Construction of the bypass, located approximately one
of "The Old Highway" was apparently completed by early 1938,
leaving Talent's commercial district off the main north-south route
through the Rogue River Valley for the first time since the 1850s.
New businesses, predominately those relating to the highway trade
such as tourist cabins, and later motels, developed along the new
corridor. The north entrance to town, where the old and new route
joined, became known as "Talent Junction," a location that has been
the site of a series of gas stations for over sixty years.
1.3.10. A "City" -- Talent in the Post-WWII Era
In 1941, Talent likely benefited from the wave of
spending that swept Jackson County as war in Europe became eminent.
The military decision to build a huge Army cantonment in the Agate
Desert, east of Medford, resulted in a huge influx of first
construction, and then uniformed, personnel that quickly
overwhelmed any lingering effects of the depression in southern
Oregon. Talent's vacant houses, as virtually every structure in the
valley, were all soon rented. The feared move of the Pacific
Highway had not had dire impact on the commercial district. While
reduced in scope and variety, the small businesses on Talent Avenue
continued to provide basic services for the community and
As the end of World War II approached, Talent looked
future. In 1944, the continual need for a larger water supply was
again discussed and plans were made for construction of a "reserve
storage system to supply adequate water for the growing population
of the town." (Council Minutes, 4-January-1944) In June, Talent
joined the League of Oregon Cities. With the war's end, new
developments and additions greatly expanded the community's size
and the economy gradually shifted away from the agriculture that
had so dominated the first half of the century. Talent's population
swelled by 90%, reaching 739 in the 1950 census.
By 1958 the original town charter had become dated. City
attorneys Neff and Frohnmayer of Medford, drafted a new charter
that was accepted by vote that same year. Primarily designed to
clarify city functions and organization, Chapter 1, Section 2 of
the new charter declared:
The city in Jackson County, Oregon now known as
"Town of Talent" shall continue to be a municipal corporation but
after this charter takes effect shall be known as the "City of
Prosperity and growth continued throughout the 1960s.
larger scale, commercial ventures replaced earlier structures and
uses. The trend toward subdivision development, multiple
residential tracts built by a single entity, that had begun after
the war accelerated. A new housing type, mobile home parks, grew in
popularity, creating over 100 spaces in Talent during the 1960s and
another 270 in the 1970s. 52 Talent's
population passed the 1000 mark in 1963 and the city again looked
toward improving its water supply to meet demands.