1945: The same year that World War II ended, when The American Orchid Society was a mere 23 years old, the Oregon Orchid Society was founded with 21 charter members. The first OOS president was Oren Fowler.
1947: The first official Oregon Orchid Society meeting is held & first OOS newsletter published. Meetings were held at the Portland Art Museum. The newsletter, as you can see from the picture, was not incredibly graphical, but it announced the monthly meeting, covered the upcoming election of OOS officers, had a short article on insect control and another on caring for your orcids in autumn.
1948: The OOS becomes American Orchid Society affiliated & holds the first Oregon Orchid Show & Sale - a tradition that continues in Portland to the present. The first show was sponsored by, and held at, Meier and Frank Department Store on the 10th floor in the auditorium. 25,000 people attended the first Oregon Orchid Show. Meier and Frank has now become Macy's and the upper floors, where our first shows were held, are now the Nines Hotel.
1951: Your First Orchids and How to Grow Them published. This book, now in its seventh edition, is still considered by botanical gardens, orchid societies and nurseries across the country to be one of the best "how to" books available on growing orchids. Authors in the latest edition include some very well known orchid experts including Fred Hillerman, Marie Riopelle, Carl Withner, Rebecca Tyson Northen, Rod McLellan and Theresa Hill. You can find the current edition for sale on this website here.
1959: To commemorate the 100th anniversary of orchid judging and Oregon's statehood the OOS hosts the AOS Trustees Meeting, Orchid Digest and the Western Orchid Congress. The photo to the right is a full page write up in the Oregonian's Home and Garden section covering the event.
1962: The Oregon Orchid Society hosts the AOS Trustees Meeting for the second time (only three years after doing so the first time). Also in 1962 the Pacific Northwest Judging Center is established. Today the judging center is located at the Oregon Garden in Silverton, OR and judges orchids on the first Sunday of every month.
1967: The Oregon Orchid Society hosts the 12th annual Western Orchid Congress.
1969: The Oregon Orchid Society publishes the Orchidist's Lexicon. This book is a comprehensive overview of the various terms that surround orchid growing. If you've ever wondered how to pronounce that funny orchid name or what types of orchids make up a Vuylstekeara, this compact book will be handy to have around. The Orchidist's Lexicon is still in circulation today at various retailers and from our website here.
1974: The Oregon Orchid Society hosts the 19th annual Western Orchid Congress
1991: Long time OOS Members Margaret and Charles Baker publish the first book in the Orchid Species Culture series of books. These books are still the most comprehensive overviews of growing species orchids. Their publications continued even after Margaret's death in 2003, with the final book published in 2006. Since Charles' passing the species culture sheets have been managed by Troy Meyers of Meyers Conservatory.
1993: The Oregon Orchid Society participates in Zoo Bloom at the Washington Park Zoo (now the Oregon Zoo).
1995: The Oregon Orchid Society hosted the American Orchid Society Trustee's meeting (the photo on the right is the cover of the 40 page handbill from the event). The five day event had ten participating orchid societies. Speakers came from as far away as Switzerland. Vendors included Andy's Orchids, Carmela Orchids, Hoosier Orchid, J.E.M. Orchids, J&L Orchids, Kawamoto Orchids, Norman's Orchids, Paphanatics and Zuma Canyon Orchids among many others totalling over 40 vendors. The show was widely hailed as a great success by all that participated.
1997: The Oregon Orchid Society website named in the top 100 websites by teleport.com (earthlink.com). As the Internet has developed, so has our website. We hope that our current website is serving our goal of orchid education for people in the Portland area and around the world.
2000: Native Orchids of Oregon is published by the Oregon Orchid Society - the only comprehensive book on Oregon's native orchids. This book is carried by a number of retailers but it's also available from our website here.
2009: The OOS is awarded both the AOS and the Orchid Digest award for best display at the 64th annual Oregon Orchid Show & Sale. This is a rare combination of awards because of the different criterion that must be met for each award.
2013: The OOS is featured along with GROWISER Orchid Preserve in Eastern Oregon on its third field trip to the preserve on Oregon's PBS affiliate, Oregon Public Broadcasting TV. The show aired in February 2014. Check it out here.
The Oregon Orchid Society is a fun and lively group that holds monthly meetings at the Siena Hall in the Holy Rosary Catholic Church grounds, 375 NE Clackamas St. in Portland just north of the Oregon Convention Center. Our meetings are on the third Wednesday of the month. Our annual show and sale (in the next block at Aquinas Hall, 340 NE Clackamas St) is the largest orchid event in the Pacific Northwest. Our upcoming show will continue the tradition as the Largest Orchid Event in the Pacific Northwest on April 27 & 28, 2019! We also hold greenhouse tours of society members and local orchid vendors, an annual picnic and numerous social and educational events in and around Portland. But this page isn't about who we are now, it's a glimpse into the history of the Oregon Orchid Society - a history of which we are very proud. Take a trip back in time using the slider above and discover a few milestones in the history of the OOS.
An ad for the Oregon Orchid Show & Sale from the Oregon Journal in 1950:
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