Presented By: Rick Thompson Took place: September 11th, 2019
The rich soil of the Willamette Valley is from eastern Washington, brought here by the ice age Lake Missoula Floods. It was this soil that attracted the Oregon Trail pioneers to become part of one of the largest non-forced migrations in all of history. But did you know that from Pendleton to the The Dalles some of the very trails the pioneers used were actually channels of those very floods? Join us as Rick Thompson takes us on a visual journey with photos, LIDAR and maps along the canyons, through the water gaps and next to the giant gravel bars the pioneers saw as they traveled the flood channels carved long before they arrived.
Giving the Noose the Slip: An Analysis of Female Murderer's in Oregon, 1854-1950
Presented by Jenna Barganski
Took place: May 15th, 2019
Twenty-five women were convicted of homicide in Oregon between 1854 and 1950. During these years the majority faced all-male court and penal systems. As such, they were handled differently in accordance with various social, cultural, and legislative shifts relating to women's roles as citizens. Through an examination of contemporary newspaper articles, inmate case files, and other Oregon State Penitentiary records, this presentation will examine three distinct periods relating to these shifts: 1854-1900, 1901-1935 and 1936-1950.
Jenna Barganski is the Museum Manager at Clackamas County Historical Society in Oregon City. In 2018, Jenna received her M.A. in History and Public History from Portland State University.
Language of the Land: Cowboy Poetry Inspired By Oregon's Western Heritage & Ranching Culture
Presented by Tom Swearingen
Took Place: April 17th, 2019
Throughout the history of the American West, and in Oregon, cowboy poets have played a large part in preserving our western heritage and the culture of Oregon through oral and written poetry. Cowboy poetry is part of a long-cherished legacy and Oregon has produced well-respected contemporary cowboy poets, including this program’s presenter, Tom Swearingen.
A two-time winner of the National Finals Rodeo Cowboy Poetry Contest, Tom brings his stories to life with rhythm and rhyme and a style that makes him a popular performer. For more on Tom visit oregoncowboypoet.com.
BUILDING OREGON: HOW THE STATE WAS GROWN AND DEVELOPED
Presented by Darrell Jabin
Took place: March 20th, 2019
Native Americans, fur traders, explorers and missionaries came to the area for different reasons, but all were instrumental in the development of our state. Fur traders set up communities missionaries set up schools and meetings were held to set up a government. Darrell Jabin; Oregon's Traveling Historian will share and discuss the individuals and events that helped create the state of Oregon.
FINDING OREGON: HOW THE STATE WAS DISCOVERED AND NAMED
Presented by Darrell Jabin
Took place: February 20th, 2019
Our state is unique in many ways. It has been impacted by Teutonic plates, volcanoes and floods that created our geography and established where pioneers chose to settle. Many countries sent explorers looking for transportation routes and considered claiming ownership of the area. The name Oregon is unique and various beliefs have been shared regarding its’ origin.
Darrell Jabin, Oregon’s Traveling Historian has created a program to explain how geography and the explorations of various countries impacted the discovery of the state of Oregon and how we got our name.
PRESENTED BY SANDY CARTER
Took Place: November 14th 2018
Constructed in 1872 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974, the Willamette Locks served to give passage to commercial and private vessels back-and-forth from the lower and upper sections of the Willamette river.
However in 2011 the locks were closed due to lack of funding for repairs. As redevelopment plans for the Willamette Falls industrial site gets underway and public interest in the falls increases, the question of what should be done with the Willamette Locks has been raised once more.
Sandy Carter, Willamette Falls Locks advocate and Collections manager for Willamette Falls Heritage Foundation, will discuss the history of the Willamette Locks as well as what its future may hold.
WILLAMETTE FALLS PAPERMAKING
PRESENTED BY BOB BRESKY
Presented: October 17th 2018
Who are the people behind Oregon’s industrial revolution at Willamette Falls? This presentation answers that question, beginning with the much-ballyhooed opening of the Oregon paper mill in 1867, and ending with the closure of the West Linn Paper Company, a mill that had carried the heritage of the Willamette Falls papermaking industry for over 128 years.
Through personal stories of the Oregon City and West Linn paper mill workers and wondrous photographs, this presentation by Bob Bresky, author of "The Papermakers: More Than Run of the Mill," talks about the industry’s inspiring, funny, and sometimes controversial past, and how its legacy carries on into the present day.
WILLAMETTE VALLEY WINERIES
BY BARB RANDALL
Presented: September 19th, 2018.
Despite its short, 50-year history, Oregon's Willamette Valley was named Wine Region of the Year in 2016 by Wine Enthusiast, besting Champagne, France; Crete, Greece; and Sonoma, California. Credit for the award can be traced to the pioneer winemakers, a small group of dreamers who—through grit and determination—succeeded in growing grapes where it was considered impossible. Others joined the adventure, and through collaboration and a passion for making the best wine possible, the Willamette Valley's wine industry was born. Presented by Barbara Randall, author of the book by the same name, "Willamette Valley Wineries" takes a look at the challenges and successes that led to the burgeoning local wine industry- complete with wine provided at the event.
THE DYING TRADITIONS AND NEW LIFE OF OREGON’S FUNERAL INDUSTRY
BY ELIZABETH FOURNIER
Presented: August 15th, 2018
One hundred percent of the people you meet in your lifetime will die. Every last one, yourself included. How many other human experiences can you assign that kind of number to in history?
So what if your final act could be a gift to the planet? And what if that final act could empower you to make choices concerning after-death-care while avoiding the economic burdens of the past history of the funeral industry?
Local mortician Elizabeth Fournier will lead a lively discussion of the historical events that have helped change the landscape of the funeral industry here in Oregon. She's the owner and undertaker of Cornerstone Funeral, the first green funeral home in the Portland Metropolitan area.
IN DEFENSE OF WYAM
BY KATY BARBER
Presented: July 18th, 2018
When the US Army Corps of Engineers proposed The Dalles Dam at Celilo Village in the mid-twentieth century, it was clear that this traditional fishing, commerce, and social site of immense importance to Native tribes would be changed forever. Controversy surrounded the project, with local Native communities anticipating the devastation of their way of life and white settler-descended advocates of the dam envisioning a future of thriving infrastructure and industry. "In Defense of Wyam: Native-White Alliances & The Struggle for Celilo Village" presents a remarkable alliance across the opposed groups, chronicling how Flora Thompson, member of the Warm Springs Tribe and wife of the Wyam chief, and Martha McKeown, daughter of an affluent white farming family, became lifelong allies as they worked together to protect Oregon's oldest continuously inhabited site.
THE TROUBLED LIFE OF PETER BURNETT
BY R. GREGORY NOKES
Presented: June 13th, 2018
Few people in the nineteenth-century American West could boast the achievements of Peter Burnett. He helped organize the first major wagon train to the Oregon Country. He served on Oregon’s first elected government and was Oregon’s first supreme court judge. He opened a wagon road from Oregon to California. He worked with the young John Sutter to develop the new city of Sacramento. Within a year of arriving in California, voters overwhelmingly elected him as the first US governor. He also won appointment to the California Supreme Court.
It was one heck of a resume. Yet with the exception of the wagon road to California, in none of these roles was Burnett considered successful or well remembered. Indeed, he resigned from many of his most important positions, including the governorship, where he was widely perceived a failure.
Burnett’s weakness was that he refused to take advice from others. He insisted on marching to his own drum, even when it led to some terrible decisions. A former slaveholder, he could never seem to get beyond his single-minded goal of banning blacks and other minorities from the West.
The Troubled Life of Peter Burnett is the first full-length biography of this complicated character. Historians, scholars, and general readers with an interest in Western history will welcome R. Gregory Nokes’ accessible and deeply researched account.