NEWSLETTER - Jan. 2008 
COW CREEK HISTORICAL SOCIETY
NEWSLETTER
and ‘OLD HOUSE’ UPDATE
January, 2008

We’re pleased to report that our Old House HAS HEAT - ! Not without a struggle, however. You know that saying about “..the best laid plans of mice and man...”? We had hopes that the Murdock grant would put heat in the house with more than enough left over to finish the 14 rooms. Yeh, sure...........

Right off the bat - no pun intended - the heat installer encountered BATS in the attic. LOTS of the little critters, which necessitated first of all, removal - then removal of what they left behind - then sanitization. Once that was completed, the contractor had to find all the little, tiny holes and plug them so bats could not get back in.

Bats removed; heat installation moved forward - some carpentry work was required to accommodate the heat ducts - then more electrical wiring and everything came to a screeching halt - ! There wasn’t enough AMPERAGE coming in, to power the heat units - ! Pacific Power was consulted and a HUGE estimate was received for a new transformer and heavier line to the house. After almost a months’ delay waiting for Pacific Power, the installation was made. Then new power boxes had to be put in and we were sweating bullets by the time all the problems were taken care of - and our Murdock grant had shrunk by nearly $18,000 that we hadn’t reckoned on. On the 30th of November the Old House had heat and the 14 rooms remained unfinished.
We are within $2500 of the dollar-for-dollar match of the remaining $15,000 of the Murdock grant. Deadline is August, 2008. Numerous fund raisers are planned: a spring fashion show (clothes to be furnished by Gottschalks) and when weather allows, a major, one-day only yard sale. Other events are in the planning stages.

Members have repeatedly been asked for more historic information as was done in the first newsletters. That history concerned the Old House. Now we can turn to the Cow Creek valley in general. This encompasses a BIG area - Stagecoach Pass to Canyon Mountain to the very upper reaches of Cow Creek. To start with an overview of historical events, we went to a 10 page article put together a few years ago by life-long resident Lynne Diltz and high school teacher Randy Shepherd. They put together a ‘thumbnail’ sketch of historical events aptly titled “HISTORIC COW CREEK VALLEY....Looking Back.” and beginning in 1827 when explorer and trapper Peter Skeen Ogden camped along Cow Creek.

In 1829, Alexander McCloud and Hudson Bay Company trappers traveled through the valley on their way to California from Fort Vancouver.

1846 - The United States and Great Britain agree to divide the Oregon Territory at the 49th parallel. In that same year, Jessie Applegate and his brother Lindsay decided to blaze a new trail to the south. They roughly marked a possible route for wagons that traversed the Cow Creek valley.

1848 - Oregon is made a United States Territory.

1850 - The Donation Land Law is passed by the Federal Government to encourage settlers and the first settlers come to the Cow Creek valley.

1852 - On January 7th, Douglas County was created out of that portion of Umpqua County. It was so named to honor U.S. Senator Stephen A. Douglas of Illinois, who was a congressional advocate of Oregon statehood.

1853 - Gold was discovered up Starvout at Hogum Placer. In September, Cow Creek band of Umpqua Indians are forced to give up their claim to lands. They will be paid 20 annual payments of $11,000.

1855 - Rogue River Indians went on the warpath, attacking and killing settlers. A fort was built as part of the Redfield home. Fort Smith and Fort Elliff are built elsewhere in the valley for the protection of the settlers. US Army engineers publish first map detailing their extensive exploration of Southern Oregon which included our valley.

1863 - First white school, called Maple Grove, located near the Barton (Sether) Cemetery.

1868 - July: Daniel A. Levens (Levens Stage Station) is robbed of $9000 in gold dust by a Chinese employee.

1882 - Lorenzo D. Montgomery obtained a patent on land claim of 161 acres from the US government. Montgomery granted a 100 foot wide strip of right-of-way to the O & C Railroad. The first sawmill was constructed by Soloman Abraham, who supplied timber for railroad construction. New Odessa, a Russian-Jewish community was established east of Julia (Glendale) on what later became the Sether Homestead in 1902.

1883 - Sol Abraham recorded the plot for town of Julia, giving it his wife’s first name. A Post Office was established in February, with L. D. Montgomery as postmaster. On May 13th of this year, the first passenger train arrived. In August the name of the town was changed to Glendale. The first permanent general store was opened by Abraham, Wheeler and Company.

1884 - Acting as agent for the O & C Railroad, Sol Abraham purchased rights-of-way through two homesteads and the railroad continued to lay tracks to the south.

1885 - Glendale’s “tent town” days are over; a more stable population begins building permanent homes. “Drifters, hoodlums and ruffians” move on to the next train terminal. The town now has ten stores, two livery stables and the Palace Hotel where one can get a hot meal for 25 cents.

(To be continued in the next newsletter................)