Morse Avenue – Ashland High School and Yard Art

I walked Morse Avenue, between Siskiyou Boulevard and East Main Street, late afternoon on a pleasant day in April 2018.  Most of the East side of Morse is taken up by the Ashland High School track and field, as well as a high school staff parking lot.

Homes and apartments fill the West side of the street.  I didn’t meet any Morse Avenue residents on my walk, but I saw some lovely sights. Morse is only a couple blocks long, as are many streets in Ashland, so this will be a short article – mostly photographs.

Garden Highlight

The garden highlight on Morse Avenue was 33 Morse.  This home used to belong to Southern Oregon artist Cheryl Garcia and her husband Criss. Cheryl specializes in metal art, and you can still see her work around the garden.

Her website is www.greatmetalwork.com.  I have had the pleasure of knowing Cheryl for the past few years.  She does create great metal art projects, both small and large. You may have seen her huge flowers just inside the main entrance of the Britt Music Festival, at Walker School in Ashland or the bright yellow-orange metal poppies in the vineyard as you drive into Jacksonville on South Stage Road (photo below).

When Cheryl and Criss sold the home on Morse, she told me that she hoped the new owners would honor and keep her artwork in the garden – and they have.  Here is one more photo of her art at 33 Morse.

There is an unusual tree at the corner of the garden where Morse Avenue meets East Main Street.  I think it’s a weeping Blue Atlas Cedar that has been trained to grow in two directions from the sturdy trunk.  It is dramatic!

Animals

During my walk, the deer of Ashland were represented on Morse.  I was admiring the new AHS track recently installed after a huge community fundraising campaign.  Then I noticed that three deer were also admiring the track, perhaps discussing how fast they could run a 100 yard dash.

The track was declared unfit for use in May of 2017, so a huge community fundraising campaign began. $360,000 of private funds was raised to replace the understructure of the track and lay down a state of the art surface layer.  It looks great to me.  I hope the high school athletes love it.

I enjoyed seeing this mosaic at the high school as I walked the sidewalk on Morse Avenue.  If someone knows the story behind the mosaic, please share it in the comments.

Author: Peter Finkle

My name is Peter Finkle. I moved to Ashland in 1991. My email is walkashland-at-ashlandhome.net. I am a Husband, Father, Poet, Writer and Herbal Health Researcher.

3 thoughts on “Morse Avenue – Ashland High School and Yard Art”

  1. I grew up in Ashland and have wonderful memories of life there. Lived many years on E. Main St, with Morse Ave on one side and Alida St on the other. I met my lifelong friend Barbara Jett who lived on the corner of Morse and E. Main and as I recall next door to the Fader family. Morse Ave was only a dirt road then and neighbor kids would meet in the street to play 500. I attended Lincoln School, Ashland Jr. High and Senior High. We were all blessed to be raised in Ashland our home town!

  2. The tree at 33 Morse was first used as a Christmas tree. I was lucky enough to share an evening w the Garcia’s during its first Winter w a few lights and decorations hanging on it inside the house. We played a nice game of Settlers of Catan as well.

    Tara Elder

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