Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Heritage Center, Historical Society or Historical Museum

Recently I have been spending time in the Heritage Center of Sherwood, Oregon. The group that oversees this wonderful facility is the Sherwood Historical Society. In Oregon the term Heritage Center has become the socially correct way of identifying local facilities that collect and display community artifacts. It is truly a museum showcasing the early time periods of the city. The mission statement of this group is, ""The Sherwood Historical Society is dedicated to preserving and interpreting the history of Sherwood and Oregon, linking past events to an enhanced understanding of the present, and presenting it in diverse educational formats."




The members of the group volunteer to oversee the collections, maintenance, programs, operations and general needs of the facility. This center is located in one of the older homes of the city. Between the times when it was a private home and now as a center it was used for a variety of purposes. At times it was the Police Department Office, the Public Library and other town offices. The center is open on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 1-4pm.

In the recent weeks I have enjoyed meeting several of the volunteers. Clyde Ray List is usually there on Saturdays. He maintains the website of Sherwood History found at http://www.clydeburger.com/.
It includes pages on Clyde's Anecdotal History of Sherwood, the 1893 Town Charter, Town Council Minutes, Ronald Sherk's 1936 History of Sherwood (a relative of mine), a few interviews, the Robin Hood Legend, and Democracy in Sherwood. On the town map there are several sites of interest with regards to my ancestors, including the Rudy Olsen Gasp Pump Park #16 (he is my grandfather's older brother). Then #27 is the building that the Olsen family bought in the 1920s and my grandfather was responsible for in the 1930s. What I enjoy most about Clyde is his piano playing, as he entertains me while I am working.


The society president is June Reynolds and she often wanders in while I am there. She is currently working on her second book of Sherwood History. One day as we visited she showed me a picture of a wedding of the uncle of my father's cousin. I was pleased to be able to identify for her that the wedding was actually of my grandparents Carl Olsen and Zella Straw on Nov. 6, 1926. I have the dress she wore that day, and many other family artifacts and pictures. I have determined that in the future I would like to donate some of these items to this group. They have a track record of being well organized and financially sound.

Polly Blankenbarker is usually there on Wednesdays and is a very pleasant greeter. There are actually two houses that they oversee, the Morback House is the main building and the Smock house is next door. Joan Reynolds and Shelly Lamb were there last Saturday, getting ready for a large group expected to attend the musical performance that evening. The first Saturday in December the town has a Christmas Parade and a tree lighting in the middle of town. There was quite a crowd, with vendors selling hot dogs, hot chocolate and various other items. After the parade the music teacher who rents the facility long term for teaching his students, Hal Sheppard, offered a musical program out on the lawn of the facility.

The website offers some recent video of these events that also give you a peek inside the center. For a holiday treat look them up at: http://sherwoodhistoricalsociety.blogspot.com/




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