Cave Junction, Oregon, is home to more than just dusty roads and possibly Bigfoot—nearly 2,000 residents are fiercely proud of the community, which is known to most of the nation as the “Gateway to the Oregon Caves.” Cave Junction was first populated during a small gold rush in the 1800’s. Years later, the caves were discovered on a hunting trip, and eventually developed into a national monument by President Taft in 1909. Thirty-nine years passed before Cave Junction became an incorporated city, and since that time, the population has increased six-fold. As the second largest city in Josephine County, boasting local businesses, and hidden tourist attractions, Cave Junction is now recognized as one of the jewels of the Illinois Valley. And for good reason—with a plethora of exciting businesses and opportunities, the future is golden for this tight knit Southern Oregon city.
When local businesses come to mind, Taylor’s Sausage is one of the forerunners. The Cave Junction based company began in 1918, in Calgary, Canada, and worked in major cities such as Los Angeles and the San Francisco area, before eventually finding a home in Cave Junction. Family and community are both invaluable to Taylor’s Sausage, and the company provides numerous jobs for Cave Junction residents, as well as participating in local causes. In fact, the company is the largest employer in the city. For being a rural community, Taylor’s Sausage store and restaurant can still draw in up to 1,000 visitors on a good weekend—and the company’s products are sold throughout both the United States and Canada.
During a meeting with City Councilor Jean Ann Miles and several community members, numerous businesses that keep the uniqueness of Cave Junction going strong received notable mention. Among these are Wild River Pizza, Ravenwood Gallery, Bear Images, Funky Kitchen, and many more. “Everyone supports each other,” Councilor Miles said. “Our city is full of imaginative, amazing people.”
Cave Junction also has future plans for the city’s business sector. In order to draw the businesses together, the next round of updates to the exteriors of the businesses will feature matching paint jobs in the Cascadia color palates. In addition to this town beatification, Cave Junction is making headway on affordable housing through Siskiyou Pines Development, led by Illinois Valley Chamber of Commerce President, David Garcia. Residents will be able to move into single family homes or duplexes after the project is complete. For many though, it’s a “big deal;” it will be their first time having the opportunity to own a home. Beyond that, the city foresees a future hotel and even a local amphitheater. Starting in April, the Friday Farmers’ Market will bring in neighboring bands from the area. It’s the hope that the construction of an amphitheater for this local music will bring the community together. “This region really is gorgeous, and we want people to recognize that Cave Junction is a jewel, not just another drive-through town along the highway,” finished Councilor Miles.