History

NASA astronautBy Finn J.D. John
Sometime in the late 1990s, Scott Leavengood of Oregon State University’s Forestry Extension Service got a strange phone call from Michael Simons of Phoenix, Arizona.
“I heard there was a moon tree planted at the College of Forestry,” Simons said.
“Is it still there? Can I get cuttings from it?”
Leavengood had no idea what he was talking about. Moon tree? What was that?

Japanese shipBy Finn J.D. John

On November 3, 1832, the 50-foot Japanese cargo vessel Hojun Maru left Ise Bay bound for Edo — the city now known as Tokyo. Its hold was full of rice and porcelain dishes from the south end of the Japanese archipelago, to be traded for salt fish from the north.
One of the youngest members of the Hojun Maru’s 14-man crew was a 14-year-old boy named Otokichi, a cook’s apprentice Otokichi and his shipmates couldn’t know it, but when they stepped aboard at Ise Bay, they were leaving their homeland forever.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From the May 16, 2001 edition of McKenzie River Reflections

SchoonerBy Finn J.D. John
It was early afternoon on a sunny October day in 1883, and a group of Astorians were standing on the shore watching a small, trim schooner sailing toward them.
They’d been watching it all day, and by now they were a little worried.

 

Burnside drugstoreBy Finn J.D. John

On December 7, 1934, Ben Votruba left his room at the Bridge Hotel, a run-down flophouse on the corner of Union and Burnside, and made his way across the Burnside Bridge to the Pioneer Drugstore on the other side of the river.
Ben was, essentially, a washed-up alcoholic.

From the May 9, 2001 edition of McKenzie River Reflections

Cayuse horsemenBy Finn J.D. John
Joe Crabb was a gambling man - that much, at least, we know. And in 1871, he’d put his money down on an absolute ironclad sure thing.
It was a horse race, and Crabb was a horseman. He was matching his own best animal, a magnificent thoroughbred, against a smallish spotted pony belonging to Howlish Wampoo, the chief of the Cayuse Indian tribe.

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McKenzie River Reflections is the weekly newspaper serving Oregon's McKenzie River Valley. Available by mail for $23/yr in Lane County, $29/yr outside Lane. Digital subscriptions are $23/yr. Subscribe at: http://mckenzieriverreflectionsnewspaper.com/catalog/subscriptions-0. Purchase copies online at: http://mckenzieriverreflectionsnewspaper.com/catalog/back-issues-0. Read about area communities including Cedar Flat, Walterville, Camp Creek, Leaburg, Vida, Nimrod, Finn Rock, Blue River, Rainbow and McKenzie Bridge.