26th Annual Heritage Awards

* Now a part of our annual Fall Gala! Mark your calendars for Saturday, October 13th. Click here for tickets! 

The WHC is proud to host its Annual Heritage Awards ceremony recognizing and honoring our community’s leaders and organizations who have contributed significantly to the preservation and interpretation of our heritage. This year, the Heritage Awards  will be presented at our annual Fall Gala on Saturday, October 13th. Tickets for the event are available now. Click here to learn more.

This year’s program, This is Our Life, explores the heritage of individuals from the Mid-Valley, uncovering the mysteries behind their family trees, and what brought their ancestors to the regionThis is the 26th year of the awards, and we’re thrilled to announce the addition of a fifth category, the Heritage Center Service Award, which will recognize the dedication of an individual to the Willamette Heritage Center’s mission.

Nominations for each of the five categories are open now, and will close on Monday, July 16th, 2018. Nominations can be submitted using the form below, by email to jamesp@willametteheritage.org, or by mail to 1313 Mill St. SE, Salem, OR 97301, addressed to James K. Phelps.

Awards are presented in five areas:

  1. David Duniway Historical Scholarship Excellence Award: Formerly named the David Duniway Lifetime Historian Award, this honor recognizes distinguished and long-term contributions by an individual or organization to the public understanding and appreciation of the cultural history of the community and the Willamette Valley through teaching, writing, research, or historic preservation.
  2. Heritage Education Award: This award recognizes programs, projects and other endeavors that have provided high quality history-focused educational opportunities to area residents for any age group or a wide range of age groups.
  3. Heritage Enterprise Award: This award recognizes a business enterprise which has made significant long-term contribution to the economy and quality of life of the community.
  4. George Strozut Award for Preservation:  The George Strozut Award of Merit for Preservation is named in honor of a man who served two terms as President of the Marion County Historical Society and advocated for historic preservation for more than forty years. It is awarded in recognition for many years of advocating for historic preservation.
  5. Heritage Center Service Award: Heritage Center Service Award recognizes meritorious efforts by individuals, groups or organizations in support of the Heritage Center’s mission and vision.

Make a Nomination

To make a nomination, fill out the appropriate category or categories in the form below, or complete the printable version (Heritage Awards Call for Nominations) and mail to James K. Phelps at 1313 Mill St. SE, Suite 200, Salem, OR 97301. Nominations will also be accepted by email to jamesp@willametteheritage.org.

2017 Nominees

  • David Holton: Holton has spent his professional career working to preserve and restore historic structures throughout the Mid-Willamette Valley. As owner and operator of David Holton Design, he has worked on numerous restoration and preservation projects, including the award-winning restoration of the Roth/McGilcrhist Building, the Historic Elsinore Theatre, and the Salem Riverfront Carousel. He has served as an active member of the Oregon State Hospital Mental Health Museum Building Task Force and the Downtown Salem Revitalization Task Force. Holton also served on the Salem Historic Landmarks Commission from 2014 to 2016, and provided leadership and direction as vice-chair of the Commission.
  • Barbara Mahoney (Winner): Mahoney is a historian whose interest in Oregon began when she moved to Salem with her family in 1976. She has contributed a number of entries to the Oregon Encyclopedia and is the author of Dispatches and Dictators, a biography of Oregon Native Ralph Barnes, who was a foreign correspondent in Europe in the 1930s. Her next book, The Salem Clique: Oregon’s Founding Brothers, will be available later this year. Mahoney has been on the faculty of Willamette University, and later served in an administrative role.
  • John Scott: Scott has pursued local history with passion and dedication while working as a professor at Corban University. He actively seeks information and connections, and has done valuable work on the history of his school, his community, and his state. Scott has served on the Board of Directors for the Willamette Heritage Center and previously served with the Marion County Historical Society. Through writing, speaking, and service, John has shown excellence in historical scholarship.
  • David Lewis: Lewis is a tireless advocate for the cultural history of the Willamette Valley, and uses every opportunity to add to his body of information, constantly seeking out opportunities to share it with a wider audience. An example of his written work can be seen in Willamette Valley Voices, Summer 2012 and Winter 2013, Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde Articles. Through teaching, writing, and speaking, he shows the dedication and scholarship this award honors.
  • Salem Art Association (Winner): The Salem Art Association has envisioned many educational opportunities for the Salem community, including the Arts & History Immersion Project, a field trip program that provides students at Title 1 schools with a 45 minutes guided tour of Bush House Museum, a guided viewing of contemporary art in the Bush Barn Art Center, and a 45 minute hands-on art activity. By offering learning opportunities outside of the classroom, SAA has helped improve the quality of education in our schools.
  • Yamhill County Historical Society: Yamhill County has a fascinating history and the historical society shows dedication and enthusiasm in sharing it. With a valued crew of volunteers, they have created events and programs that share this history with a wide audience. Their education programs serve all ages and attract an audience from far beyond the county borders. YCHS shows an imaginative use of resources and has developed a loyal support group bringing a variety of skills and interests to share.
  • Court Street Dairy Lunch (Winner): Court Street Dairy Lunch is the oldest continually operating restaurant in the City of Salem. Founded in 1929 by Glen Morris at the start of the Great Depression and operated by family members for 65 years, Court Street Diary Lunch moved into its current location in 1936. Current owner Marlene Blanchard has maintained the great historic ambiance of the building with historic photos on the walls. Her current partnership with the Statesman Journal and their “Holding Court” program also allows greater visibility for Salem’s cultural and heritage organizations.
  • Fitt’s Fish Market: Fitt’s Fish Market has been providing Salem residents with fresh seafood since 1901. Originally located downtown, they have moved to a 12th Street location, and are still family-owned and operated. Fitt’s keeps their historic roots alive with photographs displayed in the store and a tradition of exceptional service and high-quality product.
  • Woodry’s Furniture: Since 1916, Woodry’s has provided the Salem area with furniture from a friendly, family-run business downtown. Founded by FN Woodry and his wife Madora, Woodry’s was originally located at 1605 Summer Street. In the 1950s, after several expansions and new ventures, the family purchased 515 Commercial Street, the current location of the business. Woodry’s is currently run by Roger Meier, grandson of FN Woodry.
  • Salem Keizer Education Foundation: When the Salem Keizer Education Foundation began planning their new downtown learning center, they committed to re-utilizing a downtown historic building, the Starkey-McCully Building. A $2.6 million project, the restoration of the 1867 Italianate-style structure will help revitalize the Riverfront-Downtown Urban Renewal Area.
  • St. Paul Mission Historical Society: The St. Paul Mission Historical Society is celebrating more than 40 years of preserving history, and is currently working in connection with the Oregon State University Department of Anthropology to catalogue and preserve its historic artifacts. These collections are published online to assist researchers and genealogists all around the world, providing valuable record of local and family histories in the Mid-Willamette Valley.
  • Oregon Judicial Department/ Supreme Court Building: The Oregon Supreme Court Building was designed by William C. Knighton and designed to reflect the original Oregon Capitol Building. In 2015 and 2016, a restoration of the exterior of the building was completed, restoring the original windows and cornice, including the copper cornice flashing. Failed terra cotta tiles on the north and west elevations were removed, and new custom made replacement tiles were created and installed to bring back the original appearance of the building.
  • Mark Fields and Dale Palmquist from Friends of Pioneer Cemetery (Winners): Mark Fields and Dale Palmquist are partners in preserving Friends of Pioneer Cemetery’s (FOPC) field crew. Together, they have been directing work assignments and training since 2004. Salem Pioneer Cemetery was established by Chemeketa Lodge 1 of the Independent Order of the Odd Fellows (IOOF) in 1854, acquiring the current name in 1954. FOPC works in partnership with the City of Salem Parks and two contractors to maintain the cemetery. Fields and Palmquist have dedicated themselves to the task, attending workshops and trainings throughout their twelve years with FOPC to learning the latest preservation methods and tools.

2017 Photos

2016 Event Sponsors

Thank you to the following organizations for sponsoring the 25th Annual Heritage Awards: Roth’s Fresh Markets, Ed Austin & Associates, Sherman, Sherman, Johnnie & Hoyt, and Salem Ale Works.

2016 Award Winners

Scott McArthur: For the last 60 years, McArthur has made significant contributions to the public’s understanding and appreciation of the Willamette Valley’s history through teaching, writing, research, and preservation. He has also been a strong supporter of the Polk County Historical Society and the Polk County Historical Museum. His work exemplifies his motto, “you do not know where you are going if you do not know where you have been”.
Elaine Butler: Through her work at the Philip Foster Farm, Butler has made significant contributions to our community’s historical knowledge. She created a high quality, history-focused educational program that provides space for teenagers to learn and participate in a 19th century environment.
Pentacle Theatre: For 62 years, the Pentacle Theatre has passed on written, visual, and oral histories of their lifetime members from one generation to another. A volunteer historian and a small, dedicated committee work tirelessly to preserve scrapbooks, photos, and memorabilia of the theater to help families remember loved ones, and to show how plays have been presented throughout the ages.
Lord & Schryver Conservancy: Dedicated to preserving and interpreting the legacy of landscape architects, Elizabeth Lord and Edith Schryver, Lord & Schryver has maintained the home and gardens that were designed by the pair, including Historic Deepwood Estate and Gaiety Hollow.