Oregon Trails: Mail By Boat

By Ron Brown GOLD BEACH, Ore. — One of the biggest challenges for early settlers in our area was figuring out how to get the mail delivered to remote towns and mining camps and now with the debate on how to keep the post service afloat, one mail delivery system is not only getting mail … Continue reading »

Oregon Trails: Remembering Oregon’s Finest

May 18, 2012 By Ron Brown JACKSONVILLE, Ore. — It was nearly a hundred years ago, on April 22nd, 1913, that one of the first lawmen to die in the line-of-duty in Southern Oregon was mortally wounded in a shootout near Jacksonville and in the 99 years since, many more have died protecting the public … Continue reading »

Oregon Trails: House of Mystery

By Ron Brown NEAR GOLD HILL, Ore. — The Memorial Day holiday is just a couple weeks away, and with it, the unofficial start to the summer vacation season. That means families all across the country will be hitting the highways for summer vacation. For nearly a hundred years, Southern Oregon has been a destination … Continue reading »

Oregon Trails: Crossing the Greensprings

By Ron Brown NEAR ASHLAND, Ore. — From the time the first settlers wrestled their way over the Applegate Trail into Southern Oregon, getting over the Greensprings Mountain Pass was a major struggle. It wasn’t until the early 20th century, when the state of Oregon went on a highway-building binge, did the mountain pass between … Continue reading »

Oregon Trails: Car Stunts

By Ron Brown ASHLAND, Ore. — For almost as long as there have been automobiles, there have been automobile advertisements and nobody seems to do more of it than local dealers, who often go out of their way to get your attention. When the Hudson Motor Car Company, makers of the Essex, told dealers to … Continue reading »

Oregon Trails: Orchard Smudging

By Ron Brown TALENT, Ore. — For more than a hundred years now, the fruit industry has been a mainstay in the economy of Southern Oregon, but cold spring nights, just as fruit trees are budding and blooming, has challenged orchardists to keep trees and fruit from freezing. Former Jackson County Circuit Judge Ray White … Continue reading »

Oregon Trails: Mining School

By Ron Brown GRANTS PASS, Ore. — Like the recession today, the Great Depression of the 1930’s challenged governments and families to find ways to develop income to pay the bills. In Southern Oregon, where mineral resources like gold, copper and silver were long known to be plentiful, a unique program was developed to get … Continue reading »

Oregon Trails: Cementing a Legacy

By Ron Brown GOLD HILL, Ore. — It was mining that brought some of the first settlers to Southern Oregon, mostly looking for gold and silver. But it was mining of a lowlier mineral, and using it to make one of our most common building materials that produced one of our region’s longest running and … Continue reading »

Oregon Trails: “Poor Farms”

By Ron Brown TALENT, Ore. — For nearly 100 years, Jackson County had some system in place to care for local residents who were not able to care for themselves. In the days before welfare, Social Security, and private nursing homes, there was what was called the “poor farm.” It doesn’t sound very glamorous, and … Continue reading »

Oregon Trails: Street Signals

February 17, 2012 By Ron Brown MEDFORD, Ore. — In many one-horse towns, it used to be that the number of horses hitched on Main Street measured the size and importance of that town, but today some may say it’s measured by the number of traffic signals. For most of us, the familiar red, yellow … Continue reading »

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