Waldo Historic Marker
Drive six miles south of Cave Junction and turn left on Waldo Road. This is also the beginning of the Jefferson State Scenic Byway. Follow Waldo Road for three miles and look for a rock monument in a large turnout on the left.
One of the things you might notice when comparing the photo above with what you see across the street from the historic marker is a significant difference in terrain. The photo above show a fairly level field but what you see has more of a gully like appearance. The reason for this is because the town, like so many others in this area, were built on gold bearing gravel. At the time this photo was taken, the road through Waldo was the main travel route between southwest Oregon and Crescent City, just as it had been since the road was first built in 1856. In 1922, a new highway, Highway 199, was constructed and the travel income that once supported the town diminished significantly. Property value dropped and a few years later the entire town was purchased by a local miner who set up giant water guns and essentially washed the town and all the gravel under it through a sluice box. What you see across the road is the bedrock that was under the gravel deposits and all that gravel is now in a big pile about a fourth of a mile down stream from the monument. This mining operation happened in the mid 1930s.
The photo below shows Waldo when it was a much larger town. It was located about half way between Crescent City, California and Jacksonville, Oregon and was the logical place for stage travelers to spend the night. These hotels are the two story structures seen in the center and left side of the image.