'On This Day' book chronicles county history
"On This Day in Clackamas County" is a new book chronicling Clackamas County's historic events from a daily perspective. It started as a challenge. Can you find a historic event that happened in Clackamas County for every day of the calendar?
The challenge came from Clackamas County Historical Society President Bruce Hanson and was directed to me, Mark Hurlburt, the volunteer librarian in the Wilmer Gardner Research Library at the Museum of the Oregon Territory, after I first inquired to Hanson if a resource like it existed. I accepted the challenge and thought it would be a fun project. I soon told my friend Karin Morey, the former collections manager for CCHS, and she joined me in the search for historic events. I originally only intended for the project to become a calendar, but Morey insisted it become a book as well. Her vision for our project to become a book has now come to fruition.
There are several sources for events in the history of Clackamas County, in print and online, citing the year, sometimes the month and even the exact day, but this book now provides a central source of day-by-day events. Numerous sources were used to find events that happened in the county including Oregon Geographic Names from Lewis McArthur, the Historic Oregon Newspapers website from the University of Oregon, and a variety of books and files located in the research library at the Museum of the Oregon Territory. With events in the lives of those who were born here, died here or spent part of their lives in our county (both famous and infamous), natural disasters, crimes, weddings, honors and one-of-a-kind events, the book presents many of the facets of life in Clackamas County. Notes on each chapter provide sources for the dates of the events and additional reading suggestions to learn more about the "on this day" entries.
Many entries in the book are ones readers might remember. One example is May 30, 2002: While attempting to rescue injured climbers near the summit of Mount Hood, a military helicopter veers out of control and crashes on live television. Another is May 13, 1985: Model Julianne Phillips marries Bruce Springsteen at Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church in Lake Oswego, just after midnight, to avoid press coverage. There were also challenges to find specific dates for events. One example was the death of Jesse Boone in 1872. Boone was the proprietor of Boone's ferry, the son of Wilsonville's first settler, and the great-grandson of frontiersman Daniel Boone. He was shot and killed by Jacob Engle and the exact day varied depending on the source. The Oregonian newspaper reported and the Oregon Historical Society biography index listed Boone's death as March 24, 1872. Meanwhile, the Willamette Farmer in Salem and the Oregon City Enterprise newspapers reported the death happening on March 25. Boone's son, George, wrote in a probate record that his father died "on or about the 25th day of March." Morey and I decided to list Boone's death for March 24 but included a note that sources vary on the actual death date.
"On This Day in Clackamas County" provides readers with fascinating insight on the story of Clackamas County and helps us realize that history happens every day. The book was self-published and can be purchased in the gift shop at the Museum of the Oregon Territory or on Amazon.com.
Mark Hurlburt is the volunteer librarian at the Museum of the Oregon Territory and curator at the Milwaukie Museum.
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