Diane L. Goeres-Gardner

As It Was Contributor

Diane L. Goeres-Gardner began writing about little known aspects of Oregon history after retiring as a teacher and administrator. Her first book, "Necktie Parties, A History of Legal Executions in Oregon, 1851-1905," was published by Caxton Press in 2005. Since then she has gone on to write and have published four more books covering women's rights, the treatment of mental illness, and the history of Roseburg, Oregon.

Currently she is working on a history of the Oregon State Penitentiary in Salem. Besides researching and writing, Diane enjoys scrap booking, traveling, and reading. She has two daughters and one granddaughter. She and her husband, Mike, live on five acres along the Umpqua River. For more information: www.dlgoeres-gardner.com

The Roseburg City Commercial Club staged its first Strawberry Festival in May of 1909 to showcase Roseburg’s business interests.  The three-day event had food booths and a thatch-roofed stage on unpaved Jackson Street.  Capitola Willis was the first Strawberry queen.


Legal authorities commonly use fingerprints today to identify and convict criminals.  It wasn’t always so.

In 1893 sheriff’s deputy J. K. Mount had the job of making sure the Chinese citizens living in Coos County paid their poll taxes.  Oregon had recently passed a law requiring them to pay special taxes. After paying the annual tax, they received a receipt.