Rogue River Valley, Oregon - Southern Oregon is divided into three main river basins; the Umpqua River, the Rogue River, and the Klamath Basin. The Umpqua meets the Pacific at Reedsport, the Rogue mouth is near Gold Beach, and the Klamath empties at the Redwoods National Park in Northern California. All three rivers have their headwaters in the Cascade Mountains on the slopes of Crater Lake, Oregon's only national park. The Rogue River is a designated National Scenic River, and formed much of the backdrop for the Meryl Streep movie "The River Wild." Jet boat trips and white water rafting are very popular.

Rogue River Valley

Rogue River Valley, Oregon - A beautiful place to visit, a wonderful place to live. Come and find a place to call your own. Southern Oregon is a great place to own a home and grow your family.

Rogue River Valley

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Rogue River Valley - Oregon Travel Guide

Articles from the Historical Society in Josephine County Oregon


Gold Discovery in Josephine County
By Michael Oaks

Gold was first discovered in Josephine County May 2nd of 1851 on Josephine Creek. Gold was found next on Canyon Creek the same year. Both of these streams are tributaries of the Illinois River. Sailors crossing overland from the coast with Jacksonville as their distination also made the third discovery during 1851. They found gold at what we now know as Waldo, which is also along the Illinois River. These discoveries soon brought gold seekers by the hundreds establishing such well-known camps as "Sailors Diggings", "Sebastopol", and "Browntown". Waldo was established as the first county seat of Josephine County and was quickly replaced by Kerbyville (Kerby).

The railroad came to Southern Oregon in 1883. With the railroad at the new town of Grants Pass, it was felt that Grants Pass should be the hub of shipping in and out of this area, but since Grants Pass was still in Jackson County by one mile, it required the annexing of 3 and townships to place Grants Pass in Josephine County. This was done in 1885. After the annexation, a vote was passed by the citizens of Josephine County to make Grants Pass the new county seat. It became official on January 1, 1886.

A bridge across the Rogue River and another across the Applegate was necessary to effectively begin commerce, as there were three rivers to cross from those productive mines in the Illinois Valley. Once the bridges were up and roads improved, it made the shipping of ore from Grants Pass to the smelters in Washington State much easier. Once the courthouse was constructed as the new temple of justice for Josephine County, an appropriation of $10,000 was also granted by the state ...
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A bridge across the Rogue River and another across the Applegate was necessary to effectively begin commerce, as there were three rivers to cross from those productive mines in the Illinois Valley.

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Rogue River Valley, Oregon - The Siskiyou Mountains stretch between the Cascade Mountains and the Coast Range at the California border. The entire area is more vertical than most other parts of the state, which leads to numerous waterfalls, lots of whitewater rapids, and some spectacular scenery. Rogue River Valley is outside the main population centers of the state and the area has a very rural flavor. Major industries are tourism, wood products and agriculture. The climate is generally milder and more Mediterranean than North Western Oregon. Average rainfallis about 20 % lower and the temperatures are a bit higher.