Pat Harper

As It Was Contributor

Pat Harper is the archivist for the Southern Oregon Historical Society, where she digitizes records, manages websites and learns more about regional history from the SOHS volunteers. After receiving her Master’s Degree in library science from the University of Illinois in 1980, Harper worked as a reference librarian, then as a library administrator. From 1994 to 2005, she was the Siskiyou County library director and lived in the country near Hornbrook, California. Pat and her husband moved to San Rafael, Calif., in 2005 to begin their sailing adventures, and after three years they took an 18-month voyage on their sailboat, Ecos. Now they enjoy a more settled life in Medford, and cruise the Caribbean during winter months.

In Medford, Ore., in 1923, Nona Dunlap was a single mother, a legal secretary and a suspected bootlegger.

Ashland once had its own curious and spooky tourist attraction.  It was called Satan’s Sulphur Grotto, a small cave-like space dug into the bank on the east side of Ashland Creek approximately across from the upper duck pond.

Marriage celebrations can be noisy, fun affairs, but one in particular got out of hand on West 14th Street in Medford, Ore., one night in October 1913.

There are fish stories, and then there are fish stories!  It’s hard to beat this whopper published with tongue-in-cheek by the New York Times on March 8, 1885.  The story goes like this:

While the concept of the mythical State of Jefferson is popular with some today, a similar separation effort in the 1800’s had more nefarious goals.

On the Klamath Indian Reservation in the 1900’s, fourth grade was the highest level available to Indians.  Nevertheless, Dibbon Cook got a broad education, learning to hunt, find wild vegetables, and fish for salmon.  He repeated fourth grade four times, just to learn everything he could.

Few pioneer women in the 1850’s began their cross-country journey to Oregon as widows. And even fewer appeared on film.  Artinecia Riddle Chapman lost her husband five days before they were scheduled to join a wagon train, but she carried on. Accompanied by her parents and 1-year-old son, John, Artinecia led her wagon hitched to six oxen to Southern Oregon in 1851.

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