Portland, Your History

August 30th, 2007 @ 11:43 pm by Cliffe | Sorted Links To The Past |
If you
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can’t get enough Northwest history blogging, then I’ve got something for you. I recently came into contact with John Chilson and his excellent Portland, Oregon history blog Stumptown Confidential. He describes the site goal as a documenting Portland “architecture, history, and culture through photos, postcards, and words.” Now there’s a concept I can appreciate! It’s very well done — so give it a look over. If you didn’t know, “Stumptown” was a nickname given to Portland in the early days when rapid growth left untold numbers of tree stumps exposed, ready to be paved over.
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While you are exploring our neighbors to the South, also check this Portland Building Ads blog out. Just don’t go there if you’re scared of ghost signs.
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We will continue next week with the second half of my Live Historic tour, but until then let’s enjoy some hi-res Portland imagery.
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Click on the thumbnail if you want to inspect.
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Panorama of Portland, Oregon from 1890 with Mount Hood in the background. Image courtesy National Archives.

11 Responses to “Portland, Your History”

  1. Jeffrey Kopp says:

    Chilson doesn’t appreciate Oregon’s “architecture, history, and culture,” nor does he offer any thoughtful criticism, only cheeky ridicule. Somewhere between an amateur archaeologist and culture jammer, he fishes a few cherished artifacts out of what he derides as dreck, oblivious to the vivid social, political and economic dynamics discernible from their context.

    I came to the conclusion he’s slumming in my home state, and regard him as just another opportunistic new arrival who thinks Oregon would be the perfect place, but for the stink of all us Oregonians. He doesn’t realize, much less acknowledge, the scope of our struggle throughout the 20th century to build the clean, progressive state he’s so impatient to see evolve into his bright new future.

    Sensing his shallow, contemptuous disdain greatly aids my belated understanding of the profound, anguished bitterness the Indians feel toward us.

  2. Cat says:

    You’ve got John all wrong. If you want to make generalizations about his personality, I think it’s more correct to say that he’s endlessly curious about a million different things. Stumptown Confidential is just one facet of that.

    It makes hanging out with him fun because anything you want to talk about seems to fascinate him.

    “Contempt” and “distain”? Not even close.

  3. Didi says:

    I think John Chilson does a fine job with doccumenting the city of Portland. Clearly, this person has not actually read John’s blog because if they had they would see many examples of that appreciation. So what? He throws a few sarcastic remarks here and there. That isn’t disdain. That is entertainment. If no one can see that then they aren’t very good at paying attention.

    His site opens my eyes to the rest of the country and makes me want to visit Portland and see the sites myself.

  4. tim hinely says:

    as far as what cat says….agreed ! as someone who has known john since he moved here (shortly after i did) he loves our adopted home state and is constantly discovering new things to love about it. occasionally cheeky ? sure…but what intelligent blogger out there isn’t ? sounds like someone needs to buy a sense of humor.

    “slumming in your home state” jeffrey ? please !! …… sounds to me like john appreciates your home state more than you do. and , as mentioned above, is curious about all of the things that make oregon such a wonderful place to live. you can moan all you want but places change , that is a fact, and with folks like john, just appreciate the fact that you have a (fairly) new person in your state who truly CARES about it.

  5. Faintly Macabre says:

    Jeffrey: I think you’re a world-class twit for putting up such an undeservedly barbed response to this entry.

    Now that that’s out of the way, let me point out a few things. For one, the fact that Mr. Stumptown is new to Portland and is actively interested in the history of Portland shows that he’s a pretty cool guy. There are plenty of yuppie Pearl District transplants who’d be happy to see our town turned into a kid-friendly shopping theme park. Stumptown Confidential hasn’t shown me that they support that kind of ignorance at all – to the contrary, I’ve learned a lot about my home city (yes, I’m a native) that I didn’t know. I’ve learned about a lot of architectural details that I would have been ignorant of – the Burnside arcades, for example. He’s been out taking photographs of forgotten landmarks, and I’ve never once heard him be less than reverent toward anything he’s written about. Finally, let me point out that he won best blog in the Willy Week, and that’s a poll of LOCAL voters – so take your trolling elsewhere, already.

  6. John Trubie says:

    Tim Hinely better keep his comments to himself or the good folks of Olympia are gonna show him “a good time”! if ya know what I mean!

  7. tim hinely says:

    oh no….NOT the good folks of olympia. please…ANYTHING but that !

  8. John Trubie says:

    you better get back to work boy or we’re getting on I5 and headin’ down to kick yer snack cake eatting a$$!!!

  9. Sorry to be late to the party here, ladies and gents. I don’t check John’s blog as much as I ought to. When I did, I saw the pointer to the petty and overwrought attack by the so-called “Jeffrey Kopp”. Sad, is all I can say about that.

    @ Jeffrey: you need to grow a sense of humor and if you think you can do any better as to comment to the contexts of the images you see, then get to work, old son–judging by your deep thoughts, you must be a veritable reservoir of pithy, relevant comment. We’re waiting.

    And if you want to criticize provenance, fellah, I’m a native (and lifelong) Oregonian myself. John’s fine by me, and his Stumptown Confidential is one of the best here in Stumptown. I should do as well.

    And a big SHIPOOPI! for my friends in Seattle; you can take that to the bank!

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