Wicked Portland Amazon page Wicked Portland Amazon page Read Facebook page View Twitter feed Wicked Portland Amazon page Introduction: About the book and how to use it Chapter One: A wide-open frontier city Chapter Two: Portland's municipal rascal Chapter 3: Portland's saloons and gambling dens Chapter 4: North End Girls Chapter 5: America's worst shanghaiing city Chapter 6: Fixing the police Chapter 7: Mayors behaving badly Chapter 8: World's dumbest drug smugglers Chapter 9: Wicked politics Chapter 10: The end of the golden age About the author Switch to mobile-device version of this page Switch to mobile-device version of this page Go to home page The Lost Chapter By Finn J.D. John


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Offbeat Oregon History Podcast:

A short daily reading from the archives of the Offbeat Oregon History newspaper column, featuring true Oregon stories hardly anyone knows — stories of heroes and rascals, of shipwrecks and lost gold, of shanghaied sailors and Skid Road bordellos and pirates and robbers and buried treasure.

A Wide-Open Frontier Town

The first chapter opens with a quote from the Portland Daily Telegram, Feb. 22, 1893. Here's the clipping:

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Click the clipping to see a larger version of the full story.


History of Trees in Portland: This video production by Friends of Trees is a little over 10 minutes long; in its first 5 minutes, it gives an excellent overview of the process of Portland's development, deforestation and partial reforestation in the 1800s.

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Looking south along Third Street from Stark, toward the "respectable" part of town, in 1888. (Image: The West Shore magazine)

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The Portland waterfront as seen from the east side of the river in 1898. (Image: Library of Congress)

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A logging crew in the early 1870s cuts and hauls logs from a patch of timber on what today is part of downtown Portland. (Image: Joseph Gaston)

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Couples stroll along the sidewalk on Sixth Avenue, deep in the "respectable" part of town, in this postcard image. The building in the foreground is the majestic and fabulous Portland Hotel; the hotel stood on the block that today is Pioneer Courthouse Square. Behind it, the tower with the clock in it is the Portland Morning Oregonian building. This card was postmarked 1906.


Chinatown: The gambling, the girls and the opium: This is a podcast from Doug Kenck-Crispin and Andy Lindberg's "Kick Ass Oregon History" series, in which they tell the story of Portland's old Chinatown. The Chinatown we know today is in a different place; in the 1800s, Portland's Chinatown stretched along Second Street and was the home of the second largest Chinese population on the West Coast.

Also, as we'll see in Chapter 8, Portland was for a time the most important point in the U.S. for smuggling both people and opium into the country.

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The view from Second Street to the waterfront along Morrison and Washington streets in 1888. (Image: The West Shore magazine)

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The wharves along the Portland waterfront in the late 1920s, shortly before they were destroyed and replaced with the seawall. (Image: City of Portland Archives)