As It Was: Southern Oregon Pioneers Form Association
Pioneers of Southern Oregon joined together in 1876 to form a Pioneer Association for preserving their historical settling of a new land. Hundreds of old-timers held their first meeting above the Ashland Plaza and Col. John Ross became the first president.
The program consisted of songs and readings. Lindsay “Lish” Applegate gave the oration and his brother Oliver Applegate read a poem.
At the end of the program, to the delight of the children, dinner was served. The meal represented the plentiful bounty those early pioneers had created in the valley. Anna Cameron Cater later recalled her family’s contribution to the meal: a half-dozen fried chickens, a big boiled ham, her mother’s silver cake, and homemade rolls with jellies, and pickles.
After dinner, the reminiscences began with many folks telling their family stories and John Ross giving a war whoop.
The annual Southern Oregon Pioneer Society reunions continued for nearly 100 years, alternating between Jacksonville and Ashland. The group melded into the Southern Oregon Historical Society, having provided the nucleus of its collection in the 1940s.
Source: "Early Settlers of Jackson County Meet and Talk Over Pioneer Times." Medford Mail Tribune, 10 Oct. 1926, p. 6.