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4-30 oregon railways

The Ashland Depot and Depot Hotel, seen here in 1888, will be one of several topics addressed in an hour online lecture series profiling scandals from the Oregon railways.

MEDFORD — Author Sue DeMarinis will present the Windows in Time lecture “Scandals From the Oregon Railways, 1884-1923” on Wednesday, May 5 from 12-1 p.m. via Zoom; all are welcome to attend this free lecture though registration is required.

The 1880s arrival of the railroad to Southern Oregon brought many lifestyle changes and advantages to our small, then isolated communities. DeMarinis has dug deeper to also expose the scandals that linked the rails to little-known history. Collaborating information from County documents, historic newspapers, and ancestry records, DeMarinis uncovered mostly forgotten historical events and characters that shaped the foundation of our Southern Oregon Valley.

Travel back in time to see vintage photos and hear how pioneers traveled before the railroad. Learn how the final Golden Spike — which completed the Continental Railroad Loop — was built by railroad workers from around the globe, who brought their culture and conflicts to the Rogue Valley. Discover shady railroad land grant dealings, mud-stuck circus animals, a botched train robbery, and mail order brides — some of whom were discarded after arrival, left to become “ladies of the night” to survive. All these events added spark to the gossip and street corner news of yesteryear in the Rogue Valley.

The monthly Windows in Time lunchtime lectures feature well-known writers and historians and bring alive the people, values, and events that shaped our Southern Oregon heritage. Lectures are jointly sponsored by the Southern Oregon Historical Society (SOHS) and Jackson County Library Services.

Program registration can be found at jcls.libcal.com/calendar/jcls_event/WIT-May-2021. A recording of the program will later be made available on the Jackson County Library Services YouTube channel; subscribe at youtube.com/c/JCLSBeyond.

The monthly Windows in Time lunchtime lectures feature well-known writers and historians, and bring alive the people, values, and events that shaped our Southern Oregon heritage. Lectures are jointly sponsored by the Southern Oregon Historical Society (SOHS) and Jackson County Library Services.

For more information contact the Southern Oregon Historical Society at 541-773-6536 or sohs.org, or Jackson County Library Services at 541-774-8679 or jcls.org.