Information on our Pittock Mansion picnic

ORS pittock mansion picnicOur annual picnic will be on July 30th of this year, the last Sunday in July on the lawn at Pittock Mansion in Portland.  This picnic tends to be one of our most popular events!  We officially start at 11am in the morning, and end at 3pm.  However, guests are welcome to arrive and depart at their leisure.  This event is free to attend, and there is a bathroom near the gift shop outside.

A bit of information for our new attendants:

This event is free to attend.  However, admission to the mansion itself is separate.  If you haven’t been there yet, we highly recommend a tour.  Adult admission is $10, children 7-18 are $7, seniors 65+ are $9, and children 6 and under are free.  The museum does offer memberships as well.

Period attire is always admired, but never required at this event.  We have people don everything from incredibly accurate attire all the way through things you might see at a renaissance faire.  We do encourage keeping non-modern clothing toward the regency-inspired end, and so have attendants arrive in modern apparel as well.  Since the grounds are not closed to us, we do always have people stumble upon our event, obviously in modern things, and mill among us.  This is very fun!  So if you are just dipping your toes in right now, or want to see a casual event in action before taking the plunge and investing in any costuming pieces, do feel free to come in your jeans or whatever makes you feel comfortable.

You’ll need to bring your own picnic blankets and picnic baskets.  This event isn’t catered.  What you choose to bring is up to you.  Some of us bring cheese and crackers for the simplicity, and some of us bring tea sandwiches.  I’m fairly sure I’ve seen McDonald’s fries a time or two as well.  Most members do bring tea pots and tea in thermoses, and try to look a bit period, but we are realistic and entirely embrace that we often have fruit platters from grocery stores brought in in plastic or paper bags, especially since we do have many members come in from hours away.  So if you’ll eat it, feel free to bring it.  We do however, require that whatever is brought in is properly disposed of or packed back out.

Unfortunately, as the mansion is within the Portland Parks and Recreations system, alcohol of any sort, including wine, is not allowed without a picnic permit, and for events of over 50, insurance.  Pittock Mansion doesn’t have picnic permits available as no areas are able to be privatized for use.  So we can not condone wine.  Feel free to bring grape juice and wine glasses if you wish to feel a bit fancy.

Absolutely no tobacco products of any sort, including e-cigs, are allowed at any time.

Games on the lawn are welcome.  We frequently have games of Graces and Blind Man’s Bluff and Marco Polo, but feel free to bring other games that don’t require connecting things to trees or other structures.  If you play an instrument and would like to play for us, especially period pieces, please do!  If multiple musicians attend, please take turns.

Parking in the closest lot is limited, and is first come, first serve.  We highly recommend carpooling when possible.  On busier days, there is parking on the narrow private road beside the mansion.  If that road needs to be used, the mansion will have parking attendants guiding drivers on where to park.  Keep in mind that there may be a bit of a walk to get to the grounds.  The paths to the grounds are paved, though there are some grades that can make pushing manual chairs a bit of a challenge.  There are reserved handicap spaces available, of course.  However…

As this is a historic location with limited ability to modernize the buildings without major retrofitting such as widening doors and making other structural changes, accessibility can be somewhat limited, and is described officially as “partially wheelchair and stroller accessible.”  The mansion does have an original 1914 elevator to assist guests inside the mansion in accessing all three floors, though motorized wheelchairs and scooters may not always fit.  There are two manual wheelchairs available on a first-come-first-serve basis.  There is no accessibility in the narrow coach house, where one of the employees used to live.  If you have mobility issues, please contact the mansion at 503-823-3623 with any questions or concerns. As we are not employees of the mansion, we are not permitted to use these elevators without employees.

This is our tenth year holding our picnic at Pittock Mansion, and it has grown in popularity every year.  It has been a privilege to be allowed to organize such a large event, free of charge, which has enabled us to make this a free event.

No RSVP’ing is necessary to attend our picnic, so just show up and enjoy!

Lady Antoinette


2017 Duchess’ Dinner IMPORTANT UPDATE!

multnomah_falls_lodge_interior_-_oregonOur dinner was originally scheduled for March 25th, but due to inclement weather causing a lot of mudslides, the danger was too great to ask our members to bear.  So we have rescheduled.

This year’s Duchess’s Dinner will be held the gorgeous lodge at Multnomah Falls on May 13th, 2017, at 5pm.  Join us as we feast and enjoy called dancing.  We are very excited to crown our duchess, who will have the honor of choosing how next year’s duchess is chosen, as part of our new tradition.

We will have surf, turf, and vegetarian options.  Alcohol not included, but is available.

Lodging is available for those who wish to stay overnight instead of returning home.  Contact the lodge directly for reservations.

Ticketing for this event is as follows:
Single ticket: $75
Pair of tickets: $140 ($5 off each ticket!)
Students: $65 (student ID required)

Attendance will be capped at 20.  Student tickets will be capped at 5.  So get your tickets early!

Tickets available here: Oregon Regency Society Ticketing

As almost always, regency garb is admired, but is not required.  If you are interested in attending, but do not have a regency wardrobe yet and would like to be decked out, please click the contact button at the top of any page, and we may be able to help with some loaned wardrobe.

Lady Antoinette


(aka Aria Clements)

2017 Retreat at Silver Falls

The Oregon Regency Society
requests the honor of your presence
at our 2017 Annual Retreat

This year our retreat will be in the fall, the 9-12 of November.  A fall retreat is a nice change of pace and an excuse to acquire a few pieces to add to our wardrobes, and to just experience a different season that is more than just pumpkin spice and cinnamon.

Silver Falls Lodge

Our venue is one that often gets missed when searching for venues in the area.  Silver Falls Lodge and Conference Center is located at Silver Falls, just south of Silverton.  Silver Falls, folks, is simply gorgeous.  Home to more than two dozen miles of hiking trails, this gorgeous part has 18 stunning falls, including four that you can comfortably walk behind as part of your hiking experience.  These breathtaking photos are all of falls at Silver Falls.

Silver Souths Middle North Falls

Silver Falls South Fall

Silver Falls 1

Silver Falls B lodgeWe have reserved the Alder Lodge (one of four), which is ADA-accessible (similar to the lodge shown to the left, except all on one level) that will accommodate 12 people in 6-double-occupancy rooms.  By renting the entire lodge, we can decorate to our hearts’ contents, provided that nothing is done that can not be undone upon leaving.  Each room has its own lock, in addition to the lock just to get into this lodge.

A short, extremely easy and stunning hike away…

Silver Falls path

…we have a limited number of very private upper cabins that were once old Girl Scout cabins.

Silver Falls Upper CabinSilver Falls Girl Scout cabin
These are wonderful for two or three people.  The privacy they afford is both romantic and a chance for silly friends to get up to plenty of shenanigans.  We suggest finding a friend or two to book one of these together!

The Alder Lodge rooms have two large, shared bathrooms, but the Upper cabins have en-suite bathrooms.

In addition to those, we have one lower-cabin with a queen bed up for grabs.  This cabin requires two paid tickets, and, of course, will allow for both people, or one, if you so choose.

If we fill our cabins as well as the six rooms in Alder Lodge, then we can start booking in another lodge.  However, unless we fill another lodge, the other rooms can be made available to others.  The earlier you book, the better your choices.  This year, we are allowing our guests to choose their accommodations in order of booking.  If you choose to wait, you may be in the second lodge, which may or may not fill up.

We are planning several events, including archery and an auction, and will share more information as those events come together.

Of course we will have our Saturday ball.  This will be in the Big Leaf Dining Hall.  This hall has landmark status, and is simply amazing.  There is another wing not shown in the photo below.

Silver Falls Hall

Silver Falls mealThe onsite chef, Chef Kirk Veroneau, specialized in regency cuisine during his time in Boston.  This may be a first for us, having a chef who actually specialized in our era!  Our meals shall be influenced by the era, though, aside from the ball, may have a modern twist.  Our ball meal, however, will be a time for him to run wild with his regency skills.

Our pricing structure this year is as follows:

$475 early-bird special for the first 10, as well as best choice of accommodations.  This admission must be paid in full.

$525 standard rate until the 13th of September, and choice of accommodations in order of signing up.

This rate is also available as an installment plan.  It can be split into two payment of $262.50.  The balance needs to be paid by October 14th due to the date the balance of the venue needs to be paid.

$575 for stragglers from the 14th of September until the 14th of October.

After the 14th of October, contact us directly.

$75 for the ball only, on Saturday, the 11th of November, at 6pm.  (This is included in the admissions above.)

Tickets are non-refundable.  If you change your mind, or can’t attend in the end, you can transfer or sell your ticket to someone else of your choosing.  We do not have the funds to cover changed minds or other things coming up.  We still do have to pay for your spot and meals.  If we sell out of tickets and have a waiting list, then we can facilitate a transfer or sale for you.  Thank you for your understanding.

To reserve your spot, please go to our 2017 Annual Retreat at Silver Falls section in our online ticketing store.

Please contact us if you have any questions, and we will reply as soon as possible.

Lady Antoinette


(aka Aria Clements)

Growing Pains

Salutations to our splendid fellow regency-lovers!  We here at the Oregon Regency Society’s non-existent headquarters would like to share with you some of the new changes you may have noticed over the past few months.

We have had a change of leadership which has resulted in a smaller group and has helped actions be taken faster when decisions are needed.  It also means we have fewer woman-hours with which to do it all.

Two of our biggest changes you may be able to see right away are this new website and that we are using the Facebook PAGE rather than the Facebook GROUP, and these are for some very good reasons.

The easier to address of these is our new website.  Our previous one was very convoluted, and it was difficult to find information that was needed.  Too much was on there, and often links would go to defunct sites.  All in all, it was just too overwhelming.  We needed something simpler, something where we were easier to reach (the new Contact tab at the top is rather nice) and could better present information.  We also wanted something that we get with this site: A mailing list.  Before, if you wanted to be on our mailing list, you had to email a member of the leadership, be added to a not-well-kept list, and when someone had time to send out information, which was rare to never, hope to have all the current members of the list.  This didn’t go well.

But now!  Now we have this nifty little widget on this new page, down at the bottom of every page, where you can choose to follow this site and automatically get updates.  When we post events, news, auctions, or anything else, those who follow this site will get it automatically.  This means you are less likely to miss information!  Most of the information posted to Facebook will be posts here that are automatically published there, which means that, whether or not you are even on Facebook, you’ll get the same information quickly and reliably.  Facebook might have more reminders of some things, but you’ll still have the pertinent information.

Speaking of Facebook, we have made the decision to use the PAGE rather than the GROUP (pages are run by various organizations and businesses with more structure to make sure that the organization of business’s announcements are easy to see, while groups are more like loose forums with less structure). When the ORS was newer, pages didn’t have the option for members to make posts anywhere, and so the two were set up.  Fewer members earlier on also meant that finding what you were searching for was easier.  But as time has gone on, information has become fragmented between an avalanche of a group and a confusing old website.

Since most banter has been on the group, the best way to try to alert members about events was to post there.  This created a massive problem.  New chit-chat posts buried important information, and we had a problem of members missing posts about events, and only finding out when photos were posted afterward.  How could be make sure everyone has a chance to hear about events when our posts were drowned out by the masses?  Understandably, this has led to many members feeling left out and hurt.  Yes, it’s true that there’s an events tab on the group, but realistically, how often do people click that tab?  If you missed the post about an event, you wouldn’t even know.  The group makes the ORS more of an online social club rather than an in-person (as much as we can) social club to get together and enjoy reenacting our fantasy version of a couple centuries ago.

To combat the problem of information being victim of an avalanche, we decided to use the PAGE instead.  In addition to events and other announcements being front and center, you can still banter there.  You can still make posts and share all the fun stuff you find.  We would absolutely love for the masses to share everything and chat and be willy, informative, inquisitive, etc.  Write a post in the “write something” box, and it posts to the Visitor Posts section on the righthand side.  Between the options of going to a group, seeing banter, and clicking an events tab, or going to the page, seeing the events, and clicking the visitor posts, the latter better suits the purpose of our group.  Chatting is still there.  It’s just not burying announcements and the information that we need to reach our members.

Further, the ORS page is now officially verified with Facebook.  What this means for you is that our posts will now start to appear more often in your news feeds, and higher toward the top.  This is a third, albeit smallest, way to increase visibility of our events and to help reach all of you.  The more interaction with this page, such as our valued members both near and far posting to this page and continuing conversations, our page ranking will go up, and our posts will be even higher and more frequent in your feeds.

We are aware that there is concern about what will happen to the Facebook group.  The group isn’t going anywhere.  It’s going to remain as it is, but we will cease allowing new posts soon.  The old posts will absolutely remain up.  There is a lot of information there.  You can still reply to those posts, still look back through the ORS’s history.  New posts will just need to do to the page.  Speaking of older information, we will be going through the old website’s blog and moving informative and sentimental posts to the new one.  Our goal is not to lose information, new or old, but to make presenting information more reliable, and easier for you to access.

Yes, there has been the question of why not have both page and group.  Well, many people encounter the group first, and unless we monitor every single new follower and make sure they also follow the page, then we run the risk of remaining in a situation where we have fragmented members with many relying on a page where events are buried.  This is detrimental.

A very recent example of how the group isn’t helpful is our recent auction.  We’ve had members express dismay that they missed out on that because they didn’t know.  They didn’t see it on the group, and don’t follow the page (yet).  The auction was announced at least once in the group, but new posts pushed it down and caused many members to miss seeing it.  Subscribers of this website and followers of the page saw it much sooner while others didn’t see it until spotting posts on other people’s walls about it.  The group didn’t succeed in informing those members.  The page, and emails to the 545 subscribers of this blog, did.

We want our members to have reliable information faster, and we now what hasn’t worked well for a long, long time.  We’ve had a broken system, and are trying our best to fix it.  Continuing to do what hasn’t worked isn’t going to fix anything.  Please give us a chance as we try this new method of website posts that automatically email to our subscribers and post to the page that is now verified and will show more often and higher in your news feeds.  And though we won’t have posts to the group much longer (we are on moderated status right now so we can reach out to those who are trying to post with the information needed about the use of the verified page), we hope you’ll continue to see that group as a resource about our history, be inspired by the photos and memories of past events, and start posting to the page.  Together, we can make this organization more robust than ever, and if these changes result in more reliable information for both members on Facebook and members who aren’t through our website subscription, then we will all win.


Fun Fact Friday

Today’s fun fact isn’t for the squeamish, nor the faint of heart.  No graphic details are in this post.

Dr. Liston in an 1845 calotype

In the days before anesthesia, a good surgeon was one who could amputate a thigh very quickly.  As you may be able to imagine (though who wants to?), losing a limb without pain relief was a terrible experience.  But the reason for trying to be as quick as possible isn’t due to lessening the length of the pain, but because the longer it too, and the more pain, the higher a chance the patient had of dying.  Pain caused a patient to thrash and tense, which resulted in more blood loss.  St. Bartholomew’s Hospital reported a full 1 in 4 patients died from amputations, though give the considerable pain, one might wonder how any survived.

One doctor was a minor celebrity of his day.  Dr. Robert Liston became a full-fledged doctor toward the latter end of the regency era, earning his title in 1818.  While practicing at London’s University College Hospital, he lost a mere 1 in 10.  This may have led to the conceit that resulted in the medical society to have him driven out of Edinburgh, though he was popular enough among the masses to have received a civic dinner before leaving town.  However, prior to that, he could finish an entire amputation, from first incision to clipping the sutures, in a mere two and a half minutes.

However, his extreme speed also led to the only surgery known in all of history to have a 300% mortality rate.  This is not a typo.  He was so fast that he sliced off an assistant’s fingers, with the assistant and patient both later dying, and slashing a spectator’s coat (they really let by-standers close in those days), which caused the spectator to died of shock.

Dr. Liston later went on to be the first doctor to perform surgery using anesthesia, in 1846, as well as locking forceps to lessen blood loss, and the Liston splint, both which are still used today.

If you would like to read more about surgery in the decades prior to that first ether-use in 1846 (if I, Aria, could watch my own right arm be operated on just two days ago…), then you may enjoy this post, by medical historian Dr Lindsey Fitzharris.

Pittock Mansion Picnic 2017

We are pleased to announce that our annual picnic at the gorgeous and historic Pittock Mansion is celebrating its tenth year!  This year’s picnic will be July 30th from 11am until 3pm.  This event is a FREE event.  It’s the perfect chance to get our toes wet in our wonderful little world, or to just come out and meet us!  In regency duds or modern jeans, all are welcome to picnic with us.  Just show up with a picnic, blankets to sit on or your own tables, and enjoy the afternoon as we play Graces and Alphabet Squares, a chat, a mingle game with a prize, perhaps a scavenger hunt, sew, read, play Marco Polo, and engage in general silliness and camaraderie.  RSVP’ing isn’t necessary, but if you’d like to, you can do so here.

Just a little notice: Last year, the day of our picnic was very busy, and parking became difficult to find.  If you have a lot of gear or want to park close, arrive as early as you can.  It’s fine to arrive before 11am.  Just remember to pack out what you pack in.  We like to show respect for this beautiful mansion, the fine people who work and volunteer there, and other wonderful patrons who help keep this historic property funded and available to us all.

If you’d like to visit the inside of the mansion, admission for that is separate and is payable to the mansion, not to us.  There are bathrooms available outside, as well as a small gift shop.  But if you want to see the inside of this mansion, please do take a tour!

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Fun Fact Friday

In the 18th century through the early 19th century, ice cream was a beloved dessert made from large blocks ice saved from winter and stored in ice houses, or from imported ice.  All right, all right, ice cream is still a popular dessert.  However, a popular favorite from the regency era brings to mind modern fish ice cream…

If you want a taste of history, try your hand at making parmesan cheese ice cream.  Yes, parmesan cheese!

Enjoy this video about how to make it.  If you decide to give it a try, please share a comment about your thoughts on this unusual flavor.

2017 Duchess’s Dinner

multnomah_falls_lodge_interior_-_oregonPLEASE SEE OUR IMPORTANT UPDATE HERE:


This year’s Duchess’s Dinner will be held the gorgeous lodge at Multnomah Falls on March 25th, 2017, at 5pm.  Join us as we feast and enjoy called dancing.  We are very excited to crown our duchess, who will have the honor of choosing how next year’s duchess is chosen, as part of our new tradition.

We will have surf, turf, and vegetarian options.  Alcohol not included, but is available.

Lodging is available for those who wish to stay overnight instead of returning home.  Contact the lodge directly for reservations.

Ticketing for this event is as follows:
Single ticket: $75
Pair of tickets: $140 ($5 off each ticket!)
Students: $65 (student ID required)

Attendance will be capped at 20.  Student tickets will be capped at 5.  So get your tickets early!

Tickets available here: Oregon Regency Society Ticketing

As almost always, regency garb is admired, but is not required.  If you are interested in attending, but do not have a regency wardrobe yet and would like to be decked out, please click the contact button at the top of any page, and we may be able to help with some loaned wardrobe.