McKenzie River Reflections - Make the McKenzie Connection!

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Portland’s “Temperance War of 1874”

            By Finn J.D. John The temperance movement, when it came to Portland in the early 1870s, really shouldn’t have taken anybody by surprise. What was surprising, though, was the form it took when it got...

 

Ka-Ton-Ka was Oregon’s own nationwide patent-medicine sensation — sort of

                  By Finn J.D. John There was a time, in the late 1800s, when one of the most popular medicines in the country was a product painstakingly brewed by members of the Warm Springs Indian tribe...

 

Stubborn citizen teamed up with Tom McCall to get nation’s first bottle bill passed

                  By Finn J.D. John Longtime Oregonians may re-member a time, in the mid-1970s, when the “Welcome to Oregon” signs at the state’s southern border were superfluous. One cou...

 

Anarchist newspaper editors jailed for publishing “naughty” articles

                  By Finn J.D. John The editors and writers of Anarchist-Communist newspaper The Firebrand, published in Portland and distributed nation-wide from 1895 to 1897, surely expected to get some...

 

The Drift, Winter edition

                                                                     ...

 

Brutal ax murder couldn’t have been much more sordid

            By Finn J.D. John On November 11, 1887, a 28-year-old convicted murderer named Richard Marple stood on the scaffold in the town of Lafayette and shouted his defiance at the crowd below. “Murder!”...

 

Little-known Lakeside resort was packed with Hollywood stars

              By Finn J.D. John For people like Bing Crosby, Lily Pons and Clark Gable, success in show business came with some distinct drawbacks ... millions of them: the fans. Screaming, pointing, asking for...

 

Memories of Pixieland

High-water mark of Oregon’s postwar-timber-era culture         By Finn J.D. John It goes without saying that Oregon has changed in the 50 years that have gone by since the Tom McCall era. People who remember Oregon in 1967...

 

From log drivers to river guides

“Young adventurers” laid groundwork for tourism               VIDA: “About 1914 something kind of magical happened,” according to Randy Dersham, president of the McKenzie River Drift Boat...

 

Wild West bearcat Mona Bell: Annie Oakley with an edge

              By Finn J.D. John In the summer of 1936, when Edith Mona Bell Hill moved into her cozy hunting cabin on the shore of Dunbar Lake in north-central Minnesota, the neighbors didn’t really know what...

 

Governor is state’s “patron saint of bike commuters”

                By Finn J.D. John In recent years, bicycle com-muting has had something of a resurgence in Oregon. That’s especially true in urban areas, where you’ll see these hard-bodied,...

 

Gold Hill was a magnet for 1863’s growth spurt

              Blue River - named in 1863, the year in which gold was discovered in the area. No doubt the name was used in a descriptive sense, as the clear water of the stream appears blue-green due to the color...

 

TRACKING THE LOST WAGON TRAIN

Travel tips from the Willamette Valley led to 1853 tragedy RAINBOW: Emigrants  who’d been sent for help were themselves rescued in the Eastern McKenzie Valley over 150 years ago. What they endured and the ground they traveled over were...

 

McKenzie Memories looks back at guiding

4th annual program will highlight tourist industry’s base EUGENE: This year’s McKenzie Memories event will celebrate the history of the River with storytelling, rare historic photos, artifacts, and more. This year’s program ranges f...

 

“The Bucket of Blood” - Souvenir of the age of shanghaiing

By Finn J.D. John Low on the east bank of the river, in the shadow of the Fremont Bridge, stands a narrow brick building that looks like it’s right out of the 19th Century. It’s not — almost, but not quite. The White Eagle Saloon...

 

History of the site

                            " For the Old McKenzie Fish Hatchery, the historic period of significance is correctly drawn from 1907, the date of earliest site development (the...

 

Three Themes: The Water, The Fish & The Boats

Water, Fish and Boats The McKenzie River is unique. Dr. Gordon Grant, a Forest Service Research Hydrologist in Corvallis, Oregon has noted that H. T. Stearns in 1929 documented that springs flowing from deep volcanic aquifers make up the base flow...

 

“Crick” or “Creek?”

New book about Camp Creek community to print soon CAMP CREEK: Compiling a hundred years of local history has been a task Susan Thomas hopes to wrap up soon. “This whole project,” she recalls, “goes back to 1999 when I was teaching...

 

“Like Mayberry - without Barney & Andy”

EUGENE: “It was a wonderful place to live,” Billie Ruth Rose had to say about the community of logger’s families that once thrived near Quartz Creek on the McKenzie River. “My folks lived there for 20 years. There were probabl...

 

Photos from Finn Rock

1 - Dave Quillin, McKenzie "Redsides" Ca. 1956.                                             2 - Don & Gene Scott. ...

 

Reliving Finn Rock Camp

FINN ROCK: “I always wondered why they called it a camp,” Billie Rose recalls. “Our folks lived there for almost 20 years. I guess ‘camp’ sort of gave the impression we were transients but we weren’t.”...

 

"Old Iron Pants" had hard line plans

By Finn J.D. John It was the morning of Oct. 1, 1938, at the ceremonial dedication of the new Oregon state capitol building. Following several dedicatory speeches (including one by President Franklin D. Roosevelt), the ribbon was cut and the crowd...

 

Oregon’s own would-be fascist dictator: Gov. Charles Martin

By Finn J.D. John Remember General Jack D. Ripper, the character from the 1964 movie “Dr. Strangelove; or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb”? Can you imagine what might have happened if General Ripper had been elected...

 

Oregon’s most misunderstood ax-murderess

By Finn J.D. John For many years, the case of Charity Lamb was looked at like a crime-fiction yarn from a pulp magazine like Spicy Detective. It seemed to have it all: illicit sex, a mother-daughter love triangle, conspiracy — and, of course, a...

 

Iconic crossing taken down

VIDA: The Thomson “swinging bridge” came down with a splash on Monday. Originally built in the 1930’s the bridge connected south bank residents with the outside world. Crews from Stayton Construction used cable cutters, chainsaws...

 

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