News of the Week, March 12 to March 18

Oregon Spectator, March 18, 1847

The weather, for a portion of last week, was severely cold, and snow fell on Friday last, to the depth of several inches. The prospect, however, has since brightened, and we now have sunshine and the “breath of Spring.”

A subscription has been opened at this office for the relief of Thomas Holt and others, who went to the succor of the immigrants by the southern route, and thereby incurred indebtedness which they cannot sustain. Call and subscribe.

Captain W. K. Kilborn, of the brig Henry, will accept our thanks for full files of the Sandwich Island papers. The cargo of the brig Henry consists of dry goods, groceries, crockery, hardware and furniture, which will form the stock of a new mercantile establishment to be located in this city.

Oregon Argus, March 14, 1857

The rains have at last apparently held up. Such an everlasting pour as we have had the past winter we have seldom seen before. The cattle haven’t yet put out fins that we have noticed, but for want of scales the rains have actually washed the life out of hundreds of them. As Phoenix says, many of the men in Oregon are some cause decidedly “scaly.”

Oregon City Enterprise, March 16, 1867

THE WEATHER- The absorbing topic of both thought and conversation for the last week has been the weather. Sometimes there are croakers who incessantly complain of the weather and take delight in making themselves uncomfortable by grumbling at the rain. We trust that the past week the temperature has been sufficiently desirable to them to leave nothing wanting. Any person of our acquaintance who may be opposed to the thermometer at 40 and a country like Minnesota will be fully excused for complaining to the full extent of his ability of the past weeks refreshment.

FIRE DEPARTMENT – These past cold days of extraordinary high wind, have caused many of our citizens to “sleep with one eye open,” that they might be ready to start on the jump at any time to a fire alarm. We may yet possibly regret that we have no engine, or hook and ladder company. The Dalles, Portland, Vancouver, Salem – all these towns waited until they were partly destroyed by fires before they moved in the matter. They are now all well supplied. There may be some hope for this place. At an adjourned meeting of the City Council, held on the evening of the 9th, Mayor Barclay submitted a message recommending the formation of a department, and the immediate construction of hooks and ladders suitable for present use, also a strict enforcement of the ordinance requiring the city marshal to investigate the condition of stove pipes, flues, chimneys, etc. throughout the City. The Mayor asked the Council at the same time, to make some liberal offer as an inducement for the construction of water works and fire plugs on Main Street. The message was well received, and the Council passed an order offering $1,000 per annum, and the free privilege to sell water, to any company, corporation or individual who will come forward and lay the mains, construct the works, and put it into operation. The idea seems ridiculous, that we should do more than make this statement of the case. That the business would be profitable to those engaged in it, no doubt, yet it seems there are no persons who are able to carry out the plans, that regard it in very favorable light, from some cause. When the horses are stolen, then the stable will be securely fastened.

Oregon City Enterprise, March 15, 1877

The small-pox patients have all recovered, and our city is once more free from this dreaded pestilence. The German family who were refused passage on the steamer a few weeks ago, have departed.


Be it ordained and established by the City Council of Oregon City:

That the sum of eighty-five and one quarter dollars in gold coin are hereby appropriated to H. W. Ross, out of the City treasury, for the payment of the bill for vaccine matter, ordered for the protection of the citizens by the Board of Health; and that if there is not gold coin in the treasury to meet the above amount, that enough silver be sold at current rates of discount to make the above sum; and the City Treasurer is hereby authorized to pay the same.


From the report of Mr. A. C. Bailey, Secretary of the Board of Delegates, dated March 1, we glean the following:

Fountain Hose Company No. 1: Has a membership of 26; 4 members have been elected during the past year; resigned, 4.

Cataract Hose Company No. 2: Has a membership of 23; members elected during the year 10; resigned, 5.

Columbia Hook & Ladder Co. No. 1: Has a membership of 22; members elected during the year, 2; resigned, 2; died, 1 – H. E. Chamberlain.

Only two fire alarms reported for the past year, to wit: August 18, 1876, in the picking room at the factory; February 2, 1877, in Trembath & Humphrey’s saloon. In both instances the fire was put out by parties who were at the place when the fire started, without damage.

Oregon City Enterprise, March 12, 1897

THROUGH the request of Mayor Caufield the nickle-in-the-slot machines have been banished from Oregon City and to prevent their re-introduction by unscrupulous men the mayor this week issued an order declaring them to be gambling devices and forbidding their further use in the city. The moral effect of the use of these machines was especially bad on the boys who were given, when they dripped their nickle into the slot, their first lesson in a game of chance and from that to regular gambling was but a step. The action of the mayor in banishing these machines meets with the approval of all citizens of Oregon who are interested in the welfare of the city.


Rev. Henry Wall, B. A., who has been the efficient and painstaking superintendent and librarian of Oregon City’s free reading room for more than four years past, has tendered his resignation to the board of directors to take effect the first of April, and it has been reluctantly accepted. During Mr. Wall’s incumbency, he not only looked after the rooms but collected and secured subscriptions as well, and the reading room has grown in popularity and usefulness under his administration of its affairs. The trustees have been very fortunate in securing as Mr. Wall’s successor J. W. Boatman, a man well-known and respected in the community.

Below is given Mr. Wall’s resignation and its acceptance by the trustees:

Gentlemen: – I hereby most respectfully tender you my resignation of the official duties which I have had the honor and pleasure of fulfilling through your courtesy, for the last four years, to take effect on the 31st proximo. It is a joy to me to express my cordial gratitude for the uniform kindness and confidence accorded me by all officers and members of the association and by all the visitors who have availed themselves of the privileges which your unstinted liberality has provided for their quiet comfort and entertainment in the room. With feeling of highest esteem allow me to remain, Yours faithfully, Henry Wall.

Rev. Henry Hall, B. A., Dear Sir: – It is with sincere regret that the board of trustees of the free reading room and library association, have felt compelled to accept your resignation as librarian.

We wish to assure you that your faithful work in keeping up the free reading room in the face of so many difficulties and discouragements, has been more than appreciated by us. The work that has been accomplished through your assistance in the past four and one-half years, in providing a quiet orderly place where men can spend a profitable and comfortable evening, cannot be overestimated, and we trust that we may succeed in future in getting a more liberal support from the public, in order that the reading room’s usefulness may be increased. With best wishes for your future, we remain, Yours very respectfully, E. G. Caufield, A. Hillebrand, W. E. Carll, Trustees.

Oregon City Enterprise, March 15, 1907

BASEBALL – Sunday afternoon there will be a baseball game between Elyville and Maple Lane at the Elyville grounds. This game was scheduled for last Sunday, but was postponed on account of the inclemency of the weather.


Hereafter it will be unlawful for minors under the age of 18 years to loiter or remain in any card room, billiard room or pool room, or the engage in any game of cards, dice throwing or other game of chance, billiards, pool, bagatelle or other game in such places above mentioned, either for amusement or otherwise.

This is the one of the provisions of an ordinance read the first time at a Council meeting held in December 1906 but did not reach a second reading and final passage until Wednesday night. It is entitled an ordinance providing for the licensing and regulating of billiard, pool and card rooms, and to prevent minors under the age of 18 years from frequenting the same.


Fountain Hose Company ready for hose competition

1913 Fountain Hose Company – Annual Hose Competition Champions

That Oregon City will have an up-to-date fire alarm system is almost an assured fact. The matter was under discussion at the meeting of Fountain Hose Company held last night, and met with much favor. The new fire chief elect, Lawrence Ruconich, presented the matter, and it was generally received with favor.

Councilmen Knapp and Logus were present at the meeting and made earnest pleas on behalf of the proposed fire alarm system. The plan as outlined is to have a tower erected on the bluff connected with various stations in the city and immediately after the alarm is turned in fireman and the citizens generally can determine the exact location of the blaze without waiting for the property to be destroyed before the locality can be determined.

The plan, if it is adopted will be similar to that now in use in Portland, and every transfer man or driver of an express wagon will have the privilege of immediately hitching on the nearest hose cart and hauling it to the scene of the fire. For this work the owner of the team will receive due compensation from the city.

It is believed that the City Council will see its way clear to install a better system of fire-alarms that will tend to materially lessen the danger from fires.

Chief Ruconich states that he has already secured 10 new members for the new company that is to be formed in Green Point addition, and expects that it will be organized next week.

Oregon City Enterprise, March 16, 1917


Oregon City is to have a new $10,000 hospital. It will be practically under the same management as the present hospital located on Washington Street between Eleventh and Twelfth Streets. The present building is to be moved to one side so as to make room for the new structure. The new hospital will face Tenth Street. This building is to be erected on the unit plan and will be under construction in the early summer.

At the present time the Oregon City hospital is almost too small to accommodate those desiring to undergo medical treatment, and it has been found necessary either to enlarge the building or to erect a larger building than the present one.

The Oregon City hospital was established about six years ago, and bonds were issued for the purchase of the property. These have been paid off during the past year and the institution is on a footing so as to be able to finance the proposed building. This is one of the most sightly locations in the city, and is ideal for a hospital.

Miss Mary Swales, who is superintendent of the hospital, is a graduate nurse of the Good Samaritan hospital training school.



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