Offbeat Oregon History

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Offbeat Oregon History - Flying saucer stories got their start in Pendleton

If you were getting ready to take a UFO-themed road trip around the western U.S., there are several places that would naturally be at the top of the list. There's Roswell, New Mexico, of course. And...

 

Offbeat Oregon History: Old-time country doctors led colorful and interesting lives

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 some...

 

Offbeat Oregon History - Youngsters' summer shipwreck adventure couldn't happen in today's world

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...

 

Offbeat Oregon History: Portland's 'Temperance War of 1874:' The backstory

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 there. Portland's...

 

Offbeat Oregon History - Plain-talking preacher was too blunt for Legislature's comfort

Back in 1859, when 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 cloth...

 

Offbeat Oregon History - Filming of 'Worst Western ever' was an unforgettable spectacle in Oregon

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 testament to directorship run amok, a baroque...

 

Offbeat Oregon History - Dry town's sting on local drugstore's 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...

 

OFFBEAT OREGON HISTORY:Klamath County's squabble over courthouses wasted $3.1 million

Back in the early years of the Beaver State, the location of the county courthouse was a very big deal. There are stories of residents of one town stealing the county records from another in the dark...

 

Offbeat Oregon History - Central Oregon's pioneer aviators weren't afraid to take risks

Part of the problem with owning and operating the only flight school in town in the 1920s and 1930s was, every time one of your students slapped together some home-built piece of kit, you'd be...

 

Offbeat Oregon History - Central Oregon's Lost Crystal Cave: Is it real, or is it folklore?

Central Oregon is cave country. There may be more caves, discovered and undiscovered, within a 100-mile radius of Bend than anywhere else in the country - ranging in size from tiny, dangerous lava...

 

Offbeat Oregon History

On April 12, 1918, Oregonians opened their newspapers to learn that there was a traitor in their midst. “Portland librarian radical in declaring loyalty to kaiser!” shrieked the Salem Statesman. ...

 

Offbeat Oregon History

Around 10 p.m. on the night of Saturday, March 19, 1932 - just a few months before Prohibition was ended - four vehicles rolled furtively into the little Coast Range town of Toledo. A big,...

 

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...

 

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...

 

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...

 

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