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.



2:21 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

Ashland Buries Malt Whiskey Bottle in Plaza

As It Was Episode 2244
  In the winter of 2012, the City of Ashland commissioned an archaeological survey of the historic downtown plaza as part of its redesign.  The new construction included placing a time capsule at the end of Lithia Park to be opened in 100 years. 
Read more
2:17 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

Civilian Conservation Corps comes to Seiad, Calif.

As It Was Episode 2243
The Civilian Conservation Corps came to Seiad, Calif., in 1935. The typical enlistee was 18-years old, unemployed, hungry and with only an eighth-grade education. 
Read more
2:14 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Historic Homes Grace The Streets Of Coos Bay

As It Was Episode 2242
  Many historic homes grace the city of Coos Bay on Oregon’s Southern Coast. 
Read more
2:10 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

Welborn Beeson Goes Camping, Surprises Mother

As It Was Episode 2241
  Twenty-four-year-old farmer Welborn Beeson of Talent, Ore., rarely left his mother or his home.  But in mid-September 1860, Beeson and two friends went on a five-day trip that they called an “exploring excursion.” 

Read more
2:08 pm
Mon September 23, 2013

Arrival of the First White Woman and Child to Humbug

As It Was Episode 2240
  Gold Mining camps were rough and tumble places with few women in the early stage of the rush to riches in Northern California and Southern Oregon. 

Read more
2:04 pm
Fri September 20, 2013

Pioneer Family Faces Tragedy on the Oregon Trail

As It Was Episode 2239
The diary of Lucy Ann Henderson Deady describes a tragic loss of life during her wagon train journey to Oregon in 1846. 
Read more
2:00 pm
Thu September 19, 2013

Captain Jumps When Steamboat Hits Rocks

As It Was Episode 2238
The S.S. South Portland  had a varied career as a west Indian trader and smuggling ship before running into the rocks and sinking off the coast of Cape Blanco, Ore. 

Read more
1:58 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

John C. Heenan, Miner and World Heavyweight Champion

As It Was Episode 2237
John C. Heenan, born in New York in 1833, was an early miner on the Scott River in the 1850s. He was partner to Stephen Crary and then worked for Gus Meamber, who later became prominent in Siskiyou County history. 

Read more
1:55 pm
Tue September 17, 2013

Aging Steam-Schooner Disappears Off Cape Blanco

As It Was Episode 2236
  In September 1930, a ship bound from Crescent City, Calif., to Coos Bay, Ore., vanished before reaching its destination. 

Read more
1:50 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

O & C Timber Debate Dates Back to 1937

As It Was Episode 2235
  Today’s debate over how much timber to harvest on land formerly held by the Oregon and California Railroad dates back to 1937 when the federal government reclaimed 2.6 million acres of forest land it had given railroads 71 years earlier. 

Read more
1:47 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

Klamath Indians View Crater Lake as More than a Rain-filled Caldera

As It Was Episode 2234
Fendel Sutherlin took out a donation land claim in Camas Swale in Douglas County, Ore., in the early 1850s.  By 1901, Fendel’s daughter Anne Waite inherited his several thousand acres of land, and determined to establish a town in her father’s honor. 

Read more
1:19 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

Donation Land Claimant's Daughter Promotes Sutherlin

As It Was Episode 2233
Fendel Sutherlin took out a donation land claim in Camas Swale in Douglas County, Ore., in the early 1850s.  By 1901, Fendel’s daughter Anne Waite inherited his several thousand acres of land, and determined to establish a town in her father’s honor. 

Read more
1:17 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

Spanish Ships Lead Early Exploration of Pacific Coast

As It Was Episode 2232
  Spain was the first country to explore the Pacific Coast of North America in the 16th and 17th centuries. Its seamen contributed the first map of the coast between Panama and the northern boundary of California. 
Read more
1:10 pm
Tue September 10, 2013

Daughter Likens Strawberries to "Demanding Mistress"

As It Was Episode 2231
Moving from the Southern California suburbs in 1946 to 23 acres east of Sutherlin, Ore., was an experience Doris Price never forgot. It started when her father saw an opportunity to make money and planted three acres in ever-bearing strawberries. 

Read more
11:54 am
Mon September 9, 2013

Electrical Short Circuit Sets North Bend Fire in 1933

As It Was Episode 2230
  Firemen blamed an electrical short circuit in the Western Battery and Separator Co. for sparking a major blaze in North Bend the evening of July 30, 1933.  Among businesses seriously damaged were the Kruse and Banks Shipyard, the Mountain States Power Company and Western Battery, where the fire started.  Flames engulfed the three buildings within 15 minutes. 

Read more
11:52 am
Fri September 6, 2013

Drive-In Theater Attracts Medford Motorists

As It Was Episode 2229
  Residents of Medford, Ore., had a new source of entertainment when the Robert L. Lippert Theaters Co. opened a drive-in theater in the summer of 1949. 

Read more
11:44 am
Thu September 5, 2013

Enthusiast Pays High Price for Kiger Mustang

As It Was Episode 2228
Retired wildlife biologist Bob Smith didn’t hesitate on Oct. 24, 1999, to bid $19,000 for a wild horse rounded up by the Bureau of Land Management.  At a time when others were advocating slaughtering thousands of feral horses, Smith’s winning auction bid was a shocker. 

Read more
11:16 am
Wed September 4, 2013

Yoncalla's "Johnny Appleseed" contributes to Applegate Apple Festival

As It Was Episode 2227

In the mid-1800s, brothers Jesse and Charles Applegate and their families settled land claims near “Yoncalla,” an area named after an Indian tribe north of Roseburg, Ore. Today, a seven-acre parcel of their property is dedicated to conserving more than 3,000 varieties of apples.

Read more
10:39 am
Tue September 3, 2013

News of Deaths

As It Was Episode 2226
Following years of sailing, gold mining, and real estate ventures, Capt. John Nash retired in Medford, Ore.  He bought the Hotel Medford in 1894 at the southeast corner of Main and Front streets, enlarged it and changed the name to the Nash Hotel.
Read more
6:34 pm
Mon September 2, 2013

Rogue Valley’s Dorothy Conner Survives Lusitania Sinking

As It Was Episode 2225

On May 1, 1915, Dorothy Conner and her brother-in-law, Dr. Howard Fisher, sailed on first class tickets on the British luxury liner, the RMS Lusitania. They were headed for World War I hospital work in Belgium. Dorothy wrote to her mother near Jacksonville, Ore., that it would be a very boring crossing, and she hoped something exciting might happen on their last day. It did.

Read more