Iradell Phipps and Conrad Broback saw a golden opportunity in 1884. After convincing the railroad to build its depot on their prairie land near Bear Creek, they began building what became the second-fastest growing city in America, with over 100 new buildings in its first year. Few Medfordites today know that the city once had four separate railroads and was renowned throughout Europe. Intrepid flyers Eugene Ely, Pat Patterson, Seely Hall, and Charles Lindbergh made Medford a regional air hub during the early days of flight. In 1910, Medford had more automobiles per capita than any town in the world, and in 1923, it straddled the world's longest paved road. Told through photographs, facts, and anecdotes, the story of the hometown of film and radio stars Pinto Colvig and Ginger Rogers, as well as sports greats like Dick Fosbury, Bill Bowerman, and Kyle Singler, is a captivating read.
Kevin Keating majored in history at UCLA, where he gained interest in local history while surreptitiously exploring the underground bridges and tunnels beneath campus at night. He teaches history at St. Mary's School in Medford and has taught local history at Butte Falls High School.