On a leisurely stroll through the South Park blocks, you might notice two statues. One giant state of Abraham Lincoln, and another giant statue of “Rough Rider” Teddy Roosevelt. The two presidents that have been memorialized in many a story, legend, and even Mount Rushmore. While the statues are indeed placed in the South Park blocks to honor a president who freed the slaves, and the president who pioneered conservation for our nation, these statues have a forgotten story. These statues serve as a prison for giant ghosts!
Sometime in the mid 20s, as Portland was still quite small and low profile, a high profile event came about. Two ghosts found the city. These two ghosts were brutal enemies, and had been searching for each other throughout the globe for hundreds, maybe even thousands of years.
We don’t quite know why these ghosts decided to settle their centuries old feud in Portland. Perhaps happenstance plays a part, or perhaps one ghost was trailing the other. We also don’t know the exact date – as the records were mostly destroyed and redacted by the government. Eye witnesses have mostly passed on, and the ones that were mostly young children anyways. We just know what happened. The ghosts fought in downtown Portland.
And oh how the ghosts fought! The two ghosts, finally finding each other, fought for several weeks! Entire blocks of downtown Portland were quarantined to protect the public from the damage and the carnage. Tremors could be felt throughout the area as the two spirits pushed each other down, into buildings, into streets.
All of Portland could only sit and watch….and hope these two spirits didn’t destroy the entire city. Plans to evacuate the city came about of course, but how far? What would be a safe distance from the giant ghosts? The pair stayed in the general area of the park blocks, but perhaps they’d move on. Perhaps one would run – and the other would chase.
Of course the army got involved. The soldiers lined up among the perimeter of the “quarentied” zone, and used every weapon at their disposal to stop the behemoths. Alas, this plan was futile. Our best guns, tanks, and even bombs were useless on the two ghosts. The ghosts hardly even noticed the weaponry. This might be the only reason no soldiers were harmed – the ghosts just didn’t see them as a threat.
A bold, last ditch effort came about – lure the two ghosts into a huge hole. It was a tricky plan, and no one really knew how to do it, but it was the last and only plan the Portlanders had left. So, a giant trench was dug in the middle of SW Jefferson Street. The trench was 30 feet deep, 30 feet wide, and 30 feet long. This trench would hopefully contain the ghosts until a more permanent solution could be found.
Digging the trench was pretty tricky – as the ghosts jumped from block to block with their fighting. There were shifts of workers, ready at all time to construct the hole. However, construction had to be halted anytime the ghosts got near enough to endanger the operation. It took the workers two weeks to finally complete the trench.
Digging the trench so close, and even in the way of the fighting, meant ghosts didn’t have to be lured into the pit. One of the ghosts threw the other into the pit, and jumped into continue the fight. The two giant ghosts never strayed from the pit after they landed inside – happy to fight in a confined space.
Of course, a permanent solution still needed to be found. Several ideas came about. Some said pave the trench over, but there was no evidence that burying the two ghosts would be permanent. The idea to just “let them be” came about as well, but that of course presumed the two ghosts would stay in the pit. They might be content now, but will they leave the pit later on? No one could say for certain.
A young historian, by the name of Shelly Slythmore had an idea – pour bronze on the two ghosts. The idea came from the Greek myth of Talos, a giant automaton made of bronze. While most texts point to Talos as a protector of Europe, forged by man, a few obscure texts suggest otherwise. A few texts suggest that Talos was actually a spirit or a ghost himself, and the bronze was his prison. Man had coated Talos with bronze in order to control Talos and to protect themselves.
It was worth a shot at least. The bronze was readied days later, and brought to the pit. It took quite a bit of patience, but one ghost knocked the other into the trench wall. The ghost seemed to struggle to get up. The workers, saw their chance, and dumped the first batch of bronze on the giant spirit.
The plan seemed to work! One ghost became completely encased in the bronze. Of course the other ghost saw what happened, and didn’t want the same fate. It climbed at the walls vigorously, so the second batch of bronze was dumped on the ghost rather quickly, thus forming a longer, yet skinnier clump of bronze.
The two ghosts were imprisoned. So what to do with the bronze? Bury it? Display it? A foundry owner by the name of Henry Waldo Coe wanted to make statues with the bronze. He already had the idea to build four statues, for the city after all. The taller, skinnier piece of bronze could be used to shape the Lincoln Statue. The shorter, stout piece of bronze could be used to shape Teddy Roosevelt.
The rest, of course, is history. The two statues remain in the park blocks to this day. While the general public believes these statues to memorialize two presidents, you now know they also memorialized a catastrophic event in 1920s Portland
Oh, but be warned when passing these statues. No prison is escape proof. If you ever happen upon a crack one of these two statues, run! Run for your life! The giant ghosts might already be loose once more upon the city.
As always, remember, this site is purely fictional. While some historical facts may or may not have been referenced, there are, to my knowledge, any such thing as giant ghosts. There is no government conspiracy to hide any giant ghosts. There is no evidence that giant ghosts have ransacked downtown Portland, and there is no evident to state that giant ghosts are imprisoned in bronze statues in the South Park Blocks.