Angela Decker

Jefferson Monthly Contributor

 Angela Decker is a freelance writer and part-time instructor at Southern Oregon University. She is the mother of two constantly hungry and energetic boys. When they are asleep, she writes a literary and event column for the Ashland Daily Tidings.

In January of 1852, mule-packers John Poole and James Cluggage, owners of ‘Jackass Freight,’ were carrying supplies from the Willamette Valley to Sacramento, California. They stopped to camp near what is now Jacksonville, and, while digging for water, struck gold. The men quickly staked a claim on the land in what turned out to be the biggest gold discovery in the state. When word got out, miners from all over the country headed toward southern Oregon to make their fortune. With the miners came saloons, post offices, wives and children. Towns sprang up all over the region.