Following the discovery of gold in the winter of 1851-2, Jacksonville, Oregon, became a melting pot of races, classes, and cultures as ambitious individuals pursued the promise of riches.  The offer of free land brought settlers seeking opportunity.  The influx of miners and settlers attracted merchants with goods to sell and opportunists of all kinds.  Historic Jacksonville, Inc. brings the history of Jacksonville and Southern Oregon to life through the stories of the people, places, and things that have contributed to who we are today.


Happy Leap Year!

Since 2024 is a leap year, Historic Jacksonville is jumping right in
with a
full season of programs and tours!
Start by exploring the

Secrets & Mysteries of the Beekman Bank!

 

The Beekman Bank is the oldest financial institution in the Pacific Northwest, established by Cornelius C. Beekman as a gold dust office in 1856.  He constructed the current 1863 bank building at 110 W. California Street in Jacksonville when he became the Wells Fargo agent.  Over $40 million in gold crossed Beekman’s counters during Jacksonville’s heyday in the 1800s—equivalent to almost $1 billion in today’s currency! 

The building has been preserved as a museum since Beekman locked the doors in 1915 and it’s preserved its secrets as well! The mint was in San Francisco, yet Beekman was never robbed. How did he safely ship his gold under the noses of the highwaymen?  Fires destroyed all the wooden buildings surrounding the Bank. Why is the building still intact?  Beekman ordered large quantities of opium. Was he a drug dealer?  Beekman was supposedly happily married. Why was there a ring in his safe inscribed “Lois to Beek”?  What was Beekman’s “office” really used for? 

Join regional historian Ben Truwe on a 50 minute lantern light tour as he pursues these and other secrets and mysteries.  April 13th and May 11th have limited space available on their 6:45 and 8:00pm tours.  Admission is $5, tour size is limited, and reservations are required.  Click here to purchase tickets!

[March 9th tours are full, but “no show” spots will be filled with “walk ups”!]


Time travel to Depression Era Jacksonville via

1932 Living History Tours!

 

Step back in time to 1932 when the country is deep into the Great Depression; Franklin Roosevelt is running for President; Groucho Marx is on the radio;  and hobos go house to house looking for hand outs.  Jacksonville residents are digging up backyards and streets looking for any gold left from the town’s original gold rush, and Ben and Carrie Beekman, the children of Jacksonville’s wealthiest and most prominent pioneer family, are closing up their 1870s family home.  

 

Become part of a 1-hour living history “play” as you interact with Carrie, Ben, family members, and friends who are commenting on 1932 Jacksonville and life in the late 1800s.  On February 17, the Beekmans will be receiving callers at 11am, 12:30pm, and 2pm.  On March 16, April 20, and May 18, they will be “at home” at 10:30am, 11:30am, 1pm, and 2pm.  Admission is $10 and tour size is capped.  Click here to purchase tickets.  All proceeds help preserve Jacksonville’s historic buildings and bring them to life through programs, events, and activities.   

 

 

The Cornelius C. Beekman House Museum, located at 470 E. California Street in Jacksonville, is still completely furnished with family artifacts.  Family patriarch Cornelius Beekman was banker, investor, entrepreneur, and public servant.  The Oregonian named him as one of the 100 most influential people in Oregon during the 100 years following statehood. Guests have raved about the tours calling them “the finest living history I have ever witnessed.”  

 


After a four year hiatus, David Gordon, Jacksonville’s favorite troubadour,
is returning for two special concerts on April 14 and April 21!

David Gordon Returns!

To benefit the creation of a long-awaited Jacksonville history museum, David is bringing to Jacksonville his two most popular programs.  

Wait for the Wagon
Sunday, April 14, 3pm
Colorful Songs & Stories
from 19th-Century America

From 2016 through 2019, David presented 36 sold-out concerts at the Jacksonville Library in a series called Pioneer History in Story and Song. The community fondly remembers these heartfelt and historically fascinating programs. This 2024 concert will a celebratory retrospective featuring the “Greatest Hits” from David’s series.

19th-century America was filled with music, and the songs in this concert were popular in the USA between 1840 and 1880: the “Greatest Hits” from the era of the Oregon Trail, the Gold Rush, and the Civil War. David interweaves the songs with fascinating historical anecdotes. You will learn the real names of the Man on the Flying Trapeze and the teenage girl who wrote Rock-a-Bye Baby.

Singing My Heart Out
Sunday, April 21, 3pm
A Century of Uplifting Songs About Love, Compassion, and Hope

After six decades of performing around the world, David offers this personal retrospective of his favorite and most comforting, uplifting songs. The playlist covers more than a century of music, and is designed to open hearts, generate laughs, and share the power of music and the joys of living and love. The entire concert is a commentary on the importance of compassion, generosity, kindness, believing in the future, and hope. With a touch of bittersweet humor, these songs calm the mind and strengthen the heart.

David Gordon is a renowned acoustic guitarist and storyteller. The Washington Post called him “an irresistible performer.” He’s a life-long troubadour whose compelling voice, keen sense of drama, and wacky humor have charmed audiences worldwide for more than 40 years. David’s international performing and recording career in classical and acoustic music reaches from Bach to bluegrass, from grand opera to jazz, from Mozart to songs of the Oregon Trail.

Both performances will be on the 2nd floor of Jacksonville’s New City Hall at 206 North 5th Street. Tickets are $25 per person per concert and seating capacity is limited.  Click here to purchase tickets!


And there are always lots of virtual ways to

Explore Historic Jacksonville!

Want an overview?  Watch our 30 minute video.
Want a quick sample?  Check out our daily Facebook and Instagram  posts. 
Want to dig deeper?  Visit one of the 50 sites on our Walk through History blog.

Enjoy a visit to the historic C.C. Beekman House when
Mrs. Julia Beekman “Invites You to Call”
for a tour of her 1873 home.  

Or visit many of Jacksonville’s original residences through our 45 minute
“Step Back in Time” Historic Home video 

Tour Jacksonville’s pioneer cemetery, one of the oldest cemeteries in the Pacific Northwest that has remained in continuous use through our new 45 minute
Pioneer Cemetery tour. 

View Jacksonville through the eyes of local pets as they sniff out the
history and stories of local sites each week in our
Walkabout Wednesday series.

Join us for our on-going “Thirsty Thursday” saloon series featuring early Jacksonville stories of beer, wine, whiskey, saloons, and “entrepreneurs”!

So many ways to see the places and learn about the people who transformed a gold rush town into the 19th Century commercial, governmental, and social hub of Southern Oregon!  Enjoy the treasure trove of Jacksonville History on this website plus daily history trivia on our Facebook  and  Instagram pages.  Find out how interesting and fun history can be!

 

Jacksonville-1883 Lithograph Jacksonville 1883 (lithograph)

When Oregon was admitted to the Union in 1859, Jacksonville was the largest inland trade center in the new state, and Jacksonville and its residents played a dominant role in early Oregon history and statehood. But when the railroad by-passed Jacksonville in the 1880s, the town slowly sank into oblivion. However, that oblivion also proved to be the town’s salvation, preserving the historic buildings, homes, and character that you see today—Jacksonville’s National Historic Landmark District. Today, these landmarks live again through the efforts of the City of Jacksonville, volunteers, and private owners so that you can again experience Jacksonville in its heyday.

 


info@historicjacksonville.org

© 2021 Historic Jacksonville, Oregon