Listeners Listen to the Offbeat Oregon History show on Stitcher Internet Radio.


Heroes and rascals ...
shipwrecks and lost gold  ...

Welcome to Offbeat Oregon History, a public-history resource for the state we love. Here's what you'll find here:

  • A weekly newspaper column published in about a dozen Oregon community newspapers;
  • An archive of columns we've published since 2008, with pictures (arranged by date of first publication);
  • A daily podcast (7 to 12 minutes long) optimized for mobile-device listening via iTunes, Stitcher, or the podcatcher of your choice;
  • An active Facebook page and Twitter feed to help stay in touch.

Enjoy! And if you have any comments on stories, suggestions for column topics or other feedback — or if you're coming by the OSU campus and have time for a cup of coffee with a fellow history dork — drop me a note at fj-@-offbeatoregon-dot-com any time!

About Pulp-Lit Productions:

Offbeat Oregon is a division of Pulp-Lit Productions, a boutique publishing house that specializes in classics from the pulp-magazine era — roughly 1910 to 1941. For more information or to check out our catalog, please see


Background photo of Willamette Falls in Oregon City as seen from a flying drone was made by MrGadget51 in early summer 2017. (Via WikiMedia Commons, cc/by/SA)




Hello! And welcome to ...

... the official Offbeat Oregon History hub page!

This page is the central hub of Offbeat Oregon History — the monthly syndicated newspaper column, the daily podcast, and all the other cool things.

From this page, you can reach everything we do with one or two clicks!

If you're a longtime visitor to this Website, you've probably noticed some changes. I hope you like this new approach better. It's centered around a huge text-only spreadsheet (click the “Directory of Articles” button at the top right-hand side of this page, or click here). This table lists all 615 articles by title, publication date, topic date, and county; when it is finished, will be fully searchable by keyword, too.

The late Jim Wright flies a low pass over Cottage Grove State Airport in his immaculate reproduction of the Hughes H-1 Racer. Click the photo for the story of this heroic man and his amazing airplane.

Currently I am still in the process of going through the directory and adding the hashtags. By now all the articles have at least a few hashtags; but there are still hundreds more that need a more complete set, or that need their tags tweaked to be more useful. If you can't find an article with a hashtag search, try a Google search; these are surprisingly effective at finding individual Offbeat Oregon articles!

I will be updating this introductory splash-page from time to time with new images from columns I especially like. If you click these photos, they'll take you straight to the stories they were drawn from.

[EDITOR'S NOTE: In "reader view" some phone browsers truncate the story here, algorithmically "assuming" that the second column is advertising. (Most browsers do not recognize this page as mobile-device-friendly; it is designed to be browsed on any device without reflowing, by taking advantage of the "double-tap-to-zoom" function.) If the story ends here on your device, you may have to exit "reader view" (sometimes labeled "Make This Page Mobile Friendly Mode") to continue reading. We apologize for the inconvenience.]

(Jump to top of next column)

This steamship was one of a fleet of two steamers owned and operated by William Dunbar and Nat Blum, two highly respected Portland businesssmen, who used them in the early 1890s to operate an industrial-scale drug smuggling operation, bringing tons of opium (and thousands of undocumented Chinese workers) into the country. Their sheer audacity was only matched by their incompetence, and it all ended up in a spectacular monthlong court case involving the president of the Oregon Republican Party himself. Click the photo above to read the whole story.


OFFBEAT OREGON STARTED out in 2008 as a syndication service providing “local-enough” copy for non-AP-member community newspapers around the state of Oregon, that they could use in a pinch if a regular story fell through.

We still provide that service, which is why each month's new column is embargoed for 60 days; that's the time during which member newspapers have exclusive rights. But Offbeat Oregon has expanded from those business-to-business roots to include a daily (5-day-a-week) podcast feed, social media presence, and, of course, this Website.

A screen shot from Paul Linnman and Doug Brazil's TV news package on the famous 1970 exploding whale incident. This is Linnman doing a stand-up with the whale OTS (Over The Shoulder). Click the photo to read more about this legendary Oregon event.

Thanks again for stopping by! And if you have any ideas for great Oregon stories we can tuck into, I would love to hear from you. Drop me a line at finn at offbeatoregon dot com, or ping me @OffbeatOregon on Twitter.

Now, go fill up the rest of your day with good stuff!

                          — Finn


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