The mint industry in Oregon took root during World War I as the conflict interrupted previously reliable sources of herbs and herbal extracts from Europe — and some newspaper accounts boasted that the state’s mint was more prolific and superior in quality to other states’ crops. Mint growers in Oregon during that time were based primarily in the Willamette Valley, with Albany as an unofficial hub.
The Newport Crab Festival first took place in 1938 and was celebrated annually until the early 1950s. Events varied year to year and included parades, motorcycle stunts, and water acrobats. The highlight each year, however, was the distribution of free, freshly opened crab to thousands of visitors.
In June 1981, new owners of the Apostolic Faith Building, located in Portland, Oregon, at West Burnside Avenue and Sixth Avenue, removed the iconic “Jesus The Light of the World” sign that had loomed large over downtown visitors since 1917. The sign, first located on a building on Front Avenue along the waterfront, moved to its final location in 1922 when the Apostolic Faith Church completed its two-story building. The church moved to a new location in 1979.
In May 1955, Stanley Earl, Portland city commissioner, and Leo Faust, president of the Portland Rose Society, planted a rose bush in Mill Ends Park to promote the upcoming festival. Inaugurated in its current form in 1907, the Portland Rose Festival takes place each June in Portland, Oregon. The festival’s traditional parades, rides, and fireworks displays in and around the city have been modified in 2020 and 2021 to slow the spread of COVID-19 . The 1955 Rose Festival was notable in that former president Harry Truman and his wife Bess took part in the Grand Floral Parade by riding in a convertible along the parade route with current Portland Mayor Fred. L. Peterson.
Mikki Tint was a stalwart member of the Oregon Historical Society (OHS) Research Library staff for over twenty-five years, from 1983 to 2008. A lifelong Portlander, Mikki earned a bachelor’s degree in English literature from the University of Oregon, followed by a Masters in Library Science. She first worked as a cataloger in the OHS film archives, helping get control over a large, rich, and highly regarded collection of films and video. Mikki and OHS Film Preservationist Michele Kribs were instrumental in creating the Association of Moving Image Archivists, and then hosting an international meeting in Portland for one hundred attendees.
On November 11, 1922, a statue of former President Theodore Roosevelt was unveiled in the Park Blocks in Portland, Oregon. In this photograph, a crowd gathers for the unveiling, and the block of buildings behind the statue is where the Oregon Historical Society downtown building now stands.
In this excerpt from the Willamette Bridge titled “A Place to Go,” John Wilkinson, one of the newspaper staff members, issues a call to gay youth to meet at the Ninth Street Exit coffeehouse in Southeast Portland.
This photograph, taken on July 22 1929, shows from a distance an active diatomite strip mine — with the Deschutes River in the foreground and the Three Sisters just visible along the horizon. While the name of the mine is not noted, the photographer specifies the location as being “near Terrebonne,” meaning it is likely the Lower Bridge Mine, which operated from approximately 1911 to 1972 and encompassed more than 570 total acres.
The grand opening of the Fox Theatre, located at Southwest Broadway and Taylor streets, took place on August 12, 1954. According to the Oregonian the following day, some 6,000 “local cinema cognoscenti” crowded the streets along with Portland Mayor Fred Peterson, Oregon Gov. Paul Patterson, and notable national musicians and actors. The stars were all “delighted with Portland hospitality and weather” and they enjoyed a reception at the Benson Hotel after the premiere.
Liberty Ships, a type of cargo ship built between 1941 and 1945, were critical to maintaining supply lines during World War II. The Thomas Condon, pictured here during its June 17, 1943, launch, was named after a noted Oregon geology professor and educator. The Thomas Condon was one of many ships built by the Oregon Shipbuilding Company, one of Kaiser’s largest shipyards in the Northwest.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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!).
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Before I-84 existed, next to the train tracks in Sullivan's Gulch and between Northeast Twelfth and Northeast Twentieth streets, a village made of temporary buildings offered shelter to those who had lost jobs and homes during the Great Depression. Across the country, people built thousands of such shelters, often called Hoovervilles (in reference to President Herbert Hoover). By June 1941, when this photo was taken, Portland was home to over a thousand such villages, including a cluster under the approaches to the Ross Island Bridge.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.