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Since You Asked: County has tried to preserve Fort Lane history

I read your story on Fort Lane in Wednesday's paper. How did the old Fort Lane site come into county ownership and when?

— Larry S., Jacksonville

Like practically everything about the Fort Lane site near Central Point, the answers to your questions have an interesting history, Larry.

Fort Lane, for those who missed the story, was built in the fall of 1853 after a clash between American Indians and European settlers earlier that summer. It was named in honor of Joseph Lane, Oregon's first territorial governor, who also led military campaigns against the Indians in 1851 and 1853.

County Surveyor Roger Roberts said the county acquired ownership of the 19-acre property in 1986. At the time, Tom Newcomb, a field technician for the surveyor's office, was aware of the historical significance of the property since his childhood. About 20 people had an interest in the property at the time, including two local developers, Gregg Adams and Dan Bunn. Roberts said Newcomb became aware of a potential development of the property and the matter was brought to the attention of Jackson County Commissioners. As a result, the county arranged an exchange of land with the developers so the Fort Lane property could be protected.

And now, Larry, the state of Oregon could become the new owners to further protect the property, which has been looted over the years by artifact hunters.

Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by e-mail to youasked@mailtribune.com.