Articles by johnchilson

johnchilson

John Chilson writes about Oregon history on his own blog, Lost Oregon, and has been involved in publishing since the ‘90s. John is very passionate about how the printed word can thrive in both print and digital environments. He can be reached at jmchilson@gmail.com.

Southeast Portland Garden Provides Income, Produce for Neighbors

On the southern tip of Portland, where Multnomah and Clackamas counties crisscross boundaries, the Ardenwald-Johnson Creek neighborhood is host to a new tenant: a garden plot that’s helping an underserved community while providing local produce for hungry Portlanders. The 2/3-acre garden, once covered in weeds, blackberries and fruit trees, is being transformed into a thriving garden, thanks to a partnership more...

Raising the Bar: Portland's Happiest Hours

Portland happy hours have evolved. Long gone are the early evenings when happy hour consisted of limp chicken wings and various other-worldly deep-fried delectables being rolled out on a white-covered tablecloth, devoured, then sent back into the kitchen by 8 pm. Throw off a couple of bucks on well drinks and beer, and everyone was happy. Nowadays, Portlanders require a bit more than barely edible food and watered more...

Portland Books: 9 Must-Reads for Locals, Visitors and "Portland-Curious"

Portlanders like their coffee strong, their beer local, their food from carts, and their bikes between their legs. They also like to read about the same subjects, preferably from hometown authors and local bookstores. Here are nine books that nail the essence of Portland, by Portlanders, down onto the written page, perfect for cozying up to on cold nights—or if you can wait it out—on the coast. In more...

Ghosts, Spooky Spots and Paranormal Activity

Haunted Portland: Where Things Go Bump in the Night

Haunted Portland: Where Things Go Bump in the Night

When it comes to the paranormal, there are three camps: the hardcore believers, the non-believers, and those that are somewhere in the middle. You either believe the squeaking floor you hear at night as you lay in bed is the ghost of the previous tenant hacked to pieces by his wife in the 1930s taking a midnight stroll in your living room; or, if you’re a non-believer, you’re thinking that you probably more...

Discovering the History of Your Home

It’s no secret that Portland homeowners are into their homes. Like really into them. People here just don’t have a simple backyard garden—they grow produce that can feed the whole block. Merely painting a home doesn’t fly. Many homeowners will not only find the most accurate colors to match the palette of their appliances and countertops, they’ll match the vibe and natural colors of the more...

Sellwood Rediscovered: Reinvented Southeast 13th Avenue Emerging as Destination

Usually described as a “small town within Portland,” Sellwood boasts one of the first—albeit very small—New Seasons, cool restaurants, an ever-changing pod of food carts, boutiques, bars, pubs, waterfront park, an amusement park frozen in time, as well as myriad wonderful housing styles in tree-lined, snug streets. It’s not edgy, it’s only a bit hip with a tad older population more...

Produce Row: Artisan Renaissance Revitalizes Central Eastside Industrial Area

Snuggled west of Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard., from the Burnside Bridge down to OMSI, is just one small snippet of the Central Eastside that’s starting to see renewed life after years of false starts, neglect and even annual flooding from the Willamette. Though the Central Eastside officially encompasses a large swath of land, north to I-84, east to Southeast 12th, south to Southeast Brooklyn and butting more...

Local Screens: Neighborhood Theaters Offer History, Movies…and a Place to Cool Down

If this same article on historic movie theaters in Portland was written a mere 20 years ago, it would have been a completely different piece. Many smaller theaters thriving at the dawn of the 1990s have been closed, converted or simply bulldozed. With the proliferation of mega-mall theaters, these family-owned theaters, like many small, mom-and-pop shops, are dropping like flies, replaced by corporate-owned theaters. more...

Irvington Seeks National Register Historic District Designation

After years of meetings, consultations, research, more meetings, paperwork and sweat, the Irvington Community Association (ICA) has submitted its nomination for the Irvington neighborhood to be designated as a Historic District in the National Register of Historic Places. If approved, it would be a significant step for local residents and history buffs, while giving the neighborhood more influence against more...

Provisions for the Perfect Portland Picnic

Every summer our parks explode with families, parties and sun worshippers enjoying the long days and warm weather while picnicking until the sun goes down. In the past, food was a simple affair, including the good: bagging up some cold cuts and cheese, chips and a cold beverage; and the bad: Aunt Mabel’s potato salad – with eggs and mayo—and the added bonus of sitting in the sun all day. Want to more...