Finn J.D. John

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

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 ...

Image: Wikimedia ## “Mysterious Billy” Smith as seen in a promotional photograph in the mid-1890s, when he was Welterweight Champion of the World.

Offbeat Oregon: World champion boxer by day, shanghaier by night

In 1903, shanghaier Larry Sullivan was at the height of his power in Portland. Hard-fisted and belligerent, yet socially polished and with what passed in old Portland society for refined manners, ...

Image: Postcard ## A turn-of-the-century postcard image of Portland’s lower harbor. The tall ships pictured here are almost certainly staffed with a few shanghaied sailors.

Offbeat Oregon: Portland’s ‘Shanghai Tunnels’ mainly myth, but not entirely

One of the most popular tourist attractions for visitors to Portland is a tour of the “Shanghai Tunnels” that run beneath Old Town’s streets. Offbeat Oregon Finn J.D. John, ...

## This photo spread ran in the Feb. 5, 1922, issue of the Portland Morning Oregonian, illustrating an overview of the story of Alice Drexel’s whirlwind romance, elopement, and bitter disappointment at the hands of rakish Army aviator Captain William “Diamond Bill” Barrett of Hillsboro, Oregon.

Offbeat Oregon: Diamond Bill had a way with heiresses

Every now and then, one runs across a man who can sweet-talk absolutely anyone into anything. Such a man was William “Diamond Bill” Barrett Jr., the black sheep of a solid, respectable ...

Oregon Historical Society ## 
A rescue lifeboat of the type common in the mid-1880s, being used in a practice drill.

Offbeat Oregon : Station keeper’s cowardice cost 11 sailors their lives

Tales of the heroism of U.S. Lifesaving Service rescue boat crews (and their successors in the Coast Guard) are so frequent as to be almost unremarkable. After all, theirs is a job that attracts ...

Image: Central Oregon Books ## Dewey Morris, Roy Wilson, and Ed Nickols with their cargo sled outside the cabin by Little Lava Lake. This photo was probably taken when Morris and Wilson were dropped off at the cabin to spend the winter with Nickols. This was probably the sled that was used to transport their bodies to Lava Lake for disposal early the next year.

Offbeat Oregon: Trappers’ disappearance had relatives suspecting foul play

As the first day of March 1924 arrived, L. Sarah Wilson’s worry and alarm mounted. Something had happened. Something bad. Her son, 36-year-old Harry “Roy” Wilson, had promised ...

Image: UO Libraries ## A man stands on the roadbed cut into the face of Neahkahnie Mountain in the 1930s.

Offbeat Oregon: Old-time millworkers and loggers were a hardy lot

Nearly everyone whose family has been in Western Oregon for more than one or two generations has an older male relative who’s missing some parts — one or more fingers perhaps, or part ...

Image: Tom Friedel/www.birdphotos.com ## A pair of skunks in the wild.

Offbeat Oregon: ‘Beautiful pelt’ would have been best admired from afar

One of the most appealing aspects of life in rural Western Oregon, around the middle of the last century, was the wildlife. Loggers and mill workers in places like Valsetz and Wendling might not ...

Image: UO Libraries ## A view of grain ships at the docks in Albina, on the east side of the river at Portland, as seen in an 1887 issue of The West Shore magazine.

Offbeat Oregon: ‘Prepaid shanghaiing’ went badly amiss when victim died

Most of the time, the shanghaiing of sailors in old Astoria and Portland was a spur-of-the-moment kind of thing. It was resorted to when a ship captain needed a crew for an imminent departure, ...

Image: Oregon Historical Society ## This portrait of Laura Starcher was taken when her husband was mayor of Umatilla; in December 1916, she defeated him at the polls and took his job.

Offbeat Oregon: In 1916, Umatilla’s mayor got an election day surprise

It was around 2 p.m. on Election Day, in December of 1916, that Umatilla’s mayor, E.E. Starcher, first discovered that he was not running unopposed for re-election. Offbeat Oregon Finn ...

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