Medford Corporation was organized in August 1932 when the Owen-Oregon Lumber Company went into receivership. The corporation grew and added a new plywood mill in the early 1960s (left foreground). The wigwam burners had been modified with cinder reinjectors in 1950 but were still controversial. Use of the 45-year-old burners ended in 1971.
Peter Britt photographed the Girls Fan Brigade in 1889.
The Blue Ledge Copper Mine in the Applegate River country of the Siskiyou Mountains, circa 1890.
Skiers of the late 19th century were a hearty bunch. In the days before chair lifts, rope tows and carefully groomed slopes, they hiked up mountainsides to don giant skis upon which they flew down the hill aided only by a single tall wooden staff. This champion of the 1890s is Olaus Jeldness, whose brother Andy owned the Bloomfield Mine near Jacksonville.
Southern Oregon was affected by the years of depression that followed the stockmarket crash in 1929. Many people passed through the Rogue Valley seeking a new life and they placed heavy demands on the local economy. Ashland tried to meet some of those demands by opening the Helping Hands Mission in October 1931. Located on Fourth Street in the Railroad District, the Mission offered the homeless a meal, a bed, honest work and Christian counseling.
Taken around 1915, this view looking north along Fir Street in Butte Falls shows Mollie Britt with Mr. and Mrs. John Miller. Photographer Emil Britt and his sister (son and daughter of the famous Peter Britt) were lifelong residents of the area and enjoyed driving about to see friends.
Siskiyou Elks Lodge No. 944 members pose in front of a train in Ashland, Oregon about 1916-17
This photograph of unidentified Rogue Valley needlewomen was probably taken in the mid-1890s when shaded embroidery was all the rage. The numerous examples of fine needlework displayed on their clothing also testify to the ability of these women. There are samples of drawn work, battenberg or tape lace, handmade and French sewn lace, lace netting, drawn work medallions and white on white embroidery. The photograph is an unusual record of a group of women who probably met regularly to learn a new craft and work on their projects.
Parties were commonplace in the Rogue Valley when many prosperous people from the East Coast invested in the booming pear industry shortly after the turn of the century. In 1918, Leonard Carpenter hosted a masquerade party at his house in Medford. Mrs. Dan Clark was among those attending. Dressed as a mummy, she was wrapped to a board and unable to fit into the family Model T. Thoughtfully placed across the back seat by her husband, she arrived at the party having been driven through the streets of Medford with her head and feet sticking out either side of the car.
The day after Thanksgiving traditionally marks the start of the Christmas shopping season and is often celebrated by a grand parade to welcome the arrival of Santa Claus. In 1968, Santa decided to spare his reindeer the effort of a journey from the North Pole to Medford and traveled via “Santa Copter” instead, to the delight of the many children who turned out to greet him. A perusal of old newspaper ads reveals that the cost of toys has seen a substantial increase over the years while some Christmas decorations (such as midget light strings) are actually less expensive now.