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Hugo Neighborhood Association & Historical Society




O&C Railroad Grants Of 1866

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. A separate grant was authorized for construction of the rest of the line from the border to Sacramento. In these two grants were the seeds of the Oregon and California Railroad Company.

The first rail out of Portland was laid in 1869 and by December 1872 it was completed to Roseburg. Construction stopped there and no further work was done for more than eight years.

Tunnel No. 9 Completed 1883

Some of the most difficult construction work was encountered as the right-of-way entered north of Josephine County. Tunnels and towering wooden trestles were required in the mountains and canyons as the rails stretched to Grants Pass from the north.

Construction of the O & C Railroad was resumed from Roseburg in 1881. The first official train arrived in Grants Pass December 2, 1883, the same year the Grave Creek Tunnel, better known in later years as Tunnel No. 9, was completed July 4. The tunnel measured 2,112 feet in length through the Grave Creek Hills north of Hugo.

Southern Pacific Railroad: 1884

Southern Pacific Railroad acquired control in 1884 and the "last spike" or final ceremony in that railroad was driven at Ashland, Oregon in December 17, 1887 connecting Oregon and California. On August 7, 1955 the "Rogue River trains 329 - 330 between Portland and Ashland discontinued for good ending all passenger service over the original Siskiyou Line for the first time since 1887."

Railroad Cemetery: 1879

Bob Calciano, Commissioner, Oregon Historic Cemeteries Commission, believes the Pleasant Valley Cemetery was established in 1879 when employees of the Southern Pacific Railroad started burying co-workers there.

Pleasant Valley Cemetery: 1899

Southern Pacific Railroad deeded the land to the Pleasant Valley Cemetery in 1899 (link to deed).

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2012 Hugo Neighborhood Association & Historical Society