Mistletoe Oaks, Bear Creek Valley
The broad valley formed by Bear Creek became a well-traveled corridor by the middle of the 1800s, as new settlers on the Applegate Trail headed north to the Willamette Valley and gold hungry prospectors poured south to the California diggings. Originally called Stuart (or Stewart) Creek, it was named for Army Cpt. James Stuart, who in an 1851 skirmish with local Indians, became the first soldier to be killed in what would come to be known as the Rogue River Indian Wars. Stuart was buried along the banks of the creek and a short-lived fort named after him was erected near present day Phoenix.