Dennis M. Powers

As It Was Contributor

Dennis M. Powers was a business law attorney with different real estate and business ventures before teaching as a full professor and later professor emeritus at Southern Oregon University in Ashland. He is a graduate of the University of Colorado (b.a.), the University of Denver Law School (j.d.), and Harvard Business School (m.b.a.). He loves researching history.  Powers is the author of 18 books, including five about the sea, a long-time interest.  The Raging Sea (2005) is about the crushing 1964 Crescent City tsunami; Treasure Ship (2006): the discovery of a gold-bearing, 1865 paddle-wheeler that sank off Northern California; Sentinel Of The Seas (2007): the most remote, dangerous, and expensive lighthouse in the country; Taking The Sea (2009): the tales of the old ship salvagers; and Tales Of The Seven Seas (2010): the stories of a charismatic, adventurous sea captain. Powers resides in Ashland, Oregon.  

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History
9:12 am
Wed November 26, 2014

Indians Hunt and Gather Berries on Payne Cliffs near Phoenix, Ore.

The high, sandstone Payne Cliffs overlook the Fern Valley across Interstate 5 from Phoenix, Ore.  Named after a pioneer family, the cliffs are part of the sediment deposited by stream erosion for more than 65 million years.  Prehistoric petrified logs and wood are exposed in the south-facing cliffs that reach 2,575 feet above sea level.

American Indians hunted and gathered berries on the higher elevations for about 12,000 years.

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History
9:10 am
Mon November 24, 2014

Illinois Valley Miners Write Oregon’s first Mining Code

 

After sailors jumped ship in Crescent City, Calif., they discovered gold inland just south of Cave Junction, Ore., and east of O’Brien in the Illinois Valley.  The mining area became known as Sailor’s Diggings until it grew into the large gold-mining settlement of Waldo, named after William Waldo, the Whig Party candidate for governor of California. 

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History
10:42 am
Tue November 4, 2014

Water-Shooting Device Cools Rogue River Rafters

 

In the late 1980s, three young rafting enthusiasts, Medford financial planner Bill Bednar, Grants Pass banker Dorian Corliss and Medford banker Michael Neyt, were taken by surprise while enjoying a Northern California raft trip.

The trio spotted someone using a crude device resembling a “homemade syringe” that shot a long stream of water.  Seeing the potential for fun, Corliss built a four-foot-long, telescoping “tube within a tube” capable of producing long, strong streams of water.

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History
10:52 am
Fri October 24, 2014

Orin Palmerton Sells His Arboretum to Preserve

 

A veteran of the Spanish-American War, Orin Palmerton, purchased five acres of land in the 1920s near the City of Rogue River, Ore., where he began planting many domestic and exotic trees from around the world.

Evans Creek slices through the property, a five-minute drive from downtown, as the creek flows toward the Rogue River.

Palmerton operated a nursery there for years before deciding to sell the pristine acreage to Jackson County in 1960. The City of Rogue River acquired it in 1994 from the county as part of the city’s park system.

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History
11:05 am
Fri October 10, 2014

Ashland, Ore., Couple Brings Science to Children

 

John Javna was a successful writer and his wife, Sharon, was a public defender in Oakland, Calif., when they moved with their two children in 1995 to Ashland, Ore.  John’s self-published book, titled “50 Simple Things You Can Do to Save the Earth,” had sold 5 million copies.

They loved the Rogue Valley, but missed taking their children to interactive museums like those in the Bay Area. They started a small science museum in the Ashland Middle School, building exhibits, an experimental lab, and displaying a giant python.

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History
2:23 pm
Thu September 25, 2014

Medford Conservationist Inspires Camp White Wildlife Area

  Camp White spread across 77 square miles in the Agate Desert north of Medford, Ore., during the Second World War.  Torn down after the war, most of the buildings were sold and hauled away, except for those that became the White City Department of Veterans Affairs Domiciliary.

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History
10:46 am
Tue September 9, 2014

Ashland, Ore., Forensics Lab Director Writes Crime Novels

The man who heads the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Forensic Laboratory in Ashland, Ore, wears two hats. 

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History
7:52 am
Mon August 4, 2014

Boat Builder Chooses Aluminum over Wood

As a fishing guide on the Rogue River, Willie Illingworth knew firsthand that a 20-foot, heavy cedar or plywood boat was tortuous to row and handle and required constant maintenance.  He figured an aluminum driftboat would make more sense.

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History
11:45 am
Tue July 22, 2014

Grants Pass Boatnik Festival Raises Money for Community Programs

 Since 1959, the Grants Pass Active Club has held its annual, five-day Boatnik festival along the Rogue River on Memorial Day weekend. 

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History
10:41 am
Tue July 8, 2014

Eden Valley Orachards Offers Wine and Jazz

 Early orchardist Joseph H. Stewart paid pioneer photographer-horticulturalist Peter Britt $5,400 in 1885 for a house and acreage in southwest Medford, Ore. It was a tidy sum at the time.

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History
11:17 am
Wed June 25, 2014

Forensic Scientists Leads Authorities to the D'Autremont Brothers

 The botched train robbery at Tunnel 13 in the Siskiyou Mountains on Oct. 11, 1923, left four people dead and mangled car remains.  To authorities, it was maddening that the crime couldn’t be solved.

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History
10:51 am
Wed June 25, 2014

Star Athlete Supports Southern Oregon Nonprofits

  A star football player at Ashland High School, where he graduated in 1991, Chad Cota went on to play 43 consecutive games at the University of Oregon.  He provided defense in the backfield for four years as the U of O’s strong safety, and received the Bill Hayward Award as the state’s top amateur male athlete.

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History
8:49 am
Fri June 6, 2014

Doug and Becky Neuman Restore Southern Oregon Hotels

 Built in 1925, the once elegant, nine-story Ashland Springs Hotel had fallen into disrepair and bankruptcy when Doug and Becky Neuman purchased it in 1998.  They spent millions of dollars in restoration and reopened it with a new restaurant and spa.  

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History
10:24 am
Thu May 22, 2014

Lithia Motors Sells 14 Cars the Year It Opens in 1946

 The first year after Walt DeBoer started Lithia Motors in Ashland, Ore., in 1946, he sold 14 cars. Today’s sales are measured in billions of dollars.

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History
9:14 am
Thu May 8, 2014

Author Con Sellers Raise Horses, Teaches in Grants Pass


 

Born in 1922 in rural Mississippi, Con Sellers enlisted after high school in the Army, where for 16 years he edited Army newspapers and also served as a combat correspondent during the Korean War.

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History
8:39 am
Tue May 6, 2014

Medford Bowler Becomes One of the 50 Greatest of All Time

Marshall Holman’s first bowling score was a 71. He was only 12 and he considered it “mediocre.”  Attending high school in Medford, he began studying the top local players and adopting their best styles. Seeking stronger competition at age 17, he began driving on weekends in the early 1970s to Portland or Seattle.  Despite his father’s protests that Holman was wasting time, he persevered and started winning.

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History
10:23 am
Thu April 24, 2014

Trail Leads to Mysterious Stone Woman of Crater Lake

 Reports of a sculptured stone woman began filtering into Crater Lake National Park headquarters during the winter and spring of 1917. Workers located the figure on the lake’s rim, about a mile and a half from the lodge.  The nearly full relief of a nude figure was chiseled out of a lava boulder, its legs bent and one arm over its head as if shielding against danger. The news media reported the discovery with headlines such as “Mummy Woman found in woods” and “Ancient figure of woman discovered.”   
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History
9:29 am
Fri April 18, 2014

Dam Removal Creates New Gold Rush

Researchers predicted benefits from removing the 106-year-old Gold Ray Dam in 2010.  Among them were more salmon and steelhead swimming upriver to spawn and more rafters enjoying the scenery along 57 miles of newly opened water. But who anticipated gold fever!

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History
9:00 am
Mon April 14, 2014

Ashland Golfer Surprises Fans at Northern Trust Open

An Ashland High School graduate who was the 1996 Oregon High School golf champion, Jason Allred, went on to play on the Professional Golfers’ Association Tour.  Before that, he competed in collegiate golf at Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., where he graduated in 2002. 

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History
8:12 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Ashland Author Writes and Illustrates Children's Books

 The author P.K. Hallinan stayed awake one night questioning what he wanted to do with his life.  Hallinan, who lives near the Siskiyou Pass in the mountains outside of Ashland, Ore., decided to be a novelist.  He said he wrote two terrible novels that he threw away.
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