Medford, Oregon (June 19, 2023) — Independence Day has been an important community holiday in Jackson County since the late 1800s. Take a journey through time in the form of 4th of July photos and stories with local historian Peter Finkle. This Windows in Time presentation will take place from 12 Noon to 1 p.m., Wednesday, July 5, on Zoom and in-person at the Medford Library, 205 S. Central Avenue. The Windows in Time lecture will be repeated from 12 Noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday, July 12, at the Ashland Library, 410 Siskiyou Boulevard. 

Learn what has stayed the same in our celebrations for more than 100 years — and what has changed. At the 1900 4th of July, Medford had the “largest crowd in attendance that ever congregated in the county.” Find out why most of them left disappointed. 

In 1916, Ashland had the biggest bash in the town’s history; yes, still the biggest to this day. Get the scoop on why Ashland in 1916 had three days of parades, three nights of fireworks, and much, more. 

Who were the “callithumpians” who kept showing up at Jackson County 4th of July parades in the early 1900s? Finkle will share the answer, along with historic photos and stories told by the people who were there — including the 1923 Medford Mail Tribune story about a young boy who learned a lesson by carrying fireworks around in his pockets. 

Peter Finkle is the founder of, the premiere website about life in Ashland, Oregon. It is filled with photo essays about Ashland history, art, neighborhoods, gardens, holidays, Trees of the Year and more. Peter leads Ashland History and Art walking tours and speaks to local community groups. He also writes for, Ashland Living magazine and other publications. 

Pre-registration is needed to attend the online version of this program and can be found at A recording of the program will later be made available on the Jackson County Library Services YouTube channel; subscribe at

The monthly Windows in Time lunchtime lectures feature well-known writers and historians and bring alive the people, values, and events that shaped our Southern Oregon heritage. The lectures are jointly sponsored by the Southern Oregon Historical Society and Jackson County Library Services. For more information, please contact the Southern Oregon Historical Society at 541-773-6536 or or Jackson County Library Services at 541-774-8679 or 


PHOTO CAPTION: Ashland 4th of July – 1916 Ladies Auxiliary Float, SODA