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Wagon road hub becomes Central Point

Until the California & Oregon Railroad worked its crews through Jackson County in the 1880s, an undulating, dirt trail meandered through the forests from Butte Falls to the county seat at Jacksonville. It was crossed by another road, muddy during the winter and nearly as hard as concrete during the summer, that supported wagon trains and stage coaches clattering between Northern Oregon and Northern California. The hub was given the name Central Point in 1852 by one Isaac Constant, who lived near the crossroads, but it would be another 20 years before the post office accepted it. Central Point was incorporated as a city in 1889.

The central location wasn’t central enough for the railroad. When it completed its line in 1884, the C&O tracks missed the town. The town folks didn’t hesitate in moving their city to where the railroad passed through.

As roads and highways have replaced the old wagon roads, Central Point has remained a conveniently situated hub for travelers in the Rogue Valley and along the Interstate 5 corridor.

Source: “Central Point was Wagon Roads Hub,” Medford Mail Tribune, Aug. 12, 2009

1892 Farmer’s Exchange Roller Mill, the first flour mill in Central Point; established by JE and Mathias Welch. Mathias Welch built a brick home in the Italianate style at 162 North 2d Street in Central Point which was listed on the National Historic Register in 1998.