GLENDALE, Ore. -- The city of Glendale is using a new historic marker to honor its Jewish past in hopes that it makes an impact on the city’s future.
The historical marker was donated by the Jewish-American Society for Historic Preservation and was installed in Memorial Park just a few weeks ago.
City Recorder Dawn Russ said even before it was put in place, the history of the town was obvious.
“You can’t mistake it around the town,” Russ said. “There’s Montgomery Avenue, Sol Abraham -- the streets are named after a lot of his family and everything. There’s a lot of history, and people are very aware of the history. It wasn’t a surprise. It was just an added bonus.”
According to an article by Jewish-American Society President Jerry Klinger, historical documents show the Glendale area was once a settlement called New Odessa.
Settled by Russian-Jewish immigrants escaping the rule of Alexander III, Solomon Abraham and others established the New Odessa settlement.
City Councilor Ted Grissom said he hopes the historical marker helps educate more people about the city’s rich history.
“I think it brings the awareness of the people working together, understanding the history and the background,” Grissom said. “A lot of us didn’t really understand it or know it as well as we can now.”
The settlement disbanded by 1888 due to religious and political differences, and Glendale was later established.
City Councilor Judy Cass said they’re looking forward to their upcoming dedication ceremony.
“Solomon Abraham’s great-granddaughter is going to be with us for the celebration next week, and we’re excited about that,” Cass said. “We’re excited that she’s able to make the trip, and maybe she can even add things that we don’t know about.”
The city is holding an official dedication ceremony for their new historical marker Sept. 12 at 1 p.m. in Memorial Park across from the post office.