Oregon City historic houses get new advocate, manager
Tara Seaver said she immediately fell in love with Oregon City when she first visited the McLoughlin House in 2015 as a University of Oregon student studying historic preservation.
Having just completed her master's degree this year, Seaver considers herself extremely lucky to have been hired as the administrator of the McLoughlin Memorial Association (MMA).
"I always wanted to help share the history of an important and beautiful place, so this really is a dream come true," she said.
MMA was formed in 1909 to preserve the legacy of former Oregon City Mayor and "Father of Oregon" Dr. John McLoughlin and to maintain and preserve the McLoughlin and Barclay houses in cooperation with the National Park Service.
MMA owns and manages the Holmes House, opening the oldest American home in Oregon City to the public on a regular basis.
MMA, an Oregon City-based nonprofit organization, sought a part-time administrator to replace Paul Solomon, 72, who died June 12. Solomon was a West Linn resident who since August 2016 had been responsible for the management and overall operations of the association, tasks he shouldered despite numerous medical issues.
In taking on additional duties, he elevated the position that previously had been called "association coordinator," according to MMA Board President Joan Williams.
When the nonprofit began advertising for the position this summer, Williams said Seaver was the first to apply, and has shown a strong ability to tell Oregon City's history through social media and reach out to younger community members.
"She definitely fits the bill that the MNA Board had in mind of a younger person with a new perspective," Williams said of Seaver.
Seaver received her bachelor's degree in anthropology from the University of Hawaii in 2009 and returned to Honolulu to complete a post-baccalaureate certificate in museum studies in 2012. Using her technical background, she is recruiting students at nearby universities to volunteer to help her with condition assessments and structural reports of Oregon City historic houses.
Also as the new MNA administrator, Seaver has been contacting local teachers and principals to offer tours or potentially reviving an MNA traveling-trunk program.
"These programs could get more students interested in studying history," she said.
What: Historic houses will be decorated in English holiday style with costumed interpreters and live seasonal music. Barclay House will have refreshments available.
When: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7; tours of the McLoughlin House will be available at 10:15 and 11:15 a.m. and then the house will be closed from noon-1 p.m. to prepare for additional events
Where: McLoughlin House, 713 Center St., and the Barclay House, 719 Center St., Oregon City
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