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.



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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8:50 am
Thu April 10, 2014

Popular Priest Shares Whiskey with Waldo, Ore., Miners

Episode 2383

 French-Canadian Priest X.F. Blanchard, may have been about the only man of God that the hard-drinking miners of Waldo were happy to see. 

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8:47 am
Wed April 9, 2014

Electrified Railways Link Medford and Jacksonville

Episode 2382

There was a time when electrified railways ran through downtown Medford and connected Medford with Jacksonville.  Those tracks are long gone today.

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8:42 am
Tue April 8, 2014

Medford Prepares for 61st Annual Pear Blossom Festival

Episode 2381
For 60 years thousands of Southern Oregonians have celebrated the arrival of spring at the annual Pear Blossom Festival in Medford, Ore.

The festival began in 1954 with a 10-float children’s parade featuring a 5-year-old Miss Blossom.

This year’s 61st Pear Blossom Parade will have 150 entries and 4,000 participants.  Organizers anticipate 25,000 to 30,000 spectators will line the parade route on April 12.  Parade marshals have included Sen. John F. Kennedy in 1960 and runner Frank Shorter in 1977.  Shorter, marathon gold medal winner at the 1972 Summer Olympics, led the festival’s first annual mini-marathon.

Other activities will include a baby contest, junior and senior royal pageants, 5-K and 10-mile runs, a street fair and a stamp show.

The street fair will be held Friday and Saturday, April 11 and 12, and the runs will be on Saturday.  This year’s fair will be located in the new Commons Park Blocks in the center of Medford’s downtown business district.

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8:37 am
Mon April 7, 2014

Tiller Gardens Showcase Camellias in April

Episode 2380

On five acres along Elk Creek near Tiller, Ore., a sharp eye can spot more than 50 varieties of camellias, a plant native to Japan, Korea, and China that became popular in the U.S. South in the late 1700s.  French botanist Andre Michaux presented the first imported camellia to South Carolina Gov. Henry Middleton in 1786. That parent plant is still used to propagate others. As the new plant made its way across the United States, Alabama chose the camellia as its state flower. 

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