Chamber Communique: The Ashland Chamber — Did you know?

The Ashland Chamber promotes tourism, creates and produces events, maintains strong community partnerships and collaboratively solves problems through strong community leadership. It is a membership organization with more than 700 hundred business, nonprofit and community members. The Ashland Chamber has a long history in the community and here are some fun facts you might not have known about the organization.

Did you know?

• The Ashland Chamber of Commerce was formerly the Ashland Board of Trade and then the Ashland Commercial Club. It was formed in 1889. It was reorganized to become the Ashland Chamber of Commerce in 1919.

• The then-Ashland Board of Trade met with the Mayor and City Council in 1891 to petition to reserve the Ashland Watershed. President Cleveland then requested that a forest reserve be set aside on Ashland Creek to protect Ashland’s water supply. The official proclamation came in 1893 with express purpose to protect the Ashland watershed.
• The president of the Ashland Commercial Club orchestrated the protection of “Ashland Canyon Park.” He shared this vision with the Ashland Woman’s Civic Improvement Club to create a grand park in Ashland. Though met with some political resistance, the Commercial Club and Woman’s Civic Improvement Club collected signatures and placed their proposal on the December 1908 ballot where the measure passed.

• The Ashland Chamber has been creating promotional campaigns and literature since the early 1900s. The first two campaigns were “Where the Palm and the Pine Meet” and “Ashland Grows while Lithia Flows.”

• The Ashland Chamber formally operates the Ashland Visitor and Convention Bureau (dba Travel Ashland) with the grant from the city of Ashland. This grant was first established in 1982. Travel Ashland’s advisory committee includes representatives from each of the tourism industries.

• The chamber produces the largest community events and has been doing so since as far back as the 1880s. The early 4th of July Celebrations included a parade and a horse race down East Main Street which was, at the time, a dirt road.

• In the 1950s, Ashland Chamber presidents and board members advocated for downtown beautification, which included “clean-up” campaigns and the first planting of the trees that line East Main Street.

• The Ashland chamber leadership includes a 12-person, member-elected volunteer Board of Directors from varying industries. There is also a six-person staff.

The Ashland Chamber’s history is rich with community involvement and business development. Business people working through the chamber in large and small ways have provided the leadership to help guide major efforts whose legacy we benefit from today in the community we love.
— Excerpted from the Ashland Chamber’s Living & Doing Business Guide. For more information, go to www.ashlandchamber.com, call 541-482-3486 or stop by the office at 110 East Main St.

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