Guide to the Phil Metschan Family Papers

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Overview of the Collection

Creator: Metschan, Phil
Title: Phil Metschan family papers
Dates: 1855-1963 ( inclusive )
1880-1925 ( bulk )
Quantity: 1 cubic foot (1 document case, 1 card file box, 1 oversize folder)
Collection Number: Mss 882
Summary: Papers of the family of Phil Metschan, Oregon State Treasurer and owner of the Imperial Hotel in Portland. Materials include diaries, notebooks, correspondence, ephemera, certificates, 1930 election materials, and a scrapbook. Family members represented include Phil Metschan, Phil Metschan, Jr., Marie C. Metschan, Anna Metschan Cattanach, and Lillian and Jesse Evans Flanders.
Repository: Oregon Historical Society, Davies Family Research Library
Contact Information: Davies Family Research Library
Oregon Historical Society
1200 SW Park Avenue
Portland, OR
Telephone: 503-306-5240
Fax: 503-219-2040
Languages: Materials in the collection are in English and German.   
Sponsor: Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Historical Note

Phil Metschan (1840-1920), came to the U.S. from Germany at the age of 14, in 1854. After living in Cincinnati, Ohio, Leavenworth, Kansas, and Leadville, Colorado, he traveled overland to Sacramento, California, in 1861. He came to Portland, Oregon, shortly afterwards, and ran a bakery until it was destroyed by the flood of 1862. He moved to Canyon City, running a store and becoming involved in state politics. In the 1860s he married Maria (Marie) Catharina Schaume (1841-1895), a native of Germany who had come to the U.S. in 1864 and had lived in San Francisco before coming to Canyon City. From 1891 to 1899 Phil Metschan lived in Salem and served as Oregon State Treasurer, and in 1899 he purchased the Imperial Hotel in Portland. A new Imperial Hotel was built at the corner of SW Broadway and Stark in 1910 and run by Metschan and his son Phil, Junior. Among the Metschan's nine children were Phil Metschan, Jr., Frank F. Metschan, Edward L. Metschan, Anna Metschan Cattanach, and Lillian Metschan Flanders (wife of Jesse Evans Flanders). Phil Metschan, Jr., was the unsuccessful Republican candidate for governor of Oregon in 1930.

Content Description

Materials include diaries, notebooks, correspondence, ephemera, certificates, and a scrapbook. Letters, 1862-1928, are from Canyon City, Heppner, and Portland, and relate to family and personal matters, courtship, and the hotel business. A transcript of a letter from Phil Metschan, 1862, provides details on his journey to the west coast and activities in Portland. Also included is a file of condolence letters on the death of Marie Metschan, 1895. Papers of Marie Metschan include: confirmation certificate, 1855; passport, 1863; and a diary from Canyon City, 1866. Diaries of Phil Metschan date from 1861-1918 and include his travel diary from a tour of Europe, 1908. Papers of Anna Metschan Cattanach include autograph books and a scrapbook of clippings relating to family and friends. Among the materials relating to the Imperial Hotel in Portland are a set of menus, and a special supplement to the Oregon Journal, 1910. The collection also contains numerous family certificates, such as a Masonic confirmation, 1867; certificate of high priesthood, 1885; and certificate of election as State Treasurer, 1891. A title abstract to a lot in the Irvington section of Portland can be found in the Flanders family materials. A folder of election ephemera documents the 1930 run for governor by Phil Metschan, Jr.

Use of the Collection

Restrictions on Access :  

The collection is open to the public.

Restrictions on Use :  

The Oregon Historical Society is the owner of the materials in the Research Library and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from the Research Library before any publication use. The Society does not necessarily hold copyright to all of the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from the copyright owners.

Preferred Citation :  

Phil Metschan family papers, Mss882, Oregon Historical Society Research Library

Administrative Information

Arrangement :

The collection is arranged in the following series:

  • Series A: General papers and scrapbook, 1855-1963
  • Series B: Diaries and other booklets, 1855-1934
  • Series C: Oversize materials, 1863-1938

Acquisition Information :  

The bulk of the collection was a gift from Mr. Philip L. Metschan, 1973 July 17, Library Accession 12612; and Mrs. Robert D. Mills, 1976 February 27, Library Accession 13605.

Separated Materials :  

Photograph albums of the Metschan family are designated Albums 408, 409, 410, 411, 412, and 413, Oregon Historical Society Research Library.

Related Materials :  

Photographs of members of the Metschan family can be found in the Photograph Self-Indexing Files, #742-A, Oregon Historical Society Research Library.

Additional papers of the Phil Metschan family can be found at the University of Oregon Library, Special Collections, Collection Ax686, Eugene, Oregon.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series A:  General papers and scrapbook, 1855-1963
1/1 Canyon City High School yearbook, Joaquin 1920
1/2 Clippings on Phil Metschan 1907-1950
1/3 Correspondence 1862-1928
1/4 Death of Mrs. Marie C. Metschan--Letters of condolence 1895
1/5 Documents 1886-1937
1/6 Election materials, Phil Metschan, Jr. 1930
1/7 Ephemera 1899-1937
1/8 Flanders family materials, including title abstract to lot in Irvington 1914-1963
1/9 Imperial Hotel menus 1911-1917; undated
1/10 Scrapbook 1884-1939
1/11 Westshore circa 1880

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Series B:  Diaries and other booklets, 1855-1934
2/1 Account book, Phil Metschan 1907
2/2 Autograph book, Anna Metschan Cattanach 1883
2/3 Autograph book, Anna Metschan Cattanach 1886
2/4 Confirmation certificate, Marie C. Metschan 1855
2/5 Diary, Phil Metschan (in German) 1861
2/6 Diary, Max Metschan (no entries) 1903
2/7 Diary, Phil Metschan, European tour 1908
2/8 Diary, Phil Metschan 1915
2/9 Diary, Phil Metschan 1916
2/10 Diary, Phil Metschan 1917
2/11 Diary, Phil Metschan 1918
2/12 Maria C. Metschan, notebook (in German) undated
2/13 Taschen-Liederbuch (book of German song lyrics) circa 1870

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Series C:  Oversize materials, 1863-1938
1 Oregon Historical Society membership certificate for Phil Metschan 1901
2 Masonic certificate for Phil Metschan, representative of Grand Council of Connecticut 1893
3 Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of Maryland, certificate to Phil Metschan 1897
4 Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, certificate to Phil Metschan 1891
5 Masonic certificate to Phil Metschan 1867
6 Passport for Marie C. Schaume (Mrs. Metschan), Darmstadt 1863
7 Grand Decoration of Chivalry certificate to Phil Metschan 1888
8 Certificate of election as State Treasurer to Phil Metschan 1890
9 Thomas Jefferson Memorial Association membership to Phil Metschan 1909
10 Royal Arch Masons, certificate of high priesthood for Phil Metschan 1885
11 Royal Opera House, Dresden, broadside 1908
12 Oregon Journal supplement on Imperial Hotel 1910 January 2
13 Blue Mountain Eagle, Canyon City 1936 January 17
14 Blue Mountain Eagle, Canyon City 1938 August 26

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The collection is indexed under the following headings in the online catalog. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons, or places should search the catalog using these headings:

  • Personal Names :
  • Cattanach, Anna Metschan.  ( creator)
  • Flanders, Jesse Evans.
  • Flanders, Lillian Metschan.
  • Metschan, Edward L.
  • Metschan, Marie Schaume.
  • Metschan, Phil, Jr.
  • Metschan, Phil.  ( creator)
  • Family Names :
  • Metschan family.
  • Corporate Names :
  • Imperial Hotel (Portland, Or.)
  • Geographical Names :
  • Canyon City (Or.)--History.
  • Irvington (Portland, Or.)--History.
  • Oregon--Politics and government--1859-1950.
  • Portland (Or.)--History.
  • Subject Terms :
  • Elections--Oregon--History.
  • Freemasonry--Oregon--History.
  • German Americans--Oregon--History.
  • Hotels--Oregon--Portland--History.
    • Form or Genre Terms :
    • Certificates.
    • Diaries.
    • Letters (correspondence)
    • Property records.
    • Scrapbooks

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