In this issue:

1.  Antelope School added to National Register

2.  Online Rajneeshpuram exhibit launched at Pacific University

3.  Digital assets project boosted by State Library grant

4.  Gresham house listed in National Register

5.  Jansson retires from Oregon Heritage Commission

6.  Restore Oregon seeks endangered place nominations





The Antelope School, which was a focal point for education in central Oregon for nearly 60 years and is associated with Rajneesh movement in the area, is among Oregon’s latest entries in the National Register of Historic Places.


A testament to the continued commitment to education of the residents of the town and vicinity since its completion in 1925, the building occupies the most prominent parcel in town and fills a variety of community roles. The school is the third built in Antelope. The Antelope School stands out among other rural schools of its period because of its size and breadth of education offered (including primary through secondary until 1936), designed to meet the state requirements for Standard Schools at all grade levels through that time. after 1936 the Antelope School no longer provided instruction for all grade levels, it continued to provide instruction at the elementary and intermediate levels until 1983, when it was closed as a public school, an event that is associated with the Rajneesh movement’s establishment of political dominance of the town. From its construction in 1925 to the present, the school has been a focus of community activity, hosting school activities, community events, and locally produced plays. The school has also functioned as the local polling place and the seat of local government, concurrent with and subsequent to its role as a place of formal education.


The concrete school building is rare in a rural setting where one and two-room, wooden schoolhouses are far more typical.  It is one of only 33 properties in Wasco County that are individually listed in the National Register.





Pacific University Archives is offering a look at the Rajneesh crisis of the 1980s through records kept by former Gov. Vic Atiyeh.


The online exhibit, Rajneeshpuram, features a number of artifacts from Atiyeh's personal collection while he served as the state's chief executive. Atiyeh donated his collection to Pacific University Archives for preservation and digitization in 2011. All of Pacific Archives' online exhibits can be viewed at


Followers of the guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh took over a remote area of central Oregon in the early 1980s. After clashing with neighbors and the government, they poisoned salad bars near The Dalles with salmonella. Though none died, hundreds got sick, and the incident is often cited as the largest bioterror attack on American soil to date.

Jim Moore, a politics and government professor at Pacific who is writing a biography on the governor's life and legacy, said the collection provides far more than a snapshot of how Atiyeh handled the crisis.


“The Rajneeshpuram exhibit introduces us to an activist Gov. Atiyeh, working hard behind the scenes to understand and react to the Rajneeshees,” Moore said. "At the time, he kept a very low profile, with major public roles played by Oregon’s secretary of state, attorney general, and superintendent of public instruction. These documents, many of them from the governor's legal assistant, provide us with new ways of understanding the four years that the Rajneeshees spent in Oregon.”


Some of the documents have likely never been made public before, university archivist Eva Guggemos said. "The State Police were reporting to Gov. Atiyeh on undercover operations, as well as interrogations as the crisis developed,” she added. "The documents show that while Gov. Atiyeh maintained a calm face in public, behind the scenes he was keeping a close eye on the situation.”





The Orbis Cascade Alliance has received a $59,500 grant from the Oregon State Library’s competitive Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) program for its Building Digital Collections Capacity for the Northwest project.


The project will follow recommendations from the Oregon State Library’s 2015 Northwest Digital Summit by building capacity for digital collections through metadata cleanup, training and support. The project builds an infrastructure that can sustainably aggregate digital assets at the Orbis Cascade Alliance. The grant program also supports development of new support tools for digital asset catalogers, and provides support to the Alliance for an application to the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) to be a hub on behalf of the region.


Faye Chadwell, chair of the alliance’s Board and Council and Oregon State University’s library director, said “the Orbis Cascade Alliance is excited to contribute to Oregon’s management of digital assets, and create better access for library users across Washington, Oregon and Idaho. This grant extends the collaboration that academic libraries have achieved in the region into an exciting area of unique Northwest resources.”


The project will result in:

•       50,000+ digital objects available in publicly-accessible digital asset management systems and Alliance institutional repositories.

•       New documentation and training modules on metadata creation and cleanup, based on metadata standards, publicly available on the alliance’s website.

•       Public access to digital objects through the alliances shared integrated library system.

•       Completion of application to become a DPLA hub for alliance members in Washington and Oregon, with commitment to consider service to non-alliance members at a specific date in the future.

•       Extension of an existing harvester infrastructure to accept sets of digital objects.


The Orbis Cascade Alliance is a nonprofit consortium of 39 colleges and universities in Oregon, Washington and Idaho that enables member libraries to advance institutional missions through collaboration and innovation. Its services include a shared integrated library system, resource sharing, shared purchases, conferences and workshops, and support for unique and heritage collections. Alliance services reach 275,000 students and faculty annually.


For more information, contact the alliance’s executive director, Dana Bostrom, at 541-246-2470 x205





The Hamlin-Johnson House, also known as the Charles Hunter Hamlin House in Gresham, is among Oregon’s latest entries in the National Register of Historic Places.


The house, located at the corner of SE Lusted Road and SE 282nd Avenue, was constructed in about 1888. The house is associated with early steamboat engineer Charles Hamlin and later with the Rev. Jonas Johnson and his family, who owned the house for six decades. Johnson was a pastor at the Swedish Powell Valley Church. The house represents today an increasingly rare rural residential property from this era of development.


Oregon’s State Advisory Committee on Historic Preservation recommended the building’s nomination at its February 2015 meeting. It is one of nine historic properties in Gresham that are individually listed in the National Register, which is maintained by the National Park Service under the authority of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966.


More information about the recent Oregon listings in the National Register is available online.





Kyle Jansson, who launched the Oregon Heritage News listserv shortly after becoming coordinator of the Oregon Heritage Commission in 2002, is retiring today.


“I feel extremely fortunate to have worked with people passionate about Oregon heritage,” he said. “I feel inspired every time someone tells me about a project they are doing, or when I see the results of those efforts that are supported by grants from the Oregon Heritage Commission.”


He added that he always enjoyed the annual Oregon Heritage Conference, which he refers to as  Oregon’s heritage family reunion. He also helped develop a number of new commission programs.


“The staff at Oregon Heritage are amazing,” he said. “Whomever replaces me will have the wonderful opportunity to work with Kuri Gill, Katie Henry, Chrissy Curran, Sherri Stuart and the rest of the staff at Oregon Heritage, as well as the members of the Heritage Commission.”





Nominations for the 2017 list of Oregon’s Most Endangered Places are due Aug. 5. The list is published by Restore Oregon for the purpose of spotlighting their importance and rallying resources to save them.  Those properties selected for the list receive direct consultative support from Restore Oregon along with a seed grant to kick off preservation efforts.


The nomination form can be downloaded at or call 503 243-1923.


Share your photos of Oregon’s heritage on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter using #oregonheritage.


Oregon Heritage News is a service of Oregon Heritage, a division of the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. The news editor can be contacted at