DOUGLAS COUNTY

Douglas county, named after Stephen A. Douglas, was created January 7, 1852, out of that part of Umpqua county which lay west of the Coast Range. In 1864 the remainder of Umpqua was joined to Douglas, and Umpqua ceased to be. Its boundaries have been several times altered, the last time in 1882, when a small strip of country was taken off its western border to give to Coos. Its area previous to this partition was 5,596 square miles. The valuation of its farms, buildings, and live-stock is nearly five million dollars. A large portion of its wealth comes from sheep-raising and wool-growing. In 1880 Douglas county shipped a million pounds of wool, worth three to four cents more per pound than Willamette Valley wool, and sold 27,000 head of sheep to Nevada farmers. The valuation of assessable real and personal property is between two and three millions. In that part of the county which touches the sea-coast lumbering and fishing are important industries. Gold-mining is still followed in some localities with moderate profits. The population is between nine and ten thousand. Roseburg, named after its founder, Aaron Rose, was made the county seat in 1853. It was often called Deer creek until about 1856-7. It is beautifully situated at the junction of Deer creek with the south fork of the Umpqua, in the heart of the Umpqua Valley, has about 900 inhabitants, and is the principal town in the valley. It was incorporated in 1868. Oakland is a pretty town of 400 inhabitants, so named by its founder, D.S. Baker, from its situation in an oak grove. Deady's Hist. Or., MS., 79. It is on Calapooya creek, a branch of the Umpqua River, and the Oregon and California railroad passes through it to Roseburg. Wilbur is another picturesque place on the line of this road, named after J.H. Wilbur, founder of the academy at that place. It is only an academic town, with two hundred population. Canonville, at the north end of the Umpqua canon, has a population of two or three hundred. Winchester, named for Colonel Winchester of the Umpqua Company, the first county seat of Douglas county, Galesville, named from a family of that name, Myrtle Creek, Camas Valley, Looking Glass, Ten Mile, Cleveland, Umpqua Ferry, Cole's Valley, Rice Hill, Yoncalla, Drain, Comstock, Elkton, Sulphur Springs, Fair Oaks, Civil Bend, Day Creek, Elk Head, Kellogg, Mount Scott, Patterson's Mills, Round Prairie, are the various smaller towns and post-offices in the valley. Scottsburg, situated at the head of tide-water on the lower river, named for Levi Scott, its founder in 1850, and by him destined to be the commercial entrepot of southern Oregon, is now a decayed mountain hamlet. The lower town was all washed away in the great flood of 1861-2, and a whole street of the upper town, with the military road connecting it with the interior country, was made impassable. Another road has been constructed over the mountains, and an attempt made to render the Umpqua navigable to Roseburg, a steamer of small dimensions and light draught being built, which made one trip and abandoned the enterprise, condemning Scottsburg to isolation and retrogression. Gardiner, situated on the north bank of the Umpqua, eighteen miles lower down - named by A.C. Gibbs after Captain Gardiner of the Bostonian, a vessel wrecked at the entrance to the river in 1850 - laid out in 1851, was the seat of customs collection for several years, during which it was presumed there was a foreign trade. At present it is the seat of two or more lumbering establishments, a salmon-cannery, and a good local trade.


Return to Bancroft's Works Main Index
Return to Bancroft's Works County Index
Return to "A Place Called Oregon"