In this Issue:
by Peter a. Kopp
In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, hops — a central ingredient in beer-making — were the most important specialty crop in the Willamette Valley. Farmers began planting the crop just after the Civil War, and success resulted from ideal environmental conditions, an established agricultural infrastructure that dated to the 1820s, new technologies including railroads, and unending cultural desires for beer. Oregon hops offered small farmers cash income and brewers near and far the spice of their beer. Historian Peter A. Kopp examines the environmental and cultural origins of the Willamette Valley hop industry, arguing that the specialty crop offered economic diversity and a strong sense of community for the region’s residents while at the same time connecting local agriculture to urban beer production as well as people and materials across the world.
Portland Modern: The Northwest Architecture of Van Evera Bailey
by Hope H. Svenson
During his forty-year career, mid-century Oregon architect Van Evera Bailey (1903–1980) designed hundreds of modern residences, many of which are lived in today in the Portland metropolitan region. Bailey’s legacy is but little known outside local architectural circles and is continually eclipsed by those of his more famous contemporaries and fellow developers of the Northwest Regional style. Architectural historian Hope H. Svenson takes a fresh look at the domestic architecture of Van Evera Bailey, offering thorough analysis of several Bailey-designed houses in greater Portland. By situating his architecture in its broader regional and historical contexts, the author demonstrates the importance of Bailey’s contribution to Oregon’s built environment in defining and documenting the shifting cultural values of modern-era America and the Pacific Northwest.
Martin Luther’s Fragmented Body: Lutheranism in Astoria, Oregon
by C. Welborn
C. Welborn traces the history behind the unusually high number of Lutheran Churches in the relatively small town of Astoria, Oregon. In the time period between the late 1870s through the 1920s, Astoria had over twelve forms of Lutheranism. At least four forms currently remain through a complex process of decline, obsolescence, and merging. Reasons for the diverse and divergent forms range from common — including varying immigrant ethnicities in a period of strong Scandinavian emigration to America and the Pacific Northwest, and theological and polity differences between churches — to unusual — divisions based on the difficult local geography, ethnic clustering, and associated difficulties in mobility. Welborn suggests that divisive ethnic factors played a significant role in the many Lutheranisms exhibited in this small burg.
Sin in the Sagebrush: Creating an Exhibit for the High Desert Museum
by Robert Boyd
The exhibits staff and volunteers at the High Desert Museum spent three years researching, collecting, and producing Sin in the Sagebrush. The exhibit explored the role of drinking, gambling, prostitution, and other activities and entertainments on the Far West frontier that lay beyond the accepted boundaries of civil behavior. The museum’s Curator of Western History, Robert Boyd, traces the evolution of the exhibit, the process of collecting its artifacts and images, and the challenges of presenting an honest interpretation of this theme within the context of a family oriented museum.