One Bend resident among 3 appointed to the State Historic Cemeteries Commission

SALEM, Ore. (KTVZ) – Three commissioners have been appointed to the Oregon Commission on Historic Cemeteries. Lisa Sumption, director of the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, which oversees Oregon’s historic cemeteries, took one appointment last fall and the other two in May.

Shawn Steinmetz, appointed in October 2020, is an archaeologist residing in La Grande. His interest in non-destructive technologies that can be used to document, preserve and help interpret historic properties is a benefit for the management of historic cemeteries. He holds the position held for a tribal perspective and brings that perspective through his experience working in the Confederate tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation and personal experience.

Sarah Baylinson was appointed in May to fill a vacant position in central Oregon. She is the Collections Manager and Exhibitions Coordinator for the High Desert Museum in Bend. With over a decade of museum experience, Sarah has had the opportunity to work in a variety of cultural institutions as well as to volunteer in a meaningful way. Sarah is vice-president of the Oregon Museums Association and a mentor for the Mentor Corps of the Oregon Heritage Commission. In her spare time, she enjoys exploring rivers, trails and camping opportunities, as well as delving deeply into personal genealogical research.

Lisa Sears was also appointed in May and will fill the vacant coastal position. She is a genealogist and family history researcher and volunteers in Tillamook County. Realizing that she had a natural curiosity for the cemeteries and the stories therein, she visited a wide range of national and international cemeteries while researching or on vacation. After retiring from teaching in 2020, she began conducting outreach activities in Tillamook County to work on cemetery preservation and community history.

State law established the seven-member Commission to maintain a list of all historic cemeteries and burial sites in Oregon; promote public education on the importance of historic cemeteries; and help obtain financial and technical assistance to restore, improve and maintain their appearance.

“We are grateful that such enthusiastic and capable people are joining the commission,” notes Kuri Gill, commission coordinator. “They will be an advantage for our historic cemeteries. ”

The new commissioners join: Milo Reed, president, from Portland; Bev Power, vice president, of Medford; Charlotte Lehan, of Wilsonville; and Sarah Silbernagel, of Pendleton.

For more information on the activities of the commission, visit www.oregonheritage.org, contact coordinator Kuri Gill at 503-986-0685, or email [email protected]

For call details and agenda or more information about the committee, visit www.oregonheritage.org.

About Elaine Morales

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