RSS Feed

Category Archives: Oregon Historical Society

Bruce Springsteen, Museum Director

If The Boss ran a museum, what would it look like?

Bruce Loves Oregon History, He's Got Some Of His Own

We know his themes; he’s reminded us for thirty-five years.

Bruce likes cars. He likes to race them:

I got a sixty-nine Chevy with a 396
Fuelie heads and a Hurst on the floor
She’s waiting tonight down in the parking lot
Outside the Seven-Eleven store

Bruce likes Rock and Roll:

Well I got this guitar
And I learned how to make it talk

Sometimes he combines them:

Driving in to Darlington City
Got a union connection with an uncle of Wayne’s
We drove eight-hundred miles without seeing a cop
We got rock and roll music blasting off the t-top singing

Is it safe to say any museum Bruce ran would have to include cars and rock? Read the rest of this entry

Shares of Oregon History

Published on oregonlive.com

THEY SPENT THE MONEY, YOU SPEND THE TIME 

If someone invested $2.5 million in what you do, would you take it?

Probably not if it came from a drug cartel or North Korea.

Just to be clear, neither Kim Jong-Il or El Chapo gave the Oregon Historical Society two and a half million; the Oregon state lottery did.

Will the leaders of OHS do something different with $2.5 million than the leaders of the Sinaloa Federation or Pyongyang would do?

Let’s say it together, “Yes, they will.”

Since it is an investment, I have a few ideas, but first let’s clear up a few perceptions about history.

Most of the time, history means reading books with pages so dry they crack and dissolve when you turn them. That’s old history. New history, or slanted history, comes at you from an angle of disbelief and creates more doubt than satisfaction.

Either way, you deal with books, and not everyone wants a history lesson on paper.

OHS is 3D history. You can walk around it, look under it, but you can’t touch it. Is that alone worth $2.5 million? Probably not, since the museum already has exhibits on their floor.

What makes history worth the money, along with the tax levy from Multnomah County? Read the rest of this entry

History For 2.5 Million, Alex

INSPIRED BY THE STATE OF OREGON

Inside the Jeopardy studios, Alex Trebec welcomes one contestant.

Alex: Welcome to Jeopardy. Let’s get started.

Golden Pioneer: Hello Alex. I’ll take Portland for a thousand.

Alex: Easy now, we’re limited at first to $500.

Goldie: Let’s cut to the chase, Alex. Portland for $1000.

Alex: Fine. The answer is, “The Oregon Historical Society.”

Goldie: What is the most important museum in the city?

Alex: Yes. Based on the recent funding, OHS is the leader. Let’s go again.

Goldie: Oregon Social Impact for a thousand, please Alex.

Alex: Going big, eh? And the answer is, “The Oregon Historical Society.” 

Goldie: Which museum has the potential for greatest change in Oregon?

Alex: Yes, OHS. With all the neighborhood problems in Portland, they can all meet at OHS since it is free admission to Multnomah County Residents.

Goldie: I’d like… Read the rest of this entry

The Oregon Bridge

View From The Oregon Bridge (Ross Island)

Portland, like many cities, changes street names to honor the times we live in.

But there’s more to do.

Union Avenue became MLK, and the city celebrated.

SE 39th became Cesar Chavez Blvd., and the city celebrated.

Front Avenue became Naito Parkway, and the city celebrated.

Instead of limiting the celebrations to Portland, why not invite the rest of the state to the party by renaming Ross Island Bridge.

My suggestion: The Oregon Bridge. Read the rest of this entry

FIND A WALL, TEAR IT DOWN

IT’S AN OREGON TRADITION

The names might be unfamiliar, but you live with their causes every day.

Susan B. Anthony means confusing coinage to some. Her dollar came out the same size as a quarter.

You may get quarter change for her dollar, but you can’t add value to the changes she pushed forward.

Does your Mom vote in elections? 

Does your sister vote, or wife, or any women you know?

Thank Ms Anthony for them.

Women in every state stood up when it was easier to stay down.  None stood taller in Oregon than Abigail Scott Duniway.

When someone achieves important status, they usually do it with help.

You’ve heard of Ida B. Wells-Barnett? Read the rest of this entry

Portland Becomes THE Portland

Janet Guthrie and Rolla Vollstedt talk it over

On opening day, June 1, 1905, the Lewis and Clark Expo shifted Portland, Oregon into gear.

The race to modern times began with the old surveyors on their first visit; they were still on the job a hundred years later.

To some, Lewis and Clark belong on top of the American secret agent list for their crafty mission to claim the west coast.

To others they are the greatest field scientists of their time.

On June 1, 1905 Lewis and Clark meant only one thing: PARTY.

Anything kicking off with a parade is a good time, this year and yesteryear, with the roar of the crowd and thunder of the wagons rolling by.

In perfect Lewis and Clark step, the Oregon Historical Society opened their own parade on June 1, 2011, complete with the roar and the thunder of race cars and race car people steering between Rolla Vollstedt’s Indy 500 cars and the Benson.   

Not what you expect from history? Read the rest of this entry

FARMER IN THE DELL

AND EVERYWHERE ELSE

You’ve noticed the explosion of local produce and perishables showing up in parking lots near you?

They’re called farmers markets.

Portland has one. 

So do other cities, but after the PSU campus/Portland Farmers Market, what else is there? 

Beaverton, but that’s later.

Where else but Portland do you see guys dragging their sleeping bags draped like capes and asking for coffee money.  All PSU alums know the drill.

Homeless?

Portland?

PSU grad?

It happens around all college campuses.  They’re usually history majors lost in an era. 

Portland Farmers Market is more than an organic, free roaming, flower child, or a soup kitchen in the Haight.  It’s not some clan offering their love in the form of fresh salsa and smoked salmon.

The goods are there, but what stands out most? Read the rest of this entry