© 2021 | Jefferson Public Radio
Southern Oregon University
1250 Siskiyou Blvd.
Ashland, OR 97520
541.552.6301 | 800.782.6191
KSOR Header background image 1
a service of Southern Oregon University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

As It Was: Rogue Valley Orchard Boom Goes Bust after 1912

The Rogue Valley’s orchard boom went bust after 1912.  A letter sent to the New York City Daily Worker in 1939 said land scams continued with slick guys deceptively promising riches through fruit-land speculation to strangers arriving at the Medford train station.  The writer enclosed a poem written by Mary Agnes Daily for the Ashland Tidings in 1918, which reads:

“My orchard ‘tis of thee

Peach, pear and cherry tree,

Of thee I sing.

No more thy blossoms bright

Cheer me up day and night:


In debt I’m immersed quite,

And freedoms holy light

Don’t shine for me.

All sorts of insect pest

Doth thy fruit buds molest,


God save us from the blight:

No longer does my might

Avail to curb it.


From frost I try to shield,

Smudge pots adorn my field.


My orchard now to thee

I owe my poverty

And I shall quit.


So now I’ll sell thee cheap

For some poor cuss to keep

Till he’s tired, too.


No doubt I soon shall be

Housed, clothed and fed you see,

By Jackson County.”

Source: J, M. "Letter to editor." Daily Worker, May 1939 [New York City], p. 7.

Stay Connected
Alice Mullaly is a graduate of Oregon State and Stanford University, and taught mathematics for 42 years in high schools in Nyack, New York; Mill Valley, California; and Hedrick Junior High School in Medford. Alice has been an Southern Oregon Historical Society volunteer for nearly 30 years, the source of many of her “As It Was” stories.