Courthouse & Churches

Courthouse to Churches

Courthouse & Churches

Jacksonville, Oregon 97530, United States

Created By: Historic Jacksonville, Inc.


The first Jackson County Courthouse erected on Jacksonville’s Courthouse Square on North 5th Street was a 2-story clapboard structure dedicated March 6, 1859, by the Warren Lodge No. 10 of Free and Accepted Masons as a Masonic Hall. Shortly afterwards, the Masons leased the first floor to the County for court use. For 6 years previously, court proceedings had been held in various town structures including the New State Hotel and the Methodist Episcopal Church. In 1867, the Masons relinquished their 2nd floor space to the Jackson County Commissioners and for the next 15 years, the County’s first Courthouse was used not only by the commissioners, judges, and county officials, but also by private local lawyers.

Within 12 years of its erection in 1859, the first Jackson County Courthouse on North 5th Street in Jacksonville was being called “dilapidated” and “a disgrace to the county,” and in 1880 a grand jury condemned it. It still took another 3 years for the County Commissioners to take action, draw up plans and select a builder. Prodded by Judge Silas Day, the Commissioners determined that they wanted a 2-story brick structure, 92 x 60 feet, with 14 foot ceilings. The cornerstone was laid on June 23, 1883. By August the brick walls were raised, by September the cupola was completed, and the court convened for the first time on February 11, 1884.

Even before it was completed, the historic Jackson County Courthouse, located on Jacksonville’s North 5th Street Courthouse Square, was being called one of the “most prominent buildings in Jacksonville” and “very ornamental.” Upon completion, it was declared “the crowning glory of Jacksonville.” However, this “crowning glory” was almost “too little, too late” after the railroad by-passed Jacksonville in favor of the flatter Valley floor. Even a spur line connecting Jacksonville to the new Southern Oregon hub of Medford only postponed the town’s ultimate decline…but ensured its preservation.

This point of interest is part of the tour: Courthouse to Churches


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