Early residents of the Rogue River Canyon faced infrequent and inefficient mail service, relying for decades on miners who volunteered to post letters and pick up the mail when they traveled to town for supplies.
Frank E. Ross traveled far and wide, but after a lifetime of adventure, returned to his roots in Jackson County, Ore., where he became president of the Southern Oregon Historical Society and served on the Jacksonville Museum board.
In 1903 Bill Warner became the first rural mail carrier for Medford, Ore. He used a bicycle in the summer or a horse-drawn, two-wheeled cart. When rain turned the roads to mud, Warner carried the mail on horseback.
A popular Gold Hill restaurant owner, Cora Truax, became the first woman to serve on a city council in Southern Oregon and one of the first Oregon women to hold office after their enfranchisement in 1912.
In 1928, the automobile editor of the Portland Oregonian heard that the postmaster at remote Agness, Ore., had never been in a car. In those days, no roads led to Agness, an isolated village 21 miles up the Rogue River from the coastal town of Gold Beach.
People who remodel old houses often find surprises. For example, John Derrickson bought the old Samuel Williams house in Grants Pass, Ore., in 2010. While cleaning the upstairs, he came upon old papers, booklets, and more -- a treasure trove of Williams family history.
Effie Hillsboro was only 17 when she married Wes Birdseye and moved to a hand-hewn log house near Gold Hill, Ore., in 1898. Wes died young, leaving Effie with three boys to raise, a mortgage, and back taxes.
About 10 years after the 1964 Christmas-week flood wiped out bridges and more than 200 homes along the Rogue River, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers built a dam near Shady Cove, Ore., submerging whole communities under Lost Creek Lake.
In 1948, Klamath Falls began work on a popular new four-lane highway on the city’s north side to reduce heavy traffic that wound along narrow streets in residential neighborhoods along Biehn and North Ninth streets.