Digging Jacksonville – June 2016

This year marks many important milestones for history lovers. The National Park Service turns 100 (so be sure you carve out some time this summer to celebrate with a visit to the Oregon Caves and Crater Lake), and the National Historic Preservation Act turns 50! While the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) might not be as well-known as the National Park Service, it is equally as important in the preservation of America’s resources. The act consists of legislation created to preserve historical resources threatened by development, decay, or demolition, and is responsible for the National Register of Historic Places and the State Historic Preservation Offices. Jacksonville, one of the nation’s first National Historic Landmarks, is a perfect place to raise a toast to this wonderful act, and the hundreds of buildings, landmark districts, and archaeological sites it has helped to preserve. Cheers!

The Making Archaeology Public Project (MAPP) is one of several national efforts to commemorate the 2016 anniversary. Each state was tasked with choosing an archaeological site or sites that were excavated under the regulatory protections within the act and which highlight significant information that we learned thanks to this process. The Jacksonville Chinese Quarter Site project was chosen to represent the State of Oregon! We were thrilled to have the opportunity to showcase the Chinese Quarter project, and felt Jacksonville was the perfect backdrop to illustrate the importance of NHPA.

The project was a volunteer effort, and made possible through the support of Southern Oregon University and the Digital Media Center, and our project partner, the Oregon Department of Transportation Photo and Video Services. When you watch the short video (16 minutes), be sure to keep an eye out for our community volunteers Gayle Lewis, Carol Knapp, and Jeanena Whitewilson, Jeresa Hren of the Southern Oregon Chinese Cultural Association, and the Jacksonville fire department gets a cameo appearance, too! We hope you enjoy the video, share it with your friends and family, and take a minute to appreciate the National Historic Preservation Act and its importance in the conservation of our historic community.

The direct link to the video: Rising From the Ashes: The Archaeology of the Jacksonville Chinese Quarter is https://vimeo.com/160673762.

A link to the Preservation 50 website, where you can find out more about the Making Archaeology Public Project, and some of the other events across the nation commemorating the National Historic Preservation Act is http://preservation50.org/mapp/.

The 2010 excavations at the Britt Gardens were funded by the City of Jacksonville and the Oregon Department of Transportation.