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As It Was-Wild Hog Ruckus Sends Settlers to Fort’s Protection

In 1853, early European settlers built several stockades for protection from American Indians, the original inhabitants of the land.  One was on the Emerson Gore Donation Land Claim near present-day Phoenix Ore.  At any sign of danger, farmers and miners rushed to the fort.

Many years later, Walter Gore related his family’s version of how the settlers had fled to the fort one morning when they heard repeated gunshots in the vicinity of Oak Grove.  A armed posse ventured out to investigate and were told two men on horseback firing weapons had chased a bear through the prairie grass and killed it.

A neighbor named Reason Packard reported a similar tale about the gunshots and people fleeing to the fort.  But Packard said only one man – not a posse -- left the fort to investigate.  When he got to a Mr. Wright’s cabin near Oak Grove, Wright told him he saw a bear nosing around his porkers, chased it down and killed it before discovering it was a wild hog. 

Any Indians in the area must have had a good laugh at the hullabaloo.

 

Source: "Notes on the Gore Stockade." Southern Oregon History, Revised, edited by Ben Truwe, SOHS, June 2018, truwe.sohs.org/files/gorestockade.html.

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.