Scheduling this year’s national conference at various North Clackamas locations, the Oregon-California Trail Association set the theme for its gathering of hundreds of history buffs as the “End of the Trail and Beyond.”

During the week of July 21, 70 historical societies, museums, genealogical societies and similar heritage organizations will be represented. The convention kicks off with a keynote address by Kerry Tymchuk at the Monarch Hotel, 12566 S.E. 93rd Ave., Clackamas.

“I will be sharing a summary of the mission and work of the Oregon Historical Society, and will also be sharing some of our most iconic artifacts,” the society's director said.

Tuesday and Thursday will include more than eight hours of speakers, workshops and meetings on Native Americans, settlement, land claims and the beginnings of government, including a panel of pioneer descendants. Tuesday also will include workshops on historical pioneer clothing, doing historical research and creating smart-phone apps for historical tours.

There will be a special evening event every night of the convention. Monday is the coming-together social at the Monarch. Tuesday will feature the organization’s annual Banquet and Auction with entertainment by Phil and Gayle Neuman and Mick Doherty of the Trail Band. Wednesday will be “Authors Night in the Bookroom,” presented this year by Sallie Riehl.

Thursday will be “Living History Night” in Oregon City at the Abernethy Center with historical re-enactments by Susan Butrille as Abigail Scott Duniway, Ray Egan as Father Luigi Rossi, and Karen Haas as Narcissa Whitman, interspersed with musical interludes by the Heartstrings duo of Nancy and Rob Downie. Friday will include a farewell salmon bake at the End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center, 1726 Washington St., Oregon City, followed by an evening of special entertainment courtesy of the city.

Music includes a 6:45 p.m. performance by Rae Gordon of Oregon City, Cascade Blues Association’s “Best Female Vocalist in 2011.” At 7:30 p.m., Carrie Cunningham & the Six Shooters take the stage followed by Elvis impersonator Justin Shandor at 8:30 p.m. Oregon craft beer, wine, food and snacks will be available for purchase at the free event.

Anyone wanting to register for convention events can visit

Other free events

Heritage Fair - Monday July 22, from 1 to 5 p.m. in the Monarch Hotel Main Hall, 12566 S.E. 93rd Ave., Clackamas. Led by Mary Bywater Cross and Lethene Parks, this event brings as many as 40 heritage organizations into the same room at the same time for people interested in getting information about such organizations.

Authors Night - Wednesday July 24, from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Monarch Hotel Pacific Ballroom. Led by Sallie Riehl, this event brings 36 western authors together for book signings and discussions of their works. An open bar is included.

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