The Offbeat Oregon History Podcast is a daily service from the Offbeat Oregon History newspaper column. Each weekday morning, a strange-but-true story from Oregon's history from the archives of the column is uploaded. An exploding whale, a few shockingly scary cults, a 19th-century serial killer, several very naughty ladies, a handful of solid-brass con artists and some of the dumbest bad guys in the history of the universe. Source citations are included with the text version on the Web site at https://offbeatoregon.com.
West’s first female lawyer: A legal Mother Teresa?
The real Mary Leonard was probably someone who had given up “the good life” after realizing, during her time in jail, that the powerless women of her time were getting a raw deal — and determined to do something about it. (Portland, Multnomah County; 1900s) (For text and pictures, see https://offbeatoregon.com/1205d-mary-leonard-legal-mother-teresa.html)
Pioneering “lady lawyer” deserved a better legacy
Had Mary Leonard died in 1890, she'd be remembered as she really was — a brilliant orator and an inspiration to future Oregon women and attorneys. But fate let her live another 20 years, during which she devolved into a total nut case. (Portland, Multnomah County; 1890s) (For text and pictures, see https://offbeatoregon.com/1205b-mary-leonard-murder-trial-part2.html)
Acquitted murder suspect became first ‘lady lawyer’
Many historians, eager to see in her the caricature of the nagging, garrulous fishwife and gold-digging black widow, have missed the real story of Mary Leonard — and done both her, and the historical record, a disservice. (The Dalles, Wasco County; 1880s) (For text and pictures, see https://offbeatoregon.com/1205b-mary-leonard-murder-trial-part1.html)
Busting out of the joint was job for a safecracker
Of all the prisoners who tried to escape from Oregon's state prison, the “yeggs” were most successful — if “successful” is the right word. Their schemes for leaving the jailhouse behind included a tunneling scheme right out of “The Shawshank Redemption.” (Salem, Marion County; 1890s, 1910s) (For text and pictures, see https://offbeatoregon.com/1207d-safecrackers-were-good-at-jailbreaks.html)
Opium culture a forgotten part of urban underworld
A century ago, the drug had a dark, smoky allure for the 'fast' young men and women of Oregon cities, and smuggling routes through Portland were supplying the entire West Coast with the exotic, deadly stuff. (Portland, Multnomah County; 1890s) (For text and pictures, see https://offbeatoregon.com/1402a.opium-culture-portland-urban-underworld.html)
The notorious Tusko led a colorful and tragic life
Largest elephant in captivity went from “Tusko the Magnificent,” star of Lotus Isle, to “Tusko the Unwanted,” abandoned at the Oregon State Fair, with several destructive rampages along the way. But who could blame him? (Portland, Multnomah County; 1930s) (For text and pictures, see https://offbeatoregon.com/1209c-tusko-the-terrible-led-a-colorful-tragic-life.html)
Excellent mostly unknown stories of Oregon
Excellent, mostly unknown stories of Oregon
One of my favorite podcasts! I hope one day to meet J.T. Good job on this podcast. If your ever close to C.G Oregon I’d like to meet yo my brother.
Love this podcast
Glad to see it’s a daily podcast now This podcast always has interesting and fun topics. Best Oregon podcast