Category Archives: History

Mourning at Ocala

[View image larger on Flickr.] On June 24, 2011, Amtrak’s California Zephyr sped through the Nevada Desert near the station point of Ocala, between the towns of Fernley and Lovelock. A truck driver on US 95, however, must have been oblivious to … Continue reading

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I am from Maine

There are times, living in the Bay Area, that I feel like I am not from Portland, Oregon, but Portland, Maine. Sitting in bars with ears wide open, holding conversations with others at the university, or talking with California colleagues, … Continue reading

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Review: Some Vernacular Railroad Photographs

Some Vernacular Railroad Photographs By Jeff Brouws and Wendy Burton. W. W. Norton & Company, 500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110; wwnorton.com; 7.3 x 9.4 x 1.2 in; hardcover; 288 pages, 2 b/w photos; $39.95 The act of collecting … Continue reading

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Historic Preservation, Unusual Artifacts, and the Big Preservation Question

Historic preservation is difficult under even the most ideal conditions, but it is all the more difficult when the subject is—important or not—odd or obscure. Thus we have the case of the last dual gauge streetcar track in Portland. Its … Continue reading

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Getting to know dead people

Being a writer with a strong interest in the region’s history, I find myself running across certain names with great repetition. It is hard, for example, not to read about the Ladds in Portland, or John McLoughlin in the pre-territory … Continue reading

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