Friday, December 08, 2006

Amazing Find at Smock House

photo of original from Smock House newspaper.
1896 was a bad year for Sherwood. The brickyard went bust and people were insulating their walls with newspaper instead of wallpaper. As a result, the top floor of Smock House has the news of 1896 pasted all over its southern exposure. Past President June Reynolds was making a close inspection of these newspapers when this poem jumped out and bit her on the nose. The poem was interesting to look at as well as to read. It was hand lettered in a political cartoon. She hasn't been able to decipher the artist/poet's name yet, but it's not half bad! (I wonder if anyone would describe Portland's polluted, concreted and creosoted riverfront this way today!)

Softly Flows the Blue Willamette
Copyright 2006 by Sherwood Historical Society

Softly flows the blue Willamette
Hazy hills slope gently down
Where the heaving sighing waters,
Lap the ash trunks gray and brown.

Slender wind-swung weeping willows
On the river's low banks grow...
Ev'n the lightest summer breezes
Gently sway them to and fro

Fragile, bent and broken rushes
Lean far out and kiss the tide!
Neath the green pads of the lily,
Silver mirrors flash and hide

Lo, a scarlet sun is sinking
In a gleaming, golden west
And the blinking stars lie mirrored
On the blue Willamette's breast.

Hear Clyde List's Rendition of this Song!


Lilly Morgen said...

The person who did the editorial cartoon was Murray L. Wade. Does anyone out there know anything about this person?

Anonymous said...

According to the following site:
there was an Oregon pioneer WADE family, many who are buried in the Salem Pioneer Cemetery. The site has no mention of a poet in the family, but from those listed, Murray Lincoln Wade (the Senior) MIGHT be a possible candidate. The site also gives some contact e-mail addresses if you want to follow up with family members.

Anonymous said...

Here is the biography of the cartoonist per Ask/Art website:

Murray Lincoln Wade
Born in Salem, OR on Sept. 27, 1876. Wade studied in San Francisco during the 1890s at the Mark Hopkins Institute and received criticism from Wm Keith. He later was a cartoonist for the Oregonian and San Francisco Examiner. His work includes oils and pen & ink sketches of vaudeville, theatrical, and political personalities. Wade died in Salem on March 26, 1961.
Exh: Oregon State Fairs, 1894, 1895, 1900 (prizes);
SF Newspaper Artists, 1903.
In: Oregon Historical Society.
Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
City Directory; Social Security Death Index (1940-2002).

Anonymous said...

Holy Cow! Thank you for the information! Speaking of cow, has Esmaerelda the Christmas Cow been around Old Town Sherwood lately?

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