About Me

Dr. Leland Gilsen

Dr. Leland Gilsen was the State Archaeologist for Oregon from 1978 to 2002 within the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) of Oregon State Parks. He has a Ph.D. in Anthropology with a specialization in Archaeology from the University of Arizona. Before coming to Oregon, he was the SHPO archaeologist for the Maryland Historical Trust in Annapolis for two years.

As a graduate student, Dr. Gilsen worked for the National Park Service programs in Tucson: Interagency Archaeological Services (IAS) under Garland Gordon, and (SOAR) Park Management Plans under Keith Anderson. This is where he began work in Cultural Resource Management (CRM).

He has done field work in:

Utah Fremont Culture

North and South Dakota (Smithsonian Institution River Basin Surveys

Arizona (Tucson Urban-Renewal Project: historic sites)

Guatemala (Penn State University/University of Arizona: Pre-Classic Maya)

Maryland (Maryland Historic Trust: historic and prehistoric sites)

Oregon (Luckiamute River Project; Woodburn Paleo-Archaeological Project).

GIS Database

With the help of Hal Gard, Dr. Gilsen began the computerized database and Geographic Information System (GIS) for archeological data stored at SHPO. It consists of maps showing areas surveyed, archaeological sites, and is tied to survey and excavation reports.

As the State Archaeologist, he read, edited, and commented on over 18,000 survey, testing, or excavation reports over a quarter-century. Dr. Gilsen maintained the archaeological site files and issued archaeological permits on state and private land. Leland worked with the BLM, US Forest Service, Corps of Engineers, and Oregon tribes on legal and burial issues. He also worked with the academic community as well as groups such as the Oregon Archaeological Society. He helped author National Register Bulletins.

He created a paper-based geographic information system starting in 1979. He acquired copies of all of the USGS quad maps for Oregon. For un-mapped areas, he used BLM maps (inch to mile). Leland drew in every survey, testing, or excavation project onto the maps as well as all archaeological sites, historic sites and isolated finds. He took over the archaeological site file consisting of site forms for each new site. Dr. Gilsen assigned the unique "Smithsonian number" to each site an mapped them in. Every artifact removed from such a site has the site number written onto that artifact so it can be traced back to a specific geographic location.

Every report was assigned a report number and kept on shelves in numeric sequence. When researchers came in to do a file search, they could look at a map and instantly go to all of the survey reports, testing reports, or excavation reports relevant to the area. In addition they could pull all site forms. Any attached site forms and isolated find form would be found in each report as well.

In addition, the maps showed any patterns in prehistoric land use, data gaps, and other related geographic and ecological factors. Archaeological researchers in Oregon, and from other states, gave the system high praise as it reduced overhead costs in background research.

This web site is designed to bring the scientific study of Oregon's past to those with an interest in human prehistory. Dr. Geoffrey Clark, Arizona State University Department of Anthropology, has pointed out the "flight from science and reason" in modern day United States of America as the results of the poll in the green box indicate.

Pew Research Center

64% accept teaching Intelligent Design

38% would exclude evolution from being taught in schools

26% accept natural selection

20% said the sun revolves around the earth

33% know what DNA is

10% know what radiation is

Dr. Gilsen has been a computer "geek" since the 1970's. He started out on a TRS-80 Model 1 4k machine with a tape drive. That advanced to a 48k with single density drives as well as a stringy floppy high speed tape system. Later it had double sided drives. Leland was a member of the Portland Area Users Group (PAUG) and then an officer in the early Salem Computer Club. He introduced computers to Oregon State Parks with the 1st IBM micro-computer. He was on the computer development committee for Parks.

Dr. Gilsen also used a micro-computers in Oregon archaeology, encouraging their use by consultants and academics. He was the first to use word processing for the newsletter for the Association of Oregon Archaeologists. Since then, the use of computers has become so pervasive as to seem like it has always been that way.

Dr. Gilsen has a long standing interest in physics, systems theory, thermodynamics and cosmology. His thoughts are summarized in "Recursive Dreams" in the Theory area.

He have been making replica artifacts found among the cultures that once flourished in Oregon's prehistoric past. For many years he has been building a Traveling Museum of Oregon Prehistory. It covers 14,000+ years as well as the cultures associated with the five ecological zones that merge in this state: NW Coast; Columbia Plateau; Inter-Mountain; Great Basin; and California Oak/Chaparral.

Each year he is a volunteer of Echoes In Time, early living skills workshops held in late July at Willamette Mission State Park just north of Salem, Oregon. Typical courses include: Fire by friction, flintknapping, stone bowls and tools, bone and antler tools, bows and arrows, atlatls (dart thrower) and darts, braintanning, rawhide containers, moccasins, cordage, plant walks, gourd work, soap making, pottery, felting, dying and weaving, fiber crafts, quill work, beading, and blacksmithing. There is a You Tube video by Patrick Rosenkranz available.



I became the staff archaeologist, replacing Sandy Rambo Snyder in 1978. Sandy was in a temporary position replacing Ted Long, the former SHPO staff archaeologist. Ted was the first official SHPO staff archaeologist, starting in 1976 and leaving after 2.5 years for a job in Washington, D.C. At this time the SHPO staff consisted of Deputy David W Powers, National Register specialist Elisabeth Potter, grants manager John Tess, secretary Karla Owens and Jeannette Gue who was working on the Wolf Creek Tavern restoration project. Dave Talbot, Parks Director, was the SHPO.

The archaeological site file in 1978 was very limited. Archaeological site forms were stored at the State Museum of Anthropology at the University of Oregon (OSMA). The SHPO did not have copies of the forms. Instead, we had edge-punched cards with Township, Range and Section date punched along one edge as well as data about the site that was also typed on the cards. When a project was reviewed, needles were used to sort out any sites within the same geographic area. In addition, the office kept a single file drawer of CRM reports. Each report had to be read to discover if it was near the project area. There were no maps available for the site file.

Past reports containing data on new sites were stored by county or were placed with specific National register sites within the "central" SHPO files. Negative reports had been tossed. Reports were also scattered through the old correspondence files and stored by year and by county within the central file cabinets.

One of my first jobs was the establishment of a systematic archaeological database. I had created a similar system in Maryland with the help of their State Archaeologist, Tyler Bastian. I started buying and begging from Federal agencies a full set of USGS quad maps. I also ordered a geology specimen cabinet with 13 drawers with a locking door as my map cabinet. I culled all of the reports out of the files and visited the State Library and made copies of their archaeological reports. The reports were then drawn onto the quad maps with color codes, each report with a unique code number, starting with "1". All of the reports were lumped into a single year-long bibliographic unit sub-grouped by county. The initial culling resulted in 448 reports. I then began a quarterly bibliographic series that included all reports submitted to SHPO, including negative survey reports. All of the project areas were plotted on the maps as well as any cultural resources. Prehistoric site locations were plotted in red ink with black numbers. Historic and historic archaeological sites were plotted in pencil. This made it easy to find any report or site in seconds through the maps. The maps dribbled in for the next year, making it necessary to enter the data as the maps became available. The SHPO was short of funds, so we bought 15' maps first and 7.5' otherwise. In 1978-80 there were gaps where no maps were available, and we used BLM 30's (much of central and SE Oregon).

Once the files were organized (1979), the SHPO had records on 448 reports, 1,700 prehistoric archaeological sites (within the body of the reports) and 3,000 historic structures. The historic structures were mapped onto county and city maps. The SHPO started a grant to OSMA in 1979 that went through 1980, to clean up the archaeological site files so that they could be turned over to the SHPO in 1981. Most of the clean-up work consisted of recovery of blocks of numbers given to various researchers, and insuring that any published numbers where site forms were missing were not reused. I also started "publishing" the quarterly report bibliographies by making hard copies for all of the agency, academic and contract archaeologists through the State Parks "Wang" word-processing system. Federal agencies started sending me maps covering their lands which reduced SHPO costs considerably.

James Hamrick worked at the SHPO for about four months in 1979-80 and then left to work in the Nevada SHPO, where he became the Deputy SHPO in 1981.

Isaac Barner worked as an intern (1979) in Review & Compliance through Oregon State University. An internship program had been set up by Dr Thomas Hogg for OSU students in the Cultural Resource Management program. He was followed by John Draper (1979), Kay Kindred (1979), Robert Nesbit (1980), Judith Sanders (1980), John Loring (1980), Tim Satler (1980) and John Kaiser (1980).

In 1978, the SHPO gave out a grant to study the Flanagan (35LA218) site near Eugene. In 1979, I started a weekend volunteer archaeological survey and limited testing program on the Luckiamute River and Rickreal Creek drainage southwest of Salem. The volunteers included archaeological students Deborah Soper, Chris Jenkins and Carol Agard. The survey program used these drainage because there were no water control structures of any scope on the systems and they continued to flood like they did before Euro-American entry into the valley. We talked to the local farmers for permission to survey their land for archaeological sites. No drainage basin in Oregon has been subject to systematic 100% surface inventory. The long term goal was to survey as much of the drainage basin as possible and to develop a model for land use patterns.

In 1978, the Fritz Creek site (35LIN91) was put on the Register. It is a 42 acre upland lithic scatter with artifact concentrations and projectile points from the Middle and Late Archaic. In 1979, the Flanagan Site (35LA218 - occupation from Middle Archaic through Late Archaic, type site for Flanagan Phase) and the Philpott Site (35CS1 - wet site with organic preservation, fish weirs, occupation in Late Archaic) were also placed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 1980, the Rock Fort Campsite and Umatilla Landing Site (35UM1 - 130 acre village, large burial ground, deep, stratified) were added.

In 1980 the SHPO funded an excavation program through OSU and Dr David Brauner's field school at the Jason Lee Mission in Willamette Mission State Park. They were above to find part of the original mission buildings at the traditional location. Another SHPO grant supported the multi-university Steens Mountain survey project. We also gave out a small grant to do some minor investigations at the Sunken Village site (35MU4). St Helens erupted in 1980, and the ash falls disrupted some survey work for a short period of time.


The interns from OSU included Jeff Anderson (1981), Lou Ann Nichols (1981), Fran Havercroft (1981), Thomas Regula (1982), Lyle Prueit (1982 - from Willamette University), Deborah Lynn Soper (1983), Paul Christy Jenkins (1983), Mike Gallagher (1984) and Lucie Tisdale (1984). Tom Hogg died tragically in a hunting accident, and the OSU formal intern program stopped.

I lost my two key volunteer surveyors when Chris Jenkins and Deborah Soper became more active in school and consulting. Then Carol Agard left to take a job with the Forest Service in Eastern Oregon. With my volunteers gone, the Luckiamute survey project dribbled off into oblivion. I did some work with a local artifact collector named David Lawless, but the relationship deteriorated when he began to demand all artifacts found when we worked together. I did analysis sporadically over the next few years and finally wrote up the survey in 1989.

The SHPO took over the archaeological site files in 1981 and I began assignment of "Smithsonian" style site numbers. It became policy to no longer issue blocks of site numbers because forms were not being completed. The new policy, that has remained in place was "One site form in hand: one site number assigned to the form". The forms from the OSMA were plotted onto the USGS quad maps. The map system now contained about 1,900 maps. The report files tied to the maps had grown as follows: 1981: 3,448 reports; 1982: 4,578 reports; 1983: 5,503 reports; 1984: 6,226 reports; 1985: 6,989 reports. Records were not kept on how many new prehistoric sites were added to the files during this period, but it probably averaged about 875 sites per year (based on the average for 1986-1991). The Review & Compliance program (myself and the interns) were averaging 2,100 project reviews a year. My ability to speed read reports came in handy.

I was the newsletter editor for the Association of Oregon Archaeologists quarterly called Current Archaeological Happenings in Oregon (CAHO) from 1981 through 1983. I had been a computer buff for a number of years, starting with an early TRS-80 machine. I was a member of PAUG (Portland Area Users Group), and learned the value of the micro-computer as it evolved. The SHPO (and State Parks) also acquired an IBM-XT micro-computer in 1983 at my request. I think I was the first editor of CAHO to use a computer to write the newsletter.

The computer allowed the SHPO to develop a bibliographic database. I started entering the reports into a dBASE file in 1983. I wrote dBASE programs to publish the report database. I also designed the database systems for the office. I supervised data entry for the historic site files done by interns from the University of Oregon Historic Preservation program.

In 1983, James Hamrick returned to the Oregon SHPO as a staff architectural historian. He ran the historic review and compliance program, state and federal tax programs and certified local governments. In 1982, Suzie Haylock replaced Karla Owens as office secretary. Also in 1982, Karen Zisman took over the grants program from John Tess. In 1983, Kimberly Lakin became the grants manager. Grants relating to archaeology in the 1981-82 period included those noted for the 1980-81 fiscal year.

In 1982, we gave out grants for nomination of several coastal sites in Clatsop county, a geomorphic survey of the Long Tom River basin near Eugene and a survey for a nomination of coastal sites on State Park property. In 1983, we gave out grants for survey work along the Chewaucan River near Lake Albert and Camas Valley in Douglas County (which resulted in Tom Connolly's thesis). In 1984, the grants included survey of Blue Lake Park and the city of Echo. The OSU (Dave Brauner) sponsored French Canadian settlement survey of French Prairie began in 1985 and continued into 1986.

In 1982, the first Clovis PaleoIndian site was discovered near Wagontire by an amateur archaeologist named Dewey Deitz of Redmond. A major project was instituted to survey and test the site which resulted in a number of publications, including the 1988 Nevada State Museum Anthropology Paper Number 21 edited by Judy Willig, Mel Aikens and John Fagan.

In 1983, the Hells Canyon Archaeological District was added to the National Register of Historic Places along with the Indian Point Site (35CLT34 - Late Archaic site with good organic preservation and bone tools) and the Hlilusqahih or Knappa Docks Site (35CLT37 - an ethnographic village mentioned in Lewis & Clarke journals, one of two major Kathlamet villages, and occupied from the Late Archaic through Contact) in Clatsop county.

The early 1980's was also an active time for the "treasure hunters" of Neahkahnie Mountain in Tillamook county. Dean and Floyd Grimes, Orville Keller, Jim Hathaway, Jim English, and Bud Kretsinger were active throughout the 1980's. Kretsinger had been hunting for the "treasure" since 1961, carrying out an earlier tradition that perhaps began with Hiram Smith of Bay City. Hiram started digging around 1865 or 1870 and passed the tradition down to his son, Pat Smith, the "hermit of Necarney" who dug for more than 40 years with his protege, Charlie Pike. Pat Smith is the "legendary" finder of the carved "W" rock that he "moved to hide its original location". In 1911 Sam Reed claimed he discovered two crude bronze handles while blasting a stump near Neahkahnie Tavern. Charlie Pike took in Milo Merrill and several others as partners and Merrill carried on the tradition when Pike died. Merrill put together a "survey" map from the stories passed down, but found nothing. He left Oregon for uranium hunting in Nevada in the late 1950's and died before finding the "treasure". The tradition continued in the 30's through the late 50's by E. J. Windle and John Memering. In 1931 Charles Wood and his son Lynn were killed when their 30 foot deep pit caved in on them. George Smith of Portland hunted for years based on a map claimed to have been found in a bottle by two boys. In 1958, diggers from Seattle left behind a 125 foot deep pit just off US 101 based on the "pulling" of a "doodle-bug of witching" stick when it was "baited" with a gold ring and held over the shaft. In 1965 Tony Marino (AKA - Edward M. Fire) a Salem house painter "decoded" the rock using scripture and "predictions" made in the National Inquirer and tore up the mountain with mechanical equipment. Marino had first heard about the treasure while searching for the Lost Dutchman Mine in Arizona and he moved to Oregon to find this "treasure". Marino showed me drawings of a complex tunnel system under the mountain in the form of astrological symbols, and he showed me a picture of ghosts warning him away from the mountain. I readily agreed. In 1972, John Davis copyrighted all of "The Mysterious Rock Markings" found on the mountain. Samuel G. Logan died from hypothermia in 1990 when he and Bill E. Rice of Portland tried to enter a "cave" at the base of Neahkahnie Mountain and were swept into the rocks by waves. Treasure magazine ran an article on Oregon "treasure" sites in 1991.

1986 - 1990

Between 1984 and 1990, the SHPO instituted a series of work study details through the USDA Forest Service. CRM techs and forest archaeologists came in for two weeks to a month to learn how the SHPO system worked. They then carried this information back to the forests to explain why the SHPO needed data in the forms requested. In 1990, Jan Prior was detailed to SHPO as a part time work-study student while she took classes at OSU and the University of Oregon. She worked on Review & Compliance and acted as liaison for the Forest Service.

The site file continued to grow (end of year totals): 1986: 7,783 reports; 1987: 8,734 reports; 1988: 9,555 reports; 1989: 9,747 reports; 1990: 10,696 reports. During four federal fiscal years for which summary data is available 3,245 new prehistoric sites were added to the site forms; 1,913 historic archaeological sites were found by surveys; and 4,189 isolated finds were also recorded.

In 1990, David W Powers resigned as Deputy SHPO to go into private consulting in San Francisco. James Hamrick became the Deputy SHPO in July of 1990.

Kimberly Lakin resigned as the grants manager in 1986 and Elizabeth "Tibby" O'Brien took over the job until 1990. The French Prairie (Brauner - OSU) study continued through 1986. The Lake Abert survey received another grant as well as the Deschutes River (Sun River) survey. In 1987, the SHPO funded testing and evaluation of the Sunken Village site, as artifacts were showing up in the drought. Further work was done under Brauner and OSU at Champoeg. A survey of the Columbia River was begun in 1988 as well as several University of Oregon survey projects in the Clarno Basin and Paulina Marsh. Cascadia Cave (35LIN11) also received funds for a test and nomination to the National Register of Historic Places. In 1990, more work was funded at Champoeg and in the Long Tom Basin.

In 1987, the Shipwreck Isabella (lost in 1830, only Snow Brig shipwreck known in US waters) off Sand Island was added to the National Register of Historic Places. In 1988, the Sunken Village Site (35MU4 - wet site with organics covering Middle and Late Archaic) and in 1989, Cascadia Cave (35LIN11 - Early through Late Archaic site, rock art, type site for Cascadia Phase) were also added.

In 1987, I developed an international database of micro-computer users in anthropology. For about two years, I maintained and published the lists as a way for anthropologists who were using computers to stay in contact. As computers became more common, the usefulness of the database became marginal and the project was dropped.

In 1990, Suzie Haylock started to help manage the State Tax Incentive program for SHPO and I trained her in dBASE.


Jan Prior continued with the SHPO through Feb of 1994, working part time in Review & Compliance and as the Forest Service liaison for issues and problems. She continued to put in one day a week in 1994, then went to the Region headquarters in Portland.

The site file growth was as follows (end of year totals): 1991: 11,726 reports; 1992: 12,656 reports; 1993: 13,488 reports; 1994: 14,278 reports. Between 1978 and 1994, the number of historic inventory forms went from 3,000 to 28,000 buildings; the number of prehistoric archaeological sites on file went from 1,700 to over 18,000; the number of survey, testing and excavation reports went from 500 to about 15,000. That was a lot of reading and review.

In 1992, Dave Talbot retired from State Parks. Bob Meinen was appointed Director of Parks and became the new SHPO. In December of 1993, the Parks and Recreation Division moved from 525 Trade St SE to 1115 Commercial St NE. The archaeological site files were not fully reconstituted after the move until June of 1994. Dave Skilton joined the SHPO as the first Planner in 1994. He also took over CLG's.

In 1994, David W Powers was found murdered in his apartment in San Francisco. A memorial service was held at the Elsinore Theater in Salem.

Henry Kunowski was the grants manager in 1990-1991 and Kimberly Dunn became grants manager in Nov of 91 and Henry moved to other SHPO work. They awarded funds in 1992 to the Willamette Valley PaleoIndian survey, a coastal Parks survey with a radio-carbon dating sampling program through the University of Oregon (Jon Erlandson and Madonna Moss), and two nominations at Cape Blanco. In 93, the grants included the second phase of the coastal work and work at the Umpqua Eden site. The 94 grants continued the coastal project into its third phase.

Cape Blanco Lithic (35CU82 - upland coastal campsite dating to the Middle Archaic) and Indian Sands (35CU34 - shell midden dating to the Middle and Late Archaic) sites were nominated to the Register in 1992. Blacklock Point Lithic (35CU75 - upland lithic site dating to the Early through Late Archaic) and Blacklock Point Shell Midden (35CU74 - Late Archaic - proto-historic shell midden) sites were added in 1993. Umpqua Eden (35DO83 - Middle Archaic to Contact shell midden, village and fishing camp) was added in 1995.

In 1990, I started making replica NW Indian artifacts and giving programs at the Champoeg Indian Summer Days events. By 1994, I had created or purchased about 100 different replica artifacts representing NW technologies. A number of flintknappers supplied projectile points representing the major style categories found in the NW. John Fagan and Scott Byram made most of the points. I mounted these on atlatl foreshafts or arrows. Steve Allely made a replica Kalapuya bow for me. Craig Ratzat made the atlatl and darts.

I was taken on a USFS Snake River jet boat tour of archaeological sites with Jim Keyser, Guy Marden and Bruce Womack in 1991. We visited the field camps from the University of Idaho under Frank Leonhardy. It was good to visit with Frank as he died in the field camp the next year from heart problems. Also in 1991, the SHPO, State Police and DSL made a major attempt to reduce artifact collection and site destruction on State lands at Crump Lake in Lake County. In 1993, Oregon had its first Archaeology Week. The planning group was Fran Philipek (Salem BLM), Richard Hanes (BLM) and myself but I did most of the "work". A secondary center for events was through the Southern Oregon Historical Society. The High Desert Museum near Bend also sponsored and arranged a number of events. Governor Barbara Roberts signed the first proclamation on September 9, 1993. I did my replica show at the Lancaster Mall for two weekends in a row. The BLM also had an exhibit on ethnographic plant use in the mall.

Jan Prior took over management of the second Archaeology Week in 1994. She created a committee to develop programs and do mailings: Forest Service, Southern Oregon Historical Society, Oregon Historical Society, Oregon Archaeological Society, SHPO, BLM, Association of Oregon Archaeologists, High Desert Museum, Oregon State Museum of Anthropology, Archaeological Investigations NW and the Umatilla Tribe. The committee (through the agencies they represent) donated a budget for a poster and the mailings. The second week included about 45 events statewide. I helped with the kickoff event at the "Wintering In" event on Sauvie Island followed by the Champoeg State Park "Indian Summer Days". Estimated attendance was 9,883 people with Champoeg Indian Summer days drawing 3,000, The High Desert museum drawing 2,961 and Wintering drawing 2,000.

1994-95 marked the largest burial and Section 106 archaeological issue in the history of the program: Rivers End Ranch. A private landowner constructed a dam and spillway on the Chewaucan River in Lake County under a Corps of Engineers permit and with Fish & Wildlife money. The fill for the dam was bulldozed from all or part of five prehistoric sites, two of which contained housepits. Human remains were recovered from the dam surface from two adults and one infant. Surveys of the 3 foot higher shoreline indicates that 35 previously recorded sites and 25 newly recorded sites could be impacted by wave action, twenty-two of which may contain housepits. Other human remains were discovered at some of these sites during the surveys.

David Liberty interned from OSU from Jul-Aug of 1994. He was working on his Masters in CRM and went on for his PhD at Oregon after he left. He is an enrolled Umatilla and gets support from the tribe.


In 1995, Henry Kunowski moved to the Engineering Section half time and retained work at the SHPO half time. Liz Carter was hired through a temp service to do the historic side of Review & Compliance. Tami Beth Katz was hired through a temporary service to take over the State Tax Incentive program. Liz and Tami were made full time staff in 1997. In 1996, Hugh Davidson was hired to coordinate the development of the Oregon Heritage Plan based on legislation passed in the previous session that set up the Oregon Heritage Commission to conserve and coordinate the state's heritage. Hugh resigned to go back to school and Julie Curtis took over the Commission half time from Tourism.

Francis Philipek (Salem BLM) and I co-chaired the 4th annual Oregon Archaeology Week. It ran in cooperation with a Journey Through Time celebration in NE Oregon along a scenic highway. Jorie Clark (Winema National Forest) agreed to chair the 5th year (1997) with Janet Joyer (Siskiyou National Forest) with a theme of Technology Through Time.

The SHPO entered into an agreement with State Archives to place all (1,300+) National Register properties onto the World Wide Web computer network. I encouraged the BLM to place their teaching guide Exploring Oregon's Past on the Web as well as Mel Aikens book Archaeology of Oregon. I created a web site: Oregon Archaeology: Prehistory. It had around 800 visits in its first six months. The text for Oregon Archaeology Week events was added to the site as well at that time.

A large nomination for prehistoric sites within State Parks along the Oregon Coast was introduced in 1996. It nominated 96 coastal sites to the National Register through the work of Jon Erlandson and Madonna Moss (University of Oregon) and was finalized in 1997.

Chester Bateman interned in April-May of 96. Chester was interested in computers and web pages. Lydia Kachadoorian interned from Oct-Nov 1996 through an informal agreement with OSU and Dave Brauner. Lydia was hired by Hal Gard (ODOT) to prepare general predictive models for several projects through 1998. Michele Wilson interned in April-June of 1998 and for the second time in 20 years, my in-basket was empty for part of a day. Jeff Furguson interned from January-March 1999.

As of the end of 1996, the report totals rose to 15,785 in the bibliographic system. Another 653 prehistoric sites were added to the inventory. Based on 16 years of available data, 5.97% of the state has been surveyed and 16% subject to projects. The Review & Compliance group looked at 1,948 projects during calendar year 1996. Only 33 archaeological permits were issued in 1996, a drop of over 20 permits from the previous two years. The court cases from Rivers End Ranch were finally settled in 1997 and the Justice Department sent in employees to copy the site files for the southern counties. Mistakes were made in replacing the files, and Justice had to pay for a person to clean up the errors. By the end of 1997, 16,263 reports had been added to the database, and by 1998, it contained 16,624.

Jorie Clark and Elisabeth Dubreuil from the Winema National Forest were assigned to work in my office in 1997 for two months to enter backlogged CRM reports and assign Smithsonian numbers. They quickly discovered how difficult this task is when the data in faulty or missing.

James Hamrick was placed on several committees for the National Trust, including the group reviewing the BLM National Programmatic Agreement, as well as the Section 106 rules and professional qualifications standards. Elisabeth Potter announced her retirement in 1998 and a nationwide search was made for a replacement. Julie Osborne from the Utah SHPO was selected to succeed her. Lis, I suspect, was probably the longest lived SHPO National Register specialist in the country. Several large retirement functions were held for her, including one in Portland.

I did a statistical summary of SHPO activities and prepared a summary document on archaeological house-pit remains gleaned form the reports on file that may end up as an OSU publication an co-operation with Dave Brauner. I also summarized my views on culture as an adaptive machine as a model in archaeological research. I started a draft book on the Kalapuya as an update of Harold Mackey's book published 25 years ago. A summary of a coastal paper was published in Current Research in the Pleistocene.

The BLM, USFS, ODOT, University of Oregon, and other agencies began working with SHPO to develop a unified site form and Geographic Information System for my maps and archaeological site forms and associated database files of reports (the bibliography). The first product is the site form. The second will be the maps with the old dBASE III+ database index of reports translated over to Microsoft Access. The data is designed to replace the paper site forms and make the data available through the web to those who have approved access with a password.

In 1999, Julie Osborne resigned from the Register program. Tami Katz resigned to go back to school to become a teacher. Julie Curtis resigned from the Heritage Commission to return to her position with Tourism. Liz Carter resigned. Hugh Davidson stepped in as a temporary replacement for Liz. Teresa Neal sat in on the Heritage Commission while a replacement was sought. Michelle Dennis worked part time for the office on the National Register database at the Archives web page. Paul Porter worked on updating the National Register files, a program started by Julie before she resigned. Lis Potter continued to work part time on the archives database. Bill Hanable took over the heritage Commission.

Nancy Niedernhofer, previously a cultural resources program manager for the Army National Guard, assumed the National Register post in November. Dave Skilton was appointed to succeed Tami Katz in administering SHPO’s tax incentive programs for historic property owners. Suzie joined him on the state tax program. For the past five years, Dave has been in charge of SHPO’s historic preservation planning and has acted as a SHPO liaison with local governments. Christine Curran was hired as the historic preservation project review and compliance specialist. Chrissy recently earned a Master’s degree in the University of Oregon’s Historic Preservation program. Steve Poyser joined the staff as Certified Local Government coordinator and planner.


DeAnne Sullivan was hired as an administrative assistant for James. She had worked for Parks in various jobs in the past. Bob Meinen resigned and Mike Carrier came in as the Director of State Parks and SHPO. Mirra Meyer came on to run the Oregon Cemetery Commission, which was attached to the SHPO by the legislature.

Fran Philipek and I agreed to co-chair Oregon Archaeology Week for 2000, which became Oregon Archaeology Celebration for the birth of the millennium (extended from Sept 15th to Oct 15th). I wanted to do one of my drawing for the poster, but was unable to get portrait photographs of elders in time. We went with photos of volunteers. We agreed to co-chair for 2001.

Sam Jordan came in as intern from April-June 2000. Sam had discovered a new species of dinosaur while working with a student program out of the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry under Bill Orr. Carolyn Flizack interned from Jan-Mar of 2001.

Several more sites were added to the coastal nomination, including site off OPRD lands.

The archaeological site file GIS was well underway. I retired on the last day of 2002.

Contact Me

If you have any questions or comments about the website or its content, please email Leland at: leland gilsen at m s n dot com