Oregon Chapter LCTHF

  Oregon Chapter of the  
  Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation  

  Fall Council Meeting Report (09/19/98 - Fort Clatsop)  
  September 19, 1998, Fort Clatsop National Memorial  

September 19, 1998, Fort Clatsop National Monument, OR -
The first general membership meeting of the Oregon Chapter of the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation was called to order at 2:00PM on Saturday September 19th. The meeting was held in the Netul River Room at the Fort Clatsop Visitors Center and was attended by 35 people from all over Oregon; from as far south as Ashland, as far east as Irrigon and nearby from the Astoria area in the northwest corner of the state.

Keith Hay led the proceedings and began by thanking the National Park Service and folks at Fort Clatsop National Monument for hosting the meeting. Specifically thanked were Cynthia Orlando and her staff, which includes Ricardo Perez who helped prepare the room for the meeting. He also thanked the members of the steering committee for laying the groundwork in preparation for this first general membership meeting.

Keith Hay then proceeded to perform an overview of the proposed Chapter Bylaws, which were available as a handout at the greeting table. He pointed out that among the most important of the bylaws is the item which states that the bylaws could be changed or amended by a majority vote of the members. Some possible future changes and clarifications were mentioned. A vote of the members was taken to adopt the proposed bylaws as is. The vote passed unanimously and the bylaws were duly adopted. The actual motion presented by the floor, seconded and passed, was for adoption of the bylaws as well as acceptance of the proposed slate of officers and board members. At this time, Keith then introduced each of the officers and board members. They are:
President Keith Hay Newberg
Vice-President Dr. Robert Holcomb Corvallis
Secretary Jay Rasmussen Hillsboro
Treasurer Linda O'Connor Hillsboro

Board Members
Doug Erikson Portland
Paul Nolte Ashland
John Montague Portland
Don Eppenbach Irrigon
Richard Hohnbaum Keizer

The next topic discussed was the set of open positions for committee chairpersons. The first one addressed was that of the Program Committee. This committee is responsible, among other things, for helping to secure interesting speakers, presenters and programs for Chapter meetings. Chapter member Mike Carrick of Salem, who incidentally had his extensive collection of Lewis & Clark era armaments on special display at Fort Clatsop, volunteered for this position. Members who would like to help in this endeavor are urged to contact Mike via email or by phone at (800) 394-7797.

The next committee of interest was the Membership Committee. A discussion ensued regarding the duties and purpose of such a committee. It was generally agreed that maintenance of the Chapter's membership database and mailing list should be a normal function of the Secretary's position. The membership committee should be involved with other member services such as producing a membership brochure and a Chapter newsletter. Board member Dick Hohnbaum volunteered to chair this committee. Any members interested in assisting Dick in these efforts are asked to contact Dick via email or by phone at (503) 390-2886. In addition, Vice-President Bob Holcomb, with assistance by member Lois Meessen, offered to attempt to raise interest in the Lewis & Clark story and awareness of our Chapter among people of the Eugene/Corvallis area in hopes of increasing our Chapter membership.

The final position addressed was for the Finance Committee. After a brief discussion it was generally agreed that until there is a specific program or project which the Chapter wishes to undertake, there is no urgent need for a Finance Committee. However, in the interim, Vice-President Bob Holcomb will serve in name as the Finance Committee chairperson. Any members who have an interest in assisting the Chapter in this area, such as setting some initial policies or direction are asked to contact Bob Holcomb via email or by phone at (541) 745-5560. In conjunction with this discussion, a possible project was mentioned by Cindy Orlando for future consideration of the Chapter. During the summer of 1999, Fort Clatsop would like to host Dr. Gary Moulton, editor of the Lewis & Clark journals, as he prepares a one-volume abridgment of the journals. In addition Dr. Moulton will be presenting three speeches, one at Fort Clatsop, one in the Portland area and another, yet to be determined, further east along the Columbia River. Fort Clatsop is seeking financial support from various sectors to support this endeavor and the Oregon Chapter may desire to undertake a portion of this. A few fundraising ideas were discussed, however no action was taken.

Keith Hay next discussed the desire to encourage involvement of local Native American individuals or groups as their perspective is an integral part of the Lewis & Clark legacy.

Keith then presented an overview of the various Lewis & Clark related groups in Oregon. Most of these have a limited lifetime and are specifically directed toward commemoration of the bicentennial. Among these are 2005, Inc. which is concerned with bicentennial events in the general Portland area. It consists of board members only and has no general membership. There is also the Clatsop County based Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Association. This group is concerned with bicentennial events in the Astoria area and consists of board members only, though that may change as the bicentennial approaches. Another bicentennial oriented group is the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial in Oregon group. This group is associated with the Oregon Historical Society and is holding a meeting at Fort Clatsop on September 29th. A more permanent group mentioned is the Fort Clatsop Historical Association. However, this group is comprised of a seven member board and plans are underway for them to offer a general membership through the bicentennial years only. Finally, there is this organization, the Oregon Chapter of the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation, which at this writing boasts 46 enrolled members (many of which are family subscriptions). This organization is expected to outlast the bicentennial era and is, at its inception, the largest Lewis & Clark related member organization in the state of Oregon.

Keith presented the results of a survey he sent out to a number of people who had shown interest in forming an Oregon Chapter. Listed below in order of popularity are the reasons people desired to form an Oregon Chapter:
1) To learn more about Lewis and Clark, especially with regards to the the time they spent in the Oregon and Washington area.
2) To monitor, maintain and enhance Oregon interpretive facilities, and to seek out new sites of interest.
3) To participate in bicentennial planning and activities.
4) To develop and share educational information with our schools and communities.
5) To learn what is happening in other states and at the national level.

Next, member Chet Loving described the Lewis & Clark Columbia River Water Trail Commission's efforts to produce a water trail guide. Fundraising for this venture is fairly secure, though the current plans only encompass the river from Bonneville Dam to the mouth of the Columbia. There is a strong desire to push the eastern boundary up to the junction with the Snake River.

A short discussion about other external fundraising efforts noted the following projects:
Finally, future Chapter meetings were discussed. Jay Rasmussen provided some details of the joint Washington/Oregon meeting to be held on April 25, 1999 in Longview, WA. Members of both chapters will embark on a two hour champagne brunch cruise with Cascade Sternwheelers on the Columbia River from 11:30 AM until 1:30 PM. Costs will be $27.95 for adults and $17.95 for children. RSVPs will be required and further information will be forthcoming in a chapter newsletter. It was also decided to hold a winter meeting somewhere in the Eugene/Corvallis area. The date of Saturday, January 9th was tentatively selected for this meeting. Further details on time, location and program details will also be forthcoming in a chapter newsletter.

The business portion of the meeting was adjourned promptly at 3:00 PM.

Following the business meeting, members were invited to tour the excavations underway inside the replica fort. At 3:30 PM in the Visitor Center's theater room, Dr. Kenneth Karsmizki, Historical Archaeologist with the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman Montana, presented a fascinating talk entitled Process of Discovery : Archaeological Exploration at Fort Clatsop National Memorial. He used slides of old photos, maps, land deeds, etc. to present the data, both good and bad, that he used in determining where to look for remnants of the original fort, its privies and bone heaps. Following his presentation, he stayed and answered questions from the audience until after 5:00 PM. At that time, members moved back to the Netul River room where a lavishly catered reception (thank you Cindy!) for Oregon Chapter members, Clatsop County Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Association members and other Clatsop County and Astoria officials met and talked.

After tallying additional memberships and dues received at this meeting the Oregon Chapter of the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation has 46 enrolled members. Linda O'Connor, Chapter Treasurer, reports a total of $1,250.64 in the Chapter bank account at Key Bank. Both Linda O'Connor and President Keith Hay have signature authority for this account.

Respectfully submitted,

Jay Rasmussen
Oregon Chapter Secretary
September 23, 1998

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Posted: October 3, 1998

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