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Shown are the covers of the first two editions of the Wallowa Quarterly, a new magazine put out by the Wallowa History Center. The center’s newsletter was essentially converted into the new publication.

WALLOWA — For years, the Wallowa History Center produced a newsletter that shared information about the past of the town.

It now has a completely new look — and a new name.

The Wallowa Quarterly made its debut earlier this year. The glossy-paper magazine is an expansion upon the efforts made by history center Director Mary Ann Burrows, and still includes many of her latest finds for the center.

“Mary Ann turned out the first newsletter. Membership was only $5 a year, but members weren’t really getting anything, they were just giving,” said Mark Highberger, the magazine’s editor and publisher. “We wanted to be able to spread the word that we were providing this service.”

The first newsletter Burrows produced came out in 2003, two years after the center was formed, and contained old photos and other information collected by Burrows for the center.

“It was a four-page photocopy one that was mailed out to members,” Highberger said. “The newsletter just started to evolve, but was always between four to eight pages, off a photocopier.”

In all, 39 editions of the newsletter were produced over the last 18 years. But with the 20th anniversary of the center approaching, there was a feeling that it was time for more.

After some studying to find the right printing company, the newsletter was transformed.

“The first one came out in March, and we just received from the printer yesterday the second copy,” Highberger said during a Thursday, May 27, interview.

It’s at least double the size of the newsletter. The first edition of the Quarterly — the 40th overall — was 16 pages, and edition No. 41 was expanded to 20 pages. Inside, it consists of photographs, maps, stories and more.

“It depends on one, what catches my interest, but two, what Mary Ann gives me,” Highberger said of deciding on the content. “Not very much time goes by, and she’ll come up with a gem.”

“That will lead to a story, depending on how much material I can get on it. The history center has a digital online archive of all the historical newspapers. It goes back to the 1870s.”

The latest edition has a piece about a now-defunct town that once stood north of Lostine.

“The current one has a lead story about a town called Evans,” Highberger said.

Burrows said she was more than pleased with the effort Highberger put into the Quarterly.

“I think it’s wonderful. I’m very pleased with the Quarterly,” she said. “And we have had great response for it, too. Mark is such a good writer. We worked together earlier, he printed some little books. … I really like it. I think it’s wonderful.”

The cost of a membership has doubled — $10 now as opposed to $5, but that includes getting the Quarterly delivered four times a year. The magazine itself sells for $10.

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