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Every subject known to man can be found on a postcard

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About Us
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OUR MISSION
To discover the past through the preservation of postcards, photos, antique paper and souvenirs.

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The first known reference to a “Webfooter” in Portland was at the Lewis & Clark Expo in 1905. The Webfooter was a mascot of sorts for the fair. You can find his likeness on plates, cups and spoons from the Expo. He was actually a frog. Portland’s first baseball team was known as “The Webfooters”.

Post card collecting was a popular pastime in Oregon’s early days. You will find many post cards that are 100 or more years old and they were lovingly preserved by post card collectors over the years. One of the earliest known post card clubs was known as The Oregon Postal Card Exchange and it dates back to about 1910. Fred Grammell of Portland published a bimonthly bulletin called The Oregon Exchange for members who lived all over the world.

Members would exchange post cards with other members in Japan, China, Germany and nearly every country in the world. Members were encouraged to correspond in foreign languages and some of the stories in The Oregon Exchange were actually printed in foreign languages. Grammell was still publishing the Oregon Exchange in 1917 and it is not clear how many years the Exchange was active.

The roots of the Webfooters Post Card Club go back to 1954 when Ernest Cooper advertised in the Postcard Collector that he wanted to start a club for post card collectors. It wasn’t until 1965, when a preliminary organizational meeting was held on May 23 at the home of Myrtle Jensen to form a post card club. Oregon historian Ed Culp was chosen as the temporary chairman. In attendance were Ernest Cooper and a young Robert Potts who was a member until he died recently.

The next meeting was held on September 11, 1965 at Ed Culp’s home. Ernest Cooper was named President and Toni West handled the Secretary-Treasurer duties. Ernest Cooper offered to write the bulletin, Bob Potts volunteered to print the copies and Toni West was to handle addressing and mailing duties. It was proposed that advertising be included in the bulletin and Al Armstrong was present at the meeting.           

On January 22, 1966, the group met again at the Multnomah County Library. Ernest Cooper was elected President. Thelma Bengs and Doris Kelly (later Brockell) were present. Webster Webfoot was accepted as the club mascot and dues for the Webfooters Post Card Club were set at $2 per year. Advertising costs in the bulletin were as follows: $4 for a whole page, $2 for a half page and $1 for a quarter page. They began a bulletin exchange with other post card clubs.

The Webfooters met again on April 23, 1966 at the Community Room in Far West Federal Savings on Northeast Wasco Street in Gateway. In attendance were Al Powers, Ernest Cooper, Thelma Bengs, Bob Potts and Doris Kelly. Chuck West proposed a new slogan for the club: Every subject known to man can be found on a post card. The slogan was adopted, John Rehorka was designated as Vice President and Family member dues were set at $4 for one family at one address.

The next meeting was held on July 23, 1966 at the First Federal Savings and Loan building in Albany. Another meeting was held on October 15, 1966 at the Benjamin Franklin Savings & Loan Building on Southwest Stark Street in Portland. Another election of officers was held and Ernest Cooper was again elected President and Editor, John Rehorka was elected Vice President and Toni West continued as Secretary-Treasurer. The Webfooters had grown to 38 members.

In the early years, The Webfooters met quarterly. Meetings were held at Far West Federal Bank in Gateway. In 1968, club meetings were held at Pearson’s Mortuary. In 1969, meetings were moved to The Oregon Historical Society, where they stayed for the next two years. Al Powers (member number 58), organized The Webfooter’s first public Post Card Show which was held June 2-6, 1969. The next show was held on July 6-11, 1970 at Meier & Frank, where 75 frames held displays.

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The Webfooters met in Salem, Oregon in the 1970s, possibly as early as the 1960s, as the guest of Charles West. Seated: (L to R) Myrtle Jensen, unidentified, unidentified, Barbara Vann, Loraine Hagen, Ione Kilgore, Marie Welker, unidentified, Lois Powers, Thelma Bengs and unidentified. Standing: Toni West, unidentified, Al Powers, John Rehorka, Ernest Cooper, Glenn Gholston, Howard Mader, Charles West, Bob Potts, unidentified, Ron Maddy and Ed Culp, Photographer.

Elections were held on June 20, 1970 and Al Powers, who was out of town at the time, was elected President, John Rehorka continued as Vice President, Lorraine Hagen was elected Secretary-Treasurer and Barbara Vann was Editor of The Webfooter. On July 11, 1970, The Webfooters hosted the International Post Card Association. By October 10, 1970, the club had over $100 in the bank and it was suggested that they hold monthly meetings.

In 1971, The Webfooters now listed 93 members in their roster. Another Show was held at Meier & Frank in May of 1971. Dues were increased to $3 a year for individuals in 1972. Over the years, several meetings were held in Salem. The Webfooters’ first President, Ernest Cooper, passed away in June of 1975.

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The Webfooters met in Salem, Oregon on September 15, 1984, again as the guest of Charles West. First row: (L to R) unidentified (standing), seated: Vern Cope, Jean Yost, Ramona O’Neal, Ida Collell, Donna Moss, Doris Brockell, Mona Denton and Gordon Gesner. Second row: Mark Moore, Bob Ward, Al Powers, Bill Poole, Glenn Gholston, Charles West, George Rose, Thelma Bengs, Walt Koch, John Rehorka and Steve Kenney. Photograph by Ed Culp.

In the early 1980s, The Webfooters held meetings at Hollywood East at 4400 NE Broadway, then The Webfooters moved to the Holgate House at 39th & Holgate. After a while, meetings were held at the Sunnyside Masonic Temple at 39th & Hawthorne. For a time The Webfooters met at the Odd Fellows Hall in St. Johns and then to the basement of the Sellwood Masonic Temple for about five years. In 2004, we moved to the Russellville Grange at 121st & Prescott, where we currently meet.

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Webster Webfoot first greeted post card collectors in January 1966. His first name combines “WEBfooted youngSTER” with his wish to become a living dictionary of deltiology, which is the official name of the post card collector’s hobby. We who have been around a little longer can smile at such ambition in one who seems likely to fall down before he even gets both feet on the ground. Since he is just stretching his feet out of the eggshell, he is in a precarious position.

We know that each stream that he navigates will only lead to bigger, more challenging ones. When he gets a view of the vast ocean, and contemplates flying into the air lanes his wings can never fly in, he will feel like a beginner after all.

To symbolize our attitude toward our hobby, The Webfooters adopted Webster, as illustrated by President Ernest Cooper, as their official mascot at their meeting on January 22, 1966. Rubber stamps were made for the President and Secretary. Webster was also printed on stickers and he was added to the club envelopes and letterhead.

In the 1980’s, Tom Hardy, a friend of Al Powers, was asked to draw a more updated version of Webster.

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As illustrated by Tom Hardy

In anticipation of our 50th Anniversary in 2016, we commissioned local artist and history buff Robert Insley in October 2015 to update Webster for the 21st Century. The result is a simplified, more-balanced, professional representation of our beloved mascot Webster Webfoot both in color and in black and white. Webster will continue to represent us for many years to come.

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As illustrated by Robert Insley

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