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Jacksonville: The Gold Rush Town

Category: Landmark Place

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GPS Coordinates: 42.314444, -122.967222

When gold was discovered in 1851, miners and settlers swarmed into the Rogue River Valley. Numerous camps, towns and trading posts were established as a result of the new prosperity. Jacksonville was chief among these. The settlement was originally called Table Rock City and was established in 1852 by James Cluggage and James Pool, the owners of the very successful Rich Gulch gold mine.

At its height, Jacksonville was the capital of Jackson County. After several fires destroyed large parts of the town, the residents built new structures out of stone or brick. As a result, many of the buildings dating from the end of Oregon’s brief “gold rush” period are still standing and in excellent condition. Jacksonville continued to be a prosperous town even after the mines were exhausted, but by the mid-1880s, the railroads had bypassed it and Medford was made the new county seat.

Today, Jacksonville is considered a ghost town by many although it is neither abandoned nor in ruins. The town was declared a National Landmark in 1967 and the visitor’s center provides a walking tour of the historic buildings. The Jacksonville cemetery also offers a unique glimpse into Oregon’s early years, with graves dating back to 1859.

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What Is A Landmark Place?

A landmark can be one of two things. It’s either a natural feature of the landscape around us that’s easily recognizable from a distance, such as a mountain, a hilltop or a river. Or it’s a place where something remarkable happened which was important to the people living in the area. This could include a naturally-existing area, but it might also be a human construction like a building, a bridge or a railroad.

How Can I Locate This Landmark Place?

If you have a smart device which is Global Positioning System (GPS) enabled, finding coordinates to a Landmark Place can be easy and fun. Check your online app store for an appropriate app, enter the coordinates into your device and it will help you find this location. GPS is a very accurate technology and, in most cases, can get you within a few feet of your target.