The city is the home of Southern Oregon University (SOU) and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF). These are important to Ashland's economy, which also depends on restaurants, galleries, and retail stores that cater to playgoers and other visitors. Lithia Park along Ashland Creek, historic buildings, and a paved intercity bike trail provide additional tourist attractions.
Ashland, originally called Ashland Mills, was named after Ashland County, Ohio, the original home of founder Abel Helman, and secondarily for Ashland, Kentucky, where other founders had family connections. Ashland has a mayor-council government assisted by citizen committees. Historically, its liberal politics have differed, often sharply, with much of the rest of southwest Oregon.
Ashland is a city in Jackson County, in the State of Oregon. It lies along Interstate 5 slightly north of the California border and near the south end of the Bear Creek Valley, an arm of the Rogue Valley. As of July 1, 2013, the city's population was estimated to be 20,713.
Lithia Park is the largest and most central park of Ashland, Oregon. It consists of 93 acres of forested canyonland around Ashland Creek, stretching from the downtown plaza up toward its headwaters near Mount Ashland. Its name originates from lithium oxide (Li2O) or "lithia," which is found in the stream water pumped to the park.
The park has two large greens, a bandshell for public musical performances, two duck ponds, a large playground, tennis courts, community buildings and, in winter, an ice skating rink. It also offers picnic areas and miles of hiking trails. View 47 fall images of Lithia Park. Or click on image.
The park was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on November 22, 1982.
The area which now comprises the entrance to Lithia Park was the site of Abel Helman and Eber Emery's flour mill, the first building in what is now the city of Ashland—established in 1852. By the time the town (then called Ashland Mills) had grown up around the area, the old mill had become an eyesore, dirty with livestock and the mill all but abandoned.
"In 1883, a group of railroad surveyors headed by S. L. Dolson and David Loring arrived in Rock Point, near present day Gold Hill. They were charged with finding the best route through the Rogue Valley for the Oregon and California Railroad. Citizens of neighboring Jacksonville hoped that it would pass between their town and Hanley Butte, near the present day Claire Hanley Arboretum. Such a move would have all but guaranteed prosperous growth for Jacksonville, but Dolson decided instead to stake the railroad closer to Bear Creek. The response from Jacksonville was mixed, but the decision was final. By November 1883, a depot site had been chosen and a surveying team led by Charles J. Howard was hard at work platting the new town. They completed their work in early December 1883, laying out 82 blocks for development.
James Sullivan Howard, a New HampshireFreemason, claimed to have built the town's first building in January 1884, though blacksmith Emil Piel was advertising for business at the "central depot" in the middle of December. Others point out the farms of town founders Iradell Judson Phipps and Charles Wesley Broback, which were present before the town was platted. Regardless, on February 6, 1884 (less than a month after it was built), J. S. Howard's store became Medford's first post office, with Howard serving as postmaster. The establishment of the post office led to the incorporation of Medford as a town by the Oregon Legislative Assembly on February 24, 1885, and again as a city in 1905. Howard held the position of postmaster for Medford's first ten years, and again held the post upon his death on November 13, 1919." Source: Wikipedia
Medford is a city in Jackson County, Oregon, United States. As of July 1, 2013, the city had a total population of 77,677 and a metropolitan area population of 208,545, making the Medford MSA the 4th largest metro area in Oregon. The city was named in 1883 by David Loring, civil engineer and right-of-way agent for the Oregon and California Railroad for his home town of Medford, Massachusetts, and in recognition of its supposed position on the middle ford of Bear Creek.