Fall in Oregon City

From the history of our State of Oregon’s foundation to the modern entertainings of ghosts, tarot card readings, book signings, harvest festivals, street markets, and everything Halloween, you can find all that and more in the charming and quaint makings of the people from the community of Oregon City, Oregon. Keeping our history alive with tours and family friendly Halloween inspired dances and appearances, visit Oregon City for your fall season festivities. If you are interested in a tarot card reading from Holly Cole, please check out her website http://www.crystalseedtarot.com. For more info regarding ghost tours, please visit http://www.hauntedoregoncity.com. You can also find them on Facebook. If you are interested in learning more about Oregon’s history, please visit the McLaughlin House. You can also find more info at http://www.nps.gov/gova/learn/historyculture/mcloughlin-house.htm.

Changing Cityscape

There I stood overlooking the soothing river separating the city. The remanence of the 1800’s hidden between the modern buildings leaving reminders of the number of souls currently and once occupying the city. The number of homes and businesses that have come and gone along with the people. The change of the cityscape. Like it was something alive, living and breathing – growing and changing with us. While late, in honor of Portland, Oregon’s “birth day,” February 8, 1851, we can appreciate all that has become of the city in the last 172 years that Portland has been “alive.”

Portland, Oregon has a long history though still a baby in comparison to other international cities around the United States and Europe. Pockets all over gaining plaques as the city continues to age. It will be interesting to see what the city council does in making decisions regarding preservations of important historical artifacts and buildings and often difficult decisions in consideration of the necessary changes in order to ensure public safety which too has contributed to the ever changing cityscape. It has been interesting to watch the skyline and intercity scapes evolve and change by human construction, destruction, and reconstruction.

Unforeseen events also caused major damage to city which in-turn resulted in change. One of those events is now known as the Great Fire of 1873. It has been documented that at “4:20 am on the morning of August 2, 1873, a fire started on First Street near Taylor…” (Wikipedia1). While it was never confirmed, foul play was suspected. The damages resulted in estimate of millions and with as little as less than a fifth of city insured. Eventually the city was rebuilt with time and effort but not without leaving its imprint in the ever-evolving cityscape. You would think in such a time an appropriate response by city officials would be to encourage raising funds to help in rebuilding the city rather “the only immediate official response was to purchase of a louder 4,000-pound bell.” (Oregon History Project2). However, they did replace the bell in 1875 “with a system of telegraph wires, signal boxes and engine gongs.” (Firefighting in Portland Through the Years3). I would like to think with all of the last fires we have experienced we can be proud and feel a little bit safer in the event of a fire than if it were to occur in 1880’s. In the event of a fire, some of the changes from technological advances has helped us progress in ways that allows to us as a community to connect and respond with efficiency and allows us to act faster and minimize the potential damage than prior to the evolution of the tools used in our daily lives and in the event of such emergencies. Not that fire alarms systems, cell phones and computers alone will solve all our problems, however, it has been proven to make handling such emergencies easier.

Portland’s first building to be considered a “skyscraper” was the historic Wells Fargo Building. “Completed in 1907, the steel-framed building is considered the city’s first true skyscraper.” (Wikipedia4). At the time of its construction this building was considered the tallest building in Portland and from which was only the beginning of the growth and expansion of Portland, not just outward but upward. This expansion allowed local artists and architects to “have had a large influence on Portland’s architecture …. (combined works include over 270 buildings from 1882 to 1960s).” (Wikipedia5). Giving life and in a sense contributing to Portland’s own culture and style uniquely distinguishable to this beautiful city.

Some other examples of Portland’s architecture can be found in some of the older historical residential and business districts. In some of these pocketes you will find what is known as “Craftsman” style architecture. “The Craftsman style is the most predominant residential style represented in the study area, appearing in approximately 1905.” (Bureau of Planning6). You can also find Colonial Revival, Queen Anne and English Cottage architectural styles correlating to trends from various historical periods and moving into more modern and contemporary styles that can be seen in both newly constructed skyscrapers and homes as well as some of the historical buildings that have been restored and preservable. Both commercial and residential. From the old Courthouse to Pittock Mansion to the World Trade Building to the new Multnomah County Circuit Court to the Yard Luxury Apartments there is a lot to see and experience as well as apperciate in the City of Bridges.

Stay curious and keep exploring! Until next time.

Table of Content

  1. Wikipedia. (2022, 24 October). Great Fire of 1873. www.wikipdia.org. Retrieved Feb. 12, 2023 from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Fire_of_1873
  2. Oregon History Project. (n.d.). Portland Fire, 1873. http://www.oregonhistoryproject.org Retrieved Feb. 12, 2023 from https://www.oregonhistoryproject.org/articles/historical-records/portland-fire-1873/#.Y-hL1i-B2ag
  3. The City of Portland Oregon, Fire & Rescue. (n.d.). Firefighting in Portland Through the Years.www.Portlandoregon.gov. Retrieved Feb. 12, 2020 from https://www.portlandoregon.gov/fire/article/384861
  4. Wikipedia. (2022, 22 September). Wells Fargo Building (Portland, Oregon). www.wikipdia.org. Retrieved Feb. 12, 2023 from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wells_Fargo_Building_(Portland,_Oregon)
  5. Wikipedia. (2020, 30 December). Architecture of Portland, Oregon. www.wikipdia.org. Retrieved Feb. 12, 2023 from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Architecture_of_Portland,_Oregon#Architects
  6. Bureau of Planning. (2003, February). Historic Context – Hawthorne Boulevard from SE 20th to SE 55th Avenues. www.portlandonline.com. Retrieved Feb. 12, 2023 from https://www.portlandonline.com/shared/cfm/image.cfm?id=85744

Lifted Lotus Herbs

Some of my favorite people came into my life unexpectedly and with healing purpose. There are moments from bum bruises you can never forget. Though the spirit lingers from the gentle souls that are here to help nurture our creative spirit. Both in leadership and acceptance. That is where Lifted Lotus Herbs had meant so much to me. Bargains and trades. Along with respect and admiration. There are those on your path that not only are here to inspire you but empower you. I hope you encourage that. Please check out her website at https://liftedlotus.com.

Pumpkin Roots

Have you ever thought about whatever started the first pumpkin patch? The first sightings of fall and all the things that currently fill the season? Everything from pumpkin pies to jack-o-lanterns.

Often when we think of pumpkin patches and Halloween, we associate the meaning with current western ideologies of materialism in collectables, costumes, candy and pumpkin cravings. However, it has actually evolved from traditions from our European ancestors that started over thousands of years ago. It is said that jack-o-lanterns where actually used by our Celtic ancestors to ward away evil spirts and marking the drastic changes between summer and winter. The harvesting of summer’s hard work and gathering its rewards in crops. While pumpkins and Halloween is often associated with witch craft, paganism and other darks occults and rituals, it really does not have dark beginnings and intensions demonized by Christianity and other orthodox religions. Things we were passed down for centuries, like pumpkin craving and harvest festivals, actually evolved from cultural traditions planted with intensions of thanks to our Gods and attempts to keep away evil spirts. In adoption of modern ideologies and social advances and expansion in our knowledge and understanding of social structure and the human belief system, we can follow patterns of tradition back in time. Learning the roots and meanings and the reemergence of new cultures such as Wicca – “A broad revival of Samhain resembling its traditional pagan form” (Editors)1 which evolved into a formally recognized established religion during the 1950s and grew in popularity in the 1980s. “By the 1960s the word Wicca had emerged as a general term for this new religion, although there was some internal contestations as its specific applicability” (White)3. Wearing “costumes and masks to disguise themselves” (Gilroy)2 in attempts to “avoid harm” and “scare away evil spirits” was driven by the belief Celtic ancestors held in the purpose for dressing up like “monsters” and “dragons.” This is seen in a multitude of other cultures and traditions across the world and human attempts to keep away evil sources. Now a days you can go as your favorite movie characters or trends, even personal and inside jokes. Costumes in itself has its own beginning and evolution. 

The symbolism of half between summer and winter. Light and darkness. A thing we understand about all human spirit forms in terms of recognition of good and evil. The need for the recognition of good and bad in all of us which cannot exist without the other but within the pretext of coexistence. How our Native ancestors shared their knowledge of their crops with our pioneer ancestors which was in turn passed down to modern entrepreneurs and their reinvention and use of it – like pumpkin pie and pumpkin spiced mochas. The irony of local farms from the 1920’s inviting local patrons in celebrations of end of harvest traditions and the meaning and significance of successful crops for the winters and dark nights ahead. Keeping thousands feed throughout the winter so that spring can begin the cycle once again. How these doors where open to not only reinventing our modern enjoyments and entertainments, but creating new avenues for celebrating our local farmers and farms and in hopes we get to see them for the next harvest festival activities the following year. It will be hard to ever look at a craved pumpkin again and think of it as just a “jack-o-lantern.”    

Cited Sources:

  1. Editors, History.com. “Samhain.” 2018, April 6. https://www.history.com/topics/holidays/samhain. Accessed 27 October 2022. 
  2. Gilroy, John.  “An expert from Tlachtga: Celtic Fire Festival.” Unknown. https://www.newgrange.com/samhain.htm. Accessed 27 October 2022.
  3. White, Ethan Doyle. “Wicca”. Encyclopedia Britannica, 2 Sep. 2022. https://www.britannica.com/topic/Wicca. Accessed 27 October 2022.

Sauvies Island

I always wonder, looking back into the past of Oregon’s history, what the pioneers would think of us today. Would they be proud of what has been learned and carried out onto our current generations. What we have tried to preserve in the values instilled into the fabrics of our foundation. Thinking of leader’s with progressive ambition and compassionate, like John McLaughlin, who sought unity and respect amongst his Native American in-laws and relatives, and industrious take over in height of the 1850’s fur trade. A different time our ancestors of Oregon knew. Learning to live off the land and establish cities and ports, and the invitation of change along with it. People from all over the world and how that has effected and shaped the culture of progressive western idologies in our modern politics and values. Tolerance and expectance in an openness to embrace each other’s differences. This is not in complete dismiss of Oregon’s dark history either. Understanding what we are as humans and the challenges that has arose in inherited traumas, trials, and tribulations. The cycles and challenges left for our generation to acknowledge, face, and change. How we can preserve and pass on those values to the next generation. I often wonder what it meant for those coming into and leaving the port and seeing the safety of the meaning from light shining across the dark sky in recognition of the lighthouses shattered all across our shores, both those still operating and those simply left as a historical reference – some how still reminding us of our precious roots.