Support compound transfer

By Observer editorial June 28, 2013 10:24 am
Good things take time. Maxville Executive Director Gwen Trice, commonly known as “the Logger’s Daughter,” has been working with Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, and the City of Wallowa since 2009, to make the Wallowa Compound the Maxville Heritage Interpretation Center’s future home. 

Saturday, the dream takes a step closer to reality. The Wallowa-Whitman National Forest, the City of Wallowa and the Maxville Heritage Group will honor the past and celebrate the future with the transfer of the Wallowa Compound from the U.S. Forest Service to the City of Wallowa. The event begins at 9:30 a.m. at Evans Park in Wallowa. 

The festivities are in conjunction with the fifth annual gathering of the Maxville Heritage Group. John Laurence, WWNF forest supervisor, will make some comments and then represent the federal government in handing over of the Wallowa Compound keys to the City of Wallowa.

Sure, it’s going to be a while before the Maxville Heritage Interpretation Center’s museum and education and research center gets up to full steam in Wallowa. A lot of work remains to be done on the rustic early 1930s Civilian Conservation Corps-constructed buildings. Remember those real estate ads on “rustic charm?”

But being in a central location in the city of Wallowa, the Center will have the perfect setting. In the future, it will become a must stop for cultural tourists and local history buffs alike.

 The Maxville Heritage Interpretive Center is a nonprofit organization that envisions using the compound to preserve and interpret the rich history of the early 1900s multicultural logging community of Maxville.  

 Saturday’s event will include live music, presentations by Dr. Olen Cole, coming out all the way from the University of North Carolina, and Rick McClure on the Civilian Conservation Corp, as well as a pig roast. 

A story booth will be set up where visitors can share stories about life on the Wallowa Compound.

Saturday is an important day in the history of Wallowa. People interested in Wallowa County’s storied past, and its dreamed-of future, should get out and support this event.