rogue Valley pioneer days. Its post office was established October 19, 1852, with William G. T ‘Vault postmaster. T ‘Vault’s log home was designed with small holes all the way around it. The holes were just big enough to stick a gun barrel through to fight off the Rogue Indians. All of the Euro-American settlers would rush to T ’Vault’s home to seek protection.
T ‘Vault, a newspaper editor of prominence with a wide range of interests, was married to Ronda Boone Burns, granddaughter of Daniel Boone.
To view this plaque take Interstate 5 to southern Oregon. Use exit 40 and proceed to the west side of the freeway. About one hundred yards or so up the north side of the road is the Dardanelles general store. There in the parking lot you will find the plaque. Just up the road at Exit 43 is the Del Rio winery where you can also view the Rock Point Hotel and Stage Stop plaque.