Motherlode Town in Oregon
"Quaint Mining Era Town Turned Tourist Center"
Jacksonville, a town founded by miners when gold was discovered on Jackson Creek in 1851, is not unlike the best of the California motherlode towns, such as Nevada City, Sonora, or indeed, same name town, Jackson. During its heyday, Jacksonville had plenty of money to splurge on architecture, but the town has been off-the-beaten-path, very much in the shadow of nearby Ashland, and so the surge in tourism there has been relatively recent. The railway bypassed the city as early as 1884, stifling economic growth. As a result, Jacksonville has not been overly restored with concrete and asphalt, nor freeway bypass; rather, restoration efforts today are done with attention to retaining the original materials and architecture of all historic buildings. As a result, there is plenty for history buffs to see and do in town as some 100 buildings are listed as historic structures.
"Britt Festival, Pioneer Cemetary, and Courthouse"
Britt Park, created by pioneer Peter Britt, sponsors a summer series of pop music festivals, and at the time I was there Dead Heads wearing tie dye clothing lined up to listen to Bob Weir, whom I happened to see smiling broadly as he climbed off the bus, delighted by the fresh air of the park. On a madrone forested hill opposite the hillside of Britt Park is a wonderful old pioneer cementary that is maintained as it was. Meanwhile, down in town the old courthouse, now a museum, stands tall over this quaint town.
"Family Park and Wildlife"
Jacksonville has a family focus, and there are plenty of deer that will walk right into town. In addition to the cemetary and Britt Park, there are several other nature trails and city parks that cater not only to tourists but to the youth who live there.