Wicked Portland by Finn J.D. John Return to introduction page Lost Chapter link to wide-screen site

Introduction | About the book and how to use it:

Welcome to the multi-media channel for Wicked Portland! If you're reading this on your Smartphone or tablet, you've scanned the QR code at the front of the book. We think you will find this feature brings the book to life in a totally new way.

How this site works:

As you read the book, each time you get to a photo that's in the book, take a look at this page. You'll find a larger, more detailed and (if applicable) color version of the photograph, which you can zoom in on if you wish. You'll also sometimes find other elements that you might find of interest: additional photos, links to things on other Web sites, even possibly sound files and embedded videos.

All the extra things are indexed with pictures from the book. For example, if you're looking at the picture on page 134, the lithographed panoramic of Portland published in The West Shore in 1888, it will look like this:

PAGE 134:

A panoramic lithograph of Portland published in 1888 as a fold-out insert in The West Shore magazine. This is a magnificently detailed sketch of Portland life (in the "respectable" quarter, of course) in the late Victorian age, replete with details of gentlemen on high-wheel "ordinary bicycles" and buggies driving around. (Image: Library of Congress)

You can click it to go to the full-size version, and scroll around to get a closer look.

But with that photo, we can include a number of other things similar to the panoramic, that you might be interested in. Things like this:


This is a hand-tinted postcard image of Mount Hood as seen from the top of Mount Tabor in East Portland in roughly 1900, and it's a picture from the Oregon Historical Society. Click on it, and it takes you to the OHS site, where you can look more closely at it and even buy a copy from OHS if you like. (Image links to www.ohs.org)

You may also find something like this:

This is an embedded video from the U.S. GSA's Historic Buildings Series profiling Portland's Pioneer Courthouse Square, with plenty of useful background information about the origins and growth of Portland. It's a pretty long one, but you can skip it if you're in a hurry; it'll be there any time you want to watch it.

Care to join the conversation? Got something to contribute to all of our knowledge of early Portland wickedness? It couldn't be easier. Scroll to the bottom of any page and you'll find the Facebook comments box as well as links to the Facebook page and Twitter feeds.

So you see, having this information ready to serve up to your iPhone or Android phone dramatically expands the ways in which we can all, as a community of interested historians, explore the story of Wicked Portland.

Welcome! We're glad you're here.

Cover art images:


Variety theater dancers, 1901: Two Vaudeville girls getting ready to go on stage in a variety theater in Alaska during the Yukon Gold Rush. The woman on the left is "Klondike Kate" Rockwell, later a Central Oregon legend. (Oil painting by Leland John of Oregon City.)


Cartoon image of a blind policeman: Here's the complete cartoon from which this doughty officer of the law was clipped for use on the front cover. You'll notice he is ignoring the following legal transgressions (from left to right):

  • ...gamblers playing the then-wildly-popular game of faro (a game which, as we'll see in Chapter 3, was literally never, ever played honestly);
  • ...a man being mugged while others watch in amusement;
  • ...a Chinese gambling house, with a loafing vagrant leaning against it;
  • ... a speeding horse-and-buggy about to run over a little girl in the street;
  • ...a drunken man resting comfortably on the curb and possibly preparing to vomit into the gutter; and
  • ...a (ahem) gentleman making a business arrangement with a prostitute, who is leaning comfortably and fetchingly on a cushion by the window of her "crib."

In this book, we'll be spending some time with each one of the trades, industries and tendencies that these characters represent — including the blind policeman — and a few more besides.


Boys in the North End, 1907: This image is used by permission of Thomas Robinson of www.historicphotoarchive.net, who has bought and preserved the photographic archives of some of Oregon's most important photographic studios. (Many of the most precious images of 1800s Oregon would not exist today if it weren't for him.) (Image links to historicphotoarchive.net)


Jonathan Bourne Jr. in the 1880s: This painting shows legendary Portland rascal-turned-reformer Jonathan Bourne Jr. as he appeared in the 1880s, shortly after his arrival in Portland. (Oil painting by Leland John of Oregon City.)


An afternoon scene on Sixth Street, deep in the "respectable" part of town. The closest building is the posh and comfortable Portland Hotel, and the clock tower behind is the Oregonian building. This image comes from a postcard which was postmarked 1906. (It also appears in Chapter 1.)


Portland Harbor in the 1890s: This hand-tinted postcard image of the Portland waterfront just after the turn of the century does not appear on the front cover, but is a good overview of the more "respectable" end of the waterfront. Notice the wharves and warehouses have false fronts on them, facing Front Street.