Summer 2012

selected articles from the

Summer 2012 Newsletter

Thank You Volunteers

Stauffer-Will Farm and Aurora Village Programs

by Elizabeth Corley
On a cool June day volunteers gathered to celebrate another successful year at the Stauffer-Will Farm and Aurora Village. This Spring, 3222 students, teachers, and adults spent the day learning about the Aurora Colony and what life on a farm or in the village was like in the 1870’s. The program brought in approximately $20,000 for the historical society and continues to be a favorite field trip for 4th grade classrooms.
This success is dependent on dedicated volunteers and staff. We thank everyone who helped make this program the best in Oregon; Volunteers: Jan Becker, Barbara Bell, Samantha Bonser, Carol Burger, Cheryl Burks, Allen Daly, Faye Frei, Steve Freid, Jon Harris, Kim Higgins, Roberta Hutton, Elaine Ihle, Ann Keddie, Tanya Leder, Cheryl Nelson, Eileen Nuffer, Roger Nuffer, Alex Packham, Audrey Pister, Jane Richardson, Lois Roby, Heidi Torian, Nancy Trivitt, Bill Wettstein, Kim Young, Roger Young, Diane Zollner, Bob Corley, Mella Dee Fraser, Leo Hartfeil, Annette James, Ginger Swift, Phyllis Adams, Sue Clark, Bob Hurst, Loraine Nevill, Janet Newton, Larry Townsend, and Florence Zwicker, and Staff: Coral Hammond, Jessie Turner, and Janus Childs.

Paper Preservation Tips

by Allison Dittmar
Hello there! It’s me, your assistant curator with more preservation tips, specifically regarding paper. Photographs and documents are treated the same when it comes down to storage and preservation. The first step is to determine where to store these old documents/photos. Certain factors need to be taken into consideration for finding the perfect “safe place.” These factors are: humidity, temperature, light, pests, cleanliness, stability, and storage materials.
Areas where temperatures and humidity levels stay the same throughout the year are ideal locations. Attics and cellars are not suitable because the varying temperatures between the seasons affect the documents. The perfect location is in a dry and cool area away from vents, fireplaces, water pipes, etc. Paper deteriorates faster at hotter temperatures, making the records extremely brittle and fragile. The location should also be out of direct light. This is because prolonged exposure of light will eventually fade the ink and colors, damaging the quality of the picture or document.
Storage materials need to be chosen appropriately for documents and photographs. Acid-free boxes are best, but whatever is chosen needs to be strong enough to support what is inside the box. Wood and paper do not mix; therefore, do not place documents or photos in wooden crates or boxes. Cedar chests, for example, should never be used to store paper or photographs. If possible, each photograph and document should be separated into individual acid-free paper folders or acid-free plastic (polypropylene) envelopes. I personally like the acid-free plastic envelopes because they are clear and you can see whatever is inside without taking the item out of the protective covering. Labels should be written in pencil and not pen. Pen will only make a permanent marking, and can cause weak spots on the paper material. Try to avoid overfilling storage containers with items as well. Having air between the folders is recommended to make sure there is not any rubbing, crumbling, or bending of papers. The container should also be placed off the floor to prevent bugs and other pests from getting to the documents and photographs. Items should also be stored flat and unfolded, not rolled. Refrain from the use of staples, paperclips, or adhesives because these devices actually damage documents more than helping them.
Obviously, proper museum standards are not necessarily the most realistic for the home environment when it comes to space or finances. Whatever you choose to do, keep these factors and tips in mind and tweak them to work best for what you have available. Joyce Hill Stoner in Caring for Your Collections says, “Depending on the care taken by their guardians, things of beauty as well as cultural or historical value may last for one or two more generations at most – or may be joys nearly forever.”

Remembering Our Friends

by Patrick Harris
Zane Yoder
Zane Yoder is described in his 1938 high school yearbook as “quiet but not asleep.”
Zane was married to Aurora Colony descendant Vera Yoder and was the father of Alan Yoder and Joyce Holmes. He was ninety two years old.
For many years Zane was a mainstay volunteer in the Stauffer-Will Living History program. He was our woodworker and he patiently explained sawing and splitting to thousands of school children. He also helped out at all of our special events, took care of our maintenance concerns, and was always good for a wise word or two. And we mean “word or two”. Zane said what needed to be said in his own minimalist style that everyone who knew him came to expect and appreciate.
Zane died while grubbing a field on May 29, 2012
Lucille Kraus
Lucille Kraus, who was married to Aurora Colony descendant John Kraus Jr. until his death in 1992, is remembered as someone who loved research. She especially helped her husband understand some of the complexities of his family’s relationship to the colony. She was always generous with her time and in sharing the family records with the museum and she made significant donations that enhanced our understanding of colony business practices. While not a descendant herself, Lucille spent a portion of her childhood and youth in Aurora and really understood the mind set in the village.
Lucille died this Spring at the age of 86.