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Mail Tribune 100, July 16, 1918

The following news items were drawn from the archives of the Mail Tribune 100 years ago.

CAR EXPLODES, DELAYS ALL TRAIN TRAFFIC

A bad freight wreck which delayed traffic in both directions on the Southern Pacific today and as a result of which a car load of low grade dynamite and a car of gasoline blew up occurred north of the depot at Ager, Calif., at 11 o’clock last night. Fortunately the dynamite was of low grade else there would have been more serious damage. As it was the damage was confined to four wrecked freight cars and contents, the destruction of several construction cars, standing on a side track, and a considerable portion of track destroyed.

The accident was caused by four cars of a passing freight train jumping the track and becoming derailed. These cars consisted of the cars of dynamite and gasoline, a car of crude oil and a car loaded with automobiles. The wreckage soon caught fire. Then began a series of explosions as keg after keg of dynamite on becoming heated let go. In the meantime the train crew succeeded in hauling the other cars of the train to a place of safety. The exploding cars of dynamite were hurled in every direction over the countryside but did not set fire to buildings. No one was hurt.

The wreckage was still burning at 2 o’clock this morning and it was not until this forenoon that the wreckage was cleared away and a new track built.

MEDFORD READY FOR ASHLAND PICNIC

The Ashland business men have invited all of the merchants of the valley, together with their families and their clerks and their families to hold a big Jackson county merchants’ basket picnic in their park the afternoon and evening of the 18th of this month.

In accepting this invitation the Medford merchants are going to close at noon and join in the frolic. Medford and the north end of the valley cars meet at Gates at 2:00 p.m. sharp. There will be room for all so be there in your best bib and tucker.

Your family as well as your clerk and his are included. It is a basket picnic so bring enough to feed for your family (hot coffee will be furnished) and if you are the proprietor bring enough for one person extra as we may want to take the band along, and if you go in your own car and have an extra seat or two be sure to go to Gates’ as we may need the extra room for someone who hasn’t a car or the band boys if we get them.

The Ashland-Talent crowd have challenged the north end to a baseball game, so bring any baseball mitts, bats, masks, etc., you have or can borrow or — as we want to show them up.

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News from 100 years ago