Bridges to East Medford
In the 1880s and ‘90s, Medford’s commercial center and earliest neighborhoods developed west of Bear Creek. By the end of 1888, a wooden bridge at Main Street connected eastside farms to the more populated area. As the community grew in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, roads and homes spread east. Luther G. Porter, one of East Medford’s early residents, offered 13 eastside lots for sale in 1900 and built his own elegant home there in 1906.
East side subdivisions such as the Geneva-Minnesota and Queen Anne neighborhoods were annexed to the city. In 1910 the Pacific and Eastern Railroad, a short-line to Butte Falls, completed its passenger depot just east of the bridge. The next year Roosevelt School up the hill was completed, and Sacred Heart Hospital was under construction on the top of Nob Hill—above Ashland Avenue.
In 1912, the new steel bridge on Main Street, built in 1902, was disassembled and replaced with a concrete bridge. The steel structure was reassembled as Jackson Street’s first bridge. East Medford continued to grow. Over time, more bridges were added including those on 4th (1961), 8th (1960), and 10th (1960) streets. By the mid-twentieth century, Hawthorne Park edged the creek between Main and Jackson, Medford’s first shopping center opened at Jackson and Biddle, and the I-5 viaduct cast its shadow from above.