Luana (Loffer) Corbin

As It Was Contributor

Luana (Loffer) Corbin was born and raised in Jackson County in the Phoenix area.  Her parents owned a farm and fruit orchard, and she spent her childhood in the country.  After graduating from St. Mary’s High School in Medford, Corbin enrolled at Southern Oregon College, majoring in Elementary Education.  The summer after graduation she was hired to teach at Ruch Elementary, where she taught for 32 years.  She considered teaching at a small country school as a wonderful experience that helped her appreciate regional history.  After retiring, Corbin worked for Lifetouch School Photography and then returned to Ruch as an aide helping with reading instruction and at the library.  More recently, she has volunteered at South Medford High.

Children and learning are her passions.  She lives with her husband, Richard, and a black lab, Kelly, on a small farm outside Phoenix.

Ancient people etched designs thousands of years ago on southwest-facing basalt boulders some five miles east of Adel, Ore., in the high plateau between Klamath Falls and Lakeview.

In the late 1800s, William and Irene Willits quit their school teaching jobs to establish a new home in the Cascade Mountains.  Near Upper Elk Creek in Southern Oregon, they chose a site with mountain scenery, tall pines, beautiful wildflowers, streams and rock cliffs.

A treacherous part of the Applegate Trail in the 1840s was sliding covered wagons down steep mountain slopes.

William S. Phillips loved art and aviation.  Growing up in Los Angeles, he often spent the day sketching aircraft.

At one time Ashland was called the “Carlsbad of Oregon,” referring to the large number of mineral springs in the area.  One of the more attractive soda springs emerged from the banks along Emigrant Creek on the stage route between Ashland and Klamath Falls. 

Descendants of early Irish immigrants who became sheepherders and cattlemen still live in the Southeastern Oregon town of Lakeview.

The first automotive electric store in Medford, Ore., Witham’s Battery and Electric Service, was established in 1923 by H. Clay Witham.

One of the oldest known business sites in Jacksonville is located at the corner of California and Oregon Streets, occupied today by the Scheffel’s Toys store. 

The early 20th century actor Jack Holt, who at one time had been a resident of Klamath County, was known for his Westerns.  Movies were silent with musical accompaniment before sound movies arrived.

The first public school district in Southern Oregon, School District No. 1, opened in Jacksonville on  Aug. 11, 1854.

The Camp White Army training base and prisoner-of-war camp east of Medford during the Second World War had a population of 35,000 desperately in need of a newspaper.

More than 160 years ago, 19-year-old Francis Carr of Ireland and his younger brother, James, landed in New York City, where Francis taught school for 15 years and studied law.  He also lost a wife and one son in childbirth and three children to smallpox.

On a snowy wintery day in 1984, three friends were enjoying coffee at a Klamath Falls coffee shop and chatting about televised Christmas parades held around the United States.  One asked, “Wouldn’t it be nice to have a parade like that in Klamath Falls?”

Sports have been a large part of Tara Harrington’s life. While participating in soccer, basketball and track and field at Mazama High in Klamath Falls, she earned All-State honors in all three sports and Southern Oregon Conference Player of the Year in basketball and soccer.  Besides being a 4.0 student, in 1993 she was Oregon’s first high school All-American girls basketball player.

In the 1970s, logger Jack Erickson was working on a new way to transport logs out of the forest.  He leased a Sikorsky S-64E Skycrane helicopter and opened the Erickson Air-Crane company in Central Point, Ore.  Before long, the company was transporting construction materials and moving supplies to remote regions in Alaska.

In the 1920s, the forerunner of the U.S. Air Force, the Army Air Service, flew forest fire patrols throughout Oregon.  By request that all airfields be named, Medford held a ceremony for that purpose in September 1920.

The Little Butte Mountain Men club got its name in 1960 when Al Osterman of Lake Creek, Ore., and other muzzleloading enthusiasts joined to promote the safe use and ownership of firearms, especially the black powder long rifles of yesteryear.

In the mid -1920s, the Medford High School Tigers football and basketball teams coached by Prink Callison routinely won state championships in football and basketball.

Two German immigrants in the 1800s, John Wintjen and Herman Von Helms, decided Jacksonville, Ore., needed a bakery, so they opened one, followed by a billiard saloon in 1860.

In the early 1900s, Southern Oregon communities often held events to boost the economy and bring attention to their uniqueness.  One type of celebration, the industrial fair, publicized not only the civic organizations, but also the community’s businesses.