"Harbingers of Doom: The Chinese of Jacksonville" will be the next topic in the "Land of the Empire Builders" history lecture series at local libraries.

"Harbingers of Doom: The Chinese of Jacksonville" will be the next topic in the "Land of the Empire Builders" history lecture series at local libraries.

The free talks have been scheduled for noon on Wednesday at the Medford Central Library, 215 S. Central Ave., and noon on Sept. 9 at the Ashland Branch Library, 410 Siskiyou Blvd.

Retired teacher and history buff Larry Smith of Jacksonville will tell the story of the Chinese immigrants, using photos from the Southern Oregon Historical Society collection. Smith will explore how the Chinese arrived in Jacksonville, how they endured extreme discrimination and how they contributed to the town's economic stability. He also will discuss how they disappeared by the 1920s, taking with them their customs and language, as well as the ancestral bones that had been buried in Jacksonville's Pioneer Cemetery.

The talks are sponsored jointly by the Southern Oregon Historical Society and the Jackson County Library System in honor of Oregon's 150th birthday.

Upcoming topics include: "Roxy Ann: Stories Behind Place Names" by Anne Billeter in October; "Southern Oregon At War," by Elizabeth Corethers in November; and "Whistles In The Canyons" by Larry Mullaly in December.