Weird Suburban Portland
June 25, 2006 8:22 PM   Subscribe

Tell me some random, strange things about the suburbs of Portland, Ore.

I'm particularly interested in these areas: West Linn, Wilsonville, Tigard, Tualatin, Sherwood, and Lake Oswego.

Details of weird organizations, strange gatherings, odd pursuits, and bizarre people are encouraged.

Desired info can run the gamut from UFO sightings to cults to weird historical anecdotes to roadside attractions.
posted by iced_borsch to Society & Culture (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Lake Oswego used to be called "Sucker Lake".

In West Linn, there's a dome house built from mud in the Hidden Springs neighbourhood on Carriage Way.
posted by SpecialK at 8:47 PM on June 25, 2006

Lake Oswego cops won't stop you if you drive a Porsche or a Benz, no matter how fast you're going.

As far as 'burbs go though, that list is pretty tame (and relatively new).
posted by devilsbrigade at 9:58 PM on June 25, 2006

Vanport (also: wikipedia entry)
posted by Joseph Gurl at 10:03 PM on June 25, 2006

UFO sightings were in McMinnville, just about 20 miles beyond Tigard.
posted by mathowie at 10:46 PM on June 25, 2006

Best answer: You might want to check out Portland names and neighborhoods : their historic origins by Eugene E. Snyder. It doesn't focus on the weird, but rather the history of today's street and neighborhood names... but there's likely to be some interesting/weird stuff in there.

If you're in Portland, the library has a couple of copies.
posted by blueberry at 12:56 AM on June 26, 2006 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I used to find bloodless, decapitaded, still "fresh" cat corpses in various fields//woods around Tigard.
posted by haplesschild at 1:04 AM on June 26, 2006

The west hills area was featured in a popular song by Everclear (a Portland band) "I Will Buy You a New Life":

I will buy you a new car
Perfect shinny and new
I will buy you that big house
Way up in the west hills
I will buy you a new life
Yes I will

posted by thanotopsis at 9:14 AM on June 26, 2006

Frances Gabe and her Self-Cleaning House in Newberg. She's 91 years old, and will give you a tour for a fee. Call her at 503-538-4946. (Her house, by the way, is filthy.)
posted by Etaoin Shrdlu at 9:14 AM on June 26, 2006

Best answer: I think you are going to find out a lot more wacky stuff if you extend your question to encompass more of Yamhill countly like Newberg, Dundee, McMinville. If you're interested in doing that, you should drive out to Dundee and check out the "Congratulations ODOT, Celebrating 50 years of Dundee traffic Congestion"and "Don't Toll this Road" signs.

The Dundee police chief was arressted for a DUI, and I vaguely remember either him or a mayor or something getting arrested for mooning a police officer in Sheridan, OR.

I've often heard that Newberg has more churches per capita than any other town in the USA.

If you're interested in these areas at all, I have plenty more gems for you.
posted by Packy_1962 at 10:48 AM on June 26, 2006

Also, I always heard Lake Oswego as refered to as the incredibly PC "Lake No Negro".

And yes, in McMinville the first UFO sighting was made, and they have a town festival called something like "Alien Days" to celebrate it.
posted by Packy_1962 at 10:50 AM on June 26, 2006

UFO sightings were in McMinnville, just about 20 miles beyond Tigard.

No kidding? I lived in McMinnville as a very young child, so I'd be interested in hearing more about this.
posted by the_bone at 6:43 PM on June 26, 2006

Howard Hughes' Spruce Goose is in McMinnville at the Evergreen Aviation Museum.
posted by Mike C. at 6:55 PM on June 26, 2006

At Wilson High School, there's a small bronze plaque in the grass on the west side of the school, probably within 30 feet east of the new waterslide (IIRC) that's dedicated to a particular student (I forget their name) as a Science Fiction Memorial. School lore has it that the student was very quiet, kept to himself and was not well known by either fellow students or staff. The plaque appeared the year after he graduated and everybody scratched their heads until somebody remembered who he was and that he read a lot of science fiction.
posted by Skwirl at 7:50 PM on August 31, 2006 [1 favorite]

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