Located in the southwest corner of the state, Roseburg, Oregon, is a small city. It is also an older city, incorporated in 1868, and it occupies just nine square miles. Interstate 5 runs straight through the center of town. The closest large city is Eugene, the second-most-populous city in the state. Eugene is about 70 miles north of Roseburg.
One of Roseburg's biggest draws is its climate. The path of the Umpqua River, along with several mountain chains, forms what is known as the Hundred Valleys of the Umpqua. This region has a mild climate, with distinct seasons but no extremes of hot or cold. It has been compared with the climate of Italy and the southern region of France. Also due to its topography, Roseburg has one of the lowest average wind velocities in the United States.
ECONOMY AND INDUSTRIES
The three biggest employment sectors in Roseburg are health care, retail and hospitality. Many of the residents also work in blue-collar jobs. Mercy Medical Center, located within the city, serves Douglas County and employs more than 1,400 physicians and support staff, making it one of the largest employers in Roseburg.
The cost of living in Roseburg is lower than the national average, and the unemployment rate is slightly higher than the national average.
NEIGHBORHOODS AND DISTRICTS
The median home value in Roseburg is lower than that of many other cities in Oregon, and rental rates here are also much lower. About half of the city's residents own their homes, many of which are single-family residences.
There are six distinct districts within Roseburg:
- City Center: Located just east of I-5, this is a suburban area with small, single-family homes, and the people living here are mostly laborers.
- Edenbower/Calkins: To the west of I-5, this district is home to middle-income executives. There are many large homes in this suburban area, and some of the homes here are farms as well.
- Melrose/Umpqua: Located on the west side of town, this somewhat remote area is studded with farms, and there are mostly single-family and mobile homes here.
- Military Avenue/Lookingglass Road: This district is located on the west side of I-5 toward the south end of the city. Residents here work primarily in sales.
- Shady/Oaks: This is a smaller district located just to the east of I-5 on the south side of Roseburg. Lower-middle-class residents live in this neighborhood, many of whom have small single-family homes.
- Winchester/Wilbur: This district is located in the northeast part of the city, and the neighborhood has a mix of suburban areas and large farms.
Roseburg has many fascinating attractions for visitors to enjoy:
- The Applegate Trail opened in 1846 in order to bypass the treacherous Oregon Trail, and it has an historical marker on Main Street, north of Douglas.
- There are six covered bridges in Roseburg, and brochures about them are available from the Visitors and Convention Bureau.
- The award-winning Douglas County Museum is located one mile south of Roseburg.
- Visitors can take self-guided tours of both the Historic Homes and Districts and the Oakland Historic District.
Due to Roseburg's proximity to several national landmarks, the city's residents can enjoy activities within the city and in the surrounding areas.
- Diamond Lake: No matter what the season, this natural recreation area has something for everyone. Summer activities include fishing, swimming, horseback riding, camping and playing games such as horseshoes and volleyball. Snow-related activities include downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling and tube sliding. Although Diamond Lake is located outside of Roseburg, it is a major attraction for residents and visitors.
- Umpqua National Forest: This landmark is located just east of Roseburg. There are three wilderness areas here, with miles of trails and several hundred campsites. More than 250 animal species live in the forest.
- Golfing: There are four golf courses in the Roseburg area, both public and private. Due to the region's mild climate, golfers can enjoy their sport year-round.
- Outdoor Adventure Sports: Whitewater rafting and rock climbing are both popular activities for Roseburg residents who are adventurous at heart.
- Roseburg Town Center: This is a traditional, pedestrian-friendly downtown area full of shops and restaurants. The hometown feel of the city really comes to life in this district.
- Umpqua Valley Arts Association: There are several art galleries featured here, and the center frequently hosts juried shows and local artists' openings. Special events, such as dinners and auctions, are held here throughout the year.
DID YOU KNOW?
- Aaron Rose, one of the first settlers to the area in 1851, is the city's namesake.
- The "Roseburg Blast" refers to an incident that took place in 1959 when a truck of explosives blew up in front of a building-supply company. The explosion annihilated buildings in an eight-block radius.
- The word "umpqua" comes from the language of the Native American tribes who previously inhabited this area. The word roughly translates to "thundering waters."