Richard Engeman

Richard H. Engeman is a retired archivist and historian with degrees from Reed College, the University of Oregon, and the University of Washington. His publications include the online history of Oregon's built environment, Wooden Beams and Railroad Ties (2005), The Oregon Companion: An Historical Gazetteer of the Useful, the Curious and the Arcane (2009) and Eating it Up in Eden: the Oregon Century Farm & Ranch Cookbook (2009). He is the principal of Oregon Rediviva LLC, where he does historical research and writing, and is active as a speaker on regional history.

Author's Entries

  • Adair Village

    The city of Adair Village is located in Benton County about seven miles north of Corvallis along Highway 99W. The name is derived from Camp Adair, a World War II training camp that encompassed more than 50,000 acres. The camp hosted as many as 45,000 troops and military personnel between …

    Oregon Encyclopedia

  • Ainsworth House (Mount Pleasant)

    The Ainsworth House was built in 1851 on the high land east of Oregon City for Capt. John C. Ainsworth (1822-1893). Known as Mount Pleasant, the house was probably designed by one of Oregon’s earliest architects, Absalom B. Hallock. Mount Pleasant is regarded as a fine example of the …

    Oregon Encyclopedia

  • Amity

    Amity is situated in southern Yamhill County along Salt Creek near its confluence with Ash Swale and at the base of the Amity Hills. Farmers began settling in the valley in the 1840s, and in 1849 families made plans to establish a school. The site for the school was hotly …

    Oregon Encyclopedia

  • Beaver gold coins

    Beaver gold coins, in five-dollar and ten-dollar denominations, were created in 1849 to fill a commercial need in the new Oregon Territory, where currency consisted of “beaver skins, wheat, bills, drafts and orders, gold dust and silver coins of Mexico and Peru, all of changing and uncertain value.” Goods such …

    Oregon Encyclopedia

  • Bosco-Milligan Foundation

    The Bosco-Milligan Foundation of Portland was founded in 1987 by Jerry Bosco and Ben Milligan to protect their collection of architectural elements and to further the cause of education about the city’s architectural history. The foundation operates the Architectural Heritage Center, which carries on a program of lectures, house and …

    Oregon Encyclopedia

  • Buckhorn Mineral Springs Resort

    Buckhorn Mineral Springs is on Emigrant Creek, about eleven miles southeast of Ashland in the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, located in a part of Oregon where the ancient Siskiyou Mountains adjoin the recent volcanism of the Cascade Range. One of a number of mineralized hot and cold springs in the region, …

    Oregon Encyclopedia

  • Champoeg

    The town of Champoeg had a brief but memorable life. Instigated by geographic advantage in the 1830s, Champoeg was swept away by devastating Willamette River floods in 1861 and 1862. While the town persisted as a rural riverside community, it failed to recover or to bloom as a center of …

    Oregon Encyclopedia

  • Coalcas Pillar

    Coalcas Pillar is a rock formation—an eroded basalt plug—located on a bluff overlooking the Willamette River about five miles south of Oregon City. Somewhat mushroom-shaped, about thirty feet in height, and often inaccurately described as a “balancing rock,” the pillar has long been a landmark for travelers along the river. …

    Oregon Encyclopedia

  • Community of Airlie

    The unincorporated Polk County community of Airlie began as the terminus of a railroad that planned to connect the rich farms of the southern Willamette Valley with Portland markets. William Reid, a Glasgow-born attorney who came to Oregon in 1874 as a representative of Scottish investors, established the narrow-gauge Oregonian …

    Oregon Encyclopedia

  • Dorothy Olga Johansen (1904-1999)

    Dorothy Olga Johansen was a prominent Pacific Northwest historian and educator who taught at Reed College in Portland. She was born in Seaside on May 19, 1904, graduated from Astoria High School in 1922, and attended Oregon Normal School (now Western Oregon University), where she earned a teaching certificate in 1925. …

    Oregon Encyclopedia

  • Hanley Farm

    The Hanley Farm, situated along Jackson Creek about two miles northeast of Jacksonville, is a historic farmstead owned by the Southern Oregon Historical Society. Placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983, the Hanley Farm has a main residence, two large barns, a stone springhouse, and a number …

    Oregon Encyclopedia

  • Henry Theophilus Finck (1854–1926)

    Music critic Henry T. Finck spent his childhood on an apple orchard near the Christian agricultural colony of Aurora, in the lower Willamette Valley. The first Oregonian to graduate from Harvard, Finck was a prolific writer and critic of contemporary music. He also wrote about horticulture, romantic love, travel, food, …

    Oregon Encyclopedia

  • Henry Thiele (1882-1952)

    Henry Thiele was a Portland restaurateur, chef, and socialite whose eponymous restaurant was a city landmark for more than a half century. His culinary accomplishments made a distinct impression on Oregon food maven James A. Beard, who experienced Thiele’s cooking in his youth and described him as having “a …

    Oregon Encyclopedia

  • Oregon Historical Society

    The Oregon Historical Society is a private museum, archival library, and educational institution headquartered in downtown Portland. It was founded on December 17, 1898, with the purpose of forwarding the “collection, preservation, exhibition, and publication of material of a historical character, especially that relating to the history of Oregon …

    Oregon Encyclopedia

  • Oregon, My Oregon (state song)

    Oregon’s state song, “Oregon, My Oregon,” was composed by Henry B. Murtagh with lyrics by John Andrew Buchanan. Published in December 1920, it is a general paean to Oregon's scenic beauty and a tribute to the state's EuroAmerican settlers. The Oregon legislature designated “Oregon, My Oregon” as the state song …

    Oregon Encyclopedia

  • Peter Britt (1819-1905)

    Peter Britt is best known as an accomplished photographer and horticulturist in Jackson County. But according to his biographer, he was also "by turns, miner, mule train packer, bee-keeper, financier, property magnate, government meteorologist, first vintner in the Oregon Territory and a father of the region's fruit industry." Britt was …

    Oregon Encyclopedia

  • Portland Public Market

    Designated "market squares" were once common in American city plans, and Portland's 1853 plat identified two blocks that served this purpose. One of those blocks, currently the site of Keller Auditorium, was used sporadically for public market purposes between about 1890 and 1911. A privately operated market opened in 1873 in the …

    Oregon Encyclopedia

  • Shanghaiing in Portland and the Shanghai Tunnels Myth

    Since the 1970s, a myth has grown up that propounds the existence of a secret network of tunnels beneath the streets and buildings of the Portland waterfront. The tunnels are said to have been constructed to support the illegal practice of forcibly supplying crews to outbound sailing ships in the …

    Oregon Encyclopedia

  • Zimmerman Heritage Farm

    The Zimmerman Heritage Farm in Gresham consists of an 1874 farmhouse on 5.98 acres, the remnant of a large dairy farm operated by the family of Jacob (1816–1899) and Lena (1827–1887) Zimmerman and their descendants. The Fairview–Rockwood Wilkes Historical Society operates the site as a historic house museum. Both Jacob …

    Oregon Encyclopedia