Oregon Caves Road Guide
Turn on to Holland Loop Road and ZERO YOUR ODOMETER
0.0 Hwy 46
0.3 Salvage Brothers Lumber Mill
A moderate sized lumber mill was located in the wooded area on the left. This mill operated for about five years during the 60’s and was one of two mills in the valley at that time that used hydraulics rather than a cable to move logs through the saw (16).
0.5 Sucker Creek Bridge
This stream was given the name “sucker” because miners who first prospected on this creek during the Oregon gold rush of 1851 were from Illinois. Illinois is known as the Sucker State. Some of the first gold strikes in Oregon were made on this creek.
0.8 Robinson Corner
Follow Holland Loop Road to the right to continue tour.
In 1888, a post office was established in a small community named Aloysius (Al-oh-ish-us), probably taken from the middle name of post masters son. A 1918 topographic map of the area shows a cluster of homes located near the foot of the hill about a half a mile to the left and this may have been where the town and post office was located. Not much more is known about it. Aloysius is the patron saint of the young, and the name was frequently given to Catholic children during that time in history (6).
1.6 Holland School
The Holland School is the building on the left with multiple pane windows and was constructed around 1910. This was the first school in this this part of the valley to have a hot lunch cafeteria and also the first with indoor plumbing (5). The room extending off the back of the building was the cafeteria and kitchen.
Schools were positioned so children did not need to walk more than two miles to school. Holland School was put here because of its relative distance from White School and Spence School rather than in the middle of the more populated areas of the valley. Children often moved from school to school as their parents moved around from jobs on different farms. Teachers typically taught all eight grades, which were conducted in a single room.The small schools seen along this tour route were closed in 1945 and the children were sent to Kerby Union School north of Cave Junction (8).
2.1 Holland Corner Road
A small piece of the original road forks away to the left of the main road. If you want to see what it was like driving on the old Holland Road, you can turn here and follow it for about a quarter of a mile to where it turns sharply to the right and continues for another quarter of a mile back to Holland Loop Road. When you get to the main road, turn left to continue the tour.
2.3 Holland Corner exit
2.4 Holland Store and Kendall Road
The person who is credited for establishing the town of Holland was a miner named Jack Smock but his story indicates there was already a community here when he arrived in 1895. Jack lost a foot in a mining accident on Josephine Creek and came here to work for a general merchandise store located on the Platter Donation Land Claim. This property was located on the right (west) side of Kendal Road and extended from the intersection to about a half a mile down the road (12, 13). This store and post office was established in 1877 and was described as being “in Democrat Gulch” (9). There is a shagbark hickory tree, not a native to this region, growing next to the road and close to the Democrat Gulch Bridge about three tenths of a mile down Kendall Road and on the right. This may be where the store was located. Shortly after beginning work, the owner died and Jack bought the store in 1896 (3). A new store, the one we know today as the Holland Store, was built in its present location in 1898 and the following year the Holland Post Office was established.
One reason why the store was relocated closer to Holland Loop Road may have been because this was the road many travelers used to go to Oregon Caves (14). Tourist traffic may have also been the reason why the Holland Hotel was constructed in 1904. The hotel was closed in 1943 when World War Two made hired help difficult to find and gas rationing cut back on leisure travel (3). Fire destroyed the building in 1962 (12).
A creamery was established behind the store in the early 1900s and butter was purchased from local farms and refined. The creamery operated under the brand name of “Rosebud” (8: p13) with much of it being used in the hotel. The creamery closed when the pasteurization law was put into effect (3). This was likely the Tuberculin Test and Pasteurization Law of 1917 (7).
In 1910 a telephone line was installed and the store became the telephone exchange in this part of the valley (11). An operator worked at a small switch board that connected a network of party lines to a main line that was used to make calls out of the area. When the operator routed a call to a house all of the phones on the party line rang. Each house was given a ring pattern of long and short rings and this is how they knew who the call was for. It was not uncommon for nosey neighbors to listen in on phone conversations.
The store that is seen today is not the original store but new building built in 1935 (10). The town was named after the Holland family, one of the pioneer families of the valley (15).
One of the most unusual events in Holland’s history happened in 1914 when this store was selected as the launching point for the Siskiyou Nature Man experiment. Read more about the Siskiyou Nature Man….
End Section 4
1) Atwood, Kay, 1984. Josephine County historical resources inventory, 1983-1984. Josephine County Planning Office (1984), Grants Pass, Oregon
2) Douma, Michael, Jennifer McLagan, and Sally E Smith, 2013. Butter Through the Ages. Institute for Dynamic Educational Advancement (IDEA), http://www.webexhibits.org/butter/history-intro.html
3) Illinois Valley News, December 24, 1954. Nostalgic Memories of By-gone Years Brought Back by Festive Yule Season. By Helen Bettel.
4) Illinois Valley News, August 1, 1957. Wrong Caption Appeared in Cut in Last Paper. Letters to the Editor, by Lucille Smock Floyd (former owner of Holland Store)
5) Illinois Valley News, May 5, 1977. Holland School and Seyferth School, by Ruth Pfefferle, My Cup of Tea.
6) McArthur, Lewis A. and Lewis L. McArthur, 2003. Oregon Geographic Names. Oregon Historical Society Press, Portland, Oregon, Seventh Edition. (Aloysius:p18)
7) Oregon Laws, 1919. Oregon Laws and Regulations Relating to the Work of Live Stock Sanitation. Oregon. State Live Stock Sanitary Board, State Printing. Department, 1919 (p87)
8) Pfefferle, Ruth, 1977. Golden Days and Pioneer Ways. Josephine County Historical Society, Grants Pass, Oregon (Seyferth blacksmith & Seyferth School pg 54)
9) Walling, Albert G. 1884. History of Southern Oregon: Comprising Jackson, Josephine, Douglas, Curry and Coos Counties, Compiled from the Most Authentic Sources. House of A. G. Walling, Portland, Oregon: 545 pp. http://www.orgenweb.org/josephine/history/hist2.htm
10) Illinois Valley News, May 9, 1940. Holland Was Founded in 1898 by J. M. Smock.
11) Illinois Valley News, May 9, 1940.Smock Telephone Company Oldest Public Utility Serving the Valley.
12) Illinois Valley News, September 16, 1965. Founder of Holland Store and Post Office Celebrates 90th Birthday. By Letha Cooke.
13) Metsker, Charles, 1955. Metsker’s Atlas of Josephine County, Oregon. p 27, 28; Platter DLC).
14) Oregonian, August 10, 1919. To Reach Oregon Caves – Official Directions as to Route to Follow
15) Courier, November 3, 1997. Vera Holland Archibald: Her Illinois Valley Memories. By Lyle Felkner.
16) Heald, Jack, 2006. Personal communication. Salvage Brothers Mill
17) Brandt, Roger, 2013. Siskiyou Nature Man. Highway199.org
Oregon Caves Highway Contacts
EMERGENCIES: Dial 911
Visitor Center..............541 592-4076
Cave Tours..................541 592-2100 x2262
Oregon Caves Lodge..877 245-9022
Forest Service............ 541 592-4000