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Offbeat Oregon History

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Murderers wandered McKenzie Valley begging friends to perjure themselves

In Charles Maturin's classic 1820 Gothic horror novel, "Melmoth the Wanderer," a sinister scholar named Melmoth, having sold his soul to the devil in return for an extra 150 years of life and sufferin...


OFFBEAT OREGON HISTORY: University of Oregon founding father was once its number-one opponent

A few years ago, students at the University of Oregon launched a campaign to get two campus buildings renamed: one named after Classics professor Frederick Dunn, and one named after the first... Full story


Region called BS on California papers' UFO stories in 1890s

Mostly that's down to a combination of some very enterprising teenagers in Macedonia who have figured out how to make a ton of money with Google AdSense, and a gaggle of political leaders who use the... Full story


OFFBEAT HISTORY: Anarchist newspaper editors jailed for publishing 'naughty' articles

The editors and writers of Anarchist-Communist newspaper, The Firebrand, published in Portland and distributed nationwide from 1895 to 1897, surely expected to get some resistance from the establishme...


Was Joe Drake a murderer, or just an innocent patsy?

On April 1, 1884, an event occurred that probably should have tipped 25-year-old woodcutter Joseph Drake off that bad things were coming his way: His neighbor, David Swartz, filed for divorce from his...


Offbeat Oregon History: Murderer learned 'Unwritten Law' doesn't cover brother-in-laws

The late 1880s in Oregon, and around the country, saw a substantial rise in the number of murderers who tried to invoke the "Unwritten Law" to justify their crimes. The "Unwritten Law" is the idea tha...


If Japan had invaded, the Tillamook Guerillas would've been ready

Early 1942 was a really nerve-racking time to be an Oregonian - especially if you lived on the coast. The United States had just gone to war against a country that was already famous for being able... Full story


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