Maxville Heritage executive director nominated for Oregon Women of Achievement honor

Gwen Trice at the historic Maxville site in 2011.

Gwen Trice of Enterprise, founder and executive director of Maxville Heritage Interpretive Center (MHIC), has been nominated to be among Oregon Women of Achievement.

If named, Trice would join 86 women selected for the honor since 1985 by the Oregon Commission for Women. Nominations closed Oct. 15 and winners are expected to be announced early next year.

Trice has devoted her life since 2007 to the history of the extinct multicultural logging town of Maxville, 20 miles north of Wallowa.

She was nominated by James Manning, chairman of the Oregon Commission on Black Affairs. Among her supporters is Mary Oberst (Kulongoski), Oregon’s First Lady from 2003-2011.

“I’ve met many of the esteemed recipients of the award, who are political or business leaders from the Willamette Valley,” Oberst wrote in an endorsement letter.

“I believe it’s time to recognize the amazing achievements of a woman from Oregon’s northeast corner — Wallowa County — who is redefining the history that we all think we know.”

Oregon Historical Society Executive Director Kerry Tymchuk also endorsed Trice.

“I don’t often get to say ‘this person changed Oregon history,’ but I can say that about Gwen,” Tymchuck wrote.

“Specifically, her work has changed the way we view Oregon history, particularly Oregon’s logging history. Through MHIC, Gwen has illuminated the hard work of multiple minority ethnic communities in Oregon’s forests – African- Americans, Japanese, Greeks, Filipinos. ... Gwen researches and documents their stories.”

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