History

Reynolds murder trialBy Finn J.D. John

On June 20, 1907, a retired military man named Charles Reynolds was hurrying home as fast as he could — with a .38-caliber revolver in his pocket.
Charles was an old U.S. Cavalry man in his 50s who had moved to Portland with his wife, Lulu, and his two grown children from a previous marriage.

Lou SouthworthBy Finn J.D. John

In middle-school history classes, most Oregonians learned that Oregon was a “free” state in the runup to the civil war.
The familiar map of slave states and free states was a source of some pride, since everyone today sees the ludicrous injustice of the slavery system.
But the map was wrong.
The new state of Oregon was, in fact, unique in the country. Black people in Oregon in 1859 were neither slaves nor free; they were simply illegal.

Woman with cane flaskBy Finn J.D. John

Late in 1912, for the sixth and final time, the topic of voting rights for women was on Oregonians’ ballot. And when the votes were counted, it was a win: A fifty-two percent majority had voted for women’s suffrage.
Among those who’d voted against it, there were many motivations — some far sillier than others, but all of them pretty goofy in the light of history.
But there was a certain cadre of anti-suffrage men who, if you got them to speak frankly and off the record, would tell you, straight out, the real reason they didn’t want to give women the right to vote: Prohibition.

playing pinballBy Finn J.D. John

If you were a fan of the classic ABC television sitcom “Happy Days,” you know The Fonz had a special relationship with two particular machines: His trusty ’49 Triumph motorcycle, and the pinball machine in Al’s diner.
But it may surprise you to know that when Fonzie was playing that pinball machine, in 1950s Milwaukee, Wisc., he was breaking the law — and so was Al.

Moselle steamboat explosionBy Finn J.D. John

It was a peaceful, happy spring morning in the little river town of Canemah, situated just above Willamette Falls — or, rather, it started out that way.
It was April 8, 1854 — the very dawn of the steamboat era on the upper Willamette. Steamboats had been working the lower Willamette and Columbia for some time, but they’d only come to the upper Willamette three years before. The result, for Canemah, had been an explosion of growth.

Our move to Oregon: (1935)

By Maureen Trullinger, nee Barrows

Wild animal pen at RainbowLeft, my mother’s sister visiting from Alhambra, Bert Zabel; middle, my dad, and right, my mother.

Harry LaneBy Finn J.D. John

Many historians, when asked to cite the single biggest and most far-reaching government misstep in American history, will immediately start talking about the First World War.  By getting involved with that conflict — subtly at first, by lending money to the Allies, and later directly with American boots on French soil — we made it possible for one side to crush the other and impose its will,

Cornucpoia, OregonBy Finn J.D. John

Imagine yourself as a television network executive at NBC in 1973. The bright, happy Western classic “Bonanza” is about to be canceled. In a last-ditch effort to save it from the ax, you’ve been asked to put a fresh, “western-noir” spin on the show so that it can compete with the darker TV fare that’s now in fashion — like “All in the Family” and “M*A*S*H.”

D.B. Cooper drop zoneBy Finn J.D. John

Thanksgiving Day of 1971 was a very unusual one for F.B.I. agent Ralph Himmelsbach. He spent it flying a grid pattern over southwest Washington in his Taylorcraft, staring at the ground.
Himmelsbach was hoping to spot a parachute canopy down there — a parachute that would mark the landing spot of the man who’d hijacked Northwest Orient Flight 305 the previous evening.
It was the beginning of the hunt for D.B. Cooper — a hunt that still continues to this day.

Aft stairs on a 727By Finn J.D. John

It was sometime after 6 p.m. on the day before Thanksgiving, 1971, and the man who had just hijacked Northwest Orient Airlines Flight 305 was not happy.
The man — who was calling himself Dan Cooper, although he’s mostly known today as D.B. Cooper — had been pretty happy a minute or two before, when stewardess Tina Mucklow brought him all the stuff he’d demanded: four parachutes and $200,000.

Pages

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.