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video: Spotted in Portland: Scandal’s Tony Goldywn at OHS

Saturday, April 04, 2015

 

Tony Goldwyn

Tony Goldwyn and OHS Executive Director Kerry Tymchuk. Photo: OHS

Spotted in Portland: Scandal's Tony Goldywn

Many people use the Oregon Historical Society Research Library to learn about their historic homes, track down their ancestors, and access primary source materials... even Hollywood actors like Tony Goldwyn.

Goldwyn (aka President Fitzgerald Grant on ABC's "Scandal") visited OHS as part of his genealogical quest on the TLC series "Who Do You Think You Are?" You can watch as he uncovers unknown parts of his family history that lead him to Oregon when the episode airs this Sunday, April 5 at 10 p.m.

As part of his ancestral mapping, Mr. Goldwyn and the Who Do crew asked to view Mary White Coe's diary in the OHS collection. Mary White married Nathaniel Coe in New York, who then moved to Oregon in 1851 after being appointed Special Postal Agent to President Fillmore. Ms. Coe's diary details a miserable trip across the Isthmus of Panama in late 1852 and early 1853, where she traveled with her two sons to meet her husband in Oregon. In those days, this was the fastest route from the east coast to Oregon, but the trip across Panama involved traveling overland by mule (which, in late years, would be replaced by railroad). 

An excerpt from the diary, shown in the accompanying photo, reads: 

"New Years Day [1853] - This morning at 12 [midnight] some one full of frolic or fun - or it may be unable to sleep himself, came into the saloon - rang the bell, desiring the passengers for San Francisco to come forward to the baggage room, and select their baggage - some sprung up from sleep, forgetting - they were a week from their destination - all were startled. At first I thought it was the first of April - so I said to my neighbor - tis' an April fool, well well - surely no one would imagine it to be January - or even a New York April - so warm..." 

The Nathanial Coe collection also includes correspondence, notebooks, financial records, and more relating to this Oregon pioneer family who settled in Hood River in 1855. 

The Oregon Historical Society Research Library is open to the public on Tuesday from 1 p.m. - 5 p.m. and Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

 

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