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 publicrelations@sohs.org.

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.

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History
9:26 am
Thu October 3, 2013

Rogue River Fisherman Tackles Monster Salmon

As It Was - Episode 2248 Famous for its runs of big Chinook salmon, the Rogue River draws fisherman from around the world anxious to apply their skills.  On an October evening in 1913 a monster fish put three regional businessmen to the test. Grants Pass banker Sam Baker and local clothier O. L. Ragan went fishing on the Jones Creek riffle after work.  Ragan soon hooked what he later described as a “whale of a fish.” Over 90 minutes, Ragan battled the fish to a draw, and as the day darkened he decided to tie his line to a nearby tree.

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History
9:25 am
Wed October 2, 2013

California Mill Towns Attract African American Workers in the 1920s

As It Was - Episode 2247 A large number of blacks from the rural South became mill workers in the 1920s in the lumber company towns of McCloud and Weed, Calif. The Long-Bell Lumber Co. bought out Abner Weed’s mill and recruited workers from its mills in Louisiana and Alabama, paying each worker’s $89 train fare to the Northwest. By the mid-1920s, one thousand of the 6,000 residents of Weed were black.

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History
9:24 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Early Irish Immigrant Plants Cypress Tree in Bandon, Ore.

A more than 100-year-old Monterey cypress tree known as the Baldwin cypress graces Ocean Drive in Bandon, Ore. The tree got its name from an Irish immigrant, Henry Hewitt Baldwin, who came to the United States from Bandon, Ireland, in 1846. He joined the army in 1849 and after his military service settled in the Coquille Valley.

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History
2:23 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

Smoky Summers Have Been Around A Long Time

  In the summer of 2013, forest fires north of the Southern Oregon’s Rogue Valley filled the air with smoke. Physical landmarks such as Grizzly Peak and Mount Ashland disappeared in the haze. On especially bad days, people stayed indoors or wore masks outdoors. Some left town to escape the smoke. 
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History
2:21 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

Ashland Buries Malt Whiskey Bottle in Plaza

  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. 
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History
2:17 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

Civilian Conservation Corps comes to Seiad, Calif.

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. 
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History
2:14 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Historic Homes Grace The Streets Of Coos Bay

  Many historic homes grace the city of Coos Bay on Oregon’s Southern Coast. 
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History
2:10 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

Welborn Beeson Goes Camping, Surprises Mother

  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.” 

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History
2:08 pm
Mon September 23, 2013

Arrival of the First White Woman and Child to Humbug

  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. 

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History
2:04 pm
Fri September 20, 2013

Pioneer Family Faces Tragedy on the Oregon Trail

The diary of Lucy Ann Henderson Deady describes a tragic loss of life during her wagon train journey to Oregon in 1846. 
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History
2:00 pm
Thu September 19, 2013

Captain Jumps When Steamboat Hits Rocks

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. 

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History
1:58 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

John C. Heenan, Miner and World Heavyweight Champion

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. 

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History
1:55 pm
Tue September 17, 2013

Aging Steam-Schooner Disappears Off Cape Blanco

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

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History
1:50 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

O & C Timber Debate Dates Back to 1937

  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. 

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History
1:47 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

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

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. 

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History
1:19 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

Donation Land Claimant's Daughter Promotes Sutherlin

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. 

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History
1:17 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

Spanish Ships Lead Early Exploration of Pacific Coast

  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. 
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History
1:10 pm
Tue September 10, 2013

Daughter Likens Strawberries to "Demanding Mistress"

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. 

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History
11:54 am
Mon September 9, 2013

Electrical Short Circuit Sets North Bend Fire in 1933

  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. 

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History
11:52 am
Fri September 6, 2013

Drive-In Theater Attracts Medford Motorists

  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. 

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