The Rogue Valley has always been known for its agricultural crops. The farmland around Talent contains many orchards and gardens producing fruits and vegetables sold locally and around the world.

On Oct. 21, 1936, Talent held the 1936 Pear and Tomato Show to celebrate the area’s agricultural crops. Activities included a fat men’s race, balloon shot put, a Kitten Ball Game between the Pear Pickers and the Tomato Pickers, and a pear-tossing contest.

Six young women vied for queen of the event with Opal Hill declared the winner. They posed for a picture as bakers with utensils in hand around a huge pear pie baked for the festival. The pie weighed 1,020 pounds and measured 9-1/2 by 12 feet. The pie contained 30 bushels of pears and 150 pounds of flour.

A 29-second Universal newsreel by Graham McNamee entitled “World’s Largest Pie Feeds 3,000 People” shows the people of Talent standing around the pear pie watching as a baker decorates it with whipped cream. The baker then serves a piece to each person with the children especially enjoying every delicious bite.

Source: McNamee, Graham. "Stock Footage-Talent Oregon USA in year of 1936 in decade 1930." 21 Oct. 1936. Web. 19 July 2016. . Wright, Jan. Images of America Talent. Charleston SC Et Al: Arcadia Publishing, 2009. 127.

— As It Was is a co-production of Jefferson Public Radio and the Southern Oregon Historical Society. As It Was stories are broadcast weekdays on Jefferson Public Radio and are available online at