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Historic Jacksonville, Oregon
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Jacksonville was my neighboring town while I lived in the Ashland/Medford area and it was nice to live so close to a place so much fun to visit. I love historical sites, and this is one of only 8 cities in the U.S. where the entire town is designated as a National Historic Landmark. It began in 1851 as a gold rush town. It was bypassed by the railroad, and that's probably what has preserved its step-back-in-time feeling.

So I've been happy exploring this little town. Above is a postcard I scanned because I never could get this shot good with my camera. This is California Street as you're coming into the main part of town heading toward the Siskiyou Mountains.
Even the new houses, like the following in a modern subdivision named Nunan Square, have a small town feel. The entrance looks like a mini town square where you might expect to see a brass band playing in the gazebo.
This picture was taken in late January, following one of Jacksonville's heaviest snows. Even though the houses were pretty close together, I liked how well they blended in style and color.

Your first stop should be the Visitors Center which is housed in the tiny Rogue River Valley Railway Depot of 1891. It's on N. Oregon & "C" Street next to the post office. Pick up walking maps that will lead you through the streets pointing out the many interesting historic buildings and sights along the way. Also check out the hiking trails that hug the hillside above town with interpretive signs telling of the gold strikes found in the area.

This is the traihead of a very enjoyable hike I did in April that begins in the hills above Jacksonville. The poster shows pictures of the "Flowering Plants of the Jacksonville Woodlands Trails."

The next sign wasn't as friendly, telling of mountain lions and poison oak.
But it was a beautiful spring day - the wildflowers were in bloom, the madrones seemed especially colorful, and the town was celebrating its signature flower, "Gentner's Fritillaria." It's one of Oregon's rarest plants and it lives in the native woodlands surrounding Jacksonville.
I didn't see any mountain lions, but the fritillaria were covorting freely with the poison oak, making it a risky thing to get too close to them.
One of Jacksonville's forefathers and Oregon's first photographer, Peter Britt, arrived in 1852. His settling here contributed greatly to there being plenty of early photographs and paintings of the area. He was also the very first photographer to capture Crater Lake in 1874. The Britt Music Festival is named in his honor, a series of concerts held in the outdoor amphitheater hidden in the trees above town. I'm hoping I'll get to see a performance or two when it starts again this summer, as the music offered is pretty diverse and by well known artists.

One of my favorite Jacksonville days was spent on another of its tranquil hillsides...

Visit the historic 1800's Jacksonville Cemetery

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