The Ninth Hole
Beyond the treeline across from the 9th hole at the Laurelhurst Golf Course at Dardanelles lies the site of the 1852 donation land claim of William Green T'Vault, a celebrated and controversial figure in Oregon's territorial history. His property, located south of Gold Hill across the Rogue River, served as a stockade for settlers to seek refuge from Indian raids in 1853 and 1855. Newspaper editor, Indian fighter, politician, and entrepreneur, T'Vault fought with Army Major Philip Kearney against the Rogues in 1851, was ambushed and nearly killed while searching for a route from the Coast to the Oregon-California Trail, and served with Gen. Joseph Lane in the campaign against the Rogues in 1853. A strident pro-slavery advocate, his established the first newspaper in Jacksonville in 1855, which he used to promote the establishment of a Territory of Jackson that would be open to slavery. Elected to the Territorial Legislature in 1858, his political star flamed out after the Civil War, and he died of smallpox in Jacksonville in 1869.