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Group hopes signs will demonstrate to the community the historical significance of Newberg

The Newberg Historical Society – in collaboration with various local entities – has erected a series of signs throughout downtown Newberg to educate citizens and visitors on the city's history. The signs are located at Chapters Bookstore, City Hall, Cameo Theater, Chehalem Cultural Center, Newberg Public Library, on First Street and near the site of where the Red Electric train use to run.PHOTO COURTESY OF NEWBERG AREA HISTORICAL SOCIETY
 - An effort by the Newberg Area Historical Society has resulted in interpretive signs being erected in the downtown core.

"The Newberg Area Historical Society has embarked on a mission to present the unique history of our town through signage," the historical society announced in a press release. "Newberg has a rich history and is blessed with a downtown that largely reflects this heritage. The historical society -- which is devoted to the preservation, promotion and presentation of history -- believes that signage interpreting the history of buildings and places in the downtown will promote tourism and walking traffic and increase local knowledge of our history."

This project has been in the works for roughly two years, according to Historical Society president Rachel Thomas. The late Al Blodgett and other former historical society members had expressed interest in erecting signage, but this generation of members carried the plan forward and gained the support of the community.

The signs were funded by grants, supported in part by local Rotarian organizations and built by multiple local entities.

"The bases were made by a Newberg High School welding class (and) the plaques were designed by Brandon Waybright, an art and design professor at George Fox," the release said. "Research was conducted by Barbara Doyle and Chuck Zickefoose. Britta Stewart and Rachel Thomas did editing and arrangements with manufacturers. The engraving was done by Cascade Laser."

Thomas said making sure local organizations were involved with crafting the sign was of the utmost importance. The historical society wants these to be landmarks for Newberg residents that also serve as informative sites for tourists.

"We think the signs are going to be very beneficial for the community," Thomas said. "They will add some understanding of our history and the cultural context of downtown. We are hoping they'll add to tourism in the downtown area and connect us to something larger than ourselves."

Members of the historical society visited Silverton last year to get an idea of what Newberg's signage program might look like. Thomas said Newberg "basically copied" the program in Silverton because it was so interesting and effective, and she's excited about how the Newberg signs turned out.

The tentative plan is to add more signage to the seven in place now. Thomas said that should happen some time in early 2020, but for now citizens and visitors have something new to gander at in some of Newberg's most historic places.

It's another opportunity to learn about a city and region with plenty of history.

"The historical society is committed to promoting, preserving and presenting the history of Newberg and the surrounding areas," Thomas said. "We're really interested in learning more and talking to anyone in the community who would like to give us feedback or has information that would be good to use for the signs."

To contact the historical society, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Arts & Leisure briefs

Do you have a penchant for jazz music?

A jazz trio is looking for musicians and singers to join them in Newberg. Called the Newberg Jazz Jam, they characterize themselves as a "first-class rhythm section" that swings into musical action on the third Friday of every month from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.

The group features Ron Steen on drums, Phil Goldberg on keyboard and Liam Hathaway on bass.

Vocalists interested in joining the group should bring three copies of each music chart, Steen said, when they come to the jam sessions.

For more information, call 971-333-8466.

Take a hike on New Year's Day at Champoeg State Heritage Area

Champoeg State Heritage Area wants you to take to its trails on the first day of 2020.

For the ninth consecutive year, the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) is partnering with America's State Parks to offer free guided First Day Hikes at locations across the state on New Year's Day. Two are scheduled for Champoeg at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., with attendees assembling at the visitor center.

Both hikes are moderate two-mile affairs on the park's Townsite Trail.

"Hike through the old town site and out to the Territorial Government Monument," the release said. "We'll look for bald eagles, hawks, blue birds and a variety of other wildlife."

The hike is recommended for children at least 5 years old and dogs must be kept on a six-foot leash. OPRD officials recommend that participants dress in layers, wear sturdy shoes or boots and bring water as well as a camera and some binoculars to view the wildlife.

To register, visit http://bit.ly/ParkStoreEvents.

Although registration is not required, a press release said, it will help park staff plan for the hike and give them contact information should the hike be cancelled due to inclement weather.

The typical $5 parking fee will be waived on Jan. 1. For more information, call 503-678-1251, ext. 222.


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