About This Place
Cave Junction, incorporated in 1948, is a city in Josephine County, Oregon, United States. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 1,363, with an estimated population of 1,750 in July 2009. Its motto is the "Gateway to the Oregon Caves," and the city got its name by virtue of its location at the junction of Redwood Highway (U.S. Route 199) and Caves Highway (Oregon Route 46). It is 93% white, with 29% of residents living below the poverty line.
Cave Junction is located in the Illinois Valley, where, starting in the 1850s, the non-native economy depended on gold mining. After World War II, timber became the main source of income for residents. As timber income has since declined, Cave Junction is attempting to compensate with tourism and as a haven for retirees. Tourists visit the Oregon Caves National Monument, which includes the Oregon Caves Chateau, as well as the Out'n'About treehouse resort and the Great Cats World Park zoo.
For thousands of years, the Takelma Indians inhabited the Illinois Valley. Their culture was destroyed when gold was discovered in the early 1850s, causing the subsequent Rogue River Wars. After an 1853 treaty, most of the Takelmas lived on the Table Rock Reservation. In 1856, after the wars ended, they were moved to the Grand Ronde Reservation and the Siletz Reservation.