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As It Was: Britt Hill Stirs Memories of Music and Sledding

From the 1800s to the present day, Britt Hill in Jacksonville has created memories for residents as well as visitors to the historic town.

Today’s recollections often have to do with sitting on that hill listening to music performed each summer evening during the Britt Music and Arts Festival.  The hill is named after early settler and photographer Peter Britt.

In the 1800s, the memories belonged to the children of the town, who saw Britt Hill as the perfect place for snow sledding.  The Britt family home was located on the top of the hill on First Street that ended below at the intersection of Pine and South Oregon streets.

The winters in Jacksonville during those years could be quite harsh and the houses and streets would be covered with snow.  When it snowed heavily, children got a day off from school and headed for Britt Hill.

The town archives contain photographs of children sledding down Britt Hill between Herman von Helm’s Table Rock Saloon and Billiard Parlor and Jacksonville’s first museum. 

Sources: LaPlante, Margaret. Jacksonville Images of America. Acadia Publishing, 2010, p. 36, 51; "History Trivia People and Places Britt Hill." Historic Jacksonville, Inc., 20 Dec. 2016, www.historicjacksonville.org › britt-hill; Engeman, Richard H. The Jacksonville Story. Southern Oregon Historical Society, Inc., 1980, p. 43.

Luana (Loffer) Corbin graduated from Southern Oregon College, majoring in Elementary Education.  The summer after graduation she was hired to teach at Ruch Elementary, where she taught for 32 years. After retiring, Corbin worked for Lifetouch School Photography and then returned to Ruch as an aide helping with reading instruction and at the library.  More recently, she has volunteered at South Medford High.