Info on Ashville Medford,,Grants Pass, Oregon

Mar 6th, 2002, 04:55 AM
  #1  
andi
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Info on Ashville Medford,,Grants Pass, Oregon

I am planning on relocating to southern Oregon soon, and wonder if those of you familiar with the state has an opinion of the area: i.e.lifestyle, weather, real estate. Many thanks!
 
Mar 6th, 2002, 06:31 AM
  #2  
John
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Well, for starters, it's Ashland.

It's hard to sum up a big area in a few lines. If you're really planning to relocate there, you probably ought to go for a look-around first.

Southern Oregon is culturally quite different from the northern part of the state - the term "Little Dixie" was often used to describe the area due to the influence of southerners in the history of this part of Oregon, unlike "State of Mainers" in the north. Except for Ashland I would characterize it as politically conservative, sometimes very much so. Environmental politics is big; lots of trees to hug and/or cut down for lumber.

Economically it's predominantly agricultural, with fruit and timber being the main products of the Rogue Valley. Like everywhere else in the northwest, the area would love to diversify and get some high tech presence, and is working on it. Ashland is quite a retirement center, and the Shakespeare festival along with a university make the town the cultural capital of the area, and a big regional tourist draw. Used to be that Ashland had the highest proportion of retired clergy in country - what does that tell you? I'd presume Ashland real estate prices are the highest, but otherwise it's a pretty affordable area by most west coast standards.

The weather is slightly more extreme than the Willamette Valley to the north, more like the Sacramento Valley to the south - hot summers, cooler winters, some snow, but a fair amount of rain, too, in the winters. Green mountaintops, golden grasslands down below, close to deep forest and raging rivers.

It's heaven for outdoors activities - mountaineering, hiking, hunting, fishing, rafting...you name it. If you need a big city fix, Portland is around 5 hours, SF around 6. There is some air service out of the little Medford airport.

It's a beautiful and fairly diverse area.

These are mainly my opinions - you really should see for yourself before committing to relocate.
 
Mar 6th, 2002, 04:42 PM
  #3  
andi
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Actually, I have visited the AshLAND {sorry!} area, but only briefly; not enough to get a real feel for the area. I definately was impressed by the friendly people, opportunity for oudoor recreation and array of cultural events.Lithia Park is great! John, thank you so much for answering my rather open-ended question. Your insights were most interesting!
 
Mar 7th, 2002, 11:19 AM
  #4  
Pam
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In this area I'd say 85% or more of the adults were born in other than Oregon. Lots of people from the Midwest and California come here. The "natives" are the ones with Oklahoma type Southern sounding accents that drive around in huge pickup trucks with bummer stickers saying "native"( they DON"T live in Ashland...they won't even visit there). Those guys don't like anyone who wasn't born in Oregon but as I said they are a minority here. Most folks are fine with transplants. I'd say almost all the prejudice against transplants is reserved for those that move here from California. Ashland has a huge population of California transplants..that's part of why most over residents of the Rogue Valley don't like Ashland. Yep, there is a big rif there. Ashland people look down their noses at anyone who doesn't live in Ashland and everyone else looks down on Ashland folks. The stereotype (which IS largely true) is that folks in Ashland are: far weathier, more educated, more liberal politically, more into "new age" things and are far more often from California. One thing you should know is that the east side of Medford is considered by all to be the "good side". Far nicer, newer homes, better schools etc. Other parts of Medford are lower middle class areas at best. And there is a large crank (methamphetamine) problem in some areas of Medford (the southwest side especially) and in a rather horrible place called White City.

There are lots of strict Bible quoters in the Medford/White City/Eagle Point areas. You should see some the ultra right wing letters the Medford paper prints! Ashland is really quite liberal.....always votes FAR to the left of any other town in the valley. Another indication is that although Medford has about 60,000 people and Ashland only 15,000 the only synogogue is in Ashland. This area is very white, Protestant area of the country really.

To sterotype (but large true) Ashland vs Medford folks think;
Graduate degreed, business people, Unitarians, vote Democratic or further left, Birkenstock wearing, ethnic restaurants, well-read, tofu eating, cotton clothing, kids with tattoos and piercings, foreign luxury car, big custom built house vs.
High school educated, office/factory/lumbermill workers, Christian Fellowship members, think Bush far too liberal, love to hunt, big tires on pickups, buffet meating eating, quite over weight dressed in flannel shirts and polyester pants,
love TV and gun shows, old beat up big American car, small quite run down older home (EXCEPT EAST Medford...there there are huge big tract homes projects and the business people).


 
Mar 7th, 2002, 02:48 PM
  #5  
andi
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Thanks so much, Pam! Your comments gave me a real sense of the area, as well as much-needed advise on which areas to avoid. I had to laugh at some of your descriptions; Medford sounds a lot like the area my husband and I live in! Are you familiar with Grants Pass? Would you characterize that community closer to Ashland or Medford politically, socially, and economically? I greatly appreciate your comments.
 
Mar 7th, 2002, 03:21 PM
  #6  
John
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Actually there used to be (maybe still are) 2 synagogues in Ashland.

Pam may disagree, but I'd say Grants Pass is more timber-based than Medford or Ashland - there's quite a change in landscape between Medford and GP. In timber areas there's more a tradition of blue-collar libertarianism and more tolerance, but it's still rural southern Oregon and it's a journey of more than miles to Ashland or Eugene.
 
Mar 8th, 2002, 07:34 PM
  #7  
andi
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Thanks again, John. Still thinking about your comment regarding Ashland and retired clergy ... hmmm!
 
Mar 8th, 2002, 08:27 PM
  #8  
Rachel
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Hi Andi,

I grew up in Southern Oregon and I think one important thing that no one has brought up here is the economy. Oregon as a whole has the number one unemployment rate in the nation. Aside from the recent problems, the state tends to be economically depressed in many respects. It does vary from city to city but it is a wide spread problem and has been since the 80s.

Rachel
 
Mar 9th, 2002, 06:33 AM
  #9  
andi
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Thanks, Rachael,
I did realize that there was a problem, but didn't realize the extent.
 
May 31st, 2002, 12:51 PM
  #10  
jessejane
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I too am planning on relocating (actually retiring in about 18 months)to southern Oregon and have found this thread most interesting. I have been seriously looking at Grants Pass. Would appreciate more of these fascinating insights.
 
May 31st, 2002, 06:54 PM
  #11  
interested in the NE
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Topping for jessejane.
 
May 31st, 2002, 09:00 PM
  #12  
Carl
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Grants Pass is just not a very interesting town. The only draw is jet boat trips and after you've done that 2 or 3 times, well that's it. The freeway goes right through the town and the downtown is not attractive or doing well economically.
 
Jun 1st, 2002, 07:21 PM
  #13  
Bonnie
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One thing you can say for Grants Pass...its better than Roseburg!!!!
 
Jun 1st, 2002, 09:08 PM
  #14  
John
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I spent some formative years in Roseburg and all I can say is that it's better than Myrtle Creek!
 
Jun 29th, 2002, 04:38 AM
  #15  
Sheri
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Hi
Looks like it has been awhile since a post here. I will throw in my two cents about Grants Pass, since I live here and have lived here for over thirty years. 1) Not much to do. Unless you are seriously into fishing & religion. This is a very religious place.
Lots of pizza parlors, churches, real estate offices and car lots.
2) Grants Pass has a very high percentage of elderly retired people who sell there homes in Calif. or wherever and move here because it is less expensive for them. It is not uncommon to have at least 5 or more elderly folks try to run you over or run into your car each day. There are also alot of retirement homes.
3) Grants Pass has gone from a very quiet little burg, with a one way street going up through the "heart" of the town, and then back, to a drug infested, overcrowded, low wage paying,
city. Drugs are a huge problem here, as well as a lack of law enforcement due to budget problems. Before I go on and on. Lets just say as soon as I can get out of here, I am. Good luck to you.
 
Jun 30th, 2002, 05:52 AM
  #16  
andi
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Hi Sheri,
Gosh, Grants Pass sounds even worse than where I'm living now - I'm not sure I want to visit, much less move there!
Thanks for responding, and good luck on your own relocation!
 

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