Talent, Oregon: a growing city of 6,500 people that retains its small-town feel. When was the last time you took a walk through downtown Talent? Even longtime Southern Oregon residents may not have noticed the peaceful ambiance on Talent’s main street, especially during warm evenings when the trees are in bloom and the sidewalks are frequented by visitors on after-dinner strolls. As a community, Talent has plenty to offer, including notable awards, parks and activities, numerous business opportunities, and even a recent Makerspace.
In case you hadn’t heard, Talent is the second city in the nation to become a The city “engages in ongoing education to support and preserve pollinator habitats,” explained Talent’s mayor, Darby Ayers-Flood. Talent also participates in an annual ‘Green Up and Clean Up’ day, as well as a community Harvest Festival in the fall. If you’re interested in more community activities, summer in Talent brings Friday evening markets to the Old Town Park at 5:30pm. These neighborhood gatherings feature artisans, growers, live music, and food trucks—“a fun way to pass the evening.”
As far as business goes, Talent is touted as having a “sweet history with small-town sized manufacturing.” Micro-Trains Line Co.(“the only model train manufacturer of any scale that offers more than 120 different styles of prototypically correct model train freight cars”), Cummins(a battery design and development company which recently acquired a former startup known as Brammo), and the Oregon Shakespeare Production Facility (where most of the pre-play work for OSFoccurs), are a few of the city’s larger companies. In addition, Talent has popular dining options like Arbor House International Restaurant, Pump House Burgers and Brews, Julek’s Polish Kitchen, and the Grotto Pizzeria. “These types of businesses move Talent’s economy, but also fit the character of our little city,” added Ayers-Flood.
Talent Maker Cityis one of the “great efforts” of the Talent community. In the heart of downtown, next to the Grotto Pizzeria, over three-thousand feet are dedicated to space for local craftsmen “to invent, prototype, learn, and build, all on a membership platform,” said Ayers-Flood. “This effort has been a culmination of city investment, volunteer creativity, and expertise, resulting in a working space that stimulates small town economy and community well-being. Talent Maker City truly represents the self-reliance and community pride that Talent is known for.”
Though many Southern Oregon residents are unaware of its existence, Talent Maker City, which opened in 2016 as a nonprofit, is continuing to impress new members—just like the entire city of Talent. While often considered a “drive-by town,” Talent has much more to offer than may meet the eye. So, next time you’re in the area, pay a visit and see a city of community-makers.
Thanks to the newest addition to our SOREDI team, our SOU alum, Abigail Skelton, we will continue to feature some of the popular attractions located in our Southern Oregon communities. We consider each one of our towns and cities to be “jewels in the crown” that makes up Southern Oregon. If you have a story idea sparked by an inspiring local attraction, please e-mail our Communications Manager, Codi Spodnik and maybe Abigail will be giving you a call to follow up. If you are a SOREDI Member and you have some great news, please e-mail it to Codi so we can share it in our newsletter.
Micro-Trains Line (2019). About Micro-Trains. Website: https://www.micro-trains.com/index.php?_route_=about-us
Sawyer Paddles and Oars (2019). Our Story. Website: http://www.paddlesandoars.com/SAWYER-HISTORY/