Ashland is a town of about 16,000 people in Jackson County, Oregon. It is located about 15 miles north of the California border along Interstate 5, in the foothills of the Siskiyou mountains, and the south end of the Rogue Valley. Ashland is near Crater Lake National Park, the Rogue River, and the southern Oregon coast. It is home to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and to 7,500 foot tall Mt. Ashland, which provides 23 ski trails in an area with over 300 inches of annual snowfall.

The town itself sits at approximately 2,000 feet above sea level. The weather is mild, but with distinct seasons. Highs in summer and fall approach the nineties and even hundreds (as is common on the West coast of the US.) Winter temperatures tend to stay between thirty and forty degrees fahrenheit, with occasional snow, tending to melt by midday. Ashland receives an average of 19 inches of rain per year, plus 10 inches of snow.

Ashland is in the process of spending US$5M on a dedicated fiberoptic network intended to provide both network and cable television service. This was made possible by the Telecommunications Act of 1996. The plan was approved in 1998, and the first subscribers went on-line in February of 1999. It seems likely that in time, this ring will replace the telephone service as well, via IP Telephony.


Website: City of Ashland (

Website: WWWelcome to Oregon, WWWelcome to Ashland, Oregon (

Website: Mt. Ashland Oregon Ski & Snowboard Resort (

Website: Ashland Chamber of Commerce (

Website: Ashland Fiber Network (

Ashland, Oregon is a small town in southern Oregon, located a dozen miles from the California border. It is a southern suburb of the city of Medford, forming part of one of Oregon's few metropolitan areas outside of the Willamette Valley.

Apart from being a small town on the outskirts of a modest sized city, Ashland is also home to two notable institutions: Southern Oregon State University, and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. These two institutions have attracted money, education and culture to a small town that would otherwise be another rural area victim to a declining commodity industry.

The effect of Ashland is somewhat disconcerting and hard to describe, (although not wholly unique): a college and tourist town, with a major theater troupe, coexisting with a small rural town. Ashland is much more exciting than it should be. However, I have also been told by young people who have moved to Ashland that after the initial culture interests of the town have been explored, that the small size and limited opportunities of the town can be disappointing: "A nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there."


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