Pioneer History in Story & Song

JACKSONVILLE, ORHistoric Jacksonville, Inc. brings the history of Jacksonville and Southern Oregon to life through tours, events, and activities that share the stories of the pioneers who settled the region following the discovery of gold in 1852.

Gold Miners in the early 1850's in Jacksonville

Jacksonville Gold Miners

The new monthly series, “Pioneer History in Story and Song,” featuring celebrated folk singer and historian David Gordon will run through June.  This series is proving so popular that David is now offering two programs each Sunday – the first at 2 p.m., the second at 3:30 p.m.

All performances are held in the Naversen Room of the Jacksonville Library, located at 340 West C Street. Reservations are strongly encouraged!

Seating for each performance is limited to the first 60 people so reservations are strongly encouraged!  Admission is $3, with proceeds dedicated to maintaining and preserving historic structures in Jacksonville, Oregon, and bringing their history to life.

“This series is a way to come in contact with our history, to experience the lives of these pioneers,” says Gordon.  “The songs are their words and feelings; the stories provide a context that allows us to join them.”  Gordon cites one of the songs he will be performing called “Seeing the Elephant.”  “It’s a phrase spawned during the Gold Rush when elephants were rare attractions.  It was used to describe the intense curiosity generated by the opening of the West and the discovery of gold.  Gold Rush miners later contributed many new verses that described the overwhelming challenge of extracting enough gold to make the venture worthwhile.”

David Gordon has been called a “21st Century troubadour” and described by The Washington Post as “an irresistible performer,” weaving irresistible vocals and his own unique brand of goofy humor.  With Historic Jacksonville’s “Pioneer History in Story & Song” series, he combines his consummate charm, wit, and story telling skills with a return to his early musical roots.

When he and his wife Ginna—a noted artist, chef, author, bookbinder, and publisher in her own right—visited friends in Jacksonville, they were hooked.  Jacksonville became their home one year ago, and now David is delighted to join the ranks of people who “bring history to life” in historic Jacksonville, Oregon.  A series attendee contradicted him.  She said, “You don’t’ bring history to life.  You bring life to history!”

So join Gordon and Historic Jacksonville for “living history” this season in this and future “Pioneer History in Story & Song” sessions that will spotlight songs from the Civil War (April 10), Gold Rush Saloons (May 8), Getting Here – Pioneer Journeys Over Land and Sea (June 12).  Pioneer biographies and information about upcoming tours of the Beekman House in Jacksonville can also be found at Historic Jacksonville.

For reservations or information, contact 541-245-3650 or 


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