At the turn of the 20th century, rural Southern Oregon was still the rough frontier. Men searched the rivers for gold. Barefoot children attended one-room schoolhouses. Horses plowed dirt fields and oxen hauled giant timber. Communities grew and later turned into ghost towns. It is history that might have faded from memory. Instead, images from all of these scenes are preserved.more
This summer Oregon Experience invites you to See Oregon Through Its History.
Explore the unparalleled beauty of Oregon’s parks, coastal towns and rural communities. Whether hiking the trails, catching a play or enjoying local wineries, check in with Oregon Experience’s website each week. You’ll be surprised about the history of your destination and who or what played a key role in building this unique state into the place we call home.
Southern Oregon’s diverse vacation attractions brings tourists from afar to enjoy the scenic meadows, valleys, rivers and mountainsides of this part of the state. Before you head out that way, understand more about the true origins and history of this region, by watching Capturing Oregon’s Frontier!
A treasure of forgotten photo negatives, discovered by Lloyd Smith at a garage sale more than 30 years ago, will give you a visual authentic look at rural life and the people who lived in this region over a 100 years ago.
Compare some of those pictures with what you are seeing with your own photos!
From historical biographies to issues and events that have shaped our state, Oregon Experience is an exciting television series co-produced by OPB and the Oregon Historical Society.
Oregon Experience, celebrating its 10th season, will continue to bring new episodes in the coming months. All previous season's exciting stories, exploring Oregon's rich past, can be watched online.
More Oregon Experience
OPB | June 20, 2016
Darcelle XV is the West Coast’s oldest performing female impersonator, and operates what is likely the nation’s longest running drag revue.
OPB | April 25, 2016
Jazz Town examines the vibrant, post-World War II eruption of music and nightlife in North and Northeast Portland. A colorful and significant chapter in the city’s cultural narrative, this short-lived period is largely unknown to many Oregonians.
OPB | Feb. 22, 2016
Irish immigrant Thomas Condon was a Congregational minister and Oregon's first state geologist.
OPB | Jan. 25, 2016
Oregon's Jewish pioneers were among the region's first settlers. Arriving with the gold miners, they came for a better life away from persecution. In the process, they helped build the businesses and civic organizations that shaped the state.
OPB | Oct. 19, 2015
Vilma Silva on Shakespeare's work: "Claim it. It's yours."
OPB | Oct. 19, 2015
OSF's Scott Kaiser on translating Shakespeare into... English.
OPB | Oct. 19, 2015
Oregon Experience explores the origins and the evolution of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.
OPB | May 04, 2015
In 1923, a Southern Oregon train holdup sparked one of the nation’s largest manhunts and helped established modern criminal forensics.
OPB | April 21, 2015
Lift Ev’ry Voice explores Portland’s African-American history with a focus on the turbulent 1960s, ’70s and early ’80s. At the time, issues surrounding urban renewal, school desegregation and brittle police relations were exploding both nationally and locally.
OPB | Jan. 26, 2015
Founded in 1811 by wealthy fur baron John Jacob Astor, Astoria is the oldest United States settlement west of the Rocky Mountains. Learn more about the multifaceted history of this city and where those two centuries of activity have brought Astoria today.
OPB | Sept. 29, 2014
Southern Oregon and Northern California make up the mythical State of Jefferson. The “state” is the product of local lore, regional identity, and pride for its residents. It remains a symbol of an enduring rural-urban divide. Now, some are working to make it the 51st official state.
OPB | April 30, 2014
A new Oregon Experience examines an Oregon man’s lifelong search for America’s first people.
OPB | Jan. 03, 2014
Ken Kesey, author of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1962) and Sometimes a Great Notion (1964), was one of the best-known authors to ever emerge from Oregon. Airing January 20 at 9 p.m.
OPB | Sept. 26, 2013
From shanghaied sailors to opium dens, Portland’s illicit past is legendary. But how much of it is true? Portland Noir examines Old Town’s sordid history.
OPB | Sept. 16, 2013
In 1943, as World War II raged in Europe and the Pacific, thousands of men and women from across the United States began arriving in a remote part of south-central Washington state. They knew very little about why the U.S. government had hired them — only that it was an important project to support the war effort. It was a project that would change the world forever.
OPB | Nov. 19, 2012
In 1981, Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, a spiritual leader from India, and thousands of his disciples moved to Wasco and Jefferson Counties. On what had been the Big Muddy Ranch, the “sannyasins” set out to build a new city, a utopian community in the desert -- Rajneeshpuram. Thousands of people from around the world gathered here to celebrate life. They worked hard and transformed the landscape. And more than a few hoped to spend the rest of their days at this place. But by 1986, they were gone.
OPB | Oct. 11, 2012
In 1911, a small liberal arts college was launched in Portland, Oregon with its sole mission to promote the life of the mind. Founded by a prominent minister and brought to life by a visionary young upstart president, Reed College soon became a well-regarded institution of higher learning nationally but also something of a lightning rod for criticism locally. This is the history of a college confronting wide-ranging public opinion even as it strives to live up to its founders’ ideals.
Funding Provided By: Arlene Schnitzer and Jordan Schnitzer, Robert D. and Marcia H. Randall Charitable Trust, Oregon Cultural Trust, Clark Foundation
OREGON EXPERIENCE is a co-production of Oregon Public Broadcasting and the Oregon Historical Society.