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Jacksonville in Jackson County, Oregon — The American West (Northwest)
 

Beekman Bank Well

 
 
Beekman Bank Well Marker image. Click for full size.
By Douglass Halvorsen, March 9, 2013
1. Beekman Bank Well Marker
Inscription. 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 friend.”
 
Location. 42° 18.861′ N, 122° 58.065′ W. Marker is in
Beekman Bank Well image. Click for full size.
By Douglass Halvorsen, March 9, 2013
2. Beekman Bank Well
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.
 
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.
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. Beekman Bank, Jacksonville’s oldest building.
“It was a gold dust business rather than a bank... If you wanted a loan, he didn’t lend you bank money, he lent you his own. Most of the time it was a handshake deal.”
Beekman Bank Well image. Click for full size.
By Douglass Halvorsen, March 9, 2013
3. Beekman Bank Well
There is gold in old pouches, called “pokes,” still stored in the vault. Beekman used to assay and weigh out a prospector’s poke contents, and then store it. When the bank ceased operations in 1912, he attempted to return unclaimed pokes, but some remain. (Submitted on February 14, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

3. Cornelius C. Beekman.
"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.) 
 
Categories. Man-Made Features
 
Beekman Bank Well image. Click for full size.
By Douglass Halvorsen, March 9, 2013
4. Beekman Bank Well
Beekman Bank 1863 (<i>adjacent to well & marker</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 17, 2014
5. Beekman Bank 1863 (adjacent to well & marker)
Jacksonville Historic District Plaque (<i>beside marker</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 17, 2014
6. Jacksonville Historic District Plaque (beside marker)

Jacksonville Historic District
Has been designated a
Registered National
Historic Landmark

Under the provisions of the
Historic Sites Act of August 21, 1935
This site possesses exceptional value
in commemorating or illustrating
the history of the United States

U.S. Department of the Interior
National Park Service
1966
Welcome to Beekman Bank! (<i>located inside the Beekman Bank Building</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 17, 2014
7. Welcome to Beekman Bank! (located inside the Beekman Bank Building)

You're standing in one of the earliest banks established in the Oregon Territory and one of Jacksonville's most renowned landmarks. In 1856, Cornelius C. Beekman opened an express service in the building on the opposite street corner. In 1863 he became a Wells Fargo Express Company agent, moved into this building and began buying miners gold, shipping it to the San Francisco mint and accepting deposits that he stored in his vault. But banking wasn't the only business transacted in this room, as customers could also purchase stationery goods, schoolbooks and even insurance. Beekman Bank continued to operate for the next 35 years. Although Mr. Beekman retired in 1913, the business remained open until his death in 1915. It was then that the Beekman Bank became a time capsule of Southern Oregon history, as the family locked the doors for good. Today, it looks much the same as it did on the last day of business some 90 years ago.

The cigar-smoking Mr. Beekman stands next to his fully jeweled Howard and Davis scales while bank clerk Henry Dox looks up from his work. Beekman claimed these "balances" weighed up to 200 ounces, yet the slightest breath would depress the scale pan. (SOHS # 1959)
Southern Oregon Historical Society
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on February 14, 2018. This page originally submitted on January 27, 2018, by Douglass Halvorsen of Klamath Falls, Oregon. This page has been viewed 67 times since then. 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.
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