The Harriman Alaska Expedition of 1899

Calling all scientists, artists, geologists, botanists, photographers, zoologists, and chefs! Want to go on an adventure? Alaska is waiting for you! The 1899 Harriman Expedition to Alaska is the primary subject of this painting displayed at McMenamins Kalama Harbor Lodge. But there is a Kalama connection, too. Artist Cleo Hehn’s colorful sampler of discoveries from…

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John Barleycorns’ Hawaiian Twin

McMenamins John Barleycorns Pub and Brewery in Tigard, Oregon has a distinct and captivating look. It’s like a miniature medieval castle, yet the interior has a tropical flair. What is the inspiration for this curious combination? Mike McMenamin based the design for the John Barleycorns Pub on an unusual pumping station that caught his eye…

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Ani DiFranco at the Crystal Ballroom – June 30th, 2022

Ani DiFranco delivered a profound and spirited performance at the Crystal Ballroom in Portland, Oregon on June 30th—returning to the historic McMenamins venue. She played songs from her latest record, Revolutionary Love, along with plenty of early favorites. The place was packed with Ani superfans, from old schoolers who grew up with Ani in the…

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Senator Patty Murray, from Anderson School to D.C.

Painting of US Senator Patty Murray by Carol Meckling

This painting of US Senator Patty Murray by artist Carol Meckling is displayed at McMenamins Anderson School in Bothell, Washington, where there is also a guest room named in Senator Murray’s honor. This patriotic piece envisions Patty as Rosie the Riveter—the WWII icon that celebrates the power of women’s work and equality. Patty grew up…

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Happy Juneteenth!

Mural of Clara Peoples

In 2021, Juneteenth was designated a federally observed holiday. And this year, on June 19th, Juneteenth will officially be recognized as an Oregon state holiday. Juneteenth celebrates the abolishment of African American slavery in the United States. But attaining that freedom was not as simple as President Lincoln signing the Emancipation Proclamation in 1862. Even after…

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Bad Bad Hats, The Ophelias at McMenamins Mission Theater

Bad Bad Hats, a rising indie-pop rock trio from Minneapolis, put on an energetic and joyful show at McMenamins Mission Theater in NW Portland on Wednesday, May 25th. The opening band, the Ophelias, brought their playfully dark baroque-rock from Cincinnati and were the perfect musical foil to the sunny Bad Bad Hats. Bad Bad Hats…

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Happy May Day!

Happy May Day! For years, a tradition for Portland-area schools was to celebrate the arrival of spring with a Maypole dance. The first held at Kennedy Elementary School (now McMenamins Kennedy School) was in the spring of 1916, as part of the dedication ceremony for Kennedy’s new permanent school building. McMenamins revived the Maypole tradition…

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The Roses of the Cotillion

“They were cultivating us to be the kind of women that they wanted us to be, not just as women but as community leaders, community organizers, as people who would carry on the torch.” – Crystal Wright, Red Rose Cotillion debutante of 1975 The Unique Social and Community Club was founded in 1963 by a…

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