Monday June 6, 2005
By Marjorie O'Harra
Welcome to As It Was: Tales from the State of Jefferson
Springtime is when Maryum's (Mair-ee-um's) yellow rose blooms in Logtown Cemetery, just southwest of Jacksonville, Oregon.
Maryum McKee, her husband, John, and their two small children left Missouri in 1853 with a wagon train headed for Oregon. Maryum carried a cherished rose bush.
The family settled in Logtown, a supply point for miners on the trail between Jacksonville and Crescent City, where John could work as a blacksmith -- and Maryum planted her rose.
The McKees lived in Logtown for thirty-seven years, and raised a family of twelve. When they moved to Big Butte Creek in 1892, Maryum didn't look back.
Years later, a grandchild convinced the McKees to visit their old home. When the car stopped in front of the deserted log house, a cow poked its head out a broken window. The roof had collapsed.
Then, there by the broken gate, Maryum saw the yellow rose she had carried on the long trip west nearly sixty years before, and she cried softly, "My rose. It's still alive!"
In 1958, cuttings were planted in Logtown Cemetery where the McKees are buried -- six miles west of Jacksonville via Highway 238. It's there that Maryum's rose still blooms each year, usually in time for Memorial Day.
Today's episode of As It Was was written by Marjorie O'Harra, the program engineer is Raymond Scully. I'm Shirley Patton. As It was is a co-production of JPR and the Southern Oregon Historical Society. To Share stories or learn more about the series visit asitwas - dot- org
Williams, Evelyn Byrne, "Maryum's Yellow Rose, A Story of a Pioneer Woman." 1984 Family history, SOHS archives. Conversation with Evelyn Williams, 4/9/05.