Camp Latgawa aka Dead Indian Soda Springs

The ‘Dead Indian Soda Springs’ are an assortment of small mineral springs that feed into Dead Indian Creek near Lake Creek, OR.  The springs are rich in sodium carbonate, iron, magnesium, and sodium hydroxide.

The Dead Indian Soda Springs were discovered by European settlers around 1871, when a man named John Tyrrell stopped for a drink while chasing an elk.  Within 20 years, the site became a popular camping site for Rogue Valley residents.  Shorty after 1900, Charles Wilkinson built a home and several rental cabins near the mouth of the creek, which is now part of Camp Latgawa.  Located at the end of South Fork Little Butte Creek Road.

Men hired during the Great Depression to work in the woods for the Civilian Conservation Corps. built a fountain and rock work paths around one of the springs in 1935-1936, but they were gradually washed away during floods in 1955, 1964, and 1997.  All that remains today are the trace ruins scattered about the site and a few stone steps that lead from the trail down into the creek.

It is not known whether the springs were used by the Takelma Indians for medicinal purposes, but in the 1920s, Lou Bean bottled some of the spring water and sold to Brown’s Tavern, in Medford.

On December 29, 2000, the Dead Indian Soda Springs Shelter was added to the National Register of Historical places. Shelter built in 1936.  Governing body: U.S.Forest Service.