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.



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.
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5:23 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

The Seiad School Has Humble Beginnings

Episode 2309

Seiad, Calif., once had a school at Schoolhouse Gulch, where if it existed today Hwy 96 would cross its front porch.

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11:46 am
Thu December 26, 2013

Once Bustling Mining Town Lies Under Shasta Dam Waters

Episode 2308
  The land around Kennett, Calif., was once home to some 250 Wintu Indian villages, but by 1835 their numbers had been decimated by disease and war.  After gold was discovered in Backbone Creek in 1852, the railroad town of Kennett grew into the most important mining center outside of Redding and Shasta.
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11:41 am
Wed December 25, 2013

Family Spends Christmas at the Pine Mountain Ranger Station

Episode 2307
 During World War I, it was hard to find Christmas trimmings and gifts in 1917, especially for a low-paid Forest Service Ranger living 15 miles from the nearest store. That’s how it was for ranger Harold Smith and his wife, Angie.
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11:39 am
Tue December 24, 2013

Rogue Valley Gets A White Christmas

Episode 2306
 A contributing writer for the As It Was radio series, Luana Corbin, recalls that as a child growing up in the Rogue Valley she had always wished for a white Christmas.  Each year as the holiday grew near, she and her brothers scanned the sky for snowflakes. They worried how Santa would get in their house without a fireplace.
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11:36 am
Mon December 23, 2013

Santa Delivers Despite December 1964 Flood

Episode 2305

Seven-year-old Trudy Meadows of Yreka was living in rural Siskiyou County during the December 1964 flood, one of the worst in California’s recorded history. Meadows’ father, a miner, had recently moved the family from Utah to a rough-hewn, historic bunkhouse in the tiny community of Forks of Salmon.

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11:32 am
Fri December 20, 2013

Umpqua Bank Celebrates 60th Anniversary

Episode 2304
  Newspaper advertisements throughout the West Coast trumpeted this year, “Mighty oaks from little acorns grow.”  It was Umpqua Bank’s way of celebrating its 60th anniversary.
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11:23 am
Wed December 18, 2013

Two Men Build Lonely Ranch south of Klamath Lake

Episode 2302
 As a boy in 1853, Orsen Stearns was one of the first pioneers to settle near today’s Phoenix, Ore.   Thirteen years later he started his own ranch south of Klamath Lake, in an area he had explored as a soldier at Fort Klamath.
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11:19 am
Tue December 17, 2013

Dam Eases Passage of Salmon Headed Up the North Umpqua River

Episode 2301

Salmon and steelhead are finding it easier to reach habitat above the Soda Springs Dam in the North Umpqua River following federal approval of the dam’s operating license.

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11:13 am
Mon December 16, 2013

Gold Miner Turns to Ranching and Politics

Episode 2300

Like so many others of his time, Robert Milton Martin sought gold when he headed West in 1849 from his home in Tennessee.  He worked the California gold fields before joining Siskiyou County’s gold rush.

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