Rogue River Valley, Oregon - Southern Oregon is divided into three main river basins; the Umpqua River, the Rogue River, and the Klamath Basin. The Umpqua meets the Pacific at Reedsport, the Rogue mouth is near Gold Beach, and the Klamath empties at the Redwoods National Park in Northern California. All three rivers have their headwaters in the Cascade Mountains on the slopes of Crater Lake, Oregon's only national park. The Rogue River is a designated National Scenic River, and formed much of the backdrop for the Meryl Streep movie "The River Wild." Jet boat trips and white water rafting are very popular.

Rogue River Valley

Rogue River Valley, Oregon - A beautiful place to visit, a wonderful place to live. Come and find a place to call your own. Southern Oregon is a great place to own a home and grow your family.

Rogue River Valley

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Rogue River Valley - Oregon Travel Guide

Articles from the Historical Society in Josephine County Oregon


Mercury Mining II - Mercury and its Importance in Mining

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One of the most common and simplest methods of extracting the gold from the mercury and used by almost the entire Josephine County miner's was through the use of a potato.

The mercury with the trapped fine gold was heated on the stove in the miner's cabin and a hollowed out raw potato half was placed over the mercury globule. The potato would absorb the mercury, leaving the gold in the pan. The potato was then banged gently with the hollowed part down freeing the mercury to be used again. This procedure could be dangerous if precautionary venting were not undertaken, as mercury fumes are very poisonous and attack the nervous system.

Elements of mercury can be found in the Rogue, Illinois, and Applegate River to this day as a result of its use during the mining period of history in Josephine County.

Sluice boxes could be made light and portable six to eight feet in length or they could be joined together as much as a half-mile in length. As much as 600 lbs of mercury was used in some of the longer sluice boxes.

All streams found their way back to the rivers eventually and carried traces of mercury used by the miner at his claim.

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A Gold Pan is used in panning for gold.

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Rogue River Valley, Oregon - The Siskiyou Mountains stretch between the Cascade Mountains and the Coast Range at the California border. The entire area is more vertical than most other parts of the state, which leads to numerous waterfalls, lots of whitewater rapids, and some spectacular scenery. Rogue River Valley is outside the main population centers of the state and the area has a very rural flavor. Major industries are tourism, wood products and agriculture. The climate is generally milder and more Mediterranean than North Western Oregon. Average rainfallis about 20 % lower and the temperatures are a bit higher.