In this Issue:

1. Petersen Rock Garden listed in National Register of Historic Places

2. Culture Field Guide drives visitors to heritage sites

3. OHSU History of Medicine Society sets 1918 influenza lecture





Petersen Rock Garden in eastern Oregon is among Oregon’s latest entries in the National Register of Historic Places.


Danish immigrant Rasmus Christian Petersen designed and constructed the garden between the time of his retirement from farming during the winter of 1935 until his death in 1952.  Located in rural Deschutes County between the cities of Redmond and Bend, Petersen opened his Rock Garden to the public from the beginning, with only a suggested donation.  A reported 200,000 people visited the popular site during the year of Peterson’s death.


Petersen constructed the garden features from volcanic and river rock and semi-precious stones that he collected from around the region and the country, which he assembled into sculptures and vignettes that expressed his personal visions and views, such as his Statue of Liberty, as well as fanciful buildings and narratives.  He also built a museum on the site to showcase the more interesting stones in his collection, including his collection of fluorescent minerals.  Petersen developed the rock garden on his original homestead, which he settled in 1906.  Today the property is about twelve acres in size, with the gardens occupying approximately four acres, which also include ponds and other water features, Petersen’s own Craftsman bungalow, his workshop where he constructed the features, the museum, a restaurant from the 1950s, and landscape features.  Petersen Rock Garden is owned and operated by a descendent of the family, and is still open to the public. 


Oregon’s State Advisory Committee on Historic Preservation recommended the site’s nomination in their February 2013 meeting.  It is a unique property in Deschutes County and the State of Oregon.  Petersen Rock Garden is one of 38 individual properties and historic districts in Deschutes County that are now listed in the National Register, which is maintained by the National Park Service under the authority of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966.


Visit the Oregon Heritage website for further information about the National Register and recent Oregon lists.





The Oregon Cultural Trust (OCT) operates the Oregon Culture Field Guide website to encourage people to become involved with culture in Oregon. The website offers the opportunity for people to build "life lists" (i.e. bucket lists) for Oregon cultural sites and activities. People build their life lists from the information they can view on the website. Does your organization have a presence on the website?


There are more than 1,300 arts, heritage, or humanities nonprofit organizations in Oregon. The OCT reviews site nominations annually that include of a selection of the best and most beloved heritage, activities in Oregon, appropriate for kids as well as adults, indoors and out, in all regions of the state. To learn more about getting your site and activities included, visit the Oregon Culture Field Guide online – and encourage your members and visitors to nominate your organization!





The OHSU Department of Pathology will sponsor a History of Medicine Society lecture focusing on the 1918 influenza pandemic at 12:15 p.m., Dec. 4 at the OHSU Old Library Auditorium, Portland.


Nancy K. Bristow, Ph.D., will present “I worked day and night trying to save them: Health Care Professionals and the 1918 Influenza Pandemic”. Bristow is a Distinguished Professor of History at the University of Puget Sound, which has recognized her teaching and professional service with numerous awards. She earned an M.A. and Ph.D. in History from University of California, Berkeley. Her interest in social change and World War I led to her research on the cultural and social history of the 1918-1919 influenza pandemic. The Oxford University Press published her second book, “American Pandemic: The Lost Worlds of the 1918 Influenza Pandemic” in May 2012. It received praise for its vivid narrative and new scholarly contributions to the topic. Professor Bristow has also published two scholarly articles on the pandemic, and presented her research at several conferences and symposia. She is a member of the Organization of American Historians and the Southern Historical Association.


If you have a disability and need an accommodation to attend or participate in this lecture, call Maija Anderson at (503) 418-2287 at least five business days prior to the event.





Oregon Heritage, part of the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, provides technical support and services to people and organizations documenting, preserving, interpreting and sharing Oregon's heritage. Keep up with the latest heritage issues and trends at Oregon Heritage Exchange and follow us on Facebook.


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