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Ashland

Trip Planner USA  /  Oregon  /  Ashland
(4.3/5 based on 5,500+ reviews for top 20 attractions)
Things to do: nightlife, adventure, parks
Ashland is a city in Jackson County, in the State of Oregon. It lies along Interstate 5 slightly north of the California border and near the south end of the Bear Creek Valley, an arm of the Rogue Valley. As of July 1, 2013, the city's population was estimated to be 20,713.The city is the home of Southern Oregon University (SOU) and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF). These are important to Ashland's economy, which also depends on restaurants, galleries, and retail stores that cater to playgoers and other visitors. Lithia Park along Ashland Creek, historic buildings, and a paved intercity bike trail provide additional tourist attractions.Ashland, originally called Ashland Mills, was named after Ashland County, Ohio, the original home of founder Abel Helman, and secondarily for Ashland, Kentucky, where other founders had family connections. Ashland has a mayor-council government assisted by citizen committees. Historically, its liberal politics have differed, often sharply, with much of the rest of southwest Oregon.HistoryPrior to the arrival of settlers in mid-19th century, the Shasta people lived in the valley along the creek approximately where Ashland is located. Early Hudson's Bay Company hunters and trappers, following the Siskiyou Trail, passed through the site in the 1820s. In the late 1840s, settlers (mostly American) following the Applegate Trail began passing through the area. By the early 1850s, the Donation Land Act brought many white settlers into the Rogue Valley and into conflict with its native people. These often violent clashes continued until 1856.
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