Oregon Trails: Potato Festival

NEAR MERRILL, Ore. — October means harvest time in the Klamath Basin, especially potato harvest time. It’s been that way for a hundred years or more, and continues to be one of the main money makers in the region. To celebrate, every year about this time folks kick up their heels at the Annual Klamath … Continue reading »

Oregon Trails: Stearns’ Journey

MEDFORD, Ore. — When Orson Avery Stearns came to Southern Oregon in 1853, it was by wagon train from Illinois, and took half a year. His family settled near Ashland in the Rogue Valley, but he settled in the Klamath Basin and became the area’s first rancher and farmer. In September 1913, he loaded up … Continue reading »

Oregon Trails: Retracing History

MEDFORD, Ore. — It’s been 160 years this year since the first wave of settlers began rolling into Southern Oregon in their covered wagons. Along with those pioneers was a 10-year-old boy from Illinois who went on to become a prominent figure in both the Rogue Valley and Klamath Basin. In this Oregon Trails, we … Continue reading »

Oregon Trails: Earthquake in Klamath

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. — 20 years ago, the Klamath Basin was turned upside down as a series of earthquakes rattled Southern Oregon. It caught many people by surprise, and led to new procedures for dealing with major disasters in Klamath County. From Redding to Roseburg, Southern Oregon and Northern California residents wondered what was going … Continue reading »

Oregon Trails: WWII Bombing Anniversary

BROOKINGS, Ore. — This week, an anniversary marked an event that remains unique to World War II’s history. It also coincides with another event that helped heal the wounds of war for many people. A small group of visitors from Illinois drove all the way from southern Nevada to see a 400-year-old samurai sword on … Continue reading »

Oregon Trails: Fighting Fire

MEDFORD, Ore. — The fire season is starting to wind down, but not without leaving hundreds of thousands of acres in the west blackened and once again, millions of dollars is being spent to control and contain the fieriest that seem to be getting more intense every year. For more than a hundred years, the … Continue reading »

Oregon Trails: New Odessa

GLENDALE, Ore. — There are lots of small towns and settlements that sprouted up around our area and have long vanished from sight and memory, but none may have been more unlikely than a Jewish communal settlement that sprang to life in the Glendale-area in the mid-1880′s. This century old farmhouse near Glendale sits at … Continue reading »

Oregon Trails: Car Dealers Make History

MEDFORD, Ore. — Most historians agree that nothing has changed the American landscape like the development and growth of the automobile and related industries and that’s true also for Southern Oregon. By 1910, Medford had more cars per capita than any other town in the United States. The first cars in Southern Oregon looked a … Continue reading »

Oregon Trails: Fremont Expeditions

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. — 170 years ago this year, one of the most famous American explorers left his mark on Southern Oregon and Northern California, and now an exhibit of artifacts found in lake county a decade ago is on display to mark the anniversary of that exploration party’s sojourn in our area. A display … Continue reading »

Oregon Trails: State of Jefferson

YREKA, Calif. — Many Americans are celebrating the birth and independence of our nation. So this week, we’re taking a look at one of the most bizarre political movements ever on the West Coast. It wasn’t a new idea in 1941, but it came closest to happening then, on the eve of World War II. … Continue reading »

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