The Sorters of Kalama

The Sortors of Kalama

By Matt Korona | June 24, 2020 |

Grace Tibbet’s mother was a Native Clatsop named Louisa, of whom little is known. Her father, Calvin Tibbets, was a stonecutter from Maine who had ventured west in 1832, across the plains and over the mountains to Oregon, his new permanent home. He was the first U.S. citizen to do so, earning him the sobriquiet…

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Dorothy Mason Brown

The Story of Dorothy Mason Brown

By History Department | June 19, 2020 |

“She was religious, very active, very community oriented, always wanted to work to make the community better. She was a do-er, a helper, a supporter. I think at an early age, she had made up her mind that she was going to make a difference. And that’s what she did.” – Dr. Betty Cobbs, daughter…

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Willard Case

Lumberman Willard Case of Kalama

By History Department | May 20, 2020 |

As 1908 came to a close, veteran lumberman Willard Case ushered in the first railroad logging operation at Kalama. Case had been in the lumber business for nearly two decades by this point, but was relatively new to this area. He hailed from the Old Northwest Territory – born in Ohio and raised in Missouri…

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The Story of Torchy

By History Department | March 10, 2020 |

Hello from the History Department – She just wanted to finish her drink! Read this great story by The Oregonian’s Douglas Perry about Phyllis “Torchy” Jessing, the redhead on the left in McMenamins artist Lyle Hehn’s mural that hangs in Zeus Café. This true-crime tale has everything: a drunken stabbing, a bloody weapon, a lovesick…

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John Kalama

Who Was John Kalama?

By History Department | March 3, 2020 |

Hello from the History Department – For more than a century, speculation has run rampant regarding how the town of Kalama got its name. Was it based on the Chinook word “Kala amat,” which is how local natives referred to themselves? Or did the name come from the nearby river, which had been named for…

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Jonathan Burbee

The Burbee Family of Kalama

By History Department | February 26, 2020 |

Hello from the History Department – For most of the pioneer wagon trains making their slow and often treacherous way across the Oregon Trail, the trip ended in or around Oregon City. But for a select few, the journey veered north, up into what would one day be the Washington Territory. Read the story of…

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“The Conqueror” Riding a Horse

By History Department | February 19, 2020 |

Hello from the History Department – Often people want to know the stories behind certain unusual antiques in our properties. More often than not, those provenances prove to be elusive. But we do know the story about a recently installed brass piece at the entrance to the Ironworks Grill at the Grand Lodge. ***** Ozolua…

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Reed, Olsen & The Barony Ball

By History Department | February 11, 2020 |

Hello from the History Department – At Tacoma’s Elks Temple, there is a guest room named for John Reed (left) and Kenny Olsen (right), longtime friends who became leaders within Tacoma’s gay community. They were instrumental in the establishment of the Imperial Sovereign Court, an organization that endeavors to create a safe, supportive, and social…

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Meet Employee #2: Thursday Jane

By Word Bird | February 5, 2020 |

Either you’re on the bus or off the bus In 1983 Mike McMenamin had just opened the Barley Mill Pub on Portland’s Hawthorne Boulevard when a recent California transplant, Thursday Jane, applied for a job waiting tables. She danced into the pub in her high tops, ready for her interview, but the manager was out,…

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Enlightenment from Above in West Linn

By History Department | February 5, 2020 |

Hello from the History Department – “Can you find the skull in the clouds?” We’ve been putting that slightly off-putting question to West Linn pub guests coming up on 28 years now, since the pub opened in 1992. It encourages people to immerse themselves in former McMenamins artist Scott Young’s all-encompassing 40-foot mural, inspired by…

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