Author: Richard H. Engeman
Publisher: Timber Press
ISBN: 978-0-88192-899-0

There are 96,466 square miles in Oregon, and that is a lot of landscape. Over the span of some two hundred years of recorded time, much has changed. Making sense of that much territory and that much change is not easy,” Richard H. Engeman writes in his book, The Oregon Companion: An Historical Gazetteer of the Useful, the Curious, and the Arcane.

Covering four hundred and thirty two pages, the book is targeted toward individuals interested in learning more about Oregon, with its cities, towns, lakes, mountains, buildings, industries, products, and people. Concentrating toward transportation, the author admits there is less information regarding sports.


Providing only black and white photographs, maps, or designs, the book is an alphabetized tribute to Oregon. After acknowledgements and an introduction, four hundred pages list people, places, and things in this Pacific Northwest state. A bibliography, list of websites, and author’s biography are at the end. Unfortunately, no topical or alphabetical index is included.


All Oregon counties, incorporated cities, and towns are mentioned along with its communities, rivers, mountains, and other geographical features including plants, animals, crops, and produce. Only deceased individuals are given with no current politicians, business owners, or entertainers. Famous buildings such as universities, forts, homesteads, or churches may include photographs.


With two lines to almost a page of information, some paragraphs are to the point while others provide more details. From the Alsean Indians, blackberries, Civil War (football game), Damascus, or Thomas Lamb Eliot to Fort George, ghost towns, a hoedad, or Interstate 5, a myriad of topics are briefly discussed.


Take the word Multnomah which has seven topics: Multnomah Athletic Club, Multnomah County, Multnomah district, Multnomah Falls, Multnomah Indians, Multnomah Stadium, and Multnomah Village. The 1891 club is now PGE Park. The county was established in 1854 with the district blossoming in the 1990s and there is a half-page photograph of Multnomah station. The falls plunge six hundred and eleven feet. The last three entries refer to information under Chinookan Indians, PGE Park, and Multnomah district.


Having no way to look up a name or title by index, one has to flip through the pages alphabetically instead of by theme to find a topic. Often during researching, the reader may want to look up under a specific name, only to be referenced to view another. It would be helpful to have both topical and alphabetical indexes to immediately glean data.

This book was personally gifted to the reader and the review is the reader’s honest opinion.

Follow Here To Purchase The Oregon Companion: An Historical Gazetteer of the Useful, the Curious, and the Arcane