In Southern Oregon


  • apple tree
  • merlin
  • tree

Located in Merlin Oregon, this tree is Oregon's 2nd oldest apple tree. It was planted by the Haines family in the either 1852 or 1854 (accounts vary), the tree stood throughout the Indian wars. The fighting began in 1855 when white vigilantes attacked a group of peaceful Indians-mostly women, children and elderly men-(at present day Eagle Point). Under the direction of a man who titled himself Major James A. Lupton, a group of " hair brained enthusiast and professed ruffians" butchered the Indians, according to A.G. Walling's story "A History Of Southern Oregon," published in 1884.
The Indians in the area struck back, working their way down the Rogue River and attacking white homesteads. Their thirst for vengeance had not been quenched by the time they reached Merlin, according to the recently published "An Arrow In The Earth": General Joe Palmer and the Indians of Oregon."
Although Haines tried to fight off the Indians, they were one family against a band of angry warriors. When volunteers arrived to help, according to contemporary accounts, they found Mr. Haines and his young son murdered at the home site. The Indians took Mrs. Haines and her daughter captive, presumed to have been thrown into Hellgate Canyon on the Rogue River. Taking in account that white accounts of Indian atrocities were nearly always exaggerated.

The tree was reported to have died in August, 1973, a few months after Josephine County Commissioners held a ceremony celebrating its antiquity. But three years later, branches of the old three were still alive, and the State Forestry Department declared it a historic site. A special thanks to Marilyn Luttrell, who over the years has looked after and help raise money to protect this historical tree and site.

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