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CANCELED: History in the News at Willamette Heritage Center in #SalemOR

_nik9165Willamette Heritage Center has canceled this month’s HISTORY IN THE NEWS, scheduled for October 19, 2017.

But don’t worry, the November History in the News will still take place on November 16, 2016 at Willamette Heritage Center.


“Art After Dark Event” at WHC in #SalemOR – Thurs. Oct. 12th

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Art After Dark Event

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Willamette Heritage Center | Artist Studios upstairs | Eco Hub on 1st floor of Wool Warehouse

There will be much to see including:

Pink Gesso: New Work by Bonnie Hull & Elizabeth Bauman

The starting point: pink gessoed paper and the lines of a room. On May 1st, Bonnie Hull and Elizabeth Bauman came together for a pink gesso party, and then each took one side of a room, the lines of that room, as their starting point. Finally, they each worked on their own. Very different ideas sprang from that simple starting point, and yet similarities abound as they found inspiration from inside and outside of the Artist Studios at Mission Mill.

Kindred Spirit: Rollie Wisbrock Memorial Exhibition

In partnership with the Straub Environmental Center, the David Douglas Society will present a group exhibition of artwork by local artists in memory of Salem-based artist and environmental activist Rollie Wisbrock in the Eco Hub on the first floor of the Wool Warehouse at the Willamette Heritage Center. Rollie died on August 9, 2017 after leading an adventurous and exciting life that included hunting, fishing and mining for gold in Alaska and whitewater rafting during his years living in the Rogue Valley. Rollie advocated for environmental causes, became a successful artist, and inspired those around him. The exhibited works speak to his love of the outdoors in diverse ways through the lens of each participating artist. A portion of the proceeds from art sales will be donated to the local chapter of 350.org.

As well as Frank Barnett Photography and Max Marbles Bookbinder.

Willamette Heritage Center
1313 Mill Street SE
Salem, OR

History in the News: Earthquakes, Eclipses, Tsunamis, and Volcanoes: Can History Prepare us for the Unexpected? In #SalemOR – Aug. 17th

History in the News: Earthquakes, Eclipses, Tsunamis, and Volcanoes: Can History Prepare us for the Unexpected?

Thursday, August 17, 2017 | 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM

Willamette Heritage Center | Dye House

Social media experts forecast that the total solar eclipse of August 21 will be “the most photographed, most shared, most tweeted event in human history,” while highway authorities predict that the days surrounding the eclipse could see the greatest temporary mass migration of humans to see a natural event in U.S. history.

Oregonians are steeling themselves for the arrival of perhaps a million visitors, and attendant stresses on highway, sanitation, and cell phone systems; the Governor has even called out the National Guard in advance to handle crowds, traffic, and fires.


  • Christine Colasurdo: Artist, poet, and writer, author of Return to Spirit Lake: Life and Landscapes at Mt. St. Helens (2016) and contributor to In the Blast Zone: Catastrophe and Renewal on Mt. St. Helens (2008).
  • Jay Pasachoff: Astronomer and Williams College Professor, and Chair of the International Astronomical Union’s Working Group on Eclipses and a veteran of 65 previous solar eclipses, who is also leading an observational team on the Willamette campus for the eclipse.
  • Jason Younker: Anthropologist, Assistant Vice President and Advisor to the President on Sovereignty and Government to Government Relations at the University of Oregon, whose scholarship includes work on Coquille oral histories of tsunamis.

This History in the News panel considers the eclipse and other monumental natural phenomena such as volcanoes, earthquakes, and tsunamis, in social and historical perspective.

How did people in our region anticipate and respond to such cataclysmic or cosmic events in the past?  Did such events have long term effects on lives and landscapes here?

How have they been incorporated into the cultural memories and historical narratives of diverse communities?  Does history offer us lessons on how to predict, and prepare for such occurrences?

History in the News is FREE and open to the public.

Moderated by Dr. Leslie Dunlap, History Department, American Ethnic Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies Programs

Location Information:
Willamette Heritage Center (Off Campus)
1313 Mill Street SE
Salem OR 97301

Contact Information:
Name: Leslie Dunlap
Email: ldunlap@willamette.edu
Admission / Ticket Info:
Free and Open to the public

Event Sponsor(s):
Willamette University History Department

Other Details:
Food and Beverage for sale provided by Taproot Café

Third Thursday of each month, March through November | 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm

March 16th, April 20th, May 18th, June 15th, July 20th, August 17th, September 21st, October 19th, and November 16th, 2017

Discuss current events in historical context at a monthly roundtable with Mid-Valley historians, political scientists, and other intellectuals. The topic of each discussion will be pulled straight from the headlines, and will be decided just 10 days before each event. Listen to the thoughts of experts, then join in the conversation and voice your own opinions.

This program was made possible in part by a grant from Oregon Humanities(OH), a statewide nonprofit organization and an independent affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, which funds OH’s grant program. History in the News is sponsored by KMUZ Community Radio, and in partnership with Salem City Club.

Coming Soon to the Willamette Heritage Center: Caboose #507 – Welcome Party July 28th in #SalemOR

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Coming Soon to the Willamette Heritage Center

Oregon & California Caboose #507

Arriving Friday, July 28th!

Willamette Heritage Center | 1313 Mills ST SE, Salem, OR

In 2015, the Willamette Heritage Center was offered a unique treasure – 1909 Oregon & California Caboose #507. Since its retirement in 1962, the Caboose has rested in a forest outside of Eugene, Oregon. The property owner offered the Caboose to the WHC in hopes that it could be restored and preserved as a symbol of the Willamette Valley’s past. After several years of preparation and coordination, we finally have an arrival date set for the Caboose on Friday, July 28th!

Join us for a welcome party all day at the museum. We’ll have a live stream of the move in the theatre, fun train-related activities for children, snacks and refreshments, and more!



According to the 1913 ICC Roster list for Southern Pacific Cabooses, Caboose #507 was one of nine cabooses made by the Standard Steel Car, Co. for the Oregon & California Railroad in 1909. As part of the O&C’s merger with the Southern Pacific Railroad Company in 1915, the car was transferred to the Southern Pacific Railroad. Maintenance cards from the Portland Rail Yard show continued use of Caboose #507 in Oregon through at least 1954. The Caboose was retired from service in 1962 and sold to a private party. Since that time, it has been maintained on private property near Eugene, Oregon.

Interpretive Goals

Once the transportation and restoration of Caboose #507 is complete, visitors will be able to:

  • Gain a better understanding of the purpose of the caboose and its role in local transportation history
  • Learn about individuals who lived and worked around this car
  • Be exposed to and tangibly interact with Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematical (STEM) principles related to the operation of a railroad in this area

The Caboose will be designed with an ADA accessible ramp and decking to allow all visitors the ability to experience its interior.

The relocation and restoration of the Caboose would not be possible without the generous donation of time, expertise, and resources from several individuals and organizations. Thank you to the following individuals, businesses, and organizations for your generous roles in getting Caboose 507 home!

  • Kay Lee & Dave Brown
  • Albany & Eastern Railroad
  • Ed Austin & Associates
  • Boatwright Engineering
  • Cougar Construction
  • Financial Products & Services, Inc.
  • Salem Downtown Rotary Club
  • Trust Management Services
  • Willamette University Atkinson Graduate School of Management

Willamette Heritage Center Page

New Exhibit! At Willamette Heritage Center in #SalemOR:


“Courage and Compassion: Our Shared Story of the Japanese American WWII Experience”

Opening is Friday, July 14, 2017  –  runs through September, 2017

Willamette Heritage Center (1313 Mill Street SE, Salem)

WHC and the Go For Broke National Education Center to get the word out about the traveling exhibit — Salem is the first stop of a national tour.

The exhibit will chronicle the story of the Japanese American experience during WWII, and feature local stories of bravery and tolerance from the Willamette Valley. The GFBNEC exhibit is funded in part by a 2016 grant administered by the National Park Service (NPS).

The exhibition will reflect on the Japanese American experience from wartime incarceration and postwar resettlement to the redress movement that resulted in the Civil Liberties Act of 1988. The interactive exhibit, designed by Quatrefoil Associates, will feature images and audio of firsthand accounts, including interviews of Japanese American soldiers from GFBNEC’s Hanashi Oral History Collection.

One of the local stories is about the incident at Lake Labish after the bombing of Pearl Harbor where a Mob from the American legion set out to burn the Japanese American church in Labish, but was stopped by five pastors, one a WWI veteran himself.

There are also audio-video histories from local residents, including Georgette Yoshikai, who was living in Bothell, Washington at the time: “Our neighbor came running up the hill and of course we didn’t think too much of it, because you know we’re citizens, we belong here, at least we thought we did. The next day the school bus driver refused to pick her and her sister up. The next day at school when they entered her teacher said, ‘Oh, here come the Japs.’ I lost it, it I wasn’t used to that kind of treatment, especially in the classroom.”

Or Emi Yada Somekawa, a nurse who remembered, “Oh that was horrible. That was horrible. We thought, what in the world’s gonna happen to us? ‘Course, we’re American citizens, we’re born here, we have a Constitution. But we still didn’t know what was gonna happen, until 19th of February. Then President Roosevelt just asked all the Japanese and all the descendants of the Japanese to be evacuated. It was a blow.”

Willamette Student Hideto Tomita remembered the WU football team was in Hawaii. “You do realize that we had a football team over in Hawaii? Well a lot of my friends, I had quite a few friends on that team. They had quite an experience. Fortunately, none of them were in any real danger, but they were stuck in Hawaii for awhile. Finally, the only way that they could get back were as aids on an Army wounded ship being sent from Hawaii back to the mainland. So they were taking care of those guys to get passage home.”

Tats Yada recalled, “When we had to leave, the day we left, we sold our car to an insurance agent who was a friend of ours who took care of our insurance and I don’t know what we got paid for the car, but I know he came down and got the car and took us to the railroad station. And I think that, most of the people down there, the friends took them or their hired help cause we couldn’t drive, we could just carry our own baggage. And when the train come in, there was probably 75-100 people there, people that we didn’t know, or we knew slightly or church people that came to send us off ’cause they were sad to see this thing happen. I know we got boxes of apples, a lot of goodies, they said take it with you. We were able to put those on the train and it probably took us,”



LOS ANGELES and [SALEM, OREGON] (June 1, 2017)—The Willamette Heritage Center is proud to announce it will host the debut of a new national traveling exhibition by Go For Broke National Education Center (GFBNEC), “Courage and Compassion: Our Shared Story of the Japanese American WWII Experience,” The exhibition will open July 14, 2017 and run through September, 2017.

The exhibit will chronicle the story of the Japanese American experience during WWII, and feature local stories of bravery and tolerance from the Willamette Valley. The  GFBNEC exhibit is funded in part by a 2016 grant administered by the National Park Service (NPS).

The exhibition will reflect on the Japanese American experience from wartime incarceration and postwar resettlement to the redress movement that resulted in the Civil Liberties Act of 1988. The interactive exhibit, designed by Quatrefoil Associates, will feature images and audio of firsthand accounts, including interviews of Japanese American soldiers from GFBNEC’s Hanashi Oral History Collection.

Despite the hostile climate following the Pearl Harbor attack, some Willamette Valley locals and leaders spoke up in support of their Japanese American friends. From farmers who helped their incarcerated neighbors save their crops to a local Senator who braved political backlash to suggest that Japanese Americans might remain loyal to the U.S., these individual voices of conscience deserve to be remembered today.

In addition to telling the national story, the exhibit will feature interviews with local residents, and artifacts documenting experiences. Visitors will get a chance to see materials from the Tanaka family’s restaurant and read the advertisement Frank Tanaka took out in a local magazine declaring his loyalty despite the threats and vandalism he had experienced.  “I am an American, too,” he wrote.

“The exhibit honors everyday people who rose above the public hysteria of WWII to recognize Japanese Americans as friends, neighbors and citizens,” Dr. Mitchell T. Maki, GFBNEC’s President and Chief Executive Officer, said. “These untold stories have real relevance today as we debate issues of loyalty, citizenship, due process and Constitutional rights.”

Bob Reinhardt, Executive Director of the Willamette Heritage Center, said, “The WHC is thrilled and honored to be chosen as a site for the ‘Courage and Compassion’ traveling exhibit from the Go For Broke National Education Center. We are excited to work with the Go For Broke National Education Center and community partners in the Mid-Willamette Valley to tell both national and local stories of Japanese Americans during World War II and the communities that supported them.

“This exhibit provides not only a dramatic and impressive educational experience, but also the opportunity for the community to engage in meaningful dialogue about a vital and relevant story that deserves more attention and understanding. We are grateful for the opportunity to participate in this discussion, and we look forward to welcoming the exhibit.”

Through summer 2019, the exhibit will visit 10 U.S. communities where citizens extended a helping hand to Japanese Americans during and after the turbulent days of WWII. In the wake of the attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941, many U.S. officials and residents viewed Japanese Americans with fear and mistrust. Japanese Americans were targets for harassment and discrimination, and families on the West Coast were forcibly removed to government incarceration camps.

About Go For Broke National Education Center

Go For Broke National Education Center (GFBNEC) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit foundation that educates the public on the valor of Japanese American veterans of World War II and their contributions to democracy. Our goal is to inspire new generations to embody the Nisei veterans’ core values of courage, sacrifice, equality, humility and patriotism. Founded in 1989, GFBNEC maintains the Go For Broke monument and the interactive “GFBNEC’s Defining Courage Exhibition”  in downtown Los Angeles, as well as extensive oral histories and archives, education and training programs, and other initiatives. For more information, please visit www.goforbroke.org.

About the Willamette Heritage Center

The Willamette Heritage Center (WHC) is a private, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization formed from the merger of the Mission Mill Museum and the Marion County Historical Society. It continues their legacy through a mission to preserve and interpret the history of the Mid-Willamette Valley. WHC promotes diversity and prohibits discrimination on the basis of age, color, creed, disability, gender identity, national/ethnic origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, veteran/uniform status, and all other classifications protected by law. WHC is not owned or operated by any government agency and is supported through grant funding, private donations, business operations, and its membership. To become a member, visit https://www.willametteheritage.org/membership/.

About the NPS JACS Program

This project is funded, in part, by a grant from the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Japanese American Confinement Site Grant Program. For more information regarding the JCAS grant program, please contact Kara Miyagishima, Program Manager, Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program, NPS, at 303/969-2885.

Media Contacts:

For GFBNEC: Gil Asakawa, gil@nikkeiview.com, 720-232-3509
For Willamette Heritage Center: Jenna Wyatt, jennaw@willametteheritage.org, 503-585-7012

Exhibit Is Supported by National Park Service Grant

Visit webpage

History in the News at Willamette Heritage Center – Thurs., June 15th

“Real Histories of ‘Fake’ News:

The Politics of Journalism in Oregon’s Past”

Thursday, June 15 at 5:30 PM

Willamette Heritage Center | Dye House

The roundtable:

  • Barbara Mahoney, author of The Salem Clique: Oregon’s Founding Brothers (http://osupress.oregonstate.edu/book/salem-clique)
  • Dick Hughes, founder and principle of Hughesisms LLC and long-time reporter, columnist, and editor at the Statesman Journal
  • Seth Cotlar, professor of history at Willamette University.

For more information on these speakers and the program, see the History in the News webpage (https://www.willametteheritage.org/history-in-the-news/) or our Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1109135295897953/

Hope to see you Thursday in the WHC’s Dye House from 5:30-7pm.

Our friends from Taproot Lounge & Café will have delicious food and beverage available for purchase.

The program is free and open to the public.

History in the News: Crowds and Controversies in Oregon’s Parks and Wilderness – at Willamette Heritage Center in #SalemOR – Thurs. April 20th

HxNews April 2017 Postcard

Crowds and Controversies in Oregon’s Parks and Wilderness

Thursday, April 20th | 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm

Willamette Heritage Center

Oregon’s parks, campgrounds, and wilderness areas are less tranquil than we might imagine. Heavy use of such areas has produced questions and controversies about new regulations at Opal Creek, overcrowding at Crater Lake, and increased fees at state parks. Public lands attract controversies in other ways, from the “rogue” National Parks twitter account resisting efforts to reduce National Parks Service funding to the 2016 militant takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. This History in the News program will explore the political, cultural, and social history of controversies and debates in and about Oregon’s spectacular natural public spaces.

History in the News is FREE and open to the public.

Food and drink will be available for purchase from Taproot Lounge & Café.

This series is presented in part by a grant from Oregon Humanities, with the sponsorship of KMUZ Community Radio, and with our communications partner Salem City Club.

Contact Info:
Willamette Heritage Center, Suite 200
1313 Mill Street SE
Salem, OR 97301