Offbeat Oregon History podcast

Offbeat Oregon History podcast

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187 Episodes
A daily (5-day-a-week) podcast feed of true Oregon stories -- of heroes and rascals, of shipwrecks and lost gold. Stories of shanghaied sailors and Skid Road bordellos and pirates and robbers and unsolved mysteries. An exploding whale, a couple shockingly scary cults, a 19th-century serial killer, several very naughty ladies, a handful of solid-brass con artists and some of the dumbest bad guys in the history of the universe. From the archives of the Offbeat Oregon History syndicated newspaper column. Source citations are included with the text version on the Web site at
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187 Episodes

The stories and legends of Bigfoot, the Pacific Northwest’s reigning “hide-and-seek champion,” are vast and growing every year. Just a list of them, from 1945 to present, would be longer than this article. But Bigfoot is neither the only Oregon cryptid, nor the most plausible. There are others. And chief among those others is the Columbia Bar Sea Serpent. (Columbia River Bar, Clatsop County; 1930s) (For text and pictures, see

... until the mid-1930s San Francisco Bay was the Detroit of the marine-engine industry; the Union Gas Engine Company, est. 1885, was one of the very first manufacturers of gasoline engines of any kind in the U.S. (Astoria, Clatsop County; 1880-1920) (For text and pictures, see

The state prison became his retirement home. (Near Agness, Josephine County; 1930s) (For text and pictures, see

... late in the spring of 1897. He’d apparently dropped dead one evening while assaying out the samples he’d gathered that day – probably poisoned by some of the chemicals he was using. But this wasn’t just any random gold prospector. This badly decomposed body was all that was mortal of the most famous prospector of the American West ‑ and certainly one of the richest and most successful: Ed Schieffelin, the man who discovered and named the Tombstone mine in Arizona. And by the time Ed’s body was securely buried under a tall miner’s cairn near Tombstone, the hills near that cabin were already alive with eager prospectors following up on the “lost gold mine” legends that sprang up following his death. At least one of those legends is still bringing hopeful prospectors out into the hills of Southern Oregon today.... (Near Jacksonville, Jackson County; 1860s) (For text and pictures, see

... the company simply loaded the houses on railroad flatcars and moved on. (Shevlin, Deschutes and Lake county; 1920s, 1930s, 1940s) (For text and pictures, see

... when her court case got started, the real story came out ... (Albany, Linn County; 1880s) (For text and pictures, see

(Astoria, Clatsop County; 1850s) (For text and pictures, see

... and even lawyers getting in fistfights. (Unwritten Law Files, Case #1) (Portland, Multnomah County; 1900s) (For text and pictures, see

... how bad it would look to show up at their destination without him ... (McKenzie Valley, Deschutes and Lane County) (For text and pictures, see

It wasn't the kind of thing that usually ends well. And, well, it didn't. (Portland, Multnomah County; 1900s) (For text and pictures, see

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