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Looking Back In Time

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For thousands of years - before the eruption of Mt. Mazama formed Crater Lake over 7,700 years ago, American Indians inhabited the North Umpqua River valleys. Settlements ranged from semi-permanent villages to temporary camps along rivers. Fishing, hunting game, and gathering plants were the only food sources these people knew. Life changed dramatically in the 1800's. Homesteaders largely displaced the American Indians. Similarly, this first generation of homesteaders had to rely on fish and game and what they could produce themselves.



Logging in the early 1900's

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The search for gold brought many emigrants to the North Umpqua. Mines were developed near Steamboat Creek, but only a few fortunes were made. What was discovered was the wealth of natural resources, in the form of trees. Big trees! Sawmills were built by the early 1900's and a substantial timber industry developed. In the 1920's, recreation pursuits in the area increased. Visitors were drawn to the North Umpqua River because of the excellent fishing. A Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camp was established at Steamboat in the 1930's. Corpsmen developed roads and constructed the Mott Bridge, campgrounds, cedar-bark covered outhouses, stone drinking fountains, log car barriers, bathhouses and other improvements to service recreation seekers. Late in 1939, the North Umpqua Road, a gravel route connecting Roseburg with Diamond Lake via Copeland Creek, was completed, accommodating the increasing demand for fishing, hunting, camping and boating opportunities. It wasn't until 1964 that the North Umpqua Highway became a paved route over the Cascade Mountains.