Calendar honors historic Oregon City women
In honor of the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which gave all American women the right to vote, Oregon City graphic designer Ingrid Aubry has decided to use photos of women significant to Oregon City history in her annual calendar.
For the past 10 years Aubry has produced an annual calendar featuring her contemporary photos of local scenes and historic attractions. Since the ratification of the 19th Amendment occurred in August 1920, her 2020 calendar called for something different.
Key to saving the McLoughlin House and securing funding for a Carnegie Library, Oregon City women of the 19th century were especially active in politics. Women only had the right to vote in school elections, but they formed several organizations that served to improve the city.
Aubry, who has been researching the topic for the past year, said that deciding which women to feature in the calendar was difficult. However, she knew from the beginning that she would include a photo of Gardiner Middle School namesake and former Oregon City School Board member Thora B. Gardiner (1884-1953).
Gardiner lived in the same Oregon City house that Aubry now owns on JQ Adams Street. A resident of OC for 17 years, Aubry was curious about the house's famous owner, so she visited the Museum of the Oregon Territory, where Clackamas County Historical Society volunteers helped research Gardiner.
"I found out she was a force in improving the city's educational opportunities, as well as supporting numerous other causes," Aubry said. "But it was finding the one surviving photo of Thora in MOOT's archives that made her real to me. In it, she's standing in front of my/her house."
Oregon City's school board often has had at least one woman representative since its inception in the 19th century. The Oregon Supreme Court in the 1890s heard a case brought by someone unsuccessfully trying to challenge women's right to vote in school elections.
Aubry credited Oregon City historian Karin Morey with initial notes and inspiration for Aubry's delving into research for the calendar. Sarah Athey and Jennie Harding, two of the founding members of the Clackamas County Equal Rights Club in 1874, each get a page in the calendar.
Aubry also wanted to include a page honoring Kate Webb Newton, who ran for Oregon City mayor in 1912, immediately after women were granted the right to vote in Oregon.
"Alas, no photos of her remain, so I had to give up her place in favor of other rare and eye-catching images, such as a lineup of matronly Victorian-clothed women furiously wielding their hammers during an Oregon City nailing contest," Aubry said.
Historic Women of Oregon City
What: 2020 calendar honoring 100 years of women having the right to vote in the U.S.
Buy: Friends of the Oregon City Library used bookstore, the Museum of the Oregon Territory, the End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center, and the Stevens-Crawford Heritage House and the McLoughlin House. Ingrid Aubry will also be selling the calendars, along with other Oregon City memorabilia, at the Three Rivers Artist Guild Holiday Show from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 7 and from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 8 at the Pioneer Center
Online: ochistoricwomen.com for $17 ($15, plus $2 shipping)
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