If you love Oregon history, the Southern Oregon Historical Society and Jackson County Library Services have a deal for you.

If you love Oregon history, the Southern Oregon Historical Society and Jackson County Library Services have a deal for you.

Beginning in January, the two organizations will offer a yearlong monthly lunchtime program called "Land of the Empire Builders" focusing on local history in celebration of Oregon's 150th birthday.

Featuring local historians and writers, the lecture series will examine the people, places and things that shaped Oregon history, according to Amy Blossom at the Ashland Library. Many of the presentations will be illustrated, she said.

Local residents are invited to bring a brown-bag lunch while enjoying the free programs, which will be held on the first Wednesday of each month at the Central Library, 205 S. Central Ave., Medford, and on the second Wednesday of the month at the Ashland Library, 410 Siskiyou Blvd., Ashland. Each program will be from noon to 1 p.m.

Lecture topics and presenters will include:

January — "An Ornery Tradition: 150 Years of Southern Oregon Politics," by Jeff LaLande. February — "The Women of Hanley Farm," by Stephanie Butler. March — "Going Places: From Pacific Highway to Interstate 5, the History of Travel in the Rogue Valley," by George Kramer. April — "Oregon Trails, Oregon Tales," by Tom Nash. May — "The Lithia Park Story: The Power Struggle that Determined the Fate of Ashland Creek Canyon," by Marjorie O'Harra. June — "Boomers, Charlatans and Thieves of Early Medford," by Ben Truwe. July — "Chaining and Taming: The Lasting Impact of the 1851-1855 Oregon Land Surveys," by Kay Atwood. August — "Pioneer Women Photographers," by Suzanne M.M. Warner. September — "Harbingers of Doom: The Chinese of Jacksonville," by Larry Smith. October — "Roxy Ann: Stories Behind Place Names," by Anne Billeter. November — "Southern Oregon at War," by Elizabeth Corethers. December — "Whistles in the Canyons: the Coming of the Railroad to Southern Oregon," by Larry Mullaly.