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Roseburg is a city in the U.S. state of Oregonmarker. It is the county seat of Douglas Countymarker. The population was 20,017 at the 2000 census. The 2006 estimate is 21,050 residents.


The city was named for Aaron Rose, who settled within the current city limits September 23, 1851. Rose, who came from German Jewish ancestry, was born in 1813 in Ulster County, New Yorkmarker. In 1851, he came to Oregon from Coldwater, Michiganmarker, where he had lived since 1837. His house in Roseburg served as a tavern for many years, and was the first roadside inn in the area. Rose died in 1899.

Roseburg was first known as Deer Creek because it was at the confluence of Deer Creek and the South Umpqua River. In 1854, voters chose Roseburg as the county seat over rival town Winchestermarker. Rose donated of land and $1,000 for the building of the courthouse, and the important buildings of Winchester were moved to Roseburg before 1860.

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.

The Roseburg Blast

On 7 August 1959, at approximately 1:00 a.m., the Gerretsen Building Supply Company caught fire. Firefighters soon arrived at the building, located near Oak and Pine street, 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, a fact which went unnoticed until shortly before the truck exploded, destroying buildings in an eight-block radius and severely damaging 30 more blocks.

The truck was loaded with two tons of dynamite and four-and-a-half tons of the blasting agent nitro carbo nitrate. Rutherford had parked the truck after arranging his delivery for the following morning, despite warnings given to the Pacific Powder Company two days earlier not to leave such trucks unattended or park them in "congested areas." Fourteen people died in the blast and fire and 125 were injured. Damage was estimated at ten to twelve million dollars; the Powder company was eventually made to pay $1.2 million in civil damages, but was acquitted of criminal wrongdoing.

Roseburg's downtown was rebuilt, primarily by businesses using money collected from insurance claims. The city built a new bridge over the South Umpqua River on parcels affected by the disaster. Since the incident, it is commonly referred to as the "Roseburg Blast" or simply "The Blast." In 2005, SOPTVmarker produced a documentary examining the Blast and the experiences of those who were involved or witnessed it, entitled The Roseburg Blast: A Catastrophe and Its Heroes.


Roseburg is located at (43.217964, -123.356047). Roseburg's elevation is approximately .

Roseburg is known for its extremely low wind velocity.

Roseburg is located near the confluence of the north and south forks of the Umpqua River and the Umpqua National Forestmarker. By car, it is 67 miles (108 kilometers) south on I-5 from Eugenemarker and north of the Californiamarker border.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 9.4 square miles (24.4 km²), of which, 9.2 square miles (23.9 km²) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.5 km²) of it (2.02%) is water.


As of the census of 2000, there were 20,017 people, 8,237 households, and 5,098 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,171.1 people per square mile (838.2/km²). There were 8,838 housing units at an average density of 958.6/sq mi (370.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 93.56% White, 0.30% African American, 1.30% Native American, 0.99% Asian, 0.10% Pacific Islander, 1.26% from other races, and 2.48% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.73% of the population.

There were 8,237 households out of which 28.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.2% were married couples living together, 11.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.1% were non-families. 31.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.32 and the average family size was 2.88.

In the city the population was spread out with 23.2% under the age of 18, 8.9% from 18 to 24, 26.5% from 25 to 44, 22.4% from 45 to 64, and 18.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 93.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.5 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $31,250, and the median income for a family was $40,172. Males had a median income of $32,624 versus $25,707 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,082. About 11.0% of families and 15.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.9% of those under age 18 and 9.2% of those age 65 or over.


Public schools



Average high temperatures for Roseburg peak in the high 80s (°F) in early August, with December and January lows in the low 30s. During the winter, rainfalls of 5-6 inches per month are not uncommon. Summers are dry with little or no rain falling for several months.


Oregon Route 99 runs through downtown Roseburg as the main north-south arterial. Interstate 5 runs along the west side of the city, across the South Umpqua River from downtown.

Oregon Route 138 runs northwest from Roseburg to Elkton, Oregonmarker, and generally east from Roseburg to its terminus at a junction with U.S. Route 97, just east of Diamond Lakemarker and Crater Lakemarker.

There is a Greyhound bus station with connecting service to Amtrak passenger rail service. The Central Oregon and Pacific Railroad freight railway runs through Roseburg. There are two public airports, Marion E.marker Carl Memorial Fieldmarker at the north end of town and George Felt Airportmarker to the west. Roseburg and surrounding communities are served by U-Trans[19676] (formerly Umpqua Transit), a local bus service.




Channel Callsign Network Notes
4 KPICmarker CBS Satellite of KVAL-TVmarker, Eugenemarker
18 KTVCmarker independent soon to be satellite of KBLNmarker, Grants Passmarker
33 K33FEmarker Fox Repeater of KLSR-TVmarker, Eugene
46 KTCWmarker NBC Satellite of KMTRmarker, Eugene
47 K47HTmarker 3ABN Repeater of KBLNmarker, Grants Pass
51 K51GJ PBS/OPB Repeater of KEPB, Eugene
53 K53CUmarker ABC Repeater of KEZImarker, Eugene
62 K62DRmarker NBC Repeater of KOBImarker, Medfordmarker

Notable residents

Sister cities

Roseburg has two sister cities:

See also


  1. PSU:Population Research Center
  2. Gerretsen Building Supply
  3. Binus, Joseph. 2006. " Roseburg Blast Crater, 1959". In The Oregon History Project. Retrieved 6 October 2006.
  4. The Roseburg Blast: A Catastrophe and Its Heroes. Retrieved 6 October 2006.
  5. City Profile Demographics
  6. Roseburg, Oregon (OR) Detailed Profile - relocation, real estate, travel, jobs, hospitals, schools, crime, news, sex offenders
  7. Roseburg, Oregon (OR) Detailed Profile. Retrieved 6 October 2006
  8. [1]
  9. Oregon Sister Relationships. Retrieved 6 October 2006.

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