[Editor’s note: This is our second column by Oregon bicycle historian Eric Lundgren. He last wrote about T. T. Geer, an Oregon Governor a century ago who was an early adopter of the bicycle for commuting and touring. This column is about the career of Bemer S. Pague, a weatherman, bicycle advocate, and lawyer from the same period — including a case he won against a cart driver who tried to use a cycle path.]
Writing about rain in the national imagery of the Pacific Northwest, historian Richard Maxwell Brown notes that during the late 1800s “the specter of incessant rainfall epitomized in Webfoot lore seriously handicapped efforts to attract settlers.”
In his “landmark” Biennial Reports of the Oregon Weather Bureau, Forecast Official Bemer S. Pague “provided exhaustive data on precipitation and temperature in minute detail [and] revealed that Portland’s rainfall was not at all excessive.”
According to Brown, Pague “played a pivotal role” in refuting the myth of Portland’s dismal raininess.
That’s not the only time Pague was pivotal. Bemer S. Pague was also a bicyclist.