Ashland Creek - Ashland, OR
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member NW_history_buff
N 42° 11.857 W 122° 42.973
10T E 523429 N 4671757
This three-sided informative sign stands along a footpath next to Ashland Creek in downtown Ashland.
Waymark Code: WMN1R1
Location: Oregon, United States
Date Posted: 12/08/2014
Published By:Groundspeak Regular Member silverquill
Views: 1

Visiters walking along a footpath along Ashland Creek will notice this three-sided informative sign that contains a fauna sign on side, an anti-pollution sign on another and a history of Ashland Creek on the third. The historical sign reads"

The Ashland Creek watershed has always played and important role in the human history of this region.

At 7533 feet, Mt. Ashland in the Siskiyou Mountains is the highest point in the headwaters of Ashland Creek. The coarse granitic soils on its steep slopes are highly erodible. Management of the watershed tries to minimize the disturbance to protect this high quaility water source.

The city of Ashland draws all of its drinking and domestic water from Ashland Creek. Reeder Reservoir, about three miles upstream from here, serves as storage.

Ashland watershed hosts a rich and diverse flora and fauna. Many of the native plants and animals provided a livelihood for the first human inhabitants of the area.

A band of about one hundred Shasta Indians lived in a permanent village at the present location of Ashland Plaza. Ashland Creek provided them with fresh water for drinking and a reliable food source of salmon and steelhead trout. The cold creek water were also an important element of their sweat lodge ritual. Archaeological evidence suggests that this site was used by native peoples for thousands of years.

Euro-American contact irreversibly changed these people's way of life. Many of them died of disease or were killed by the militia. Remaining members of the "Rogue River Tribe" including Shasta, Takelma, and Applegate Indians, were forcibly removed to a coastal reservation. Today, their descendants are enrolled with the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians or the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde.

The discovery of gold near Jacksonville in 1851 and the Donation Land Claim Act of 1850 hastened the arrival of the first white settlers to the Rogue Valley. In 1852 a lumber mill, the first in the valley, was built in Ashland Creek. More mills followed, including a flour mill and a woolen mill, all powered by the waters of Ashland Creek. These industries boosted the economy and growth of the young town, then known as Ashland Mills.

When Chataqua began in 1893, the Ashland site was chosen in part because of city lights and power provided Ashland Creek and for the lovely campsite in Ropers Grove on the banks of the creek.

In 1908 the Women's Civic Improvement Club asked the city council to preserve the natural beauty of Ashland Creek by creating Lithia Park, which was designed in part by John McLaren, the creator of Golden Gate Park in San Francisco.

Running through the heart of town, Ashland Creek has been altered by development over the past 150 years. May those of us who dwell or visit here draw wisdom from the past in caring for this natural treasure.

Historic Topic: Pioneer

Group Responsible for placement: City Government

Marker Type: City

Region: Southern Oregon

County: Jackson

State of Oregon Historical Marker "Beaver Board": Not listed

Web link to additional information: Not listed

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