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Smith Rock hosts annual archaeology series

Sept. 24, 2014

Smith Rock State Park will host its annual Oregon Archaeology Celebration (OAC) lecture series Fridays in October. The theme of the 21st annual series is "Oregon or Bust," and the program will highlight U.S expansion and settlement of the West.

Presentations will be at 7 p.m. at the Smith Rock State Park Welcome Center facility, 10087 NE Crooked River Drive. Presentations are open to the public and free of charge with a $5 Day-Use or Annual Pass required for parking. Each 1 1/2 hour presentation will include a question and answer period. Presentations are scheduled as follows:

Oct. 3: "Oregon's Fur Trade Era." Dr. David Brauner of Oregon State University will describe the early global competition over the abundant natural and physical resources in the Oregon Territory.

Oct. 10: "Finding Fremont in Oregon, 1843." Loren Irving, past Chairman of the Oregon Historic Trails Advisory Council, will detail the "Great Pathfinder" John C. Fremont's historic expeditions to map the Oregon Trail.

Oct. 17: "The Lost Meek Wagon Train." Prineville's Bowman Museum historian Steve Lent will recount the disastrous 1845 shortcut off of the main route of the Oregon Trail.

Oct. 24: "The Legend of Skull Hollow." Smith Rock Park Ranger Eric Iseman will describe key incidents and locations relating to the Snake Indian War of 1864-68.

Oct. 31: "Hardiness and Hope on the High Desert." Award-winning author Jane Kirkpatrick will discuss the hardships endured during the Homestead Era in Eastern Oregon.

The OAC program was established in 1993 when Gov. Barbara Roberts made a proclamation that set aside one month each year to celebrate and promote Oregon's archaeology, cultural heritage and history.

"This is an outstanding opportunity for members of the public to discover the compelling and colorful history and heritage of our region," said Paul Patton, Resource Specialist for OPRD's Mountain Region.

Smith Rock State Park is located off of Highway 97 three miles north of Redmond and three miles east of Terrebonne. More information and directions are available at www.oregonstateparks.org. or by calling 541-923-7551, ext. 21.