Mistletoe Oaks, Bear Creek Valley
The broad valley formed by Bear Creek became a well-traveled corridor by the middle of the 1800s, with new settlers heading north to the Willamette Valley and gold-hungry prospectors pouring south to the California diggings. Originally called Stuart (or Stewart) Creek, in honor of Army Cpt. James Stuart, who in an 1851 became the first soldier to be killed in battle 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 camp named after him was established at present-day Phoenix.