Many people know Ashland as home to Oregon Shakespeare Festival, but did you know that this bustling theater town was once a thriving railroad district? Learn more about our city’s fascinating past by visiting these Ashland, Oregon, historic sites. Afterward, dive deeper into history with our Southern Oregon Vacation Guide. Our guide is full of recommendations on museums, art galleries, restaurants, and more.
You Need to See These Historic Sites in Ashland
The Ashland Depot Hotel
The Ashland Depot Hotel was once a three-story hotel and depot that served railroad passengers on their journey between San Francisco and Portland. All that remains of the depot is the hotel’s kitchen, the South Wing. The South Wing is the last standing building in Ashland that shows the Southern Pacific Railroad’s presence.
Today, the hotel’s South Wing is a computer software firm; the firm is open to the public during regular business hours.
The Ashland National Guard Armory
The National Guard Armory is another historic site within Ashland’s historic railroad district. The armory was completed in 1913 and served as training grounds for the United States National Guard. It is one of the four existing pre-World War I armories in western Oregon.
The Ashland National Guard Armory now serves as a unique venue where you can enjoy live music and entertainment throughout the year. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Live at the Armory website.
John and Charlotte Penton House
The Pelton House is one of the Railroad District’s most significant historic homes. It was built in 1894 by Ashland builder, W.J. Schmidt. The Pelton House is a classic example of Eastlake architecture.
W.J. Schmidt is the builder of many of Ashland’s distinctive houses and public buildings. Some other buildings that he designed in the area include Ashland City Hall and Trinity Episcopal Church.
The Peerless Rooms Building
For another example of beautiful and historic architecture, check out The Peerless Rooms Building. This two-story brick storefront was built in 1904 by Oscar and Lucinda Ganiard. The building played a tremendous role in the Ashland economy following the completion of the north-south rail link over the Siskiyou Mountains. During this time, the building provided convenient lodging in the Railroad District.
Explore the History of Country Willows B&B Inn
After a day of visiting the historic sites of Ashland, head home to Country Willows B&B Inn and explore the history of our inn. Our historic property was built in 1896 as part of a thriving move westward, spurred by the promise of gold in the Pacific Northwest. Throughout its history, Country Willows has served as a working dairy farm and even a horse farm and breeding center. When you visit, you’ll find remnants of the past everywhere, including The Creekside Suite, a lovely and secluded suite in our renovated barn.
During your stay, you can always look forward to spectacular amenities, vacation packages, and top-notch service. Daily farm-to-table breakfast, onsite hiking trails, and access to our year-round heated pool are a few perks that our guests enjoy. When you are ready to plan your Southern Oregon getaway, check our availability and book your stay!