Rogue River Valley, Oregon - Southern Oregon is divided into three main river basins; the Umpqua River, the Rogue River, and the Klamath Basin. The Umpqua meets the Pacific at Reedsport, the Rogue mouth is near Gold Beach, and the Klamath empties at the Redwoods National Park in Northern California. All three rivers have their headwaters in the Cascade Mountains on the slopes of Crater Lake, Oregon's only national park. The Rogue River is a designated National Scenic River, and formed much of the backdrop for the Meryl Streep movie "The River Wild." Jet boat trips and white water rafting are very popular.

Rogue River Valley

Rogue River Valley, Oregon - A beautiful place to visit, a wonderful place to live. Come and find a place to call your own. Southern Oregon is a great place to own a home and grow your family.

Rogue River Valley

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Rogue River Valley - Oregon Travel Guide

Articles - Historical Society in Josephine County Oregon

Decline of Mining in Josephine County - by Michael Oaks

From 1906 to 1934 there was a steady decline in gold production in southwestern Oregon except for a small increase after World War I.

In January of 1934 the price of gold was raised from $29 per fine ounce to $35. This was a definite boon to the mining fortunes of Josephine County. With improved quartz mining methods and more efficient dredges plus the higher price for gold, southwestern Oregon's gold production steadily increased until reaching a final peak of $1,053,395 for a single year in 1940.


World War II created a major setback for gold mining. During 1942, the War Production Board passed an order titled L-208 which stopped all non-essential mining; gold mining was included as non-essential. This order was not revoked until July 1, 1945. This order caused the shutdown of the Benton Mine on Whiskey Creek, Josephine counties largest mining operation at the time with over 26 miners employed.

Total gold production from 1852 to 1966 was approximately $134,000,000. In 1959, Oregon produced only $15,000 in gold. During the early 1970's and 1980's when gold reached its maximum peak, there was a brief upswing in prospecting.
Many prospectors purchased small dredges and took to the hills and streams once more hoping to cash in on the yellow metal. Some did very well but soon after it all began, it just as quickly ended.


The bottom dropped out of the gold market in the early 1980's and is still at the point where a miner would have to put more money into the ground to prepare his mine for production then he would ever hope to recover.

Environmental issues involving smelting and use of gold extracting chemicals require expensive shipping of ore to other local's for final processing.
Today gold mining is done more as a family week-end panning activity than with those stalwart men, many with families who at one time braved the elements to earn their living during the days of old and the days of gold and the days of Josephine.

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Rogue River Valley, Oregon - The Siskiyou Mountains stretch between the Cascade Mountains and the Coast Range at the California border. The entire area is more vertical than most other parts of the state, which leads to numerous waterfalls, lots of whitewater rapids, and some spectacular scenery. Rogue River Valley is outside the main population centers of the state and the area has a very rural flavor. Major industries are tourism, wood products and agriculture. The climate is generally milder and more Mediterranean than North Western Oregon. Average rainfallis about 20 % lower and the temperatures are a bit higher.