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As It Was

As It Was: Galice, Ore., Seeks Roads to Replace Indian Trails

Rich placer gold discoveries in 1852 attracted miners to an isolated area near the Rogue River some 25 miles northwest of Grants Pass.

French doctor Louis Galice was one of the first to arrive, so the mining camp became known as Galiceberg, later shortened to Galice. 

In 1859, Galice petitioned for a road to replace Indian trails that connected to far-off towns.

The location of the road became an issue because small towns that sold mining supplies wanted access and another road was being considered to connect Galice to Ellensburg, present-day Gold Beach. 

By 1875, a road had been built over Taylor Hill, but travel was so difficult the Applegate Road district supervisor posted a notice saying “This road is fairly impassible. In fact, it is only Jackassable.” 

The road was a constant irritant, so in 1898 a group of Grants Pass citizens raised money for a better one, and by 1909 businessmen were making the 90-minute wagon trip to the Massie Ferry.  In 1913, a bridge replaced the ferry at a cost of $15,000.

 

Source: Pruitt, Claudette. Come Take a Historic Journey Along the Galice Trail. Grants Pass Ore., Morning Creek Enterprises, 2004, pp. 1-50.

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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.