Kernan Turner

As It Was Editor & Coordinator

Kernan Turner is the Southern Oregon Historical Society’s volunteer editor and coordinator of the As It Was series broadcast daily by Jefferson Public Radio. A University of Oregon journalism graduate, Turner was a reporter for the Coos Bay World and managing editor of the Democrat-Herald in Albany before joining the Associated Press in Portland in 1967. Turner spent 35 years with the AP.  His assignments included the World Desk in New York City and 27 years as a foreign correspondent and bureau chief, living and working in Mexico and Central America, South America, the Caribbean and the Iberian Peninsula. His final assignment was as chief of Iberian Services in Madrid, Spain. He retired in Ashland, his birthplace,  in 2002, with his wife, Betzabé “Mina” Turner, an Oregon certified court interpreter.  He and his wife are active boosters of Ashland’s Sister City connection with Guanajuato, Mexico.

The Klamath Falls Commercial Club, reminding everyone in 1916 that it was Letter-Writing Week, urged correspondence that would attract Easterners to Oregon.  Club President Fred E. Fleet said nearly all Oregon’s cities were participating in the campaign “to induce visits by Eastern tourists during the coming season.”

Good roads lead from Grants Pass to the Oregon Caves National Monument, but it wasn’t always that way.  A visitor to the caves in 1919, Howard Rose, described his difficulties getting there for the Ashland Weekly Tidings.

In August 1915, Klamath Falls Mayor J.B. Mason warned motorists to slow down or be arrested and fined.

Winchester Dam and its ripple-free reservoir offer northbound motorists on Interstate 5 a glimpse of bucolic tranquility as they zip across a bridge and glance down at trees and homes on the reservoir banks.

Jefferson Public Radio’s As It Was volunteers are deeply saddened to report that their esteemed colleague, Dr. James S. Long, died on Jan. 7, in Roseburg, Ore.  He regularly contributed As It Was stories for years, even writing three of this month’s episodes while battling cancer.

By his own reckoning, John Richard Newton Bell survived 32 Civil War battles as a teen-age private in the Confederate Army before ending up in a Union prisoner-of-war camp.

One hundred years ago The Evening Herald newspaper reported, “All’s quiet in Klamath criminal circles.”  The article’s quaintly worded headline on Nov. 5, 1915, read, “Few Criminals Work in Klamath; City Bastille Almost Empty of Malfactors.”

One of the Civil War veterans buried in the Marshfield Pioneer Cemetery in Coos Bay, Ore., is Thomas C. Wyman, who served as the assistant Cape Arago lighthouse keeper from 1891 to 1906.

The owners closed the Rogue River Lodge in November with plans to convert the main building into their home and to remove the parking lot. Anne and Lee Kimball are the eighth owners of the lodge, a 78-year landmark a half hour’s drive east of Medford, Ore.

The building that opened as the Barnum Hotel celebrated its 100th anniversary this year as the Grand Apartments, which provides subsidized, affordable housing on the corner of Front and Fifth streets in Medford, Ore.

One hundred years ago, the Medford Mail Tribune ran an editorial asking what could be done about the Rogue River Valley’s lack of development.

In early October 1915, the Klamath Falls Commercial Club encouraged people to attend Klamath Day at the Oregon exhibition of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco. It was the third World’s Fair held in the United States and the 12th anywhere.

In November, The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde celebrated the 32nd anniversary of their restored reservation in northwestern Oregon.  Ceremonies included adding Rogue River rocks to an earth and stone monument in an empowerment ceremony.

The armory building in Klamath Falls celebrated its 80th birthday this year.  Constructed in 1935 at a cost of $180,000, the armory has been the home of the Klamath County Museum since 1970.

Early pioneer George W. Riddle described in his book titled “History of Early Days in Oregonhow Indians welcomed being given American names, which they called Boston names.

Volunteers have been busy since 2013 sprucing up the 156-year-old pioneer Lane Cemetery in the Southern Oregon community of Winchester, once Douglas County’s government seat before it moved to  nearby Roseburg.

Quebec-born Peter Skene Ogden, who explored and gathered beaver pelts in Oregon between 1826 and 1827, was more than a fur trader.  The Hudson’s Bay Company sent him as chief trader on several expeditions between the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific.  His mission was not only to gather furs, but also to explore and record the rivers and mountains he encountered.  Historian Jeff LaLande calls his contribution to geographic knowledge of “major importance to Oregon history.”

Quebec-born fur trader Peter Skene Ogden led six Hudson’s Bay Company trapping parties from the Rockies to the Pacific.

The Oregon State Parks Division purchased nearly 2,000 acres from the Joseph N. Hughes Estate in 1971 and turned it into the Cape Blanco State Park.  The park offers tours of the lighthouse and the historic Patrick Hughes house from April through October.  The lighthouse is Oregon’s southernmost, and Cape Blanco, named by a Spanish explorer in 1603, is the state’s most westernmost point.

Under an engraving of a four-engine airplane and a cross, a polished granite memorial at Mountain View Cemetery in Ashland, Ore., reads, “In Memory of the Ashcraft Brothers.”  They are identified as Navy Lt. Dean Bruner Ashcraft, Navy Lt. Kent Norman Ashcraft and Army Staff Sgt. Leland James Ashcraft.  All three were killed in World War II.

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