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Images of America: Medford

Among the new editions to Arcadia Publishing Co.’s Images of America series is a book released this week as a pictorial history of Medford, Oregon.  The book, assembled by St. Mary’s School teacher Kevin Keating, is a marvelous addition for Oregonians who view history through the photographer’s eye.  Although I’m sure some would not agree, like most cities Medford’s size, there’s not enough reliable documentation to write a definitive local history, but a tale of 1o0 years or so (or in Medford’s case 125 years because the city celebrated that anniversary in 2010) can be interesting  when shown through captivating photos.  Who but locals would know that in 1910 Medford had more automobiles per capita than any other town in the world  (so much for Californians’ claim to be a whole state whose growth was stimulated by the auto industry), and or in 1923 it straddled the world’s longest paved road (then designated as Highway 99; now Interstate 5).

Kevin has done a good job covering each period in the City’s history including the early period from 1883-1910, through the current period ending with recent photography showing the most recent buildings in Medford such as the Jackson County Library, the Southern Oregon University/Rogue Community College Higher Education Center and newer improvements around the City.   And I heartily agree with Kevin’s reminder to the current city leadership and community to “think big but invest wisely,” much as the city has grown since its founding.

One technical error occurs in the caption of the last photograph of the book, referring to the 1948 designation as Skyway 99 by the Civil Aeronautics Board as part of the International Skyway System.  The caption refers to the southernmost tip of Skyway 99 as “Calexico, Mexico.”  The correct designation would be  “Calexico, California” or “Mexicali, Mexico.”  I did not attempt to look up the original designation in the CAB archives.

The book is available at Barnes and Noble and other booksellers. Keating, Kevin. Images of America: Medford. (Arcadia Publishing Co., Charlestown, SC 2011).

Posted in Booknotes, Community Musings, Main.

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