NW Life | Local | Oregon Historical Photo Of The Week

Oregon Historical Photo: Paisley Post Office

OPB | June 16, 2014 midnight | Updated: June 23, 2014 4:33 p.m.

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Postmaster Dan O’Connor standing next to mailboxes in the old Paisley, Ore., post office, probably in the late 1930s. Residents recall that the glass case shelves were stocked with candy, comics and magazines. Adults and kids picking up mail would sit in the room’s two comfy chairs, enjoying purchased sweets and borrowed reading material.

Postmaster Dan O’Connor standing next to mailboxes in the old Paisley, Ore., post office, probably in the late 1930s. Residents recall that the glass case shelves were stocked with candy, comics and magazines. Adults and kids picking up mail would sit in the room’s two comfy chairs, enjoying purchased sweets and borrowed reading material.

The Oregon Historical Society. 012960

Every week, Oregon Experience shares a photo highlighting the state’s diverse, exciting history. All photos are courtesy of The Oregon Historical Society.

During the 1930s, University of Oregon archaeologist Dr. Luther Cressman led grueling expeditions around the Oregon Outback searching for signs of the earliest humans in the Americas. Using a sociological technique of the day, he wrote letters to U.S. postmasters inquiring about indigenous rock art. Postmasters were very knowledgeable about their rural communities, and their suggestions often steered Cressman to likely rock-art sites.

Over a period of three years, Cressman and a fellow researcher documented petroglyphs and pictographs in 60 sites across the state. Cressman thought his work had uncovered most of Oregon’s rock art. 

However, Cressman’s successors working in the field today estimate there are 1,000 rock-art sites in Lake County alone. More than 70 years ago, the postmaster of Paisley pointed the “Father of Oregon Archaeology” in the right direction.

To learn more about the University of Oregon archaeologist’s groundbreaking discoveries, watch the Oregon Experience documentary “Luther Cressman, Quest For First People.”

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