Crispin Street

steps from Crispin Street to seasonal stream

Crispin Street

From Patterson Street to Oak Street.
“North of Hersey Street” neighborhood. 
Meet a neighborhood “stream protector.”
Three “Is this ART?” questions.
Photo essay published in 2022.

In this photo essay, I will challenge you with impossible-to-answer questions and introduce you to an under-the-radar water protector. I walked the length of Crispin Street in September 2022. I started at Patterson Street and ended at Oak Street. Crispin is in the neighborhood just north of Hersey Street, between Oak Street and North Mountain Avenue. This photo essay will be mostly photos. I hope to add more stories about Crispin Street in the months and years to come. I think all the houses here were built in the mid-1990s.

Added October 31, 2022: WalkAshland reader Ken Nigel informed me that builder Larry Medinger, who passed away in 2018, developed this neighborhood, and that Crispin Street was named after Larry’s son Crispin (Chris).

Street sign for Crispin Street.
Here are the street signs where Poplar Place, Crispin Street and Patterson Street come together. (photo by Peter Finkle, 2022)

Is this ART? Crispin Street question #1

Paper art on a Crispin Street fence.
This looks like handmade paper art. (photo by Peter Finkle, 2022)

This looks to me like handmade paper, which I think would make it “art.” Even if you don’t agree with that, let’s call the photograph art. It combines the circular shape and texture and color of the paper, with the linear shape and color and knotholes of the wood, with the abstract shapes and blues and whites of the sky. (Plus a splash of bright green, if you want to get picky.)

Is this ART? Crispin Street question #2

Rock art on Crispin Street
Is this art? Someone placed the rocks here, just so. (photo by Peter Finkle, 2022)

Shall we call this “modern art?” Or perhaps we should call this “traditional art.” Maybe even “stone age art” — haha. I am serious, though. Someone placed the different shapes and colors of stones in these exact positions. If the intention was to be pleasing to the eye, to the mind or to the heart, then it is probably “art.”

Is this ART? Crispin Street question #3

Sidewalk arch of greenery on Crispin Street
Here is a lovely arch of greenery along the Crispin Street sidewalk. (photo by Peter Finkle, 2022)

As with the stones, this pleasing path is a product of human creativity working together with nature. The green arched tunnel momentarily transforms a boring sidewalk into an almost enchanted passage. Except that the passage leads back to the boring sidewalk. Don’t worry, though. With eyes and heart open, we might find more surprises around the bend. Literally around the bend — in the upper left corner of the photo, you can see that Crispin Street takes a 90 degree bend here.

I meet a neighborhood stream protector

steps from Crispin Street to seasonal stream
These steps take you from Crispin Street to the seasonal stream. (photo by Peter Finkle, 2022)

After going around the bend, I encountered the seasonal stream I first saw at the end of Patterson Street, in the pocket park by Poplar Place. [My Patterson Street/Poplar Place photo essay will be published soon.] I spoke with local neighbor Jef Ramsey, who lives on Crispin Street. When I met him, he was caring for this seasonal stream, which he calls Rainy Brook. He also helps maintain the path that follows the stream for a few hundred yards, until downstream it runs into a housing development.

After publishing this photo essay, someone pointed out to me that this seasonal stream has an official name: Mook Creek. Sure enough, when I opened up my Travel Ashland Map Guide, Mook Creek was shown. It begins near Clear Creek Drive (by the railroad tracks) and ends at Bear Creek.

Jef told me salmon used to come up this stream, but no more. He is slowly removing invasive plants and replacing them with indigenous plants. He even helps Mother Nature by giving some water to these water-loving plants as needed. See a comment at the end of this photo essay for more information about Jef’s stream-protector labor of love.

butterbur in a seasonal stream.
Butterbur in seasonal stream near Crispin Street. (photo by Peter Finkle, 2022)
seasonal stream by Crispin Street.
Here is another view of the seasonal stream, looking back (south) toward Crispin Street. (photo by Peter Finkle, 2022)
seasonal stream near Crispin Street
This seasonal stream by Crispin Street is not flowing with water, but there must be moisture in the soil. (photo by Peter Finkle, 2022)

Yes, there are houses on Crispin Street

house at 167 Crispin Street
This is a typical house on Crispin Street, built in 1995. (photo by Peter Finkle, 2022)
154 Crispin Street
Here is another 1995 house on Crispin Street. (photo by Peter Finkle, 2022)

Wrapping up with a tree, gates and arriving at Oak Street

Crispin Street Catalpa tree.
Beautiful Catalpa tree near the Oak Street end of Crispin Street. (photo by Peter Finkle, 2022)
Crispin Street gate.
The dragonfly on this gate stimulates me to remember Grandma Aggie, for the dragonfly was a special animal in her life. (photo by Peter Finkle, 2022)
pretty gate on Crispin Street
This beautiful garden at Crispin Street and Oak Street has a simple and lovely gate entrance. (photo by Peter Finkle, 2022)
Street signs: Crispin Street and Oak Street.
Here are the street signs where Crispin Street ends at Oak Street. (photo by Peter Finkle, 2022)
  • Anne Richards
    Posted at 16:32h, 07 January Reply

    Kathryn, Mook/rainy brook’s path has not been blocked off. Sorry the sign made it seem so!!! We (Jessica Lane HOA) had had problems with troublemakers at night , so placed the signs simply saying “PRIVATE PROPERTY, “PLEASE BE RESPECTFUL, “, and have hoped that make clear that we welcome walkers, and in fact, I’ve missed them lately!! Thanks for bringing up the issue! Makes me sad, as it’s a great path. Anne Richards

  • Rich Rohde
    Posted at 20:48h, 27 October Reply

    I liked this series of pics. I was at the groundbreaking for some of the affordable units in the project in the mid nineties. Excellent connections.

  • Kathryn Casternovia
    Posted at 12:55h, 27 October Reply

    Rainy Brook’s pathway stops at it’s north end. For years it was open and one could continue on the path down Jessica Lane, that continued down to Carol and Clinton Streets. But it was closed by the HOA on Jessica Street, because they didn’t feel comfortable with suspicious characters passing through, so they closed the pathway at their end.
    This year’s heat and drought caused a loss of many young plants in our Greenway that we hope to replace. To the many folks that walk through and love our Greenway, if you would like to contribute any funds to help a continued development and maintenance, please tell Jef when you walk through and he will tell you how to direct them to our HOA President.
    (We purchase our native plant material from Plant Oregon, as well as propagating our own plants.)

  • Laure Duncan
    Posted at 12:29h, 24 October Reply

    It’s all art!
    Love the “tunnel” and the stream protector

    • Peter Finkle
      Posted at 12:36h, 24 October Reply

      Thank you for your enthusiastic appreciation and commentary.

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