No one knows a town quite like the innkeepers who live there. And Jacksonville, Oregon, is no exception. Southern Oregon innkeeper Tim Balfour of the iconic TouVelle House provides a few ideas of how you can master Jacksonville in just two days. . .and consider the authentic Oregon TouVelle House as home base for your Southern Oregon explorations. Give Tim a call at 541-899-8938 and let him know you're ready to start your romantic weekend getaway that might just include a little bit of education on the side.
Giving History a Personal Perspective – Many towns claim a historic status, so it is fun to come across a place like Jacksonville Oregon where people are “living history”. The town is fortunate to still have the look and feel from its heyday in the late 1800’s. That is because during the first part of the 1900’s it fell into an economic coma that allowed for its preservation by neglect. All of the commercial buildings and homes remained untouched by “updates”, which had the unexpected benefit of retaining the town’s historical architecture. In addition to being able to appreciate the charming setting you can also get a peek at the personal histories behind the town through a combination of presentations and tours being offered.
The second Saturdays of the month through November offer two special history programs, a cemetery tour in the morning and tours of the town’s wealthiest pioneer family in the afternoon. Start the day with “History Saturday in the Jacksonville Cemetery”, a guided tour focusing on a specific topic or section of the cemetery provided by the Friends of Jacksonville’s Historic Cemetery. Tours begin at 10:00 am and are about 1.5 hours long. June’s tour focuses on the Independent Order of Odd Fellows section and the stories of the pioneers buried there. Dress for the weather and wear comfortable walking shoes, and meet the docents at the top of Cemetery Road. The program is free however, donations are always appreciated to support the restoration and preservation work. Additional tours are scheduled for July 14, August 11,
Next, make reservations for a special narrated “Closets and Cupboards” tour of The C.C. Beekman House, home to one of Southern Oregon’s most prominent pioneers. Built and lived in by only the one family, the home remains completely furnished with family artifacts. This special living history tour of the home and its newly restocked closets and cupboards will be offered at noon and 2:30 pm on June 9, July 14, and August 11.
“The year is 1932. Julia Beekman has passed away. Daughter Carrie has moved to Portland where her brother Ben has been living for the past 43 years. Carrie and Ben are going through the closets and cupboards prior to closing up the Beekman House and reminiscing about “growing up Beekman”. And you are invited to visit.”
Cost for the tours is $20 which includes the history talk and either a picnic lunch or a “strawberry tea.” Tours require a minimum of 10 people, limited to a maximum of 15 and are by advance reservations only. Additional dates and times are possible for group bookings. Call 541-245-3650 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to make your individual reservations or to book your group. Proceeds of the tours go toward the preservations and maintenance of the Beekman House, through the Jacksonville Hertiage Society.
There will also be themed historical tours focusing on different aspects of the Victorian era and the Beekman family on the 3rd Saturdays of each month through November. Topics include architecture, art, cooking and menus and travel.
You can cap your day off with a narrated trolley tour of the historic homes and commercial district. The trolley runs hourly and gives you an overview of the town in addition to some special personal histories that you won’t hear anywhere else. In addition to the history, Jacksonville is once again bustling with independently owned boutiques, bistros and restaurants and is proud to be the epicenter of the Southern Oregon Wine Region with over 70 wineries. A great getaway that is still relatively unknown. You can check out what all is going on in Jacksonville at www.JacksonvilleOregon.com.