Plus, Klamath Tribes basketry and the Minoru Yasui Student Essay Contest
Plus, Klamath Tribes basketry and the Minoru Yasui Student Essay Contest
Oregon Historical Society  
Join Donate Contact About Us
Facebook Twitter YouTube YouTube Pinterest Google Plus Tumblr
September E-Digest  Vol. 4
Weekly Trivia: Between 1965 and 1974, what Oregon nonprofit organization offered services to seasonal farm laborers in the Willamette Valley, including help with housing, education, job development, and childcare? Answer at the bottom!
Director's Corner: Woven Together: Klamath Tribes Basketry
A History Spotlight from OHS Executive Director Kerry Tymchuk
Judging by the requests we receive from our members and history buffs, some of the most fascinating and popular items preserved in our collections are Native American baskets. We are very proud to be the guardians and caretakers of some 1,649 Native American baskets hand woven by members of tribes located in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest. Baskets, of course, are an important part of Native American life, with each basket serving a specific purpose, such as storage or food gathering. Materials used for basket weaving differ between tribes depending on the resources available and the basket’s function. Some baskets are lined with pitch to make them watertight, while others are woven out of flexible materials so they can be easily folded.
Visitors to OHS now have an opportunity to view a wonderful new exhibit featuring a collection of baskets from the Klamath Tribes that were recently donated to us by Oregon State Senator Betsy Johnson. The Klamath Tribes include the Klamath, Modoc, and Yahooskin people. Their traditional and ancestral homelands span from Clear Lake (northeast of Eugene, Oregon) south to California's Mount Shasta, and from east of the Cascades to California’s Goose Lake, which is near the Oregon and Nevada borders. Special thanks to Perry Chocktoot, Klamath Tribes Director of Culture and Heritage, for his help with the exhibit. 

The baskets were collected by Senator Johnson’s parents, Sam and Becky Johnson, who were two of Central Oregon's most respected and admired civic leaders. The couple created the Samuel S. Johnson Foundation in 1948, which continues to fund projects across Oregon that foster respect for nature, history, and education. Perhaps their most important legacy was their donation of the headwaters of the Metolius River to the U.S. Forest Service, ensuring that this environmental treasure would be protected and preserved. Sam and Becky collaborated on numerous projects with members of the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs, and honored the history and traditions of Indigenous people in Oregon.
On the Blog: A 1905 "Slice-of-Life" View of Portland’s East Side
OHS research library staff recently digitized 88 glass plate negatives that were found in a Northeast Portland house in the 1930s. In this week’s Dear Oregon blog post, Digital Collections Assistant Ilana Sol describes the collection, which includes glimpses of emerging early twentieth-century neighborhoods on the east side of the Willamette River in Portland. While the photographer is unknown, they captured candid images of house and road construction and residential scenes that document leisure activities, gardens, animals, and children. 

Image Credit: People pose on the front porch of a house located in the area known today as North Portland. In the background on the far left of the photograph, the towers of the U.S. Government Building of the Lewis & Clark Centennial Exposition are visible on the west bank of the Willamette River. This was a temporary building constructed specifically for the exposition, dating this photograph to about 1905. OHS Research Library, Glass negatives of Early Portland residential scenes, Org. Lot 1417, 001.

Exhibitions: We are the Rose City! A History of Soccer in Portland Closes Sunday, September 26
This is the final weekend to explore Portland soccer history in OHS's original exhibition, We are the Rose City! A History of Soccer in Portland. Thousands of supporters flock to the Providence Park on match days to watch the Portland Timbers and the Portland Thorns take to the pitch, competing in a sport that is beloved by many in the Pacific Northwest. From the athletes, to the fans, to the many events that have shaped "Soccer City," We are the Rose City! explores the history of professional soccer in Portland and the cultural context of the game.
One of the most iconic aspects of Portland’s soccer culture are the fans — including the Timbers Army and the Rose City Riveters — who fill Providence Park with a deafening roar on match days. This is an exhibit about soccer, but it is also one about community — the community of Portland and its love of the world’s game. Through storytelling and rare objects loaned by the clubs and fans, visitors will learn about the many milestones in Portland’s 45-year professional soccer history.

Be sure to pick up a custom limited edition scarf in our museum store for $20 ($18 for OHS members) that was designed by the 107 Independent Supporters’ Trust in celebration of this exhibit! All sales in the OHS Museum Store directly support the OHS mission.
Education Spotlight: 2022 Minoru Yasui Student Essay Contest is Open for Submissions!
Organized by the Minoru Yasui Legacy Project and the Japanese American Museum of Oregon, the Minoru Yasui Student Contest is open to high school and middle school students and offers a timely opportunity to explore how people can stand up to racism and discrimination. This year's theme, "Taking a Stand," asks students to consider: "What are the duties, responsibilities, and/or obligations of an individual or group in U.S. society in taking a stand against racism and discrimination?"

Through the essay-writing process, students will identify an individual or group in the United States who took a stand against racism and discrimination, while exploring some of their responsibilities, challenges, and consequences of not standing up against racism. They will also learn about the life and legacy of Minoru Yasui, the only Oregonian to have been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

The essay submission deadline is March 1, 2022. The grand prize winner in the Senior Division will receive $1,000, and the grand prize winner in the Junior Division will receive $500. For more information on requirements, resources, and awards, please visit the Minoru Yasui Legacy Project’s Student Contest website.

Public Programs: Remembering Gloria Brown
Staff members at the Oregon Historical Society were saddened to hear news of Gloria Brown's recent passing on September 7, 2021. Gloria published her life story, Black Woman in Green, with co-author Donna Sinclair, in spring 2020. OHS was honored to host the book launch and talk in March 2020, just before we closed our doors to help slow the spread of COVID-19. We are beyond grateful to the authors for their work to document and share Brown's life, which is crucial to understanding the histories of land management, the U.S. Forest Service, women, Black Americans, and the American West during recent decades.

We encourage you to read this blog post by Donna Sinclair, which shares some of Brown's story. You can also watch Sinclair and other OSU Press authors talk about their 2020 publications in this program recording. Copies of Black Woman in Green are available for sale in the OHS Museum Store.

Grant Opportunity: Multnomah County Cultural Coalition's Grant Cycle is Open
The Multnomah County Cultural Coalition's (MCCC) grant program is now accepting applications for 2022 projects. Grants support community-based cultural events, programs, and organizations with a maximum award of $2,000. There are three types of funding: Project/Program/Event Funding, Capacity Building/Capital Funding and General Operating. Visit the MCCC website to review the full grant guidelines and preview the application questions. Applications are due by 11:59pm on October 7, 2021. For more information please contact Matthew Cowan, MCCC Grants Co-chair, at
Upcoming Events Calendar
Untrodden Ground: George Washington’s Invention of the American Presidency

Presented by Dr. Douglas Bradburn
Tuesday, September 28, 2021 at 7pm
First Congregational Church  |  $20 / $15 for OHS members
Buy Tickets
Join us for a special evening lecture with Dr. Douglas Bradburn, president and CEO of George Washington’s Mount Vernon, who will speak on the extraordinary significance of George Washington’s presidency. At the height of his power, Washington invented a new office, never seen before in the world. He was not a figurehead, but rather an active, purposeful, visionary leader who shaped the culture and character of the American presidency. Douglas Bradburn is an award-winning author and scholar specializing in the history of the founding of America, leadership, and the history of American citizenship. Learn More
Please note that masks and social distancing will be required at the First Congregational Church; lecture attendance will be limited to 200 guests (30% of normal capacity). A link for an audio recording of the talk will be emailed within a week of September 28 to all ticketholders.
Virtual History Makers Awards

Sunday, October 3, 2021, at 5:30pm
Virtual program  |  Free and open to the public
A link to the livestream will be published here one week prior to the event.
The Oregon Historical Society’s annual History Makers Dinner recognizes contemporary individuals and organizations that are positively shaping the history, culture, and landscape of Oregon. These living leaders represent the best of what Oregon has to offer, paving the way through scientific discovery and exploration, innovation in business, communications, the arts, or service in their communities. This year, we are proud to recognize the accomplishments of acclaimed artist Lillian Pitt, visionary business leader Punit Renjen, renowned scientist and educator Geraldine Richmond, Ph.D., and international leader in the transportation industry The Greenbrier Companies. 

The virtual awards ceremony and paddle raise will be streamed live beginning at 5:30pm on October 3. A link to the livestream will be published here and on one week prior to the event.
Eminent Oregonians: Abigail Scott Duniway, Richard Neuberger, Jesse Applegate

A conversation with authors Steven Forrester, Jane Kirkpatrick, and R. Gregory Nokes, moderated by Kerry Tymchuk
Tuesday, October 5, 2021 at 7pm
Virtual program via Zoom  |  Free and open to the public
Register Here
Based largely on primary sources, authors Jane Kirkpatrick, Steven Forrester, and R. Gregory Nokes present compelling, three-dimensional views of the adventurous, consequential, and sometimes heart-breaking lives of three notable individuals in their new book, Eminent Oregonians. Renowned author Jane Kirkpatrick shares the life of suffragist Abigail Scott Duniway, a lecturer, organizer, writer, and editor who devoted over forty years to the cause of women’s rights. Oregon columnist and publisher Steven Forrester presents Richard Neuberger, whose election to the U.S. Senate changed Oregon and national politics. Acclaimed journalist R. Gregory Nokes shares the life of abolitionist Jesse Applegate, who is most remembered for his leadership role in establishing the Applegate Trail. Learn More
Community Shout-Out: Local Girl Scout Gold Award Project Documents Teenagers' Experiences during the Pandemic
Local eleventh grade Girl Scout Riley Kessler, in partnership with the Beaverton City Library, compiled the personal written accounts of middle and high school students living through the COVID-19 pandemic, which are now available to read online. This ongoing project is Kessler’s Girl Scout Gold Award — the highest award available to Girl Scouts in grades 9–12. From April 1 through June 30, 2021, more than 50 students in Oregon age 11 to 18 submitted pieces for Kessler’s project, with submissions reflecting a wide variety of powerful themes, including loss, fear, and hope. The project includes short stories, poems of all forms, and even a written conversation with the year 2020. 

"The goal of my project is to share the unique teenage experiences due to COVID," says Kessler. "I want to spotlight the overlooked challenges of being a teen during this pandemic." Says Beaverton City Library Community Engagement Librarian — project advisor to Kessler — Ian Duncanson, "Even kids who did not contract the virus bore a heavy burden due to disruption of learning, socialization, extracurricular activities, and the loss of loved ones." On the desired outcome of her Gold Award project, Kessler says, "My goal is for these works to help bridge some of the generational misunderstandings in our society. For adults, I hope that light is shed on how difficult it is to do online school or miss out on graduation. For teens, I hope these pieces make you feel recognized in your struggles." Thank you, Riley, for your work to help capture a record of this historic moment in time.

Weekly Trivia Reveal: Valley Migrant League
Funded as part of President Lyndon B. Johnson's federal War on Poverty legislation launched in 1965, the Valley Migrant League (VML) helped migrant farm workers and former farm workers in Oregon through education and social services. With federal grant funding, VML established its headquarters in Woodburn and served a mostly Mexican population — although anyone who worked in seasonal agriculture was eligible for services. Although VML struggled to navigate changing federal policies and organizational restructuring over the years, it was instrumental in establishing a strong Mexican American community and Chicano leadership in the Willamette Valley. You can read more about VML in Kathy Tucker's "Valley Migrant League" entry on The OE. 

Image Credit: Valley Migrant League recreation event. (Top, L-R) Ramiro Olivarez, Jose Rios (program aide for VML), Harold Lewis (Dem. Rep. for Yamhill Co.), Wayne Blake (winner), Rev. Holmes (Linfield College), unknown children. OHS Research Library, Org. Lot 74. 
You Are A Gift!

Your support puts the power of history into everyone’s hands. Your donation helps the Oregon Historical Society bring context and perspective to current events. Together we advance knowledge about those who shaped our present — and we foster a better tomorrow by deepening our understanding of the past. Please help us continue to provide this access to history to all. Renew your membership or become a member, share our content on social media, or make a gift. Thank you! 
Oregon Historical Society
1200 SW Park Avenue, Portland OR 97205

Donate Online     Contact Us
powered by emma