Wednesday June 22, 2005
By Alice Mullaly
Welcome to As It Was: Tales from the State of Jefferson
Though few Native Americans were seen in the Rogue Valley of Southern Oregon by 1910, one family looked forward to the annual fall visits of people coming from the Klamath Indian Reservation east of the Cascade Mountains.
Young Fern Beebe and her family lived on Bear Creek a little northeast of Central Point. Each September a group of Native Americans brought their just-broken wild ponies to the Rogue Valley to sell or trade for the bacon, beans and sugar they would need for the winter. Fern's father allowed them to camp along the banks of his creek. Fern and her sister would run to their upstairs bedroom window where they watched the women and children play in the water. Mr. Beebe invited the men to bring their horses to the barn. There he pitched hay from the loft and watched the men see to the needs of each animal. Beebe greatly admired the care given those ponies.
It was 1856 when the Native Americans of the Rogue Valley were removed to a Northern Oregon costal reservation, so fifty-some years later, contact with local farmers was rare. For Fern Beebe, the pony sellers provided a vivid and lasting childhood memory.
Today's episode of As It Was was written by Alice Mullaly, the program engineer is Raymond Scully. I'm Shirley Patton. As It was is a co-production of JPR and the Southern Oregon Historical Society. To Share stories or learn more about the series visit asitwas - dot- org
Dow, Fern Rosalthia Beebe, interviewed by Elizabeth Udall June 7, 1984, Southern Oregon Historical Society Oral History (or OH) 351; Crater Lake National Park, "The Klamath Indians of Southern Oregon Cascades" compiled from the works of Winthrop Associates Cultural Research for the National Park Service. http://www.nps.gov/crla/kllife.html