Today's special guest was Hazel Patton, a long-time mover and shaker in the preservation of Salem's historic resources as well as being an experienced community activist. Hazel was instrumental in nominating several neighborhoods for National Register recognition: Court-Chemeketa Historic District, Salem Downtown Historic District, and the newer Oregon State Hospital Historic District. The Riverfront Carousel was another of Hazel's community-building projects, as was the Union Street Trestle/Pedestrian Bridge. Following through with her passion to preserve the unique buildings and grounds of the Oregon State Hospital, she is now involved with the new Museum of Mental Health located in the reconstructed Kirkbride Building there. She talked with us about the artifacts of that era of mental health treatment which are housed in the museum, the archive of audio recordings they are building of stories shared by folks who lived in and around the hospital, and her memories of the filming of the "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest" movie on the grounds (many of the movie props were donated to the Museum). Hazel continues to work to enhance our community. She is often seen briskly walking from her home in the Court-Chemeketa Historic District to and around downtown Salem. If you stop her to chat a moment, it won't take long before you're infused with her enthusiasm and love for this community, too.
Photo: Left, TN Green, Jr; Right, Salem Online History Collection.