New Finding Aid | Oregon Trail Commemoration Photographs

Special Collections and University Archives is pleased to announce an updated finding aid published for the Oregon Trail Commemoration Photographs (PH200_050). The finding aid is available on Archives West.

This collection documents the commemoration of the Oregon Trail Monument in Emigrant Springs Oregon in July of 1923. The celebration included a parade, festival and a speech given by President Warren G. Harding. This collection is significant as it contains photographs of President Harding during his final speaking tour, taken only a month before his untimely death on August 2, 1923.

President Warren Harding at commemoration eveent
[Oregon Trail Commemoration Photographs, PH200_050_3431, Box 1, Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, Eugene, Oregon.]

The collection consists of black and white photographs of the celebrations surrounding the commemoration of the monument. The photographs feature the parade, floats, festival activities and dance hall. There are numerous images of President Harding addressing the crowd. The monument can be seen in these images. The collection also includes a number of portraits of people involved in the celebrations. There are many images featuring Native Americans in traditional dress.

Crowd attending festival
[Oregon Trail Commemoration Photographs, PH200_050_3423, Box 1, Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, Eugene, Oregon.]
Notes from processing:

It is easy to see the similarities in the ways in which people celebrate today, and 100 years ago. In these images one can see people dressed up for the parade, people dressed up to look like pioneers, Native Americans proudly wearing their traditional clothing and accessories, as well as many people in everyday clothes simply out to enjoy the celebration. The parade includes floats decorated in many different ways, people riding horses, and people walking. The images may have been taken in 1923, but the celebrations are not so different from those we have today.

–Emily Haskins, Special Collections Intern

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