Mary Jo Morellis dossier reads like a living history book


Mary Jo Morelli has led walking tours of Forest Grove historic sites and taught classes on local history. She's a docent for Pacific University's Old College Hall Museum.

Perhaps most notably, Morelli helped found Friends of Historic Forest Grove in 1991 and has served as the nonprofit's president, secretary and treasurer.

Now, she's a mover and shaker on the organization's Committee to Preserve the A.T. Smith Property.

Friend and fellow history buff Marie Mather nominated Morelli for the 2006 Elisabeth Walton Potter Historic Preservation Scholarship Award, given by the Oregon State Historic Preservation Office.

The award honors people who demonstrate a passion for historic preservation in their communities, emulating Potter's work. Elisabeth Walton Potter, a distinguished preservationist, helped develop Oregon's first three National Historic Register sites.

Morelli and Jim Duyn, of Baker City, were this year's award winners. Morelli plans to attend the Cultural Heritage Tourism Conference in Atlanta, Ga., in mid-November, using $1,250 in award money from SHPO honor to help pay her expenses.