Hugo Neighborhood Association & Historical Society
This assessment paper is about preserving limited historic features when special features, such as archaeologic or historic sites, may be endangered unless protected from the encroachment of incompatible land uses. Because of the importance of these various special resources to the economic, cultural and aesthetic well-being of Josephine County residents, comprehensive planning necessitates careful consideration of the trade-offs between land use alternatives.
This assessment had two purposes. Its narrow purpose was to inventory the Proposed Pioneer Meadow Subdivision for the potential of cultural resources associated with the Applegate Trail.
Its larger purpose is to determine if the 1.5 mile Hugo Tombstone Quarry Section of the Applegate Trail from the East Manzanita I-5 Rest Stop in the south to the emigrant Pleasant Valley Cemetery in the north qualified for the National Register of Historic Places as a historic site and/or a historic district.
There is a wealth of information describing the procedures for analyzing and protecting historic resources. These procedures include federal and state statutes, regulations, local ordinances, and court opinions. In general, Oregon is behind the rest of the Nation in analyzing and protecting its historic resources.
Under Measure 37 (ORS 197.352(3)(B)) there is no right to compensation for laws "restricting or prohibiting activities for the protection of public health and safety. Public health, welfare, and safety as normal police powers are embodied in the authorities of comprehensive planning and zoning and have a long tradition ruled by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1926. The underlying reason for undertaking a historic resource survey to identify a communitys historic resources is the growing recognition, by citizens and governments at all levels, that such resources have value and should be retained as functional parts of modern life. The historic resources of a community or neighborhood give it its special character and cultural depth. Land use decisions that do not consider historic resources and/or that such resources do not have value on par with other values, such as economic development, is of a concern to reasonable persons wishing to retain these resources as functional parts of modern life. They can become stressful to those who have concerns about the health of their neighborhoods to the point of damaging their well-being and health. In some cases this stress of the mind can result in abnormality.
The Proposed Pioneer Meadows Subdivision is part of the Jumpoff Joe Watershed. The wetland hydrology in the proposed subdivision of gently rolling land, with timber, oak, or pine openings at its margins, is significant. It was noted as early as 1856 in the General Land Office (GLO) field survey notes and maps and still obvious in current aerial photographs. These GLO identified wetlands and prairies were like popcorn on a Christmas string. The string was the route of the Applegate Trail and the popcorn were the open areas that in a country without wagon roads could be traveled through without having to cut down trees. The wetlands today are recognized as the open wetlands of the 18BCopsey clay mapping unit. To be accurate on the exact location and extent of the seasonal wetlands, an intensive study by a wetland specialist is needed. However, regardless of any positions pro or con, the merits of any proposed changes can not be decided by the hearing body(s) without an application for a change to the official soils and wetlands inventories; the hearing body must use the current soils and wetlands inventories in its decision-making.
The huge majority of the soils (12B, 12D, 18B, and 42D) on the subject property were mapped with reliable second order intensive surveys which account for approximately 76 acres and 77 percent of the subject property. There is a conflict between the Soil Survey by Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) Soil Classifiers and the expert witness Soil Classifier concerning the Land Capability Classification (LCC) of 18B Copsey clay. The Soil Survey identified the map unit 18B Copsey clay required irrigation in the summer for maximum production of most crops (LCC IIIw, i), but it is rated as Agricultural Class IV without irrigation (LCC IVw, ni).
The expert witness purported to change the LCC of 18B from IVw, non-irrigated to LCC VIw. However, it is difficult to understand the differences between the Order I soil survey for 18BCopsey clay by the expert witness and the Order II soil survey in the Soil Survey (i.e., they both state the same information). Regardless of any positions pro or con, the merits of any proposed changes can not be decided by the hearing body(s) without an application for a change to the official soils and wetlands inventories; the hearing body must use the current soils and wetlands inventories in its decision-making.
All three of the commercial forest soils of the Proposed Pioneer Meadow Subdivision meet the forest productivity definition of forest land used by the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF), United States Forest Service (USFS), Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Medford District, and the operational management actions of the Josephine County Forestry Program. The Josephine County Forestry Program is managing the same three commercial forest soils (soil mapping units from the Soil Survey) as on the subject property, on adjacent tax lots, as commercial forest land. For example, on May 2007 the county had 57,000 board feet of timber harvested (Interstate Timber Sale 2006T-3) from the same forest mapping units as identified for the Proposed Pioneer Meadow Subdivision.
The significance of a historic site (i.e., Applegate Trail) can be judged and explained when it is evaluated within its historic context. Historic contexts are those patterns or trends in history by which a specific occurrence, property, or site is understood and its meaning (and ultimately its significance) within history is made clear. The concept of historic context is not a new one; it has been fundamental to the study of history since the 18th century and, arguably, earlier than that. Its core premise is that resources, properties, or happenings in history do not occur in a vacuum, but rather are part of larger trends or patterns. The 88-acre M37 Proposed Pioneer Meadow Subdivision is part of the 1.5 mile Hugo Tombstone Quarry Section of the Applegate Trail. This section of the Applegate Trail has significance and integrity, or the potential for significance and integrity, under the standards of the National Register of Historic Places.
In regard to historic contexts for the Hugo Tombstone Quarry Section of the Applegate Trail, the theme component of the context revolves around aspects of regional settlement (i.e., settlement history). The historic context of the Applegate Trails use in northern Josephine County from1846 - 1913 is its connection with events that have made a significant contribution to the broad patterns of our history such as settlement of the West.
This theme is about use of the Applegate Trail in northern Josephine County. In the Hugo region it was about local pioneers trying to make a living from the land, mostly from the earth growing food and/or mining gold. As they pursued these endeavors they had to deal with the realities of life: how to travel, secure land, raise and sell food, and bury their dead.
In northern Josephine County the Hugo Tombstone Quarry Section of the Applegate Trail was part of a settlement process that included six major sub-themes as part of the communitys development and culture.
Historic contexts allow for confident evaluations of the Applegate Trails significance. In western Oregon the visual physical imprint of the Applegate Trail is disappearing. However, the historic context for the Use of the Applegate Trail in Northern Josephine County - Hugo Tombstone Quarry Section: 1856 - 1913 is clearly visible as it relates to the pioneer cultural settlement patterns surrounding it and the history of the community as a whole.
The Hugo Tombstone Quarry Section of the Applegate Trail includes section JASec 2 and section JASec 3 of the Applegate Trail.
Applegate Trail JASec 2
The GLO surveys of the 1800s included surveyed information on the outer boundaries of a section (survey maps and notes are earliest record of systematic survey across each land section). If a historic trail was relatively straight from north to south or east to west this meant that trail information was recorded every one mile. This approximate 1.5 miles of the Applegate Trail has an intensity of 1856 GLO survey points in its southern section (6 points within less than one mile instead of 2 points over a mile).
Applegate Trail JASec 2
It is anchored in the north with the 1880s emigrant PVC , in the middle west with the rare Hugo Granite Tombstone Quarry Site: 1880s - 1929, and the relatively untouched area of the Applegate Trail at the Proposed Pioneer Meadows Subdivision. The quarry site used the Applegate Trail to transport tombstones to the PVC and the wetlands of the Proposed Pioneer Meadows Subdivision had so far saved this lowland section of the Applegate Trail from development.
Applegate Trail JASec 3
The historic Applegate Trail itself also includes likely archeologic artifacts and features important to the history of the settlement of the area. For example, an ox yoke chain artifact was found six inches deep in the Applegate Trail approximately one mile north of the PVC. Archeologic sites may be nominated to the National Register of Historic Places under Criterion D without integrity of setting if they have important information potential that may shed light on local, State, and national history.
The 1856 Applegate Trail as the main north-south route through Josephine County remained stable for over 60 years in the location of the Proposed Pioneer Meadow Subdivision. In 1992 Congress established the California National Historic Trail of which the Applegate Trail is a branch. The State of Oregon recognizes the value and significance of its historic trails, including the Applegate Trail - ORS 358.057(3).
The Proposed Pioneer Meadow Subdivision is part of the original 1861 John Davis Military Patent 41877 and 1864 Cash Entry Patent 141. By 1895 all of the Proposed Pioneer Meadow Subdivision had became the 240-acre J. C. Cochrane Ranch. This was a ranch known locally by Hugo residents. The reason for the use of the name locally was that Gordon Cochran was part of the J. C. Cochran family, and he eventually became a teacher at both the Three Pines Elementary School and the Hugo Elementary School. Therefore, many of the surviving locals identify the land with the old Cochrane Ranch.
The land in the Hugo region was transferred from federal administration to private ownership through several mechanisms, including military warrants and cash entries. While holders of military warrants were not a large part of the emigrant population to Hugo and Josephine County, cash entry purchases were numerous as an addition to the land base of the local homesteads. The Proposed Pioneer Meadow Subdivisions historical federal land transfers (i.e., military warrant and cash entry) were in large part located where they are because of the advantage of the only transportation system available at the time, the Applegate Trail, and because of an area that had ready pasture in a large open natural meadow, the Cochrane Wet Area.
In accordance with a national policy to encourage and subsidize the settlement of the west after the Civil War, Congress enacted legislation in 1866 authorizing a grant of public domain lands to be conveyed to a railroad company to help finance construction of a railroad from Portland to the California border. Under the 1866 railroad grant legislation almost two dozen parcels of land in the Hugo area were granted to the O & C Railroad for construction of the railroad from Portland to the California border. One of the 40-acre parcels eventually became the Pleasant Valley Cemetery (PVC). The Oregon and California Railroad Company and the Union Trust Company of New York formally deeded 40-acres to the PVC July 5, 1899. The PVC has a strong linkage to the Hugo Tombstone Quarry Section of the Applegate Trail in that for over 60 years they were physically adjacent to each other in the community each served.
The Hugo Granite Tombstone Quarry Site which was operational from the 1880s through 1929, has a high probability of eligibility to the National Register of Historic Places. It is historically significant as a historic site because it was part of a distinct pioneer system (i.e., district) meeting the needs of local homesteaders by providing tombstones to a local railroad cemetery along the historic Applegate Trail for the purpose of memorializing their ancestors. Regionally it is a relatively rare site as there were, and are, no other known granitic tombstone quarries in Josephine County. Over three dozen tombstones in the PVC have been evaluated as having an extremely high probability of coming from the tombstone quarry as identical-looking stones, including rubble, drill marked, squared, and flat finished stones. The site retains its integrity in relation to the aspects of location, design, setting, workmanship, materials, and association to several historic contexts. The site is a time capsule of old quarrying and tombstone shaping techniques without the use of modern transportation and stone cutting technology. The historic operators walked away from the site in the 1920s and never came back.
A critical decision by the local land use hearing bodies is to protect or not protect the countys significant historic archeological resources, especially the Applegate Trail. The Applegate Trail in the Proposed Pioneer Meadow Subdivision should be protected by not approving the application and by Josephine County being a co-sponsor of an application for this section of the Applegate Trail to be listed as a historic property on the National Register of Historic Places. Several critical conditions of approval were identified in the event the Proposed Pioneer Meadow Subdivision was approved by the local hearing bodies.
In summary, the Cochrane wetlands are ecologically significant and should be protected just as the Applegate Trail is significant to our local and national history and should be protected.
© 2012 Hugo Neighborhood Association & Historical Society