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.



8:34 am
Fri April 4, 2014

Regional Botanical Diversity Includes Canyon Live Oak

Episode 2379
 Southern Oregon and Northern California’s botanical diversity includes the Canyon Live Oak, one of the earliest known oak species to evolve in North America.  Fossil records suggest the resilient and adaptable tree migrated to the region from Mexico. 
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8:17 am
Thu April 3, 2014

John Daggett Develops Black Bear Gold Mine

Episode 2378
  Discovered in 1860, the Black Bear Mine was one of the most important quartz gold mines in Siskiyou County, Calif.  It was located along the Salmon River in the Liberty Mining District, nine miles south of Sawyer’s Bar. 
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8:12 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Ashland Author Writes and Illustrates Children's Books

Episode 2377
 The author P.K. Hallinan stayed awake one night questioning what he wanted to do with his life.  Hallinan, who lives near the Siskiyou Pass in the mountains outside of Ashland, Ore., decided to be a novelist.  He said he wrote two terrible novels that he threw away.
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7:53 am
Tue April 1, 2014

Newspaper Publisher Suggests Dog Shelter Savings

Episode 2376

 The animal shelter in Jackson County, Ore., was handling up to 250 dogs a month in 1961 and running out of space.  The proposed budget contained $7,000 for building a new cement-block, heated structure to house dogs that were being kept only five days. Maxwell Thayer, owner and editor of the Rogue River Times had a better idea.

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10:37 am
Mon March 31, 2014

Miner's Hopes for Rich Strike Continue into His 80s

Episode 2375
 Tiaman Hatcher heard that an old ore-grinding mill near Rogue River was to be sold for back taxes. He was 61 years old and by then had been a miner, farmer, mechanic, road builder, carpenter, and even an oxen driver. 
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10:33 am
Fri March 28, 2014

Donna-Mae Smith Becomes Army's First Military Bugler

Episode 2374
 The first female bugler in the U.S. military, Donna-Mae Smith of Sutherlin, Ore., was inducted into the Bugler’s Hall of Fame in 2009.  Smith began her service in the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps in 1942. Eventually rising to the rank of sergeant, Smith played for reveille and kept the Army on schedule with bugle calls at Fort Des Moines, Iowa.

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10:28 am
Thu March 27, 2014

The Fall of Gold Ray Dam Cleans Section of Rogue River

Episode 2373
 Built in 1904 by brothers Dr. C.R. Ray and Col. Frank H. Ray, the hydroelectric Gold Ray Dam near the town of Gold Hill in Southern Oregon’s Rogue Valley provided power for nearly 70 years. When outside power grids and huge land-generator complexes reduced the need for the dam’s electricity, operations ceased in 1972 and the dam, powerhouse and 27 acres were donated to Jackson County, Ore.
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10:21 am
Wed March 26, 2014

Speed Phillips Tells Tall Tales about His Prospecting Days

Epsiode 2372

Speed Phillips never made much money, but prospected for gold all his life. Both his grandfathers were “forty-niners” in California, one seeking his fortune as a dairy farmer and the other as a builder.

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10:17 am
Tue March 25, 2014

Radical Speaker Attracts Northern California Workers and Socialists

Episode 2371
 One of his generation’s most radical union leaders, Utah-born William “Big Bill” Hayward filled the halls with Socialists and workers for a series of speeches in March 1909 in the towns of Eureka, Fortuna and Arcata, Calif.  

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10:13 am
Mon March 24, 2014

University of Oregon Accepts Josephine County Botanist's Collection

Episode 2370

 One of Josephine County’s early distinguished citizens was Abraham Lincoln Savage.  Born in 1864 on his parents homestead, Lincoln explored the land now known as Savage Creek for plants growing in the area.  In 1896 he graduated from Southern Oregon Normal School as valedictorian of his class with a degree in Scientific Didactics, the equivalent of today’s bachelor of education.

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