Medford, Oregon (March 27, 2024) – Railroads have played a pivotal role in the history and development of Southern Oregon. “Railroading in Southern Oregon” will examine how the construction of the Siskiyou Line led to the present-day economies of Jackson and Josephine Counties. The rise of “Robber Barons” will be discussed along with the failed attempts to reach the California Coast by building roadbeds over the Cascades and keeping our region uniquely isolated. The lecture will be on Wednesday, April 3, from 12:00-1:00 PM online and in person at the Medford Library and again on Wednesday, April 10, from 12:00-1:00 PM in-person at the Ashland Library. Registration is required for both events and can be found at

Presenter Robert Hirning has been a lifelong “railfan” (probably short for Railroad Fanatic) and since childhood has chased his passion for trains. Robert has traveled widely by train over most of North America, from the arctic to the tropics, and across Asia from the Sea of Japan to the Baltic. This one-hour lecture will specifically focus on the impact railroads have had on Southern Oregon for over a century and a half. A slide show will accompany the presentation to illustrate the significance of places and names, which are probably familiar to many residents.

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. Lectures are jointly sponsored by the Southern Oregon Historical Society (SOHS) and Jackson County Library Services. Programs are presented in Medford (first Wednesdays, in-person and online) and again in Ashland (second Wednesdays, in-person). Recordings of Medford presentations are available on the JCLS Beyond YouTube channel.