Tuesday, August 21, 2012


From the 1878 Portland City Directory

Some time back I promised to update my old Portland waterfront history website, and I have been plugging away at it for some time now. The most difficult part, for someone like me, is images. Were I unscrupulous I could easily load the site up with images stolen from university websites, navy history sites, and the like, but I actually believe that digital media has as much right to ownership as any other media. So, although the process has been slow, there will be a completely new www.portlandwaterfront.org very soon--and it will be bulging at the seams with pictures.

The grain docks of Albina from the West Hills

Since my book, Portland's Lost Waterfront, is now finished (and bulging with pictures), and will be out in November, I have decided that the residue of the images, the ones I ddn't use, and belong to me personally, will be made available on the www.portlandwaterfront.org website in fairly large format (1020 pixel width). I will also be able to complement the book by going into greater detail on some issues. I plan to send the final version of the book off to History Press either later today, or tomorrow--so wish me luck.

It can currently be pre-ordered at this link: http://www.amazon.com/Barney-Blalock/e/B008WAZXU2/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1

Let it not be said that I was too shy to make a sale.

 Portland in the early 1870s

This book has already helped me in several important ways: I am now ten times better at researching that I ever thought possible, I have become reacquainted with my old friend Thomas Robinson, who has graciously allowed me the pleasure of looking at old negatives of the waterfront for hours on end. And I can see how naive it was for me to put together my little website, way back in 2004. I feel as though I have been living in the 19th century for some time now. I have spent as many as 12 hours at a time reading old newspaper articles, so with the eye of a 19th century man I look at my old website and I say:
 "This could stand a bit of improvement."
Fear not, improvement is on its way.