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Mail Tribune 100, Oct. 1, 1919

The following news items were drawn from the archives of the Mail Tribune 100 years ago.

Oct. 1, 1919

BOX SHORTAGE IS NOW COMPLICATION APPLE SITUATION

The life of the Rogue River valley orchardist is just one doggoned thing after another, or rather two of them. After setting a plan in motion Monday to harvest the 800,000 box apple crop by an urgent appeal for help at picking to the general public it was discovered that there is a huge shortage of boxes in which to place and pack the apples after they are picked.

The crisis is all up in the air at present, even to the dismissing of the high school for a week. And then came the rain of last night and today and showers predicted for tonight and this morning to further complicate matters. Rain prevented picking today.

So the apple crop crisis is all up in the air at the present time and the situation that must be faced and the remedy to save the million dollars or over fruit crop will not be known until Thursday night. Headquarters of those in charge have been established at the Commercial club and a thorough canvass is being made today of the orchard and box situation.

In the meantime every orchardist in this section of the valley is urged to make his help needs and general situation known at once by phone or in person at the Commercial club headquarters, and every person who will pick apples is requested to register at the same place.

The Medford school board met last night and voted to dismiss the high schools for a week beginning Monday in case it was necessary, in order to permit the students to work in the orchards. But the leading orchardists are loath (to) interrupt the school system and will not do so unless the emergency requires it. Hence the matter of closing the high school Monday is held in abeyance until the help situation is canvassed and it is learned how much help is volunteered by the general public outside of the high school in response to the appeal made yesterday.

The apple box situation seems now to be the crux of the problem. There are not near enough boxes in which to store the crop when it is picked, and the only alternative seems to be to go ahead and store them in bins until boxes can be obtained for packing. It is generally admitted that it will take two weeks or more to get enough boxes for the crop.

... The box shortage is partly due to the burning down of the Robie box factory at Grants Pass and the Gognon mill in Medford. Of course the general shortage of shook, labor troubles and the lack of sufficient local box makers contributes.

News from 100 years ago