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 Fall!  

And Historic Jacksonville has a fall full of activities…starting with a little 

Jacksonville Haunted History!


Did you know that ghosts still linger in Jacksonville’s historic district?  Learn a little history about the buildings, their past and present “occupants,” and life in a gold rush town when you join Historic Jacksonville, Inc. for a very “spirited evening” on one of our last guided Haunted History walking tours of 2023.

We’re offering special October tours on the 13th and 14th – 2 nights, 2 tours, 2 times!   Hear about brothels, epidemics, and hangings or murder, arson, saloons, and Chinatown – plus lots of haunted houses.  And all the stories are true!  They’ve been shared with us by people who actually experienced them!  $10 per person, reservations required.  It’s just a quick click to purchase your tickets!

 Victorian Mourning Customs


For Victorians, death was a part of life, giving it essential meaning, and they created elaborate rituals around the passing of a loved one.  Between 12n and 3pm on Saturday and Sunday, October 21 and 22, we will be offering 1-hour “Victorian Mourning Customs” tours beginning every 20 minutes at Jacksonville’s 1870s C.C. Beekman House Museum, located at 470 E. California

The house will be decorated as a Victorian house in mourning—clocks stopped, mirrors draped in black, mourning wreath on the door, coffin in the parlor. Costumed docents will share the fashions, home décor, funeral etiquette, social behavior, and personal mementos that honored the dearly departed in the late 1800s.

Tour admission is $10 and reservations are encouraged.  “Walk ups” are accommodated based on space available.  For tickets and information, click here. 

And of course we have to throw in a little

Halloween Holiday History!


What do a cow, an outhouse, and soft soap have in common? In 19th Century Jacksonville, Halloween was all tricks, no treats, and of course, boys were the culprits. 

William Puhl, who had a barbershop in the Masonic building, kept a milk cow at his residence. One Halloween, several boys decided to take the cow to the barbershop.  Once the Puhl family was asleep, the boys stole “Bossy,” broke into the shop with a skeleton key, lured the cow in with bran, and then skedaddled.  When Puhl arrived at his shop the next morning, he found that Bossy had kicked over the barber chair and had generously “painted” the mirror, floor, etc.  We would not have wanted to be one of his customers that day!

To read about 2 more 19th Century Halloween tricks, click here!

And have you heard about our 

Walkabout Wednesday Club?


The Walkabout Wednesday Club was formed to honor Storm Large, Jacksonville’s 4-legged Great Dane history ambassador, who for over 7 years shared weekly stories about locations in Jacksonville’s National Historic Landmark District on our social media pages. 

Local pets have now taken up the task of visiting these sites as a way of honoring Storm’s legacy and continuing her unique way of showcasing the gold mining camp that became the 19th Century hub of Southern Oregon and the first group of buildings on the West Coast to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places.   

You can enjoy them on our newest website blog:  The Walkabout Wednesday Club!

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. 

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.

© 2021 Historic Jacksonville, Oregon