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