Sometime in late 1851 or early 1852, a couple of freighters named James Cluggage and John Poole were on their way to Sacramento from the Willamette Valley. They operated a company named Jackass Freight that was tasked with delivering goods and sundries to the mining camps along the trail.
Near the current town of Jacksonville, the two men stopped at a gulch near Daisy Creek for lunch and to water their mules.
They dug a hole to fill it with water for their mules to drink. In the process, the two men accidentally discovered one of the largest gold deposits in the state.
They promptly named the place Rich Gulch and widened the area of search to the nearby Jackson Creek. Among the gravel, the two men found large deposits of placer gold.
They had bigger plans for the area. They filed a claim on the adjoining lands. John Poole sought 306 acres and James Cluggage filed for 160 acres. With the allotted land, they began planning a town. They had big ambitions and foresight. With the donation of land, Jacksonville, the county seat of Jackson County was born.
The name Jackass Freight Co. is a tribute to those men, and the historical impact they had in Southern Oregon. We raise a beer in their honor!
The trail ends here…