Finn J.D. John

"Offbeat Oregon:" Unusual stories of historic Oregon ... suggestions welcomed.

Image: Postcard ## This 1906 image, titled “Cowboys Racing to Dinner,” illustrates what horse racing looked like for a lot of turn-of-the-century Oregonians.

Offbeat Oregon: Horse racing, and horse-race fixing, used to be wildly popular

Horse racing is a sport largely faded from the scene in Oregon. There’s still an active community, and plenty of money changes hands at racetracks — but it’s more or less a niche ...

Image: Tyrone Marshall/Linfield College ##
Third generation dorymen, brothers Mark (at left helm) and Brett Lichtenthaler, launch the Cape Kiwanda dory Moby Dick in 2012.

Offbeat Oregon: No fishing fleet quite like the dories of Pacific City

The Cape Kiwanda dory fleet of Pacific City Offbeat Oregon Finn J.D. John, an instructor at OSU, writes about unusual and little-known aspects of Oregon history.

Image: Postcard ## Haystack Rock and The Needles, as seen from the beach south of the rock. Right around the middle of the rock, in this view, is the spot where a convenient little shelf of land once stood, which provided climbers with an easy place to start from. It was blasted away in October 1968 to discourage climbers.

Offbeat Oregon: Haystack Rock once drew daredevil climbers

One could think of late June and early July of 1968 in Cannon Beach as the Summer of the Dead Baby Birds. Offbeat Oregon Finn J.D. John, an instructor at OSU, writes about unusual and little-known ...

Image: Oregon Historical Society ## The fireproof stone building that was under construction throughout the short life of the college.

Offbeat Oregon: Higher education got off to rough start in Eugene

The University of Oregon, as most alumni can tell you, was founded in 1876 as the flagship of Oregon’s university system. Offbeat Oregon Finn J.D. John, an instructor at OSU, ...

##In this postcard image, prospectors search for gold in the Cascade Mountains, circa 1930.

Offbeat Oregon: Mining claim was a decent spot to wait out Depression

It was, most historians agree, the nadir of the Great Depression. The entire country had gone from singing “Happy Days are Here Again” to “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?” in a few ...

## An early-1900s vintage picture postcard shows five different methods of mining gold: quartz stamping, hydraulic, dredging (with an old-school bucket-line dredge), use of a doodlebug and panning.

Offbeat Oregon: New law foiled plan to seize mines by force

In the years that followed the American Civil War, the federal government was gasping for cash. Offbeat Oregon Finn J.D. John, an instructor at OSU, writes about unusual and little-known ...

Image: Postcard ## This postcard image shows the entrance to the Samson Mine, near Baker City.

Offbeat Oregon: Prospectors chasing rumors pass up a fortune — twice

It was the spring of 1862, and prospector William C. Aldred had been in the gold fields of California since the Gold Rush first broke out — about a dozen years. And he’d hit just enough ...

Image: M.O. Stevens ## Maxwell Point towers over the beach at Oceanside. The “Lee Film Corporation” actually contracted with an Oceanside construction firm to build a prop lighthouse on it.

Offbeat Oregon: Bootlegger trap was huge – but expensive – success

“Lobster trap for bootleggers” was a huge but wildly expensive success  Offbeat Oregon Finn J.D. John, an instructor at OSU, writes about unusual and little-known aspects ...

Image: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. ##
The top of the Cascade rapids as they appeared in 1929, shot from an airplane flying around 2,000 feet. The mountainous toe jutting out from the right is the Bonneville Landslide; the broad expanse of river in the foreground is what remains of the impoundment the landslide formed.

Offbeat Oregon: Was legend of the Bridge of the Gods true? Probably

In the opening scene of “The Warlord of Mars,” Edgar Rice Burroughs’ third “John Carter of Mars” book, the hero is paddling up the great River Iss as it flows out ...

Image: Oregon Historical Society##Gov. Oswald West and Dr. Viola M. Coe look on as Abigail Scott Duniway, center, signs the Equal Suffrage Proclamation in November 1912. In that year, women in Oregon won their right to vote, with West’s help.

Offbeat Oregon: How a banana peel changed the course of Oregon history

On your next visit to the beach, you might want to bring along a banana. One of these humble fruits played a small but important part in the historical chain of events that led to the state’s beaches ...

Image: archive.org##This illustration from the Feb. 18, 1865, issue of Harper’s Weekly shows celebration breaking out in the U.S. House of Representatives after the 13th Amendment was passed.

Offbeat Oregon: Confederate refugees made big changes in state politics

The urban-rural divide in Oregon is something that’s gotten quite a bit of press recently, after a group of Republicans left the state to deny a quorum for a bill they opposed. But it’s a ...

Image: Leland John ##  Jonathan Bourne Jr. as he appeared when he was in his 30s.

Offbeat Oregon: 1890s ‘Hold-Up Session’ featured giant house party

At the time of this writing, the Oregon Legislature was stuck, unable to do anything; a group of lawmakers had gone off to Idaho for the express purpose of denying the legislature’s leaders ...

Image: Salem Public Library ## The four masted barque Arracan, one of the last of the British grain fleet in Portland, moored below the Broadway Bridge about 1913.

Offbeat Oregon: Bungling attempt marked end of shanghaiing era

The election of 1904 didn’t end the practice of shanghaiing in Portland, but it did put a huge and (eventually) fatal dent in it. Offbeat Oregon Finn J.D. John, an instructor at OSU, ...

Image: OSU Libraries ## Portland Harbor as it appeared on a busy day around the turn of the 20th century. The big four-masted barque in the foreground, flying a Union Jack from her mast, is typical of the mostly-British grain fleet ships that were Portland crimps’ primary customers.

Offbeat Oregon: In regulation attempt, Oregon granted shanghaier monopoly

Things were looking a bit grim for former Welterweight Champion of the World William “Mysterious Billy” Smith and his partners in almost-crime, brothers Harry and Jim White. Offbeat ...

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