Mail Tribune 100: January 8, 1914
The christening of the new bridge across Rogue River as Modoc bridge, instead of Bybee bridge, has aroused protests from Mrs. J.C. Pendleton and J.S. Howard.
When the bridge was built the ranch it was built upon was one of the many large properties owned by the late William Bybee, and the bridge was identified as the "Bybee Bridge." Some six years ago the property was purchased by the Plamer Investment company and christened "Modoc Orchard."
Extensive development has since been carried forward, tens of thousands of dollars spent to eventually make "Modoc Orchard" not only the largest pear orchard in the world but one of the show places of the northwest. The new bridge has naturally taken the name of the present ranch, as the former bridge took the name of the old branch.
One letter follows:
Hon. J.S. Howard,
Dear Sir: In the New Year Medford Mail Tribune I notice a picture of our new bridge and under it "New Modoc Bridge Across Rogue River." Now we are comparatively new settlers here, having lived on our place at Table Rock only a little over twenty years, nevertheless we seriously object to giving up the name "Bybee Bridge," which is a landmark name all up and down the Pacific coast.
One of the strongest reasons for changing the name of our famous mountain from "Pitt" to "McLoughlin" was to honor the man who first discovered it. Then why should we not retain the name "Bybee Bridge?"
Mr. Bybee was the first, (was he not?) to furnish a means of crossing the river at this point, and the first bridge that spanned the stream was named for him being known by travelers far and wide. "Modoc Bridge" would set them all to guessing as to its locality.
This is not merely a neighborhood or local question but one of far-reaching importance. Mr. Pendleton remembers hearing his father speak of the Bybee crossing on Rogue River more than forty years ago, long before he ever dreamed of living anywhere in Oregon. It seems too bad that we cannot retain the old names. Could you suggest any means by which this could be brought before the people and have the question settled, say by a tablet or something of the kind?
Thanking you for the efforts you have made in giving historical facts to we younger settlers and not wishing to take any more of your valuable time, I am
Yours very respectfully,
MRS. J.C. PENDLETON