Jacksonville's Emerald Necklace: From Goldmines to Woodland Trails (Paperback)
Nestled in the foothills of the Siskiyou Mountains of Southern Oregon, Historic Jacksonville's naturally occurring urban forests provides a dramatic, scenic backdrop for the town's well-preserved cluster of Victorian brick buildings, some even dating back to the days of the Gold Rush. The native oak and pine forests that surround our National Historic Landmark town have been designated as The Jacksonville Woodlands Historic Natural Park and Tail System.
The discovery of gold at Rich Gulch, located at the southern edge of town, triggered one of the largest gold rushes in the history of the West. It was the Rich Gulch gold rush that founded Jacksonville.
Jacksonville's Emerald Necklace, from Goldmines to Woodlands Trails, traces the mining history of Jacksonville and shares the story of how early Jacksonville miners carved out the gulches and water ducts that we see today, and, as the gold played out, the miners' inevitable transition to farmers and tradesmen.
Even though it has been over 150 years since the hills of Jacksonville were "whitened with the tents of thousands of eager hunters," the earthen scars and transitional forests are still evident among our 16-mile network of hiking trails.
Telling the history Jacksonville's famous goldrush would not be complete without sharing the story of how the Jacksonville Woodlands Association, working in cooperation with the City of Jacksonville, the Bureau of Land Management, the Southern Oregon Land Conservancy, the National Park Service, the Trust for Public Land, Oregon State Parks, and the citizens of Jacksonville, has been able to conserve over 300 acres of Rich Gulch as a publicly owned natural historical park.
Larry Smith shares the story of why, in the mid 1980s, Jacksonville was surrounded with several hundred acres of open space and how this historic mine-scared landscape has been preserved for all to enjoy - making this project the most successful, small-town, all volunteer, land preservation project in the state of Oregon.