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.



11:09 am
Fri December 13, 2013

Early Christmas Shopping Has Its Advocates

Episode 2299

Early Christmas advertising in Southern Oregon and Northern California is nothing new; it has been around since the late 1800s when some ads popped up even before Halloween. It got a boost in 1903 when the socialist co-founder of the NAACP, Florence Kelley, wrote a widely published essay advocating early shopping in support of her crusade for child labor laws and an eight-hour workday.

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11:04 am
Thu December 12, 2013

Only the Name Persists of Persists, Ore.

Episode 2298
 In 1883, William and Irene Willits homesteaded nearly 500 acres in the mountains above Elk Creek in Jackson County, Ore. They had both been teachers, but liked the idea of living far from their neighbors.
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10:53 am
Wed December 11, 2013

Dwight Safford's Luck Runs Out in Crescent City Saloon

Episode 2297
 Luck ran out in August 1898 for 25-year-old Dwight Safford of Klamath, Calif.  After selling a load of fish in Crescent City, Safford headed to the Willow Saloon, where he was a frequent customer and gambler.
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10:44 am
Tue December 10, 2013

Canby's Cross Commemorates Fallen General

Episode 2296
 Three miles south of the town of Tulelake, Calif., a large cross in the Lava Beds National Monument commemorates Edward R. S. Canby, the only general killed during the Indian Wars. 
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10:37 am
Mon December 9, 2013

James Abrams Explores Rugged Salmon River Country

Episode 2295
 Two of the hardiest miners in Siskiyou County were brothers James and Frank Abrams, but it was James who was among the first white men to enter the upper reaches of the Salmon River in 1849.
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10:21 am
Fri December 6, 2013

Roseburg Politician Avoids Conviction in Oregon Land Frauds Scandal

Episode 2294
 Roseburg, Ore., attorney Binger Hermann emigrated in 1850 from Baltimore to Oregon, where he became a state senator, tax collector, judge advocate in the Oregon militia, and by 1884, Oregon’s sole representative in the U.S. Congress.
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10:12 am
Thu December 5, 2013

Merrick's Natatorium Leases City auto Camp in 1923

Episode 2293
 In 1923, the City of Medford leased the management of its municipal auto camp to Merrick's Natatorium and Inn.  The camp was located behind the inn where it connected by bridge with another camp on the other side of Bear Creek. The city thought combining the two camps under private management would be better for tourists and avoid municipal renovation costs.
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9:59 am
Wed December 4, 2013

Ashland Oregon Lumber travels to Midland New Jersey

Episode 2292

The Fir Milling and Planing Company produced lumber at its mill in Ashland, Ore., from 1946 to 1962.  Seeking access to the Eastern Seaboard, the owners located the mill next to the Southern Pacific tracks on Tolman Creek Road.

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9:45 am
Tue December 3, 2013

Car Thieves Caught in Ashland Bottleneck

Episode 2291
 He was visiting relatives in Medford when G. H. Smith heard a familiar sound outside their home.  It was his brand new 1919 Dodge Roadster starting up and driving away.
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9:29 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Crater Lake's Munson Valley Named after Ill-Fated Physician

Episode 2290

   The Crater Lake National Park headquarters is nestled in a deep depression known as Munson Valley.  Other features of the park include Munson Springs, Munson Creek, Munson Point and Munson Ridge, all named for a physician who died while climbing a steep slope to the lake’s rim on Aug. 17, 1871.

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