Oregon is commemorating the Sesquicentennial of the American civil War with special events planned and produced by several state institutions and non-profits; including two separate events across the state commemorating the 151st anniversary of the death of Oregon United States Senator Edwsrd Dickinson Baker on October 21, 1861 as he was leading troops into battle at Balls Bluff, Virginia. 

Opening this month is a special October 1 presentation by the Oregon Encyclopedia at McMenamin's Mission Theater that will describe Oregon's political climate just prior to stateshood and the start of the Civil War. Entitled " Oregon Democrats, Asahel Bush, Slavery and the Statehood Debate, the program is free and open to the public and will feature author Barbara Mahoney. The lecture startes at 7:00pm, and the address is 

However, the national focus this month will be on the long-awaited return of the Commander's House from the Pedee, Oregon farmstead in Polk County to its original site in Benton County's historical park at old Fort Hoskins, which was decomissioned at the end of the Civil War. After months of fundraising, the only extant building from the Civil War era frontier outpost will be making its way home (partially dismantled) via a commercial mover over several miles of country roads to the site first selected in 1856 by then Post Commander (and future Civil War General) Christopher C. Augur. According to Ellen Tappon, president of the Alliance for Recreation and Natural Areas (AFRANA), the house originally built under the supervision of 2nd Lt Phil Sheridan is in remarkably good condition, and will be reinstalled on the fort's Officers Row that overlooked the Luckiamute River valley, close to the original footprint . "We're very fortunate that the parade ground was never plowed over," she said. 

The move will take advantage of Oregon's current dry spell and is described as being acomplicated move, as the house has to negotiate past several areas where high tension wires cross above the route from Pedee to Kings Valley, and then up a slope leading to Fort Hoskins. We wish Jeff Powers and his group a successful move, and congratulate all for working together to restore a portion of Oregon's heritage and to save the Civil War era Commanders House4 from oblivion. Thanks to Benton County, volunteer groups and donors, this timely move is taking place during the national Civil War 150th Anniversary observance. Oregon is again showing that we are a full partner in the commemoration. A local poet penned a "Ballad of Fort Hoskins" to celebrate the move. It is posted on You Tube at this link: http://youtu.be/Feii1TpDt-g

Here are other Civil War related events taking place in Oregon and SW Washington (the original Oregon Territory):

Saturday, October 6, 2012. Old Apple Tree Festival, Vancouver, WA 10:00am- 4:00pm. Come out and enjoy the family friendly festival honoring the 186th Birthday of this tree that was over 25 years old when Brevet Captain Ulysses S. Grant first reported for frontier duty at Columbia Barracks, Oregon Territory 160 years ago this fall. After visiting the festival, meet with volunteer guides from the Civil War 150th Commission for a short tour of "Sam Grant's Columbia Barracks" Free and open to the public. Location is just east of the 1-5 Interstate Bridge at 112 Columbia Way, Vancouver. www.cityofVancouver.us/urbanforestry

Saturday, October 6, 2012. Mountain View Cemetery, 500 Hilda Street, Oregon City. 10:00 Am. A call for volunteers to assist the Sons of Union Veterans, Baker Camp, as they restore and spruce up headstones of Civil War veterans buried at this historic cemetery. For more information about the Sons of Union Veterans, please call Steve Betschart at (503)623-2102. www.orcity.org/cemetery

Thursday, October 11, 2012, Fort Vancouver Public Library, Vancouver, WA 6:30pm. Oregon Civil War Sesquicentennial Commissioner Frank Krone will give a presentation on the 150th Anniversary of the Army Medal of Honor :1862-2012. The program entitled "The Medal of Honor and the Pacific Northwest" will take place at the Vancouver Public Library's Klickitat Room in the main branch located at 901 C Street. The program is free and open to the public and is being presented by the Vancouver Barracks Military Association. http://vbma.us/ 

Friday, October 12, 2012, Jacksonville Cemetery, Jacksonville, OR "7th Annual Meet the Pioneers" special guided one hour tour. Spirits in period costumes greet each tour group and share their tales of travel west to Oregon and talk about their lives in Jacksonville and the Rogue Valley during the mid and late 1800's. Ticketed event. For both days, first tour departs at 4:00 p.m. - last tour departs at 7:30 p.m. http://www.friendsjvillecemetery.org/pioneers.html 

Saturday, October 13, 2012. Wordstock, Portland, Or. Lois Leveen, author of Civil War historical novel “The Secrets of Mary Bowser" visits Wordstock Book Festival. She will be participating in two authors panels and has a 4:00pm lecture on "The Allure of the lives of others: writing about the famous and not so famous." Ticketed event. Check website for pricing and venues. www.wordstockfestival.com/festival

Tuesday, October 16, 2012. Lone Fir Cemetery, Portland, OR. 1:00pm. Special commemoration ceremony honoring the 170th Anniversary of the Journey to Freedom by Oregonian black pioneer Sarah Johnston Wisdom. http://www.oregoncivilwarsesquicentennialcommission.com/

Thursday, October 18, 2012. Seaside Public Library, Seaside, OR. Lois Leveen, author of Civil War historical novel “The Secrets of Mary Bowser” will be reading from her book at the Seaside Public Library. 1131 Broadway, Seaside, Oregon. www.seasidelibrary.org.

Saturday, Sunday - October 19-21, 2012. Portland, Oregon. The Oregon Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission has been invited to participate in workshops at the 2012 Pacific Northwest History Conference "From Civil War to Civil Rights" in Tacoma, Washington. 

Sunday, October 21, 2012. Portland, Oregon. Oregon commemoration of the 151st Anniversary of the battlefield death of Oregon United States Senator Edward Dickinson Baker at the Battle of Ball's Bluff, Virginia. http://www.senatorbakerandtheoregoncivilwar150th.yolasite.com/

October 20-21, 2012, Baker, Oregon. The Sons of Union Veterans, Baker Camp presents, along with Greg Leo, the Edward D. Baker Weekend (rescheduled from its original date of April 15, 2012) at the historic Geiser Grand Hotel that was first built in 1889 in the city named after Senator and U.S. Army Colonel Edward D. Baker. Senator Baker never visited this part of Oregon, but his spirit of patriotism and love for his adopted state is omnipresent. This weekend is a fully ticketed event, and the Saturday night banquet "Baker's Ball" is $60.00 per person. Rooms at the Geiser start at $185/night. For more information check out the Geiser Grand Hotel website at www.geisergrand.com.Story tags: Oregon Civil War 150th Anniversary | Lone Fir Cemetery | African American Pioneers | Underground Railroad | Asahel Bush | Oregon Enclyclopedia | 151st Anniv. death of Senator Baker | Medal of Honor 150th lecture | Vancouver Barracks Military Association | Sons of Union veterans of Oregon | Fort Vancouver | Friends of Jacksonville Cemetery | Cpt James Lingenfelter | Commanders House back at Fort Hoskins | Capt Christopher Augur | Lt Phil Sheridan