Jacksonville in Jackson County, Oregon — The American West (Northwest)
Beekman Bank Well
At the turn of the century, the Beekman Bank Well was a refreshing stop for two seasonal creeks, Jacksonville suffered from an inadequate domestic water supply for 60 years following the 1852 gold rush. This old well is one of several wells dug in downtown Jacksonville to supplement creek water. Early photographs and insurance maps show this 30-foot well and its twin located across the street, next to Redman Hall, in use by the early 1870s. Both wells provided drinking water for downtown shops, and stock animals. These to brick-lines wells were “rediscovered” when California Street was rebuilt in 2004.
A 16-foot square brick-lined cistern was built in the middle of California Street, between the two wells, to ensure an adequate water supply for the town’s hand-drawn fire pumper. The fire cistern and the two wells fell into disuse after the town built a 35,000,000-gallon open reservoir at the headwaters of Jackson Creek in 1912. Within 15 years Jacksonville's new reservoir, “fed by clear mountain spring water,” was leaking at an alarming rate. In 1953 the town was connected to Medford’s Big Butte Spring - and “clear mountain spring water” once again flowed to Jacksonville's residents.
In 1900 this once tree-shaded oasis provided a refreshing stop for a young boy out romping on a hot Southern Oregon day with his “best
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Man-Made Features. A significant historical year for this entry is 1852.
Location. 42° 18.861′ N, 122° 58.065′ W. Marker is in Jacksonville, Oregon, in Jackson County. Marker is at the intersection of N 3rd St and E California St (Oregon Route 238), on the right when traveling south on N 3rd St. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 110 W California St, Jacksonville OR 97530, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. History of Local Telephone Service (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); History Right Here - Horse Powers (about 300 feet away); Rogue River Valley Railroad Depot (about 300 feet away); City Hall (about 300 feet away); China Quarter (about 400 feet away); Catholic Rectory (about 400 feet away); World War II Three Trees Memorial (about 500 feet away); History Right Here - Furniture Fabrication (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Jacksonville.
Also see . . .
1. Beekman Bank 1863. Historic Jacksonville website entry:
In 1857, Beekman’s office became the first “bank” in Southern Oregon and the oldest financial institution in the Pacific Northwest. When Beekman built this structure in 1863, he ceased being an express rider and became a Wells Fargo agent. The stage stopped in front of the bank so potential robbers never knew when Beekman was shipping gold. During Jacksonville’s heyday in the late 1800s, some $10 million in gold reportedly passed across his counters–worth about $1 billion today. (Submitted on February 14, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
2. Cornelius C. Beekman. Southern Oregon Historical Society website entry:
"Beek" became the Jacksonville agent for the California and Oregon Stage Company in 1860 but gave this up to become a Wells Fargo Express agent in 1863. He continued with that agency until 1905. In 1883, he was one of four local men who deeded property along Bear Creek to the California and Oregon Railroad for a terminal and town site of what later became Medford, Oregon. (Submitted on February 14, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
Credits. This page was last revised on November 20, 2022. It was originally submitted on January 27, 2018, by Douglass Halvorsen of Klamath Falls, Oregon. This page has been viewed 161 times since then and 38 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on January 27, 2018, by Douglass Halvorsen of Klamath Falls, Oregon. 5, 6, 7. submitted on February 14, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.