|Narcissa Kinney - younger years|
She twice visited the Pacific coast as an orator for temperance and did her most effective work in Oregon and Washington. During these tours, she met Marshall J. Kinney, at that time the proprietor of several of the largest fish canneries on the Columbia River. In 1888 she left the lecture tour to marry Mr. Kinney.
In Gearhart, she did more than oppose liquor. She sponsored a Chautauqua, part of the cultural movement of the times. The Chautauqua events brought a broad swath of U.S. intellectual and aesthetic entertainment to the Oregon coast. Narcissa organized 200-acres of prime forest land to be set aside for Gearhart Park. This included an auditorium with arched entrance, belfry, double hip roof and clerestorey, to be used for traveling circuit speakers and amusements of all sorts.
|Gearhart, Oregon aerial view|
Because of Narcissa Kinney, Gearhart became the first planned coastal resort community in the state of Oregon.
Gearhart residents and visitors enjoyed classic plays and Broadway hits, opera stars and glee clubs, as well as bands such as John Philip Sousa’s. Fiery orators and activists, crusaders and preachers took advantage of this forum for their diverse messages.
|Narcissa Kinney - later years|
More than 400 other cities across the country sponsored these same events. President Theodore Roosevelt called them, “the most American thing in America.” This movement thrived in the day before movie theatres and TVs.
Narcissa inspired the fictional Lady Harriet Reed-Fletcher to sponsor her own benevolence project in the city of Gearhart. Lady Harriet and Narcissa compare in strong will, leadership and influence on the men in their lives to get involved in their causes.
Janet Chester Bly has authored 31 nonfiction and fiction books, 19 she co-authored with Christy Award winning author Stephen Bly. Titles include The Hidden West Series, The Carson City Chronicles, Hope Lives Here, and The Heart of a Runaway. She resides at 4200 ft. elev. on the Idaho Nez Perce Indian Reservation. She and her 3 married sons, Russell, Michael and Aaron, finished Stephen Bly's last novel, Stuart Brannon's Final Shot. For more about the Blys check http://www.BlyBooks.com
Most of Stuart Brannon's Final Shot happens in or near Gearhart, Oregon in 1905. Find the book here: http://www.blybooks.com/product_category/historical-western-novels/
|Stuart Brannon's Final Shot|
by Stephen Bly
with Janet, Russell, Michael & Aaron Bly