Summer 2008

Issue 109:2

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In this Issue:

“Fair Connections: Women’s Separatism and the Lewis and Clark Exposition of 1905”

by Deborah M. Olsen

In the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries, women used the platform of world’s fairs to bring publicity to their work and to advance their interests.  Women had traditionally worked separately from the men who organized and ran the fairs, but the 1904 St. Louis Exposition marked a shift toward integration.  Men who led Portland’s 1905 world’s fair claimed they had embraced the new, integrationist model, but Deborah M. Olsen’s close study of newspaper articles, correspondence, and fair records reveals that Oregon’s women actually embraced the separatist model to achieve success on two projects — the annual convention of the National American Woman Suffrage Association and the commissioning and prominent display of a statue of Sacajawea.  Olsen’s research also highlights the contributions of Sarah Evans, a journalist whose work on the two projects helped lay the foundation for the successful 1912 Oregon woman suffrage campaign.

“Controlling the Crooked River: Changing Environments and Water Uses in IrrigatedCentral Oregon, 1913–1988”

by Scott B. Cohen

“When Central Oregonians turned to dams and irrigation,” writes historian Scott B. Cohen, “the changes they expected in both human and natural communities were not always what they got.” Drawing on correspondence, federal reports, and newspaper articles, Cohen concludes that dams on the Crooked River created reservoirs that quickly became used for a purpose other than irrigation — recreation.  Recreation users forced debates about water use, which, Cohen argues in a challenge to historian Donald Pisani, pushed the federal Reclamation Bureau to shift its own priorities as early as 1972. Alongside the larger argument, Cohen considers the impact of water-use debates on political campaigns and within the context of federal Wild and Scenic River designations.

“The Fruits of Her Labor: Women, Children, and Progressive Era Reformers in the Pacific Northwest Canning Industry”

by Greg Hall

As agriculture flourished in the Pacific Northwest during the late-nineteenth century, farmers began canning operations to capitalize on fast-spoiling fruits and vegetables, and they regularly employed women and children to work in the canneries.  Through a close study of labor reports produced by commissions in Oregon and Washington as well as contemporary newspaper reports, historian Greg Hall finds that Progressive Era reformers removed children from canneries and improved working conditions for women “but, in the process . . . undermined women’s empowerment as wage workers.”

Oregon Voices
“ ‘Frank Burns was a soldier’: The World War I Epoch of Frank Cassius Burns

by John D. Burns

On February 4, 1918, Frank Cassius Burns left his home in Condon, Oregon, and headed to Camp Lewis, Washington, to begin training as a soldier in the U.S. Army; he was killed on the battlefield in France six months later.  From thirty-seven letters he wrote and sent home to family during that time, his nephew, John D. Burns, has pulled a selection that, as he writes in an introduction to the letters, “provide a vivid portrait of life during World War I, both at home and in the trenches, and of a young soldier from rural Oregon.”

“Oregon State Hospital During the 1960s: A Patient’s Memories and Recent Interview of her Doctor”

by C.L. Brown
with an interview of Joseph H. Treleaven

As a young patient at the Oregon State Hospital, in Salem, Oregon, C.L. Brown saw in action many dramatic changes that characterized the mental health industry, and particularly Oregon’s system, during the 1960s.  Her vivid descriptions of the buildings and grounds at the hospital and her memories of taking part in new kinds of group therapies serve as an introduction to selections from interviews she conducted with her former doctor, Joseph H. Treleaven, in 2007.  Treleaven describes his training, his influences, how he worked to change attitudes and systems at the hospital, and the impact of politicians and government agencies on Oregon’s mental health system.

Reflections on the New Deal in Oregon: Essays in Honor of an OHS Exhibit

“The Seventy-Fifth Anniversary of the New Deal: Oregon’s Legacy”

by Sarah Baker Munro

“Surviving the Great Depression: The New Deal in Oregon”

by William G. Robbins

“The New Deal and People’s Art: Market Planners and Radical Artists”

by David A. Horowitz

These three essays — published as a compliment to the Oregon Historical Society Exhibit, Oregon’s Legacy: The New Deal at 75 — consider the effect of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal programs on Oregon.  The authors describe the political and social context of the Great Depression in Oregon, the tangible results of New Deal programs in Oregon — such as roads, bridges, trails and accommodations in National Forests and State Parks, Bonneville Dam, and Timberline Lodge — and the shifts in outlook program administrators hoped to achieve. They all conclude that the citizens employed by such agencies as the Civilian Conservation Corps, the Works Progress Administration, and the Federal Arts Project left a significant mark on Oregon.