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Medford Business Signs
In 1883, the Oregon and California Railroad charged surveyors S. L. Dolson and David Loring with finding the best route through the Rogue Valley. The surveyors chose Rock Point, near present day Gold Hill. A depot was set up, and with the help of town founders Iradell Judson Phipps and Charles Wesley Broback, the town was officially incorporated on February 24th, 1885. Loring named the town after Medford, Massachusetts, near his hometown of Concord, Massachusetts. Originally, Medford, Massachusetts was called ‘Mistick’ and then ‘Meadford.’ These two names may have been derived from the ‘meadow by the ford in the Mystic River’ or from the English hamlet of Mayford or Metford or from the parish of Maidford or Medford.
Today, Medford, Oregon, according to a 2013 US Census Bureau estimate, has a population of 77,677 people. This makes it the 425th most populous city in the United States. The Medford, Oregon metropolitan area, according to that same report, has a population of 208,545 people. This makes it the 209th most populous metropolitan area in the country and the 4th most populous metropolitan area in the state of Oregon.
Traditionally, Medford, Oregon’s economy was driven by agriculture (specifically the production of pears, peaches, viticulture grapes, and timber products), and today the largest direct marketer of fruits and food gifts in the United States, Harry and David Operations Corp. (Bear Creek Corporation), is based in the area. Harry and David Operations Corp. employs the most people in Southern Oregon, responsible for 1,700 full time jobs and 6,700 seasonal jobs. Samuel Rosenberg first established Harry and David Operations Corp. in 1910 within the city. His aim was for his company to produce and sell premium fruit. As of 2014, Harry and David Operations Corp. is owned by 1-800-Flowers.
Another large industry within the Medford area is the health care industry. There are two major medical centers located within the area: Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center (which was founded in the year 1958) and Providence Medford Medical Center. In total, these medical centers employ over 2,000 people. Medford is also the home of Lithia Motors, Benchmark Maps, Falcon Northwest, Pacific International Enterprises, Tucker Sno-Cat, and the Rogue Valley AVA.
Medford, Oregon, also serves as the home for several fascinating points of interest such as Alba Park, the Medford Carnegie Library (erected in 1911), Bear Creek Park, I.O.O.F. Eastwood Historic Cemetery (which was established in 1890), Claire Hanley Arboretum, Roxy Ann Peak and Prescott Park, and Vogel Plaza. Roxy Ann Peak is reportedly 30-million years old, with a summit 3,576 feet (1,090 m) above sea level. The Peak was named for Roxy Ann Bowen, who was an early settler who lived among its foothills.
Medford, Oregon is currently home to one professional sports team: Junior A hockey’s Southern Oregon Spartans. The Southern Oregon Spartans play their home matches in The RRRink. The Southern Oregon Spartans were founded in 2007 and have no championships or titles to their names. Yet.
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