Monthly Miscellany: October Edition

Here’s where we share stories, events and interesting tidbits you may have missed in the last month.

Get social with SOHS

This Facebook post about the test program Apple brought to Jacksonville in the early 90’s garnered a lot of interest and comments from folks who remember participating in the program.

Click the image to view the Facebook post

On October 5, 2011, Steve Jobs, the visionary co-founder of Apple Inc., which revolutionized the computer, music and mobile communications industries with such devices as the Macintosh, iPod, iPhone and iPad, dies at age 56 of complications from pancreatic cancer. (

In 1990 Apple Computer chose Jacksonville as a “living laboratory to help gauge consumer preferences for computer products.” Macintosh personal computers were given to local businesses as part of the test, 1990-1993.

Apple’s Operation Inspiration began in August 1990. The company first did a computer search for geographic names that included the words ″apple″ or ″Macintosh.″ It came up with Applegate Valley, just over the hill from Jacksonville. Despite its name, the region is not known for growing apples.

Apple wanted a small town without a dominant industry, where a mix of small businesses was the lifeblood of the economy.

Apple searched out people who had been too scared or too busy to invest in computers, and those who already had taken the plunge and introduced them to newer models of Macintosh personal computers.

Thirty-one businesses were chosen, including retail stores, restaurants, a lawyer, an accountant, a real estate agent, an architect, the Britt Festivals and a winery. Apple also gave computers to the elementary school, the library, City Hall, the chamber of commerce, and the police and fire departments. For about half the people, it was their first close encounter with a computer.


Then and Now Thursday

This was another popular Facebook post, featuring a shot of 42 E Main in Ashland.

We posed this question, “Does anyone remember Whitland Locke Photography? We found a few images in the SOU Digital Archives (mostly of folks skiing at Mt. Ashland) but couldn’t find any other information. If you have memories or stories or photos to share, please do! That’s how we keep history alive!” and got a BIG response! You can see the original post here.

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