Tag Archive for: history

vintage slide projector image of a park

Hannon Library’s Special Collections recently received the gift of a Bausch and Lomb “balopticon” slide projector (sometimes called a stereopticon or “magic lantern”) which had belonged to John Herbert Doran, the first manager of Lithia Park Auto Camp. Stereopticon shows were a form of popular entertainment before the advent of moving pictures. The gift also includes three sets of glass slides.

antique balopticon slide projector

Ashland’s free Lithia Park Auto Camp, which opened in 1915, accommodated a considerable number of visitors, catering to the growing Southern Oregon tourist trade. According to The American Motorist, the journal of the newly organized AA A, the Lithia Park Auto Camp was an “Auto Camp Delux, with electricity, gas cooking plates, and hundreds of lights strung in trees.”

Realizing that he could put on evening programs in the camp, Doran purchased a stereopticon and showed colored slides of Southern Oregon sights including Ashland, surrounding areas, Crater Lake, Oregon Caves, and flowers. He also had a show about the Oberammergau Passion Play and created a lecture entitled “Man in the Making,” which related to evolution. These slide shows were shown from 1917 until 1924 when the Dorans moved to California.

Doran’s slide presentations in the Lithia Park Auto Camp became a popular evening entertainment, particularly during evenings when there was not a Chautauqua program. Ashland was a Chautauqua town. The Chautauqua movement began in Ashland in 1893 and faded away in the 1920s. With a goal of furthering moral and intellectual culture, Ashland Chautauqua programs consisted of concerts, classes, prayer meetings, and lectures, including a packed address by William Jennings Bryant in 1897.

vintage slide projector image of a park

The stereopticon and slides remained in the Doran family until July 12, 2018 when it was generously presented to Hannon Library by Cynthia Doran, Herbert Doran’s granddaughter-in-law.

Special Collections staff look forward to displaying the Doran stereopticon and slides in the future within the library and in conjunction with regional commemorations. Plans are underway to restore the Doran stereopticon to working order.



silhouette of pears

Sue Naumes presents “Pear Box Labels: the History of the Rogue Valley” Thursday, February 1, 2018 at 4 pm at Southern Oregon University’s Hannon Library (Meese Room). This event is free and open to the public.

Pear box labels tell the story of Southern Oregon’s agricultural history, its economic wealth and, thanks to Sue Naumes, the story of Southern Oregon.

By 1910, Southern Oregon was in the throes of a land boom, the result of commercial pear cultivation and the railroad that brought those pears to national markets. Every box of pears packed had a label on its side, a bright and colorful label that pronounced the quality of the fruit and the excellence of a Rogue Valley’s company brand.

Naumes has been collecting pear box labels for most of her adult life, and each tells the story of a Rogue Valley grower, packer or shipper. Her collection is brilliant, graphically compelling and a fascinating insight into the politics and power struggles that began at the turn of the century. She’s found labels in burned out buildings, old warehouses, on eBay, at shows and in thrift shops. Her collection is extraordinary in its comprehensiveness and beauty, and Naumes knows the story behind every label.

Thanks to a 2017 Library Services and Technology Act grant to Southern Oregon University’s Hannon Library, Naumes’ pear box labels are being digitized and will made available through the Southern Oregon Digital Archives (SODA) in the Stories of Southern Oregon collection.

Naumes’ grandparents, John Peter and Dillie Naumes, settled in the Rogue Valley in 1929 and helped start the Associated Fruit Co. and began an agricultural enterprise that would become one of the largest in Southern Oregon. Naumes, Inc. was established in 1946 as the Nye & Naumes Packing House by Naumes’ father, William Joseph “Joe” Naumes Jr. and Stephen G. Nye Jr. selling product under the NANPAK label at 619 South Grape Street in Medford, Oregon. It was the first ground level fruit packing plant in the northwest setting a new efficiency standard in fruit packing house design. David Lawry bought up Associated Fruit in 1950 and in the mid-late 1960s Joe Naumes bought out Nye’s interest. In the 1970s, Joe Naumes’ children, Mike and Sue Naumes, returned to help manage the company.

Joe Naumes died on July 4, 1989. At the time of his death, the Naumes family owned 7,000 acres of fruit and nut trees in Washington, Oregon and California and was said to be the largest producer of Bosc pears in the world. Today, Mike Naumes, Laura Ernest Naumes and their children, Joe, Cynthia and Sean manage the family enterprise.

Hannon Library’s Southern Oregon Digital Archives display 18 collections that present a rich set of images, text and video on topics that range from locally discovered Chinese material culture, butterflies, First Nations, musical instruments, wine, agriculture and more. The Southern Oregon Digital Archives can be accessed at https://soda.sou.edu.

For more information on the Feb. 1, 2018 program at Hannon Library or the Southern Oregon Digital Archives, call 541-552-6442. If you disability accommodations to participate in this event, please contact Disability Resources at 541-552-6213 or dss@sou.edu.