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As It Was: Ranger Station Near Galice, Ore., Has Colorful History

Gold and Timber have played an important role about 25 miles northwest of Grants Pass and three miles downstream from Galice. The location was once the small logging and sawmill camp of Yankville.

In 1874, Nathaniel “Yank” McNair discovered gold quartz veins about a mile from his Big Yank Placer Mine.  Within months his mill was producing lumber for mining operations.  But Yankville soon disappeared due to limited access and poor mining technology.  Around 1900, the Rand Mining Company purchased the placer mine property and established the townsite of Rand.

In 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt created the Siskiyou National Forest and three years later the Galice Ranger District became responsible for the area.  Lacking permission from the mining company to build a residence on its property, the first district ranger, Jesse Dewitt, lived for eight years with his family in a tent. 

In 1916, the mining company rented a small parcel of land to the Forest Service for building Dewitt’s residence.  The Forest Service took control of the property in 1932 and the BLM acquired it in 1970. 

Today the Rand Ranger Station is registered as a National Historic Place.

Sources:  "Rand Ranger Station. "Wikipedia” 6 Sept. 2016, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rand_Ranger_Station. Accessed 3 Mar. 2017; "Rand National Historic Site." BLM, Aug. 2004, https://www.blm.gov/or/resources/recreation/rogue/files/Rand2004.pdf. Accessed 3 Mar. 2017.

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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.