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.

Pages

History
2:22 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

Oregon Spotted Frog Stirs Environmental Controversy

  Pity the Oregon spotted frog.  Non-native fishes and big bullfrogs are eating them, cattle stomp on their meadows and invasive grasses and other plants cover their former range.  Now they’re becoming the center of controversy as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service moves to list them under the Endangered Species Act.

Read more
History
2:20 pm
Mon September 22, 2014

Public Radio Series "As It Was" Airs 2,500th Episode

  Twenty-two years ago, the Southern Oregon Historical Society began producing a series of historical stories for the Jefferson Public Radio series titled “As It Was, Tales from the Mythical State of Jefferson.”  Today the program airs its 2,500th episode since the series resumed in 2004. 

Read more
History
2:18 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Poor Sidewalks Rule Out Free Home Mail Delivery

  Forty-three years after the first post office opened in Klamath Falls, Ore., postmen in 1914 still weren’t making free home mail deliveries.  A Klamath Falls Evening Herald story of Aug. 15, 1914, indicated the lack of free home delivery was due more to the condition of the town than any reluctance of the post office.  The newspaper story says:  “While the receipts of the Klamath Falls postoffice [sic] are more than enough to justify the free delivery of mail, there is not much chance of this service being inaugurated here by Uncle Sam until the sidewalks are connected up and made more thorough throughout the city, according to D.E. Wood, postoffice inspector.  “Wood also claims that all of the houses are not numbered, and says that until this is attended to, the getting of free delivery will be greatly hampered.  He will make his report to the Postoffice Department.  “According to Wood, if the downtown section of town fully complies with the requirements of the department, it is possible that free delivery will be started there, and the outskirts will be provided with mail as they grow and put in the necessary sidewalks, lights and numbers.” .

  Source: "Says We Need Sidewalks." Klamath Falls Evening Herald 15 Aug. 1914: 1. Web. 15 Aug. 2014.

History
11:07 am
Fri September 5, 2014

Deer, Not Cows, Jumps Over the Moon in Evans Valley

 Southern Oregonians bothered by pesky deer grazing on their rose and tomato blossoms, not to mention other young plants, might consider getting a guard cow.  Or maybe three or four cows.

Read more
History
11:05 am
Mon September 1, 2014

Traveling Salesman Runs into Pack of Trouble in Gold Hill, Ore.

Audio Pending...
 Traveling sewing machine salesman, H. W. Fountain, must have rued the day he met a girl in Gold Beach, Ore., in 1896. Another admirer, Grant Baxter, threatened to shoot Fountain if he visited her again.

Read more
History
3:10 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Exhausted Pioneer Asks Applegate for Tobacco

 In the spring of 1861, Missouri farmer Floyd Farrar and his wife, Wilmoth (Banta) Farrar, headed West with their infant children, Martha Octavia and John Henry.

Read more
History
7:55 am
Fri August 8, 2014

Linkville, Ore., Fights to Retain County Seat Status

 There was a time when people in Linkville, the precursor to Klamath Falls, had to journey more than 100 miles over the Cascades to reach the county seat in Jacksonville, Ore.  The town of Linkville, population 250, was in Jackson County until Feb. 1, 1875, when the eastern portion of the county became Lake County.  
Read more
History
11:31 am
Wed July 30, 2014

Mighty Wurlitzer Awakens at Egyptian Theater in Coos Bay, Ore.

 The Mighty Wurlitzer awakened at the grand reopening of the 89-year-old Egyptian Theater, which had been closed since 2005.

Read more
History
11:47 am
Wed July 23, 2014

Theodore Stern Becomes Leading Scholar on Klamath Indians

 Ten years ago the Umatilla Indian Tribe of Eastern Oregon declared July 29 “Dr. Theodore Stern Day” in honor of the leading scholar on the linguistics and anthropology of the Klamath and Nez Perce people.  

Read more
History
10:13 am
Fri July 18, 2014

Visionary Pushes for Highway from Canada to Mexico

 Motorists headed from the Rogue Valley to Northern California and beyond owe a debt of gratitude to Sam Hill, who joined around 1910 with Canadian A.E. Todd to form the Pacific Highway Association.  The association advocated for a 1,600-mile, hard-surfaced highway from British Columbia to the Mexican border.

Read more
History
10:49 am
Thu July 10, 2014

Glenn Jackson Leaves Legacy of Service to Oregon

 Described as “arguably the most powerful nonelected citizen in Oregon history,” Glenn Jackson left his mark on Southern Oregon.

Read more
History
10:48 am
Wed June 25, 2014

Indians Trace Roots to Marriage between Grizz;y Bear and Daughter of Great Spirit

  In his 1873 book titled Life Among the Modocs, Joaquin Miller related that the Shasta Indian creation myth told of how grizzly bears once walked on two legs, talked, fought with clubs, and possessed all the land from Mount Shasta to the sea.
Read more
History
10:43 am
Thu May 29, 2014

Old-timer Tells How Whiskey Creek Got Its Name

 There are several versions of how Whiskey Creek along the Rogue River got its name, but 96-year-old Frances Pearson had no doubts when she was interviewed for an oral history collection in 1981. “I know the exact truth of that one,” the retired teacher said.
Read more
History
10:31 am
Mon May 26, 2014

Narrow Bauge Railway Runs beetween Reno and Prineville, Ore.

 What would become one of the longest narrow-gauge railroads in the United States was incorporated in 1888 as the Nevada-California-Oregon Railway, better known as the N-C-O.  Some passengers insisted N-C-O stood for the “Northern California Outrage” or the “Narrow, Crooked, and Ornery.”

Read more
History
10:12 am
Tue May 20, 2014

Modoc County Approves Yet Another Border Alignment

 

The land doesn’t move, but the boundaries that enclose Modoc County, Calif., and its population of 9,686 have shifted many times, more than for any other California county.

Read more
History
9:28 am
Fri May 9, 2014

Emigrants Headed to Oregon Run for Election

 

Estimates vary widely on how many emigrants gathered in Jackson County, Missouri, in the spring of 1843 to organize a wagon train to Oregon.  There were at least 500, and one pioneer said the party “numbered over one thousand souls, with one hundred and twenty wagons drawn by ox teams and over three thousand head of loose cattle and horses."

Read more
History
8:26 am
Mon May 5, 2014

Chief John Fights to Stay on His Homeland

 A year after defeating the U.S. Army in the Battle of Hungry Hill in 1855, Tecumtum, the Indian leader known as Chief John, declared he wanted to live in peace with the white man, but would fight rather than be forced onto a reservation.
Read more
History
9:46 am
Wed April 23, 2014

SOU Herbarium Rediscovers Donated Plant Collection

 The Southern Oregon University Herbarium was long neglected when botanist Frank Callahan offered in 2012 to clean and organize its collection of nearly 24,000 specimens.
Read more
History
8:47 am
Wed April 9, 2014

Electrified Railways Link Medford and Jacksonville

There was a time when electrified railways ran through downtown Medford and connected Medford with Jacksonville.  Those tracks are long gone today.

Read more
History
2:48 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Frontiersmen Push Rogue Indians to Near Extinction

 When the first frontiersmen arrived in 1851, there were some 9,500 Indians living in the Rogue Valley.  At the end of the Rogue Indian Wars six years later, only 2,000 Indians were left.  Stephan Dow Beckham’s classic book titled Requiem for a People says the Indians’ near extinction resulted from the Euro-Americans’ diseases, vices, technology and racial prejudice.
Read more

Pages