All along the watchtowers: Inside the lives of Portland’s bridge tenders written by Scott Latta / photography by Shauna Intelisano Even by the dreary standards of Portland winters, 2017 was especially bleak. At one point, five storms slammed Portland in five weeks. The Weather Channel, stating what everyone in the city was thinking, dubbed it “America’s most winter-fatigued city.”When a foot of snow fell in one twenty-four-hour period in January, the nation gawked as hapless Portlanders abandoned their cars along impossibly glassy hills. But the real trouble started two months later, when the sun came out. Federal guidelines maintain that when the Willamette River rises above 12 feet, all Portland bridges must be staffed twenty-four hours a day. Under normal circumstances, it’s not a problem for the county’s eight full-time bridge operators. But as the snow melted in the Cascades—141 percent of its normal depth—it collected in reservoirs within the…
As we look to the New Year, Statehood Media has compiled a list of notable Oregonians that we wish we could have back in 2018. These people positively influenced society through their actions and with their presence, making Oregon a better place along the way. With all the negativity in the world, it’s a great time to honor people who did good things.
Spirits of the past are present everywhere. They dwell in our lands, haunt our historic buildings and cemeteries, and inhabit our songs, literature, films and holy texts. From ancient Egypt to today’s pop culture, stories of ghosts, apparitions and spirits— whatever you call them—are found in nearly every society and every religion.
As devastating as the more recent disasters were, the waters of the Willamette River have never risen higher than they did in June 1894. Turn-of-the-century Portland sprung up as a vital economic hub due to its position at the confluence of the Columbia and Willamette rivers, a location that could be precarious when torrential rains fell. Severe spring snow melt and summer downpours combined that year to push the river deep into downtown, setting a record 33-foot high watermark that still stands today.