Oregon Genealogical Society

A Brief History of OGS

On the evening of August 8, 1962, ten people met to plan for a genealogical society and library. Forty-one people attended the first organizational meeting held September 22, 1962 in the Eugene Water and Electric Board (EWEB) auditorium. On November 30th, 100 charter members elected the first officers of the society.
A room on Alder Street near the University was the site of the first library. As the collection grew, we housed the books in Genevieve York's home. From there we moved them into two rooms at 8th and Jefferson Streets in Dr. Goulding's building. Later the library moved again to the President Street Church in the Harlow Road area.
Members who wished to form an L.D.S. Branch Library strongly controlled the early library. On December 15, 1968, OGS "gifted to the Willamette Branch Genealogical Library of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints" all the library assets.

For nearly thirty years, the Society met in the EWEB basement cafeteria until the completion of the construction of the new EWEB buildings at 500 East 4th Avenue where we met until September 2014. During those many years in the basement, the Book Committee members transported boxes of books from their homes to each meeting. By 1987 there were five and a half pages of books listed as available for borrowing. The Society encouraged members to check-out books to relieve the Book Committee of the job of monthly book transportation.

The OGS membership voted to discontinue donating materials to the L.D.S. Branch Library and to begin accumulating materials for a separate OGS Library in May, 1979. In the spring of 1982, we moved the periodicals to the Lane County Clerk's office located next to the Pioneer Museum. On May 30, 1985, the first Oregon Genealogical Society Library opened at 329 West l3th, but the space proved to be too small, and that same year the Library moved again to the Washington Abbey. The Abbey provided the luxury of a telephone, and soon OGS was 'in the book.' 

After several years, the Library outgrew the Abbey space and we found new quarters at 223 North "A" Street in Springfield. Once again, growth necessitated the acquisition of more space, forming a five-room library which served us well until early 2000 when we were asked to move. A new home for the Library was found in 2,500 square feet of commercial space under the Overpark in downtown Eugene.

Just as we record our personal family histories, we also want to record the history of our Oregon Genealogical Society.
Read the 45-year history from 1962-2007.