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: 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 »

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 »

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