An auction to benefit the Southern Oregon Historical Society raised $30,000 Tuesday night in Medford.

An auction to benefit the Southern Oregon Historical Society raised $30,000 Tuesday night in Medford.

"We sold everything," said Allison Weiss, executive director of the historical society.

About 120 people showed up to buy 46 items, ranging from framed reproductions of historical photographs, 12 sculptures by the artist/conservationist Bruce Killen, a sculpture by local artist E.H. Stedman, a collection of Nancy Ann Storybook dolls and assorted antique collectibles.

The majority of the money was raised by the sculptures. The dolls were sold from an online auction.

Weiss said the historical society conducted the auction with little overhead so that almost all the proceeds will directly benefit the research library, which reopened Tuesday.

SOHS shut down most of its operations last September to reorganize and come up with a plan to deal with its ongoing financial crisis.

The organization is relying mostly on volunteers to keep the research library open from noon to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Friday.

Weiss said the $30,000 will be dedicated to pay for special projects in the research library, including computerizing records, purchasing archival supplies and data entry.

Because of the success of this auction, Weiss said, the historical society will likely hold a couple of auctions a year, relying mostly on its volunteers to help stage them.

Framed, vintage photos of the area appeared to be extremely popular during the auction, so Weiss expects the historical society will attempt to better market them in the future.

She said the auction is just one of many steps the historical society will undertake to generate revenues for operations.

In April, Jackson County commissioners agreed to give the historical society a $200,000 advance on $1 million expected from the sale of the U.S. Hotel in Jacksonville.

The money will help tide the historical society over for six months until the sale is completed and the county money repaid.

The $1 million from the sale would allow the society to pay off a $600,000 lien on the History Center in Medford, with the remainder providing operating expenses for about two years.

The historical society expects it will have an operational budget of $300,000, but that should increase to $500,000 annually once more fundraising efforts are rolled out.

Reach reporter Damian Mann at 776-4476, or e-mail dmann@mailtribune.com.