Jacksonville was founded following discovery of gold deposits in 1851-2. By the Winter of 1852, the rapidly growing Jacksonville had over 2000 residents. With the creation of Jackson county in 1852, Jacksonville became the county seat.
Jacksonville flourished until 1884 when the railroad routed through nearby Medford and bypassed Jacksonville. As mining waned and businesses moved to Medford, Jacksonville assumed its new role as an agricultural center. In 1927 the county seat moved to Medford, dealing Jacksonville yet another blow.
Jacksonville was designated a National Historic District in 1966. The National Register of Historic Places describes Jacksonville:
mid-19th century inland commercial town significant for its magnificent group of surviving unaltered commercial and residential buildings. The town was the principal financial center of southern Oregon until it was bypassed by the railroad.
Today Jacksonville is a popular tourist destination and retirement community.