History Jamboree

Join us in Detroit, Oregon,
for our first History Jamboree!

OCTOBER 21 & 22, 2023
Saturday & Sunday
9AM – 4PM

Detroit Community Center 345 Santiam Ave,
Detroit, OR 97342

The History Jamboree is a two-day digital collection and community outreach event. Learn more about the Atlas of Drowned Towns, share your stories, bring your historical artifacts to be digitized, chat with community members, and more!

There will be opportunities to volunteer. See below for more information!

This event is free and open to community members of all ages.

Greetings from Detroit!
Postcards from Over the Years
  • Postcard to a Mr. Law of Portland, Oregon. Dated August 1, 1919. Courtesy of North Santiam Historical Society.
  • In the Fall of 1951, the main building of the Cedars Tavern was relocated about four miles from its original location in Old Detroit to the one seen in the postcard. Earl and Audrey Layman operated the Cedars before passing on operations to their son, Bob Layman, in 1973. The Cedars sadly burned down in the wildfires of 2020. Courtesy of the North Santiam Historical Society.
  • Postcard of Detroit, Oregon around 1917. Courtesy of North Santiam Historical Society.
  • Postcard of Detroit Lake with Mt. Jefferson, taken after the dam construction and induction in 1953. Courtesy of North Santiam Historical Society.
  • Postcard of Detroit Reservoir. Courtesy of the North Santiam Historical Society.
  • Postcard to Mrs. Ruth Roe of Pond Creek, Oklahoma. Image of downtown Old Detroit, sent in 1951. Courtesy of the North Santiam Historical Society.
  • Postcard to a Miss Johnson of a railroad track near Detroit, Oregon, early 1900s. Courtesy of the North Santiam Historical Society.
  • Greetings from Detroit Reservoir. Courtesy of the Willamette Heritage Center.

What happens at a History Jamboree?

Oral Histories

We want to listen and learn from you! Maybe you remember what life was like in the North Santiam Canyon before Detroit Dam was constructed. Or maybe you have stories that have been passed down over the years in your family that you want to share and have recorded for future generations to enjoy. We’ll be ready to record your oral histories!


Learn more about The Atlas of Drowned Towns–its origin, mission, and next steps. Project Director, Dr. Bob Reinhardt, will share about the project that is the result of 15+ years of research on Detroit, OR, and the Willamette Valley Project.


Do you have photographs, letters, or items related to the North Santiam Canyon before or during the construction of Detroit Dam? Bring your photographs and artifacts to be digitized. Any digital copies created will then be displayed on our digital platform.

*We will only make digital copies. We will not keep any of your photographs or artifacts.


Participate in workshops on artifact preservation and oral histories led by the Atlas team and our partners. Learn about how to best care from your own historic objects and how to record your own oral histories at home.

Why is The Atlas of Drowned Towns hosting a History Jamboree?

At The Atlas of Drowned Towns, we believe in fostering a network of co-creators and co-learners dedicated to crafting histories of displacement. Community events, such as History Jamborees, uphold our objectives to be community-focused and collaborative. The project emphasizes the perspectives and experiences of displaced people and their descendants. We are telling stories of people and for people, and the best way to accomplish this is by making sure stories are told in collaboration. The Atlas of Drowned Towns seeks to work with local communities, historical societies, Tribal governments, federal agencies, private companies, and other interested scholars and students. We recognize and honor the diverse experiences of displacement, and we want to listen and learn from you. Help us accomplish these objectives by joining us in Detroit, Oregon, for our History Jamboree!

Are you interested in volunteering at the History Jamboree?

The Atlas of Drowned Towns team is looking for a handful of community members who are interested in helping make this the best possible event it can be! Whether you have personal ties to Detroit, are passionate about public history, are eager to learn more about the Willamette Valley Project, or strongly believe in telling the complete story of the past—whatever it may be, we would love to have you join our team for this event. See below for more information!

Volunteer Positions

We will be offering a variety of activities at the History Jamboree as well digitally collecting materials related to Detroit, Oregon. We need volunteers for a myriad of positions!

Welcome Station: Volunteers will greet participants upon their arrival, introduce them to the event and project, and explain the digital collection process.

Oral History Station: Volunteers will conduct oral history interviews with interested participants.

Scanning Intake Station: Volunteers will assist in organizing and managing artifacts brought for digitization.

Flatbed Scanning Station: Volunteers will use flatbed scanners and cameras to digitize objects brought in by participants.

Platform Demo/Feedback Station: The Atlas is working on a new website and will have a demo station for participants to interact with the website on tablets. Volunteers will introduce and explain the new digital platform.

Conversation Corner: Volunteers helping in the conversation corner will make sure all the food and beverages remain well-stocked throughout the day and engage with and assist participants.

All shifts are 4 hours: 8:30AM-12:30PM and 12:30PM-4:30PM. Morning shifts will assist the Atlas team with setup and prep work while afternoon shifts will assist with cleanup. Lunch is provided for all volunteers.

For more details on the positions, use the Sign Up link below.

How to Sign Up

To sign up for a volunteer position, please visit The Atlas of Drowned Towns History Jamboree Sign Up Page.

By clicking on the orange “view” button, you can read more about the positions and see the available shifts. To register, you can sign up by clicking the green “sign up” button. The system will ask for you email, first and last name, and cell phone number. Please provide all three.

We will be in contact with you via email with more details once we get closer to the event date, but please reach out to bobreinhardt@boisestate.edu with any questions.

The link: https://signup.com/go/dRmUnGm

Help us spread the word!

Whether you can or cannot attend the event, we would love your help spreading the word. Feel free to share this image on social media, make sure to tag us @drownedtowns (Instagram) or The Atlas of Drowned Towns (Facebook)!



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Detroit History Jamboree!

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