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Hugo Neighborhood Association & Historical Society

History Day
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History Tidbits
Crossword Puzzle
Photo Gallery
Historic & Present Day Trails
Stage Station Brochures Series
Hugo Native American Program
Applegate Trail
Auto Camps & Transportation
Hugo's Pioneer Series
Hugo's Early Settlers Series
Hugo's Moderns Series
Hugo's Orchards
Three Pines Timber Company & Town
Post Offices: Hugo Region
Hugo's Insulator Series
Historical Buildings
Hugo Ladies Club Building
Oral Histories
Hugo Sign



The trials and tribulations, which the emigrants experienced coming west on the Oregon Trail, are well documented. In 1846, it became apparent that a new non-British southern route out of the Oregon Territory was needed.  Several expeditions were organized and were unsuccessful due to impassable rivers and creeks forcing these men to return home.

Then on June 20, 1846, The South Road Company agreed to explore and find a trail from the Willamette Valley over the Cascade Mountains to near Ft. Hall on the Snake River, which was passable for covered wagons.   The members of the South Road Company were: Jesse Applegate, Levi Scott, David Goff, John M. Scott, John Jones, Robert Smith, John Owen, Wm. Sportsman, Samuel H. Goodhue, Lindsay Applegate, Moses “Black” Harris, Wm. G. Parker, Benj. (or Bennett) Osborne, Benj. F. Birch (or Burch) and Henry Boygus (Boggs, or Bogus). The plan was for the South Road Company to locate the best southern route and solicit the traveling emigrant trains to provide at least 30 good-outfitted men to build the road ahead of their wagon train.

Virgil Pringle, Levi Scott, Tolbert Carter, Abraham E. Garrison, Henry A. Garrison and Tabitha Brown were some of the emigrants that documented their travels along the Southern Route(South Road) or Scott-Applegate Trail in 1846 through diaries, journals, letters or later reminiscences.

Levi Scott lead wagon trains in both 1846 and 1847.

Thomas Holt's diary is of his rescue mission from the Willamette Valley south to locate and provide provisions to struggling emigrants in the year 1846.

The Oskaloosa Company traveled the Applegate Trail in 1847. Lester Hulin piloted this company and kept a daily record. Cornelius Hills and David D. Davis were among this train of approximately 20 wagons and were the last train to reach the Willamette Valley by the Southern Route in 1847.

Welborn Beeson's diary was about his family's travel on the Southern Route in 1853 but they homesteaded in the area of Ashland and did not go as far north as Hugo, Oregon.

When the emigrants reached the Rogue Valley their exact route and crossings of the Rogue River varied based on several things: a) Indian activity, b) time of year c) height or level of the river, and d) known obstacles. There is no single Applegate Trail through Grants Pass, Oregon.  Several routes developed but they joined in Hugo, Oregon near the intersection of Oxyoke Road and Hugo Road before mounting the push over Mt. Sexton in northern Josephine County.  These routes either crossed the Rogue River at Vannoy Creek or Jones Creek.  There was no single Applegate Trail through our area of interest.

The 1856 General Land Office Map shows mainly two routes:
Road from Willamette Valley to Jacksonville
Road to Illinois Valley via Van Noys Ferry

In 1846, the lead wagon train led by Levi Scott crossed the Rogue River at the Jones Creek Crossing and followed roughly Interstate 5 to Widow Niday's place. (Road from Willamette Valley to Jacksonville)

Another wagon train company at this time contained Virgil Pringle's and Rev. Abraham Garrison's families.  They crossed the Rogue River at Vannoy Creek thus they were on the alternate route until they reached Widow Niday's place just south of Mr. Sexton. (Road to Illinois Valley via Van Noys ferry) 

These two routes of the Applegate Trail join at Widow Niday's place at the intersection of current day Oxyoke Road and Hugo Road in Hugo, Oregon.

The purpose of this project is to help local preservation advocates, land-use planners, economic development
coordinators, and tourism promoters understand the wealth of historic assets in the Hugo community.   Our history mission is to identify, document, interpret, and preserve the cultural resources of our community, especially our local history, and for building public cultural interest and participation in the history of the Hugo area.
The Hugo Neighhood Association & Historical Society has embarked on this history project to inventory these two 1850's trails though our area. 
Emigrant Trail Inventories Policy
The Hugo Neighborhood’s 2005 Mapping Action Plan For Applegate Trail Program, authorized by all six HNAHS Board members, was its first major policy for its history program. The Hugo Emigrant Trails Committee (HETC) was formally organized by the Board in 2005 through the authority of the Mapping Action Plan. Per the 2005 policy, all emigrant trail inventories and decisions would be documented using the standards of the Oregon-California Trails Association’s (OCTA’s) Mapping Emigrant Trails (MET) Manual. This policy was formally corroborated and continued by the Hugo Neighborhood Board in 2012 when the Hugo Applegate Trail Marking & Mapping Project Agreement was finalized and signed by its partners.
1.a. Trail Mapping Committee, Office of National Trails Preservation & Oregon-California Trails Association. July 2002, 4th edition. Mapping Emigrant Trails MET Manual. Independence, MO. 
1.b.  Oregon-California Trails Association. October 1, 2014.  5th edition. Mapping Emigrant Trails MET Manual. Independence, MO.  A wire-bound copy with protective covers may be purchased from the OCTA Bookstore.
2. Hugo Neighborhood. May 14, 2005. Mapping Action Plan For Applegate Trail Program. Hugo, OR.
3.a. Northwest Chapter, Oregon-California Trails Association (NWOCTA); Hugo Neighborhood; and the Josephine County Historical Society (JCHS). March 2012. Hugo Applegate Trail Marking & Mapping Project Agreement. Hugo, OR.
3.b. Northwest Chapter, Oregon-California Trails Association; Hugo Neighborhood; and Josephine County Historical Society. March 2, 2012. Appendix 1 - Authorizing and Reference Documents. Hugo Applegate Trail Marking & Mapping Project. Agreement. Hugo, OR.
4. Welch, David J., Preservation Officer, Oregon-California Trails Association. October 12, 2006. Trail Marker and Trail Marking Policies. Independence, MO.

Emigrant Trail Inventory Guidelines

Rose, Karen and Walker, Mike, Co-Project Leaders, Hugo Emigrant Trails Committee. December 8, 2013. Standards: Emigrant Trail Inventories and Decisions. Hugo Neighborhood Association & Historical Society. Hugo, OR.

Emigrant Trail Inventory Draft Guidelines

A foundation principal of the HETC, Hugo Neighborhood, carrying out its mission in the winter-wet, mountainous terrain of Southwestern Oregon is to research, map, and document emigrant trails through the use of the methods, procedures, and documentation identified in the OCTA MET Manual as supplemented. The Hugo Native American Team, a Committee of the HNAHS, had also adopted a similar systematic analysis approach.

1. Walker, Mike, Co-Project Leader, HETC; Education Chair, HNAHS. Draft July 4, 2012. Historical Trail Inventories Must Document Verification And Reliability of Evidence. Hugo, OR.

2A. Walker, Mike, Co-Project Leader, HETC; Education Chair, HNAHS. Draft July 4, 2012. Scientific & MET Manual Methods. Hugo, OR.
2B. Walker, Mike, Member, HETC; Education Chair, HNAHS. Draft July 4, 2012; Updated Draft May 3, 2015. Scientific & MET Manual Methods. Hugo, OR.
2B. JA-13 Table 1. MET CS 4 Rank Reliability of Different Types of Evidence Used to Verify Trail Location
3.  Hugo Native American Team, Hugo Neighborhood Association & Historical Society. August 12, 2012, Updated April 12, 2014. Appendix F. Maps For Use In Identifying & Mapping Indian Trails, Indian Trail Over Grave Creek Hills: 1855. Hugo, OR.
Appendices For Indian Trail Over Grave Creek Hills: 1855
   Appendix A. NW Chapter, OCTA September 11, 2010 Applegate Trail Field Trip, Josephine County, Oregon.
   Appendix B. Hugo Native American Team
   Appendix C. Its History When Written
   Appendix D. Using General Land Office Notes And Maps To Relocate Trail Related Features
   Appendix E. GLO Surveyors Lake & Hyde
   Appendix F. Maps For Use In Identifying & Mapping Indian Trails
   Appendix G. Reports, Diaries, Journals, & Reminiscences
Other Resources
Oregon-California Trails Association. April 2015. Preservation Training: Official OCTA Training Briefings.
In 2015 the Hugo Neighborhood had been working on researching, mapping, and documenting emigrant trails, including the 1846 - 1883 Trail in northern Josephine County, Oregon for one and one-half decades.
September 11, 2010 Applegate Trail Outing:     
Co-sponsored by the Hugo Neighborhood Association & Historical Society, Josephine County Historical Society, and the NW Chaper of the Oregon-California Trails Association.

2013 OCTA NATIONAL CONVENTION - Guided Tour F (July 21, 2013) and Self-Guided Tour of the Applegate Trail in Oregon

I. Hugo Emigrant Trail Inventory/Trail Committee

    A.  Applegate Trail Program Brochures & Early Inventory Brochures
    B.  Diaries, Journals, Letters & Reminiscences
    C.  Applegate Trail Fords brochure series
    D.  Hugo's Trapper Trail brochure series

II.  Inventory

     A.  Assessment of Proposed Pioneer Meadows SubDivision Containing  Applegate Trail Resources
     B.  Hugo/NW Oregon-California Trail Association(OCTA) Applegate Trail Mapping Project
1.  Inventory Brochures
2.  General Land Office (GLO)Survey Notes
3.  General Land Office Maps
4.  Other Surveys & Maps
5.  Diaries, Journals & Reminiscences
6.  Federal Land Transfers
7.  Censuses
8.  Educational Resources
9.  OCTA's Composite Mapping Project for Emigrant Trails
       10. 1911 Road Survey
     C.  Maps
     D.  Notes
     E.  Hugo Field Inventories/Trips

III.  Networking

IV.  Web Links

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2012 Hugo Neighborhood Association & Historical Society