News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Making history accessible in Sisters

In celebration of Sisters’ 75th anniversary of incorporation as a city, Three Sisters Historical Society and the City collaborated to produce a map for a self-guided walking tour of historic landmarks and sites in Sisters.

Maps are available at the Sisters History Museum at 410 E. Cascade Ave., on the front porch, at City Hall a block away at 520 E. Cascade Ave., or online at

With a map from The Nugget for inspiration, Emme Shoup, the City’s assistant community engagement and program coordinator, created the tour brochure with each of the 18 sites numbered on the map, with accompanying photos and descriptions. The project took her about a month to complete. Printing and folding of 600 brochures was done by XPress Printing of Sisters.

As part of the tour project, the historical society has created plaques with photographs and text, to go on locations of historical significance throughout town. A number of years ago, plaques were installed in five locations including at Sisters Saloon and Ranch Grill (the original Sisters Hotel) and the Maida Bailey Building (first library) next to the Chamber of Commerce office. Thirteen more locations have been selected for identification, so there will be 18 in all.

History museum volunteer Fred Boyd took on the job of securing permission from owners of the 13 locations and received a positive response from each one of them. Each has a photograph of what was originally on that site that is of historical significance. Accompanying text provides background information.

Last week, a plaque was installed on the front of City Hall, which was the site of the old two-story, six-room, white wooden school building that housed students from 1912 to 1949.

Karen Swank, historical society secretary, developed the printed content and located photos for each plaque. Volunteer Hal Darcey secured the wood for the plaques, which he distressed to make them look old. He glued all the photos on vinyl backing and laminated them. He also shopped for bids from sign companies for the vinyl backing for the photos and the lettering for the text. Darcey and Boyd are installing the plaques around town.

The museum thanked the Sisters Vision Implementation Team for covering the $350 cost to create the plaques.

The first guided walking tour led by museum volunteers will take place on Wednesday, May 26, at 11 a.m. It is open to the public and free of charge, but reservations are required by calling the museum at 541-904-0585. The tour is a little over a mile in length and takes about an hour-and-a-half. Ten people can be accommodated on a guided tour.


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