Finn J.D. John

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

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/ ## 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 ...

Image: UO Libraries ## A street scene in Astoria in the mid-1880s, published in an 1887 issue of The West Shore magazine.

Offbeat Oregon: Letter to traveler's family told of his unfortunate end

Letter from afar gave young traveler’s family a view to a shanghaiing   Sometime around 1885 or 1886, a handsome-but-diffident-looking young man named Carroll Beebe got on a westbound ...

Image: OSU Libraries ##
The Portland Morning Oregonian’s news story about Darius Norris’s shanghaiing.

Offbeat Oregon: Shyster lawyer planned to steal man’s land by shanghaiing him

In the late 1880s, in the wilds of southwest Washington near the mouth of the Cedar River, a “stump rancher” named Peter Norris developed a more-than-professional interest in the wife ...

Image: E.R. Huckleberry ## Dr. E.R. Huckleberry, with his doctor’s bag and Hudson automobile-ambulance. After trying other makes of vehicles, he found the Hudson the most durable.

Offbeat Oregon: Lives of old-time country doctors anything but boring

One of the most colorful and rewarding occupations in human history was that of a country doctor in the first half of the 20th century. By about 1900, breakthroughs in medical science had put ...

UO Libraries ## A lithograph of the scene on a bleary Saturday morning in the Portland city jail, published in The West Shore magazine in 1888.

Offbeat Oregon: Portland's 'Temperance Crusade' collapsed when leaders got too preachy

As detailed in last week’s article, Portland’s legal authorities responded to the riot and street fight at the Webfoot Saloon on April 16, 1874, by arresting not the rioting brawlers, ...

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

Offbeat Oregon: Saloon riot led to charges, but not against the rioters

It was April Fools’ Day of 1874 when saloonkeeper Walter Moffett, proprietor of the Webfoot Saloon and sworn antagonist of the women of the Women’s Temperance Prayer League, escalated ...

Oregon Historical Society## This photograph shows Portland Police Chief Lappeus’s saloon and theater, the Oro Fino. This photo was made in 1876, two years after the temperance crusade, when Lappeus was still chief of police.

Offbeat Oregon: Stubborn saloonkeeper refused to play nicely

Part two in a four-part series on the temperance riots of 1874. As March of 1874 drew to a close, there was a certain uneasiness among the businessmen of the liquor industry in Portland. A large ...

Image: Library of Congress ## This illustration, from Frank Leslie’s publication, shows the Ohio ladies who were the Portland temperance workers’ primary inspiration, singing and praying before a saloon in early 1874. This scene, sketched by S.B. Morton, is in Logan, Ohio.

Offbeat Oregon: The story behind Portland's 'Temperance War of 1874'

  The temperance movement, when it came to Portland in the early 1870s, really shouldn’t have taken anybody by surprise. What was surprising, though, was the form it took when it got ...

Ben Maxwell/Salem Public Library ##
Providence Pioneer Church, the church founded by “Uncle Joab” Powell, as it appeared in 1954. This building was constructed some time after Powell’s death; it dates from 1898.

Offbeat Oregon: 'Uncle Joab' too blunt for Legislature's comfort

Back in 1859, the pioneer lawmakers of the very first Oregon State Legislature extended an invitation to Missionary Baptist circuit preacher “Uncle Joab” Powell, the most famous man of the ...

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