Oregon Map

Rogue River Valley

Jackson and Josephine Counties

Kerby, 97531

and Selma, 97538

Josephine County

This town has had trouble with its name from the beginning. At first it was called Kerbyville, or Kerbeyville after a rancher who settled the area. Then in 1856 the county commissioners changed it to Napoleon (your explanation is as good as mine). The residents did not really like that so they switched back to the old name and shortened it to Kerby. Starting in 1857 Kerby was the county seat of Josephine country. That lasted about thirty years until Grants Pass grew up and claimed the title. This was gold rush country in the early days of Kerby. Logging and milling eventually supplanted the gold fever but even that dwindled to nothing by 1960. The road through Kerby (199) is the famous Redwood Highway, but the attractions in Kerby are few. Some guides list Kerby as a ghost town because of remaining old mining buildings. I could not find them. A museum, an old school house, and a few residences are what one sees. I have pitched in here photos of Selma also as it shares the same history and is close by.