Spring 2013

Issue 114:1

In this issue you can learn how Portland's black community in the Albina neighborhood worked to improve relationships with police, and how the Depression-era state Legislature turned over the decision on building a new state Capitol to a citizen commission, cementing a trend that continues to this day.

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In this Issue:

Black and Blue: Police-Community Relations in Portland's Albina District, 1964­-1985

By Leanne C. Serbulo and Karen J. Gibson

As in many cities across America, the relationship between African Americans in Portland, Oregon, and the city police force was fraught with tension through the late twentieth century. Scholars Leanne Serbulo and Karen Gibson argue that Portland's African Americans, who collectively made up less than ten percent of Portland residents and were segregated into neighborhoods including the Albina district, experienced police as figures of colonial oppression. The authors chronicle how, over two decades bordered by African Americans' deaths at the hands of police, neighborhood activists attempted to reform the police department and met resistance. The authors conclude that transformation of the relationship between police and the black community could have been accomplished only through strong action by elected officials.

The Hunt for Missionary Sources: Clifford Drury's Enduring Archives Legacy

By Trevor J. Bond

Having pieced together the story of collections development from archives across the region, archivist Trevor J. Bond argues that Dr. Clifford Drury played a significant role in the building of regional archives, influencing the historiography of the Pacific Northwest along the way. While pastor of a Congregationalist church in Moscow, Idaho, Drury worked with Washington State College President E.O. Holland to accumulate artifacts of missionaries who worked in the Columbia Plateau. According to Bond, Drury's focus on white missionaries and pioneers made a lasting impression on what historical material was kept in the region and how the area's history has been told. Bond concludes that, while Drury's bias was significant, his work was also important in that it kept historical artifacts out of the hands of wealthier repositories and not alienated from their geographical and historical context.

Populists, Dreamers, and the Citizens who Built Oregon's 1938 Capitol

By Floyd J. McKay

In the midst of the Great Depression, the State of Oregon had to rebuild its Capitol after a 1935 fire. State legislators haggled over specifications, projecting the competing social and economic concerns of their constituents - urban and rural, businessmen and populist farmers - into the fray. Historian Floyd McKay recounts the sustained debates in Salem, with state figures such as Gov. Charles Martin and regional representatives like Grange-backed Peter Zimmerman. Following several pitched battles in the 1935 special legislative session officials deferred authority to another volunteer body, the Capitol Reconstruction Commission (CRC). McKay, who scoured the archives of local newspapers and CRC records, contends such citizen groups are instrumental to Oregon's experiment with direct democracy, and suggests that their import is evident with the creation of a unique Capitol building.

Architecture of the Oregon Capitol

By William F. Willingham

In 2013, the Oregon State Capitol celebrates its seventy-fifth anniversary as Oregon's seat of government. That building, the third incarnation of the Capitol, is unique due to architect Francis Keally's conscious decision to make it distinct among all other capitols. In a time when state seats of government were made to resemble the United States Capitol, Keally incorporated elements of what he called "Greek Moderne" but now is referred to as Art Deco into his blueprints. Architectural historian William F. Willingham reviews the building's key features - such as the flat-topped lantern in place of a traditional dome and the situating of Legislative chambers on the flanks to allow for natural lighting - that make the structure so exceptional.

The Southern Oregon University Laboratory of Anthropology: Public Archaeology and History

By Mark Tvsekov, Chelsea Fuller, and Katie Johnson

The Southern Oregon University Laboratory of Anthropology (SOULA) has engaged in substantive work in public archaeology in the Rogue River Valley in Oregon. Its efforts are often aimed at producing a greater volume of regional history and prehistory, utilizing archaeological excavation as well as ethnohistoric research and oral history. SOULA staff and students notably uncovered evidence of the location of the Battle of Hungry Hill, one of the worst defeats in American military history, during the Indian campaigns of the mid nineteenth century. In this article, anthropologists Mark Tvsekov, Chelsea Fuller, and Katie Johnson describe partnerships with groups such as the Bureau of Land Management and local Native American tribes to investigate historic sites.