News of the Week, February 12 to February 18

Oregon Spectator, February 18, 1847

Paul Kane, M.O. Hammond Collection

Paul Kane @1850

PAINTING – Mr. Paul Kane, a Canadian gentleman, has been in our city recently, engaged in putting upon canvas, some of the interesting scenery of our locality. He is an artist of great merit, and has made several faithful and beautiful pictures of this city and the Falls. His paintings are in oil colors, extremely attractive and strikingly correct. We understand that it is Mr. Kane’s intention, during the sojourn of several months, to touch with the magic of his elegant art, various points of the wild and sublime scenery of Oregon, and on his return to the States, to publish the results of his labor. Our countrymen on the eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains, entertain imperfect notions, doubtless, of the appearance of Oregon and its settlements, but we can assure them that in the achievements of Mr. Kane, they may behold correct delineations of the country.

MARRIED – At Oregon City, on the 9th of Feb., 1847 by Rev. Geo. Gary, Mr. PETER H. HATCH to Miss S. C. LOCEY, all of this place, Accompanying this notice came one of the prettiest, sweetest, roundest little pound cakes we have seen or tasted, for many a day. We wish the happy couple all that can be desirable, and a lifetime lengthened by the sweet enjoyment of content.

Oregon City Courier, February 12, 1897

Burmeister & Andresen have received a large new burglar proof safe and the safe formerly used by them will take the place of the one blown open by robbers in the Post Office.

vc155Edison’s most wonderful production is his Vitascope, an instrument which produces the actual movements of the body, as though persons were actually before the audience. The people of Oregon City are to be given an opportunity of seeing this most wonderful invention at Shively’s opera house on next Monday evening, and an entertainment will be given which will pack the house from stage to door. Accompanying the Vitascope is Prof. D. W. Prince, with illustrated views of Lieut. Schwatka’s expedition to the North Pole, a trip to the World’s Fair and Mexico. Seats to any part of the house 25 cents.

The concrete walls of the extension to the Portland General Electric Company’s station B on the west side were completed Saturday evening by the Pacific Bridge Co., which has the contract for the work, and the roof will be on in about a week. The new building is 38 x 112 feet, and contains seven sections, in each of which the casings, etc., are ready for a 600-horsepower waterwheel. The canal wall is also about completed, 20 of the 22 bents required being in place. The work of rebuilding this wall without interfering with the water supply to the factories of the passage of boats through the canal has been quite a difficult job, calling for some skillful engineering.

Oregon City Enterprise, February 15, 1907


The intake pipe at the city water pumping station was lowered this morning and the water will be turned on this evening. An 80-horsepower electric motor will arrive from Portland in the morning and will be placed in position when the water is sufficiently low to require its use. However it is possible that the intake pipe might be moved further up the basin before it will be found necessary to install the motor. No reasonable expense will be spared by the board of water commissioners to keep the city supplied with water.

It is now believed that the breaking away of a portion of the wooden basin wall, prevented an inrush of waters that might have seriously damaged the pumping station. The statement had been made that a conference of the water board, the Oregon City Manufacturing Company and other parties interested will soon be had to determine what steps can be made to secure a temporary supply of water from the basin.

It was the intention of the electric company to enclose the basin with a cement wall two years ago, but their time was taken up with other improvements and the matter was postponed. The improvement will no doubt be made when the water reaches a sufficiently low stage during the coming summer.



The Log – 1890 Flood

The angry, surging flood of the past week carrying devastation in its wake was a tame thing compared with the high waters of 1861-62 and 1890, according to the stories of the oldest inhabitants. When the big flood of 1861-62 came it wiped out the mills and residences of Linn City, a flourishing town that was built on the rocks and ground space now occupied by the locks canal and paper mills. The enterprising little West Side town was entirely washed away and never rebuilt.

E. D. Kelly, who carried on a prosperous hotel business in the building just north of the Cliff House on Main Street and still standing, states that the water stood three feet on the ground floor. A brick building that stood opposite the present woolen mill site was used as a wholesale general merchandise store by Abernethy & Co. and another 2-story brick in the same block was carried away by the raging volumes of water, as also was the old McLoughlin flouring mill built in Hudson Bay times.

The flood of 1861-62 was evidently the most severe that ever visited Oregon City, although there was less property to be destroyed at that time.

Mrs. May LaForest says that the site of the falls was completely obliterated and a swift smooth body of water flowed over the jagged precipice that has made the falls of the Willamette famous. Captain Taylor and three other adventurous spirits rowed over the falls in a small boat and were applauded by the population.

Mrs. LaForest says that the high water reached the dwelling of Christopher C. Babcock in the north end of town, at the northwest corner of Twelfth and Washington Streets, and residents of the dwellings on the lower ground were rescued by steamboat. One woman that lived in a house on the site of the Lynch cottage, stepped from her upstairs window onto the deck of a boat.

The flood was evidently higher and more disastrous in its effects than the high water of 1890. The high water of the latter date reached as far up as Barlow’s grocery store, and a large log was left stranded in the street near the Bank of Oregon City. Several buildings were carried away but the loss did not come up to that of 1861-62.


The pump of the city water works was put into running order Friday night and about 11 o’clock the water began to work into the mains of the city. Some trouble was experienced at first in getting enough pressure worked up as many of the residents had left their faucets open. The result was that many of the houses in the city were flooded during the night.

Early in the morning of Saturday the reservoir was turned loose into the mains to supply the city while the new belt was being placed on the wheel at the station.

Everything worked in good condition although when started up there was several inches of water over the floor of the station. The filters are also working and the water which is being supplied is in good condition. As soon as it can be done conveniently the filters will be thoroughly overhauled and the water will be somewhat clearer than it is at the present time. The people of this city can now appreciate now necessary water is to a community and it is hoped they will not leave the faucets open when water is not needed, and wast it unnecessarily.

Oregon City Enterprise, February 16, 1917


In order that he would be allowed tobacco while he was in jail, Ewald Schneider, 17 year-old burglar, confessed to Deputy District Attorney Burke Thursday that he had risked a penitentiary sentence by telling the court at his hearing that he was 18 years old.

Young Schneider, who has a long criminal record, has been in jail here since last December, when he was caught robbing Reddaway’s grocery store. At the time he professed to the judge that he was eighteen.

Burke first began to suspect that Schneider was lying when he noticed that the age of the boy as given in the records of his mother’s estate and in his guardianship papers did not correspond with the lad’s statement. He investigated.

The result is that Schneider will be allowed his freedom this morning unless Superintendent Hale, of the state training school, from which Schneider is a parole breaker, asks to have him returned. The officials expect to turn him over the Professor J. R. Bowland, who is his guardian.

If the discovery of Schneider’s real age had not been made his case might have resulted in a grand jury indictment followed by a penitentiary sentence. As it is now, the worst that can befall him is a three year sentence in the reform school. In the reform school he would not be allowed tobacco, so Schneider preferred the penitentiary.


Boys under 16 have seen their last boxing match in Oregon City, according to Constable Jack Frost.

“In the past,” said Frost Monday, “a number of boys have been regularly attending the smokers given here. As a result complaints have been coming in to me from many sides.”

“For that reason I am going to see to it that no one under 16 is admitted to the boxing matches.”

Frost is the juvenile officer. He will be on duty at the smokers to see that his order is obeyed.

Interested in more information on historic floods in Oregon City?

Purchase “Oregon City Floods” from Arcadia Publishing


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