|Lewis & Clark Centennial Overview|
Lewis & Clark Centennial Exposition 1905 by Janet Chester Bly
Check end of article to participate in book giveaway ...
The Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition* happened June 1 to October 15, 1905 in Portland, Oregon.The theme suggested by the Oregon Historical Society centered on the 100-year celebration of the explorers' Meriwether Lewis and William Clark 1805 crossing the U.S. to the Pacific Ocean. But finances originally spurred the project.
Oregon suffered from the nationwide Long Depression of the 1890's. The state's business leaders tried to devise ideas for boosting their economy. An international fair was suggested and a Board of Directors established with Henry W. Goode as president. Other board members included Portland's wealthiest and most powerful men.
|Lewis & Clark Centennial Lake View|
John Olmstead, the landscape architect, prepared the layout to imitate the "White City" of Chicago's Columbian Exposition of 1893.
The vast majority of the structures overlooked Guild's Lake. A wide staircase led down to the lake and a myriad of amusements. Beyond that scene rose four snow-clad mountain peaks: Mount Adams, Mount St. Helens, Mount Rainier, and Mount Hood. To the west was the Cascade Range through which Lewis and Clark made their trip to the Pacific Coast.
The majority of the buildings resembled Spanish Renaissance style, decorated with flourishes such as ivory
|Lewis & Clark Centennial Federal Bldg|
Other architecture formed the massive colonnade entrance.
|Lewis & Clark Centennial Colonnade Entrance|
Exhibits and ParksExhibits included agriculture, technology, and music themes and featured The Mormon Tabernacle Choir and various other concerts, the Smithsonian Institute, and artist displays such as Claude Monet. An amusement park included a Ferris wheel. The sidewalks teemed with sideshows. There were novelties such as free motion pictures and blimp excursions. Every night fireworks displays lit up the skies.
|Sacajawea in WA Park|
Adjacent to Vaughn Street Park, usually a baseball stadium, the Lewis and Clark Centennial sponsored the National Track and Field Championships. The site also became finish line for nation's first Transcontinental Automobile Race.
Plywood was introduced at the Fair which featured many of the latest innovations of the day. The elaborate, but temporary buildings largely constructed of plaster over wooden frames were eventually dismantled and torn down. Not even Guilds Lake remains today. Over the years it was filled with dirt and covered with industrial buildings.
The major exception to this was the Swiss Chalet-styled Forestry Building dubbed the "World's Largest Log
|Lewis & Clark Centennial Forestry Bldg|
Other buildings still in existence from the fair include the Fairmount Hotel, the American Inn (the only on-site hotel and now converted into condos), and the NCR Building (St. Johns Theater and Pub).
Some controversies surrounding the Lewis and Clark Centennial:* Many of the speakers advocated support of women’s right to vote.
* A Philippines display showed tribal native people preparing and eating dog meat.
• A Chinese exclusion order was discussed.
• In Portland, the Cooks and Waiters Union asked union members to boycott restaurants employing Chinese cooks.
|Lewis & Clark Centennial Oriental Palace|
Vice-President's SpeechOn opening day, Vice President Charles Fairbanks announced a theme for Oregon’s new century.
“The future has much in store for you. Yonder is Hawai’i, acquired for strategic purposes and demanded in the interest of expanding commerce. Lying in the waters of the Orient are the Philippines which fell to us by the inexorable logic of a humane and righteous war. We must not underrate the commercial opportunities which invite us to the ‘Orient.’”
* The official name was Lewis and Clark Centennial American Pacific Exposition and Oriental Fair. The "Oriental Fair" reference added mostly to take advantage of tax shelter providing for trade with the Far East.
For more info about the Lewis and Clark Centennial 1905, check out: The Great Extravaganza: Portland and the Lewis and Clark Exposition (Portland: Oregon Historical Society, 1981)
|Stuart Brannon's Final Shot|
Wonderful post, Janet. Thanks for bringing us this.ReplyDelete
Susan: You're most welcome! Blessings, janetDelete
This is fascinating info, Janet. I haven't heard of the Lewis and Clark Exposition. I imagine it was an exciting event for Oregon's people. Too bad so many of the buildings were torn down. Thanks for sharing this.ReplyDelete
Vickie: It was so fun to work a story around this event. I couldn't get over how they determined from the beginning to destroy most of the buildings. I guess that's true of many other world fairs too.Delete
Janet, This is a very interesting article . Such a wonderful and challenging project to accomplish .ReplyDelete
I can picture all the people being amazed at such a display! Loved learning about this.
Jackie: Thanks much for comments. Can so envision the whole fair after all the research. Such fun!Delete
Sorry I forgot to mention that what I like the most is that scavenger hunt gives me opportunity to learn of new books and authors.ReplyDelete
I loved learning about The Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition! What an exciting celebration! I am eager to learn how the Expo played an important part in STUART BRANNON'S FINAL SHOT. Thank you for sharing this interesting post and offering this generous giveaway!ReplyDelete
texaggs2000 at gmail dot com
Britney: Hope you get to read Stuart Brannon's Final Shot with the special scenes at the Centennial.Delete
I love fairs and have always been fascinated with the Lewis and Clark story. Your post makes me wish I had been around at that time to visit the Centennial Expo. Thanks.ReplyDelete
Martha: Thanks for commenting. I would have loved to be there too! What an experience!Delete
Great info! This all reminds me of my book report on Lewis & Clark - I never finished the book. When the teacher started asking me questions I didn't know, I lied. I know, terrible!! But it was 5th grade and I hated reading. LOL. He asked me if Lewis and Clark ever made it to where they were going and I admitted I had no clue. ;)ReplyDelete
lattebooks at hotmail dot com
Susan: We all have unpleasant memories like that. If you win the novel, I hope you can gain a more positive view of Lewis and Clark! :-)Delete
Thank you for sharing about the Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition. I didn't know anything about it.ReplyDelete
susanmsj at msn dot com
Susan: We didn't either before working on this fiction project. One of the absolute fun parts of writing ... the process of discovery!Delete
Love hearing about background info on the books you and Steve write/have written. Totally awesome! Blessings, Connie SueReplyDelete
Connie Sue: Thanks so much for the awesome comments!ReplyDelete
Blessings to you,
This comment has been removed by the author.ReplyDelete
Thank you for this great post. It is so interesting! And thank you for the great giveaway. I always love reading from the different blogs during a scavenger hunt.ReplyDelete
mauback55 at gmail dot com
Melanie: Thanks for commenting and entering this giveaway.Delete
I love meeting new authors and scavenger hunts are a great way to do that. I think it is so great the way you and your family really pulled together to finish your husband's book. When I first read the story it brought me to tears. Such love is displayed in that one simple act. I know Stephen is smiling in Heaven. I have been wanting to read this book. I used to be a huge western fiction fan but I haven't read any in awhile now. I'd love to read your collaborated efforts.ReplyDelete
Greetings, Wanda: My family felt so privileged as well as greatly challenged to finish my husband's novel. Thank you so much for your comment. Hope you get a chance to read the book - maybe even win it!Delete
I was interested in the new product called plywood. sharon, CA wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)comReplyDelete
Greetings, Sharon: Often events such as world fairs provide looks at future products. Fun to see what was new in 1905.Delete
Congratulations to Britney A. and Susan M. as winners of a copy of Stuart Brannon's Final Shot.ReplyDelete
Janet, thank you for this delightful post. I enjoy fairs, expositions with an historical theme, and home/garden/ranch shows. Don't have many of any of these in our little spot in southwest Colorado, but maybe next year.ReplyDelete