Bour Post Office was the title given to the site where John M. Bour lived on the Illinois river. He was a miner and the post office for the mining community located several miles below the area known then as Kerbyville. He was born in Lorraine, France, 1814 and came to state and county in 1852. He married Barbara Dessinger, September, 1861 and had eight children: Joseph, Frank, David, Peter, Mary, Victor, Charles and George. He is supposed to be the oldest resident of the county.
The history of early times on Josephine creek embraces a vast deal of interesting matter relating to mining and prospecting and to Indian troubles, from which the miners of the stream and Canyon creek were not by any means exempt (Josephine Creek empties into the Illinois river South of Bour Post Office). The incident of the escape of John M. Bour, Billifeldt, George Snyder and another, from Indians in the fall of 1853 is given. “The party of four stood a siege for many hours and after nightfall left their cabin and getting past the savages, found safety in another camp.” Also noted was “At Pearsall bar, on the Illinois, and about fifteen miles below Kerbyville, Mr. Tedford was mortally wounded by Indians, and Rouse, his partner, severely cut with an axe.”
Census of 1860 reads:
Year: 1860 State: Oregon County: Josephine
Post Office: Kerbyville Page No: 18 Reel no: M653-1055
Division: Deer Creek Precinct Sheet No: 213A
Enumerated on: June 14th, 1860 by: Daniel Lonergan
Last First Age S Occupation BirthPlace
Bour J. M. 46 M Miner France
Laurel Cemetery in Cave Juncion is where some of the family was put to rest:
Bour, Barbara, d. 1/1/1891, Wife of John M Bour, Aged 60 yrs
Bour, John M, b. 1828, d. 1897
Bour, Charley, b. 18(64), d. (1897)
Bour, Victor, b. 18(70/1), d. (1898)
Bour, David, b. 1866, d. 1945
Bour, George, b. 1875, d. 1953
Here are the directions to the letterbox:
Take Redwood Highway 199 South from Grants Pass 24 miles or North from Cave Junction 5 miles. At mile post 24 turn onto Eight Dollar Mountain Road, there will be a road sign saying "Kalmiopsis Wilderness Botanical Area” or something very similar. This paved road narrows and turns into Road 4201. Before you get to the “Green Bridge” there will be a turn off to the right which is Road 016, it is approximately 2.6 miles from Highway 199. 4WD vehicles recommended. Take Road 016 approximately 0.7 miles until you reach the old road on the left where you can park and walk from. The old road is along Road 016 where it “S” turns and is full of pot holes that should have you bouncing inside your vehicle. Pull off where the old road begins.
You will see a very old road leading down to the right (North). Follow this road until it comes to a steep bank, about halfway to the bank you will step over a dead fir laying across the road. Once at the bank turn left and follow along the bank down towards the river. You will see a large madrone tree as you make your way down. There will be a couple more madrone trees as you come upon another road (skid road or ATV trail) that has seen recent use. The road leads down to the river and a camp site. Don’t take this road but look to your left where you will see a large hole or pit in the ground. Just past the pit is an old trail or deer trail that leads to the Bour Post Office site. Follow the trail and it will end near a large partially cleared area where the old cabin and site must have been. Just before you get to the end of the trail and the clearing there will be an old weathered stump just to the left of the trail that looks like a set of antlers. Look to the left of it and you will see a large Douglas Fir tree and to the right of that a large Ponderosa Pine. In between the fir and pine will be a small cedar, small fir and a small oak. The dead log between the trees is where the letterbox is hidden underneath. Please bring your own inkpad, I'm assuming you will but being new to this I'm not sure.