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Mail Tribune 100, March 15, 1922

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

March 15, 1922

FORCE CANAL COMPANY TO CLEAR LAND

Councilman T. W. Miles Urges Necessity of Immediate Action to Insure Purity of Medford’s Water Supply — Legal Problem Involved — Filter at Intake is Suggested.

Councilman T. W. Miles was the principal speaker at the Chamber of Commerce forum luncheon at the Hotel Medford this noon, during which the local water situation was extensively aired.

F. E. Merrick acted as chairman of the meeting and prior to his introduction of the speaker he gave a resume of the water situation of years ago before the present system was installed, the voting of the bonds for the present system, etc.

Mr. Miles stated that he wished to make it clear that whatever he might say was his own personal opinion and not that of the council or any other body.

Mr. Miles spoke of the period in 1915 when the Rogue River Valley Canal company constructed the Fish Lake dam. He stated that before the work on the dam was begun the city and the canal company came to an agreement concerning the timber and brush around the shores of the lake and that the canal company had verbally agreed to clear away the timber and brush before the water level was raised by the dam. This was not done and the result is known to all Medford water users who resided in this city during that period of time. The water was murky, filled with chips, splinters and small particles of bark which detached themselves from the decomposing threes and bushes which had been killed after a certain period of submergence. This condition will recur the speaker warned, unless action is promptly taken.

Mr. Miles pointed out that a good water supply was an invaluable asset to any city and that the pollution of the water, not particularly with disease germs, but with distasteful and unpalatable particles of debris would be a serious menace to growth and prosperity.

The canal company will again raise the level of the dam this summer and unless the timber and brush is cleared from the land which will be flooded a condition similar to that which existed in 1915 will arise. Mr. Miles stated that this question rests individually with each Medford citizen and that a solution of the problem must be reached, the canal company being forced to clear the timber if it is legally possible.

— Alissa Corman; acorman@rosebudmedia.com