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.

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.”

Long Mountain School District 37 was one of the earliest in Southern Oregon, formed on Dec. 17, 1865, out of the western portion of Eagle Point.

A medical missionary’s son, Dan Bulkley, was born in Thailand and schooled in India and California.

As a child, Myron “Buz” Buswell kept busy making solid-wood model airplanes.  As a teenager in 1938, he obtained his pilot’s license, built his first aircraft and made a solo flight.  During the Second World War, Buswell left Oregon to pilot a B-24J Liberator in the Army Air Corps.

For two decades the Capitol Christmas tree in Washington D.C. had come from eastern states, but in 1986 Northern California’s Siskiyou County provided the first tree from west of the Mississippi.

Professional skater Molly McNerney MacGowan was only 4 years old when her older brother took her skating in San Francisco.  His reaction was, “This kid can go out and just skate.”

Long-distance runner Ralph Hill was the first of many Oregon runners to gain widespread recognition.
He grew up in the farming community of Henley south of Klamath Falls and graduated from the University of Oregon in 1931, where he set a national record in the mile.

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.

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