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Oregon Women’s History Project

May 18, 2012

By Roger Roper

This is my follow-up to the challenge thrown to me very publicly and deftly at the recent Oregon Heritage Conference by plenary speaker Eliza Canty-Jones. Eliza is the editor of the Oregon Historical Quarterly and one of the founders and active participants in the Century of Action initiative that is commemorating the centennial of woman suffrage in Oregon.

In the question-and-answer period following Eliza’s presentation on Century of Action, I stood up and innocently asked if anyone had begun compiling a list of historic buildings and sites associated with women in Oregon. She said she didn’t think so, but thought it would be a great project for our office, the State Historic Preservation Office, to take on.

Women in overalls at Thomas Kay Woolen Mill in Salem during World War II.

We took the challenge to heart and have put together a quick list of buildings and created a process for people to nominate other buildings and sites they feel should be included. The list of buildings and supplemental background information on each (usually a completed site form or National Register of Historic Places nomination) are available through our online Oregon Historic Sites Database. Simply search for “Women’s History” in the “Group Name” field on the search screen to view the list.

To add sites to this list, there are two options. First, if the property is already in the Oregon Historic Sites Database, simply send us an email at and nominate it for inclusion. If it meets the basic criteria, we will simply add it to the list. For properties not in the Oregon Historic Sites Database, fill out the Oregon Heritage Women’s History Project form and submit it. Eligible properties may be ones associated with important women from Oregon’s past or have a distinct focus on women or women’s issues, including places where women worked, schooled, socialized, etc. Find more information and examples of women’s history places on our Oregon Women’s History Project page.

Do you have a place in mind you’d like to include in the Oregon Women’s History Project? If so, let us know. We look forward to receiving your nominations and seeing the list grow in quantity and variety, including geographic coverage of the state.

Roger Roper is Oregon’s Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer and Assistant Director with the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Kimberly Jensen permalink
    May 21, 2012 5:17 pm

    Thanks, Roger and Kuri for your great work on this! It is great to see it at this stage and will be very important to follow as the database grows.

    • May 22, 2012 11:27 am

      Thanks for you support, Kimberly! We’re looking forward to adding more places connected with women’s history in the coming months. We’ve already had 3 new entries since yesterday!


  2. May 24, 2012 9:12 am

    This is a wonderful post. Besides buildings, there are objects associated with women which should be celebrated.

    If anyone is researching Marguerite McLoughlin, wife of John McLoughlin, feel free to contact us. We have amazing images of her sewing cabinet. I researched marguerite because, after spending so much time with her lovely object i wanted to know more about her. Our page on conserving the cabinet is here:
    I started a rough essay, which is little more than thoughts at this time, on the sewing cabinet and Marguerite:
    My email address is

    Best, Kate Powell, MPF Conservation

    • May 24, 2012 9:51 am

      Thanks, Kate, for pointing out that objects are important to Oregon’s women’s history as much as historic places. The sewing cabinet looks amazing!



  1. Where is Women’s History in Oregon? « Oregon Heritage Exchange

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