Fall 2020

Issue 121:3

In this issue, authors explore the troubled history of Timberline lodge in the early 1950s, Kathryn Clarke’s term as Oregon’s first woman state senator, Michael “Mick” Hoban’s role as the first Portland Timbers’ soccer player and soccer ambassador in Oregon, and a sign in the Oregon Historical Society’s museum collection from the 1963 Seaside Riot.

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In this Issue

When the Mountain Went Dark: Trouble at Timberline Lodge in the Early 1950s

by Joshua B. Fisher

Timberline Lodge, located on the south flank of Mount Hood, features stunning views of Mount Jefferson and the Cascade Mountains to the south, is one of Oregon’s most popular tourist attractions. Completed in 1938, the lodge was the state’s largest recreation project initiated by the Works Progress Administration (WPA). In this research article, Joshua B. Fisher discusses how from its opening to the mid 1950s, “Timberline Lodge transitioned from a panacea for the burgeoning Oregon tourism and ski industry to a mismanaged and deteriorating white elephant,” which resulted from a series of private investors with dubious intentions. Timberline Lodge’s history, Fisher describes, “sheds light on the interplay between public and private interests in controlling a key government property,” but calls attention to omissions in public records necessary to answer additional questions and draw further conclusions.

The Senator and the Steamroller

by Pat Speth Sherman

Kathryn Clarke of Douglas County, Oregon, is a notable figure in Oregon history for being the first woman state senator, however, after finishing her term she faded in to relative obscurity. Clarke worked to promote issues that she and her constituents cared about, but her influence on public policy was negligible. In this Oregon Voices piece, Pat Speth Sherman explores Clarke’s time in the state senate and the factors that hampered her effectiveness, including being a woman. According to Sherman, exploring “Clarke’s brief tenure in the senate…offers insights about not only her experiences but also the political machinations of the day.” Clarke’s story also helps illuminate how “women are no longer the exception in political affairs,” but “there is still much work to be done” to achieve gender parity.

Portland’s Soccer Universe: An Interview with Michael “Mick” Hoban, Portland Timbers’ First Player and U.S. Soccer Ambassador

by Libby Provost and Morgen Young

Although tens of thousands of supporters attend home games of the Portland Timbers and Portland Thorns FC, soccer was not a household name in the United States until the 1970s. In this Oregon Voices piece, Libby Provost and Morgen Young interviewed Michael “Mick” Hoban, who was the first player signed to the Timbers in 1975, where he played for three years. During those early years, he also served as the team’s community relations manager and a great deal of time hosting clinics in the community to explain the rules of the game. Hoban was also served as a liaison between curators and the soccer community when Provost and Young worked with the Oregon Historical Society on curating its exhibition, We Are the Rose City! A History of Soccer in Portland, which opened in July 2020.

Material Witness: The Seaside Riots of 1962–1964

by Silvie Andrews

In this Object Feature, Oregon Historical Society Museum Cataloger Silvie Andrews highlights a sign from the museum’s collection that is connected to a 1963 Labor Day weekend incident commonly known as the Seaside Riots. The sign was the result of a 1962 incident where a large crowd of young vacationers clashed with police and firefighters when they tried to disburse crowds on the beach during the three-day weekend. The riots claimed national headlines, and “opinions clashed over the melee’s cause, its long-term implications, which parties were responsible for preventing a recurrence, and what actions those parties needed to take.” As Andrews describes, “Objects do not speak for themselves; instead, they function as vessels for the spoken and unspoken values of those who observe, use, and own them.” Objects such as this stolen sign “reminds us that often the most compelling histories are to be found in the margins.”

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