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Oregon State Route 238 to Jacksonville

Back in the winter of 2016 I had passed through Crater Lake National Park in southern Oregon on my way to Redwood National Park in northern California.  Having taken I-5 from Medford to US 199 Grants Pass previously I decided on a different route via Oregon State Route 238 through the historic mining City of Jacksonville.






OR 238 is a 39 mile state highway from OR 62/OR 99 in Medford of Jackson County westward to US 199/OR 99 in Grants Pass of Josephine County.  OR 238 begins at OR 62/OR 99 at Crater Lake Highway and traverses 5.5 miles westward to downtown Jacksonville via; Rossanley Drive and Hanley Road before entering the City of Jacksonville as 5th Street.  OR 238 turns west on California Street alongside Jackson Creek into downtown Jacksonville.

Most of the historic structures in Jacksonville date from the 1850s to 1860s and largely line California Street.  Jacksonville dates back to 1851 when placer claims were struck on nearby Jackson Creek.  Jacksonville lies within the foothills of the Siskiyou Mountains and much like the Trinity Range Northern California was part of the northern extent of the California Gold Rush.  Jacksonville was the County Seat of Jackson County until 1927 when it was shifted to Medford.  Although mining had declined by the 1880s it's survival as a suburb was assured when the Oregon and California Railroad was routed through what is now Medford in 1884.  The Oregon and California Railroad bypassed Jacksonville largely due to the ease of the grade of Rogue Valley which Medford, the former US 99 corridor, and I-5 corridor now reside.
















West of Jacksonville OR 238 runs westward on Medford-Provolt Highway to the Applegate River and Applegate Truss Bridge.  OR 238 continues on the South Bank of the Applegate River on Medford-Provolt Highway to Provolt where the road becomes Williams Highway.  OR 238 follows the Williams Highway over the Applegate River again in Murphy where it begins to swing northward towards Grants Pass. OR 238 terminates in downtown Grants Pass at the junction of US 199 and OR 99.

OR 238 dates back to 1935 and originally had terminus points at US Route 99 on both ends of the highway.  Originally OR 238 began on Main Street in Medford at US 99 and headed westward towards Jacksonville.  This 1956 Oregon State Highway Map shows the original terminus points of OR 238 and the original route out of Medford.

1956 State Highway Map

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