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


Hydraulic Region - Josephine County as a Hydraulic Region
by Michael Oaks

This section was always very adaptable to placer gold mining. Every stream and gulch contains gold. Even in the valleys, where the soil is rich, there is gold and the farmer and the miner worked side by side.

Beds of ancient channels are found along the rivers and streams. The gravels of these old channels compose the diggings of the hydraulic placer mines. These channels lie on the bedrock to a depth of from eight to two hundred feet.

On the bottom, next to the bedrock, are the boulders, the nuggets and the coarse gold. Above this are the finer gravel and the "pie clays" lying in stratums of blue and gray. Still above this is the layer or capping of red clay, which carries its values in fine or flour gold.

Placer mines required capital, skill and much labor. Long flumes to span deep gulches had to be built; many miles of ditches had to be constructed, reservoirs erected, thousands of feet of piping laid, and giants and other machinery set.

One giant could wash down more gravel in an hour than the pioneer, with his shovel and rocker, could do in weeks. During the placer mining hey-day of Josephine County it was usually considered that a giant mines $100 in gold each day it was operated. From $6,000 to $60,000 annually was realized around 1900 to 1904.

The deafening roar of the giant that once was commonplace in Josephine County has been silenced for many years but the scars on the landscape have been left forever.

Click image for larger view

The photo is a typical placer mining operation of Josephine County's mining history.

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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.