The Medford Growers and Crafters Market began in the summer of 1987 under the umbrella of the Grants Pass Growers Market. It was located at E. Main and Bartlett. In 1988, it moved to 8th and Holly. Grants Pass decided at the end of 1988 that they were not interested in continuing to manage the market and the vendors created a board, by-laws and Articles of Incorporation. The next move came in 1990 to 10th and Front where the market stayed for several years. The City required the market to be held in the downtown core area, but space and parking were constant issues. In 1993, the market underwent a name change to: Rogue Valley Growers & Crafters Market.
The next move for the Medford market was a location on Almond Street, and was a true test for the market’s survival. The permit to move after several more years to the Sears parking lot in Medford was very welcome. There the market moved around the Medford Center as construction dictated until the ownership decided late one fall that they no longer wished to have the market there.
In 2006, Thursday market then moved to The Medford Armory, where it enjoyed healthy growth for ten years. Due to planned renovations during the summer of 2016, RVGCM had to find a new location. After much deliberation by the Site Committee, RVGCM chose the newly renovated Hawthorne Park at E. Jackson and Hawthorne Park Streets to establish Thursday markets for 2016 and hopefully many years to come.
In the early 1990’s the market expanded into Ashland. The initial market was under the bridge on Water Street. It grew quickly and a few years later moved to the Ashland Community Fellowship parking lot. It continued to grow and eventually moved to the National Guard Armory, where it continues to operate and flourish every Tuesday March through mid-November.
The Rogue Valley Growers & Crafters Markets eventually developed Saturday Markets in both Medford and Ashland. Saturday markets run during a shortened season, May through October. The Saturday Ashland Market began operating in an empty lot on the corner of First and Lithia Way in Ashland in 2008. In 2011, the market coordinated with the City of Ashland to relocate the Saturday site onto Oak Street in the heart of downtown. The market has seen vast success at this location.
After several attempts at various locations in the past 25 years, the current Saturday Medford opened at the Black Oak Village shopping center parking lot. It remained there for a couple years until its tenants required weekend use of the parking lot. Saturday Market briefly set up at the corner of 3rd and Central while the development of The Commons was underway. In 2013, RVGCM coordinated with Medford Parks and Recreation for a welcome move to Park Block One at The Commons, a planned urban development intended to be the front yard for civic activity in the downtown core.
In 2017, the City of Medford approved the relocation of RVGCM Saturday Medford Market to beautiful Hawthorne Park at E. Jackson and Hawthorne Park Streets. We look forward to a long and prosperous future of our Medford markets in this centralized, bustling location.
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