Monday, October 17, 2011

Views of Oregon

Steven from Facing West kindly sent me these Oregon postcards some time ago. I had trouble finding information on the monument below until Jennfer Keyser of the Oregon Historical Society came to my rescue. The name of the park is now Lownsdale Park and the statue is known as the soldier's monument. It is a memorial to Oregon's 2nd volunteer regiment that helped to capture Manila in 1896 at the end of the Spanish-American War.

Here are a two other cards Steven sent me, a great beach scene at Seaside, Oregon, and a view of Cascade Locks on the Columbia River. I don't go to Seaside very often, but it is a popular destination for Oregonians and visitors alike.

There is now a city called Cascade Locks, but the locks you see in this postcard were submerged in 1938 by the Bonneville Dam, which included its own locks to replace the Cascade Locks. The Cascade Locks were originally built to ease navigation through the treacherous 4.5 mile Cascade Rapids, which Lewis and Clark named The Great Shute. When they came through in 1805, they carried their gear around the rapids and took the canoes down empty.

Here are the backs of the postcards in the same order.

The message sent to Mrs. H.L. Barth of Seattle in 1911 is faint and hard to read, but I think this is what it says:
Portland, Ore May 5, 1911
Dear Fanny:
Rec'd your letter and was very glad to hear from you. I would like to write, but expect to be home soon and will tell you all the news then. We expect to stop over at Centralia and Grand Mound on our way up. We are having a dandy time. Say, maybe I wasent glad to go.
Best. With Love SM


  1. Very nice postcards, I do hope you find what happened to the monument. I presume it could have been built from public subscription/donation money. A war memorial local to where I live, got moved in, I think, the 1950s as it was deemed that the road, in which it stood in the centre, was getting too busy and it would most likely get damaged, so the war memorial now stands in a nearby churchyard.

  2. It is odd for monuments to just disappear. And also, i find it odd people wrote messages on postcards in pencil!

  3. Many things go out of sight in reality (or get destroyed), but they still are in sight in a postcard, maybe...:)

  4. That’s actually quite sad isn’t it. It’s not like the event was pre-history. Perhaps this postcard is the only memorial now.

  5. Too bad the monument proves to be a mystery, Christine. Perhaps the answer is still out there, hiding for now but will reveal itself in time. Is Plaza Park in existence?

  6. What a mystery about the monument! Never been to Seaside; my ex-wife & I vacationed a few times on the coast, but in Manzanita.

  7. The monument on the first postcard, of the man atop the obelisk, still stands in downtown Portland. It's in the middle of Lownsdale Square which is currently one of the sites where Occupy Portland is camping. You can see it on Google Maps, satellite view, if you put in SW 4th and SW Salmon. You can virtually walk around the park with Google Maps and get lots of angles of it. I have a photo that I took of it on May 18, 2009, which I enlarged to its largest view so that I could read the words that you can read on your post card. The three circular pedestals are still there, as are the round-topped short poles. I do hope nothing has been damaged on it by the crowd of people who have been there for weeks now.

  8. After work today I rode the bus right by the monument which looked fine, as much as I could see of it with so many tents and tarps there. I did see a news story today, though, which gave me pause and hope.

    Memorial written on, then cleaned by Occupy Portland

    Posted: Oct 18, 2011 10:24 PM PDT
    Updated: Oct 18, 2011 10:27 PM PDT
    By FOX 12 Staff - email

    A local memorial dedicated to war veterans was covered with slogans from Occupy Portland protesters.

    Other members of the group have since cleaned it off.

    Messages like "together we are one" and "you are the one" were written in chalk on the memorial at Lownsdale Square on Southwest 4th Avenue and Main Street.

    It's right in the middle of where protesters have camped out for nearly two weeks in a protest they say is against corporate greed.

    Members of the protest say they don't approve of the vandalism.

    "As soon as we found out about it, immediately there was three or four volunteers that went down to the kitchen, got some rags and just wiped it off," said Jordan Ledoux, a member of the Occupy Portland communications committee.

    Organizers say that memorial means a lot to so many people and they don't want to see it disrespected again.

    "And since then we've actually set up a barrier so that people don't go and hang out there where they can cause further damage to the memorial," Ledoux said.

    If you Google Occupy Portland monument cleaned, you will get the story on Fox KPTV 12 and see the photo of the writing on the monument, plus part of the carved memorial words.

  9. Lynette,

    Thanks so much for your comments. I had called the State Historical Society with an inquiry, and they got back to me with all kinds of information about the monument, which does still exist. The park has a different name, as you noted. I also had a long discussion with a neighbor about the monument. I'll be providing an update based on all of that information very soon.



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