The Centennial Committee is planning a year's worth of events
by: Courtesy of Lake Oswego Library The city's Centennial Committee is seeking historic photos, like this one, and stories to incorporate into the West Linn's 100th birthday celebration. In the photo, the Bolton baseball team poses for a portrait in front of the old Bolton School around 1930. The coach, in the back row, was Mayor Frank Hammerle, and many of the players became city councilors.

The year 2013 is going to be a big one for the city of West Linn - it is turning 100, and a year's worth of celebrating is being planned.

A group of historic buffs and West Linn fans has been meeting since early 2010 to plan for the city's centennial. Heading up that committee is Roger Shepherd, an 18-year West Linn resident.

'I'm into history in general and West Linn history in particular,' Shepherd said, citing the locks, the mill and the meteorite as special interests.

'There are some interesting events and people in West Linn that people just aren't aware (of),' Shepherd said.

The committee is planning to kick off the birthday bash off in January with proclamations by state Legislature and the West Linn City Council.


There will also be monthly activities. A monthly West Linn heritage series will host guest speakers, addressing different aspects of the city's history. Monthly walks will explore different parts of West Linn.

The big event, the city's actual birthday, is Aug. 15. A multi-day celebration is slated for either the previous weekend or the weekend after. Shepherd said the committee hopes that many of the city's organizations will take part in the celebration, bringing music, food, games and entertainment.

'We're hoping others will pick up the (centennial) theme on their annual events,' Shepherd said. The centennial committee members want other celebrations, such as the Old Time Fair and the Fourth of July events, to join in on the party.


The Centennial Committee is asking every group, service club and organization in the city to create a display about their own histories in the city. These displays will be part of a traveling museum that can be set up at events throughout 2013, with a smaller version rotating at the farmers' market and music concerts.

As part of the museum, the committee is gathering photos and stories. Committee members are accepting photos, scanning them and then returning them to their owners. Photos dating before 1970 are of particular interest.

'It's a chance to capture some of the stories and the pictures before they are lost,' Shepherd said.

Some of the photos will be used in making a centennial calendar that will be sold to help raise funds for the celebration.

Residents of West Linn are also invited to share their stories, which will be recorded and saved.

Shepherd would like all the information gathered in preparation for the centennial to be saved for permanent display.


A subcommittee is creating a quilt composed of 100 squares, with each square decorated by a different group, person or organization. The quilt will be displayed all year and then raffled off during the big event in August as a fundraiser.

Legacy projects

The Centennial Committee is also looking to complete two projects during the city's 100th year.

The first project is the Centennial Trail, a path along the Willamette River between the Blue Heron property and Willamette Park. The trail would feature interpretive signs marking historic places and events along the river.

'We're hoping the centennial will be a push to get that done,' Shepherd said of the trail.

For the second project, the Friends of Maddax Woods wants to hold a barn raising to make a replica of a boat-building barn used by Virgil Maddax. The new facility will be used for interpretative and educational activities.

Get involved

The Centennial Committee meets the second Tuesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. at city hall, located at 22500 Salamo Road.

'We welcome and encourage everyone to get involved,' Shepherd said. 'We're hoping that it can be an event to pull people together.'

For more information about the centennial and the committee, visit

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