Maxville Heritage Interpretive Center gears up for 2014

By Katy Nesbitt, The Observer December 16, 2013 12:14 pm

JOSEPH — Maxville Heritage Interpretive Center is ending a successful fundraising year and looking to the year ahead with some innovative direction.

Executive Director Gwen Trice said the center is closing out a Wildhorse Foundation grant that funded database training for volunteers and board members. The software not only stores donor information, but video images, recorded interviews and transcripts.

“Kate Carmen has volunteered to update some of the audio recording she did at the 2010 Maxville Gathering,” Trice said. “Stay tuned for more updates as Kate produces them.”

Trice said she and new board members Dan DeBoie and Rene Devin took online, instructor-based training for the software PastPerfect, which includes a virtual website feature. Once the data is stored, this managing software will be a more efficient tool to track data, archives and contacts. Volunteer Shannon Maslach is also taking the training with CDs on loan from the Tamastslikt Cultural Institute in Pendleton.

“Shannon has a dual role,” Trice said. “She is also working to provide Maxville with a response plan for disaster preparedness and safety. Wherever archives are stored, there will be modules for disaster preparedness in case of emergency.”

Getting word to nation

Getting the word out nationally about Maxville has been Trice’s passion for many years. When she became aware of her own roots to a logging village north of Wallowa in the 1920s and ’30s, she selected a board of directors, formed a nonprofit and began yearly gatherings at the former town site. The Maxville story has been aired on Oregon Public Broadcasting, and in September it was highlighted in the fall issue of Preservation Magazine, a publication of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Last year, Trice brought the gathering to Wallowa, and in June 2014 it will be held at the Nez Perce Homeland Project’s Tamkaliks Pow Wow Grounds just east of town.

The interpretive center moved to Joseph last spring into the Josephy Center for Arts and Culture and is open six days a week. 

“Foot traffic is way up, donations are up — the shared space at the Josephy Center is a good fit,” Trice said. In 2014, a Kinsman Foundation grant will help pay for the center to lease space, she said.

Reaching out beyond the walls of the center, Trice said, “As we begin to continue to work on our exhibits, we’re looking at doing a traveling exhibit around the state and we are putting together a grant for institutions and schools.”

A big endeavor undertaken the past few years is a musical based on historical research, transcripts and interviews titled, “On To Higher Ground.” Trice said two playhouses are looking to put it into production in 2014 and 2015. 

“Marv Ross wrote the original, and we are looking at an opportunity to have the play commissioned. Two playhouses have contacted Maxville and Ross to have the play run at their theaters,” Trice said.

Gift shop open

For holiday gifts, Trice said the center’s gift shop is open. 

For online shopping, the center has an agreement with Amazon Smile. Amazon will automatically donate .05 percent of proceeds to the center when a purchase is made through AmazonSmile and Maxville Heritage Interpretive Center is chosen as the receiving nonprofit.

For more gift-giving ideas, or maybe ones to keep for oneself, the center has two raffles — one for a quilt and one for a 10-day stay in Mexico.

The Mexico vacation raffle tickets are $10 each or five tickets for $40. 

“Tickets will be sold through the holiday season Dec. 7 through Jan. 7 and will make a great gift for the holiday season,” Trice said. 

She said the winner can book the vacation house, graciously donated by a Wallowa County couple, through April 2014. Airfare is not included.

For tickets, contact Trice at 541-426-3545 and leave a message or send a check made out to MHIC, P.O. Box 492, Enterprise, OR 97828. Include a return address and contact information if mailing a check.

For more information, call 541-263-8895, email This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it or visit the website at maxvilleheritage.org. All monies raised will improve the center’s public outreach, programming and the preservation of logging heritage education.