Historic Sites and Points of Interest in Josephine County

Covered Wagon at Applegate Trail Interpretive Center in Sunny Valley, Oregon
Applegate Trail Interpretive Center in Sunny Valley

  National Register #02000825: Golden Historic District, Oregon
In the Ghost Town of Golden
Both Photos 20 September 2010
(Click Photos to Zoom)


Josephine County is located in southwest Oregon on the California border. Most of the historic sites are in Grants Pass and the Illinois Valley. The latter sites, associated with the Gold Rush of the 1850's, are obscure and difficult to find.

The 1852 discovery of placer gold at Sailor Diggins brought the first settlers to the Illinois Valley which was then in Jackson County, Oregon.

On January 22, 1856, the Oregon Territorial Legislature carved Josephine County out of the western portion of Jackson County. According to tradition the Legislature named the county for Virginia Josephine Rollins, daughter of Lloyd Rollins who discovered gold in Josephine Creek in 1851. Miss Rollins, born in Illinois, lived in Oregon only a short time before moving on to Colusa, Sonora and finally Sonoma. She maintained that "as far as I know, I was the first white woman in that part of Oregon."

Sailor Diggins, renamed Waldo, was the original county seat but only for a year. The county seat was relocated twice based upon transportation routes. In 1857, Kerbyville became the county seat because of its situation on the main route from California to the gold fields. After the railroad was built through Grants Pass, it became the county seat in 1886.

Waldo no longer exists. Kerbyville was briefly renamed Napoleon, then it became Kerby, then it became a ghost town suburb of Cave Junction. Grants Pass remains the county seat.

The Oregon Caves Chateau is a National Historic Landmark.

You can learn more about Josephine County at the Josephine County Historical Society, 512 SW Fifth Street, Grants Pass.

Name Address City Year Authority ID Sort Address Sort Name
Ahlf House762 Northwest 6th StreetGrants PassNational1983002154 Street 06 NW 0762Ahlf House
Calhoun House612 Northwest 5th StreetGrants PassNational1981000495 Street 05 NW 0612Calhoun House
Cedar Guard Station No. 1019Caves HighwaySiskiyou National ForestNational1986000837Caves HighwayCedar Guard Station No. 1019
Clark-McConnell House961 Southeast 8th StreetGrants PassNational1998000628 Street 08 SE 0961Clark-McConnell House
Clark-Norton House127 Northwest D StreetGrants PassNational1986000290 Street D NW 0127Clark-Norton House
Clemens House612 Northwest 3rd StreetGrants PassNational1982003728 Street 03 NW 0612Clemens House
Cornell House121 Northeast B StreetGrants PassNational2002001279 Street B NE 0121Cornell House
Croxton House1002 Northwest Washington BoulevardGrants PassNational1979002076Washingto NW 1002Croxton House
Dimmick-Judson House906 Northeast 8th StreetGrants PassNational1998000629 Street 08 NE 0906Dimmick-Judson House
Fetzner House314 Northeast Fetzner StreetGrants PassNational1990001595Fetaner NE 0314Fetzner House
Flanagan House720 Northwest 6th StreetGrants PassNational1983002155 Street 06 NW 0720Flanagan House
Golden Historic DistrictCoyote Creek RoadGoldenNational2002000825CoyoteGolden Historic District
Grants Pass City Hall and Fire Station4th and H StreetsGrants PassNational1984003017 Street 04Grants Pass City Hall and Fire Station
Grants Pass G Street Historic DistrictBounded by Southwest G and H Streets and 4th and 6th StreetsGrants PassNational1993001030 Street G SWGrants Pass G Street Historic District
Grants Pass Supervisor's Warehouse200 Northeast Greenfield RoadGrants PassNational1991000163Greenfield NE 0200Grants Pass Supervisor's Warehouse
Grave Creek BridgeSunny Valley Loop at Placer RoadSunny Valley1920National1979002077Sunny ValleyGrave Creek Bridge
Hotel Josephine Annex118 Northwest E StreetGrants PassNational1997000133 Street E NW 0118Hotel Josephine Annex
Hugo Community Baptist Church6501 Hugo RoadHugoNational1990001587Hugo 6501Hugo Community Baptist Church
Kienlen-Harbeck Building147 Southwest G StreetGrants PassNational1982003729 Street G SW 0147Kienlen-Harbeck Building
Lundburg House404 Northwest A StreetGrants PassNational1987000365 Street A NW 0404Lundburg House
McLean House724 Northwest 4th StreetGrants PassNational1984003020 Street 04 NW 0724McLean House
Nauke House24195 Redwood HighwayKerbyNational1999000946Redwood 24195Nauke House
Newell House591 Southwest G StreetGrants PassNational1979002078 Street G SW 0591Newell House
Newman United Methodist Church128 Northeast B StreetGrants PassNational1977001103 Street B NE 0128Newman United Methodist Church
Oregon Caves Chateau20000 Caves HighwayOregon Caves National MonumentNational1987001346Caves HighwayOregon Caves Chateau
Oregon Caves Historic DistrictCaves HighwayOregon Caves National MonumentNational1992000058Caves HighwayOregon Caves Historic District
Rand Ranger StationGalice RoadGaliceNational1999000703GaliceRand Ranger Station
Redwoods Hotel310 Northwest 6th StreetGrants PassNational1979002079 Street 06 NW 0310Redwoods Hotel
Rogue River Valley Grange No. 4692064 Upper River RoadGrants PassNational1992000130Upper River 2064Rogue River Valley Grange No. 469
Rogue Theatre143 Southeast H StreetGrants PassNational2005000640 Street H SE 0143Rogue Theatre
Schmidt House508 Southwest 5th StreetGrants PassNational2003001478 Street 05 SW 0508Schmidt House
Smith House139 Southwest I StreetGrants PassNational1983002156 Street I SW 0139Smith House
Speed's Place on the Rogue11407 Merlin-Galice RoadGaliceNational1991000808Merlin-Galice 11407Speed's Place on the Rogue
Store Gulch Guard Station No. 1020Illinois River RoadSiskiyou National ForestNational1986000838Illinois River RoadStore Gulch Guard Station No. 1020
Voorhies House421 Northwest B StreetGrants PassNational1990000282 Street B NW 0421Voorhies House
Whisky Creek Cabin10 Miles West of Wolf Creek at Rogue RiverWolf CreekNational1975001584Rogue RiverWhisky Creek Cabin
Wolf Creek Tavern100 Front StreetWolf Creek1870National1972001081Front 0100Wolf Creek Tavern
Josephine County Map
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