Preserve America Community:
Jacksonville, Oregon, (population 2,400) is located in the southern part of the state. During 1851-52, the discovery of gold in Rich Gulch brought an influx of Europeans and Chinese immigrants to the area, which was known as the Table Rock City mining camp.
Jacksonville flourished and not only grew into the county seat, but also became the region’s largest trading, agricultural, and lumber center. In 1860, the community was formally incorporated, and its small wooden shacks were replaced with more permanent lumber and brick structures.
Various events led to the decline of Jacksonville, and before its designation as a National Historic Landmark District in 1966, the community’s historic character was in danger of being lost. Today, this well-preserved example of a 19th-century western mining camp has become a tourist destination in southern Oregon, drawing visitors to see and experience its more than 275 cultural, environmental, and historic resources.
Jacksonville conducts many guided tours in the Trolley, a vehicle that resembles a turn-of-the-century cable car. The tours highlight some of the city’s architectural resources, native landscapes, views, monuments, and historical markers. The community’s two historical museums, the Jacksonville Museum and the Children’s Museum, are located in the 1884 former county courthouse and the 1911 jail, respectively.
A project now underway for the state of Oregon’s and Jacksonville’s sesquicentennial celebrations in 2009 and 2010 is the enhancement and restoration of gardens owned by Peter Britt, one Jacksonville’s pioneers, as well as a skeletal recreation of Britt’s house.
Each year, Jacksonville hosts a Chinese New Year celebration to honor the Chinese miners and entrepreneurs who helped to develop southern Oregon. Other events are the annual Historic Home Tour and a “Meet the Pioneers” cemetery tour. The city’s Victorian Christmas is a month-long celebration featuring Victorian-era entertainment.
For more information
Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce: www.jacksonvilleoregon.org
Posted March 16, 2009