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Beekman Bank tours resume in August

The historic Beekman Bank Museum, at 110 W. California St., in Jacksonville, will reopen for tours in August, according to a news release from Historic Jacksonville, Inc.

Tours of “the oldest bank in the Pacific Northwest" will run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays, from Aug. 7 through Sept. 5.

The original bank was established in 1856 as a “gold dust” office, the first financial institution north of San Francisco. During Jacksonville’s heyday as the governmental, commercial and social hub of Southern Oregon in the late 1800s, the bank saw over $40 million in gold cross its counters — equivalent to over $1 billion today, the release said.

The bank has been preserved intact as a 19th century banking museum since Cornelius Beekman, the wealthiest and most prominent of Jacksonville’s pioneers, locked the doors in 1915.

“Guests are invited to interact with docents sharing stories of late 19th century banking practices, gold shipping and handshake deals; to step behind the counter and peer in drawers containing old checks, stage schedules and paperwork; to enter the vault that stored all those millions in gold,” the release said.

Tours are free, but donations are encouraged. For more information, call 541-245-3650; email info@historicjacksonville.org; or see www.historicjacksonville.org/behind-the-counter/.