I got two big bags of coasters from a library coworker last week, and as I sorted through the trove for gems I didn’t already have in the collection I started to form a vague idea for a blog post on coasters. Namely, I wondered if there was more to the “your drink goes here and the coaster catches condensation, keeping the table or bar cleaner” explanation.
The Sports Media Guides set in Oregon Digital now includes all the women’s basketball guides that are part of our collections — 25 guides spanning from 1981-82 to the most recent record-breaking 2015-2016 season.
The set now includes 160 items. The Libraries’ Digital Production Unit started working on baseball last week, and softball is next in the queue.
[The life of Peter Pauling, part 7 of 9]
Journeying on their honeymoon through the caves of northern Spain, Peter Pauling and his wife Julia arrived at a small fishing village and made camp. His beard full and his hair grown to nearly his shoulders, Peter sat on the beach, scouring pots. Meanwhile, Julia watched the water, contented by the meal that she had just prepared for her new husband. She had always loved the sea, saying as much in her letters to Linus and Ava Helen Pauling, her new parents-in-law.
What’s new on the OMA blog? La comunidad latina en Canby, Oregón / The Latino/a community in Canby, Oregon
El Proyecto / The Project
Las comunidades latinas en Oregón tienen una historia profunda y diversa, y las nuevas generaciones continúan contribuyendo en gran medida a la identidad del estado. Latinos en Oregón es un proyecto dedicado a la recolección y a la preservación de las voces y las historias de comunidades latinas en Oregón.
Oregon’s Latino/a communities have a deep and diverse history, and new generations continue to contribute greatly to the identity of the state. Latinos in Oregón is a project dedicated to collecting and preserving the voices and stories of Latino/a communities in Oregon.
Taylor Rose Resident Scholar talk: Engineering Roads, Envisioning Nature: the Columbia River Highway and Mount Hood Loop, through Maps and Postcards, 1913-1931
In his time as a resident scholar at Oregon State, Taylor Rose conducted research into the history of several state roads that most Oregonians will be familiar with. A master’s degree candidate at Portland State University, Rose spent his time at OSU utilizing maps, postcards and other materials from the OSU archives. In his Resident Scholar presentation, titled “Engineering Roads, Envisioning Nature: the Columbia River Highway and Mount Hood Loop, through Maps and Postcards, 1913-1931,” Rose examined how these roads were created, what inspiration shaped them and how public sentiment and reaction functioned in vital debates about accessibility to nature.
Rose’s talk touched upon several events and debates that were occurring over land use and accessibility that ultimately led to Congress passing the Wilderness Act in 1964. The speech looked at the fledgling government services of forests and parks and how their roles were shaped by contemporary debates. In particular, Rose looked at the explosion of road construction that occurred in the 1910’s and how automobiles were slowly replacing trains as the primary means of transportation. This transition was largely occurring among the upper classes who could afford these vehicles.
The Columbia River Highway was the work of Samuel Hill, an entrepreneur who hired Samuel Lancaster to design it. The pair toured Europe, attending a conference on road construction, as well as looking at scenic roads in countries like Germany and Switzerland among others and drawing inspiration from their design. Although Hill and Lancaster were the two men who completed this undertaking, they were not the first to attempt such a project, as philanthropist Simon Benson had tried the same idea just a year earlier. Lancaster viewed the natural landscape as a gift from God and thought that everyone should be able to enjoy it. The finished product of the highway was a splendid combination of European styles and cutting edge American technology. His vision was shown by the vista house at Crown Point along the road, that offered a view of the river.
Lancaster and Hill broke ground in 1913 and by 1915 the road was open to the public. A key issue in the construction of the road was the land around the road. The investors purchased land out from under people along the road if they felt it was necessary to prevent unsightly development. Simon Benson had made similar efforts as well, going so far as to purchase the land around Multnomah Falls. Hill himself was invested in the scenery and wanted to prevent logging, so he talked to the Chief Forester of the Department of Forest Services and was able to secure over 14,000 acres of timber land around the highway. At this time the Forest Service still felt it best to use the land for production and their ideas and goals changed over time in response to public views as well as projects like the Columbia River Gorge Highway.
Auto-tourism was exploding in the years following World War I and the federal government soon required all states to have a highway commission to oversee road building and repairs – duties that had previously belonged to the individual counties. The increasing ownership of vehicles meant that the traffic, both commercial and private, skyrocketed and the scenic highway stops became crowded and noisy. By 1926 it was simply entitled US Route 30, marking the completion of it from a scenic getaway into a main thoroughfare of transportation.
In 1919 the south road around Mt. Hood was very rough and began to lose all appeal as trains to Portland rendered the road obsolete. Hotels that existed along the road tried to appeal to affluent Portlanders who wanted to get away into the mountains. E. Henry Wemme – who had tried to facilitate construction of the Columbia River Highway, before either Hill or Benson – bought the road in 1912 to develop it into a more reliable path for automobiles. Wemme imagined the road as a potential scenic trip, with hotels and restaurants along the way. Both the Oregon Highway Commission and US Forest Service were sympathetic to his vision, but were ambivalent about the plan still. Constant pressure however from the constituents in Multnomah County, and the relatively cheap cost to repair the road, finally convinced the OHC to relent.
By 1925, over 200 miles had been graded and oiled and visitors began flocking to Mt. Hood. In 1926 the secretary of Agriculture signed off on a plan by members of the US Forest Service to establish the Mt. Hood Recreation Area. Tensions were raised though when a conglomeration of private investors got involved in the building and proposed a tramway that would go from the highway up to the very summit of the mountain. The idea fell through during the Great Depression, even though it had received the go ahead, but it had created much discussion about how far roads should extend towards “untrammeled” natural areas. Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal program led to a great increase in road building towards natural areas and government involvement, that contrasted with the private enterprise and lobbying that had characterized road-building in prior decades.
In his lecture, Rose explained that much of the debate over road building and usage had roots in class conflict, although it was never clean cut. To emphasize the point, Rose expanded on the involvement of the Mazamas, a mountaineering club, in the Trammelway proposal. They adopted what some people called an elitist attitude towards people who would use such a device to reach the top of the mountain.
Rose concluded by speaking of the power of technology being linked with imagination and illustrated that by showing how roads and cars offered the freedom to connect with nature in a way that trains could not. The freedom and opportunity connected with driving was lost though as they became more commonplace, leading to these drives becoming something akin to a chore. This led to a backlash against machines and technology and roads took the blame.
Thanks to SCARC volunteer Chris Russell for this post!
[The life of Peter Pauling, Part 6 of 9]
The year 1954 was a tumultuous one for Peter Pauling. For one, Jim Watson had left for Caltech, and Peter lamented that his absence was felt, as he was “a positive force, albeit a bit conceited” when it came to social dynamics in the lab. At the same time, Peter’s sister Linda was preparing to move to Cambridge, where her father hoped that Peter might help her to find lab work assisting with crystal structure determinations. (Linda was quite interested in mathematics.) His sister’s imminent arrival excited in Peter visions of European exploration, and especially of skiing.
June 2nd I had a wonderful chat with Chris Crabb, executive director of the Oregon Brewers Festival and owner of public relations firm Crabbsoup.
In her interview, she discusses her work as public relations manager of multiple beer-related accounts, emphasizing the ways social media has changed her work and the importance—and enjoyment—of her work forging local networks. Having been involved with the Oregon Brewers Festival for more than twenty years, Crabb offers insight regarding the organization and atmosphere of the popular event. She also recounts the cultural climates of Portland and Eugene during her adolescent and collegiate years.
Last Tuesday I did an oral history with Theodore “Ted” Cox, founder and owner of the Old World Deli complex in Corvallis, Oregon, which houses the Oregon Trail Brewery and several galleries in addition to his restaurant.
In his interview, Cox discusses the events that led him to open the deli, including two stints with the Peace Corps, as well as time as a student, teacher and volleyball coach at OSU and Linn Benton Community College, where he studied and taught physical education. A regional history aficionado, towards the end of the interview Cox shares several stories and anecdotes about Corvallis and Prohibition-era brewing practices.
Also of note? This was the 100th interview with an OSU alum for the Oregon State University Sesquicentennial Project.
In the first months of 1953, with his office mates scrambling to determine the molecular structure of DNA before his own father could beat them to it, Peter Pauling was mostly concerned with the English weather. He had been at Cambridge University since the fall of 1952 when he began his PhD program in physics at the university’s Cavendish Laboratory, and in that time he judged that he had seen a mere two full days of sun and was now officially fed up.
This spring term, the OSU Queer Archives (OSQA) collaborated with the history class HST 368 Lesbian and Gay Movements in Modern America with Professor Mina Carson. Carson, along with OSQA co-founders Natalia Fernández, Curator and Archivist of the Oregon Multicultural Archives, and Professor Bradley Boovy, Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, developed an oral history project for the students. Using Carson’s network of Corvallis area activists, in total, the students conducted 9 oral history interviews and added them to the OSQA oral history collection!