© 2024 | Jefferson Public Radio
Southern Oregon University
1250 Siskiyou Blvd.
Ashland, OR 97520
541.552.6301 | 800.782.6191
Listen | Discover | Engage a service of Southern Oregon University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

As It Was: Cook Plays Practical Joke on Road-Building Soldiers

The Fort Klamath to Jacksonville Military Wagon Road that soldiers built in 1865 under the command of Capt. Franklin Sprague improved transportation routes in Southern Oregon.

After work one evening, a trooper began carving on a large piece of pumice rock that he found on the ground.  He worked on it until it looked like a giant egg and then set it aside.  The next morning after the troops had gone to work on the road, the cook got an idea.  Grabbing the pumice egg look-alike, he climbed to the top of a tall lodgepole pine tree.  He burrowed a hole into the pumice egg, sharpened the top of the tree and pushed the egg onto the treetop.  On the way down, he trimmed the branches off the tree, leaving a tall pole with an egg sitting on top.

When the soldiers returned from work, the cook told them an immense bird which he named the Waup had flown over and stopped long enough to deposit an egg on the treetop. 

From that day, the area was known as Waupeg Camp.

Sources: Oregon Out of Doors-Crater Lake Institute. Vol. 1, Portland, OR, Mazamas, June, 2 vols, www.craterlakeinstitute.com/online-library/oregon-out-of./oregon-out-of-doors.pdf. Accessed 17 May 2018; "1865-Smith Brothers Crater Lake National Park Chronology." Crater Lake Institute www.craterlakeinstitute.com › Cultural History › Smith Brothers Chronology. Accessed 16 May 2018.

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.