A Landing a Day

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Gladstone, Oregon

Posted by graywacke on March 21, 2013

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now more-or-less a twice-a-week blog), I have my computer select a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48).  I call this “landing.”  I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town I land near.  I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location.  To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is and what the various numbers and abbreviations mean in the first paragraph), please see “About Landing,” (and “Abbreviations” and “Cryptic Numbers”) above.

 Dan –  I’m on a lousy 1/6 run, with this OSer landing in . . . OR; 76/64; 4/10; 2; 155.6.  Here’s my regional landing map, showing that I landed in northwest OR:

 glad landing1

Here’s my close in map, showing that I landed in an urban area, on the east side of Gladstone:

 glad landing2

My even-closer-in map shows that I landed right along 82nd Drive:

 glad landing3

Funny –  I thought all numbered streets were either “streets” or “avenues.”  And then again, where’s 81st?  83rd?  OK, so I figured it out.  Head way up north, and 82nd Drive turns into to 82nd Ave (in Portland), and all the other expected numbered avenues are there.

 Oops – I’ve tipped my hand – yes, I landed in the greater Portland area.  Here’s a regional Google Earth (GE) shot, showing that I landed in the far southeast portion of Portland suburbia:

 glad GE7

Here’s a much-closer-in GE shot, showing that I landed very close to the Clackamas River (my 2nd landing in the watershed):

 glad GE1

The Clackamas flows into the Willamette just west side of Gladstone (10th hit).  Then, as you can see by looking at the regional GE shot above, the Willamette flows north through Portland, and then discharges into the Columbia (140th hit).

 I was hopeful that GE StreetView included 82nd Drive, and it turns out it does!  I have been treated with a close-up view of my exact landing location.  So, here it is:

 glad GE2

Is that cool, or what?  I landed in a little landscaping patch next to the parking lot of Scuba RX (see the sign on the far right).  I checked, and lo and behold, they have a website:

 glad scuba rx

Scuba RX is apparently run by a couple of divers, Barry & Andrew.  These guys have obviously followed their passion (they have bios on their site).  I hope they are successfully earning a good living doing what they love!

 Dan, I noticed this DAN logo on their website:

 glad - DAN

 It turns out that DAN is Divers Alert Network.  From the DAN website:

glad - DAN 2

DAN’s website has an on-line store with a bunch of DAN gear.  Dan, you should check it out; you might find something you like (and I bet you wouldn’t be the first non-diver named Dan who perused the merchandise).

 Back to things landing . . . take a look back at my closest-in landing map.  Just to the west, you see a body of water with the name  “Chautauqua Lake (Historical).”  That caught my eye.  What the heck is a historical lake?  Of course, I looked at GE, and it shows a dark splotch in the middle of a park of some sort, which looks like the lake:

 glad GE8

Here it is, zooming in closer.  I don’t know why the word “historical” appears next to the name of the lake . . .

 glad - GE

Anyway, checking out the “history” section of the City’s website, it turns out that the founder of the City of Gladstone (one Harvey Edward Cross) was heavily involved in the nationwide fad known as the Chautauqua movement (more about that in a minute), and in 1894 he granted a 50-year lease of substantial acreage around a small lake to the Willamette Valley Chautauqua Association for its annual summer assemblies. The property became known as Chautauqua Park and the lake was named Chautauqua Lake.

 So, what is Chautauqua?  Here’s some background, which I’ve gleaned from Chautauqua.com (the website for the Colorado Chautauqua Association): 

The Chautauqua movement started at Chautauqua Lake, New York back in the 1870s.  Chautauqua is way out in western NY, not far from Erie PA.  Anyway, there was a Methodist church camp there that begin holding a wide range of adult education lectures and seminars, that came to be organized as the Chautauqua Institution.  The whole idea caught on, and began to include cultural as well as educational events.  It became non-denominational (mildly Protestant), and nation-wide.

 Here’s some material from the  Chautauqua website:

Before radio and television, the Chautauqua Movement united millions in common cultural and educational experiences. Orators, performers, and educators traveled a national Chautauqua circuit of more than 12,000 sites bringing lectures, performances, concerts, classes, and exhibitions to thousands of people in small towns and cities. Theodore Roosevelt called Chautauquas, “the most American thing in America.”

As its members and graduates spread the Chautauqua idea, many towns—especially in rural areas where opportunities for secondary education were limited—established “chautauquas.”  “Chautauqua” had a degree of cachet and became short hand for an organized gathering intended to introduce people to the great ideas, new ideas, and issues of public concern. “Independent chautauquas,” those with permanent buildings and staff could be found throughout the US by 1900, with a concentration in the mid-West.

The movement pretty much died out by the mid-1930s. Most historians cite the rise of the car culture, radio, and movies as the causes.

Here’s some more info about Chautauqua Park from the City website:

The first auditorium built on the property (in 1895), seated 3000 people; the second, erected in 1917, seated more than twice as many.  Because of Chautauqua, Gladstone became a cultural and social center.  Railroad and street cars brought people from Portland and other towns and communities for concerts, ball games and other events. Speakers and performers included band master John Phillip Sousa;  presidential candidate Theodore Roosevelt and the most popular speaker of all, William Jennings Bryan.

Gladstone’s Chautauqua Park was the third largest permanent park in the United States. Its auditorium was often jammed with $2.00 season ticket holders for morning, afternoon and evening sessions. Lake Chautauqua, described by one observer as “very silent and still,” added to the beauty of an already beautiful and pleasant park.

The decline in the popularity of Chautauqua was partly due to music and vaudeville acts which came to Portland.  The Park closed in 1927.   After Judge Cross passed away in 1929, the Chautauqua Park grounds and buildings were sold to the Seventh Day Adventist Church.

There’s a Seventh Day Adventist church on the property; and the church uses the land as a campground (for retreats, I assume).

Here’s a picture of auditorium, circa 1906 from OregonEncyclopedia.org:

 Chatauqua Building at Gladstone Park, Oregon City, postcard, abo

I want you to know, that in preparing this post, I resisted the urge to go geological.  I certainly could have, because majestic Mt. Hood is only 40 miles due east (and visible on a clear day), as shown on this Panoramio shot (by Suzi with a zoom lens) taken less than a mile from my landing:

glad mt hood suzi panoramio from 0.5 mi s of landing 

That’ll do it.





© 2013 A Landing A Day

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