Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Ghostly Memories of Portland

The Eve of the Eve of All Saints

I usually don't pay much attention to Halloween, except for carving a pumpkin for the grandkids, but today I uploaded a little online book called, Ghostly Memories of Portland. For some time now I enjoyed tracking down installments of an occasional Morning Oregonian feature called, Do You Remember?. These were published somewhat randomly in the 19 teens and 20s. I find it fascinating to hear ordinary Oregon old timers talk about the early times. Portland was so completely different that it may as well have been a different city. I call these memories "ghostly" because they speak of forgotten places, people, and events in a familiar way that brings the past into a strange focus, in a obscure light.

The time has come for an update, and I will be brief.
1. The book, Portland's Lost Waterfront: Tall Ships, Steam Mills, and Sailor's Boardinghouses, has been released by History Press. It can be purchased at Powell's City of Books, the History Press website, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble. I still haven't seen a real copy, but the digital proof looked nice.
2. I have made the acquaintance of Captain Jack Taylor, who for decades was the master of the sternwheeler steamboat tug, Portland. He made an audio recording of his life on the river, which he has allowed me to copy. It will be quite valuable to me as I research the post WWI waterfront for an upcoming book. I have no doubt that there will be lots to blog about.
3. I have written an in depth article on the Willamette River Light Station, Portland's only lighthouse. I am looking for a place to publish.  The subject could be a smallish book in its own right, but I don't suppose there are enough Willamette River history enthusiasts to make it viable.
4. I have worked the bugs out of my new version of the Pictorial History of the Portland Waterfront website. The timeline was all on one page with a horizontal sliding device. That was too many images to ask a browser to load at one time, so I broke it into separate pages.

That is all for now. I hope you enjoy the "ghostly memories." Don't worry, there is nothing there that will give you uneasy sleep.

Monday, October 1, 2012

A Pictorial History of the Portland Waterfront

The 3D menu wheel on the home page of the new site

 Today, after what seemed life the struggle of a lifetime, my new Pictorial History of the Portland Waterfront (www.portlandwaterfront.org) went live (as they say). The site was designed to be multi-layered in a way that allows for a quick perusal, or a long read, depending on the mindset of the individual who stumbles in. I like pictures, so I put up lots of pictures. To start with I put up only images that are either old enough to be in the public domain, or ones that I have created myself. The site is largely concerned with the 19th century, but as I include more content dealing with the 20th century I will use more images from the Historic Photo Archives with links to the archive website.

 The new site is designed to be tweaked, added to, and improved without altering the structure. I am looking forward to hearing the response of readers, and hope that no one will be too shy to suggest improvements, or add content.