In the middle of the Applegate Valley at the intersection of highways 238 and Williams is a red clapboard building trimmed in white. It is the home of The Provolt Store – thought to be the oldest continuously operated establishment in Southern Oregon.
Its founder, Samuel Provolt, arrived in the area from Indiana with his wife, Harriet, around 1866. They acquired 360 acres where Samuel was quite successful in mining and agricultural ventures. All their children had names with the prefix of Eth. There was EthUlysses, EthElbert, EthElzia, EthelEffie, EthOrlia, EthAgness and EthAngia.
It is believed Provolt opened the store in 1875. It has been the heart of local commerce ever since, today selling an eclectic mix of convenience foods and nuts and bolts.
It was a stage stop for part of its history, and between 1895 and 1955 it was the Provolt post office.
Legend has it that in 1904 Provolt was unhappy with the high taxes in Josephine County, a problem he promptly solved by moving the store across the street to its current location in Jackson County.
Sources: Funk, Laird. "The Queen of Provolt Reigns Once Again." The Applegater I.8 (2015). Print;
Swanson, Gary. "Provolt Store, Provolt, Ore." Passport to History. Josephine Historical Society, 15 July 2010. Web. 18 Apr. 2015. <http://activerain.trulia.com/blogsview/1744552/josephine-county-historical-society-s-passport-to-history-provolt-store-provolt-oregon>.