Rogue Valley Orchard Boom Goes Bust after 1912

Date: 

Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018

Author: 

Alice Mullaly

Episode: 

3 383

The Rogue Valley’s orchard boom went bust after 1912.  A letter sent to the New York City Daily Worker in 1939 said land scams continued with slick guys deceptively promising riches through fruit-land speculation to strangers arriving at the Medford train station.  The writer enclosed a poem written by Mary Agnes Daily for the Ashland Tidings in 1918, which reads:

“My orchard ‘tis of thee

Peach, pear and cherry tree,

Of thee I sing.

No more thy blossoms bright

Cheer me up day and night:

...

In debt I’m immersed quite,

And freedoms holy light

Don’t shine for me.

All sorts of insect pest

Doth thy fruit buds molest,

...

God save us from the blight:

No longer does my might

Avail to curb it.

...

From frost I try to shield,

Smudge pots adorn my field.

...

My orchard now to thee

I owe my poverty

And I shall quit.

...

So now I’ll sell thee cheap

For some poor cuss to keep

Till he’s tired, too.

...

No doubt I soon shall be

Housed, clothed and fed you see,

By Jackson County.”

Source: J, M. "Letter to editor." Daily Worker, May 1939 [New York City], p. 7.

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