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Enlightening Others to the Wonderment of the Past


We work to preserve the unique history of the West. We collaborate with various organizations to hunt down accurate information, so that every plaque and monument is as unique as the story it tells.


Gray's Ranch

Henry & Rebecca McMichael were the first to settle his "Little Meadow" in about 1873. Called "Lonesome Cove Ranch" and later "McMichael Station" by newsman who stayed while writing about mining. In 1875 Nathaniel McNair established his pack trail from "Yank Ledge", carrying three tons of ore a day, connecting here with trails North and South. With rooms and meals available. It was popular with miners, packers, and travelers.


After Henry's death, Rebecca married Gebhard Karg in 1887 and continued serving guests. Divorced, she married William Anderson in 1904 and sold in 1906 to George Strong, who ran cattle. Slim & Jean Gould purchased in 1924. Then sold in 1930 to Charles "Buster" & Mary Gray, their descendants are still here today. 

By 1902, nearly a thousand men worked supporting the mines of Leland, Lower Grave Creek and Mt. Reuben. These mines made some men rich, some broke, and others, merely a living.

Dedicated June 11, 2016
Umpqua Joe Chapter 1859
The Ancient & Honorable Order of E Clampus Vitus
Charter Doin's Here June 11, 2011/6016 

Haines Apple Tree 

Historical Marker

October 9th, 1855

Josephine County Historical Society

Homestead where the Haines Family were massacred. Mr. Haines was found murdered and scalped. His young sons were killed with tomahawks. Mrs. Haines and a daughter were taken captive. Later killed and their bodies thrown into the Rogue River near Hellsgate. Volunteer militia found this horrible scene duplicated many times in the Rogue River Valley on that tragic day.

Dedicated April 16, 1993

Other Accounts of the time state Mrs. Haines and a daughter whom were taken captive, later died from influenza, and their bodies found by the Rogue River near Hellsgate.

Apple tree on this site was planted by the Haines Family.


Rogue River Wars


White settlers and miners out numberred the Oregon Indians. The United States proposed traties with the Oregon Indians moving them off their lands onto reservations.Mines started a group of volunteers call "Exterminationists". They believed the indians were going to attack them. Attacks against the Indians throughout the coastal and Rogue River Valley regions resulted in the massacre of men, women, and children of several peaceful indian tribes Attacks left the indians decimated by disease, hunger, and homelessness. October 7, 1855 the Exterminationists attacked, and murdered 8 men, 15 woman, and children in a dawn attack.

A group of "Rogue" Indians traveled up the valley attacking and killing white settlers in retaliation. THe Haines Family were among the settlers killed. (Numbers killed and the name of the "Rogue" Indian varies with personal accounts of the time.)

Updated on June 13, 2015/6020

Josephine Historical Society

Umpqua Joe Chapter 1859

The Ancient and Honorable Order of E Clampus Vitus.


Oregon Beach Gold


In 1862, gold was found in the beach sands at Whiskey Run, about ten miles north of Bandon. Gold was also found on beaches at South Slough, Bandon, Cape Blanco, Port Orford, Ophir, Pistol River, and Gold Beach.

Gold was washed onto the beaches by the rivers empyting onto them it was found in very fine particles in a layer of black sand. More gold was found in terraces far behind tobay's beaches, from the higher sea levels of prehistoric times. Some "color" is still found on beaches in stringers of black sand and up rivers feeding the beaches, including the nearby Sixes River.

Dedicated September 20, 2014/6019
Umpqua Joe 1859
The Ancient and Honorable Order of
E Clampus Vitus

Curry Historical Society
Oregon D.O.T.

Collier Memoraial State Park


     In 1947, the brothers donated a collection of antique logging equipment, some of it quite rare, to create an open-air logging museum. within the park. The equipment shows the evolution of logging and the timber industry from the age of hand axes and ox power, through the era friends as "Cap", a nickname earned in World War I, in which he served as an Army engineer captain. After the war, his mother's brother, E. P. McCormack, financed Cap's initial venture into the lumber business, the founding of Swan Lake Lumber Company east of Klamath Falls.

     When a proposed railroad line between Klamath Falls and Lakeview failed to materialize, Cap relocated his business nearer to town, and began to concentrate on making moulding. The quality of his work was high, and he was chosen to provide moulding for renovations at the White House. Even before it became politically correct, he believed that the forest should be properly managed and harvested in such a manner that it could be sustained for generations to come.

     It was Cap who foresaw the need to preserve and protect the history of the logging industry, which was in his blood. To this end, he and his brother Andy donated the land for Collier Memorial Park in order to honor their parents and the way of life which had provided so much for their family. During his lifetime, Cap saw logging change from a very dangerous and labor intensive operation requiring huge numbers of men to one dominated by technology and heavy machinery. He worked tirelessly, right up until his death in 1988, to assemble this amazing and informative collection, and make the Collier Logging Museum one of the finest in the world. After his death, his ashes were spread over the park, where he can still oversee the enterprise he labored over for over forty years.

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