Welcome. As mayor of Ashland, Oregon, it is a pleasure
to invite you to explore our town and its rich history. After your
virtual tour, we would be delighted if you find time one day to
visit us in person as well. Ashland is nestled near the head of
the scenic Rogue River Valley in an exquisite part of Oregon known
colloquially as the "State of Jefferson," a non-existent state but
a wonderful part of Oregon and the northwest.
Known for its scenery and mild climate, with the Cascade mountain
range joining the Siskiyou mountains just a few miles south of town,
Ashland is also a historically and culturally rich community. We
are home to the renowned Oregon Shakespeare Festival, a world-class
repertory company, which performs eleven plays per year over a nine-month
season. The festival has three theaters in town including a unique
open-air Elizabethan replica and a soon-to-be-completed state-of-the-art
smaller theater. Southern Oregon University, a 5000-student public
university, has made its home here for more than 75 years. Ashland
and the surrounding Rogue Valley are host to many other fine performing
musical and arts groups and galleries.
Historically and today, Ashland is one of America's finest small
towns. Originally the site of a Takilma Indian village built on
Ashland creek, the town of Ashland was founded in 1852 with a mill
established on the creek and a downtown "plaza" developing nearby.
A north-south railroad link followed soon afterward, and Ashland
thrived as a key terminus of a stage route over the rugged Siskiyou
Pass to California. Today, the downtown plaza remains the hub of
Ashland, which has retained its charm and centrality, along with
its many historic buildings.
As Ashland's mayor, one of
the things in which I take particular pride is our city's commitment
to its historic heritage. We invite you to enjoy the "virtual" tour
laid out here for you, and then to come see us in person one day.
Our city web site, www.ashland.or.us, can help you make plans for
With all best wishes,
John Morrison, Mayor