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As It Was: Butte Falls, Ore., Places Cattle Guards at Each End of Town

Medford, Ore., weekenders regarded Butte Falls as a popular camping spot in the early 1900s.

Lumber industry railroad tracks carried people to Butte Falls in less than two hours, a two-day wagon roundtrip in the times before the railroad.

The Medford Mail Tribune reported that large crowds began taking the train to Butte Falls to camp in the clean and cool mountain air of the woods during the summer. One train left Medford in the morning and reached Butte Falls in under two hours despite making six stops on the way. The railroad advertised that a businessman could leave Medford at 3 o’clock on a Saturday afternoon, spend Sunday camping with his family, and be back at work in Medford at 10 o’clock Monday morning.

The arrival of the railroad encouraged Butte Falls’ growth and incorporation as a town. The city fathers no longer allowed cows in town and placed cattle guards to keep them out.

The town was listed in Ripley’s Believe It or Not for being the only town in America with cattle guards at each end of town.

Source: LaPlante, Margaret. Images of America Eagle Point. Charleston, SC, Arcadia Publishing, 2012, pp. 101-04.

Luana (Loffer) Corbin graduated from Southern Oregon College, majoring in Elementary Education.  The summer after graduation she was hired to teach at Ruch Elementary, where she taught for 32 years. After retiring, Corbin worked for Lifetouch School Photography and then returned to Ruch as an aide helping with reading instruction and at the library.  More recently, she has volunteered at South Medford High.