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

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.



10:05 am
Thu November 21, 2013

Medford Families Win Powerball Jackpot

Episode 2283
In October 2005, Bob Chaney was retired and living with his wife, Francis, in Jacksonville. The Chaney’s daughter, Carolyn, and their son-in-law, Medford landscaper Steve West, were living in a modest Medford home.
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10:01 am
Wed November 20, 2013

Powell Family Leaves Ashland for Alaska Gold Rush

Episode 2282
In 1898, Ashland resident Thaddeus Powell, 28 years old, married and with a new baby at home, was feeling restless.  He told his wife, Laura, that he was either going to fight in the Spanish-American War over Cuba, The Philippines, Guam and Puerto Rico or join the gold rush in Alaska.  Laura replied, “Well, you’re not going to war!”
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9:53 am
Mon November 18, 2013

Hydraulic Mines Operate in1900s along Klamath River

Episode 2280
Some large and profitable mines operated in the early 1900s at Happy Camp, Calif., on the Klamath River.
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9:49 am
Fri November 15, 2013

Ashland Police Raid Opium Joints in 1913

Episode 2279
On the weekend of April 19, l913, six noisy people from nearby Medford were disturbing the peace in the neighborhood of the Imperial rooming house on Fourth Street in Ashland, Ore.  A city councilman who lived nearby called the police who sent Night Officer Porter, Special Officer Bert Turner, and Councilman Sherman to arrest everyone, including C. Woodburn, the proprietor.  The police found two complete opium smoking sets.
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9:41 am
Thu November 14, 2013

Woman Describes Six-Day Road Trip to California in 1922

Episode 2278
Sixty-nine years later, Marjorie H. Gardner described a road trip in 1922 from Eugene, Ore., to San Francisco, Calif.  Her family drove a Willys-Overland automobile and a Hupmobile, open touring cars with imitation leather seats and flapping side curtains.  Still under construction, Highway 99’s detours went through farm yards and badlands and over corduroy roads, wagon ruts and Indian trails.

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9:36 am
Wed November 13, 2013

Original Farmhouse Still Stands on Ashland's North Mountain Avenue

Episode 2277
A family farm on the hill above Ashland’s North Mountain Park has changed a lot in the last century.
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9:23 am
Tue November 12, 2013

Rogue Valley High School Football Sparkles in 1969

Episode 2276
The year 1969 was special for high school football in the Rogue Valley.  Three teams played for state championships: the Medford Black Tornadoes coached by Fred Spiegelberg, St. Mary’s Crusaders led by Larry Walker, and Dan Pero’s Prospect Cougars.  The Black Tornadoes won the A-1 championship, the Crusaders took the A-2 championship, and the Cougars finished as state runner-up.
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9:12 am
Mon November 11, 2013

War's End Brings Bad News for Ashland Family

Episode 2275
The front page of the Ashland Tidings on Tuesday, Nov. 12, 1918, caught up with the news that the small Oregon town had longed for.  The headline read: “The War is Over – Germany Accepts Allies Peace Terms at 12 O’clock Sunday Night.”
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As It Was - 1993
9:08 am
Fri November 8, 2013

Largest Earthquake Since 1873 Strikes Klamath Falls

Episode 2274
On Sept. 21, 1993, the largest earthquake in Oregon since 1873 struck Klamath Falls in the form of two pre-dawn, 6-magnitude shocks within an hour and 17 minutes of each other.  They were felt as far north as Eugene and as far south as Chico, Calif.  A rock-fall boulder crushed a car on Hwy 97, killing the driver, and another person died of a heart attack. The violent shaking caused some $10 million in damages to 1,000 homes and other buildings, among them the county courthouse.
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8:51 am
Thu November 7, 2013

Medford Wrestler Becomes National and International Champion

Episode 2273

Les Gutches started wrestling with a local club when he was seven years old, and by the time he reached South Medford High School he was a star, winning three state wrestling titles in the early 1990s. At Oregon State, he won NCAA Division-1 wrestling titles in 1995 and 1996, and was named the nation’s top collegiate wrestler.

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