The still Johnson was running when Chambreau helped him make that 1847 delivery was tucked away in a gulley about four miles downstream from Oregon City, a setting much more in keeping with the spirit of an illicit moonshine still. But it’s worth noting the location of the first one he set up — the one White destroyed when he learned the Native Americans were getting supplied by it. Most likely it was conveniently located by his cabin — in the area of what’s now Macadam Avenue near the Ross Island Bridge, right in the middle of Portland. Johnson’s was the first house in Portland … and, it seems, the first business.


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