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 Online Store.  Each episode is also available below.

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. 

  Many historic homes grace the city of Coos Bay on Oregon’s Southern Coast. 

  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.” 

  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. 

The diary of Lucy Ann Henderson Deady describes a tragic loss of life during her wagon train journey to Oregon in 1846. 

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. 

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. 

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

  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. 

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. 

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. 

  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. 

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. 

  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. 

  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. 

Retired wildlife biologist Bob Smith didn’t hesitate on Oct. 24, 1999, to bid $19,000 for a wild horse rounded up by the Bureau of Land Management.  At a time when others were advocating slaughtering thousands of feral horses, Smith’s winning auction bid was a shocker. 

In the mid-1800s, brothers Jesse and Charles Applegate and their families settled land claims near “Yoncalla,” an area named after an Indian tribe north of Roseburg, Ore. Today, a seven-acre parcel of their property is dedicated to conserving more than 3,000 varieties of apples.

News of Deaths

Sep 3, 2013

Following years of sailing, gold mining, and real estate ventures, Capt. John Nash retired in Medford, Ore.  He bought the Hotel Medford in 1894 at the southeast corner of Main and Front streets, enlarged it and changed the name to the Nash Hotel.

On May 1, 1915, Dorothy Conner and her brother-in-law, Dr. Howard Fisher, sailed on first class tickets on the British luxury liner, the RMS Lusitania. They were headed for World War I hospital work in Belgium. Dorothy wrote to her mother near Jacksonville, Ore., that it would be a very boring crossing, and she hoped something exciting might happen on their last day. It did.

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