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Dead Indian Soda Springs [1]

Dead Indian Soda Springs near Lakecreek, Oregon

These soda springs are the result of groundwater percolating through subterranean deposits that are rich in sodium carbonate, iron, magnesium, and sodium hydroxide.  The springs were undoubtedly known to the Takelma Indians of the region.  Although there are folklore tales about their use of the springs, it is uncertain whether they actually ever drank the water for healthful purposes.

The term "Dead Indian Creek" dates from the 1850s.  This name also has attracted much folklore over the years.  The most likely story of the name's origin relates that Ashland-area settlers encountered a camp near the head of this creek and found the bodies of several Taklema or Shasta Indian men there who had died shortly before, either from disease or from a raid by another Indian group.  There is no indication that the name was given with derogatory intent.

The springs remained undiscovered by white settlers until 1871, when John Tyrrell chased a wounded elk up the remote canyon and stopped here to quench his thirst.  The "health-giving" qualities attributed to the mineral water brought increasing numbers of local people to the springs each year.  By the 1890s, Dead Indian Soda Springs was a popular camping spot for many Rogue Valley residents.  After 1900, Charles Wilkinson built a home and several small rental cabins near the mouth of Dead Indian Creek (the structures that remain are now part of "Latgawa Camp").  In the 1920s, Lou Bean obtained bottling rights to the spring and sold the water to Brown's Tavern in Medford.

During the Great Depression of the 1930s, President Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal put many jobless men to work in the woods of the Pacific Northwest.  Local men hired by the Emergency Relief Administration constructed an elaborate rock-work fountain here at the springs in 1935-6.  It consisted of a pathway leading over an arched footbridge to a large, walled "plaza" with a drinking fountain and stone benches.  This fountain served thirsty visitors for many years, until the great flood of 1955 & 1964 swept away all but a few traces of the rock-work pathway that still remain.

Source: Information sign

Copyright: William L
Type: Spherical
Resolution: 13200x6600
Taken: 02/10/2016
Uploaded: 02/10/2016
Updated: 06/01/2019


Tags: dead indian soda springs; spring; oregon; creek; cascade range; woods; terraces; terrace; travertine; carbonate; water
More About USA

The United States is one of the most diverse countries on earth, jam packed full of amazing sights from St. Patrick's cathedral in New York to Mount Hollywood California.The Northeast region is where it all started. Thirteen British colonies fought the American Revolution from here and won their independence in the first successful colonial rebellion in history. Take a look at these rolling hills carpeted with foliage along the Hudson river here, north of New York City.The American south is known for its polite people and slow pace of life. Probably they move slowly because it's so hot. Southerners tend not to trust people from "up north" because they talk too fast. Here's a cemetery in Georgia where you can find graves of soldiers from the Civil War.The West Coast is sort of like another country that exists to make the east coast jealous. California is full of nothing but grizzly old miners digging for gold, a few gangster rappers, and then actors. That is to say, the West Coast functions as the imagination of the US, like a weird little brother who teases everybody then gets famous for making freaky art.The central part of the country is flat farmland all the way over to the Rocky Mountains. Up in the northwest corner you can find creative people in places like Portland and Seattle, along with awesome snowboarding and good beer. Text by Steve Smith.

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