A Town is Born

A Town is Born (HM29XZ)

Location: Medford, OR 97501 Jackson County
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Country: United States of America
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N 42° 19.596', W 122° 52.309'

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Destined to become the region's largest city and a major economic hub, Medford began in 1883 when the railroad came to Southern Oregon.

In the fall of 1883, four property owners deeded part of their land to the Oregon and California Railroad for a depot and surrounding town. Before the year was over the unbroken prairie had been surveyed and a town site platted. Houses and commercial buildings rose as quickly as the short supply of lumber and brick allowed, and by early spring two hotels, a few saloons, a livery stable, and a dozen businesses already dotted the muddy streets of this rapidly growing railroad town. By mid-1884, a business district clustered on Front Street facing the depot and spread down 7th Street, known today as Main. Families settle into their newly built homes, women planted flowers in their gardens, and the fledgling town quickly became a community.

During that first year several babies were born, a fatal shoot-out took place, the first of many churches organized, a schoolhouse was built, and trains began shuttling freight and passengers to Portland. As if to say "we have arrived," Medford's citizens brashly hosted a Fourth of July gala for the whole Rogue Valley.

Medford incorporated in 1885. As the small town grew into a city, the board of trustees tackled

the challenges of providing water and sewer systems, electric streetlights, and police and fire protection. With its central location and railroad connections to national and world markets, young Medford attracted forward-thinking individuals from other parts of the country. They swiftly joined local entrepreneurs in shaping the city's future as it eagerly embraced the modern world of the 20th century.

Inset photo of railroad engine: Typical of the men and equipment that laid track through Medford in 1883, this work crew and engine helped complete the railroad over the Siskiyou Mountains four years later. SOHS #6215
HM NumberHM29XZ
Placed ByCity of Medford; Southern Oregon Historical Society
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Friday, August 3rd, 2018 at 10:01pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)10T E 510561 N 4686047
Decimal Degrees42.32660000, -122.87181667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 42° 19.596', W 122° 52.309'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds42° 19' 35.76" N, 122° 52' 18.54" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)541
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling North
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 214 E Main St, Medford OR 97501, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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