Posts by History Department

Can You Guess Which Spot? Celebrity Edition

Think you’re a McMenamins history buff? Identify the five properties associated with these celebrities. Property #1 Actors River Phoenix and Keanu Reeves with director Gus Van Sant Property #2 A Mc regular with Bruce Springsteen Property #3 Krist Novolselić, co-founder of Nirvana Property #4 Mc employee with Portland Trail Blazer Damian Lillard Property #5 Sasquatch,…

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Veterans Day and the Elks

Hello from the History Department. This coming Monday, Nov. 11, is Veterans Day. McMenamins History Department first sent out the post below in November 2018, but the holiday’s origin story (which has a tie back to the Tacoma Elks lodge and this fantastic historic artifact to accompany it) bears repeating as this November 11th marks…

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From Kennedy School to the NY Yankees

Hello from the History Department. In honor of the World Series, this week’s history post is about a NY Yankee who was also a Kennedy School alumnus: Don Johnson. (No, not that Don Johnson of Miami Vice, but this one of Portland….) ********* “I was no superstar, but I played with the best players who…

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The Nun Who Made Learning Fun

Hello from the History Department. Sister Mary Sebastian is remembered by students at St. Francis School in Bend, OR, as the Converse All-Star sneaker-wearing teacher who taught for just a short time in the early 1960s, but left a lasting impression. One former student recalled, “She was very spontaneous, very energetic and tall. She’d even…

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The Elks’ Student Prince

Hello from the History Department. This brightly colored painting hangs in the pub at McMenamins Elks Temple in Tacoma, WA. But it wasn’t painted by one of our staff artists. This original oil painting, called Student Prince (ca. early 1930s), was graciously made available by Rudy Hansen, longtime employee at the revered Heidelberg Brewery of…

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Rest Easy, Glen

Hello from the History Department. On September 30, former Crystal Ballroom production manager Glen Rinzler of Showcall Event Services passed away here in Portland after a long illness. His mom was by his side. He’d only been with the Crystal for a handful of years, yet he’d already made an indelible mark with legendary music…

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The Lavender Lady & Her List of Books

Hello from the History Department. It’s October, the time of year when everyone wants to hear about the McMenamins ghosts. So here’s one “ghost” story, penned by a certain someone at the top of our company, that explains why we named the 3rd floor attic rooms at the Grand Lodge the way we did. Make…

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Sheriff John Hoggatt

Hello from the History Department. Read about Sheriff John Hoggatt, one member of seven generations of Hoggatts who still call Kalama, WA, home. His story can be connected back to not one, but two current McMenamins properties. ********* In 1888, the Hoggatt family journeyed by rail from the Kansas plains to the mountainous timberland of…

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The 3 Joes

Hello from the History Department. It’s not often that we can connect one of our own employees back three generations with a McMenamins property. And it’s even more rare when we can connect them with three different properties. Read along as we recount this amazing story involving Joes I, II and III – or perhaps…

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Chief Tsungani

Hello from the History Department. Read about Chief Tsungani, some of whose lovely artwork hangs at the Kalama Harbor Lodge, such as the sun mask that greets guests at the entrance and is shown with the artist below. ********* Born Fearon Smith Jr., and nicknamed “Smitty,” Chief Tsungani is the younger brother of the late…

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