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4A COTTAGE GROVE SENTINEL MARCH 8, 2017
By Finn JD John
ext time you’re heading over
Santiam Pass from the Willa-
mette Valley, you might take a
second to glance over at the side of the big potato-shaped promonto-
ry around which the highway bends as you pass Three Finger Jack.
If you do, you’ll likely see something unexpected. Running along
its side is an old railroad grade, painstakingly built up out of loose
rock. And if you get out of your car and follow the track, you’ll fi nd
it starts in the middle of nowhere west of the pass, crosses over the
summit, and ends in the middle of nowhere on the east side.
The sawed-off mountaintop the railroad grade traverses as it does
this is named after the man who built that track — a slick-talking
huckster named “Colonel” Thomas Edgenton Hogg.
Colonel Hogg was, at one time or another, a pirate, a shipping
magnate, a jailbird lifer (in Alcatraz, no less) and a railroad baron.
He was, it seems, always a swindler, forever working one angle or
The historical record on Hogg starts with the Civil War. During
the war, Hogg was a Confederate privateer — basically a pirate who
operates with the blessing of a government. (Although “Colonel” is
not typically a Navy rank, it’s the one he adopted, and it remained
part of his persona for the rest of his life.)
Hogg’s pseudo-Naval career was not a long one. The problem
was, although a privateer is technically a type of pirate, privateers
are not expected to act like pirates. They’re supposed to act like
Navy offi cers. Hogg didn’t seem to get that, and so, a few months
after he started his operations, the British refused to do business
with him, not wanting to be involved in buying stolen property.
This, of course, had an immediate impact on Hogg’s cash fl ow.
passenger route was going to hurt.
Hogg’s response to this was to pack up his crew and sail off to San Francisco, where he hoped to get
In desperation, Hogg had his workers stop working on the rail line and sent them all up to the summit
some action preying on opium traders. Unfortunately the nature of drug trading dictated a pretty high of the pass. There, they started work on a railroad line from nowhere to nowhere: A randomly selected
level of security — too high for Hogg’s scruffy crew to overcome — and so the lot of them soon found spot on the west side, a randomly selected spot on the east side, and a mile or two of track crossing
themselves in federal custody.
over the pass.
Hogg was sentenced to be hanged as a pirate; but his sentence was commuted to life in prison, and
Then Hogg disassembled a passenger car and had a team of mules pack it up to the pass. There, it
he was installed at Alcatraz to await the end of the war.
was reassembled and set on the rails.
Then came 1866, and a general amnesty for war prisoners was declared. Hogg, who a few years
The mules then pulled the car across the pass a couple times with workers on board, the workers
earlier had been under sentence of death, was a free man, loose in the most dynamic and promising part having “paid” for tickets; and with that, Hogg was ready to report to the federal government that he had
of the entire country.
done it — established service over the pass.
The old pirate’s travels eventually brought him, by the early 1870s, to the town of Corvallis. There
The next step, he knew, was to receive those massive grants of land, sell them, and use them to fi -
he found an interesting opportunity: The town was desperate for a way to connect with a deepwater nance the completion of the railroad.
seaport. Progress was passing Corvallis by as the Oregon and California Railroad chose to cut through
This little swindle would probably have worked, except for one thing more: As the steamship Hogg
Albany; the few remaining riverboats that chugged up the Willamette mostly didn’t even bother to stop had bought with the insurance money was being towed into the bay, a cable snapped (again) and the
there on their way to Eugene City; and the only way to get products out to the world markets was to ship was washed onto the South Jetty. Again, it was a total loss.
send them down the river to Portland and out to sea, which was very expensive.
Two snapped cables, two stranded ships, in two months … what were the odds? Plenty of people
So Hogg threw himself into raising the money to build a railroad line across the Coast Range, from thought this wasn’t a coincidence. Suspicion naturally fell upon the Portland business crowd, since
Corvallis to Newport. He called it the Corvallis and Yaquina Bay Railroad.
Hogg’s plan would have meant a healthy slice of the Port of Portland’s business would move to New-
This turned out to be a rather diffi cult proposition because of the geography of the Coast Range, port; but, of course, nothing could be proved.
which was very prone to landslides, especially after its vegetation has been disturbed. It took Hogg four
In any case, the second stranding dealt the coup de grace to Hogg’s transcontinental aspirations. The
years to fi nish the line. To fi nance it, he sold $25,000 bonds, and there was enough Gold Rush money construction was abandoned, and Hogg concentrated on keeping his existing rail service going.
still in Oregon to get the job done that way.
Shortly thereafter, after failing to make the interest payments on his bonds, Hogg’s railroad was
By the time the line was fi nished, Hogg had renamed it the Oregon Pacifi c Railroad — and he’d made forced into receivership. It fi led bankruptcy in 1890 and was bought out by lumber magnate A.B.
some new plans for it. The thing was, at the time — roughly 1884 — travelers and freight coming to Hammond in 1894.
San Francisco from back east were having to come through Portland.
Hogg envisioned a transcontinental railroad line coming directly from Boise to Newport over San-
Finn J.D. John teaches at Oregon State University and writes about odd tidbits of Oregon history.
tiam Pass, which would shave 300 miles off the journey and, for goods and people going by sea, avoid For details, see http://fi nnjohn.com. To contact him or suggest a topic: fi email@example.com or
the always-chancy Columbia River Bar. And the federal government was still offering huge grants of 541-357-2222.
land to entrepreneurs willing to build railroads.
So Hogg went to the government and made a deal; the lands would become his as soon as he estab-
lished service over the Santiam Pass.
Then Hogg started making the rounds of Eastern venture capi-
talists, deploying the legendary Hogg charm. He returned with big
money behind him, ready to fi nish up the local railroad line.
But some of the business leaders in Portland had gotten wind of
Nutrition scientists have shown over and as indole-3-carbinol (abundant in broccoli, Brussels sprouts and
what Hogg had in mind. They now moved to block his next move,
that people who eat more natural plant cabbage), can even help the body excrete estrogen and other hor-
by buying up a big swath of land through which he would have to
– vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts and mones.5 In fact, new research has shown additional anti-estrogenic
run his railroad to get to its planned terminus at Newport.
etc. – are less likely to be diagnosed effects of both indole-3-carbinol and sulforaphane (most abundant
So instead Hogg terminated his railroad at the very back of the
But are all vegetables equally in broccoli); these ITCs blunt the growth-promoting effects of es-
bay, named the resulting town Yaquina City, bought a big steamboat
win the war on cancer, we trogen on breast and cervical cancer cells.5-7
to connect with it there, and started providing passenger service to
anti-cancer diet. What is an
Eating cruciferous vegetables produces measurable isothiocya-
San Francisco. Then, with a steady stream of revenue coming in
in breast tissue,8 and observational studies show that women
from that service, he turned to his next project: The transcontinental.
more cruciferous vegetables are less likely to be diagnosed
Crews got busy on the line, pushing it out as far as Idanha. Then,
cancer: In one notable study, women who regularly ate
in 1887, disaster struck: Hogg’s steamship, which connected with
per day of cruciferous vegetables had a 50 percent re-
the rail line for passenger service to San Francisco, ran aground.
For The Sentinel
breast cancer.4 A 17 percent decrease in breast cancer
While navigating the Yaquina Bay bar, the ship suffered a broken
in a European study for those consuming crucifer-
rudder cable, and drifted north and beached itself on the sand below
least once a week.9 Plus, breast cancer survivors
Chicken Hill (where the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse is). The surf soon
vegetables regularly have lower risk of cancer
pounded her to pieces.
cruciferous vegetables they ate, the lower
The loss was insured, but losing the cash fl ow of the successful
and bok choy plus some non-green vegetables like caulifl ower.
Cruciferous vegetables contain glucosinolates and in a different
Within an overall nutrient-dense eating style, cruciferous vege-
area of the cell, an enzyme called myrosinase. When we blend, tables can provide us with a profound level of protection against
chop or chew these vegetables, we break up the plant cells, allow- cancer. Don’t forget: chopping, chewing, blending, or juicing cru-
ing myrosinase to come into contact with glucosinolates, initiating ciferous vegetables is necessary to produce the anti-cancer ITCs.
a chemical reaction that produces isothiocyanates (ITCs) – pow-
erful anti-cancer compounds. ITCs have been shown to detoxify
and remove carcinogens, kill cancer cells, and prevent tumors from
Dr. Fuhrman is a #1 New York Times best-selling author and a
JOHN BARTLETT, Regional Publisher..............................
SAM WRIGHT, Sports Editor...................942-3325 Ext.
board certifi ed family physician specializing in lifestyle and nutri-
GARY MANLY, General Manager................942-3325 Ext.
204 • firstname.lastname@example.org
207 • email@example.com
Observational studies have shown that eating ITC-rich crucifer- tional medicine. The Eat To Live Cookbook offers over 200 unique
vegetables protects against cancer – here are a few examples:
disease-fi ghting delicious recipes and his newest book, The End of
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CARLA WILLIAMS, Office Manager.................942-3325
-Twenty-eight servings of vegetables per week decreased pros- Heart Disease, offers a detailed plan to prevent and reverse heart
Ext. 216 • firstname.lastname@example.org
Ext. 201 • email@example.com
TAMMY SAYRE, Sales Repersentative......... 942-3325
LEGALS.............................................................942-3325 tate cancer risk by 35%, but just 3 servings of cruciferous vegeta- disease using a nutrient-dense, plant-rich eating style. Visit his in-
Ext. 213 • firstname.lastname@example.org
Ext. 200 • email@example.com
bles per week decreased prostate cancer risk by 46 percent.2
formative website at DrFuhrman.com. Submit your questions and
-One or more servings of cabbage per week reduced risk of pan- comments about this column directly to newsquestions@drfuhr-
CAITLYN MAY, Editor......................................942-3325
RON ANNIS, Graphics Manager
creatic cancer by 38 percent.3
Ext. 212 • firstname.lastname@example.org
-One serving per day of cruciferous vegetables reduced the risk
of breast cancer by over 50 percent.4
-Cruciferous vegetables are especially helpful for preventing
cancers, such as breast cancer, because some ITCs, such
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