Since You Asked

Coming from the north, at what geographical point does Southern Oregon become Southern Oregon? Is there a real line or just an imaginary one? Nobody in this area can tell me.

— D.E.S., Phoenix

Well, D.E., we're not sure there is a "real" line anywhere, but we did find a few folks who generally agreed on where Southern Oregon starts. How far east it goes is another matter entirely.

We posed your question to the history group on our Rogue Current Web site ( and got a couple of informed responses from historians Jeff LaLande and George Kramer. They agreed that the dividing line to the north is between the Willamette and Umpqua valleys, in other words, somewhere just south of Cottage Grove. Here's LaLande's take on it:

"You could draw or define it many different ways, but I've long considered it to be the Willamette/Umpqua watershed divide (or at the Lane/Douglas county line).

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