Thursday May 19, 2005
By Dawna Curler
Welcome to As It Was: Tales from the State of Jefferson
Finding that special person, now as in the past, is not always that easy. Today, many turn to Internet services such as "match-dot-com" or to reality TV shows like "The Bachelor" or "The Bachelorette."
But in the nineteenth century, singles relied on newspaper classifieds to attract a soul mate. An 1892 ad published in a Talent, Oregon, newspaper illustrates the point.
"I am a young man twenty-five years of age, weight 178 pounds. My habits for this country are fairly good. I have a pretty cabin by the side of a romantic mountain stream, in the midst of a lovely grove of evergreens. My business-mining and woodcutting-renders it very inconvenient to do my own housework and I want a wife. I can very nearly support myself now, and with the aid of an honest, industrious help-mate, I think I can lay up money. She must be able to cook anything from a miner's flapjack to an acorn-pie; must be not over twenty, good looking and an orphan, as I don't want any mother-in-law boss over me."
From our perspective through the veil of time, it's hard to say if this was a serious call for love, or an entertaining Victorian version of reality television.
Today's episode of As It Was was written by Dawna Curler, 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
Watson, Louise. "Wanted: A Wife," Southern Oregon Heritage, Vol. 3, No. 2, 1997, pp.8-9.