Prospectors and Pioneers
In 1851 three young adventurers made their way across Oregon, heading back from the Willamette Valley to the California gold fields. Reaching the Rogue Valley, they conceived a plan.
Rather than returning to California and resuming mining, they would make their fortunes providing food and shelter to other men on the move.
The three of them, Hugh Barron, James Russell, and John Gibbs, filed Donation Land Claims on adjoining parcels of land just off the Applegate Trail. Where the claims converged the partners framed an ambitious two-story building to serve as an inn. They called it the "Greensprings Mountain House" and became known as the "Mountain House boys."
That same winter gold was discovered nearby, in Jacksonville and fortune-hunters flooded in. Wagon trains also began to flow into the area. Until 1887, the Mountain House inn fed and sheltered thousands of travelers along the California/Oregon Trail, playing a small part in one of the largest voluntary migrations in history.