Sunday, July 22, 2007


On our trip to So. OR we also visited Ashland, where we lived from 1979-1993. Ashland is a great place to visit and was, in many ways, a great place to live. It is really where my kids grew up. They were 3 and 5 when we moved there and 16 and 18 when we left. It was where I worked first, at the world famous Shakespeare Festival and later opened my own quilt shop. I made wonderful friends in Ashland and I missed it terribly when we left. On the other hand, beautiful as it is, it has become tremendously overpriced and populated by rich retirees. Three of the 5 elementary schools have closed in recent years because there are simply fewer and fewer children. Young families cannot afford to live there.

Still, it is always fun to visit. I love the downtown with its charming plaza.

There are lots of great old buildings from several different eras. One of my favorites is the Varsity Theater, an old Art Deco style movie theater, which still shows first-run movies. They have divided the inside of the theater into several small theaters now.

One of the newer shops in town is a fabric store called "Fabric of Vision" just around the corner from where my shop was years ago. Here is the owner, Sandi.

I enjoyed visiting with her, and really like the choices she has made for her store. Of course I left with a small bag of goodies.
Another store that is a must-stop for fiber lovers is Web•sters. This store has been there for years and started out as a weaving supply shop. They now carry wearable art and the most beautiful yarns imaginable in addition. They also have the best jewelry I've seen anywhere.

My old Ashland neighbor, Muriel, has moved from Ashland down the road to Phoenix, OR, but she still owns a children's bookstore in Ashland. It is right on the plaza and is called "Treehouse Books".
She was frantically preparing for a late night party and the unveiling of the new Harry Potter book. Here's an article in the Ashland Daily Tidings about what she has planned.

Here she is huddled in a corner of the shop working on paperwork and orders—the exciting life of a shopkeeper.

It used to be when we returned to Ashland we would see lots of old friends and acquaintances on the street and in the shops. Not so much any more. Things change and the town changes each time we return. It no longer feels like we are "going home". It is just a nice place where we used to live.

Here are Steve and Brenda on the steps of the building where my shop was located from 1988 to 1993. The building is empty at the moment.

You can see how it used to look here.


  1. I remember visiting Ashland as a young girl. We lived just outside of Yreaka Calif from 1977 to 1983. It was always a special treat to go to Medford and Ashland.

  2. We go to Ashland every year for vacation, mainly for Shakespeare, but I love the whole experience. The town, the park, the shops, the restaurants and the plays. Pelton House B&B is our favorite. Your posts of all the places we love to visit - including Fabric of Vision where I bought this fabulous black trim with silver rings - that sparked a whole series "Heavy Metal."