Monday, March 29, 2010

Fred Eckhardt - Revered by Hair of the Dog and Sierra Nevada - on Tap at Ventis

There are few who get a beer named after them. Even fewer who are honored by a regular, core brew. Fred Eckhardt is one of them.

Hair of the Dog's tribute to Fred is still on tap at Ventis. That's insane! Go have one!

Hair of the Dog isn't the only brewery to honor Fred. As part of their 30th anniversary, Sierra Nevada will be brewing one. In May the beer that honors Fred should be available.

In the meantime, I've heard rumors that bottles of "Fritz & Ken's Ale" might be available now at Ventis. Brewpublic has some thoughts on it. (Fritz Maytag's pretty great too, but that's another post!)

Go tip a pint to a brewing pioneer, a man all lovers of good beer should also revere.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Cheese + Beer = Cheese Bar!

Steve Jones is the bestest cheese-monger/affineur! He used to operate Steve's Cheese in northwest Portland, but he just relocated into a bigger space, the Cheese Bar!

How scrumptious does that sound?!

The Oregonian's got an article today on the new space.

According to the O, it will feature beer!
At the newly opened Cheese Bar, Jones' fermentation fetish reaches into new territory with more than 50 brews and several wines. In addition to cheese plates and salami boards, there are sandwiches, salads and seasonal cazuelas -- warm dishes right out of the oven. Pull up a stool next to Steve, order a brew and contemplate the tasty world of curds and whey and hops.
About the beers Steve himself says,
Yes, Cheese Bar is certainly more beer-driven than wine. I prefer lower alcohol beers that don't put you under the table after two pints, and there are so many great ones out there, like the Daily Bread Common Ale from Everybody's Brewing in White Salmon, Wash. We'll offer small glasses for the light drinkers, and of course we'll carry some of the serious beers too.

Since we've opened, I love watching people buy a beer, walk over to the cheese case and ponder a cheese to go with it. It's my dream.
Steve's Cheese was co-located inside a wine shop, so that's one of the reasons the writer focuses on the question of beer vs. wine.

If you like cheese, next time you visit Portland, the Cheese Bar will be a "three-star" destination for you! According to the article, he'll even reimburse your bus fare if you take trimet!

(Yummy Appleby's Cheshire, Colston Bassett Stilton, and Lincolnshire Poacher, with fig chutney and crostini - from The Oregonian)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Tip your Pint to Patricius as Trickster

If you are interested in the role of apocalyptic in Jewish, Christian, Greek, and Roman thought around the turn of a couple of millennia ago, Salem's the place to be! The conference has attracted scholars from all over, and they'll be in town from today to the 20th.

Why does eschatology matter? Because we are perennially end-of-the-worlders! The latest cause of the End is Global Warming. CT writes this as a complete believer in climate change - we're not sure about hop harvest, but grape harvest is earlier and earlier, and wines are riper and riper. The evidence is in your drink.

Apocalyptic matters in other ways too - but we're not going to swerve there at the moment.

Instead, with a tip of the pint to the scholars and to St. Patrick, here's something from Peter Brown, one of the greats in the field of late antiquity:
We are fortunate, in the works of Patricus (later known as St. Patrick), to possess a set of remarkable documents....Patricus' story of his life suddenly takes us to a frontier region at the furthest end of the Roman world. Sometime in the 440s, Irish raiders fell on an unknown city of Britain. A well-to-do 16-year-old, Patricus, the son of a deacon, from a family of town councillors, was among the captives....In his exile, he turned to an ascetic brand of Christianity to which he had given no thought when he was a young man from a clerical family in Britain....

Patricus' Letter to Coroticus and his subsequent Confession are so well known...that we forget what remarkable documents they were. They are the first pieces of extensive Latin prose to be written from beyond the frontiers of the Roman world.
Brown goes on to discuss gift exchange and notes
To get something for nothing was the ultimate feat of the trickster. Hardly surprising, the legends which recounted Patrick's first imagined progress through Ireland came to form a cycle which merged the pagan annual festival of the Lughnasa. For at the Lughnasa, Lugh, the archtypal trickster god of Celtic mythology, had, like Patrick, tricked out of grim winter, in return for mere words, the solid riches of the next year's harvest. To present a missionary as a trickster-god, rather than a triumphant exorcist and destroyer of temples, was an unusual way of remembering the coming of Christianity to a northern land.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

"Spiritous" Minors - Underage Drinking in 1877

Over at Poetry and Popular Culture, the good Professor has fabulous - and nightmarish - piece of tobacco propaganda from the gilded age. It shows twin babies - perhaps teething and in need of a pacifier? - enjoying Duke tobacco. Curiously, the babies also appear to be balding, so perhaps there's also a suggestion that tobacco users were adult babies. Head on over to P&PC for the full monty!

In the CT archives, not nearly as rich in material, we have a note in the Statesman from 1877 that discusses children and booze. There's a similar permissiveness, though not quite as brazen, and here it's cloaked with a permission slip. Barroom society rather than chemistry also seemed to loom as the larger threat. The penalty is awfully harsh, however. It's interesting to speculate whether a rash of underage drinking had spurred the paper to publish the law.
Selling Liquor to Minors

For the benefit of the public generally, we publish the following law, enacted by the last Legislature and approved October 17, 1876.

Be it enacted...[etc., etc.]

Section 685. That if any person shall sell, give, or cause to be sold or given, any intoxicating liquor to any minor in this State, without first obtaining the consent of such minor's parents or guardian, in writing; or if any keeper of any saloon, bar-room, or other vendor of spiritous or intoxicating liquors within this State, shall harbor permit or suffer any minor to loiter or remain in or about such saloon, bar-room, or other place where such spiritous or intoxicating liquors are sold or kept for sale, or to engage in any game of cards, billiards, bagatelle, or any other game, in such saloon, barroom or place aforesaid, either for amusement or otherwise, such persons shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine not exceeding one hundred dollars, or by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding six months, or by both, and the discretion of the court, and shall also forfeit any license such person may have to sell spiritous or intoxicating liquors in less than one quart, or to keep such saloon, bar-room, or other place for the sale of such liquor. A justice court shall have jurisdiction of the cases herein defined.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Chocolate Stout's a Fine Antidote to Rain & Grey

Young's Chocolate Stout is one of CT's favorite beers! Venti's has it on draft. It's not too sweet, not too chocolatey, not heavy - it's kinda fruity like bittersweet chocolate. For our palate it's a successful marriage and not a gimmick. Check out other tasting notes at beeradvocate.

An excellent and unexpected addition to the taplist!

And even though it's not Irish, it's a lot more fun to drink than Guinness! Maybe it should be your St. Patty tipple?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A Toast to Roy Fukuda and his Celery

Though we prefer using celery to stir our bloody mary, tonight we'll pass a stalk briefly through our beer for a ceremonial stir in honor of an important local farmer and celery grower.

Roy Fukuda was born on March 10th, 1875. His celery was world-famous!

Pacific Northwest Garden History says:
Grower and plant breeder who developed 'Golden Plume' celery, once described by those in the know as the best variety of celery in the world.

Fukuda, a Japanese-American, was originally a section hand for the railroad. In 1909, he took up farming at Lake Labish near Salem, Oregon, and began growing celery. Within a few years, he had developed a new variety called 'Golden Plume.' It was an early variety, one that turned clear yellow when it was blanched, a trait considered very desirable at the time. What set 'Golden Plume' apart from other varieties of celery was its exceptional quality. Burpee's 1941 catalog offered a rave review of this variety, noting "Some gardeners consider it the best early celery in existence…Plants …have a …thick, creamy heart of the highest table quality." Today, only a handful of seed companies still offer 'Golden Plume,' but Fukuda's contribution to celery-growing lives on. 'Golden Plume' is thought to be the forerunner of all choice varieties.

Read more about the Fukuda family in Stephanie Knowlton's Statesman piece on Fukuda, Lake Labish, and the Japanese internment. The Oregon Encyclopedia also has a more general article.

Fukuda is buried in the Salem Pioneer Cemetery. His descendents still live in and around Salem.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Don't Shoot the Piano Player! Sousa, Ragtime, and 1905 Bawdy House Habitues

Visitors to brothels in 1905 St. Louis might have heard ragtime, and if you were especially lucky maybe something by Scott Joplin.

What was the music in Salem brothels?

Firm evidence is pretty slender. CT is out of our element here in local music history, and our thoughts are all too speculative. Nevertheless, by a happy coincidence, the Salem Concert Band gives us a clue and helps to describe the general musical world of the first decade of the 20th century.

On Sunday the band plays a program titled, "In the Steps of Sousa." It features music Sousa played in Salem.
The Dwellers of the Western World suite by Sousa was played by Sousa’s band in Salem during the tours of 1911, 1915 and 1927. Sousa had introduced the suite to other lands during his world tour in 1910-1911, and this year the work will return to Salem. Its three movements are entitled “Red Man, “White Man” and “Black Man.”

As in beer, in music German immigrants were key.

Germans invented the saxophone and valves for brass, and German military and performing models were influential generally. There were certainly military bands in Salem. The Salem Military Band appears in a couple of photos right around this time (here and here). Sousa's band and compositions arose from this nation-wide love of military bands.

Germans were important in other ways. Joplin and, a decade or two later, many of the important jazz composers and instrumentalists took lessons from German music teachers. As Gunther Schuller says in The Swing Era: The Development of Jazz 1930 - 1945, "practically every town in America had a German music teacher and...these provided musical training to the likes of Scott Joplin, Benny Goodman, and Earl Hines, and countless others." We owe thanks to names like Julius Weiss (Joplin), Franz Schoepp (Goodman), and Von Holz (Hines).

In Salem one of the tantalizing names is H. H. Deiner. He appears as a pianist for Fanny Davenport's brothel. (Fanny Davenport was also the name of a famous actress, so this is almost certainly a pseudonym. She appears in the 1905 Marion County census, but not obviously in the 1900 or 1910 Federal census. Deiner is even more elusive.)

The history of jazz in Salem is not yet written and, so far away from the Mississippi, jazz would have come slowly and lately here. There's probably not much of a history to write. The rhetoric gets pretty ugly sometimes. Still, it's difficult to imagine that some ragtime wouldn't have got played in the traveling shows that came to the Grand Theater. The papers have ads for coon shows and minstrel shows, and it's likely their successors came too. At the same time, Salem was overwhelmingly white, and wouldn't have provided much of a home or the performing personnel for the musical innovations of ragtime. 1905 is probably early for much ragtime here.

A couple of contemporary performance notes suggest the popular tastes in music - and echo off-handedly the ugliness. When the Reed Opera House closed in 1900, the Salem online history says:
A Salem newspaper published a farewell to Reed’s Opera House on April 26, 1900. Patton Brothers, managers since 1896, opened the theater for the last time with a performance by the Great Barlow Minstrels. The show was rated among the best minstrel performances ever seen in Salem. Galleries were packed and fewer than a score of empty seats remained in the who house. The "niggers" said the critic, "were black, their teeth white, and their jokes recent".1 Between acts, Hal Patton came upon the stage and made a nice farewell speech.
A little later in January 1905, the theatres were booking vaudeville, "musical burlesque," and minstrel shows. (A longer survey of the listings is beyond our scope here, alas.)

Not surprisingly, more is known about classical music in Salem. Writing about "Music in Salem: 1900 - 1930" in Marion County History, Dorothy Pearce said that three important music teachers had been students of Emil Winkler, "who taught at Willamette and in Salem in the 1890s."2 Winkler was "a recent graduate of the Conservatory at Leipsic [sic], Germany" and people in Salem felt "it was unquestionably a great stimulus to the school to have this instructor fresh from his studies in one of the great European music centers of that day."3

Without more information, it seems reasonable also to place Deiner in this context of German immigrant musicians. Germans had the musical training, the technique, and the cultural authority and status - even for a lower-status job like a brothel piano player. Deiner may also have been itinerant. He appears not to have stayed long and hasn't left obvious traces in various censuses or directories.

In March of 1905, city police raided Peppermint Flat and arrested Deiner and Davenport.


Police Make Raid and Capture Offender Second Time – H. H. Deiner, Pianist, Also Taken in – Fanny Davenport Booked for Disorderly Conduct

As the result of another move made by Marshal Cornelius and his men last evening, Ellsworth E. Nichols must face the charge of frequenting a house of ill-fame, H. H. Deiner, a piano player, will be required to answer a similar charge and Fanny Davenport, the land-lady of a notorious house on “peppermint flat,” is booked for disorderly conduct. Nichols still being held under a former bond was allowed to go upon his own recognizance. The Davenport woman promised to appear in court when wanted so was not taken into custody, and the piano player put up $20 cash bail to insure his appearance.

Determined to carry out the original plans, and follow along the lines mapped out at the meeting held by the city officials a few weeks ago, Marshall Cornelius, assisted by Officers Lewis and Murphy, made a raid upon the house of ill-repute on Ferry street, conducted by Fanny Davenport, between 7 and 8 o’clock last evening. H. H. Deiner, a pianist employed at the place, was the first victim to fall into the clutches of the marshall, who had entered the house while the other officers stood guard upon the outside. Nichols next put in an appearance and was promptly gathered in. The landlady became very indignant at the action of the police and her fit of temper brought her into the game with a charge of disorderly conduct placed against her. The three cases will be called in the police court by City Recorder Moores at 2 o’clock this afternoon.

Marshall Cornelius and his faithful men deserve much credit for the good work they have done during the past few weeks toward purifying the atmosphere of the sporting districts of this city. Every move, originally planned, has been successfully carried out and the individuals sought have in each instance been taken in and punished.

When the news became noised about that Marshall Cornelius intended to rid the city of all undesirable characters, many of the idlers and worthless individuals who had been in the habit of parading the streets with flying colors, packed their grips and left the city between two days. The general public would be surprised (pleasantly of course) to know the number of this class who bid farewell to Salem and departed in a hurry. Among those who absented themselves to avoid arrest were also several women, of the class known as street walkers, who had made Salem their home for many months.

The action of the police has had a remarkable effect and is meeting with the hearty approval of the people. The movement inaugurated shortly after the new officers entered upon their duties has by no means reached its end, in fact it has but commenced. Among others, whose of the kindergarten class who are in the habit of roaming the streets at late hours and who can often be seen entering questionable resorts, will receive due attention by the police in the near future. This class includes girls as well as boys, a number of whom are of respectable parentage. The officers will show no favors but propose to make a thorough clean-up and in this they should, and will receive the hearty support of all respectable citizens of Salem.

Nichols is far more visible than Deiner. He shows up consistently in the Polk directories. In 1896 E.E. Nichols lived in the Eldridge Block; in 1905 Ellsworth was a laborer at 297 Front; and in 1926 E. Ellsworth lived at 243 N. Front. He died on December 8th, 1946, at the age of 85, having lived at 702 North Church Street.

Nichols seemed to have a nose for trouble and he might also have been a "sporting man." Earlier, in April 1901, he'd got into trouble with slot machines. Unfortunately his obituaries are brief, just-the-facts-ma'am.

1At least in the Capital Journal, the quote is actually, "The niggers were black, their teeth white, and the jokes nearly all of recent vintage." This is likely another example of Maxwell's penchant to quote from memory.

2"Music in Salem: 1900 - 1930," in Marion County History, vol. iv, June 1958, pp. 43 - 46.

3Robert M. Gatke, Chronicles of Willamette, the Pioneer University of the West. Portland, OR: Binsford & Mort, 1943.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Robbery and Intolerance at Eckerlen's, 1905

Racism and intolerance has a long Oregon history, alas.

Tomorrow at Mission Mill Museum, Ted Cox will lecture on "The Toledo Incident of 1925: Three Days that Made History." It's part of the Winter/Spring lecture series, "Bipartisanship and Intolerance in Oregon Politics."
Ted Cox shares The Toledo Incident of 1925: Three Days that Made History in Toledo disseminating how an angry mob in Toledo, Oregon, expelled Japanese resident workers. Cox sheds light on what happened in the days leading to the incident, and the resulting precedent-setting civil rights suit brought by the Japanese resident workers.

The episode was hardly isolated. In January of this year, as part of MKL observations, Willamette University and the Salem Public Library showed the film, The Ku Klux Klan in Oregon, 1920-1923.

A little over a century before, in January 1903 the City demolished most of "old" Chinatown, along Liberty street. What remained of Chinatown was centered on High street.

As the lecture and documentary suggest, the ugliness persisted.

An example from 1905, remarkable for its banality rather than for any exceptionalism, shows some of the ways intolerance was part of the daily background noise in Salem, something assumed and "par for the course."

This account of a robbery may not be wholly factual. It's difficult not to read the hard-boiled sensationalism without wondering how much is fabricated. Still, the derision for the "celestials" is clear, and the presumed readership was an audience that clearly shared the biases of the writer. There was no attempt at persuasion; indeed, it assumes and appeals to shared community values. The piece also uses the narrative more for entertainment than for moral outrage or analysis.


From Eckerlen's but is Caught in the Act by Paul Marnach

Lou Wah, a Chinese ex-convict, who was formerly employed as cook in the Elite Cafe, was this morning caught in the act of stealing 25 bottles of whiskey and a box of cigars from Eckerlen's wholesale house.

Paul Marnach, Eugene's head mixer, had been suspicious of the chink for some time, as he had been seen hanging around the rear of the establishment several times. Paul cautioned the waiters to be on the lookout for him, and if they saw anything suspicous to let him know.

This morning, shortly after 6 o'clock, one of the waiters came to Paul and told him that Lou was hangning around near the back door of the wholesale house, and, from his actions, intended to steal something. Paul, after arming himself with a young cannon, which he calls a revolver, hurried to the back door, arriving just in time to see the celestial come out of the other department carrying a case of Cyrus Noble whiskey, which he placed on the ground, returning to the base of supplies for something else, which proved this time to be a case of Commodore Royal; not satisfied yet he returned once more, and came forth bearing a single bottle of whiskey and a box of cigars. It must have been tha he had confederates near, for it would be impossible for him to escape with all his plunder in one trip, and if more than one trip was to have been made, he would hardly have brought all the goods outside. When Paul observed that he had carried all out that he intended to he concluded that it was his move, so he sprang out from his concealment, confronting the burglar with the question, "what are you doing?" Seeing that he was discovered, the chink attempted to strike his captor, but was forestalled by Paul, who flashed his Gatling under his nose with the request that he "elevate his lunch grabbers over his block," to which gentle hint Lou Wah complied, but with very poor grace, and was reprimanded by a gentle poke with the gun, after which his hands were raised to the fullest extent. Paul then started to march his captive into the saloon, but, when passing through the door, the chink, in a vindictive mood, slammed the door, striking Paul on teh side of the head, and leaving a slight discoloration around the eye, but his attempt at escape was unavailable, and he was quickly taken on the inside, where Paul, with the assistance of his trusty ally, Herr Ignatz Steiner, searched their prisoner, but there were no weapons disclosed. Paul then took up the line of march to the police station where he landed his man without much trouble, with the exception of an attempt to escape up the dark stairway near the telephone office.

The prisoner, who is a "hop head," has already served one term of three years in the penitentiary and it was probably only the incentive of the vision of a happy Chinese New Year that induced him to jeopardize his liberty.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Historical Odds-n-Ends

Dick Bogle, great-grandson of Anna Waldo and Richard Bogle, married in Salem in 1863, has died.

A tip of the pint to Dick Bogle and rich life.

Cincinnati Inquirer has a great story about the richness and fragility of Cincinnati's brewing heritage.
More than a century ago Over-the-Rhine's streets were lined with hundreds of saloons, teeming with lager-drinking Germans who were immersed in a beer brewing culture.

Vine Street alone was home to more than 135 saloons where beer barons like Christian Moerlein mingled with laborers. Today, that deep-rooted brewing heritage has been nearly erased from the city's landscape - the breweries demolished or left to decay.

Now preservationists are racing to save the remaining crumbling relics - considered the largest collection of their kind nationally.

"What we have is fantastic," says Mike Morgan, executive director of the Over-the-Rhine Foundation. "But these buildings are dying the death of a thousand cuts. When you look at how many of these buildings are in short-term peril of being lost, you quickly realize that this could be the decade that we fall out of touch with our heritage and lose this neighborhood as a catalyst for change."
Go read it! (h/t beervana)