News for those who live, work and play in the Santiam Canyon

Event set to look at Detroit history

About the Project

The Atlas of Drowned Towns is an effort to recover and interpret the histories of places lost to large dams. The project explores these histories through a digital platform and community outreach events and hopes to foster a network of individuals dedicated to the history of displacement. The project’s first phase examines communities affected by the Willamette Valley Project, with an initial focus on Detroit, which was displaced by Detroit Dam in 1953.

A university professor and the local historical society are teaming up on an event aimed at learning more about the pre-dam history of Detroit.

The “Old Detroit History Jamboree” is set for Saturday, Oct. 21 and Sunday, Oct. 22, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day at the Detroit Community Center, 345 Santiam Ave.

The North Santiam Historical Society has joined forces with Bob Reinhardt, associate professor of history at Boise State University. Reinhardt is working on Detroit history as part of a project on “drowned towns,” cities who faced disruptive change because of dams.

The event will include presentations on local history, oral history interview stations, a place to scan and photograph artifacts that people bring in, workshops on conducting oral history interviews and preserving family heirlooms, and a free lunch.

“I’m really excited about this event,” Reinhardt told The Canyon Weekly. 

“I think it’ll be a great opportunity to share memories and artifacts and history about old Detroit, learn about that history and draw on that history to strengthen community identity.”

Reinhardt strongly encourages Detroit residents to bring photographs, documents and other artifacts that the project can digitize and preserve. 

The schedule will be virtually the same on both days, Reinhardt said,  noting that residents don’t have to be concerned that they must attend both sessions. Either will do.

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