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.



10:48 am
Fri May 30, 2014

Rodney Glisan's Book Collection Becomes Medical Library

Episode 2419
 Rodney Glisan has a major street named after him in Portland, Ore., and his personal book collection generated the first library at the Oregon Health and Science University.  Before he became a leading citizen in Portland, Glisan was a young army medical officer stationed at Port Orford on the Southern Oregon Coast.
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10:43 am
Thu May 29, 2014

Old-timer Tells How Whiskey Creek Got Its Name

Episode 2418
 There are several versions of how Whiskey Creek along the Rogue River got its name, but 96-year-old Frances Pearson had no doubts when she was interviewed for an oral history collection in 1981. “I know the exact truth of that one,” the retired teacher said.
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10:39 am
Wed May 28, 2014

Women Mine Gold in Southern Oregon 100 Years Ago

Episode 2417

Before she was a miner, Mrs. Wisenbacker played the role of Miss Pipes in the Anna Held Company’s theatrical performance titled “The Little Duchess.”  But in 1903 she decided to join her father and brother at their Forest Queen Hydraulic Mine near Grants Pass, Ore. 

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10:35 am
Tue May 27, 2014

Volunteers Restore Wildhorse Lookout Near Gold Beach, Ore.

Episode 2416

For the second time, volunteers are rebuilding a fire lookout station used for years to scan the Rogue-Illinois watershed forests northeast of Gold Beach, Ore.

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10:31 am
Mon May 26, 2014

Narrow Bauge Railway Runs beetween Reno and Prineville, Ore.

Episode 2415
 What would become one of the longest narrow-gauge railroads in the United States was incorporated in 1888 as the Nevada-California-Oregon Railway, better known as the N-C-O.  Some passengers insisted N-C-O stood for the “Northern California Outrage” or the “Narrow, Crooked, and Ornery.”

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10:29 am
Fri May 23, 2014

Crossing Scott Mountain Requires Grit in early 1860s

Episode 2414
 The toughest mountain to cross for the California-Oregon Stage Company was Scott Mountain.

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10:24 am
Thu May 22, 2014

Lithia Motors Sells 14 Cars the Year It Opens in 1946

Episode 2413
 The first year after Walt DeBoer started Lithia Motors in Ashland, Ore., in 1946, he sold 14 cars. Today’s sales are measured in billions of dollars.

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10:17 am
Wed May 21, 2014

Foots Creek Provides Crushed Rock for Interstate 5

Episode 2412

It was a dangerous drive up Foots Creek between the towns of Rogue River and Gold Hill, Ore., in 1961. A continuous stream of huge dump trucks carried crushed creek rock at the rate of 500 tons an hour, 16 hours a day for construction of Interstate 5.  One accident seriously injured a driver without damage to the truck.

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10:12 am
Tue May 20, 2014

Modoc County Approves Yet Another Border Alignment

Episode 2411


The land doesn’t move, but the boundaries that enclose Modoc County, Calif., and its population of 9,686 have shifted many times, more than for any other California county.

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10:04 am
Mon May 19, 2014

Douglas County Museum Restores 1883 Railcar

Episode 2410

Restoration has begun at the Douglas County Museum in Roseburg, Ore., on an ornate railcar built for passengers and baggage.  It is one of three remaining cars of the 14 constructed in 1883 by the Harlan and Hollingsworth Company of Delaware.

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