Oregon Trails: Airplanes

MEDFORD, Ore. — These days e-mail, texting and twitter are common ways to get someone a message, but not too long ago the ultimate message medium was air-mail. Airmail revolutionized communication and opened the door to the vast air transportation system we have today. A United Air express jet taking off from the airport is … Continue reading »

Oregon Trails: Telephone in Medford

MEDFORD, Ore. — Telephone rings have changed a lot in the last hundred years, and so has telephone service. The first phones came to southern Oregon in the mid-1890s, about 20 years after Alexander Graham bell was granted a patent for the telephone. The Jacksonville Times in July of 1894 reported that “arrangements have been … Continue reading »

Oregon Trails: City Lights

MEDFORD, Ore. — A former Medford City Councilman says the city of Medford pays almost a million dollars a year to light city streets – that’s a long way from the 1880′s when a few coal oil lamps were considered sufficient to light the streets at night. For the romantic in many of us, there’s … Continue reading »

Oregon Trails: 50 Years of Mt. Ashland

MT. ASHLAND, Ore. — Fifty years ago at this time, work was underway on Mt. Ashland to create the first ski resort in Southern Oregon. The first plans for a ski facility were very modest, until one of the biggest movers and shakers in Oregon got hold of the project. Interest in developing a ski … Continue reading »

Oregon Trails: Bonanza Fires

BONANZA, Ore. — Looking back over the past 150 years, there’s hardly a town or city in Oregon that has not had at least one catastrophic fire. A few have leveled some or most of the business district or even the whole town, but few have had as many major fires that caused as much … Continue reading »

Oregon Trails: OIT

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. — When World War II ended, troops coming home were starting families, and building homes and careers. To help those vets get a head start, a surplus military installation in Klamath Falls became a unique training ground for future engineers and medical professionals. Snow still covers much of the campus at Oregon … Continue reading »

Oregon Trails: Fire as a Friend

MEDFORD, Ore. — Every year wildfires burn hundreds of thousands of acres of forestland and grass across the West. For a hundred years now, it’s been a battle for forester and landowners to keep those wildfires under control, but it wasn’t always that way. Former Rogue River Forest ServiceĀ ArchaeologistĀ  Jeff LeLande, explains why he thinks … Continue reading »

Oregon Trails: Civil War Roots

MEDFORD, Ore. — From 2011 to 2015, this is the Sesquicentennial – the 150th anniversary – of the U.S. Civil War. From 1861 to 1865, the Civil War was the bloodiest of any fought by American troops and it’s likely that if you had ancestors living in the United States by the mid-19th century, someone … Continue reading »

Oregon Trails: Elk Creek Battle

ELK CREEK, Ore. — For years, many Southern Oregon residents and officials dreamed of the day when a series of dams could be built in Applegate and Upper Rogue basins to store water and reduce flood run-off. Two of those dams were finished and have operated for nearly 30 years now, but one was never … Continue reading »

Oregon Trails: Mt. McLoughlin

MT. MCLOUGHLIN, Ore. — Mt. McLoughlin is one of the most prominent landmarks in Southern Oregon. At nearly ten thousand feet in elevation, it’s white capped peak has been a guidepost to travelers for more than 150 years. Mt. McLoughlin is a pilgrimage point for those seeking a new view of Southern Oregon. In this … Continue reading »

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