As It Was

Classics & News: Mon-Fri • 9:30am & 1pm | News & Information: Mon-Fri • 9:57am

Colorful vignettes dedicated to the regional history of Southern Oregon and Northern California. As It Was is an all volunteer effort -- produced by Raymond Scully and narrated by Shirley Patton in partnership with writers from the Southern Oregon Historical Society.

If you have a writing background and would like to submit an As It Was essay for consideration, email your written piece to the Southern Oregon Historical Society at publicrelations@sohs.org.

A collection of As It Was essays is available in a high-quality paperback book at the JPR Store.  Each episode is also available below.

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History
8:26 am
Fri March 20, 2015

Emmitt M. Tucker Invents Snow-Cat Tracked Vehicle

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. 

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History
8:24 am
Thu March 19, 2015

Reed Charley Finds Indian Artifacts on Grandfather’s Homestead

 

The community of Brownsboro east of Eagle Point, Ore., takes its name from an early settler, Henry Brown, who received a Donation Land Claim on Little Butte Creek in the early 1850s.  He hunted and raised cattle in the Brownsboro area and sold the meat to Jacksonville miners. 

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History
8:22 am
Wed March 18, 2015

Scott Valley Ranchers Drive Herds to Market

In the days before motorized transport, it was difficult for pioneer ranchers in Siskiyou County to move their cattle to market, especially over the mountain passes.

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History
8:21 am
Tue March 17, 2015

Jorgensen’s Dairy Closes after 70 Years of Operation

 

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

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History
8:18 am
Mon March 16, 2015

Ice Fisherman Drowns in Upper Klamath Lake

 

It was the unhappy fate of a fish peddler in Klamath Falls, Ore., to venture out on frozen Upper Klamath Lake one day in January 1915 and never return to shore.

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History
8:17 am
Fri March 13, 2015

Early Pipe Maker Uses Wood as Raw Material

 

When the miners and pioneers first arrived in the West, iron and other metals were scarce. They turned to wood for piping.  One man whose name has been lost over time made a living traveling with a portable lathe auger all over Siskiyou County, Calif.

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History
8:16 am
Thu March 12, 2015

Prospector-Poet’s Boyhood Spent Near Myrtle Creek, Ore.

 

A prospector-poet named Clarence E. Eddy gained national fame in the early 1900s with gold mining songs and poems.  Eddy grew up on a farm above the town of Myrtle Creek, Ore., and became an itinerant printer, editor and prospector.  His poem about mining-camp follower “Lizzie King,” buried on a hill above a “lonely western valley, laments mining’s “marring” of her and the land.  Here’s an excerpt:

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History
8:05 am
Wed March 11, 2015

Road Opens between Diamond and Crater lakes in 1921

 

Only a horse trail connected Diamond Lake and Crater Lake National Park in 1921.  That was before the superintendent of the park, Alex Sparrow, invited the vice president of the Southern Pacific Railroad, E.O. McCormick, to ride the trail.  Their ride convinced them it was time to build a motor car road between the lakes.

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History
8:04 am
Tue March 10, 2015

Boy Accidentally Kills His Sister in Bandon, Ore.

 

In late May 1916, the accidental shooting of a little girl by her brother shook up the little coastal village of Bandon, Ore.

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History
7:58 am
Mon March 9, 2015

Wooden Shelter Remains at Dead Indian Soda Springs

Today only a Forest Service wooden shelter from the 1930s remains at the Dead Indian Soda Springs historic site along Little Butte Creek east of Eagle Point, Ore.

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History
1:00 am
Fri March 6, 2015

Birders Kept Out of Upper Klamath Lake Nesting Areas

 

Baby animals have always been an irresistible attraction for human beings.  Such was certainly the case in the early 1900s as the Lower Klamath Lake National Wildlife Refuge south of Klamath Falls began attracting growing numbers of birding enthusiasts and tourists.

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History
12:22 am
Thu March 5, 2015

Murder Suspect Flees Lake City, Ore., in 1914

 

The headline in the Lake County Examiner on March 26, 1914, proclaimed, “Murderer Caught.” The alleged murderer was E. C. Illingsworth, who had survived and fled the area after a shootout 13 years earlier that killed a popular police officer.  Now, it seemed he had returned – at least that was what many people were thinking.

The rumor that he was back started when Lake City resident W.S. Painter walked into Sheriff Smith’s office to report he had just spotted Illingsworth, whom he knew and had last spoken with the day after the murder.  Sheriff Smith told Painter to go back and make sure he was right.  Painter later called to confirm it was the murderer, who had abruptly quit his job on a nearby ranch and was headed out of the area in a hurry.  The sheriff overtook the suspect before he reached Cedarville.

At the time of the arrest, the suspect “appeared greatly frustrated” and denied being Illingsworth, though he did admit to going by several false names. 

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History
1:00 am
Wed March 4, 2015

Grazing Goats Forecast Weather in Roseburg

In the early 1970s, a roving herd of Angora goats grazed along the slopes of 1,200-foot Mount Nebo, in Roseburg, Ore., blissfully unaware they had become four-footed weather forecasters.

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History
6:13 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

Mr. Spock: Pear Blossom Parade Marshal

 

Over the years the Rogue Valley Pear Blossom Festival parade has had many famous grand marshals, but 40 years ago, the parade marshal was literally out of this world!

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History
6:05 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

New Uses Found for Gold-Bearing Gravel and Sand

 

It’s certainly true that gold attracted thousands of European-rooted settlers to Southern Oregon who took a lot of ore from the streams and rivers. But can it really be true that gold was used as street paving and railroad ballast?

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History
1:00 am
Fri February 27, 2015

Trailblazer Peter Skene Ogden Explores Oregon and California

 

Oregon and California trailblazer Peter Skene Ogden has been described as a man of “of great endurance, courage, and modesty.”

Born in Quebec in 1794, Ogden crossed the Rockies in 1817.  After leading a massacre of the Cowlitz tribe, Ogden seemed to turn a corner, becoming an able leader. Though he often found himself at odds with various tribes and openly detested a number of them, he married a Nez Perce woman, who accompanied him on several expeditions.

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History
1:00 am
Thu February 26, 2015

Miner Spies on Bears Square Dancing to Musical Trees

At a time when newspapers didn’t always let facts get in the way of a good story, the San Francisco Examiner and the Roseburg Review published an interview in 1890 of fictional old miner Phil Maguire by Charles L. Mosher, grandson of Oregon’s first territorial governor, Gen. Joseph Lane.

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History
1:00 am
Wed February 25, 2015

Two Women Promote Church for Rowdy Jacksonville

There was a time when Jacksonville, Ore., was one of the rowdiest towns in the Rogue Valley.  With all the money flowing in from the gold rush, guns and liquor were always close at hand.

None of this intimidated Emily Overbeck and Emily Royal, wife of the Rev. Fletcher Royal.

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History
1:00 am
Tue February 24, 2015

Grounded Ship Serves as Coastal Resort Museum

The Ship Ashore Resort on U.S. Route 101 just three miles south of the Oregon border got its name from the 158-foot yacht, the S.S. Castle Rock, displayed on dry land a quarter mile from the ocean.

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History
1:00 am
Mon February 23, 2015

Oregon Doctor Urges Forced Sterilization of Criminals and Insane

One of Oregon’s first female doctors was an outspoken advocate of women’s suffrage and Prohibition before shaking up the state in 1904 by calling for the sterilization of criminals, the insane and the developmentally disabled.

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