Luana (Loffer) Corbin

As It Was Contributor

Luana (Loffer) Corbin was born and raised in Jackson County in the Phoenix area.  Her parents owned a farm and fruit orchard, and she spent her childhood in the country.  After graduating from St. Mary’s High School in Medford, Corbin enrolled at Southern Oregon College, majoring in Elementary Education.  The summer after graduation she was hired to teach at Ruch Elementary, where she taught for 32 years.  She considered teaching at a small country school as a wonderful experience that helped her appreciate regional history.  After retiring, Corbin worked for Lifetouch School Photography and then returned to Ruch as an aide helping with reading instruction and at the library.  More recently, she has volunteered at South Medford High.

Children and learning are her passions.  She lives with her husband, Richard, and a black lab, Kelly, on a small farm outside Phoenix.

The success of the Bly, Ore., rodeo encouraged neighboring Lakeview, some 46 miles east of Bly on State Rte. 140, to create its own rodeo.

Miners and farmers established a school for their children in the 1870s at the juncture of the east and west forks of Forest Creek above Jacksonville.

In 1952, Jacksonville, Ore., celebrated a Gold Rush Jubilee to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the discovery of gold in the town.

Medford, Ore., held its own Grand Prix race on July 3, 1911, just two months after the first-ever Indianapolis 500 race.

Medford, Ore., weekenders regarded Butte Falls as a popular camping spot in the early 1900s.

Eagle Point, Ore., laid claim in the early 1900’s to producing Bosc pears fit for a king.

One evening in the late 1800’s an unannounced visitor came to a small house built by Albert and Sarah Howlett on Little Butte Creek in Eagle Point, Ore.  When the stranger asked if he could stay the night, they invited him in.

Many early-day logging companies around the world used a curious looking piece of equipment called a “Walking Dudley,” described as a power car on rails.

Snow removal at Crater Lake in the 1930’s created pals of Harry “Happy” Fuller and a snowplow machine he named Betsy.

Gold and Timber have played an important role about 25 miles northwest of Grants Pass and three miles downstream from Galice. The location was once the small logging and sawmill camp of Yankville.

During the 1940’s and 50’s Mario Lanza became the most famous operatic tenor of the time.  Lanza admired tenor Enrico Caruso, and in 1951, he played the role of Caruso in the movie titled “The Great Caruso.”

One afternoon in 1905, renowned opera singer Ed Andrews, musical director Charles Hazelrigg and members of his Andrews Opera troupe arrived without fanfare at the Medford, Ore., train station. 
Having traveled by train through the Rogue Valley frequently, they had decided to close their opera company and move to Medford.

When Germany threatened to invade England in the summer of 1940, the British government created the Children’s Overseas Reception Board that sent children to safety in Canada, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, and the United States.

A photograph in the Medford Mail Tribune of March 16, 1960, shows building contractor Meyers Jones of the Siskiyou Development Co. handing the keys to Merle Van Hoosen, manager of a new roller skating rink.

Before the advent of “talkies” in 1927, silent films entertained audiences with dialogue created by gestures, mime or title cards. At the height of the silent movie era, films without sound were shipped to theaters.

In 1937, a 23-year-old native of Medford, Ore., Robert G. Emmens, joined the U.S. Army Air Corps and five years later co-piloted one of the 16 B-25 bombers in the famous Doolittle Raid on Japan during World War II.

Lake County completed work in 1909 on a new three-story courthouse designed by architect Charles Henry Burggraf.  The main tower contained a clock and chimes built in 1908 by the McShane Bell and Foundry Co.

Music lovers in Medford were entertained in 1902 by an enterprising businessman, H. S. Coss, whose Piano House store offered a series of musicals featuring local men and women performing vocal selections and piano pieces.

A small parcel of land facing California Street in Jacksonville, Ore., has played a major role in the town’s history.

For 11 years, skiers participated in the Crater Lake Wilderness Race.  Twenty-four competed in the first, 42.6-mile course in 1927 that followed the Crater Lake highway from Fort Klamath to Crater Lake Lodge and back with a 2,200-foot elevation change.