The Ashland Daily Tidings published its first edition on June 17, 1876, when Ashland had about 500 people but neither church nor saloon.
Editor James M. Sutton noted, however, “whiskey is sold by the bottle and preaching is done in the schoolhouse; and therefore, the people are generally happy.”
Sutton was former editor of the Oregon Sentinel, one of Jacksonville’s earliest papers, and is credited with coining the name “Crater Lake” for Oregon’s crown jewel.
The Ashland Tidings, as the paper was called then, offered four pages of local news, “independent and fearless” editorials, advertising and folk tales every Saturday and cost $2 for a year’s subscription.
Throughout the 19th century, the paper went through multiple owners —including Oliver C. Applegate, son of the founders of the Applegate Trail. Editorials in the 1880s supported the Republican agenda, including women’s suffrage and local miners’ strikes. By 1896, the Ashland Tidings was publishing twice a week with a full page devoted to women’s issues and news.
In 1912, Bert R. Greer, former editor of the Kansas City Tribune, became publisher and editor and changed the paper’s title to the Ashland Weekly Tidings and expanded with a daily publication, the Ashland Daily Tidings. He added four pages that included “In the Social Realm,” a local society section.
Noting the mineral springs east of Ashland, Greer championed piping the water into town and turning the city into a destination spa-resort. Ashland voters approved a $175,000 bond in 1914 to fund transporting the sulfur water to several fountains in town and Lithia Park, but the resort concept never really took off — despite the bond campaign’s slogan, “Ashland grows while Lithia flows.”
The Ashland Printing Co. assumed management of the Tidings in 1928, and its title was changed to Daily Tidings in 1980 when Capital Cities-ABC purchased the paper. It was changed back to the Ashland Daily Tidings in 1993.
It’s gone through several more owners since, including Disney, Lee Enterprises, Ottaway Newspapers and GateHouse Media, before being purchased along with the Mail Tribune and the Nickel by Rosebud Media in 2017.