Posts by History Department

Portland Hockey Trivia

Hello from the History Department. Here’s a good way to impress your sporty friends at holiday parties: Q: What is the only non-winning city engraved as champions on ice hockey’s premiere trophy, the Stanley Cup? A: Portland, Oregon This cool story also has connections to four McMenamins properties – Tavern & Pool, 23rd Avenue Bottle…

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Just Another Day at Work

Hello from the History Department — So this happened last week… ***** YES! You are correct. That’s Nirvana co-founder and bassist Krist Novoselic, signing an album for one of the Andersen Construction crew in their offices across from the Elks Temple before our tour of the property. When we posted this image on the McMenamins…

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Can You Guess Which Spot?

Think you’re a McMenamins history buff? Identify the five properties associated with these images. Orb #1 Orb #2 Orb #3 Orb #4 Orb #5             Answers: Orb #1: Cornelius Pass Roadhouse Orb #2: Edgefield Orb #3: Grand Lodge Orb #4: Hillsdale Orb #5: Edgefield

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Handball and Heritage

Hello from the History Department – and happy Thanksgiving! Lea McMillan became a Tacoma Elk at 23 years old in 1961. Why? Handball, of course! But that’s not the most interesting part of his story…. ***** McMillan became an Elk at 23 years old specifically because the building currently being renovated into our newest hotel…

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The Elks’ Influence on Veterans’ Day

Hello from the History Department. As we dig into the Tacoma Elks’ history, we continue to come across interesting stories and facts. For example, did you know that the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks (BPOE) has a direct connection with what has become known as Veterans’ Day? ***** Before WWII, November 11 was originally…

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Rudy, not Ruby

Hello from the History Department. Remember that time that Rodolfo Alfonso Raffaello Pierre Filibert Guglielmi di Valentina d’Antonguolla stopped by the Crystal Ballroom (then known as Cotillion Hall)? Rudy Valentino was a legendary pop icon and Hollywood sex symbol, with swarms of adoring fans wherever he appeared, including in Portland. ***** Valentino, sultry, brooding 1920s…

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Hello, Gorgeous [Part II]

Hi from the History Department – Last week’s post about the Orpheum Theater chandelier now installed at the Tacoma Elks Temple really dazzled our Facebook history friends. The post has garnered a reach of over 58,000 people, 800+ likes and more than 400 shares (and counting!). And so here’s Part II of the story, with…

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Sam the Ghost

Hello from the History Department – It’s that time of year again. **************** Technically, the historians are the wrong ones to ask about ghosts. Technically, we are supposed to stick to the facts. And it is a proven fact that ghosts are hard to prove as fact. But… you never know. We have more than…

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Hello, Gorgeous

Here is a recent photo of this exquisite piece being installed in the top-floor ballroom at the Elks Temple in Tacoma. Easily 10 feet of gilded metal and glass, this magnificent chandelier reportedly took six months to construct for the lobby of the Orpheum Theater in Seattle in 1927. Imagine it casting a glittery glow…

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Beloved Community, 1990

Hello from the History Department – Have a look at just one of the fantastic pieces of new artwork that our McMenamins artists are painting for the Tacoma Elks Temple. No, the three figures depicted here were never Elks. As artist Jonathan Case explains below, this is a fictional mash-up of people who called Tacoma…

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