OPB's new documentary exposes the complex and often shocking history of one of Oregon’s most notorious institutions — the Fairview Training Center. For many residents, it was the only home they ever knew. For others, it was a living nightmare.
Twenty years ago, the last resident left Fairview Training Center. It closed in 2000 amid lawsuits and investigations. But for nearly 100 years, Fairview was Oregon's primary institution for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities. For many residents, it was the only home they ever knew. For others, it was a living nightmare.
The year was 1913. In Eastern Oregon, the town of Copperfield was known for heavy drinking, corrupt local politics, daytime brawls and nighttime brothels. To the west of the Cascades, Fern Hobbs was developing her own reputation, as the first Oregon woman to receive an important political appointment after the state granted women the right to vote.
By the 1920s Oregon had well-established Japanese American communities in Portland and Hood River. Immigrant pioneers managed businesses, thriving farms and orchards with their American-born children. Pearl Harbor changed everything.
From fur trappers and explorers to farmers and merchants, African-Americans have helped shape the state, even as white settlers tried to force them out. "Oregon Experience" examines the largely unknown history of Oregon's black pioneers.
At one time, the largest landowner in North America was the Hudson's Bay Company, a vast British trading enterprise. In the early 1800s, Fort Vancouver served as the HBC headquarters in the Oregon Country employing hundreds of people from over 35 different ethnic groups. This unique, vibrant, multicultural community prevailed for more than 20 years. Fort Vancouver is the story of the people, the place and the changes that the Hudson's Bay Company brought to the Pacific Northwest.