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.


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.

One of 13 children, Emmitt M.Tucker Sr. was born in 1892 in a log cabin on Jumpoff  Joe Creek near Grants Pass, Ore.  He spent his early childhood near Trail in a stone house built by his father.  As a young boy walking to school in deep snow, Tucker began thinking about machines that might make traveling over snow easier. 


Around 1945, Jorgen Jorgensen started a Medford, Ore., dairy business on North Riverside Drive that produced milk, ice cream, cottage cheese and butter.


Work began on J. R. Wilson’s new opera house in Medford on May 9, 1902, and a grand opening was held in July.  The owners touted the wooden building as one of the finest, best furnished and safest in a fire of any public hall in Southern Oregon.

A fuse in the electric lighting system burned out and delayed the evening program at the grand opening. 

Minstrel shows, moving pictures using Edison’s marvelous machine, musicians and plays soon graced the stage.  It also hosted political events, including talks on taxation, prohibition and women’s suffrage.


Rogue Valley Christmas celebrations have changed in the years since the first pioneers and miners arrived in the 1850s.  As populations grew and stores opened up, families decorated Christmas trees with popcorn, candies, handmade hankies, paper chains and candles. Stores’ windows advertised dolls and carriages for girls and wagons and knives for boys.  Churches held special services.


The Rialto Theater in Medford, Ore., opened its doors in 1917.  Designed by architect Frank Clark, the Rialto’s leather auditorium seats and individual wicker loges seated 1,000.  It was considered one of the finest theaters on the Pacific Coast. 


Born in 1886 in Phoenix, Ore., Ross Dollarhide spent his early years on a ranch at the Siskiyou Mountains summit.  As a young man, he rode alone on horseback and eventually ended up in Harney County.

In 1931 a group of WWI veterans and the American Legion formed the Scottish Bagpipe Band, based in Medford, Ore.  For a short time they were called the Elks Kilty Band, but in 1978 they became the Siskiyou Highland Pipes and Drums.  Today they perform under the name of the Southern Oregon Scottish Bagpipe Band.

Band members have varied cultural backgrounds and the band has played a blend of multi-cultural music ever since Pipe Major Roland Kari introduced Latin rhythms into some Scottish Bagpipe tunes.


Southern Oregon has produced many outstanding golfers, but it would be hard to find a better one than Helen Thompson Milne.  Born in the San Francisco Bay area in 1920, she moved to Medford at age 2.  She was 27 when she won her first title and proceeded to win seven straight championships, adding three more in the mid -1960s.

  Today’s shoppers wheel carts through stores and head for the cash register.  It wasn’t always that way in Southern Oregon.

 In 1906 Ina Stocker and her mother came to Jackson County from Iowa where Stocker had taught school.