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As It Was: Orchard Boom Attracts Rogue Valley Population Growth

The orchard boom of the 1900s stimulated rapid population growth in Southern Oregon’s Rogue Valley.  Among the new arrivals were Mr. and Mrs. Frank Madden of Chicago.  They bought acreage on Old Stage Road in the Central Point area, built a house and planted Fairview Orchards.

Later arrivals were Hiram Dyer McCaskey and his wife, Mary, the great aunt of longtime Rogue Valley resident Louis Salade.

McCaskey was born in North Dakota, studied geology at Lehigh University in 1907, and taught in Mississippi and California before entering the civil service and being transferred to The Philippines to document its mineral resources.  By 1919, he was in Washington, D.C. as the geologist in charge of the Mineral Resources Division of the U.S. Geological Survey. 

While visiting his wife’s relative, the McCaskeys decided to settle in the Rogue Valley and bought the Madden property.  They hired Architect Frank Clark to renovate the house and add a library-workroom called the “Rock Room,” reflecting McCaskey’s geological interests.  They christened the house “Bora Da,” from the Welch language for “beautiful morning.”

The present-day property is a bed and breakfast called “The Willows.”

Sources: Kramer, George. "Madden-McCaskey House." US Dept. of the Interior National Park Service, National Park Service, 1 Dec. 1993, 1. https://npgallery.nps.gov/GetAsset/9cc216d4-30bb-443f-b8fb-ef92b22e54f8. Accessed 15 Mar. 2018; "The Willows History." The Willows Bed and Breakfast, 2018, thewillowsbedandbreakfast.com/us/willows-history/. Accessed 17 Mar. 2018.

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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.