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Ashland is a city in Jackson County, in the State of Oregon. It lies along Interstate 5 approximately 16mi north of the California border and near the south end of the Rogue Valley. As of 2015, the city's population was approaching 21,000.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 tourists. Lithia Park along Ashland Creek, historic buildings, and a paved intercity bike trail provide additional visitor 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 white settlers in mid-19th century, the Shasta people lived in the valley along Ashland Creek approximately where today's city 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, mainly American settlers following the Applegate Trail began passing through the area. By the early 1850s, the Donation Land Act brought many to the Rogue Valley and into conflict with its native people. These often violent clashes, known ultimately as the Rogue River Wars, continued until 1856.When using our United States trip planner, you're building your holiday based on your own interests, visitor reviews, and the informed opinions of our well-traveled writers.
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