Finn J.D. John

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

Image: Oregon Historical Society ## Sam Simpson as he appeared on the frontispiece of The Gold-Gated West: Songs and Poems, a posthumous collection of Simpson’s work published in 1910.

Offbeat Oregon: Quest led to madness and death

By 1899, when Samuel L. Simpson’s drinking problem finally got around to killing him, he was essentially Oregon’s poet laureate — the Stewart Holbrook of the 1800s. Offbeat Oregon Finn ...

Image: Oregon Historical Society ## California Street in Jacksonville as it appeared in the mid-1880s. The town probably looked not much different in 1868 when Sam Simpson and Ted Harper came through on the trail of the Wilson brothers’ stash of gold.

Offbeat Oregon: Wildest lost-cabin gold mine story may be true … or not

The “lost cabin gold mine” is a certifiable Western trope. If every ounce of legendary gold buried in an old log cabin became real and hit the banks at the same time, it would probably crash ...

Image: Oregon Historical Society ## T. Edgenton Hogg as he appeared in 1862, sporting his Confederate Navy uniform.

Offbeat Oregon: ‘Colonel’ Hogg’s war record? Robbery on the high seas

Corvallis/Toledo railroad tycoon T. Edgenton Hogg (pronounced “Hoag”) was always somewhat reticent about his past. Especially the Civil War part. To some extent, that was understandable. “Colonel” ...

Image: Britt Studios ## Ed Schieffelin in 1880, when he posed for a series of portraits in his prospecting outfit — including Sharps rifle, rock hammer, Smith & Wesson revolver and canteen.

Offbeat Oregon: Famous prospector’s death sparked ‘lost mine’ legends

They found the grizzled prospector’s body slumped over a sample of ore on the floor of the rude log cabin he’d been staying in, deep in the wilderness of southern Oregon, late in the spring ...

## In this old postcard image, the Columbia (Lightship LV-88) is shown dockside after it was brought to Seattle to serve as a museum ship, in the early 1960s. This was the lightship whose crew claimed to have seen “Colossal Claude” in 1934. No. 88 went into service in 1909 and stayed there until 1939, when it was replaced with Columbia Lightship LV-93.

Offbeat Oregon: ‘Colossal Claude,’ the great Columbia Bar Sea Serpent

Ask anyone to name a mythical Oregon creature, and you’ll get a very predictable answer: Bigfoot, a.k.a. Sasquatch. Offbeat Oregon Finn J.D. John, an instructor at OSU, writes ...

Image: University of Oregon Libraries ##
The first page of the “Voters’ Book of Remembrance,” A.C. Edmunds’ double-sided election’s-eve flier, which insulted Portland voters badly enough to turn them off both temperance and women’s suffrage for nearly 40 years.

Offbeat Oregon: The ‘own-goal’ champ of state history

This is a continuation of the Offbeat Oregon column that appeared in last week’s Connections. A.C. Edmunds’ experience in Portland before the Civil War had been so short, and by his personal ...

Image: Library of Congress ## This drawing, from an 1874 issue of Frank Leslie’s Weekly, shows the Ohio women who were the Portland temperance workers’ primary inspiration, singing and praying before a saloon. This scene, drawn by S.B. Morton, is set in Logan, Ohio.

Offbeat Oregon: With a friend like A.C. Edmunds, suffragists needed no enemies

One of the most dramatic things that can happen in a soccer game is an “own-goal.” Not the kind where a player on offense bounces a shot off a defender and into the net, but the full-on ...

Image: Oregon Historical Quarterly ## The Oregon City Transportation Co.’s riverboat Pomona in a circa 1899 promotional image, just below Willamette Falls.

Offbeat Oregon: Sternwheelers on the Willamette River sometimes towed barns, caught flying fish

The Willamette River was running high and wild on the morning of Feb. 5, 1890, as Alden and Arthur Graham set out from Oregon City in their sternwheel riverboat for the daily run to Portland. Offbeat ...

Image: Leland John ## This painting shows an old “bowpicker” gillnetting boat on blocks by the river.

Offbeat Oregon: Astoria, San Francisco once powered nation’s marine-engine industry

Between 1908 and 1911, something happened that almost certainly saved hundreds of men from drowning on the Columbia River Bar. Offbeat Oregon Finn J.D. John, an instructor at OSU, writes ...

Image: Oregon Historical Quarterly ## When they first arrived in Salem, Drs. Adeline and Gideon Weed rented an office on the second floor of this book shop, in 1858.

Offbeat Oregon: Asahel Bush crossed swords with state’s first woman doctor, and lost

On any list of Oregon “firsts,” there’s one name that almost never pops up: Dr. Adeline M. Weed. Offbeat Oregon Finn J.D. John, an instructor at OSU, writes about ...

Image: Oregon State Bar Bulletin ## This family portrait shows Martha Carson Lavadour, David and Letitia’s daughter, with her husband Narcisse and son Nelson, circa 1875.

Offbeat Oregon: Neighbor’s theft of widow and orphans’ home was too much for jury

  Especially in the late 1800s, the Oregon frontier was no stranger to acts of judicial lynching — where the local legal system was corrupted to provide cover for murder. Offbeat Oregon Finn ...

Eaaumi/ Wikimedia ## The Abraham Tichner house as it appears today. Tichner had it built for his family in 1918.

Offbeat Oregon: How Abe Tichner hustled the rubes at 1870s county fairs

When Abe Tichner died, on April 29 of 1935, he was one of Portland’s most respected citizens. Offbeat Oregon Finn J.D. John, an instructor at OSU, writes about unusual and little-known ...

Image: Oregon Historical Society ## Portland mayors Terry Schrunk and Dorothy McCullough Lee as they looked when they first took office — he at age 44, she at 48.

Offbeat Oregon: Mayors Lee, Schrunk set tone for city’s modern era

The history of Portland mayors in the 20th century largely comes down to the story of the struggle of progressive reformers against various forms of corruption and vice. Offbeat Oregon Finn ...

Image: Library of Congress ##
George H. Williams as he appeared shortly after the Civil War. By the time he was inaugurated as mayor of Portland, Williams was in his 80s.

Offbeat Oregon: In 1800s Portland, at least one mayor paid to play

Today’s article continues our round-up of colorful mayors in Oregon’s largest and most powerful city —starting with one of the most famously dubious politicians ever to grace the office: ...

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