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.

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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.  

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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.

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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.

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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.
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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.
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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.”

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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.

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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."

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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.
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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.
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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.

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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.
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History
2:48 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

World War II Servicemen Frequent Southern Oregon Brothels

As tens of thousands of servicemen filled Oregon military bases during World War II, prostitution boomed in nearby towns.  Officials warned that it took only a few venereal-disease infected prostitutes to create a health hazard, often spread to the general population by so-called “khaki-wackey girls” cozy with infected soldiers.

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History
11:07 am
Tue January 21, 2014

Two Immigrant Photographers Record Modoc War of 1872-73

 Two early photographers, Eadweard [cq] A. Muybridge of San Francisco and Louis Herman Heller of Yreka, covered the Modoc War in 1872-73 in Northeast California between Captain Jack’s small band of Indians and the U.S. Army.
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History
9:26 am
Wed January 8, 2014

Globetrotting Writer Describes Miserable Night in an Indian Hut

 Try to imagine a 57-year-old Viennese woman, drenched from the rain, seeking shelter in 1853 in a remote Smith River Indian Village northeast of newly founded Crescent City, Calif.
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History
10:11 am
Fri November 22, 2013

Mysterious Wanderer Gives Yoncalla Indians Biblical Names

A son of Oregon trailblazer Lindsey Applegate named Jesse Applegate Applegate (yes, that’s right: his middle and last names were the same) was an author, teacher and amateur ethnographer.  As a youth in the 1850s, he made close friends with the Indians near his family home in the Yoncalla Valley, which the Indians called Splashta Alla, the Valley of the Birds.
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History
9:41 am
Thu November 14, 2013

Woman Describes Six-Day Road Trip to California in 1922

Sixty-nine years later, Marjorie H. Gardner described a road trip in 1922 from Eugene, Ore., to San Francisco, Calif.  Her family drove a Willys-Overland automobile and a Hupmobile, open touring cars with imitation leather seats and flapping side curtains.  Still under construction, Highway 99’s detours went through farm yards and badlands and over corduroy roads, wagon ruts and Indian trails.

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As It Was - 1993
9:08 am
Fri November 8, 2013

Largest Earthquake Since 1873 Strikes Klamath Falls

On Sept. 21, 1993, the largest earthquake in Oregon since 1873 struck Klamath Falls in the form of two pre-dawn, 6-magnitude shocks within an hour and 17 minutes of each other.  They were felt as far north as Eugene and as far south as Chico, Calif.  A rock-fall boulder crushed a car on Hwy 97, killing the driver, and another person died of a heart attack. The violent shaking caused some $10 million in damages to 1,000 homes and other buildings, among them the county courthouse.
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History
8:23 am
Mon November 4, 2013

Oregon Archaeologists Discover Earliest North American Culture

When in 1939 University of Oregon scientist Luther Cressman discovered the remains of bison, camels, horses and other ancient animals in the Paisley Caves next to Summer Lake, Ore., few anthropologists accepted the findings for lack of documentation.
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History
1:47 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

Klamath Indians View Crater Lake as More than a Rain-filled Caldera

Fendel Sutherlin took out a donation land claim in Camas Swale in Douglas County, Ore., in the early 1850s.  By 1901, Fendel’s daughter Anne Waite inherited his several thousand acres of land, and determined to establish a town in her father’s honor. 

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