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Winston Churchill Visits Grants Pass

In July 1913 Winston Churchill visited Grants Pass.   This was not the Churchill who led the British during World War II, however.  This was an American Winston Churchill, a famous early 1900’s novelist and a New Hampshire state legislator.

Churchill’s books, titled “Richard Carvel,” “The Celebrity,” “The Crisis” and “The Crossing,” were war novels about the American Revolution and the Civil War. They sold millions of copies. 

When Churchill was on tour in the Pacific Northwest, boosters in Grants Pass, Ore., hoped his visit would result in some of the region’s natural wonders showing up in his novels. Churchill, his wife and entourage were expected to tour what were then called the Josephine Caves, but they decided against that idea when it was discovered they couldn’t get there by car.  That prompted the editor of the Rogue River Courier to campaign for a proper road to the caves that would make it possible to get there in “one or two days.” 

After finding the caves inaccessible, Churchill did spend some time fishing for steelhead on the Rogue River and made arrangements to return for a guided canoe trip.


Sources: "Winston Churchill." 2015 Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc. 30 May 2014. Winston Churchill American Novelist. Web. 22 July 2015. . Path: http://www.britannica.com/biography/Winston-Churchill-American-writer;  file:///C:\Users\JPR-OP~1\AppData\Local\Temp\msohtmlclip1\01\clip_image001.gif "Winston Churchill Novelist Visits Here." Rogue River Courier, Weekly Edition 25 July 1913 [Grants Pass Oregon] : 1. Web. 22 July 2015. .

Lynda Demsher has been editor of a small-town weekly newspaper, a radio reporter, a daily newspaper reporter and columnist for the Redding Record Searchlight, Redding California. She is a former teacher and contributed to various non-profit organizations in Redding in the realm of public relations, ads, marketing, grant writing and photography.