Celebrate Terry Skibby: A Life with Camera

Terry Skibby: A Life with Camera is the newest collection available in the Southern Oregon Digital Archives. The collection recognizes Ashland Historic Commissioner and photographer Terry Skibby for his lifetime of photography here in Ashland. Celebrate the public release of the Terry Skibby Photograph Collection on Tuesday, May 21, 2019 from 4-6 p.m. in the Meese Room of the Hannon Library at Southern Oregon University. The event which kicks off Ashland’s 2019 Heritage Preservation Week, is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

See some of Skibby’s photographic work at the event and also recognize the many individuals and agencies that are important to Ashland’s historic preservation initiative. Current and previous Historic Commission board members will be recognized as well as the architects who have made historic preservation a core priority in design and restoration. Land use planner Mark Knox of KDA Homes is keynote speaker.

The Tuesday, May 21 Terry Skibby event is the kickoff for Ashland’s 2019 Heritage Preservation Week. Ashland’s annual Historic Preservation Awards Ceremony, hosted by Mayor John Stromberg, will take place on Wednesday May 22 at 12:30 p.m. at Pioneer Hall, located at 73 Winburn Way.

Ashland Memorial Mausoleum at Mountain View Cemetery will be open for self-guided tours on Thursday May 23 from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m., with a special tour given at 2 p.m. by Ellen Babin of the Ashland Historic Commission. The Mausoleum is located on the east side of Ashland Street and Normal Avenue. The Egyptian Style building built in 1924 has double-leaf bronze doors with transom and beveled glass lights. The interior includes a chapel, a vestibule and wings which project from the center. Interior walls are faced with a wainscot of matched Alaskan white marble sheets which cover the lower walls and crypts. The upper walls and cove ceiling are plastered and the floor is sheathed in marble. A large stained glass window in the chapel was executed by the Povey Brothers Company of Portland, as were smaller windows in each end of the wings. Bronze grills provide ventilation.

On Friday May 24 from 2 - 3:30 p.m., Terry Skibby will lead a tour of the Ashland Railroad District. The tour will begin at the Railroad Park gazebo on A Street. 

Brian Terry Skibby was born in Ashland, Oregon in 1945 and first picked up a camera as a young boy. Since that day, he's had a camera at hand almost every waking hour and has photographed much of Ashland. Skibby and others like him who are passionate about heritage preservation were central to the formation of Ashland’s Historic Commission, galvanized into action when the E.K. Anderson House was demolished in the mid-1970s. He was involved in the designation of Ashland’s Historic Districts, the preservation of the Ashland Public Library’s Carnegie Building in 1999 and the restoration of many historic properties, faithfully documenting each significant event. 

Terry Skibby has served either as commissioner or chair of the Ashland Historic Commission since 1989 and his heritage preservation work was recognized in 1996 with the Ashland's James Ragsland Volunteer Award. Much of Skibby’s work is focused on architectural details: the commercial structures that line the streets, homes that were built 100 years ago and still stand today or are gone. Skibby has also diligently photographed the buildings destined for removal and redevelopment and has captured the detail of historic residential and commercial structures that are considered for modification by Ashland’s Historic Commission. Perhaps of greatest interest are the countless photos he has taken of Ashland’s streets, familiar vistas and landmarks and every phase of the downtown Plaza. 

Skibby's unique eye for the unusual and the mundane has fascinated viewers for more than 60 years and for the first time, his photographs are preserved and documented in this public collection within the Southern Oregon Digital Archives found at http://soda.sou.edu/stories. This photographic collection is a growing selection from Skibby's thousands of images, thanks in part to funding to Southern Oregon University's Hannon Library from the Jackson County Cultural Commission in 2018, the Institute for Museum and Library Services through the Oregon State Library in 2017 and the Oregon Heritage Commission in 2016.

For more information on the Southern Oregon Digital Archives and the Terry Skibby: A Life with Camera event on Tuesday, May 21 from 4-6 p.m. at the Hannon Library, Southern Oregon University, please call 541-552-6816. Please call City of Ashland’s Community Development Department at 541-488-5305 for more information on the Historic Preservation Awards ceremony and other Heritage Preservation Week activities.