Rogue River War

Rogue River War History

Rogue River War

The wild and scenic Rogue River winds through the rugged southern Oregon wilderness. Beginning at the Rogue-Ampqua Divide Wilderness at Boundary Springs, it flows for 215 miles before emptying into the Pacific Ocean.

The legendary Rogue River has an extensive history, and is renowned for its nationally recognized steelhead and salmon fishing. Today, the Rogue River attracts outdoor recreation enthusiasts who love whitewater river rafting, fishing, hiking, and exploration.


In the mid-1800s, people were drawn to the Rogue River region – lured by tales of gold and pellets. The area saw an influx of settlers following the passage of the Donated Lands Act of 1850, which gave couples 320 acres and single white men 160 acres if they lived and farmed the land for at least 4 years. Were. In late 1851, when gold was discovered on Rogue, the area was flooded with thousands more settlers. More than $70 million worth of gold was banned from Rogue River. For the settlers, life in the Wicked Valley was lonely and difficult. While gold mining was widespread, production was minimal. Mining remains – including pipes, flumes and stamp mills – can still be found today.

Native Americans living in the land were at first friendly to fur trappers, until a feud began when the fur trappers killed a few lone Indians. This started the Rogue River Wars of 1855–1856 – a war between the United States Army and local militia against Native Americans. Although many different tribes lived in the region, they were grouped together as the Rogue River Indians. Given their name as “Wicked Indians”, the name River of the Wicked was created, which was shortened to Rogue River. The war ended gruesomely and the Tolova and Takelma people were forced onto the reservation lands, where many of them died from disease, lack of local and proper food and water, and the loss of their culture.

The Battle Strip on Rogue River was named for a major battle between Colonel Kelsey’s United States Army cavalry and the Takelma tribe during the Rogue River Wars. In addition to acorns harvested from Oregon white oak and California black oak trees, Takelma survived on salmon, deer, elk, and beaver. They lived in houses partially dug into the ground, similar to the Klamath, Shasta and Modoc peoples.

With the opening of the Oregon Trail – in addition to the gold rush into northern California and later eastern Oregon – the Rogue River valley was soon filled with miners and settlers, who consumed the natural resources on which Takelma survived. As the settler population grew, so did their desire to own the land and control these resources. The fences were built around the land that Native Americans had lived and maintained for thousands of years. Mining flowed into streams and killed salmon and lampreys. The settlers’ pigs also ran wild, eating acorns and uprooting camus bulbs, and their cows trampling down root crops.

The two groups cohabited for less than four years. In 1856, the surviving Takelma were sent to live on a reservation on the Oregon coast and lost their culture and language while interacting with various tribes.

Filled with impermanence and times of war and peace, the history of Rogue River is important to many who wish to experience the valley. Travelers should know the stories of the people who settled on these lands and what happened there.

Samous Faces on the Wicked

In the 1930s, Rogue River attracted Hollywood celebrities such as Clark Gable and Ginger Rogers. Additionally, several films have been made against the theatrical backdrop of Rogue River, including “The River Wild” and “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”.

Zane Gray – author of adventure novels and stories – loved the outdoors and frequented Rogue River as well. Throughout his life, he traveled for each year to adventurous places like Rogue River, where he kept a cabin he had built on an old mining claim. This cabin still stands on the banks of the Rogue River and is a popular stop for travelers. He was also an avid fisherman and enjoyed fishing steelhead, salmon and trout on Rogue


Rogue River is one of eight rivers established with the passage of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968. River.

The latter was one of the original rivers designated under the Act. This part of the river extends from the mouth of the Applegate River to the Lobster Creek Bridge, a total of 84 miles. Signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson, the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act was created to preserve rivers with outstanding natural, cultural and recreational values ​​for the enjoyment of present and future generations. It also established the National Wild and Scenic River System to protect and enhance regionally and nationally important rivers.

As of 2018, the national system protects 209 rivers in 40 states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. The country’s rivers allow people to experience local fish and wildlife, recreational activities, and beautiful scenery. They are also physical records of the land and our history, which will educate and inspire people for generations.


Located on the banks of the Rogue River, Morrisons Rogue Wilderness Adventures is the Pacific Northwest’s leading adventure company and is deeply woven into the river’s history. An incredible world of adventure awaits at Rogue River, and Morrison helps the guys traverse the thrilling waters and woods.

For the angler, the wild and scenic Rogue River is known around the world as one of the most incredible places to fish for steelhead and salmon. With single and multiple fishing trips available, there is a trip for every angler and skill level.

Or, land-lovers can strap on their hiking boots and walk the trails. Morrison creates Rogue River Hiking Trips unique to the region that showcase the natural beauty of the river and southern Oregon. Whether travelers take part in a summer hiking and rafting excursion, or embark on a 4-day, raft-assisted, lodge-to-lodge hike, they’ll experience the rugged Rogue River like explorers of a bygone days.

One of the best ways for an adventurer to immerse himself in the history of Rogue River is to ride its wild rapids on a whitewater river rafting trip. With each twist and turn of Rogue, the history of the river is revealed. With single and multi-day trips available, travelers will love riding the Rogue River in an inflatable raft, making memories and making their mark on Southern Oregon’s most famous river.


Rogue River has a thrilling, storied past – full of stories from the Native Americans who formerly lived on these lands, gold miners, Hollywood celebrities, famous writers, and outdoor enthusiasts who traveled many miles to fish, hike, and raft. had traveled. The future of Rogue River is waiting to be written, with upcoming chapters created by the next generation of adventurers and explorers.


Rogue River War

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