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About Jackson County, Oregon
Named for President Andrew Jackson, Jackson County was formed in 1852 from the southwestern portion of Lane County and the unorganized area south of Douglas and Umpqua Counties. It originally included lands which now lie in Coos, Curry, Josephine, Klamath and Lake Counties. After a history of boundary changes, battles, and settlements, the County now covers 2,802 square miles, of which 2,785 square miles is land and 17 square miles is water, and has grown to have the sixth largest population of all Oregon counties.
The County is governed by a three-member Board of Commissioners, an elected body responsible for many broad issues in the region, such as forest planning, water supply issues, regional land use planning, air quality, transportation, emergency management and economic development. The Board also works with the County’s 11 cities on matters of mutual concern, and serves the citizens of Jackson County by resolving complaints and legislating where necessary.
Service under Jackson County jurisdiction include the library system, the Airport, the Expo/Fairgrounds, County Roads and Parks, Health and Human Services, voting and voter registration, and the Sheriff and Community Justice departments.
Jackson County’s mission is to provide public services that protect and enhance the quality of life in the County, as determined by the people, laws, and available resources.
|Quality of Life
While Jackson County has seen tremendous growth in the last 10-20 years, what residents prize most are the small-town values of their communities, along with the cultural diversity usually found in larger cities.
The County is blessed with moderate weather. Unlike many regions in Oregon, Jackson County only receives around 19 inches of rainfall a year. While the weather is mild — average temperature in January is 36.8° and 73.7° in July — there are four distinct seasons.
The area is served by the Rogue Valley International-Medford Airport, offering convenient and affordable travel on several major airlines.
Once known for timber, the economy of Jackson County has diversified. Health care, including Asante Health System and Providence Medical Center is the largest employment group in the County. Second largest group is retail/manufacturing, including Harry & David and Amy's Kitchen. Government is the third largest employment group; this reflects the fact that the Federal government owns 47 percent of the land within the County's boundaries.
Industries that show steady growth in Jackson County include wine, film, and farming—pointing to how Jackson County is distinguished as a place where entrepreneurship thrives.
Founded: January 12, 1852
County Seat: Medford, Oregon
Total Area: 2,802 square miles
Highest Elevation: 9,490 ft
Lowest Elevation: 940 ft
Principal Industries: Healthcare, Agriculture, Tourism, Manufacturing/Retail, Timber
|Approximately 70 percent of Jackson County residents live in the 11 incorporated cities, which include Ashland, Butte Falls, Central Point, Eagle Point, Gold Hill, Jacksonville, Medford, Phoenix, Rogue River, Shady Cove, and Talent. The remainder live in the unincorporated areas of the County.
Medford, with a population of 75,545, is the largest city within Jackson County and serves as its County seat. Medford is known throughout the country and the world for its pear orchards and is home to Harry & David and Jackson & Perkins, one of the world’s largest shippers of fruit, food baskets, and roses. Medford is a popular location for visitors who wish to access the nearby recreation areas.
The second largest city in Jackson County, Ashland (population 20,325), is home of the internationally famous Oregon Shakespeare Festival which runs from mid-February through October and sells more than 350,000 tickets a year. Ashland is also the location of Southern Oregon University. Another Jackson County town known for tourism is Jacksonville, located just five miles west of Medford. The entire City is on the National Historic Registry and is home to Britt Festivals, one of the largest summer music festivals in the United States.
Total Jackson County 204,630*
Butte Falls 425
Central Point 17,275
Eagle Point 8,550
Gold Hill 1,220
Rogue River 2,145
Shady Cove 2,920
Unincorporated Area 62,725
*Source: Portland State University Population Research Center