Finn J.D. John

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

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 ...

Image: Gazette-Times  ## An inset portrait of Uncle Joab Powell published in 1919 in John B. Horner’s book, “Oregon: Her History, Her Great Men, Her Literature.”

Offbeat Oregon: 'Uncle Joab' Powell was West's most famous pioneer preacher

About halfway between Crabtree and Lacomb, tucked into the side of a gentle hill, stands an old and somewhat austere-looking little white building known as Providence Pioneer Church. Offbeat Oregon Finn ...

UO Libraries ## Leonidas “Shorty Davis” Douris’s disappearance was covered extensively in newspapers, although no photograph of him was apparently available. This headline appeared in the Portland Morning Oregonian after a man claimed he’d been dumped into an old dry well. It turned out not to be true. Image:

Offbeat Oregon: Popular rancher’s disappearance may be state’s oldest cold case

The disappearance of sheep rancher Shorty Davis has got to be Central Oregon’s oldest cold case … there are older unsolved crimes, but it’s hard to come up with one that people are still ...

Image: United Artists ## The movie poster for “Harold Hecht’s ‘The Way West,’” released in 1967. The big-budget Western bombed at the box office.

Offbeat Oregon: Filming of 'worst Western ever' was an unforgettable spectacle

If you’ve never heard “Harold Hecht’s ‘The Way West’” referenced as a legendary box-office bomb, that’s probably because of Michael Cimino. Cimino’s epic ...

Joe Knowles as he appeared after emerging from the wilderness of northern Maine, wearing the skin of the bear he killed there. (Image: Small, Maynard & Co.)

Offbeat Oregon: War foiled survivalist’s quest to redeem reputation

On the morning of Tuesday, July 21, 1914, deep in the heart of the wilderness of the Siskiyous near the little hamlet of Holland, a naked man was soberly shaking the hand of an official-looking gentleman ...

The wreck of the Admiral Benson as it appeared in September 1930, three months after young Stan Allyn and Wally Stenlake explored it. By the time this picture was taken, it had sunk much further into the sand, and Stan and Wally could likely have paddled right up to the deck at the stern. (Image: Postcard) Rusty Rae/ News-Register##

Offbeat Oregon: Kids' shipwreck adventure couldn't happen today

The first day of summer vacation in 1930 was a real red-letter day for Washington High School students Stan Allyn and Wally Stenlake. Of course, every high-school kid looks forward to that first day of ...

Rusty Rae/News-Register## Warm Springs Indian Scouts in the field at the scene of the Modoc War, in 1873, pose for a photograph. Their leader, Capt. Donald McKay, is the man standing in the front. (Image: U.S. War Dep’t)

Offbeat Oregon: Oregon's own patent-medicine sensation?

    Ka-Ton-Ka cure-all actually produced in a Pennsylvania factory There was a time, in the late 1800s, when one of the most popular medicines in the country was a product painstakingly ...

Image: Oregon State University Libraries##Main Street in Forest Grove as it appeared in the early 1910s.

Offbeat Oregon: Sting on secret saloon didn’t go well

In 1899, the spiritual leaders of Forest Grove had a problem: There was a serpent in their Garden of Eden. Forest Grove was founded by members of the Congregational Church — a denomination directly ...

Web Design and Web Development by Buildable