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.

During its 1900 July Fourth celebrations, Medford featured a hot air balloon daredevil, Professor Chris Nelson.  For a fee of $125, Nelson said he would ride a trapeze attached to the balloon to an elevation of 5,000 feet, jump from the balloon and parachute back to earth.

Close inspection of the tombstones in the cemetery located next to the church in the Josephine County ghost town of Golden reveals that none of them have legible markings on them.  It’s impossible to know who is buried there. That’s because no one is.

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

The Southern Oregon Sled Dog Club staged races in Lakeview, the Castle Lakes Nordic Center, McCloud, and Sterling Creek Meadows.  The club also put volunteer time and energy into organizing the Diamond Lake Sled Dog Race.

The first woman lighthouse keeper in Oregon, Mabel Hatch Bretherton, got her first lighthouse job after her husband, Bernard Bretherton, died in 1903.

Charles Crump had no forewarning of what would come of his contacting the Nevada Thermal Power Co. that was looking for geothermal sources for power plants.

Snow skiing has always been a popular sport in Southern Oregon.

A popular Gold Hill restaurant owner, Cora Truax, became the first woman to serve on a city council in Southern Oregon and one of the first Oregon women to hold office after their enfranchisement in 1912.

Artistically talented Frederick Andrews originally came to Southern Oregon to find a homestead site.  He eventually became known as the best artist of plants in the United States.

During the 1970s and early 1980s, many people throughout the world sought ultralight aircraft as an affordable way to fly.  Lightweight and slow-flying, they were subject to fewer regulations than other airplanes.

In 1916, more than 200 Rogue Valley, Ore., residents motored 30 miles on Hwy 62 from Medford to Trail for the grand opening of the Rogue Elk Hotel.

The Benevolent Order of Elks Lodge facing the corner of Central Avenue and Fifth Street in downtown Medford, Ore., is a good example of Beaux Arts architecture.

Grants Pass became a major recreation getaway in the early 20th century thanks to the coming of the railroad, the opening of the Oregon Caves Highway, and the enthusiasm of citizens, primarily the town’s Commercial Club.  The city responded by giving priority to making visitors and residents as comfortable as possible.

Celebrating a birthday in the 1960s and 70s in Southern Oregon was always special if you got a pink champagne birthday cake from the Rogue Bakery in Phoenix, Ore.  The shop along South Pacific Highway was owned by Dick and Lillian Hendrix, who had operated bakeries from Alaska to Wyoming.

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.