In 1853 a preacher and pioneer geologist named Thomas Condon arrived in Oregon Territory. He would embrace both religion and science and devote his life to educating others about Oregon’s ancient history.
The people of Baker City knew him as a successful businessman and his home town’s most active booster. But few realized just how successful “Mr. Baker” had been. This is a story of ambition and achievement and one ordinary man’s relationship with the small town he loved.
Lift Ev’ry Voice explores Portland’s African American history with a focus on the turbulent 1960s, ’70s and early ’80s. At the time, issues surrounding urban renewal, school desegregation and brittle police relations were exploding both nationally and locally.
Few other cities in the world have water as pure and as well protected as Portland. For nearly 115 years, an ingenious, gravity-fed system has delivered mountain rainwater from an isolated river called the Bull Run. Yet the rich history of Portland’s water supply has unfolded largely unbeknownst to the people it serves.
In 1981, Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, a spiritual leader from India, and thousands of his disciples moved to Wasco and Jefferson Counties. On what had been the Big Muddy Ranch, the “sannyasins” set out to build a new city, a utopian community in the desert — Rajneeshpuram.
In 1859, Oregon became the 33rd state in the Union. Road to Statehood celebrates Oregon’s 150th birthday by exploring the lives of Native peoples already living here, the mountain men and fur trappers who came for adventure and wealth, and the pioneers who brought their hopes and prejudices with them over the Oregon Trail.
William Gladstone Steel is considered to be the “Father of Crater Lake” and was instrumental in preserving the Cascade Range Reserve.
World War II brought a great wave of workers and their families from across the country to work in the shipyards of Portland, and the city’s African American population grew from 2,000 to about 22,000. Many of the newcomers came with a shared passion for rhythm-and-blues and contemporary, danceable jazz, but they had come to a very segregated city that offered few venues for black people to perform or to listen to music. In the latest episode of Oregon Experience, explore a vibrant but short-lived period of Portland history: the post-WWII eruption of music and nightlife in the North/Northeast part of town. This was a colorful and significant chapter in the city’s cultural narrative, but one that is largely unknown even to those who now live in the heart of the music scene on North Williams Avenue.
For decades, Oregon legally excluded black people from settling in the region. Despite racists laws and attitudes, some came anyway. “Oregon’s Black Pioneers” examines the earliest African-Americans who lived and worked in the region during the mid-1800s. They came as sailors, gold miners, farmers and slaves. Their numbers were small, by some estimates just 60 black residents in 1850, but they managed to create communities, and in some cases, take on racist laws — and win.
The Lewis & Clark Expedition was a pivotal moment in American history. But the story of York, a slave to William Clark from boyhood and comrade on this journey, has been obscured by omission and stereotype. Searching for York paints a portrait of this unofficial member of the Corps of Discovery as it discusses the ways in which history is written.