Amy Couture

As It Was Contributor

Amy Couture is originally from Loomis, California and Astoria, Oregon.  She has a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Oregon, a master’s in teacher education from Eastern Oregon University, and a master’s in history from Minnesota State University, Mankato.  In graduate school, she focused on 19th-century social and labor history.  Her master’s thesis examined the origins of the labor union movement among Cornish hard rock miners in California’s gold country in the 1860s.  Before moving to Ashland in 2010, Amy taught fifth grade and coached cross country in Stebbins, Alaska.  She also taught history and education classes at Clatsop Community College and Treasure Valley Community College.  She is the author of 14 historical vignettes in the book, Astorians: Eccentric and Extraordinary.  Her husband, Patrick, is the assistant principal of Talent Middle School and they live in Ashland with their two young sons.

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History
8:24 am
Thu March 19, 2015

Reed Charley Finds Indian Artifacts on Grandfather’s Homestead

 

The community of Brownsboro east of Eagle Point, Ore., takes its name from an early settler, Henry Brown, who received a Donation Land Claim on Little Butte Creek in the early 1850s.  He hunted and raised cattle in the Brownsboro area and sold the meat to Jacksonville miners. 

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History
7:58 am
Mon March 9, 2015

Wooden Shelter Remains at Dead Indian Soda Springs

Today only a Forest Service wooden shelter from the 1930s remains at the Dead Indian Soda Springs historic site along Little Butte Creek east of Eagle Point, Ore.

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History
1:00 am
Fri February 13, 2015

Robinson Butte Serves as Fire Lookout Since 1917

Robinson Butte rises southwest of Mount McLoughlin in Southern Oregon’s Cascades.  It once was part of the summer hunting grounds of the Takelma Indians, but was named for an unspecified early settler. Several Robinsons lived in the 19th century near Little Butte Creek, below Robinson Butte.

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History
1:00 am
Mon February 9, 2015

Human Settlement Changes Little Butte Creek Watershed

 

The Little Butte Creek watershed in Jackson County, Ore., has undergone many changes due to human settlement since the 1850s. The watershed extends from Howard Prairie, on the high plateau east of Ashland, down to today’s city of Eagle Point. 

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History
3:21 pm
Fri January 16, 2015

Oregon Stringtowns Get New Names or Disappear

A popular nickname for new settlements in the 19th century was Stringtown.  The name referred to communities that were strung along a creek, river, stage road, or railroad line. Sometimes the towns grew and received permanent names, but more often they were abandoned and forgotten.

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History
3:12 pm
Mon January 12, 2015

Cow Creek Umpquas Prosper Despite Broken Treaties

The territory of the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Indians once extended from Crater Lake to the Willamette Valley, and south to the Rogue River watershed.  But in an 1853 treaty, the Cow Creek Band ceded 800 square miles of land for less than three cents an acre in return for protection, housing, and education.

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History
9:41 am
Fri January 2, 2015

Early Surveyor Marks Meandering Oregon-California Line

The U.S. General Land Office hired Daniel Major in 1868 to survey the Oregon-California Line. 

Major used a sextant and a crew of 19 to locate the intersection of Nevada, California and Oregon, which he marked by placing three large black bottles and a cottonwood stake surrounded by rocks.  He also erected a sandstone monument with the states’ names engraved on the sides.

Continuing west, Major tracked the 42nd parallel all the way to the Pacific.  Near today’s I-5, the surveyors marked the intersection of the “Emigrant Road to Jacksonville.”

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History
2:53 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

Talent Farmer Welborn Beeson Keeps Christmas Diary

 

Talent, Ore., farmer Welborn Beeson’s journal in 1860 mentioned that the valley was cold and foggy, but that it was clear up on the mountain top.

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History
9:14 am
Thu November 27, 2014

Beckie’s Café Attracts Visitors to Crater Lake

Beckie’s Café, in Union Creek, Ore., is a popular stop for visitors going or returning from Crater Lake on Oregon Route 62.

Edmond and Nettie Beckelhymer, relocating to Southern Oregon from Imperial, Calif., established a restaurant in 1926 at Union Creek on the road to Crater Lake. Ed Beckelhymer, nicknamed “Beckie,” was an auto mechanic and built a service station next door to the restaurant.  His wife, Nettie, cooked at what became known as “Beckie’s Place.”

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History
11:50 am
Thu November 13, 2014

Hersey House Takes Name from Early Ashland, Ore., Settlers

 

Hersey Street in Ashland, Ore., is named for a Michigan family that liked Ashland so much they never left.  They even convinced their grandparents to move across the country to live there too.

James Hersey was born in Michigan in 1876.  At 21, he married Carrie and they had a daughter, Violet.  The young farm family stayed in Michigan for another 10 years before moving West.

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History
10:45 am
Mon October 20, 2014

Jump Off Joe Creek Gets Name from Trapper’s Fall

 

Jump Off Joe Creek, 11 miles north of Grants Pass, Ore., refers to an accident involving 29-year-old Joseph McLoughlin, son of Dr. John McLoughlin, officially designated “the Father of Oregon.”  The creek’s name dates to the 1830s, when the only non-native people in Southern Oregon were transient fur trappers and explorers.

McLoughlin’s father was the powerful chief of the Hudson’s Bay Company operations in the Oregon Territory.  The son’s mother was a Chippewa Indian woman from eastern Canada.

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History
2:25 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

Miners Name Mountain after Their Fleas or Confederates

 

The tallest peak in Josephine County, Ore., is Grayback Mountain at 7,050 feet.

Historians are unsure about the origin of the name, which dates from the mid-19th century.  Some believe Grayback refers to the exposed granite outcroppings near the summit.  Others say that Grayback was a derogatory name for Confederate soldiers during the Civil War, a term that appeared often in Jacksonville’s newspapers in the 1860s.  There is some consensus that miners named the mountain after the fleas in their clothing and bedding, which they called graybacks.

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History
1:00 am
Thu October 2, 2014

Williams, Ore., Takes Name from Indian War Volunteer

 

Williams, Ore., started as a mining community in 1859.  It was first known as Williamsburg, after nearby Williams Creek.

The creek’s name refers to Captain Robert Williams, who was commander of the Althouse Mounted Volunteers during the Rogue River Indian Wars. The Volunteers was a group of 30 miners and settlers based in rural Josephine County near today’s Cave Junction who joined up on Aug. 24, 1853, with Williams as captain.

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History
10:46 am
Mon September 8, 2014

Stranded Dutchman Dies in Snow Storm on Siskiyou Peak

 Dutchman Peak, west of Mount Ashland, was named for a German immigrant who died on the mountain in about 1870.  A ranger in the Applegate District, Lee Port, recorded his oral history in 1945 of the story.

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History
3:09 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Old Trail Connects Wagner Butte to Ashland Watershed

Using modern technology, the Ashland Woodlands and Trails Association has uncovered one of the oldest trails in the Ashland Watershed.

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History
7:54 am
Thu August 7, 2014

Mount Ashland Draws 200 Runners from Around the Country

 Every August, about 200 runners from across the country scramble up 13 miles of watershed trails from Lithia Park to the top of Southern Oregon’s 7,500-foot Mount Ashland.  It takes only two or three hours, compared with two days by mule and horseback in the early days.

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History
10:15 am
Fri July 18, 2014

Dollarhide Bridge REaches 100th Anniversary

Built 100 years ago, the Dollarhide Bridge on the Old Siskiyou Highway was one of the first two bridges constructed in 1914 by the new Oregon Department of Transportation. The bridge is named after the Dollarhide family that moved to the Rogue Valley in 1869.  

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History
10:54 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Early Rogue Valley Maps Show Towns That No Longer Exist

 On the wall of the 1912 Sunset Schoolhouse in Fort Rock, Ore., is an Oregon map from the 1920s.  It shows the major towns of Ashland and Medford along the Oregon and California Railroad line through the Rogue Valley, and smaller communities that no longer exist.  

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History
10:44 am
Wed June 25, 2014

Richmaid Ice Cream Shop Offers Drive-Through Service in Ashland

 In order to reduce fuel consumption and pollution caused by idling vehicles, the City of Ashland in 1982 discouraged businesses from using drive-up windows. Two years later, a city ordinance prohibited the construction of new drive-up windows and placed a limit on the number that could exist in the city.  A grandfather clause allowed businesses that already had drive-up windows to continue using them.

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History
10:48 am
Fri May 30, 2014

Rodney Glisan's Book Collection Becomes Medical Library

 Rodney Glisan has a major street named after him in Portland, Ore., and his personal book collection generated the first library at the Oregon Health and Science University.  Before he became a leading citizen in Portland, Glisan was a young army medical officer stationed at Port Orford on the Southern Oregon Coast.
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