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Oregon Heritage News 2007-11-20

Heritage Info 1195581396Tue, 20 Nov 2007 17:56:36 +0000 (UTC)
In this issue:
1.  Two Oregon sites added to National Register
2.  NEH offering two grant opportunities
3.  OMSI recieves national museum award
4.  Historic home tour scheduled in Astoria


A Crook County ranch and  a building associated with an early 20th century Portland economic boom have been added to the National Register of Historic Places.

The Roba Ranch near Paulina was listed for its association with late-19th and early-20th century family-owned ranching patterns in Crook County,and for the architectural importance of the property's five historic buildings.Situated near two year-round creeks, forested hills, and open grasslands, the family-run Roba Ranch was typical of other ranches in the area. The George and Mary Roba family acquired the ranch in 1892 and finished construction on the ranch's unique Folk Victorian tuff stone house in 1910. Initially envisioned as primarily a sheep ranch, both the history and architecture of the Roba Ranch were influenced by the settlement patterns of family-run ranching operations, but also by the sheep and cattle wars fought in Crook County during this time. The Roba Ranch is the only ranch listed in the National Register in Crook County.

First constructed in 1907 and later reconstructed with an additional six stories in 1913, the Failing Office Building, 620 SW Fifth Ave., is associated with Portland's economic boom and the extraordinary demand for additional office space in downtown Portland after the Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition in 1905. The exposition attracted over 1 million people and added nearly eight million dollars to the local economy. The fair's success attracted the interest of investors, businesses men, developers, and workers who believed that Portland was destined to be one the nation's major cities. The 12-story building itself is representative of commercial architecture of the late-19th and early-20th centuries, and it features a reinforced steel-frame structure with facades of yellow brick and glazed terra cotta.

The full text of the nominations are available at the State Historic Preservation Office website: 


The National Endowment for the Humanities has two grant programs that may be of interest to Oregon heritage organizations.

The NEH is seeking applications for its "We the People Challenge Grants in United States History, Institutions, and Culture." This program is designed to help institutions and organizations secure long-term improvements in and support for humanities activities that explore significant themes and events in American history, thereby advancing knowledge of how the founding principles of the United States have shaped American history and culture for more than two hundred years. The endowment particularly welcomes proposals for programming at America's historic places (historic sites, neighborhoods, communities, or larger geographical regions) as well as applications that address this theme through the use of digital technologies. 

NEH challenge grants are capacity building grants. They help institutions and organizations secure long-term improvements in and support for their humanities programs and resources. Grants may be used to establish or enhance endowments that generate expendable earnings for program activities. Funds may also be used to support long-term costs, such as construction and renovation, purchase of equipment, acquisitions, and conservation of collections. For information and an application, visit  There is a Feb. 5 deadline.

The NEH is also seeking applications for "America's Historical and Cultural Organizations Grants" that support traveling or long-term museum exhibitions, library-based projects, interpretation of historic places or areas, interpretive Web sites, or other project formats that creatively engage audiences in exploring humanities ideas and questions. Planning grants can be used to plan, refine, and develop the content and interpretive approach of a project. Applicants should have already conducted preliminary consultation with scholars to help shape the humanities content of the project and with other programming advisers appropriate to the project's format.

Applications for panel exhibitions are accepted only from organizations other than museums, such as libraries or library systems. Panel exhibitions must travel beyond a single site and must also incorporate at least one other program format. Applications that make innovative use of emerging technologies are encouraged. Projects should do more than simply provide a digital archive of material. They should offer new ways of contextualizing and interpreting information that engages public audiences interactively in exploring humanities ideas and questions. Applications may, for example, include plans to create Web sites, PDA tours and resources, podcasts, virtual environments, wiki formats or others that utilize user-generated content, virtual imaging, GIS mapping, online scholar-led discussions, video on demand, streaming video, games, or other digital components. 

For more information and an application, visit  The application deadline is Jan. 23.


The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) will receive the National Medal for Museum and Library Service, awarded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services for extraordinary community service. The $10,000 award recognizes museums and libraries that use innovative and effective methods to attain a level of public service that goes well beyond the norm. Recipients are chosen for their success in improving communities and making a difference in people's lives.

OMSI is one of only 10 recipients of the National Medal award this year, and the only one dedicated to science learning. Other recipients include the Chicago Zoological Society, the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, DC, and the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. All types of museums, from anthropological to zoological, fine art to folk art, urban, suburban, rural, large and small are eligible for the award, as are public and private nonprofit libraries of all sizes.


The Lower Columbia Preservation Society has scheduled its Holiday Home Tour for 4 p.m.-7 p.m.Dec. 8. The locations to be showcased will be decked with old-fashioned greenery, ornaments, candles, music, homemade cookies, and holiday inspiration. 

The self-guided tour includes an 1896 Queen Anne Victorian in Uniontown; a 1937 Tudor-style previously owned by 3 Columbia River bar pilots; three Craftsman-style homes built in 1916, 1925, and a 1916 B & B designed by architect John Wicks; and an artfully restored 1923 commercial building, also designed by Wicks from the ruins of the building designed by another famous architect, Emil Schacht, before the 1922 fire. 

For additional information, call (503) 325-3981 or (503) 325-1410 or visit
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