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.



9:51 am
Fri January 10, 2014

Siskiyou County's Oldest Church Stands on Rich Mining Land

Episode 2319
 One important stopping point along the North Fork of the Salmon River, Sawyers Bar, was established a mile above Bestville during the gold rush. It served as a hub for other settlers who could visit its first blacksmith, Dan Davis, who sharpened picks for $1 a point on a big rock he also used as an anvil.
Read more
9:47 am
Thu January 9, 2014

Gold Hill Celebrates Gold dust Days in June

Episode 2318

The Gold Dust Days celebration in Gold Hill, Ore., has changed considerably over the years.  It dates back decades to the Salmon Festival, which later became the Community Carnival.

Read more
9:26 am
Wed January 8, 2014

Globetrotting Writer Describes Miserable Night in an Indian Hut

Episode 2317
 Try to imagine a 57-year-old Viennese woman, drenched from the rain, seeking shelter in 1853 in a remote Smith River Indian Village northeast of newly founded Crescent City, Calif.
Read more
9:20 am
Tue January 7, 2014

Giant Oak Once Towered Over Bidwell Park in Chico, Calif.

Episode 2316

On March 1, 2013, vandals burned portions of a large stump, about eight feet in diameter and held together by metal bars. The stump is all that remains of a famous valley-oak tree in Chico, Calif.

Read more
5:18 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Empty Store Stands Alone in Abandoned Brockway, Ore.

Episode 2315

At a four-way crossroads on Hwy 42 west of Winston, Ore., stands the faded elegance of the two-story, false-fronted Brockway Store. Nothing else remains of Brockway.

Read more
8:47 am
Fri January 3, 2014

Railway Strikers Cheer Leland Stanford's Wife

Episode 2314
 In the summer of 1894, the Eugene Debs’ American Railway Union called on its workers to support striking Pullman Company workers by preventing any train with a Pullman car from running anywhere in America. 
Read more
8:40 am
Thu January 2, 2014

Randolph Collier of Etna Becomes California's Freeway "Father"

Episode 2313
 The silver-haired and voiced Senator who became known as the “father of the California freeways,” Randolph Collier, was born in Etna in 1902.  During his life, he went from being a Yreka police judge to serving in the state legislature from 1938-1976. 
Read more
8:31 am
Wed January 1, 2014

Chinese Celebrate New Year in Yreka Calif. in 1931

Episode 2312
 Memoir writer Frank Herzog described how in 1931 the Chinese of Northern California celebrated their New Year in grand style.  It was the Year of the Sheep and New Year’s Day for the Chinese fell on Feb. 17.
Read more
10:18 am
Tue December 31, 2013

Timber Companies Acquire Land through Homestead Act

Episode 2311
 In January 1900, Friedrich Weyerhauser founded the Weyerhaeuser Timber Company in Longview, Wash., with 900,000 acres of Washington timberland. From there the company purchased large tracks of railroad lands for sale by the government and became the world’s largest private timberland owner.
Read more
11:57 am
Mon December 30, 2013

Giant Redwoods Honor Earth's Largest Mammal

Episode 2310
 Blue whales were on the brink of extinction in 1978, when organizations that included Oregonians to Protect Whales and Greenpeace sponsored an Oregon initiative to prevent state and local governments from buying products from whaling nations.
Read more