Rodney Glisan's Book Collection Becomes Medical Library

May 30, 2014

 Rodney Glisan has a major street named after him in Portland, Ore., and his personal book collection generated the first library at the Oregon Health and Science University.  Before he became a leading citizen in Portland, Glisan was a young army medical officer stationed at Port Orford on the Southern Oregon Coast.

 In 1855 Glisan took the steamship Columbia up the coast from San Francisco for his assignment at Fort Orford.  In his journal, Glisan described the rough seas and white caps north of Crescent City.  He recalled how a fellow passenger lay in his bunk with seasickness while a steward hurriedly cleaned the floor of his cabin.  Unfortunately the ship lurched, dousing the sick passenger with the contents of the bucket. Later, stationed at Fort Orford, Glisan described life at the army post. Wolves, cougars, and black bears roamed the forest nearby.  Miners traveled in and out of the port.  But his most common journal entries describe the frequent return of the Columbia.  The steamship brought mail, news, and colleagues to the lonely outpost.  The following year, Glisan was reassigned to Fort Yamhill and spent the rest of his career in the Portland area.     

 Sources: Glisan, Rodney. Journal of Army Life.: A.L. Bancroft, 1874. Southern Oregon Digital Archives. Web. 16 Apr. 2014."History of the OHSU Library." Oregon Health Sciences University.  Web. 17 Apr. 2014.