Medford is located on Interstate 5, just 27 miles north of the California-Oregon border. It is about 26 miles south of Grants Pass. Medford is situated in the heart of Southern Oregon's beautiful Rogue River Valley. Pear orchards bloom profusely in the spring, surrounded by snow-capped peaks still white with the last snows of winter and the summers are warm.
Few places in Oregon combine scenic beauty, outdoor recreation, historical, and cultural attractions more successfully than Southern Oregon. The best way to see it all is to visit Medford. Medford, the county seat of Jackson County, is the industrial, retail, and professional center of Southern Oregon and Northern California.
Years ago the Rogue River Valley was home to the Shasta, Takilma, and Athabascan Indians. Then gold was discovered in 1852 - and miners thronged to the valley in search of a fortune in nuggets, followed by farmers lured to the valley by the fertile soil and favorable growing conditions.
Small towns seemingly sprang up overnight, and as the California-Oregon Stage Road grew dusty with increasing loads of goods and supplies, the communities of Ashland, Talent, Phoenix, Jacksonville, and Central Point grew prosperous as trading centers.
It wasn't until 1883 that the Oregon & California Railroad reached Medford, Southern Oregon. Medford grew rapidly both in size and importance. By 1896, it had a population of 2,500 and had established itself as a major shipping and railway center.
Today, Medford, with a population of nearly 80,000, is still the business, commercial, and professional center of Jackson County. Visitors and residents can enjoy the changing of the four seasons and overall mild climate. Elevation is 1380 feet above sea level; rainfall average is 19 inches; temperatures vary from average lows of 31-41° to average highs of 88-100°. The timber industry, agriculture, and tourism are basic to the economy.
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