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.

It came out of the sky like a huge dragonfly and skimmed to a halt on the visitor flight line at the Medford, Ore., Airport on June 6, 1932.  Spectators saw with amazement their first Pitcairn Auto-Gyro, a forerunner of the helicopter.

Railroad accidents were common around 1900, but few as amazing as Frank Smith’s fall in 1932 in front of an advancing train on the Rogue River Valley Railroad in Medford, Ore.  Here’s how the Jacksonville Miner newspaper reported it:

As Ashland, Ore., became a railroad center after 1890, women seized on an unusual opportunity to prosper. Inexpensive vacant lots between the town and the railroad offered widows, divorcees and other single women a chance to buy property and rent out homes to itinerant railroad workers and their families.

 

Foots Creek, Ore., was an important mining district in 1884 when Silas Draper applied for a post office there. A miner and rancher for many years on Foots Creek, Robert Cook, learned the business, and in 1886 was appointed postmaster at the age of 62.

 

Patriotism and boosterism were terms applied to the life of J. F. Reddy of Medford, Ore. A Spokane pioneer, he came to Medford in 1903 to sell the Blue Ledge Mine, and stayed.

One old man was the champion drinker of Cinnabar Springs water in 1907 when Drew Clarin’s family came from Portland to spend two months at the resort, located just two miles from the Oregon-California border above Beaver Creek.  He could drink a quart-size tomato can of spring water in one touch to the lips.

J. D. Nunnally was a traveling man.  In July 1877, his travels had taken him to Roseburg, Ore. From there, he wrote back to his San Francisco newspaper, the Pacific Rural Press:

 

In 1861, Sarah Slagle York and her husband moved to a home on Southern Oregon’s Applegate River where they raised 12 children. Years later Sarah wrote down her memories of that time.  Here is one of her stories.

 

Having two teachers with doctorates teaching at a one-room school is unusual, but it happened in 1910 at the West Side School located between Central Point and Jacksonville, Ore.

 

When Dr. A. Erin Merkel became the public health officer for the Jackson County Board of Health in 1937, eight mothers were dying out of every 1,000 live births, the highest rate in the state of Oregon. When Dr. Merkel retired in 1971, no mothers had died in the previous 8,000 live births.

 

Robert Oglesby, driver of the Paisley-Lakeview stage tore into town late on the night of Dec. 20, 1901, to report the stage had been robbed. The sheriff returned with Oglesby to the Lakeview, Ore., cemetery  just outside of town and found the empty mailbags just inside the fence.  One hundred dollars in gold and currency was missing.

Austie Barron’s grandfather, Major Barron, arrived in the Rogue Valley in 1851 and took out a donation land claim a few miles south of Ashland, Ore.  He built a hotel and stage stop and developed a large cattle and sheep operation.

 

In pioneer times, people with excruciating toothaches often turned to a blacksmith to pull the offending tooth.  By 1887, the Oregon Legislature passed the Dental Practices Act to protect people from untrained dentists.

 

When the wind blew from the southwest and the clouds scudded across a new moon, she screamed!

 

A Daughters of the American Revolution monument on Camp Baker Road commemorates Civil War-era Camp Baker west of Phoenix, Ore. The camp served the soldiers of Company A, Oregon Volunteer Cavalry, established in December 1861 to “keep an eye on the secessionists in Jacksonville.”

 

The diary of a recent immigrant’s first days in Southern Oregon reflects his concern for the near future. William Hoffman, his wife and five daughters arrived on Oct. 29, 1853, on the Applegate Trail. Here are some diary excerpts:

 

Whether it was an issue of money or politics, the fact is that on the first day of school in Jacksonville, Ore., in 1921, school directors asked Superintendent Stultz and eighth-grade teacher Miss Bradshaw to leave the school. As they walked out, the entire student body of the high school and eighth-grade class left in protest.

 

Only a horse trail connected Diamond Lake and Crater Lake National Park in 1921.  That was before the superintendent of the park, Alex Sparrow, invited the vice president of the Southern Pacific Railroad, E.O. McCormick, to ride the trail.  Their ride convinced them it was time to build a motor car road between the lakes.

 

It’s certainly true that gold attracted thousands of European-rooted settlers to Southern Oregon who took a lot of ore from the streams and rivers. But can it really be true that gold was used as street paving and railroad ballast?

The Ship Ashore Resort on U.S. Route 101 just three miles south of the Oregon border got its name from the 158-foot yacht, the S.S. Castle Rock, displayed on dry land a quarter mile from the ocean.

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