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The Scappoose Historical Society has events lined up for the rest of the year.

PMG PHOTO: ANNA DEL SAVIO - Janet Williams, president of the Scappoose Historical Society, stands in the Watts House. Fall events are stacking up at the historic Watts House in Scappoose.

This holiday season, the Scappoose Historical Society, which operates the Watts House museum, will sponsor a holiday decor competition.

The "Christmas Lights and Holiday Sights" competition will be a new annual tradition, Scappoose Historical Society president Janet Williams said.

Scappoose residents, historical society board members and city leaders will all vote to select winners. The top four displays will earn cash prizes, starting at $750 for the grand prize. Participants, who must live within the 97056 zip code, will be able to sign up to have their address included on a map for judges and holiday-decor fans to visit.

Williams said she hopes the event will draw visitors to the city and provide some winter entertainment for locals.

"We don't have an identifiable Christmas tradition," Williams said.

Other events are coming even sooner.

On Saturday, Sept. 24, the Watts House will honor E.P. Mike Dering, who founded the Peterson and Dering Nursery in 1926. Dering's 150-acre commercial rose nursery was one of the biggest employers in Scappoose, according to a press release announcing the event. Dering developed new rose varieties, lectured, and led various rose and nursery associations for decades.

The Watts House will host a free luncheon honoring Dering from noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday.

Six of Dering's rose bushes will be moving to the Watts House from their current location in St. Helens, Williams said.

The event will also showcase the Watts House's planned memory garden, which will allow families with long histories in the area to select a flower to plant and donate to have a plaque added.

The garden currently has one plant honoring Vivian Urie, a longtime Scappoose resident, which "sparked the idea" of a memory garden, Williams said.

From 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 28, the Watts House will host a gin and whiskey tasting with Freeland Spirits, catered by Wild Current. Tickets for that event will go on sale Oct. 1. Williams said the house has hosted wine tastings before and those events have been popular.

The annual Christmas Lighting at the Watts House, which is sponsored by the Scappoose Community Club, will bring Santa to the Watts House to hear kids' holiday wishes on Monday, Nov. 28.PMG PHOTO: ANNA DEL SAVIO - The historic Watts House in Scappoose is home to historical artifacts from Scappoose's 101-year history and before.

The interior of the Watts House is always decorated for the holidays. This year, each room will be decorated in the theme of a classic Christmas carol, Williams said.

From 5 to 9 p.m. on Dec. 10, the Watts House will be filled with holiday vendors for a night market. The Scappoose Historical Society started that event last year and plans to make it an annual occurrence.

"I'm an event coordinator at heart, and I just love our city and citizens so much," Williams said.

In between planning events, Williams and other Scappoose Historical Society board members and volunteers are busy revamping the historic home's interior and chipping away at a major overhaul of the museum, which is in the basement.

Heather Arnis, Renee Pizzo, Josette Hugo and Williams make up the board.

"It's a big project, but I think the end result will be well worth the effort," Williams said.

The Chinook Native American display has been updated and expanded, as have other displays for logging, farming and school.

"As always, we're looking for any items with local history," Williams said.

The Scappoose Historical Society plans to start offering regularly scheduled tours of the Watts House and hopes to welcome class field trips again this spring.


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