James V. Hillegas-Elting

James V. Hillegas-Elting is an independent consulting historian specializing in twentieth-century urban environmental history. His graduate work was on early pollution abatement efforts within Oregon's Willamette River watershed, which he is currently expanding into a book. He has extensive experience in project management, education, facilitation, research, editing, and oral history. He earned an M.A. in history from Portland State University and a  B.A. from Fairhaven College, Western Washington University; he also holds a Geographic Information System certificate.

Author's Entries

  • Department of Environmental Quality

    The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) administers and enforces environmental laws pertaining to the air, soil, and surface and ground water and serves as the Environmental Protection Agency’s delegate in ensuring compliance with federal laws such as the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act. Created in 1969, …

    Oregon Encyclopedia

  • Geocaching

    Geocaching is a high-tech version of the classic scavenger hunt in which the entire planet serves as the playing field. The activity was created in Oregon and, within just eleven years of the first event, participation had grown from one cache and a handful of players to 1,421,753 active caches …

    Oregon Encyclopedia

  • Izaak Walton League in Oregon

    The Izaak Walton League of America (IWLA), nicknamed the "Waltonians," was named for a seventeenth-century English writer and angler. Fifty-four men formed the League in Chicago in January 1922, and by 1928 the organization had 175,000 members in 3,000 chapters in 40 states. Local civic leaders, conservationists, and other men …

    Oregon Encyclopedia

  • Kettle Foods, Inc.

    When Kettle Foods began producing Kettle Chips in Salem in 1982, the company was making the only all-natural, hand-cooked potato chips in the western United States. The company quickly established a standard that evolved into a trend-setting, multi-million-dollar segment of the potato chip industry. Founder Cameron Healy said he had "no …

    Oregon Encyclopedia

  • Mt. Angel Oktoberfest

    Mt. Angel, a Willamette Valley community largely composed of descendants of German and Swiss immigrants, held its first Oktoberfest in late September 1966. By the mid-1980s, the annual event had become the largest folk festival of its kind in the Pacific Northwest, drawing more than 300,000 visitors a year. …

    Oregon Encyclopedia

  • S.S. Star of Oregon

    The S.S. Star of Oregon was among the first three Liberty Ships built in the United States and the first launched by Henry J. Kaiser’s Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation (OSC). It was the first of its class to enter service. It took 226 days to complete the ship, which was launched …

    Oregon Encyclopedia

  • U.S.S. Astoria (CA-34)

    The U.S.S. Astoria (CA-34) had many important roles during its nearly ten years of service for the U.S. Navy. In April 1939, the ship completed a noteworthy diplomatic mission by delivering the remains of Hirosi Saito, Japan's ambassador to the United States, to Yokohama Harbor. Just a few years later, …

    Oregon Encyclopedia

  • U.S.S. Coos Bay (AVP-25) / U.S.C.G.C. Coos Bay (WHEC-376)

    The U.S.S. Coos Bay served with both the U.S. Navy (1942-1946) and the U.S. Coast Guard (1949-1966). The ship’s navy crew earned two battle stars during World War II, and the ship’s Coast Guard crew saved at least thirty-eight lives. The Lake Washington Shipyards in Houghton, Washington, launched the U.S.S. …

    Oregon Encyclopedia

  • U.S.S. Oregon City (CA-122)

    The U.S.S. Oregon City (CA-122) was the namesake of its class of heavy cruisers. Designed, ordered, and built during World War II, it was an advanced warship; but the war emergency was over when the ship entered full service in early 1946. About two-and-a-half years after Secretary Frank Knox announced …

    Oregon Encyclopedia

  • U.S.S. Sederstrom (DE-31)

    The U.S.S. Sederstrom (DE-31) was named for Delmore “Verdi” Sederstrom of Salem, a U.S. Navy officer who died during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The ship earned five battle stars during an intense, two-year period of service in World War II. Delmore Sederstrom was born to Oscar and Alice …

    Oregon Encyclopedia

  • U.S.S. Umpqua

    Three commissioned U.S. Navy ships have been named Umpqua in honor of the Native American tribe or the river in southern Oregon. The first was a monitor built during the Civil War; the other two were long-serving ocean-going tug boats built in the twentieth century. None of the three ships …

    Oregon Encyclopedia