In fall of 1969, just after the historic Space Landing and Astronaut Neil Armstrong’s walk on the moon, the father of the famous astronaut visited and fished the Rogue River. Numerous other well-know personalities have enjoyed the Region’s rural atmosphere and outdoor adventures, including Tom Selleck, Kurt Russell (with his Dad). Even Arnold Schwartzenegger felt relaxed in our region’s non-pressured lifestyle. Laura Bush and friends drove through Shady Cove on their visit to Crater Lake.
In 1964, the quaint little fishing and timber village was devastated by a flood that destroyed many Shady Cove homes, along with tall pine trees and much of the community’s history. The power of the flood also destroyed the original bridge crossing the scenic Rogue River and the Seggerman Saw Mill located adjacent to the bridge (current site of Edgewater Inn).
The community of Shady Cove incorporated as a city in 1972. Ray Briggs, affectionately known as “Mr. Shady Cove” was Shady Cove’s first Mayor and appointed local resident, Annie Briggs, and lodging business owner, Faye Thompson, to the Planning Commission. Faye continued as a volunteer long after, and in 1976, Senator Mark Hatfield, State of Oregon, heard of Faye Thompson and her beautification project themed: “Make Shady Cove Shady (with trees) – soon, she found herself invited to represent the little City of Shady Cove in Washington D.C. during the United State’s Bi-Centennial Celebration. Under Faye’s leadership and marking the year-long celebration, evergreen seedlings donated by the U.S. Forestry, were planted throughout the Village of Shady Cove and nearby area to assist Faye’s quest to return the area to the beautiful place she knew prior to the flood on Christmas Day, 1964. Today, you will see “forty-year old Pine trees” standing tall and dotting areas around and in the heart of Shady Cove…
In 1977, Lost Creek Lake, a reservoir located on the Rogue River, 9 miles north of Shady Cove, was built by the US Army Corps of Engineers for flood control. In1972, the US Army Corps of Engineers began construction on the Lost Creek Dam, it was completed in 1977. In 1996, Congress renamed Lost Creek Dam along with the adjoining intake structure in honor of William L. Jess, one of the founders of the Rogue Basin Association, which was established in 1955.
The Cole M. River Fish Hatchery, one of the largest in Oregon (and Western States) is just down stream of the dam and a short distance north of Shady Cove. Built by the US Army Corps of Engineers and operated by the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife, the hatchery can produce 425,000 pounds of trout and salmon, annually.
For additional history on Shady Cove, see photographs at the Shady Cove-Upper Rogue Visitor’s Center, located inside the Rogue River RV Park, 21800 Hwy 62, Shady Cove (next to the Shady Cove Bridge).
SHADY COVE … A must stop
On your way to Crater Lake National Park
On Highway 62, four miles north of Hwy 234, in back of Trail Christian Fellowship, the Rogers’ Rogue River Ranch can be seen … another historic land mark, is located a mile further at Mile Marker 18, just south of Shady Cove. The “Lonesome Hickory Tree”, can be viewed and identified by an Oregon Heritage Tree plaque. Mary Louisa Black planted this shagbark hickory near her home in 1866 from nuts she carried from Missouri by wagon train on the Oregon Trail in 1865. This lone survivor of snow, summer heat and Rogue River flooding is the only shagbark hickory in the area.
At mile marker 21, a sign on Crater Lake Highway 62 depicts a fisherman greeting north bound travelers. Shady Cove is known as the recreational hub of the Rogue-Umpqua National Scenic Byway – and is the southern gateway to Crater Lake National Park. Shady Cove is situated 60 miles south of Crater Lake, and is the nearest full service community (off I-5) to the nation’s sixth, and Oregon’s only, national park.
The village of Shady Cove, an “all-season” recreation destination, has long been a popular fishing village and source for raft rentals, fishing outfitters, casual to notable dining, unique gift and retail shops, and includes a locally owned wine tasting room. Two RV Parks located on the Rogue River, nearby camping, and three motels, including a “rustic recluse for vacationing fishermen” situated on the banks of the Rogue River; a recently renovated motel south of the Shady Cove Bridge; and, in the heart of Shady Cove, adjacent to the bridge and overlooking the captivating Rogue River, is a beautiful 56 unit luxurious motel and conference room attracting individuals, groups, and small-to medium-size conventions and retreats. This motel is conveniently located to a public boat ramp; the Shady Cove-Upper Rogue Regional Park; and, the Jackson County River House Conference Center, an attractive property situated on the Rogue River; is a popular site, especially in the summertime, for weddings and family reunions.
The City of Shady Cove is blessed to have the famous Rogue River running through its town providing locals and visitors with a constant recreational companion. With a population of nearly 2,900 residents are finding living in this pristine recreational region and commuting to their workplace provides them with the best of both worlds; others move here to get away from traffic and the noise of large cities. Most residents come here to visit and they fall in love with the rural atmosphere, small town character, friendly people, available services, activities, healthy lifestyle, fresh clean air, and the ambiance of the beautiful river and mountains.
Shady Cove is best known as a point of departure for year-round fishing; this section of the upper Rogue River is noted for runs of large feisty Spring Chinook Salmon, followed by the famed Summer Steelhead; and, the Fall Chinook return in early September. Several fishing guides and outfitters are conveniently located in the village. Famous anglers, include Western novelist Zane Grey. In addition, rafting and kayaking are popular summer attractions. Raft rental shops are located throughout Shady Cove. Professional rafting guides are available for an exciting, heart pounding whitewater run.
Healthy Lifestyles and all-season recreational opportunities
attract visitors and new residents . . . not all are retirees!
Shady Cove is fortunate to have amenities of much larger communities. In addition to food services, catering, a full stocked grocery store and several quick stops, Shady Cove has available health services including a medical clinic, dentist, chiropractic, massage therapy and a fitness center all located in the heart of Shady Cove. There are three gas stations; auto and marine mechanics, unique gift shops (some display for sale fine art and original artisan wares), churches and a host of social and civic organizations. Shady Cove is proud of its new Jackson County Library, and new Upper Rogue Community Center & Thrift Shop. Elementary and middle schools are adjacent to City Hill, at the north end of town – visit: www.shadycove.net
With civic responsibility that comes with being part of a National Scenic Byway, the Greater Shady Cove Boosters have contributed a large part to the community’s beautification program.
This group “boosters the spirit” of the community with seasonal banners waving in the breeze throughout the business community. In addition, twice a year, this group sponsors and contributes valuable volunteer hours to the River Clean-Up Program.
Special Events . . .
There’s always something going on in Shady Cove. To usher in spring, visitors are encouraged to take a scenic self-guided drive to view millions of daffodils blooming from early March through mid-April on Daffodil Hill (Sawyer Rd). The one-day “Daffodil Daze Festival” is held Saturday following the first day of spring. A popular Wildflower Show, set for the first weekend in May, displays over 200 local and regional specimens. This event also features fine art by the Upper Rogue Artist Association, and handmade quilts displayed for show and sale by local Material Girls.
The end of June brings the whimsical SPAM Festival to the Shady Cove-Upper Rogue Regional Park (on Rogue River Drive ) with music, vendors, and of course you can get your fill of SPAM®. The popular River ArtWalk, set for the second weekend of August, is located along the banks of the scenic Rogue River at Edgewater Inn and Rogue River RV Park. The Upper Rogue Community Center’s Rubber Duck Races at Regional Park held first weekend of September. And, the annual fall Scarecrow Contest and planting of Daffodil bulbs is an effort that rewards the community in spring and gives locals and visitors “over a million reasons to smile!” – “Deck the Halls of Shady Cove” is celebrated throughout the month of December.
Population: 2,850 * Elevation: 1401 * Rainfall: Approx 33″ – some snow for short periods. Winter Temperatures falling below 32 degrees are rare. Summers are dry and warm with daytime highs of 90 degrees – evenings may require a wrap.