- Series: Wicked
- Paperback: 144 pages
- Publisher: The History Press (June 5, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1609495780
- ISBN-13: 978-1609495787
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.3 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 17 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,336,243 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Wicked Portland:: The Wild and Lusty Underworld of a Frontier Seaport Town Paperback – June 5, 2012
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"Combing through sometimes obscure archival cracks and crevices, John finds little known facts, then takes on the mantle of a tenacious detective in tracking down details to flesh out a fascinating story." --Yamhill Valley News-Register
From the Back Cover
Shore-bound sailors, rich ruffians, corrupt politicians, sketchy footpads and pitch-stained loggers let civic decency rot in favor of bawdy whorehouses and grogshops.
In its youth, Portland, Oregon, combined rough-and-ready logging camp with gritty, hard-punching deep-water port. Lusty lads dallied with hard-eyed beauties in dark alleys, and crimps and captains bartered in blood money for the drunk and drugged.
From the seedy waterfront to the notorious North End, Portland's sin sector offered vices packaged in pint glasses and perfumed corsets. Establishments like Nancy Boggs's floating bordello and city police chief James Lappeus's Oro Fino Saloon beckoned to the city's wastrels and grifters, votes could be bought for the price of a pint and Bunco Kelly's Mariner's Rest fronted a shanghai operation.
Join Finn J.D. John of the "Offbeat Oregon" column as he reveals the roughest, most colorful era of Portland history, when the Rose City developed an international reputation for violence and lawlessness.
Top customer reviews
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I found the stories to be funny and believable, however unbelievable the subject matter. John's writing style is engaging and witty, and I found that I could pick up and put down the book, as each chapter refers to the individuals in the previous chapters.
If you're wondering how and why young men got "Shanghai'd", then you must read this book. And then come visit Portland and take your chances!
It is short on 'Wicked", very short on "wicked", and very long on quirky trivia of an historical nature.
It is ok, but if I had had a chance to skim through the book prior to purchasing it, I would not have bought it.
From bar nasty fights and brothels floating in the middle of the Willamette River (so they could dodge taxes, of course) to corrupt (and I don't mean "Tweeting a pic of your bulged crotch" corrupt, I mean really, really corrupt) politicians, this book will have you ashamed of the dirtbags who used to run this city and state and laughing out loud at the same time.
You'll also learn a lot about Portland's history. I never knew that the same guy who brought power to the people with our cherished initiative and referendum powers was also, well, an unsavory character - to be kind.
Next time I visit my friends and/or family in Portland, I'll be thinking of the infamous "North End" John writes about. I'll probably avoid Old Town, lest I become drugged and awake on the deck of a sailing ship cutting down the Columbia en route to the open Pacific with an inhumane captain and desperate (and indebted) fellow crew members on board.
Thank God the bad old days are gone.
It shows the dark side of life during that era when the town was sparsely populated, logging was a big industry and hookers plied their trade just a few doors down from the local church!
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