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As It Was: John and Mary McCall Build 137-Year-Old Ashland Inn

One of Ashland’s early pioneers, Capt. John McCall, settled in Oregon in 1852 on a mining claim along Jackson Creek in Jackson County.  By 1860 he had purchased an interest in the Ashland Flour Mill, and two years later joined the First Regiment of the Oregon Volunteer Cavalry.

McCall won election to the Oregon Legislature in 1876, received a commission as a brigadier general in the Oregon State Militia in 1883, became Ashland’s mayor in 1886, and won reelection to the Legislature four years later.

The Medford Mail Tribune once wrote, “In addition to his work as an Oregon legislator, mayor of Ashland and military man, he owned the Ashland Flour Mill, the Ashland Woolen Mill and the McCall Mercantile on the Ashland Plaza, (purchased) the Ashland Tidings, and helped build the school that would become present-day Southern Oregon University.”

McCall married twice.  His first wife, Teresa, died in 1868.  He and his second wife, Mary, built their two-story Victorian home on Oak Street, which today is on the National Register of Historic Places, and serves as a bed and breakfast. 

Mary McCall planted a magnolia tree on the property in 1890 that still stands.

Sources: Pfeil, Ryan. "A Most Useful Citizen." Mail Tribune, 14 Apr. 2013, our valley ed. Accessed 28 Oct. 2016. www.mailtribune.com/article/20130414/OURVALLEY/304140311; "1st Oregon Volunteer Cavalry Regiment." Wikipedia 13 Oct. 2016, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1st_Oregon_Volunteer_Cavalry_Regiment. Accessed 28 Oct. 2016;  Darling, John. "A taste for history." Daily Tidings, 26 Oct. 2016 [Ashland, Ore.], p. A3

Kernan Turner is the Southern Oregon Historical Society’s volunteer editor and coordinator of the As It Was series broadcast daily by Jefferson Public Radio. A University of Oregon journalism graduate, Turner was a reporter for the Coos Bay World and managing editor of the Democrat-Herald in Albany before joining the Associated Press in Portland in 1967. Turner spent 35 years with the AP before retiring in Ashland.