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Just closed McDonald's was oldest in Southern Oregon

Now that Medford has a new McDonald’s, I’m wondering, where was the first one in Southern Oregon?

— No name given

There was a time when the Rogue Valley didn’t have the Golden Arches, but not since the early 1970s.

The first McDonald’s hamburgers in Jackson County was at 245 Barnett Road, which recently closed to make way for a new outlet.

According to Jackson County property data and the Mail Tribune’s extensive collection of phone books that date back to the 1950s and Polk directories that go back to the 1930s, the first McDonald’s to open at 245 Barnett Road was completed in 1972.

Medford’s 1973 Bell telephone book ad for the franchise makes no mention of McFlurrys or even breakfast, but appears to have been a big addition to what was then known as the K-Mart Plaza.

It offered store tours, gift certificates and children’s birthday parties, plus “free use of the portable orange bowl,” hearkening back to the Hi-C orange drink it served until 2017 (Corrected). The restaurant opened at 10:30 a.m. back in those days.

Menu items were much simpler, consisting of the Big Mac, Quarter Pound Hamburger, Quarter Pound with Cheese (sans “-er”), the Filet O’ Fish, fries, hot fruit pies, milk shakes and cold drinks.

Send questions to “Since You Asked,” Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501 or by email to youasked@rosebudmedia.com. We’re sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.

Correction: The article in Thursday's print edition incorrectly stated that McDonald's discontinued Hi-C Orange in 1997. It was actually discontinued in May of 2017.