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 first person to say he had seen sea serpent tracks in Lake County’s alkaline Lake
Abert was an Indian known in Lakeview as “John.”  Cowboys in the area did not believe the story, but John led them in 1900 to its tracks.

Years later, rancher S.B. Chandler said he saw a sea serpent swimming in the lake in March 1917.  He told anyone who would listen in Lakeview that he had stopped at the lake and the reptile swam slowly by about 100 yards offshore.  He said it was about eight inches in diameter and of unknown length.

For nearly 70 years, hamburger enthusiasts in Medford, Ore., frequented the little stand on the corner of Sixth and Riverside streets known as Dell’s Hamburgers. 

The owner, E.N. “Dell” Cline came to Medford in 1927 from Montana with $35 in his pocket.  He rented a small hamburger stand mounted on a trailer made of an old car chassis.   Customers said Dell’s hamburgers, a combination of burger, patty, bun, mustard and lettuce, with or without onions, had a special taste credited to his ancient grill.  It was said that the grill could put out a dozen burgers in one minute. 

The Rogue Valley has always been known for its agricultural crops.  The farmland around Talent contains many orchards and gardens producing fruits and vegetables sold locally and around the world.

Surprisingly, Al Simpson did not play football when he was in high school in Eureka, Calif. 

As summer progressed in the Rogue Valley in 1903, the pear crop ripened for harvest and orchardists sought packers to ensure safe shipment to customers.  Local women provided most of the seasonal workforce, many working year after year from late summer to late fall alongside other family members and neighbors to assure top quality fruit. 

In 1942, the U.S. Army constructed Camp White Station Hospital as part of its World War II training facilities.  The two-story brick building was one of the largest and best equipped military hospitals in the state.  Compared with the number of military men, the female military nurse’s unit seemed small, but its importance far exceeded its numbers.

Known as the “artesian well” in the early 1900’s, a free-flowing spring ran through an orchard off Colver Road between Phoenix and Talent, Ore.

Outstanding music teachers have been coming to Ashland, Ore., for 28 years for the American Band College summer directors training.  Each year they form a band that offers a public concert at the Ashland High School stadium that accompanies the city’s Fourth of July fireworks show.

A Medford businessman, Wally Watkins, had planned to go fishing with his son on April 23, 1960, the first day of fishing season, but the Pear Blossom Parade interfered.

A shop built in Medford, Ore., in 1927 still stands on North Riverside Avenue and Fourth Street.

Bridges can last 80 years or more, but an uncovered bridge can deteriorate in about nine years from weathering of the huge truss timbers.

Ben Franklin is remembered for many things, including common sense and the value of a penny saved,  but the World Sweeping Association credits him with creating the first street-cleaning program, thus becoming the Father of Street-Sweeping.

Although Jim Holland founded Holland, Ore., around 1877, the person who really built the town was Jack Smock, who arrived 18 years later.

Frustrated because his Granada Hills Little League team in Southern California had trouble hitting a baseball, coach Norm Bruce invented “a little machine to throw plastic balls.”

R. Boswell and his son purchased land in 1913 near Sucker Creek in the Holland Mining District just 9 miles from Cave Junction, Ore.  The following year while exploring their property they found some pieces of brownish material.  The Boswells dug prospect holes and showed their sample to another miner.  The pieces of material the size of peas turned out to be gold and by 1917 they had recovered $46,000 in gold bullion.

For more than a decade the Crissey State Line Airport was the southernmost airport in Oregon.  Located just a few miles from Brookings in California, it was the only West Coast airport with its access road in another state. The site was named for W. L. Crissey, who grew lily bulbs on the land before the Second World War.

Girls Little League softball began nationwide in 1974.  That year 30,000 girls aged 8-12 signed up to play, and the first World Series was held.

In 1865, three Holy Names Sisters traveled to Jacksonville, Ore., to establish St. Mary’s Academy. The school had 12 boarding students and 33 daytime students.  It soon outgrew its location and was moved to California Street.

As a child in Phoenix, Ore., Mary Jean Barnes Sturdevant saw famed pilot Charles Lindbergh fly over Medford in August 1927 and drop a signed proclamation calling for the advancement of aviation.  Mary Jean was hooked.

Irish settlers came to Lake County, Ore., in the second half of the 1800’s, many fleeing the great potato famine that over 50 years drained Ireland of half its population.  It wasn’t long until Lake County became known regionally as “Little Ireland.”

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