Alice Mullaly

As It Was Contributor

Alice Mullaly was raised in the same Central Point home where she lives today with her husband, Larry. A graduate of Crater High School, Oregon State, and Stanford universities, she taught mathematics for 42 years in high schools in Nyack, New York.; Mill Valley, California, and at Hedrick Junior High School in Medford. She retired from Southern Oregon University where she trained new mathematics teachers. Mullaly’s husband was also a teacher as are her two daughters. Her husband is a Southern Pacific Railroad historian, and both of them enjoy hunting for “the story” in primary sources. Alice’s mother was an early member of the Southern Oregon Historical Society, and Alice has been an SOHS volunteer for nearly 30 years. She enjoys the puzzles people bring to the Research Library, the source of many of her “As It Was” stories.

Althouse Creek in Josephine County was one of the earliest gold mining regions in Southern Oregon.  Mining continued there well into the 20th century. Today’s story is about one of the miners of 1922.

Saloons, card rooms and rowdy folks gave Medford, Oregon’s Front Street a poor reputation in 1911. Fights were common, but guns were rarely used.  When a “deafening report rang out” on the night of June 8, the saloons emptied, windows and doors opened and a crowd gathered to see who had been shot.

Mabel Ramsey wrote this poem about her mother, Amy Dysert, an early pioneer of the mining town of Golden, Ore.

Living in rural Josephine County in the 1920’s meant not having electricity, refrigerators or ice in the summer.  So the Walters family developed a Fourth of July tradition of ordering a 100-pound block of ice and bottled sodas from the ice plant in Grants Pass.

An 1872 graduate of Hahnemann School of Homeopathy in San Francisco, Dr. James Spence, and his wife settled in 1874 in Josephine County’s Bridgeview, Ore.  His practice included caring for the miners and farmers at Althouse Creek, Brownstone, Kerbyville and Sailor’s Diggings.

Many early Oregon settlers dropped their plows and axes and joined the California gold rush in 1849.  A man named Long established a ferry to avoid a very dangerous crossing of the Rogue River on the way to the gold fields on the old mule packers’ trail through Southern Oregon.

There’s gold in them thar hills! That’s if you believe Buckner W. Trevillian.

A one-hour live radio broadcast featuring Chucko the Clown started in Los Angeles in 1954.  The Chucko the Birthday Clown Show had cartoons and games for children celebrating their birthdays.  It was so popular that parents in delivery rooms signed up their newborn babies for the program, hoping they would someday be chosen to appear on the program.

The Rev. Robert Read asked his Bishop for the hardest assignment in the Episcopal Diocese of Sacramento.  In 1947 that was St. Paul’s in Crescent City, Calif., where Sunday school was held in a pony barn. He and the congregation transferred a chapel from Camp White, Ore., to Crescent City.

The Medford Commercial Club teamed up in 1908 with Sunset Magazine to produce an attractive, 64-page booklet about Medford, Ore., and the surrounding Rogue River Valley. The book reports on the climate, the orchards, land prices, building booms, the scenic wonders, lumbering, and mining for everything from coal and gold to copper and mercury. It was a heaven on earth.  Anyone in Medford would tell you so.

It all started when a partner in the Golden Rule Stores in Colorado and Wyoming started his own store in Kemmerer, Wyo., in 1902.  His name was James Cash Penney.

It was nearly sundown when Frank Mathers left his neighbor’s house to walk the half-mile home in the early 1850’s just east of Phoenix, Ore. He assured the neighbor he did not need a gun as mountain lions only came out at night. Frank’s son Marion tells the story, as follows:

The government promised in the Treaty of 1864 that established the Klamath Indian Reservation to supply a lumber mill and maintain its operation for 20 years.

As a youngster, Emma Bolt, the daughter of Applegate, Ore., merchant and miner John Bolt, once invited a hungry and sick stranger to supper.  Her Mother obliged and nursed the man back to health.  He was given shoes at Emma’s request and slept in the girls’ playhouse.  He told Emma “You are kind ma petit and the good God will bless you.”

An old trail up the east side of Lower Table Rock near Medford, Ore., had a grade that reached 38 percent.  Early automobile enthusiasts couldn’t resist the temptation.

Sportsmen formed a rod and gun club in 1912 in Riddle, Ore., that invited the whole community the following Labor Day to a venison barbeque.

Mel and Glen Crocker ran the Crocker Brother’s Union Station on Central Avenue in Medford, Ore., in the early 1950's. But they were more than that.

The county jail in Jacksonville, Ore., had nine prisoners before the night of the October 1909 escape. The sheriff was away and the deputy thought he had everything under control when the prisoners took their customary after-dinner exercise in the corridor outside their cells.  Seeing all was calm, the deputy left for his supper from 6 to 7:30 p.m. When he returned all was definitely not right.

During World War II, keeping troops entertained on their long sea voyages was a major task. Technical Sgt. Larry Wagner of Ashland, Ore., knew just how to do it.

Grants Pass High School has two 1948 state football championship trophies.  There’s a tragic story behind how that happened.