In the Media

1896 Queen Anne, owned by drag queen Darcelle, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places

Large group of family and historians in front of Darcelle XV's house in 2020.  All wearing masks.

Tanya March PhD leads tours and researches old buildings.  Tanya March is on the right in the front row. Three of the four authors of the national register nomination report met with Darcelle & Friends and Family to place a plaque on the wall outside of the home on September 30, 2020.  Link to Oregonian coverage of the story.

Cartoon of a Ghost in a graveyard.  Headstones say "RIP Cheep rent", "Parking Spaces", "The Fareless Square" RIP Affordable Housing"
Willamette Week October 31, 2018

Here’s What We Learned About Portland’s Gritty Past on Five Haunted Walking Tours

Our guide to Portland’s haunted walking tours, including what we found scary, lame or just totally bizarre.

Slabtown Tours: A Night With Ghosts,

What’s the story? Dr. Tanya Lyn March, Ph.D., guides participants through Slabtown, Portland’s historic working-class neighborhood. March claims houses with truly bad hauntings tend to be torn down—we visited about as many construction sites as we did standing structures.

Where do you go? Many stops on the tour focused on Ernest Harp, a boy whose interactions with an alleged poltergeist were documented in historic Oregonian articles. The site of Harp’s most famous otherworldly disturbance is also the former site of the long-gone Slabtown music venue. New Seasons paved over the lot of a house where doctors with ties to Carl Jung and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle legally abducted and tortured Harp as “research.” The tour also stops by the house of late cartoonist John Callahan. The new owners haven’t seen Callahan yet, but they do see other spirits around the place.

Special features: Tours starting before 8 pm get free admission to the Freakybuttrue Peculiarium, a kitschy and immersive gallery that screams Old Portland.

Scariest moment: Through her storytelling, March makes real the horror of being a child in frontier Portland, where kids were treated horrifically if they survived childhood—back then, it was totally OK not to get vaccinated.

Lamest moment: The Ghost at ComedySportz is more contemporary than the rest of the tour material, but does inspire the existential horror of haunting a comedy bar.

Is it worth it? Yes, if you’re a history buff, but not if you’re a pagan or spiritualist. ANDREW JANKOWSKI.


Tanya March on left, Berkeley Sherman on right. Wearing Slabtown Tours baseball hats in front of a 1890s Portland paving map.

Slabtown Tours offers virtual Portland experience | KATU

Link to Video

PORTLAND, Ore. – Well you don’t have to leave your house to learn about Portland’s history. Slabtown Tours is now offering virtual tours. You can see historic cemeteries, classic storefronts, vintage manhole coverings, and more.

Slabtown tour guide Tanya March says she took the tours to the web as something for her and her son to do together. “I had a bored child around the house”, March said, “Berkley is doing some of the research, I’m assigning him assignments”.

Berkley is in the 7th grade, but with schools closed he doesn’t have a lot to do. You can see him featured in the virtual tours as a cameraman, and a tour guide.

“So we’re trying to learn about different history themes here in Portland, Oregon, and encouraging people even in their own neighborhood to go out and look at the horse rings and curb guards”, March said. Berkley explained that curb guards were placed on curbs to protect them from the metal wheels of horse drawn carriages.

You can find the virtual tours on the Slabtown Website YouTube page, and of course, it’s all free.

Slabtown Tours Goes Virtual

Portland police threw dead possums at her family’s restaurant in 1981. Now she’s running for mayor. Tanya March interviewed about her failed efforts to save the Burger Barn by the Washington Post. Link to VideoTanya March Portland-based architectural historian screen shot of Washing Post interview October 2020.