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Town of Holland, Ore., Serves Early-Day Miners

Although Jim Holland founded Holland, Ore., around 1877, the person who really built the town was Jack Smock, who arrived 18 years later.

Smock had lost a foot in a mining accident, but found work at the general merchandise store.  He purchased the store when the owner died, built a new one on Holland Loop Road and established the Holland Post Office in 1899.

 The Holland School, built in 1910, was the first in the area to have a hot lunch program and indoor plumbing.  Schools were located so that no child had to walk more than two miles from home. Teachers typically taught all eight grades in a single classroom. 

The town also had a hotel, a creamery and a telephone exchange with Isabelle Mellow as the operator.  When a call came in, Mellow routed the call to all phones on the party line.  Each house had a different pattern of long and short rings in order to tell if the call was for them.

 Although not much remains of Holland, Ore., today, it was once a bustling town in Southern Oregon’s Illinois Valley serving the needs of miners in Josephine and Curry counties. 

Sources: Ramsey, Roger. "Holland, Oregon History." Webtrail.com. Josephine County Historical Society, 22 June 2011. Web. 7 Apr. 2016. www.webtrail.com/history/holland.shtml;  "Section 4 Oregon Caves Road Guide." Highway199.org. . Web. 7 Apr. 2016. .

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.