Preservation Society to host lecture series
The Lake Oswego Preservation Society plans to host a new lecture series starting this month entitled "Speaking of History."
The lectures will be held in February, March and April on the third Monday of each month at the society's History Center and Museum, which is located inside the historic Iron Workers Cottage at 40 Wilbur Street. All three events are scheduled for 7 p.m.
LOPS president Marylou Colver says the lecture series has been one of the society's longtime goals, but the group was unable to secure a venue until a recent restoration project converted the Iron Worker's Cottage into museum space.
"The idea of this goes back years," she says. "We wanted to originally do something like the history pub series that is done at McMenamins, but it was prohibitive to rent the Lake Theater to put on a free lecture. So now that we have a venue, even though it's small, we've decided to launch the lecture series."
The first lecture on Feb. 19 will feature Dr. Tracy Prince, scholar-in-residence at Portland State University, who will discuss her recent book "Notable Women of Portland," with an emphasis on the contributions of Oswego women. Copies of the book will also be available for purchase.
"I thought that would be a good way to kick off the series," Colver says, "especially because there are some notable Oswego women who aren't really given enough attention but contributed a lot to our history."
The talk on March 19 will be given by Colver herself and focus on Paul C. Murphy, who was at the center of Lake Oswego's transformation from an iron mining and manufacturing town into the modern high-end residential community that it has become today.
"Come and find out what became of the Prosser's swale, the mine road, the quarry and much more you may not have known about Lake Oswego," Colver says. "This is why I find our history fascinating; we've undergone two major transformations in the development of the town, and I think that's unique."
The third lecture, held on April 16, will feature Dr. Susanna Kuo, a local historian who has spent years researching the iron industry in Oswego. Kuo compiled a series of historic newspaper stories about the industry into a collection called "Oregon Iron Chronicles."
She also curated the current exhibit at the History Center and Museum, entitled '1867-2017 Oregon's Iron Jubilee: Celebrating the First Iron Furnace on the Pacific Coast.'
"Susanna Kuo is the resident expert on the iron industry," Colver says. "She's studied it for over a decade."
Admission to each event will be free, although seating is on a first-come, first-served basis and the small size of the cottage means that the number of seats will be limited.
Colver says LOPS intends for the three lectures to become the first round of an annual event series, featuring new lectures each year that focus on different aspects of Lake Oswego's history.
"Our mission includes both advocacy and education," Colver says, "so this lecture series falls under our mission of education."
The Iron Worker's Cottage is the last surviving house from Lake Oswego's iron mining era, when workers and their families lived in small cottages in what is now the Old Town and First Addition neighborhoods. Following the recent renovation project, it now serves as the headquarters for the Lake Oswego Preservation Society as well as the History Center and Museum.