History

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Highway 197 from The Dalles to Maupin

Southbound out of The Dalles, Highway 197 turns up from the Columbia River, curving through the gently rolling terrain of the upper Columbia Gorge. Leaving the National Scenic Area at about milepost 3, you’ll see the landscape evolve from manicured fruit orchards to hardscrabble wheat farms. Mt. Hood rises to the west.

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Rodeo Life: Buffoonery, Bulls and Bravery

Rodeo clowns are actors performing dangerous improvisational theater before live audiences. Wearing multicolored masks layered in gaudy grease paint, they symbolize ancient Greek muses. Protecting and liberating the rider from calamity is the job of Melpomene, the scowling face of Tragedy. Meanwhile Thalia, the smiley face of Comedy, is busy court-jesting and regaling children with tomfoolery. How well the theatrical performance is received depends, in large part, on the chemistry between these two opposing forces—Tragedy and Comedy.

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Perserverence: The Journey of Chinese in Oregon

From their table at the Golden Horse Restaurant in Portland’s Chinatown, Mary Leong, a youthful 90 year old, and Fred Wong, equally spry at 87, can glance in any direction and the memories come back to them. Over a lunch of rice porridge and beef chow fun, they banter about the neighborhood. With wry humor and wistful moments, they recall lives shared by their families across the arc of time, a mosaic of memories and anecdotal history of Portland’s Old Town Chinatown.

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The World According to Homer Davenport

In 1892, a twenty dollar gold piece was sewn into the back of a jacket, worn by a gangly youth, en route to SanFrancisco. A quarter century of drawing pictures on walls and boxes led to this departure. Homer Calvin Davenport of Silverton left the nest of this rural nineteenth century Oregon town bound for the cutthroat world of a daily newspaper’s art department. Raw, self-taught talent, coupled with family connections, helped grease the skids of Davenport’s departure and eventual success.

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Oregon Dorymen and the Best Season that Never Happened

In the early and mid 1970s, hundreds of dory fishermen set off from Pacific City in a quest that generously produced fishing legends. Ray Monroe had been there then, alongside his father and grandfather. As a young man, Monroe was one of the 300 or so commercially licensed salmon fishermen sailing dory boats out of Pacific City to harvest the bounty for which the Oregon Coast is renown. The old salts recount stories of making thousands of dollars in a single haul, full of fish, prized for its fight, profit and taste.

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The Oregon Drift Boat

Along the Rogue and McKenzie rivers across the past hundred years, the famed Oregon drift boat was born and refined. From yesterday’s bathtubs with oars to today’s sleek custom models, this vessel has become synonymous with Oregon rivers. 

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Guile before Guns

Nearly a century ago, a deft-minded Governor Oswald West put his hand to his holster and drew out political genius rather than his pistol.

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The Greatest Ski Adventure

Carrying a tent, a sleeping bag and a heavy backpack, John Richard “Jack” Meissner strapped on his skis on a February afternoon in 1948 and began a 300-mile trek from Mt. Hood to Crater Lake.

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Highway 20: Bend to Burns

Wake up your recondite historian and geologist and the events of Highway 20 are perhaps Oregon’s most interesting combination of geology, and Native American and pioneer culture in one stretch.

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The History of Oregon Beer

While today’s aficionados drink in the benefits of the Oregon craft beer trend, each sip of this finely brewed culture in Oregon has been more than 150 years in the making.