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Mail Tribune 100, Aug. 17, 1922

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

Aug. 17, 1922


Dr. C. R. Ray presented the following view of the Medford water situation before the city council Tuesday evening:

“About 15 years ago, the City of Medford was pumping water from Bear creek with a steam pump for local consumers (and some old timers now say that it was better water and more of it, than it is now and that they then did not have to take turns to get it or stand in line or wait to after midnight to take a bath, like a certain banker).

“But the people were not satisfied with Bear creek water, they wanted something better. They had drank the cool water from the cold springs near Prospect, Dead Indian, Butte creek, Wasson canyon and Fish lake and they wanted something like that; they could see and smell Bear creek, but they could not see or smell Fish lake.

“About 15 years ago as stated, a man by the name of Colonel Ray from New York, proposed to deliver pure water to Medford in a 10-mile pipe line from Rogue river above Bear creek (by pumping to a reservoir to an elevation and flow by gravity to a reservoir in Medford at a pressure sufficiently high to afford plenty of water to all the Medford inhabitants here then or who would come here in the future, including the banker).

“The water was to be delivered in the Medford reservoir and wholesaled to the city (so that the city could distribute the water through its pipe lines to the consumer at a profit and sell for much less lower rates than are prevailing now) and in addition the tax payer did not have to pay one cent for the pipe line or the pumping, or in other words, had the city accepted the Ray proposition, it would not now be burdened with a $1,000,000 debt and only a rotten pipe line to show for it.

“... In other words the Colonel Ray propositions meant then, that if the city of Medford needed additional water then they could pay him a reasonable wholesale price for the water delivered at their doors, to be available for use without expense in case the water system broke down or in case of fire, provided, the city would agree to pay wholesale price for the water when they needed more water than they then had or would need, in the future.

“Or in other words it was not proposed to supplant the city water system but to insure a present and future water supply when needed, without cost.”

— Alissa Corman; acorman@rosebudmedia.com