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

A collection of As It Was essays is available in a high-quality paperback book at the JPR Online Store.  Each episode is also available below.

From the 1930s through the 1980s, Rogue Valley families and others across the nation received trading stamps when purchasing products from participating stores.  Among the popular versions were S&H Green Stamps, founded by Thomas Sperry and Shelley Byron Hutchinson in 1896.

In 1988, the Klamath Falls Herald and News broke the story on an economic development scheme that became known as Project Juniper.  Its backers proposed using private funds to build a huge “world class international aviation and international trade facility.”

One night shortly after the end of the Second World War, the infamous “Pine Cone Tavern Incident” startled bar patrons in Brookings, Ore.

Residents and miners in the Rogue River Canyon in the early 1900s, couldn’t have survived without men like John Billings.

On Jan. 5, 1919, the Medford Mail-Tribune published a reflective piece after the U.S. Supreme Court voted 5-4 to allow enforcement of the 18th Amendment, the National Prohibition Act that forbade the manufacture and sale of alcoholic beverages in the United States.

Oregon, the Valentine state, is 161 years old today.  It became the 33rd state on Feb. 14, 1859, when President James Buchanan signed the bill passed by Congress.  A month later, the news reached the Pacific Northwest when the steamer Brother Jonathan docked in Portland.

George Geil had time in 1910 to carry on a flourishing courtship while paving Ashland’s streets and plaza.

An early barber in Jacksonville, Ore., George Schumpf, cut hair for 24 years from the time he opened his shop in a wooden building on California Street in 1873 until his death in 1897.

Two cowboys in Modoc County, Calif., hit hard when cattle prices plummeted during The Great Depression, found another way to make a living.

In February 1935, the first Civilian Conservation Corps ‘rolleo’ in the United States came to Gold Beach, Ore.  A rolleo is a log-rolling contest, where two competitors stand on a spinning log floating in a pond and try to dislodge each other.

Dave Evans bought a herd of big steers in 1862 at Port Orford.  He got them at a bargain price, but faced a difficult challenge of herding them along the Oregon Coast.

In 1853, early European settlers built several stockades for protection from American Indians, the original inhabitants of the land.  One was on the Emerson Gore Donation Land Claim near present-day Phoenix Ore.  At any sign of danger, farmers and miners rushed to the fort.

Life was never easy for African Americans in early Oregon, and George Fletcher’s life had its ups and downs.

In February 1921, Mr. and Mrs. John Coy of Bandon, Ore., ran afoul of national Prohibition by possessing intoxicating liquor.

Thousands of cattle perished in the Klamath Basin during what was long remembered as the “hard winter of 1889-90.”  The parched region was still recovering from a damaging summer drought and Klamath Falls had just gone through a major fire that destroyed most of the town’s business district on Sept. 6, 1889.

When the Southern Pacific Railroad train rolled into Klamath Falls in early 1909, it was heralded as the first train to reach the city.  But a small, unnamed logging railroad was the first one in Klamath County.

The development of radio and television in Southern Oregon was largely due to the efforts of William Smullin, who in the 1930s launched successful radio stations in Eureka and Grants Pass.

Scientists have yet to name a rare mushroom discovered in the spring of 2018 in the Southern Oregon Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument.

Crescent City was an isolated community in 1854, with dense forest all around and its rocky ocean entrance often fogged in.

The railroad contributed greatly to the growth of Montague, Calif., where cattle were driven to loading zones for rail shipment to Sacramento and San Francisco.