Pacific Power grant aids Maxville Heritage planning


WALLOWA – The Maxville Heritage Interpretive Center’s grant award of $1,500, presented by Pacific Power regional manager Bill Clemens in December, is part of an overall long term strategic planning effort that brought the MHIC national, regional and local executive board face-to-face for a board retreat in 2012. 

Preparations began in early 2012 with strategic planning facilitator Kay Sohl. 

According to Maxville Heritage Interpretive Center (MHIC) executive director Gwen Trice, considerations for the strategic planning board meeting included the Wallowa Compound facilities, education, exhibits, development and research.

“The pre-planning, retreat and subsequent documentation meetings provide MHIC a deliberate plan of action in the next three years,” Trice said.   

An earlier grant award of $5,000 was provided by The Ford Family Foundation for use in 2012. Matching funds were provided through MHIC’s musical play preview “On To Higher Ground,” a fundraiser event in October, sponsored by the World Forestry Center in Portland. 

Pearl Alice Marsh traveled from Washington D.C. to attend the Portland fundraiser and made a generous donation of $5,000, challenging a matching donation to attendees for the performance.  Dr. Marsh, MHIC president, is the founder of the Amos Marsh Jr. Scholarship program open to Wallowa’s high school seniors.

“On To Higher Ground” was directed by Greg Tamblyn and written by Marv Ross known for his award-winning work on “The Ghost of Celilo,” The Trail Band and Quarterflash. 

“On To Higher Ground” is designed to become a “traveling exhibit,” Trice said

The preview in Portland consisted of four songs, three of which were original and written by Marv Ross. MHIC hired three professional actors, as well as music director/pianist Janice Scroggins, and Marv and Rindy Ross as background vocalists and to provide narration and introduction to the short stage performance and songs.

Volunteers included 9 - 15 member of the Oregon State Granges from several towns and cities. “Their support was invaluable for our success, with a welcome face and helpful hand,” Trice said.

State Grange president, Susan Noah spoke about grange service in rural communities, historically and today, at the preview.

The Portland fundraiser raised over $12,000 for MHIC, Trice said.

“Our event in Portland fostered support with a wide range of student, civic, historic, forestry and theater audiences,” Trice said. “Not to mention the return visitors to Wallowa County from the west side.”

She said “On To Higher Ground” will be performed in several rural counties, including Wallowa County, with the first full performance goal in Portland in 2014 to raise awareness of this Oregon story and garner support from community and education sectors.

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