James Cluggage - Gold in Oregon!
From "The Rogue Digger" Vol. 7, #4 - a publication of the Rogue Valley Genealogical Society of Ashland, Oregon. Winter 1972:
In Januare 1852, James Cluggage and J.R.Poole, owners of a mule pack train carrying supplied between Willamette Valley [Oregon] and Yreka [California], stopped to rest their animals a few days near Bear Creek [southern Oregon].Cluggage, familiar with gold prospecting in Northern California, wandered into the foothills on the west side of the valley to Jackson creek and there, in Rich Gulch, struck gold.The first mining claims were taken up by Cluggage, Poole and their associates, Sykes, James Skinner and Wilson.
The news traveled fast.Miners poured in from the Willamette Valley and from the gold fields in California.Emigrant wagon trains, fresh from the east, haldted and the men-folks rush to stake claims.Many, already settled on farms, left their holdings to try their luck in the gravel bars.
In February every foot of Ridh Gulch had been claimed and staked out.By March there were a hundred or a hundred fifty men working in Jackson Creek.