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.

One morning in August 2000, retired Air Force Officer Howard Hamer started out from Nevada City, Calif., for a quick flight to Mount Hood, Ore.  Hamer had built his own Lancair 235 aircraft from a kit 10 years earlier.

After establishing his practice in Phoenix, Ore., in 1909, Dr.Theodore Malmgren became over the next 20 years the epitome of a country doctor endearing himself to a wide circle of friends and patients.  But the doctor is remembered more today for the buildings constructed.

It was 1965 when Lee Hobbs founded the Blackbird Shopping Center as an army surplus store in Medford.  To attract customers, Hobbs built a huge statue of a blackbird in the parking lot.

The town of Placer, Ore., served as a mining center for the Tom East and Upper Grave Creek mines in Southern Oregon.

Medford began paving 45 miles of city streets in 1910-1911, hiring the Clarke-Henery Company to do the work.  However, as more houses were constructed, property owners along Geneva Street realized that their street would be one of the last paved and possibly not completed before winter rains made it a mud hole. Sewer and water lines were already finished so residents decided to hire the Bise and Foss Company to pave their street, using the “Brickolithic” method that consisted of molded concrete resembling bricks.

In 1926, sixteen-year-old Dorothy Hester of Milwaukie, Ore., had never seen an airplane up close.  One time a hot-air balloon passed over her house and she yelled, “Gimme a ride!"  Learning paid rides were available at the nearby Portland airport, she saved her money and took a flight.  Loving it, she determined to become a pilot.

Brilliant defense attorney Samuel Abraham Jetmore gained national attention practicing law in small South Central Oregon towns.

Until the late 1800’s, Medford, Ore., did not have a hospital, forcing the sick and injured to receive treatment at home or in a doctor’s office.  Only very ill patients received nursing care until 1895 when Olivia Dyre Osbourne moved to town.  Osbourne was an 1892 graduate of the Illinois Nurses Training School and had worked at hospitals in Chicago.

Hampshire Field in Grants Pass keeps memories alive of a hometown Army Air Corps pilot shot down over China during World War II.


Only 16 years old in 1910, Tex Rankin joined the U.S. Army Air Corps.  After discharge, he moved to Washington where he learned to fly.  He moved to Portland and started the Rankin Flying Service, and in 1927 opened the Rankin School of Flight.


Adventurer Jack Meissner set out on Feb. 13, 1948, to cross-country ski from Mount Hood to Crater Lake, a feat that had never been done by anyone.  He was 28 years old.

The owner of a Medford drive-in cleaning business in the 1950’s and 60’s was a community activist, but his lasting legacy may be a musical television commercial.

Jefferson C. Davis Riddle was the son of Frank and Toby Riddle, also known as Winema, who played prominent roles as interpreters during the Modoc War.  Born in Yreka in 1863, Riddle  was named Charka, Modoc for “the handsome boy.”

Soon after its founding in 1883, the Medford community needed a school for its children.  The first school was a one-room building on South Central in Medford, a subscription school that cost $5 to attend. William A. Williamson was the first teacher. 


Soon after its founding in 1883, the Medford community needed a school for its children.  The first school was a one-room building on South Central in Medford, a subscription school that cost $5 to attend. William A. Williamson was the first teacher.


Beached marine mammals were less likely to survive before 1984 in the California counties of Humboldt and Del Norte and Oregon’s Curry County.


Fort Birdseye sat on the site of a Donation Land Claim filed in 1853 by David Birdseye on the south bank of the Rogue River at the mouth of Birdseye Creek between Rogue River and Gold Hill. Settlers built it for defense against Rogue River Indian attacks in 1855.


Identical twins Keith and Dale Edwards shared an interest in trains.  As a child, if Keith could not be found, he was usually down at the train yard.

Peter Post and Jonas King opened the Old Kentucky Saloon in Lakeview, Ore., in 1896.  When a fire destroyed the building and most of the town four years later, Post and King decided to rebuild, using brick rather than lumber.


Many amateur and professional baseball games were played at Miles Field in Medford, Ore., which was built because of the driving force of a single man.