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Soap Creek Valley History Project Oral Histories, 1978-2009

By Finding aid prepared by Elizabeth Nielsen with updates by Chris Petersen.

Collection Overview

Title: Soap Creek Valley History Project Oral Histories, 1978-2009

Predominant Dates: 1990-1995

ID: OH 006

Primary Creator: OSU Research Forests. Soap Creek Valley History Project

Extent: 2.2 cubic feet. More info below.

Arrangement: The collection is arranged into two series - one devoted to transcripts and background materials and another containing audiocassettes.

Languages of Materials: English [eng]

Abstract

The Soap Creek Valley History Project Oral Histories consist of oral histories conducted primarily in 1989-1991 by the Oregon State University Research Forests to better understand the history, ecology, and culture of the Soap Creek Valley in Benton County, Oregon. All of the audiocassettes held in this collection have been digitized and are available upon patron request.

Scope and Content Notes

The Soap Creek Valley History Project Oral Histories consist of oral histories conducted primarily in 1989-1991 by the Oregon State University Research Forests to better understand the history, ecology, and culture of the Soap Creek Valley in Benton County, Oregon. The collection consists of published monographs that include the full transcripts, as well as added contextual and reference information, for 15 sets of interviews. Likewise included is a lengthy report written by Shahidul Islam and Bob Zybach that discusses and evaluates the Soap Creek Valley project.

Sound recordings (audiocassettes) for 13 of the interview sets are also part of the collection -- audiocassettes for the Velma Rawie and William Davies sessions do not remain extant. Transcript drafts, correspondence, research materials and other background items are included, as are 20 photographs documenting the Soap Creek Valley and a handful of the narrators represented in this collection. All of the audiocassettes held in this collection have been digitized and are available upon patron request.

Interviews with the following individuals are included: Wanda Marcks Cook, William A. Davies, Donald Dickey, Paul M. Dunn, Eugene Glender, Lorna Grabe, James Hanish, Charles Hindes, Norman Hindes, Bessie Gragg Murphy, Charlie Olson, Velma Carter Rawie, John Jacob Rohner, Wilma Rohner, Marvin Rowley, Edward Sekermestrovich, and Neil Vanderburg. Topics addressed in the interviews include farming and ranching, the Soap Creek School, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camp at Camp Arboretum, and logging practices and saw milling. The interview with Velma Carter Rawie provides information about the town of Wells, Oregon, which was acquired in 1942 by the federal government as part of Camp Adair. Bessie Murphy's interview describes the native plants and flora of the Crescent Valley area of Benton County.

Interviewers were Royal G. Jackson, Jennifer Lee and Bob Zybach with the assistance of Judy Carlson, Marlene Finley, Phil Hays, Jan Meranda, Kevin Sherer, Angela Sondenaa, Neil Vanderburg, and George Wisner.

Biographical / Historical Notes

The Soap Creek Valley History Project was initially authorized in 1989 by Dr. William Atkinson, Director of the Oregon State University Research Forests. Funding for the project was provided by the Oregon State University College of Forestry. The project included the transcription and publication of interviews conducted before 1989 as well as conducting new interviews which were published as a series of monographs.

All of the new interviews done in 1989-1991, 1993 and 1995, were conducted by Bob Zybach, who also provided oversight for transcription and publication of the interviews. Zybach earned a BS in Forest Recreation Management in 1991; a Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies in Forest Ecology, Cultural Anthropology, and Historical Archeology in 1999; and a Ph.D. in Environmental Sciences in 2003 -- all from Oregon State University.



Author: Elizabeth Nielsen

Administrative Information

More Extent Information: 91 audiocassettes; 20 photographs; 5 boxes

Statement on Access: Collection is open for research.

Acquisition Note: The published transcripts were transferred to the Archives by the Research Forests regularly as they were issued between 1991 and 1996. The sound recordings, as well as published transcripts and related materials, were part of the Horner Museum oral history collections until they were transferred to the Archives in 1996. Materials donated by Bob Zybach to the Archives in 2009 were organized into this collection in 2017.

Related Materials: Bob Zybach used these oral histories for his 1999 MAIS thesis, Using Oral Histories to Document Changing Forest Cover Patterns: Soap Creek Valley, Oregon, 1500-1999, which is available online. A 2009 addition to the College of Forestry Records (RG 139) includes sound recordings of the interviews of Wanda Marcks Cook, Eugene Glender, James Hanish, Charlie Olson, John Jacob and Wilma Rohner, and Neil Vanderburg as well as additional oral history interviews and records of the Soap Creek Valley History Project. The Royal G. Jackson Papers (MSS JacksonR) include substantive documentary materials, photographs, and oral histories documenting the OSU Research Forests and Camp Arboretum. Additional oral histories of Benton County residents are part of the Oregon Pioneers Oral History Collection (OH 001). The Ernest Cook Photographic Collection (P 221) includes photographs that were published in the oral history of Wanda Marcks Cook.

Preferred Citation: Soap Creek Valley History Project Oral Histories (OH 006), Oregon State University Special Collections and Archives Research Center, Corvallis, Oregon.

Processing Information: Collection processed by Elizabeth Nielsen and Chris Petersen.

Creators

OSU Research Forests. Soap Creek Valley History Project
Jackson, Royal G.
Lee, Jennifer A.
Oregon State University. College of Forestry
Zybach, Bob

People, Places, and Topics

Agriculture--Oregon--Benton County.
Camp Arboretum (Benton County, Or.)--History.
Civilian Conservation Corps (U.S.). Company 3503 (Benton County, Or.)--History.
Cook, Wanda Marcks
Dickey, Donald
Dunn, Paul M.
Farm life--Oregon--Benton County.
Forests and forestry--Oregon--Benton County.
Glender, Eugene
Grabe, Lorna.
Hanish, James
Jackson, Royal G.
Lee, Jennifer A.
Local History
Logging--Oregon--Benton County.
Murphy, Bessie
Natural Resources
Olson, Charlie
Oregon Multicultural Archives
Rawie, Velma Carter
Rohner, John Jacob
Rohner, Wilma
Sekermestrovich, Edward
Soap Creek Schoolhouse Foundation--History.
Soap Creek Valley (Benton County and Polk County, Or.)--History.
University History
Vanderburg, Neil
Wells (Or.)--History.
Women botanists--Oregon--Benton County.
Zybach, Bob

Forms of Material

Audiocassettes.
Oral histories (literary works)


Box and Folder Listing

Series 1: Transcripts and Background Materials, 1978-2009
Extent: 24 folders

Box-Folder 1.1: Grabe, Lorna. Family History and the Story of the Soap Creek Schoolhouse Foundation. Soap Creek Valley History Project, Monograph #1, December 28, 1989
Monograph includes table of contents, introduction, personal biography of Lorna Grabe and index. [One interview (December 22, 1989) conducted by Bob Zybach.]
Box-Folder 1.2: Dunn, Paul M. Biographical Sketch and Story of the Adair Tract, Benton County, Oregon. Soap Creek Valley History Project, Monograph #2, 1990
Monograph includes table of contents, introduction, reproduced photographs, personal biography of Paul M. Dunn and index. Folder contains a slide and two print photographs of Paul Dunn. [Two interviews (November 2, 1978; September 18, 1979) conducted by Royal G. Jackson and Jennifer Lee.]
Box-Folder 1.3: Background Materials: Dunn, Paul M. Biographical Sketch and Story of the Adair Tract, Benton County, Oregon. Soap Creek Valley History Project, Monograph #2, 1978-1982
File includes transcript drafts, notes and biographical information related to the creation of Monograph #2.
Box-Folder 1.4: Background Materials: Dunn, Paul M. Biographical Sketch and Story of the Adair Tract, Benton County, Oregon. Soap Creek Valley History Project, Monograph #2, 1978-1991
File includes lists of questions, biographical materials, transcript drafts and notes related to the creation of Monograph #2.
Box-Folder 1.5: Background Materials: Dunn, Paul M. Biographical Sketch and Story of the Adair Tract, Benton County, Oregon. Soap Creek Valley History Project, Monograph #2, 1979-1991
File includes signed permissions forms, biographical materials, notes and correspondence related to the creation and revision of Monograph #2.
Box-Folder 1.6: Dickey, Donald. Family History and Life on Berry Creek, Benton County, Oregon: 1928-1942. Soap Creek Valley History Project, Monograph #3, 1991, 1995
Monograph includes table of contents, introduction, manuscripts and reproduced photographs included as appendices, and index. Two printings of this monograph were released, one in 1991 and another in 1995. [One interview (August 18, 1990) conducted by Bob Zybach and Neil Vanderburg.]
Box-Folder 1.7: Background Materials: Dickey, Donald. Family History and Life on Berry Creek, Benton County, Oregon: 1928-1942. Soap Creek Valley History Project, Monograph #3, 1991, 1995
File includes research materials, transcripts of letters sent by Donald Dickey to his brother, and instructions on edits to make to the Dickey interview transcript.
Box-Folder 1.8: Sekermestrovich, Edward. Life at CCC Camp Arboretum, Benton County, Oregon: 1935-1940. Soap Creek Valley History Project, Monograph #4, 1991
Monograph includes table of contents, introduction, biographical sketch of Edward Sekermestrovich and index. File includes draft transcript. [One interview (February 6, 1980) conducted by Royal G. Jackson and Karen Thomas.]
Box-Folder 1.9: Rohner, John Jacob and Wilma Rohner. Family Farming on Coffin Butte Between World Wars, Benton County, Oregon: 1919-1941. Soap Creek Valley History Project, Monograph #5, ca. 1993
Monograph includes table of contents, introduction, reproduced photographs arranged in an appendix and index. [Three interviews (September 18, 1990; September 29, 1990; September 30, 1990) conducted by Bob Zybach.]
Box-Folder 1.10: Hanish, James. Biographical Sketch and a Tour of Berry Creek, Benton and Polk Counties, Oregon: 1930-1938. Soap Creek Valley History Project, Monograph #6, 1994
Monograph includes table of contents, introduction, autobiographical sketch and index. [Two interviews (January 13, 1990; April 10, 1990) conducted by Bob Zybach and Kevin Sherer.]
Box-Folder 1.11: Olson, Charlie. Biographical Sketch and Early History of Sulphur Springs, Benton County, Oregon: 1900-1920. Soap Creek Valley History Project, Monograph #7, 1994
Monograph includes table of contents, introduction, appendix of personal memories and index. [Two interviews (January 29, 1990; June 16, 1990) conducted by Bob Zybach and Angela Sondenaa.]
Box-Folder 1.12: Vanderburg, Neil. Family Farming and Saw Milling on Berry Creek, Benton County, Oregon: 1935-1941. Soap Creek Valley History Project, Monograph #8, 1994, 1995
Monograph includes table of contents, introduction, manuscript and Vanderburg genealogy arranged as appendices, and index. A revised version of this monograph was released in 1995. [Four interviews (August 8, 1990; September 1, 1990; January 26, 1991; October 11, 1991) conducted by Bob Zybach and George Wisner.]
Box-Folder 1.13: Background Materials: Vanderburg, Neil. Family Farming and Saw Milling on Berry Creek, Benton County, Oregon: 1935-1941. Soap Creek Valley History Project, Monograph #8, 1994, 1995
File includes a signed permissions form, research materials, and rough draft interview transcripts.
Box-Folder 1.14: Background Materials: Vanderburg, Neil. Family Farming and Saw Milling on Berry Creek, Benton County, Oregon: 1935-1941. Soap Creek Valley History Project, Monograph #8, 1994, 1995
File includes a finalized transcript as well as twelve family photographs for potential use as illustrations.
Box-Folder 1.15: Glender, Eugene. Growing up on a Tampico Family Farm, Benton County, Oregon: 1910-1941. Soap Creek Valley History Project, Monograph #9, 1994
Monograph includes table of contents, introduction, manuscripts and reproduced photographs arranged as appendices, and index. [One interview (January 6, 1990) conducted by Bob Zybach and Jan Meranda.]
Box-Folder 2.1: Rawie, Velma Carter. A History of the Carter Family and the Town of Wells, Benton County, Oregon: 1845-1941. Soap Creek Valley History Project, Monograph #10, 1994
Monograph includes table of contents, introduction, manuscripts arranged into appendices and index. [One interview (March 19, 1991) conducted by Bob Zybach.]
Box-Folder 2.2: Murphy, Bessie Gragg. Botanizing in Benton County, 1900-1991. Soap Creek Valley History Project, Monograph #11, 1989, 1995
Monograph includes table of contents, introduction, obituary of Bessie Clark and index. File includes interviewers notes and partial transcript, January 1989. [Five interviews (July 23, 1975; August 4, 1975; January 26, 1989; January 4, 1990; September 29, 1990) conducted by Judy Carlson, Marlene Finley, Bob Zybach and Phil Hays.]
Box-Folder 2.3: Cook, Wanda Marcks. The Story of Sulphur Springs Stock Ranch, Benton County, Oregon: 1904-1939. Soap Creek Valley History Project, Monograph #12, 1995
Monograph includes table of contents, introduction, manuscripts arranged into appendices and index. [Two interviews (October 28, 1989; May 15, 1990) conducted by Bob Zybach and Kevin Sherer.]
Box-Folder 2.4: Davies, William A. Biographical Sketch and Management of OSU Research Forests, Benton and Polk Counties, Oregon, 1946-1973. Soap Creek Valley History Project, Monograph #10, 1997
Monograph includes acknowledgements, table of contents, appendices, index and map. [Two interviews (February 19, 1979; September 18, 1979) conducted by Royal Jackson and Jennifer Lee.]
Box-Folder 2.5: Hindes, Charles and Norman. Family History and Story of the Soap Creek Sawmilling and Logging Camp. Benton County, Oregon, 1928-1931. Soap Creek Valley History Project, Monograph #14. 1993, 1996
Monograph includes introduction, table of contents, appendices and index. [Two recordings - an interview and a site tour - made on September 28, 1993. Interview and recordings by Bob Zybach.] File also includes a letter written by Charles Hindes as well as five photographs taken of structures and locations in the Soap Creek Valley.
Box-Folder 2.6: Rowley, Marvin. Family History and Management of the OSU Research Forests, Benton and Polk Counties, Oregon, 1946-1986. Soap Creek Valley History Project, Monograph #15, 2009
Monograph includes appendices and index. [Five interviews conducted in total. Three by Royal Jackson and Jennifer Lee (January 25, 1979; January 31, 1979; February 6, 1979) and two by Bob Zybach (February 23, 1991; May 8, 1995).]
Box-Folder 2.7: Background Materials: Rowley, Marvin. Family History and Management of the OSU Research Forests, Benton and Polk Counties, Oregon, 1946-1986. Soap Creek Valley History Project, Monograph #15, circa 1994
File includes research notes, a draft transcript and poems written by Marvin Rowley.
Box-Folder 2.8: Islam, Shahidul and Bob Zybach. Documenting Natural and Cultural Resources Research: Soap Creek Valley, Oregon Oral History Series, 1978-1996. Soap Creek Valley History Project, Monograph #17, 1996
Box-Folder 3.1: Assorted Project Files: Soap Creek Valley History Project, 1993-1996
Series 2: Audiocassettes, 1978-1995
All of the audiocassettes described in Series 2 have been digitized and are available upon patron request.
Extent: 91 items

Box-Item 4.1-4.2: Grabe, Lorna, December 22, 1989
[Two cassettes]
Box-Item 4.3-4.12: Dunn, Paul M., November 2, 1978, September 18, 1979
[Ten cassettes - five originals and five copies]
Box-Item 4.13-4.15: Dickey, Donald, August 18, 1990
[Three cassettes]
Box-Item 4.16-4.19: Sekermestrovich, Edward, February 6, 1980
[Four cassettes - two originals and two copies]
Box-Item 4.20-5.1: Rohner, Jake, September 18-30, 1990
[Six cassettes - five originals and one copy]
Box-Item 5.2-5.8: Hanish, James, January 13, 1990, April 10, 1990
[Six cassettes - three originals and three copies]
Box-Item 5.9-5.24: Olson, Charlie, January 20, 1990, June 16, 1990
[Sixteen cassettes - eight originals and eight copies]
Box-Item 5.25-5.35: Vanderburg, Neil, January 26, 1991
[Eleven cassettes - four originals, three dated copies and four undated copies]
Box-Item 5.36-5.39: Glender, Eugene, January 6, 1990
[Four cassettes - two originals and two copies]
Box-Item 5.40-5.51: Murphy, Bessie Gragg, January 26, 1989, January 4, 1990, September 29, 1990, January 12, 1991
[Twelve cassettes - seven originals and five copies]
Box-Item 5.52-5.57: Cook, Wanda Marcks, October 28, 1989, May 15, 1990
[Six cassettes - three originals and three copies. May 15, 1990 interview is annotated as having been conducted with Roy Cook.]
Box-Item 5.58-5.59: Hindes, Charles and Norman, circa 1993
[Two cassettes]
Box-Item 5.60-5.67: Rowley, Marvin, February 24, 1991, May 8, 1995
[Eight original cassettes]

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