The Oregon Cultural Trust supports the Portland Society of Magicians – This is Oregon

This story is shared in partnership with Oregon Cultural Trust.

In 1922, a group of magicians waved their wands and started what is now the oldest magic club west of the Mississippi.

“It’s an art form that’s been around for thousands of years and will likely persist forever in one form or another,” says chief historian and “Miracle Worker” Duane Duvall, who joined the Portland Society of Magicians in 1953. With a successful career spanning over half a century, Duvall toured the country delivering a variety of compelling acts – some with doves, others with comics, and he was once a staple performer in Las Vegas, performing three shows a night, six days a week.

Local magicians have a history performing for families, organizations, sporting events, and even presidents. You might have seen some of the best Oregon TV shows like America has talent, like “Mentalist & Illusionist” Hart Keene and William Scott Anderson.

However, a readily available magical community has not always existed in Oregon.

“If I saw one or two magicians in a year when I was growing up, that would be a rare thing,” recalls Duvall, 91. That’s why the Portland Society of Magicians continues to bring joy and mentorship to our region today and contribute to Oregon’s fantastic creative community. Learn about the people, places and traditions that make our state a wonderful place by watching the interactive key for the Oregon Cultural Trust Celebrate Oregon! masterpieces. Click on any or all of the 127 key symbols (84 is a particularly magical number) to learn about camas flowers, crab traps, comics and other fascinating aspects of life culture of Oregon.

For more on the fantastical world of Portland’s magicians, check out the full story from the Oregon Cultural Trust here.

This story is shared in partnership with Oregon Cultural Trust. Oregon Cultural Trust is proud to support Here is Oregon, a place dedicated to uplifting and celebrating the people, places and experiences that inspire innovation and build community.

Brian L. Hartfield