History of Local Telephone Service - Jacksonville, OR
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member NW_history_buff
N 42° 18.878 W 122° 58.120
10T E 502581 N 4684711
These plaques and window displays are located at the corner of Hwy 238 and N Oregon St in downtown Jacksonville, OR.
Waymark Code: WMGX6T
Location: Oregon, United States
Date Posted: 04/19/2013
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member silverquill
Views: 5

This brick building is home to a couple of plaques and some window displays that highlight the history of telephone service in Jacksonville. There is a bronze plaque mounted on the building above a granite stone block encased inside a wooden box that reads 'HOME TELEPHONE COMPANY' and below the logo of US West Communications. The plaque reads:

U S WEST Communications and Griffin Creek School
"Working Together"
as Partners in Communications and Education
First Phone Line - 1890
Sunset Telephone Company - 1898
Home Telephone Company - 1910
Pacific Telephone and Telegraph - 1935
Pacific Northwest Bell - 1961
U S WEST Communications - 1984

There is a placard inside one of the window displays that reads:

Jacksonville was started with the cry of "Gold" in 1852, and within a matter of months grew to over 1000 people.

This was nearly a quarter of a century before the telephone was invented.

In late 1890 the first telephone line to Medford was built by Dr. Will Jackson and A.L. Reuter.

When the line opened for business it proved to be a great novelty for local folks. The rate was 15 cents for the first ten words and 10 cents for each additional ten words. There were only the two telephones, one at each end of the line.

By 1899 a regular telephone exchange was established. Ten subscribers were served by this exchange, which looked similar to the one being displayed at your right.

As time went on, Jacksonville phones grew to a dial system and moved into the computer age in 1973 with the most modern communications available.

However, the speed of communications today still can't compare with the speed with which the cry "that's Gold" spread through the area before the turn of the century.

The windows displays contain some very neat relics of the telephone age, like the switchboard, an old typewriter and other communications equipment. I think the Griffin Creek students did a great job compiling some great local history into a museum-like display for visitors to Jacksonville to enjoy.

Historic Topic: Modern Age 1900 to date

Group Responsible for placement: Other

Marker Type: City

Region: Southern Oregon

County: Jackson

State of Oregon Historical Marker "Beaver Board": Not listed

Web link to additional information: Not listed

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