Jacksonville was established after gold was discovered nearby in 1851. It quickly grew to a population of over 1,000 as fortune seekers flocked to the area. From the mid 1850s to the 1880s Jacksonville was one of the largest towns in southern Oregon. From the 1880s on Jacksonville was eclipsed by Medford, its neighbor to the East. The county seat of Jackson County was moved from Jacksonville to Medford in 1927. Jacksonville was stagnant for much of the 20th century. In recent years Jacksonville has been successfully marketed as a historic destination. Most of the buildings in downtown Jacksonville have been restored and are occupied by prosperous looking shops and restaurants. Possibly thanks to its long period of stagnation, downtown Jacksonville has two unbroken blocks of 19th and early 20th century storefronts. Its a small but pleasant town to walk around. Jacksonville is 6 miles from interstate 5 at Medford.
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