Oregon Trails: the Golden Spike

MEDFORD, Ore. — Next Tuesday marks the 126th anniversary of an event that helped shape the future of Southern Oregon forever. The driving of the golden spike in 1887 capped almost 20 years of back breaking work to connect Oregon to California by rail. In the video above, NewsWatch 12′s Ron Brown looks back at … Continue reading »

Oregon Trails: Klamath County Settlement

NEAR KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. — The early days of Klamath County settlement left a legacy that sometimes included lawlessness and bad blood between ranching families. This week’s Oregon Trails takes a look at one particular feud that may help explain a strange jog in the line between Klamath and Lake Counties.

Oregon Trails: Klamath Myths

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. — Just about every town has its share of tall tales and legendary stories. But Klamath Falls may have more than its share. Many of them have been gathered by Klamath County Museum Director Todd Kepple. For instance, what about the story that Ella Redkey Municipal Swimming Pool was built with money … Continue reading »

Oregon Trails: Grants Pass Streets

GRANTS PASS, Ore. — Jeanette Spencer Dickson was born and raised in Grants Pass, and has had a life-long interest in local history. One question always on her mind was why several streets in the southwest part of town suddenly make a dog-leg bend after heading nearly east and west. “It just didn’t make any … Continue reading »

Oregon Trails: Pre-Historic Bones

ASHLAND, Ore. — Things in Ashland are a lot quieter now that it’s between Shakespeare seasons, and the community at the base of the Siskiyous is settling back to being a small college town. Down in the railroad district, the Ashland Railway History Museum is working to expand its mission to include other Ashland history, … Continue reading »

Oregon Trails: Fort Lane

FORT LANE, Ore. — More than a dozen professional and amateur archaeologists are digging into the past near Blackwell Hill, seeking to learn more about a small Army post that was established here in the early 1850s. A grassy clearing not far from the site of the former Gold Ray Dam is where Fort Lane … Continue reading »

Oregon Trails: Keeping the Light On

CRESCENT CITY, Calif. — Since 1892, a landmark West Coast lighthouse in our area has been standing guard on a treacherous stretch of coast waterway. The point St. George Reef Lighthouse was built in the 1880s following the worst shipwreck in West Coast history. Today, it’s being preserved by a dedicated group of volunteers. Click … Continue reading »

Oregon Trails: Nuclear Age

NEAR LAKEVIEW, Ore. — For more than 160 years, talk about mining in Southern Oregon is usually about gold, but 60 years ago, prospectors in Lake County hit pay dirt with a mineral of another kind that helped launch the world into the nuclear age. From the time the first atomic bomb announced the beginning … Continue reading »

Oregon Trails: Dealing with Jackrabbits

NEAR BONANZA, Ore. — Anyone who raises a garden or farms knows what a hassle it is when deer and other wild animals eat up the fruits of all your hard work. A hundred years ago, and again during the Depression, it was smaller animals caused problems for the community. The Langell and Poe Valley … Continue reading »

Oregon Trails: D’Autremont Train Robbery

NEAR ASHLAND, Ore. — When you think of desperados and train robberies in the Old West, you probably think of Jesse James or Butch Cassidy and the Sundance kid, but it was another gang that pulled off what was called “The Last Great Train Robbery” in the U.S. October 11th, 1923 was a day when … Continue reading »

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