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.



10:23 am
Thu April 24, 2014

Trail Leads to Mysterious Stone Woman of Crater Lake

Episode 2393
 Reports of a sculptured stone woman began filtering into Crater Lake National Park headquarters during the winter and spring of 1917. Workers located the figure on the lake’s rim, about a mile and a half from the lodge.  The nearly full relief of a nude figure was chiseled out of a lava boulder, its legs bent and one arm over its head as if shielding against danger. The news media reported the discovery with headlines such as “Mummy Woman found in woods” and “Ancient figure of woman discovered.”   
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9:46 am
Wed April 23, 2014

SOU Herbarium Rediscovers Donated Plant Collection

Episode 2392
 The Southern Oregon University Herbarium was long neglected when botanist Frank Callahan offered in 2012 to clean and organize its collection of nearly 24,000 specimens.
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9:44 am
Tue April 22, 2014

Railroad Baron Throws Axe at Medford Mayor

Episode 2391
 By 1908 W.S. Barnum, president of the Rogue River Valley Railroad, had made a fortune providing public transportation in the valley.  
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9:33 am
Mon April 21, 2014

Barns and Watering Troughs Serve as 1880s Billboards

Episode 2390
 Barns and watering troughs served as billboards in the 1880s, proof that advertising was as much a part of life in those days as railroading and road building.
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9:29 am
Fri April 18, 2014

Dam Removal Creates New Gold Rush

Episode 2389

Researchers predicted benefits from removing the 106-year-old Gold Ray Dam in 2010.  Among them were more salmon and steelhead swimming upriver to spawn and more rafters enjoying the scenery along 57 miles of newly opened water. But who anticipated gold fever!

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9:22 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Southern Oregonians Participate in U.S. Foreign Policy Debate

Episode 2388
 From 1958 until 1963, nine Central Point, Ore., friends ranging in age from 16 to 75 met eight times a year in a Great Decision Discussion group, studying and discussing America’s foreign policy. They were ordinary people who believed individuals could make a difference in the world. At the end of a meeting, each person would cast a ballot that was tallied with thousands of others from across the country and the results sent to the U.S. State Department.
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9:16 am
Wed April 16, 2014

Gold-and-Whiskey-Thirsty Outlaws Randomly Kill 17 Townspeople

Episode 2387
 The lust for gold in Oregon attracted not only miners, but also thieves.
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9:09 am
Tue April 15, 2014

Baby Survives Fall from Father's Ashland Flour Mill

Episode 2386
 Pioneer Abel Helman built Ashland, Oregon’s Flouring Mill in 1854, the same year his wife, Martha, gave birth to their son, John.  One day after lunch, Helman took the 15-month-old boy to work with him.  The mother planned to meet them later at the flour mill.
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9:00 am
Mon April 14, 2014

Ashland Golfer Surprises Fans at Northern Trust Open

Episode 2385

An Ashland High School graduate who was the 1996 Oregon High School golf champion, Jason Allred, went on to play on the Professional Golfers’ Association Tour.  Before that, he competed in collegiate golf at Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., where he graduated in 2002. 

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8:55 am
Fri April 11, 2014

Fire Destroys Grange Co-op in Central Point, Ore.

Episode 2384

Since 1947, the Grange Co-op grain elevator had been a beacon for miles around Central Point, Ore, but on the night of Oct. 12, 1961, it became a terrifying pillar of flame.

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