Safeguard the valley's historical treasures

I want to call attention to two treasures of Jackson County that should be recognized and acknowledged.

With reference to the "Life On The Farm" article on the front page of the Sunday, Nov. 6 Mail Tribune, I would like to commend Jan Wright, historian of Talent, and Paul Fattig, Mail Tribune reporter.

Jan is a true historical detective and has endeared herself to those of us who have had occasion to search for family pictures and information. Her photographic memory has enabled her to identify that unknown person in the family photograph or determine the location of the house in a picture.

She delights in sharing her knowledge by giving lectures at schools and libraries. The younger generation is made more aware of the past, and we senior citizens are thrilled to have a reason to remember.

Paul Fattig is one of the rare reporters who feels what he reports. His information is reported accurately, and his unique use of words adds to the reader's perception of what is being reported. He has a respect for and interest in the history surrounding him.

It is a little frightening to realize that I may be the only living person left who has a knowledge of life at the County Poor Farm.

Wes Hartley of Medford and his brother, Roland Hartley of Talent, lived across from the Poor Farm. Wes and his other brother, Richard, were often allowed to cross the Pacific Highway "to play," but Roland was the new baby, so he didn't get to pretend in the old log cabin that was the stage coach stop in the 1860s or go to the "lower garden," where the hired man, Newman, would often cut open a watermelon for us to eat.

Wes tells me I made him cut out paper dolls on the basement steps. He was embarrassed and has never told anyone until now.

Thanks to people like Jan and Paul, our senior memories can be passed on to the younger generation who are now making memories that will be passed on to their generations.

Be grateful for your Jackson County treasures!

Charlotte Beeson Toon lives in Fairfield, Calif.

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