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


Floating Dredges of southern Oregon
by Michael Oaks

One of the first financially successful dredges to operate in southern Oregon was the Champlin Electric Gold Dredging Company, which operated on Foots Creek starting in 1903.

The initial investment was very expensive, but they could move a lot of gravel.

The Foots Creek dredge was a floating dredge that operated on its own self made lake. It was equipped with 36 8-foot buckets that could move 2000 yards of gravel per 24-hour period.

The Foots Creek dredge was initially a wood burner to supply the power. By 1905, electricity was supplied from Gold Ray Dam cutting the operation cost to half. Dredges operated at Wolf Creek, on the Rogue River at the mouth of Grave Creek, and other mining districts in Josephine County.

Gold was processed on board and the tailings (waste) were used to build up the walls of the lake. Some of these old dredges were used for scrap metal for the WWII war effort.

Click image for larger view

This is a typical dredge used in Southern Oregon during the 1920's and 30's.

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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.