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

By
Real Estate Mortgage Broker 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

ACCESS - "Helping People Help Themselves Since 1976"

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Location:
Oregon Jackson County Jacksonville
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POSITIVE ATTITUDE for the Weary Soul
Tags:
jacksonville woodlands historic national park
rich gulch diggings
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oregon
medford
rogue valley
southern oregon
hiking trails

Comments 10 New Comment

Rainmaker
298,723
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
146,660
Krista Laulainen
Ashland & Medford - Homes & Real Estate for Sale
Coldwell Banker Pro West - Ashland
I heard the once in awhile people still find gold.  Have you had any luck?
January 31, 2008 03:23 PM
Rainmaker
298,723
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
298,723
Karen Pierce
Karen Pierce | Housing Counselor |Oregon
Christina - Thank you. Glad you like it!
February 03, 2008 11:45 PM
Rainmaker
298,723

Karen Pierce

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Additional Information

Bringing 29 years of experience providing Southern Oregon and California Home Buyers and Homeowners | Serving all of Jackson County Oregon including Ashland- Talent- Phoenix- Medford-Jacksonville- Ruch- Central Point- White City- Eagle Point- Shady Cove- Gold Hill, as well as Josephine County including Grants Pass- Merlin- Wilderville | Helping Southern Oregonians on the road to fulfilling the American Dream of Homeownership - and staying there!