Local history

Access historic periodicals, browse books on Oregon’s history, and learn about our unique history in southern Oregon.

Historic sites

Southern Oregon is full of well-preserved history. Check out a few of the local historic sites in Jackson and Josephine Counties.

Golden Heritage Site

At its peak, the 19th century mining town of Golden, now a ghost town, was home to 100 people and served as a hub for many others who worked the land in more remote locations.

Oregon Caves

Delve into the history of Josephine County’s only national monument, including the cave’s discovery, exploration, and stewardship.

Siskiyou Smokejumper Museum

The Siskiyou Smokejumper Base Museum tells the story of early US Forest Service aerial wildfire suppression.

Wolf Creek Inn

The inn was built around 1883 for Henry Smith, a local merchant-entrepreneur, and still functions as an inn and restaurant today.

Explore more local historic sites

Did you know that Josephine County is home to more than 400 historic buildings? Search the Oregon Historic Sites Database to learn more.

Josephine County Historical Society

Experience stories and artifacts from Josephine County’s past.

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Southern Oregon Historical Society

Explore the stories and artifacts of our common heritage.

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Takelma language primer books

This series introduces readers to the Takelma language with vibrant artwork that features topics like native plants, animals, and activities. View the ebook version of each title and listen to the pronunciation of the featured Takelma language words.

An photo of colorful Takelma primer board books, plants, numbers, colors, and animals.


Visit these museums to celebrate the history of Native American tribes in Oregon.
museum at warm springs

The Museum at Warm Springs

Experience the sounds, craftsmanship, and sights of the rich cultures that make up the Confederated Tribes of The Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon.

high desert museum

High Desert Museum

Discover the natural world and cultural history of the High Desert through artful exhibits, alluring animals, engaging programs and meaningful history.

Tamástslikt Cultural Institute

Tamástslikt Cultural Institute

Immerse yourself in the history, culture and hospitality of the people who have lived on this land for more than 10,000 years.

Tribal communities in southern Oregon

The land on which we operate the four library branches in southern Oregon is the traditional home of the Takelma (“Those Along the River”), the Athabaskan-speaking Dakubetede (“Beautiful Place”), the Shasta, and the Taltushtuntude peoples. The discovery of gold in our area in the 1850s and the opening of the Oregon Trail led to clashes between colonizers and the native peoples who had been inhabiting the area for thousands of years. These clashes culminated in the Rogue River Indian Wars. Following an 1853 “Treaty of Peace,” the Tribes were confederated together and moved to the Table Rock Reservation in modern-day Medford. Counter to this previous agreement, in 1856 the Tribes were again displaced to the Siletz and Grand Ronde Reservations. Today, the historic Rogue Valley Tribes are represented by the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians, with some descendants also residing among the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde.

We encourage community members to take the opportunity to acknowledge the original caretakers of this land. Here are some resources to learn more about Native American tribes and how to develop your own land acknowledgment.