—Rogue River, Oregon

Beck Field is the original home of the Rogue River High School Chieftains in the City of Rogue River in Southern Oregon. The school was built in 1939, and when the high school moved to its current location on East Evans Creek Road about 30 years ago, the brick building on Pine St. became Rogue River’s middle school.

Sandwiched between the school and Evans Creek, Beck Field was previously the grounds for apple and prune orchards.

The field was named after Bill Beck—or Grandpa Beck as some students called him—who was the much admired-custodian at the high school.

The quarter-mile track around the football field has always been surfaced by decomposed granite. Today it’s a favorite place for recreational joggers and walkers.

At the south end there’s a T-Ball field. Years ago, the main high school baseball diamond was located at the north end of the field, and through the late ‘50s, giant bonfires were burned on the east side of the track to celebrate homecoming.

These days Beck Field is used for middle school sports, Pop Warner football, youth soccer, the annual Kiwanis Easter Egg Hunt, and the Rooster Crow 5K footrace.

Besides its use for athletics, the teachers at the middle school use Beck Field for science field trips. It’s a great place for students to observe nature.

Just over the fence on the north end of the field is a Sabal Palm, the state tree of Florida. The Big Double R, the city’s towering landmark on the mountainside, is clearly visible from the track.

Originally the home for high-energy high school track and field, football, and baseball, Beck Field is now a favored location for youth sports and recreation.

Along with Coyote Evans Wayside Park at the Depot St. Bridge, the Rogue River Greenway path along the river, and the arboretum at Palmerton Park, Beck Field is surrounded by mountains, a beautiful spot in the City of Rogue River.

Many thanks to Cheryl Martin Sund, Julia Moore, Bobby and Shirley Allen, Tammy Raye King-Asnicar, the Woodville Museum, and the Rogue River Press for information about Rogue River and Beck Field.

Video and photography ©2014 by Randy Johnson