Category Archives: OPB

Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs & Oregon State University sign new MOU


Yesterday, Tribal Council members of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs and leaders of Oregon State University signed a new memorandum of understanding, renewing and expanding their partnership. The day was full of presentations, sharing, and personal stories, culminating with the signing of the new MOU.

Council members visited the Archives in the morning and poster-sized versions of some of our photos were on display throughout the library. Tribal Council Chairman Ron Suppah found a connection to one displayed on the 5th floor: he was in the picture! What did he see?

suppah1.jpg4-H boys at the winter feed lot, located at the Warm Springs Agency

Beyond this personal connection, Suppah reflected on the larger connection between the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs and OSU. “Where this journey began was when the federal government built The Dalles Dam on the Columbia River. Celilo Falls was a major fishing area, and when they closed the gates on The Dalles, we lost that fishing site, and the tribes demanded compensation for that.” The Tribes took this money (over $1 million) and commissioned OSU to conduct a study of tribal resources. Suppah says “The Oregon State study set the course for us as a tribal government.” You can find a copy of this 3 volume report in ScholarsArchive@OSU (Final report: Oregon State College/Warm Springs Research Project: Vol. 1. Introduction and survey of human resources, Vol. 2. Education, Vol. 3. The agricultural economy).

Listen up!

A snapshot of Zelda Feike Rodenwold: How did she become the “housewife’s friend”?

What do we know about Zelda Rodenwold, first director of women’s programs at KOAC? If only you could all read the “Who’s Who in the Faculty Series: Radio Station KOAC” piece on Mrs. Rodenwold from the Archives’ Memorabelia Collection … It’s a late 1930s gem!

Rodenwold, born Zelda Feike, known from teaching women how to make “the best of a little and get the best return from the things they have,” was beloved for her work as the director of the the home economics extension radio programs. She was born in Iowa in 1897 and worked most of her life in the schools (student and teacher). Her family moved to Granite, Oklahoma in 1911, where she studied shorthand and typing, a skill that helped her pay her way through liberal arts courses at Drake University by working as a secretary. Her parents moved to Portland, Oregon, and Rodenwold followed in 1914. She traveled down the Valley, registering at OAC (OSU) in the fall of 1916 in the home economics program.

She was a member of the Chi chapter of Delta Zeta, one of the founding members of their Zeta Chi local, its president, and later the first president of Delta Zeta. Again, using those typing and shorthand skills, she paid her college expenses by doing office work, waiting tables at Waldo Hall, and serving as a student correspondent for the Oregon Journal. She was the first woman editor at the Barometer, member of the Scribe, Omicron Nu national home economics honor society, and Forum (which later became Phi Kappa Phi national scholastic society). And, in her spare time, she was president of Waldo Hall. She graduated in 1919 with a BA.

Though she had planned to be a teacher, after graduation she was asked by Ava Milam to work as the secretary for the School of Home Ec, a position she accepted and held for two years before moving on to another one as the secretary of the Alumni Association. There, shocked that there wasn’t an alumni magazine, she established a monthly paper called “OAC Alumnus.

She was married in 1924 to a fellow OAC employee, Ben Rodenwold (assistant professor of Animal Husbandry). After marrying Rodenwold, she gave up her position as a secretary, but remained editor of the magazine, which became known as Oregon State Monthly. She did free-lance writing and had stories published in Sunset, Forecast, Practical Home Economics, Pacific Northwest Magazine, and School Life.

In 1928, her husband received a year leave, so they both returned to Iowa State College to pursue masters of science degrees. With her advanced degree in Household Administration in hand, Zelda Rodenwold returned OAC and to writing, publishing several educational booklets for the college’s editor, ET Reed. Then, in 1930, she began broadcasting “Aunt Sammy’s Chats,” a 15 minute piece on home economics work on KOAC. As Aunt Sammy became more and more popular, the program was lengthened to 45 minutes, with Rodenwold in charge of planning, writing, and answering all her own fan mail.

That year Claribel Nye, state home economics extension specialist, asked her to serve as the state specialist in home managements. She accepted, but finding her heart in radio, she resigned after two years to become the director of home economics radio programs at KOAC.

Did you know? KOAC is now Oregon Public Broadcasting, aka OPB? And that they maintained their OSU studios until the spring of 2009, broadcasting all nightly programs from campus? Learn more about OPB and KOAC in the OSU Archives’ collection guide for KOAC or by checking out this Wikipedia article.

Oregon’s Emergency Farm Labor Service

dorothy-1.jpg dorothy-2.jpg

Given the power of our information sharing yesterday (think Obama and the White House lawn), we continue the WWII farm service theme. Today, however, our focus shifts to the images of Mrs. Dorothy Burleson, who was a Walla Walla nurse at the Athena and Milton-Freewater farm labor camps. In these pictures, she is treating a patients in her trailer “Clicnic,” a dispensary at the Athena camp.

For those who haven’t read the last two Women’s History Month posts, between 1940 and 1943 the number of farm workers in the United States noticeably decreased — the armed forces manpower requirements and competition with higher paying jobs in the defense industries were the cause. Of course, at the same time, farmers were asked to increase production to support the war effort. By 1943, the nation’s food supply was in jeopardy.

So, on April 29, 1943, the 78th U.S. Congress approved “Public Law 45, the Farm Labor Supply Appropriation Act,” to “assist farmers in producing vital food by making labor available at the time and place it was most needed.” Each states’ agricultural extension services held responsibility for their emergency labor programs; their primary duty was coordinating and overseeing labor recruitment, training, and placement of workers.

In Oregon, the Emergency Farm Labor Service was established by the Oregon State College Extension Service. Between 1943 and 1947, there were over 900,000 workers placed on the state’s farms, thousands of trained workers of all ages, and nine farm labor camps. The farm laborers in our state were a diverse bunch, including urban youth and women, soldiers, white collar professionals, displaced Japanese-Americans, returning war veterans, workers from other states, German prisoners-of-war, and migrant workers from Mexico and Jamaica.

Great news for the Oregon Historical Society Library!

Coming on the heels of last month’s announcement that the Historical Society was cutting the equivalent of 15 full-time staff positions, most of those cuts at the research library, the board of trustees for OHS has approved funding for two positions in the library through June.

The library is considered to be a vital resource for anyone researching the history of our state, holding a vast collection of historic photographs, films, manuscripts, and oral histories about Oregon.

To read more, see the OPB news piece “Oregon Historical Society Funded To Keep Research Library Open Through May.”

OSU Archives in The Commons: Images of Celilo Falls

Look for more from the Gerald W. Williams Collection Wednesday March 4th

On March 10, 1957, the Columbia River pooled behind the newly constructed Dalles Dam, effectively drowning a five-mile stretch of cascades known as Celilo Falls. The rising water flooded one of the most prolific salmon runs in North America; it was also an area that had been occupied by Pacific Northwest Indians for at least 10,000 years.

Continuing our focus on photographs from the Gerald W. Williams Collection, we’ve decided to show you all some of the images he collected of Celilo Falls. Many of the pictures you’ll find in this set were taken by Williams’ father, Jack Williams, in September 1956 — only a few months before the falls were inundated.

For thousands of years, Celilo Falls was a traditional fishing spot for mid-Columbia tribes, producing millions of pounds of salmon each year; but the area was much more than a “favorite fishing hole.” Nearby Celilo Village was also trading hub for tribes from California, Montana, and Canada, with an active and lively market that saw local salmon traded for medicines, dried meats, and hides from the East and cedar, shells, and beads from the Pacific Coast. Noted by the Lewis and Clark expedition in 1805, the explorers said they found a “great emporium…where all the neighboring nations assemble,” and a population density unlike anything they had seen on their journey —historians have called the Celilo area the “Wall Street of the West.” However, even beyond commerce, the area was a place where “friendships were renewed, and men found brides.”

The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACOE) began work on The Dalles Dam in 1952 as a means of harnessing the Columbia River and providing “clean, sustainable, and cheap” hydroelectric power to Portland and Seattle . Between 1952 and 1955, ‘USACOE and representatives from the Warm Springs, Umatilla, Yakama, and Nez Perce reservations negotiate a monetary settlement for the loss of fishing sites resulting from construction of The Dalles Dam.” It was completed it five years later. Records and recollections say that Big Eddy was under water in less than an hour and Celilo Falls in six.

Where to go for more?

To watch the Oregon Field Guide “Celilo Fishing” video, which features a color film shot by the Army Corps of Engineers, click here. To see a detailed picture of the bottom of the Columbia River at Celilo Falls, check out the sonar data from the Army Corps of Engineers, check out the “Celilo Animation” video found here.

YouTube also has many videos of Celilo Falls, with a search for “Celilo,” you’ll find plenty! For example, there are some great historic photos of the people of Celilo Falls in the “celilo finished 0001” YouTube video by clicking here.

Oregon Public Broadcasting Oregon Territory program called “Celilo Falls,”which aired March 3, 2007 is worth a viewing. Find out more here.

Katrine Barber’s 2005 book Death of Celilo Falls is another excellent resource for information on the both the cultural and political history of the area. “This book examines the negotiations and controversies that took place during the planning and construction of The Dalles dam and the profound impact the project had on both the Indian community of Celilo Village and the non-Indian town of The Dalles.”

Sites Consulted:

Microfilm Magic

bees-2551It’s true, all the magic really does happen in the microfilm area!

On October 28th, we had a visit from The History Detectives, and we’ve posted a few pictures and videos to our Flickr site. They were researching the history of a piece of bee’s wax and recording their findings for the hungry public television audience.

What did the detectives detect?
You’ll have to watch the episode next summer to find out, but we can report that part of the filming involved Elyse Luray doing microfilm research, as well as other general research, all under the glaring lights of the cameras.

What did she look at?
The McMinnville Telephone Register, The Wheeler Reporter and The Yamhill County Reporter.

Do we have those reels at OSU?
No, but that’s the beauty of ILL! A request to the UofO, a few days wait, and those reels made their way 45 miles north and into library lore and public tv fame.

What to watch?

ccc2534.jpgCivilian Conservation Corps on OPB, November 3 at 9:00 p.m.

“During the Great Depression, the Civilian Conservation Corps put millions of young men to work improving public lands. In its short existence, enrollees planted three billion trees earning the name Roosevelt’s Tree Army. Today, their work is still enjoyed in parks and forests around the state.”

OPB used images from the Gerald Williams and College of Forestry photograph collections!