Oregon Caves Road Guide
Holland Loop Scenic Drive continued from Bridgeview …
5.9 Takilma Road
6.3 Sucker Creek Bridge
Records about the history of this bridge are difficult to find but recollections by local residents indicate it was a truss bridge with a design similar to the Pratt truss. One resident thought that the Bridgeview bridge may have been relocated to Eight Dollar Mountain Road and used as a bridge over the Illinois River (3). Confirmation could not be found in Forest Service records (11).
6.5 Hays Cut Off Road
If you drove through this section of road in the 1960s you would have seen thoroughbred horses on either side of the road. This was all part of Sucker Creek Ranch that specialized in breeding, and training races horses. They had about 60 mares and several studs for breeding. Young horses were trained on a regulation size race track located on top of the hill across the field on the right before selling them to buyers all over the nation. The odd looking fence seen on the left side of the road was built to avoid the risk of injuring horses, as might be done on barbwire fencing (9).
6.6 Fort Briggs
CAUTION: This feature is located on the left side of the road at a sharp turn where oncoming traffic is not easily seen.
The original fort, a fortified cabin, burned to the ground in 1908. The present building behind the sign was constructed in 1906 (2). The original land claim was made by George Briggs in 1852 and was later sold. However, the land came back to the Briggs family several years later when the daughter who was involved with the Briggs gold discovery of 1904, one of the biggest strikes in Oregon history, used her fortune to purchase the old ranch (3, 12). It was her family that built the home seen behind the sign.
7.0 Tycer-Neeley Lumber Mill
The first mill to be constructed at this location was the Fulk Lumber Mill and was located about a 100 yards from the road to the right (3). This mill was used for training Civilian Conservation Corps crews from Camp Oregon Caves how to operate a lumber mill and much of the lumber that was cut here was used in construction of the buildings at Camp Oregon Caves and various CCC projects in the valley (3, 5). The Tycer-Nealey Lumber Mill went into operation around 1946. The old mill site was destroyed when a pond for soaking logs was built there (3). Some of the buildings and a cement wall on the right were part of the Tycer-Neeley Lumber Mill. The mill operated for about ten years (4).
7.1 Kelley Creek Bridge
7.6 Chapman Creek
7.9 Hwy 46 END OF TOUR
The stop sign at Highway 46 marks the end of the tour. Watch for fast moving traffic coming around the curve in the road especially on the left. Turn left to return to Cave Junction and stop at the Illinois Valley Visitor Center for more information on things to do in the area.
END TOUR Return to Road Guides Page
Thanks to the following people for providing information about this history loop:
Ken Phillips, Don Fulk, Jack Heald, Terry Bendack, Ted Gerber, Bob Kerivan.
1) Anonymous, 2012. Bridge Basics – A Spotter’s Guide to Bridge Design. http://pghbridges.com/basics.htm
2) Atwood, Kay, 1984. Josephine County historical resources inventory, 1983-1984. Josephine County Planning Office (1984), Grants Pass, Oregon
3) Fulk, Don, 2014. Personal communication: Fulk Mill, Bridgeview Bridge
4) Heald, Jack, 2006. Personal communication: Tycer-Neeley Lumber Mill
5) Illinois Valley News, February 24, 1977. CCC Story Brings Back Memories, by Cecil Slack.
6) Kerivan, Bob, 2006. Personal communication: Trout farm at Bridgeview Winery.
7) Metsker, Charles, 1955. Metsker’s Atlas of Josephine County, Oregon. p 36; Fulk Mill
8) Owen, Marcheta, 2009. Jay Hays interview, August 1999. Recollections; Stories of School Days in the Illinois Valley. Page 32. Self published.
9) Phillips, Ken, 2006. Personal communication: Sucker Creek Ranch.
10) Rogue River Courier, April 24, 1908. It Was the Old Fort Briggs That Burned
11) USDA, 2014. Information about history of Eight Dollar Mountain Bridge. Staff, Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest, Medford, Oregon (Forest Service records indicate the construction of the Eight Dollar Mountain Bridge over Illinois River started in 1952 and was completed in1954. Records indicate that the bridge was constructed on-site rather than moved from another location such as Bridgeview).
12) Illinois Valley News, December 24, 1954. Nostalgic Memories of By-gone Years Brought Back By Festive Yule Season. By Helen Bettel.
13) Brandt, Roger, 2014. Briggs Gold Strike. 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