Prior to the arrival of white settlers in mid-19th century, the Shasta people lived in the valley along Ashland Creek approximately where today’s city is located. Early Hudson’s Bay Company hunters and trappers following the Siskiyou Trail passed through the site in the 1820s. In the late 1840s, mainly American settlers following the Applegate Trail began passing through the area. By the early 1850s, the Donation Land Claim Act brought many to the Rogue Valley and into conflict with its native people. These often violent clashes, known ultimately as the Rogue River Wars, continued until 1856. During the 1860s and 1870s the community grew. Today, Ashland is home to Southern Oregon University (SOU) and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF) and boasts restaurants, galleries, retail stores, Lithia Park along Ashland Creek, historic buildings, and a paved intercity bike trail. Join us and enjoy this far western city.