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Medford chapel featured petrified wood

I read an anniversary announcement for a Don and Evelyn Bryan in the paper and, first of all, congratulations to the Bryans on 70 years together. In the article, it mentions they were married at The Chapel of the Rocks and Roses, corner of Eighth and Oakdale. I was born here and don't remember that name or something like that at that location. More info please.

— A.E.

The Rev. Dell Elias Millard and his wife, Vivian, had the Chapel of the Rocks and Roses built on South Oakdale Avenue and celebrated its opening with a public reception in August 1945.

Rev. Millard was an avid collector of petrified wood from around Jackson County and had many of his finds incorporated into the chapel by mason James Fortner, according to local author and historian Bill Miller and the Southern Oregon Historical Society.

An announcement about the reception in the Aug. 10, 1945, issue of the Mail Tribune reads, "Medford's Chapel of the Rocks and Roses is well named, for here petrified native woods of Jackson County, gathered during the past 15 years, blend into the architecture of a lovely chapel of incomparable beauty. Here, too, will be rare roses in abundance surrounding the chapel and planted in profusion in an old-fashioned garden, with pool and wishing well."

The announcement said the chapel had a quiet, friendly atmosphere achieved with rich carpeting and drapes. The building was also illuminated with the "newest indirect cold cathode neon lighting."

During the public reception, Rev. Millard and his wife celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary with couples who had been married by the reverend.

After decades in Southern Oregon, the Millard's moved to Arizona in 1965, according to Miller.

The Chapel of the Rocks and Roses was across from the Jackson County Courthouse, according to newspaper accounts.

A drinking fountain and rock seating wall decorated with petrified wood still stand in front of the courthouse. Dating from 1945, the fountain and bench were dedicated to Southern Oregon pioneers by the Millards, according to Miller.

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