As It Was: Tolman Creek Road Named after Pioneer James Clark Tolman

Nov 30, 2017

The present-day Tolman Creek Road connects two major traffic arterials in Ashland, Oregon Route 66, also known as Ashland Street, and Oregon Route 99, also known as Siskiyou Boulevard.  At its southern extreme, the road parallels Tolman Creek.

The namesake for the road and creek on the eastern edge of the city was a pioneer who twice emigrated from Iowa to California, James Clark Tolman. 

The gold rush first lured him West in 1849.  He returned to Iowa, got married, and headed West again, this time the leader of an emigrant train to Eureka, Calif.  The Tolmans came to the Rogue Valley in 1852, moved to Marshfield, Ore., present-day Coos Bay, and finally settled on a ranch three miles south of Ashland in 1854.

Tolman became a Jackson County judge in 1858, a Republican candidate for governor in 1874, and the U.S. Surveyor General of Oregon in 1878.

By 1900, Tolman had built a hotel, cottages, and mineral bath facilities some 10 miles southeast of Ashland.  The Bruce Sargent family purchased the dilapidated property in 1988, creating the Buckhorn Springs retreat center, now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  

 

Sources: "Tolman, James Clark, 1813-1902." Southern Oregon Historical Society, SOHS, www.sohs.org/content/tolman-james-clark-1813-1902. Accessed 23 Oct. 2017; "The Tolman Years, 1890 – 1902." Buckhorn Springs, 2015, buckhornsprings.org/history/buckhorn-history/the-tolman-years-1890-1902/. Accessed 23 Oct. 2017.