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Carleton E. Watkins photographs, 1861-1885

  • Org. Lot 93
  • Collection
  • 1861 - 1885

This collection contains stereographs, cartes de visite, cabinet and boudoir cards, photograph albums, mammoth plates, and other loose prints taken by landscape photographer Carleton E. Watkins, 1861-1885. Watkins photographs that were taken before he lost his Yosemite Art Gallery studio in 1876 to Isaiah W. Taber are known as his "Old Series." Watkins photographs taken after 1876 are referred to as his "New Series." The collection contains both Old Series and New Series images and includes some of Watkins' photographs printed under Taber's imprint..

The bulk of the stereographs and mammoth plate photographs in this collection were taken during Watkins' trips to Oregon to photograph Portland, the Willamette River, and the Columbia River in 1867 (Old Series), as well as in 1882, 1883, and the winter of 1884-1885 (New Series). There are also some stereographs that were taken by Watkins on his 1882 voyage to photograph Puget Sound in the Washington Territory and Victoria in British Columbia. Other mammoth plates, cartes de visite, and stereographs depict views of places in California, including Yosemite and Mariposa County, the Farallon Islands and other scenes of the California coast, San Francisco, Round Top, Mount Lola, and Mount Shasta, as well as views of Utah taken for the Union Pacific Railroad. There are also cabinet card portraits taken by Watkins of various people, including Oregon railroad financier Simeon Gannett Reed and members of the family of Cornelius C. Beekman (1828-1915), banker from Jacksonville, Or.

The collection also contains two photograph albums assembled by Watkins and originally owned by Charles H. Prescott (b. 1839), manager of the Oregon Railroad and Navigation Co. from 1881-1887. One album, "Sun Sketches of Columbia River Scenery," contains images taken by Watkins during his trips to the Columbia River Gorge circa 1882-1883, and the second album, ""Great Storm of the Winter of 1884-5. Columbia River, Or.," contains images that he took during a winter blizzard in December and January of 1884-1885 that snowed in an Oregon Railway and Navigation Co. train on its tracks along the Columbia River. The collection also contains one group of stereographs entitled "Watkins' Pacific Railroad" that were originally taken by Alfred A. Hart, official photographer for the Central Pacific Railroad, between 1862-1869 and reprinted by Watkins under his own imprint after 1870.

Watkins, Carleton E., 1829-1916

Joel Palmer Papers, 1783-1982

  • Mss 114
  • Collection
  • 1783-1982

The papers consist of four groups of materials acquired by the Oregon Historical Society at various times. The first group, designated Mss 114, consists of correspondence (1848-1869) concerning the conduct of Indian affairs in Oregon, enlistment of a state militia, and efforts to establish a Union League Council. Correspondents include Benjamin Alvord, Jesse Applegate, Benjamin Bonneville, Samuel Culver, Addison C. Gibbs, and Joseph Lane. Also included is a diary (1857) kept by Palmer while on a voyage from Oregon City to Washington, D.C. via Panama; typescript copies of diaries (1854, 1856, 1860-1861) recording his travels throughout the Pacific Northwest; hand written copy of an agreement (1854) between the United States, represented by superintendent of Indian Affairs, Joel Palmer, and the Calipooia Indian tribe; and articles of incorporation (1862) of the Columbia River Railroad Company.

The second group of materials, designated Mss 114-1, consists of letters sent to Sarah Ann Palmer from various relatives, and receipts and other ephemera of Joel Palmer. Among these are hand written copies of poems dated 1783, possibly from one of Palmer's ancestors.

The third group within the collection, designated Mss 114-2, contains mostly biographical information about Palmer, along with letters written by his descendants and letters relating to the dedication of a statue of Palmer in 1971.

A fourth group of papers, designated Mss 114-3, consists of general correspondence, primarily political and military in nature, legal papers, and a survey of an unidentified Indian reservation.

The final group of materials, designated Mss 114-4, includes a manuscript poem, Bristol, England, 1784; letters from Palmer to General Joseph Lane and others; manuscript copy of report to the U.S. Secretary of War or the Commissioner of Indian Affairs from General Joseph Lane, ca. 1849; a letter from W. B. Bonney to Joel Palmer, 1850 Jan. 17; letter to Joel Palmer from Lieutenant Colonel Benjamin Bonneville, 1855 Mar. 27; printed copy of the treaty between the United States and the Rogue River Indians, 1855; manuscript extracts from "Articles of treatry made at Port Orford," 1857 Sept. 20; hand drawn map of the Columbia River and its tributaries, undated; and a pamphlet titled "History of the Grand Ronde Military Block House," 1911.

Palmer, Joel, 1810-1881

United States District Court Oral History Project

  • USDCHS
  • Collection
  • 1966-2008 (bulk 1984-2008)

Since 1984, the Oregon Historical Society has partnered with the United States District Court of Oregon Historical Society to interview judges, lawyers and other legal professionals affiliated with that Court.
With an appeal rate at around 10%, the decisions made by the District Court of Oregon have been deeply influential on the laws and peoples of the state. It has presided over decisions on public land disputes and fishing rights, as well as civil rights and law enforcement. The stories of the people that make up this judicial body provide a valuable tool for helping the public understand the pivotal role the court has had on Oregon’s history.

Cartes-de-Visite photographs

  • Org. Lot 500
  • Collection
  • 1855 - 1905

Cartes- de- visite are a form of card photograph popular from around 1860 to the early 1900s, typically used for portraiture. The common construction of these cards consists of a thin albumen print mounted on a thicker card backing measuring 2.5 x 4 inches. André Adolphe-Eugène Disdéri patented the process of creating these photo cards in Paris in 1854, streamlining the process of commercial portraiture. Cartes- de- visite were traded among friends and visitors and they were popularly displayed in albums. In the United States, cartes- de- visite were a staple of commercial photographers during the Civil War as a means of selling inexpensive portraits of soldiers and their loved ones. Photographs of celebrities, military, and political figures were also popular for collecting and trading. Cartes- de- visite were superseded by Cabinet cards, a similar, larger format of roughly 4.5 x 6.5 inches, in the 1870s, but they remained popular into the 20th century.

This artificial collection was accumulated from accessions containing cartes- de- visite photographs acquired prior to 2010 by the Oregon Historical Society Research Library. The cartes- de- visite were originally part of a topical photograph collection and were separated into their own collection to address preservation concerns. The numbering scheme for the collection reflects their original placement within the topical photograph collection. As a result, numbering in this collection is not sequential. The collection includes portraits taken from about 1855 through the early 1900s. Many of the portraits have attached biographical information. Portraits by many well-known Oregon photography studios are represented in this collection, including Joseph Buchtel, Andrew B. Paxton, Isaac G. Davidson, Peter Britt, and F. A. Smith. The collection also contains images of locomotives, ships, buildings, and landscapes in the Pacific Northwest.

Also included is the Photographer Study Collection, which contains sample work from several studios in Oregon, California, and Washington. The portraits in this series are unidentified with the exception of a small selection of portraits that were identified after the collection was assembled.

In addition to Oregon-related materials, the collection includes cartes- de- visite of notable military, political, and celebrity figures from the late 19th century. The most common subjects are American Civil War portraits, a series of illustrations of George and Martha Washington, European notables cards, and advertisements.

Oral History Interview with Flora Cushinway Thompson

  • SR 9586
  • Collection
  • 1971?

Flora Cushinway Thompson discusses her marriage to Chief Tommy Thompson of the Wyams, fishing, religion, and the fight against the building of the Dalles Dam.

Thompson, Flora Cushinway, 1893-1978

Vancouver Avenue First Baptist Church collection, 1940-2015

  • Coll 189
  • Collection
  • 1940 - 2015

The collection covers various aspects of the history of the church and of its leader, Rev. O.B. Williams, and his wife Willa Jackson Williams. It includes a variety of photographs, with a large percentage of the images relating to the various church groups, including choirs, youth groups, and ushers. A large collection of members’ memorial cards, the pastoral anniversaries of Rev. Williams, some bibles and hymnals (many annotated by Rev. Williams, including two dated 1867 and 1890), church financial records and meeting minutes, and a collection of materials from Dr. Martin Luther King’s 1961 visit are included. A small collection of the Williams’ personal photographs and ephemera can also be found in collection.

Vancouver Avenue First Baptist Church (Portland, Or.)

Correspondence Collection

  • Mss 1500
  • Collection
  • 1800 - ?

Collection of materials assembled by the Oregon Historical Society comprised of various letters written from or to individuals in Oregon, ca. 1820-1973.

Portland State University Oral History Series

  • SR Portland State University Series
  • Collection
  • 1989

A collection of oral history interviews of Portland State University faculty, conducted by other Portland State University faculty.

Oral history interview with Rudolph Luscher, by Susan Gaughan

  • SR 1038
  • Collection
  • 1984-08-16

Luscher discusses his family background and dairy farming in Clackamas County, Oregon, and the changes in milking technology and the dairy business over the 20th century. Bill Tegart was also present.

Luscher, Rudolph

Senator Mark O. Hatfield Oral History Project

  • SR Hatfield
  • Collection
  • 1987 - 1988

Restricted until very recently, this series of interviews was conducted with Senator Hatfield’s congressional aids, staff and advisors. Senator Hatfield had a long and distinguished career in public service. He began his career as an Oregon State Legislator. He was both Oregon’s youngest Secretary of State and Governor. Later, he was a United States Senator from Oregon for 30 years, the longest term of any senator from Oregon. He is perhaps best known for his early and consistent opposition to the Vietnam War.

Interviewees include: Douglas Coe, associate director of The Fellowship, who has had close relationships with many American politicians; Martin Gold, a member of the United States Commission for the Preservation of America's Heritage Abroad, appointed by George H.W. Bush, he was counsel to Bill First, Howard Baker and Mark Hatfield; Loren Hicks, counsel to Hatfield and later held many judgeships in Oregon, including circuit judge for Marion County; and Sam Mallicoat, a veteran of WWII and the Korean War, and Chief of Staff for Senator Hatfield during his first senate term.

Oral history interview with Amo DeBernardis, by Corbett Gottfried

  • SR 2079
  • Collection
  • 1993-04-09 - 1993-11-05

De Bernardis discusses his family background and early life as the son of Italian immigrants in Northeast Portland, his education and teachers that influenced him, changes in higher education after World War II, the creation of Portland Community College and his time as president.

De Bernardis, Amo

OHS Maps Collection

  • OHS Maps
  • Collection
  • 1500 - ?

The OHS Maps Collection contains over 25,000 maps that focus on Western exploration and the Oregon Territory. Available types of maps include those of the Oregon Territory, the state, cities and counties, and special subjects such as mining, forestry, railroads, coasts and rivers, soils, farmlands, land claims, Native Americans and explorations.

Oral history interview with Alan Green

  • SR 2824
  • Collection
  • 1999-04-20 - 1999-07-21

This oral history interview with Alan Green was conducted by Jim Strassmaier in Green's office and home in Portland, Oregon, from April 20 to July 21, 1999. Tape 16 of the recording is missing, but the contents are reflected in an incomplete transcript of the interview.

In this interview, Green discusses his family background and early life in Portland, including his memories of the Depression, his family history of alcoholism, and his early education, including his involvement in student body government during high school. He then discusses his experiences as a theodylite observer in the Army during World War II, including spending time in an Army hospital after a truck accident in New Guinea. He talks about attending Stanford University, including living in the Phi Delta fraternity house, and meeting his wife, Joan Irwin. He describes working an insurance salesman, his marriage, and starting a battery company. He also briefly discusses serving as president of the University Club in 1967 and his efforts to open membership to Jewish people. He talks about a DUI infraction in 1962, his struggle with alcoholism, and his path to sobriety, as well as his later work helping others get sober. He speaks at length about his management of various business enterprises.

Green discusses his involvement in moderate conservative politics and the Republican Party. He talks about his chairmanship of the Multnomah County Central Committee, the 1964 presidential campaign of Barry Goldwater, and Mark Hatfield's brush with the vice presidency in 1968. He also talks about Wayne Morse's defection to the Democratic Party. He speaks at length about his service on the Port of Portland, including competition with Seattle, labor issues, and other members of the commission, particularly Ed Westerdahl. He shares his memories of the Richard Nixon administration, particularly his feelings regarding the Watergate scandal and the rise of the far right. He also talks about serving on the Federal Maritime Commission from 1982 to 1988, including the confirmation process, the Shipping Act of 1985, and his social life while living in Washington, D.C. He talks about how his work on that commission was facilitated by both Mark Hatfield and Bob Packwood. Green then describes serving as chairman for George H.W. Bush's 1988 presidential campaign in Oregon and his subsequent appointment as ambassador to Romania in 1989.

Green speaks at length about serving as ambassador to Romania from 1989 to 1992. He talks about his confirmation, his training, and the fall of Nicolae Ceaușescu. He talks about the members of his staff, living behind the Iron Curtain, and helping Romanian political dissidents become American citizens. He then talks about the new Romanian president, Ion Iliescu, Romanian political parties, and Romanian society and economy after the revolution. He also talks about traveling through Europe while an ambassador, Romania's role in the Gulf War, and international adoption of Romanian children. He then discusses his activities during retirement, including sitting on various boards, and his involvement with the political campaigns of Gordon Smith and George W. Bush. He closes the interview by talking about his children and grandchildren.

Green, Alan, 1925-

Oral history interview with John C. Beatty

  • SR 3716
  • Collection
  • 1999-03

This oral history interview with John C. Beatty was conducted by two unidentified Riverdale High School students as part of series of interviews with Riverdale High School alumni in March 1999. In this interview, Beatty discusses his family background and early life and education at Riverdale High School in the Dunthorpe neighborhood of Portland, Oregon, in the 1920s and 1930s. He also briefly discusses his memories of the Depression and World War II, as well as the changes in the Dunthorpe neighborhood over the 20th century. He closes the interview by talking about his legal career and his experience being drafted during World War II.

Beatty, John Cabeen, 1919-

Oral history interview with Margret D. Thomas

  • SR 3719
  • Collection
  • 1999-03

This oral history interview with Margret D. Thomas was conducted by an unidentified Riverdale High School student as part of the Riverdale School Oral History Series in March 1999. In this interview, Thomas discusses her family. She talks about coming to Portland, Oregon, in 1954, after her marriage to James "Jack" Randolph Thomas in 1942. She discusses Jack Thomas' career as a member of the Riverdale School Board, including the dances he helped to organize for parents. She also talks about life in the Dunthorpe neighborhood of Portland, including her memories of the 1962 Columbus Day storm. Thomas recounts her memories of World War II and the Depression. She then discusses her high school education in Los Angeles County, California, and her involvement with Riverdale School in Portland.

Thomas, Margret D. (Margret Dale), 1922-2011

Oral history interview with Gladys Sims McCoy

  • SR 9045
  • Collection
  • 1981-02-20 - 1981-06-22

This oral history interview was conducted by Linda S. Dodds at the Multnomah County Courthouse in Portland, Oregon, from February 20 to June 22, 1981. At the time of the interview, Dodds' name was Linda S. Brody.

In this interview, McCoy discusses her early life on a farm during the Depression in Chattanooga, Tennessee, including the impact that segregation had on her childhood, her education, and her early jobs. She then discusses attending Talladega University in Alabama, including the experience of having an international faculty and thereby an integrated community in the heart of the segregated South. She also talks about studying sociology. She describes seeking employment in the field of social work and accepting a job in Portland, Oregon, as assistant teenage program director at the YWCA. She discusses differences in the ways the black population was treated in Portland compared to her experiences in the South. She describes meeting Bill McCoy and their subsequent marriage, giving up her career to stay at home, and later pursuing a career again after raising seven children over the course of 17 years. She talks about attending Portland State University as an older student and the difficulty of finding child care. She then describes her work with Project Head Start in Vancouver, Washington; teaching sociology and counseling students at Clark College; and teaching sociology at Pacific University in Forest Grove.

McCoy discusses her involvement in local politics. She talks about serving on the board of Portland Public Schools, including her campaign and programs to improve schools. She speaks at length about the board's efforts to implement middle schools, and the opposition the idea faced. She talks about her involvement with Bob Straub's successful 1975 campaign for Oregon governor and serving as an ombudsman for the governor, as well as some of the cases she investigated. She talks about her 1978 campaign for Multnomah County commissioner. She describes some of her work as commissioner, the types of complaints she received, and her support for city-county consolidation. She closes the interview by discussing her philosophy of life.

McCoy, Gladys Sims, 1928-1993

Oral history interview with Betty Roberts

  • SR 9066
  • Collection
  • 1980-10-29 - 1980-11-14

This oral history interview with Betty Roberts was conducted by Linda S. Dodds in Portland, Oregon, from October 29 to November 14, 1980. At the time of the interview, Dodds' name was Linda S. Brody.

In the interview, Roberts discusses her early life in Texas, including her memories of the Depression and her childhood activities. She then talks about attending Texas Wesleyan University for a year; meeting Bill Rice and their subsequent marriage; and her early years as a housewife in Oregon, where she and Rice moved after World War II. She talks about returning to college in 1955 at Eastern Oregon College of Education (now Eastern Oregon University), then transferring to Portland State University. She talks about the difficulty of balancing school, a part-time job, and family life; her interest in both a teaching career and politics; and her involvement with the Lynch School Board from 1960 to 1966. She also talks briefly about studying at Northwestern College of Law.

Roberts discusses her service in the Oregon House of Representatives from 1965 to 1968, and in the Oregon Senate from 1969 to 1977. She also talks about her unsuccessful campaigns for the House in 1962 and her successful one in 1964. She discusses some of the legislation she worked on, including on universal kindergarten and victims' rights, and particularly regarding women's rights. She talks about her experiences as a woman in the Legislature. She describes her 1968 primary campaign against incumbent Senator Tom Mahoney; the casual sexism she observed; and the formation of the women's caucus in the 1973 legislative session. She discusses her committee assignments, including the judiciary committee and Ways and Means. She also gives a brief history of the coalition of Republicans and Conservative Democrats that controlled the Senate throughout the 1950s and 1960s. She then talks about her unsuccessful campaigns for governor in 1974, and the U.S. Senate later that same year. She describes the passage of the Bottle Bill in 1971 and the opposition the legislation faced.

Roberts closes the interview by discussing her service as a judge on the Oregon Court of Appeals from 1977 to the time of the interview in 1980.

Roberts, Betty, 1923-2011

Oral history interview with Carl Hillmer Francis

  • SR 9437
  • Collection
  • 1982-06-02

This oral history interview with Carl Hillmer Francis was conducted by Linda S. Dodds in Dayton, Oregon, on June 2, 1982. At the time of the interview, Dodds' name was Linda S. Brody.

In this interview, Francis discusses his family background and early life in Woodburn, Oregon, including his early education and childhood activities. He then talks about studying law at Willamette University and Northwestern College of Law, practicing law in Dayton, and serving as Dayton's mayor from 1941 to 1942. He also discusses his involvement with the Republican Party and Young Republicans.

Francis speaks about his service in the Oregon House of Representatives from 1943 to 1954, and in the Oregon Senate from 1955 to 1962. He describes some of his fellow legislators, working with lobbyists, and his decision to retire from the Legislature. He speaks about his interest in history and shares tales of some of his favorite historical figures. He closes the interview by talking about Dr. Lewis Alderman.

Francis, Carl Hillmer, 1915-1995

Oral history interview with Katherine O'Neill

  • SR 9481
  • Collection
  • 1980-03-14

This oral history with Katherine O'Neill was conducted by Linda S. Dodds at O'Neill's home in Portland, Oregon, on March 14, 1980. At the time of the interview, Dodds' name was Linda S. Brody. Admiral John H. Besson, who was a cousin of O'Neill's, and several unidentified women were also present and contributed to the interview.

In this interview, O'Neill discusses Smith and Watson Iron Works in Portland, a business operated by her grandfather, Charles Smith. She talks about the sorts of items the business produced, including steam donkeys and parts for the Kaiser shipyards in Portland. She also talks about the Schnabel family home that later became the Multnomah County Hospital; the family's ownership of the Congress Hotel and many of the hotel's famous guests; and the legal career of her father, Charles J. Schnabel, including his 1921 murder by a disgruntled client. She closes the interview by talking about her early life and education in the King's Hill neighborhood of Portland.

O'Neill, Katherine E. S. (Katherine Elizabeth Schnabel), 1899-1995

KATU news footage

  • KATU
  • Collection
  • 1970-11-12 - 1980-06-20

News footage from the KATU Television station in Portland, Oregon.

KATU (Television station : Portland, Or.)

Oral history interview with Monroe Sweetland

  • SR 11131
  • Collection
  • 2000-03-11

This oral history interview with Monroe Sweetland was conducted by an unidentified woman on March 11, 2000. In this interview, Sweetland discusses moving to Milwaukie, Oregon, around 1949. He discusses his purchase of the Milwaukie Review newspaper, the houses he and his young family lived in, and life in the Island Station neighborhood. He talks about his children, their early education, their families, and their careers. He talks about his neighbors, including Milwaukie Mayor Joy Burges, as well as the changes in the neighborhood. He also speaks at length about growing lilacs and camellias. He talks about the livability of the Island Station neighborhood. Sweetland and the interviewer discuss the upcoming Milwaukie High School reunion. He goes on to talk about his wife, Lil Megrath, her involvement in progressive politics, and her government career. He also briefly discusses his family background. Sweetland then returns to discussing his children. He speaks at length about urban wildlife, particularly nutria, Canadian geese, and foxes, as well as Kellogg Creek in Milwaukie, particularly regarding its fish and clam populations.

Sweetland, Monroe, 1910-2006

Tom McCall speech on Vortex I music festival

  • SR 9089
  • Collection
  • 1970

This speech by Tom McCall was given at Portland Television Studios in 1970 and broadcast on KGW-TV. This audio recording of the speech was made by an unknown individual from the television broadcast. The broadcast begins with a weather report and two commercials.

In the speech, McCall discusses the actions taken by the Portland and Multnomah County governments in response to protests expected to be held by the People's Army Jamboree against an upcoming American Legion convention. He describes plans for the music festival known as Vortex I as a way to mitigate the possibility of violence.

After the speech, the recording includes additional commercials and remarks by news analyst Floyd McKay. The recording ends with audio from the evening news broadcast about McCall's speech, including excerpts of the speech and McKay's remarks.

McCall, Tom, 1913-1983

Oral history interview with Ambrose A. Oderman

  • SR 11275
  • Collection
  • 2005-04-05 - 2005-04-25

In this interview, Oderman discusses his family background and early life in Foxholm, North Dakota. He describes his experience during the 1918 flu pandemic, including the death of his father. He discusses his mother's remarriage and his early education. He talks about moving to Monroe, Oregon, in 1926, as well as his high school experience there. He then discusses studying business at the University of Oregon during the Depression, including his plans to become an accountant. He also tells several stories about growing up on a farm. He discusses working for the Public Utility Commission and the Bonneville Power Administration as an accountant and auditor. He talks about his family and his social life during that time. He then discusses his service in the U.S. Navy during World War II, and living in Vanport, Oregon, after the end of the war. He discusses his service as western region audit director for the U.S. Interior Department. He closes the interview by discussing his retirement.

Oderman, Ambrose A. (Ambrose Adolph), 1912-2014

Watercolor sketch of the ship Lausanne, 1839

  • Mss 5285
  • Collection
  • 1838

Watercolor sketch of the ship Lausanne painted by missionary Hamilton Campbell during his journey by ship from New York to Oregon in 1839. The collection also includes a typescript document signed by Ben Campbell Holladay explaining the provenance of the painting.

Campbell, Hamilton, 1812-1863

Alice E. Wilson sketchbook

  • Mss 5286
  • Collection
  • 1898 - 1899

Sketchbook, 1 vol., August 1898-August 1899, filled with charcoal sketches of houses and scenery on the Oregon Coast including: Garibaldi, Tillamook and Seaside.

Wilson, Alice E.

Radio news report on the death of Charles Sprague

  • SR 9505
  • Collection
  • 1969-03-13

This audio recording consists of a radio announcement, delivered by reporter Robert Bruce, about the death of former Oregon Governor Charles Sprague. The recording was taped from the broadcast of the announcement on an unidentified radio news program. In the segment, Bruce reads from statements by Governor Tom McCall and senators Robert Ellstrom, Jason Boe, and Robert Smith. Bruce then plays excerpts from an oral history interview that he conducted with Sprague in 1962.

Bruce, Robert M. (Robert Mason), 1915-1972

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