Roseburg is a city in the U.S. state of Oregon. It is in the Umpqua River Valley in southern Oregon and is the county seat and most populous city of Douglas County. Take a look below for 20 interesting and fascinating facts about Roseburg, Oregon, United States.
1. Founded in 1851, the population was 21,181 at the 2010 census, making it the principal city of the Roseburg, Oregon Micropolitan Statistical Area.
2. The community developed along both sides of the South Umpqua River and is traversed by Interstate 5.
3. Traditionally a lumber industry town, Roseburg was the original home of Roseburg Forest Products, which is now based in nearby Springfield.
4. Waterfalls near Roseburg include Susan Creek Falls and Fall Creek Falls.
5. Roseburg’s primary industries include timber and tourism, and the region is home to many vineyards and more than 30 wineries.
6. Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife lists more than 50 areas for fishing for salmon, steelhead, bass, bluegill and trout in the Roseburg area.
7. Modern-day Roseburg is located on the former lands of numerous Indian tribes, including the Cow Creek Band of the Umpqua Tribe, whose Cow Creek Umpqua Indian Foundation is located in Roseburg.
8. Roseburg was the site of the 1855 Battle of Hungry Hill, part of the Rogue River Wars of 1855–56, fought between several southern Oregon Indian groups and the US Army.
9. The city was named for settler Aaron Rose, who established a homestead within the current city limits on September 23, 1851.
10. Rose was born in 1813 in Ulster County, New York. In 1851, he came to Oregon from Coldwater, Michigan, where he had lived since 1837.
11. Rose constructed the first building in what would become Roseburg, a rough structure made of poles and clapboards with a front room about 16 or 18 feet square; it was used as a grocery store, backed by a dining room and kitchen.
12. Originally, guests could use the floor of the front room to spread their beds or were able to sleep out of doors under nearby oak trees.
13. His first structure served as a roadside inn and tavern for many years. Rose built a proper hotel in 1853. He died in 1899.
14. Roseburg was first known as Deer Creek because it was at the confluence of Deer Creek and the South Umpqua River.
15. In 1854, voters chose Roseburg as the county seat over rival town Winchester. Rose donated 3 acres (1.2 ha) of land and $1,000 for the building of the county courthouse, and the important buildings of Winchester were moved to Roseburg before 1860.
16. Deer Creek post office was established in 1852, and the name changed to “Roseburgh” in 1857. The spelling was changed to “Roseburg” in 1894. Roseburg was incorporated by the Oregon Legislative Assembly on October 3, 1872.
17. The fortunes of Roseburg grew with the lumber industry. In 1937, Roseburg Lumber opened. Founded by Kenneth Ford, the company became the major employer in the community. Other major employers, including Weyerhaeuser, Champion and Sun Studs also developed and grew during this time. By the 1970s Roseburg branded itself as the Timber Capital of the Nation.
18. On August 7, 1959, at approximately 1:00 a.m., the Gerretsen Building Supply Company caught fire. Firefighters soon arrived at the building, near Oak and Pine Streets, to extinguish the fire. Earlier in the evening, a truck driver for the Pacific Powder Company, George Rutherford, had parked his explosives truck in front of the building, which was not noticed. The truck exploded at around 1:14 a.m., destroying buildings in an eight-block radius and severely damaging 30 more blocks.
19. On October 1, 2015, students at Umpqua Community College near Roseburg were attacked by a 26-year-old gunman that had recently moved to the area from Southern California, who killed nine people (eight students and an assistant professor) and injured nine others. The gunman, a student at the school, committed suicide following a gun battle with police. This was the second school shooting in the Roseburg area, the other being a 2006 shooting at Roseburg High School. On October 9, President Barack Obama privately visited families of victims of the shooting. Hundreds of local residents protested the visit due to Obama’s support of gun control legislation.
20. In 2018, the City of Roseburg opened its own library. Previously, the city’s library had been part of the Douglas County Library System but was closed when county libraries lost public funding.