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As It Was-Oregon Becomes 33rd State on Feb. 14, 1859

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.

One hundred years later, the state celebrated its Centennial by establishing a commission to organize statewide activities throughout the year.  Among other things, the commission produced several historical markers made of wood in the shape of the state to help commemorate the centennial. Around the state, areas with specific historical significance received wooden markers. 

In Southern Oregon, one of the markers just south of Ashland identified Barron Station, also known as the Mountain House.  It has been listed in the National Register of Historic Places since 2004.  Built in 1852, the station was used for three decades as a wayside and stage stop on the major wagon route into Oregon.

The marker read, “Barron Station, 1st Stagecoach Stop This Side of The Siskiyous ...”

Not many of the original wooden Centennial markers remain, but some have been replaced by more weather-resistant material.

Sources:  Pintarich, Dick. Great and Minor Moments in Oregon History. New Oregon Publishers, Inc., 2003, pp. 79-81; "Barron Station-Ashland, OR-Oregon Historical Markers on Waymarking.com." Waymarking, Groundspeak, Inc., 26 Nov. 2017, www.waymarking.com › waymarks › WMX4QQ_Barron_Station_As.

Luana (Loffer) Corbin graduated from 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. 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.