SummerFest panel to honor longtime resident for historical preservation efforts

Longtime Troutdale resident, Outlook columnist and local historian Sharon Nesbit, was selected as Troutdale's 2018 Citizen of the Year — for a second time.

Nesbit was first given the honor in 2000, and said she had the impression that it would disqualify her from receiving the award twice.

'"I thought there should of been some sort of immunity," Nesbit said. "I feel a little guilty about it."

Nesbit will be honored during Troutdale's SummerFest celebration where she will once again ride in the parade as Citizen of the Year. The 46th annual celebration will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, July 21.

"I would have to say getting it twice is very nice, and one of my friends said 'thrice would not be enough,' but there are a lot of people in our community who need to be honored," Nesbit said. "I need to check my pulse so I'm not dying. You have to worry about that when people honor you too much."

The Citizen of the Year award is one of several honors Nesbit received this year. In April, she was awarded the Oregon Heritage Excellence Award from the State of Oregon Heritage Commission for her chronicling of history and events of East Multnomah County for more than fifty years. And the City of Gresham declared May 1 Sharon Nesbit Day.

This year's SummerFest coincides with the 50th anniversary of Troutdale's Historical Society, of which Nesbit is a charter member.

As a longtime Outlook columnist, Nesbit's musings are about life in Troutdale, Gresham and Fairview.

Troutdale Historical Society Vice President Margaret Rice wrote the nomination that was submitted to the SummerFest Committee that selects the Citizen of the Year.

Rice touted Nesbit's many accomplishments in Troutdale including leading a four-year effort to stop the demolition of the Multnomah County Poor Farm, which is now McMenamins Edgefield, a popular hotel and concert venue that draws thousands of tourists each year to Troutdale.

Nesbit also has hosted walking tours of Troutdale and Edgefield for a variety of groups, including college students, scout troops and service clubs.

"Sharon has a tireless pride and enthusiasm for living, shopping, dining, speaking, writing and bragging about Troutdale," Rice said in the nomination letter. "Her highly-regarded reputation as East County historian and tour guide brings many visitors to the local museums and requests for her history presentations around the state."

Nesbit has a knack for making history fun, and is a champion for public art.

"Troutdale should be very proud to honor this remarkable and talented woman who is such an exuberant cheerleader for Troutdale, its colorful past, vibrant present, and exciting future," Rice wrote in her nomination letter.

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