OregonScape

The OregonScape feature in each issue of the Oregon Historical Quarterly highlights an image that has been carefully selected by OHS archivists for its historical importance or visual appeal. OregonScapes provide readers a window into OHS’s massive collections and our staff’s depth of knowledge about those collections.

OHS Research Library, Oregonian Negative Collection, Org. Lot 139, no. 5740

OregonScape: Summer 2019

Issue 120:2

This ivy covered building, located at the corner of Southwest Fifth Avenue and Taylor Street in downtown Portland, Oregon, was the second location of the Portland Art Museum (PAM). Founded in 1892, PAM’s first space was located in a public library at the corner of Southwest Seventh Avenue and Stark Street and was primarily a venue for small exhibitions. The museum, expanding in collections and staff, quickly outgrew this space, and by 1905, coinciding with the Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition, it had moved in to its new home a number of blocks to the south.

OHS Research Library, “Grunts and Groans,” MI 09429

OregonScape: Spring 2019

Issue 120:1

Grunts and Groans, a 1933 silent film, was made by Herbert Miller, a member of the Portland, Oregon, chapter of the Amateur Cinema League (ACL). The film shows a day in the life of the Turn Verein Gymnasium, which was located at 1139 Southwest 13th Avenue in downtown Portland.

OHS Research Library, Oregon Journal Collection, Org Lot 1027, “Dawson Park” Folder

OregonScape: Winter 2018

Issue 119:4

Dawson Park, located at Northeast Stanton Street and Williams Avenue, is a Portland city park located in the heart of the Albina neighborhood. On September 28, 1968, community members, frustrated by an increasing number of men seeking prostitutes in the area, protested in the park. Along with the accompanying photograph, the Oregon Journal reported that in addition to the added crime in the area that “school girls, wives have been accosted.” A Portland police vice squad officer is quoted by the Oregonian on October 27 of that year as saying: “We’re not social workers. We’re not out to save anybody. But if somebody wants to try and help herself get out of the racket, we’re going to help her. It’s one less girl on the streets, one less headache.”

Oregonian Negatives Collection, Org Lot 139, no. 5099

OregonScape: Fall 2018

Issue 119:3

In 1922, the U.S. Department of Commerce granted the Oregon Publishing Company, publisher of the Oregonian newspaper, the ninety-eighth radio license in the country. On March 22 that year, the station began broadcasting for the first time with the call letters KGW — the first station in Portland used for commercial purposes. Located in the Oregonian Building Tower at 537 SW Sixth Avenue in downtown Portland, KGW was notable for its early variety shows, quiz shows, and debates.

OHS Research Library, Org. Lot 370, 1013

OregonScape: Summer 2018

Issue 119:2

Lilla Leach was a field botanist and nature enthusiast and, along with her husband John Leach, collected plant specimens in Oregon and the West. Their photograph collection at the Oregon Historical Society, numbering in the thousands, includes many examples of trees, flowers, and mushrooms native to Oregon. They also donated a collection of 3,000 pressed plants to the University of Oregon in 1963. The Leaches are perhaps best known today for their property along Johnson Creek — originally called Sleepy Hollow­ — now named the Leach Botanical Garden (well worth a visit!).

OHS Research Library, Cronise-Trover Studio Collection, org. lot 1, negative no. A886d

OregonScape: Spring 2018

Issue 119:1

In the latter part of the nineteenth century, Miss Hazel Keyes, along with her pet monkey Jennie Yan Yan, would don parachutes and jump out of hot air balloons to the delight of many. The daring aeronauts performed up and down the West Coast, including at a “free exhibition” on Mount Tabor in Portland, Oregon, in September 1893. That performance was followed a month later by a one-mile ascent above Salem, Oregon, to a crowd over 500 people. Readers can find out more about Keyes and Jennie Yan Yan in William Kalt’s new book, The Wild & Crazy Saga of Miss Hazel Keyes: Fact Hammers Fiction, available in May 2018.

OHS Research Library, Photo Art Collection, PA 358957-13, Org. Lot 791

OregonScape: Winter 2017

Issue 118:4

This view looking east toward Mt. Hood from the new John Deere Regional Distribution Center is near the corner of 181st Street and San Rafael Street in Gresham, Oregon. The photograph, one of a series, was taken in November 1965 by Photo Art Studios on behalf of Deere & Company for their annual report at a cost of $250.00. Gates Rubber Products, no longer at this location, is visible in the distance.

OHS Research Library, Gay and Lesbian Periodicals Collection, MSS 2988-7

OregonScape: Fall 2017

Issue 118:3

“Find the words below which are closeted in the puzzle. They are trapped vertically, horizontally diagonally, backwards and forwards. Circle them so they can come out and be blatant!” This sentence accompanied the pictured word search in the May 1981 issue of Matrix Magazine. There are fifty-one words total, including: separatist, self-defense, tickle, quest, monogamous, parthenogenesis, fuzzy, gay, play, femme, blood, closet, talk, goddess, and womyn.

OHS Research Library, be00015

OregonScape: Summer 2017

Issue 118:2

On September 17, 1931, the Oregonian reported that the Oregon State Police had arrested Paul Welter and Jose Flores for growing marijuana — also known as “Indian hemp” or “Mexican weed” — just west of Goble, Oregon. The plants were described as being “as tall as corn” and covered approximately 1.5 acres. Since no one on the police force had ever seen it growing, a sample plant was taken to a botanist in Portland before arrests were made.

OHS Research Library, be00014 (crop)

OregonScape: Spring 2017

Issue 118:1

Bud Dietlein’s Haceta Head on Oregon Coast Highway animated diorama, pictued in this image, was first displayed at the Golden Gate International Exposition in San Francisco (1939–1940). Dietlein, an artist based in Vancouver, Washington, took three months to complete the project. The diorama measures thirteen feet wide and five feet tall and consists of a featured seascape with a foreground, middle ground, and background. It also includes a patented “wave action” mechanism to produce an ocean spray effect using a series of rollers and cut out celluloid. The diorama was an instant success — with some noting at the time that it was the best part of the large Oregon exhibit.

Horses aid salmon fishing efforts in the Columbia River. The Photo-Art Commercial Studios photograph was taken in about 1930.  #390-F OrHi 490091 bb008054

OregonScape: Winter 2016

Issue 117:4

For thousands of years the Columbia River has supplied people with fish, especially salmon. Fishing has taken many forms, including Native Americans fishing from platforms at Celilo Falls and Willamette Falls and fish wheels operating twenty-four hours a day. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Astoria’s canneries were supplied by fishermen using seine nets pulled through the water of the Columbia River by horse teams. The Oregon Historical Society (OHS) library collections have many photographs of this horse-drawn fishing method. The OHS film archive includes 1920s newsreel footage of the horses in action and of the salmon being gaffed from the nets into small boats for transport.

George Putnam neg no 013846

OregonScape: Spring 2016

Issue 117:1

Today he is chiefly remembered as Amelia Earhart’s husband, but long before he met the aviator, G.P. Putnam was a resident of central Oregon. A grandson of the founder of G.P. Putnam’s Sons publishing house, George Palmer Putnam came to Bend in 1909.

Roads End, Lincoln County Oregon Journal, May 22, 1950 OHS digital no. bb013460

OregonScape: Fall 2015

Issue 116:3

On February 13, 1913, Governor Oswald West signed a law that officially made Oregon’s beaches a public highway. For decades people had been driving their wagons and buggies along the shore. Until Highway 101 was built, the only roads connecting coastal towns were on the north coast, between Astoria and Tillamook, and the south coast, from Coos Bay south to California. Along the central coast no such roads existed. The 1913 law instantly saved hundreds of miles of ocean shore for public travel and other uses, ensuring residents and visitors could continue to drive their cars and trucks from town to town, at least at low tide.

applegate reunion

OregonScape: Spring 2015

Issue 116:1

The Applegate brothers, Charles, Jesse, and Lindsay, came to Oregon with their families in the Great Migration of 1843. After brief stops at Fort Vancouver and near Salem, they settled near Dallas for a few years. In about 1850, all three brothers moved to a small community in northern Douglas County, which Jesse named Yoncalla. According to Oregon Geographic Names, the name came from a Native American phrase meaning “the home of the eagles.”

Sheep crossing the Owyhee River by Pascual Eiguren (photo courtesy of Fred Eiguren) OHS Research Library, OrHi 23965

OregonScape: Summer 2015

Issue 116:2

The southeast corner of Oregon is thought of by many as empty land. It is not. Watered by the Owyhee River and its tributaries, it is a land of cattle and sheep. Since the late nineteenth century, many immigrants, especially Basques, have settled in the area.

View of Washington Park near the Sacajawea statue OHS digital no. bb011969

OregonScape: Winter 2014

Issue 115:4

Portland residents have become accustomed to changes in their city over the years. Wharves and warehouses lining the Willamette River were replaced by the seawall and Harbor Drive. Harbor Drive was replaced by Waterfront Park. Commuters once rode trolleys, then buses, now light rail trains. Occasionally, however, it is possible to find a place that has barely changed in the last century. Such a place is in Washington Park, where Southwest Sacajawea Boulevard meets Southwest Lewis & Clark Circle.

Lantern slide: Hogs, Corn, Alfalfa and Orchard Beyond, Umatilla County by Arthur M. Prentiss OHS digital no. bb011560

OregonScape: Summer 2014

Issue 115:2

For decades schools have used visual images in their classes. Such visuals have included videos, films, slides, and in the early twentieth century, lantern slides. Lantern slides were large, generally 3 1/2 inches by 4 inches, and were originally printed on glass. Later slides were made of film sandwiched between glass sheets. Nearly all lantern slides were black-and-white photos, but they were often hand-colored, as in this example.

Pow Wow Tree, Summer 1910, Gladstone, Oregon (OrHi 51917)

OregonScape: Spring 2014

Issue 115:1

Though people have lived in the lower Willamette Valley for millennia, few identified sites remain from the times before the arrival of newcomers in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. One such place is The Pow Wow Tree, a big leaf maple tree (Acer macrophyllum) that grows near the Clackamas River. Near this tree, the Clackamas and Multnomah tribes would meet with other people to conduct business and settle affairs. The tree is now the emblem of the city of Gladstone.