Jefferson Public Radio has honored the volunteers who have produced more than 3,000 episodes of the daily historical series “As It Was: Tales from the Mystical State of Jefferson.”
A collaboration between the Southern Oregon Historical Society and JPR, the program features the history of Southern Oregon and Northern California in two-minute audio vignettes. More than a dozen historical society writers provide the stories narrated by Ashland actor Shirley Patton.
To celebrate reaching the 3,000-episode milestone, JPR honored Patton, SOHS writers, editor Kernan Turner and the series’ producer, Raymond Scully, at a reception this month at the Schneider Museum on the Southern Oregon University campus.
Originated Sept. 1, 1992, with writer Carol Barrett and editor-producer Bob Davy with aid from John Clarke, the program was suspended for a short time after the death of the original narrator, former Jackson County Commissioner Hank Henry, but resumed with Patton’s voice in 2005. Winner of the historical society’s 2012 Heritage Award, the “As it Was” program is an all-volunteer effort, and it welcomes new writers with a story to tell.
Writers for the series since 2005 include former editor and coordinator Craig Stillwell, Dawna Curler, Alice Mullaly, Gail Fiorini-Jenner, Shirley Nelson, Luana (Loffer) Corbin, Pat Harper, Dennis Powers, Maryann Mason, Lynda Demsher, Charles Ter Bush, Sharon Bywater, Emily Blakely, Janet Fisher, Valerie Ing, Todd Kepple, Nancy Appling Salucci, Laurel Gerkman, Marjorie O’Harra, Charles Howe, Amy Couture, Diane Gardner, Margaret LaPlante and Lisa Gioia.
“As It Was” airs Monday through Friday at 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. on JPR's Classics & News Service, and at 9:57 a.m. on the News & Information Service. Episodes are archived on the JPR website at ijpr.org/programs/it-was and at sohs.org/as-it-was.