Created on January 12, 1852, Jackson County was originally the home of the Modoc, Shasta, Takelma, Latgawa and Umpqua Indian Tribes. In the early 1850's, these local tribes were raided from the northern Klickitat and the southern Deschutes Tribes who took possession of and settled the area. The county was derived of the southwest portion of Lane County and the unorganized area south of Douglas and Umpqua counties. It originally included land that now lies in Coos, Curry, Josephine, Klamath and Lake Counties.
In the early 1850's the discovery of gold in the area, along with the construction of wagon roads connecting the county to both Douglas County to the north and California to the south, led to an influx of non-native settlers. With the invasion of miners and trappers, conflict soon began between the local Indian Tribes and the settlers, leading to the Rogue Indian Wars. In 1856, when the war finally ended, the settlers began to force the Indian Tribes onto reservations in Grand Ronde near Salem, OR and the Siletz Reservation near Newport, OR.
The original County Seat of Jackson County was Jacksonville, established in 1853. With the decline in gold mining in the area and the building of the Oregon California Railroad bypassing Jacksonville and instead passing through Medford, it was decided in 1927 to move the county seat to Medford. In the years since, Medford has continued to grow and Jacksonville has remained a beautiful, quiet, historic location within Jackson County.
Probably the most recognized attraction in Jacksonville is of course the Rogue River. With miles of scenic area, wildlife, white water rafting, fishing, jet boat rides, swimming and a large selection of parks and lakes, the Rogue River is one of the most beautiful rivers in the state. Jackson County and the Rogue Valley has also been known to be a favorite vacation spot, and even home, to several famous actors including Ginger Rogers and Jack Elam. Hollywood filmmakers have used the Rogue Valley area and portions of the Rogue River, especially the section known as Hells Gate, to film their movies. Hells Gate was the portion of the river where Kevin Bacon tormented Meryl Streep in the movie River Wild and Rooster Cogburn (John Wayne) jumped to the waters below trying to escape the 'bad guys'.
Along with the multitude of activities and attractions surrounding the Rogue River, Jackson County is also a beautiful backdrop to several wineries and orchards in the area. Other areas of interest are the several historical towns and locations within the county, along with museums, family attractions and beautiful scenery. From the well-known Lithia Park, to hiking to the top of Table Rock, there is something for everyone in Jackson County.