“Back to Nature” - Jacksonville Woodlands Historic Natural Park and Trail System, in Historic Jacksonville, Oregon

By
Mortgage and Lending with Karen Pierce | Housing Counselor |Oregon NMLS 223305

The discovery of Gold in the Oregon Territory at Rich Gulch in 1851 created the boom town of Jacksonville, Oregon, like many of those towns established in the California Gold Rush of 1849. The resulting gold rush fever quickly created the prosperity of Jacksonville, the hub of commerce as well as the County seat until it was finally moved to Medford in 1927. With the designation of much of the city of Jacksonville in 1966 as a National Historic Landmark District, the first such district in Oregon, many of the buildings and mansions built as a result of the wealth resulting from this gold rush have been preserved in this living museum we see today. This gold had washed down from the Siskiyou Mountains long ago, deposited in old river gravels until it was discovered,  washed loose, sorted out by the hydraulic miners, until the gold was uncovered and it was gone.

                                     Jacksonville, Rogue Valley, Victorian Gothic 1881 Presbyterian Church

Jacksonville's boom years lasted until 1884, when the railroad decided to bypass Jacksonville, establishing its area hub in Medford instead, resulting in Medford becoming the center of commerce for the Rogue Valley as many of Jacksonville's residents and businesses moved away. Agriculture replaced mining as the main industry in the 1890's. Jacksonville remained relatively the same for the next 4+ decades, while its surrounding communities continued to grow. In 1927, the County seat was moved to Medford, a more central location for serving the Rogue Valley residents. These changes actually helped to preserve Jacksonville and the surrounding area, such an intrinsic part of the historical fabric of Southern Oregon.

Located just behind the grounds of the estate of Peter and Amelia Britt including the Britt Woods, Britt Ridge, and Britt Park, the site of a summer music festival you will find the Rich Gulch area, lands that are part of the managed lands covered in the management agreements among the City of Jacksonville, Jackson County, the Bureau of Land Management, and the Jacksonville Woodland Association, resulting in a chain of properties connected by woodland trails and city pathways marked with interpretive signs that help protect a variety of natural and historic features. 

Rich Gulch Mining District, Jacksonville, Oregon    Rich Gulch Mining District, Trailhead, Jacksonville, Oregon

Rich Gulch Mining District, Trailhead, Jacksonville, Oregon  Rich Gulch Trail, Jacksonville, Oregon

The Jacksonville Woodlands Historic Natural Park and Trail System has 15 outstanding all-weather hiking trails for hikers of differing abilities. Last Sunday, we hiked the Rich Gulch Trail, one of 15 trails. This trail is a moderate one mile hike that took us through the site of one of the Western United States' richest gold strikes in a forest of Douglas fir, madrone, white oak, and ponderosa pine. The trail follows old hydraulically mined gulches and glory holes resulting from this gold rush era beginning in the 1850's, the Rich Gulch Diggings which are on the National Historic Registry.

 

Rich Gulch Diggings (added 2000 - Site - #00000288)
Also known as Rich Gulch Diggings Mining Ensemble
Jackson County - 0.75 mi SW of Jacksonville, Jacksonville
(247 acres, 10 structures)

 

Historic Significance:

Event

Area of Significance:

Exploration/Settlement, Industry

Period of Significance:

1850-1874, 1875-1899, 1900-1924, 1925-1949

Owner:

Private , Local Gov't , Federal

Historic Function:

Industry/Processing/Extraction

Historic Sub-function:

Extractive Facility

Current Function:

Vacant/Not In Use

 

Rich Gulch Trail Sign, Jacksonville, Oregon View From Rich Gulch Trail, Jacksonville, Oregon

Glory Hole, Rich Gulch Mining District, Jacksonville, Oregon Madrone Tree, Rich Gulch Trail, Jacksonville, Oregon

Hikers will find twelve interpretive signs along this trail that give a wonderful narration about the area's mining history. If you follow the trail to the viewpoint, you will experience a view out over Jacksonville and the Rogue Valley to Mount McLoughlin. For a listing of the trails throughout this preserve and trail maps, go to Jacksonville Woodland's website.


Getting There: From Interstate 5, take Medford exit 30 and follow signs 7 miles to Jacksonville on Highway 238. At a "Britt Parking" sign opposite the Jacksonville Museum, turn right on C Street for four blocks to its end at a visitor center and parking lot. At the far end of town, take a left on Oregon Street, an immediate right on Pine, an immediate left again on First, then another right after the Britt Festival grounds. Park in the lot at the trailhead.

Fees: None for the trails, $1 for the trail map.

 

See You Out There!

Karen Cooper - OR/CA Mortgage Consultant - www.Quality4Loans.com

 

Posted by

Karen Cooper Southern Oregon|California Mortgage ConsultantKaren Pierce - Housing Counselor/Certified Foreclosure Intervention & Default Counselor

               NMLS #223305

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Location:
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Tags:
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Rainmaker
1,444,152
Laura Cerrano
Authentic Feng Shui Expert
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island
Karen, What a fabulous post, the pictures and history of this are just beautiful!  Wow, I felt almost as if I were there (and sure would have liked to be!).  You might want to post this in the Group Heritage Homes and there is a new Localism Post Group by Jo-Anne Smith.  This is this weeks theme.
January 29, 2008 10:25 AM
Rainer
129,765
Rich Dansereau
Positive Real Estate Professionals
What a wonderful blog about your local area. I studied the Gold Rush in middle school but know virtually nothing about it beyond that! A forest of douglas firs and ponderosa pines sounds like walking through a Christmas forest. I love nature trails but have never had the pleasure of seeing a forest of this type. Nice photos!
January 29, 2008 10:49 AM
Rainmaker
308,223
Karen Pierce
Karen Pierce | Housing Counselor |Oregon

Carole - Why, thank you! I'll go check out the groups you mention, and see if I can change my 5 present group choices around.

Rich - I hold a special affinity for Gold Rush area, having my current offices in Sonora, California and Ashland, Oregon, both communities smack dab in the middle of areas that sprung up around the gold discoveries. And both areas are just like you said, like Christmas forests.

Thanks to you both for stopping by and commenting.

January 29, 2008 02:29 PM
Ambassador
243,724
Jesse & Kathy Clifton
Fairbanks Alaska Real Estate Specialists, 907-328-9328
Jesse Clifton & Associates, REALTORS®

Hi, Karen - Jacksonville sounds like a great place.  It's always a disappointment when a traffic artery bypasses a town, whether rail or highway, but sometimes it checks the growth a little so some of the best things about it can be preserved.  The park sounds like a great place for an afternoon hike.

January 29, 2008 04:53 PM
Rainmaker
940,481
Georgie Hunter
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers

Karen - I never knew such a place existed - thanks for the info.

January 29, 2008 06:37 PM
Rainmaker
308,223
Karen Pierce
Karen Pierce | Housing Counselor |Oregon

Jesse & Kathy - You are right...the by-pass of Jacksonville by the railroad preserved this area so we can enjoy it today. The whole character of this town is wonderful, with the preserved historical buildings, great shops and wonderful restaurants. From the hiking trails throughout downtown, one can walk the whole thing. Thanks for commenting.

Georgina - You are welcome! Thanks for stopping by.

January 29, 2008 11:12 PM
Rainmaker
146,997
Krista Laulainen
Portland - Homes & Real Estate for Sale
Realty Trust Group
I heard the once in awhile people still find gold.  Have you had any luck?
January 31, 2008 03:23 PM
Rainmaker
308,223
Karen Pierce
Karen Pierce | Housing Counselor |Oregon
Krista - The creeks were all frozen when I was up here. We'll have to go back in the Spring and try our luck!
February 01, 2008 01:20 PM
Rainer
143,940
Christina Williams. REALTOR® TN property search & local insights
First Realty Company
Very good work Karen... Love this.
February 03, 2008 05:52 PM
Rainmaker
308,223
Karen Pierce
Karen Pierce | Housing Counselor |Oregon
Christina - Thank you. Glad you like it!
February 03, 2008 11:45 PM
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Rainmaker
308,223

Karen Pierce

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