Contributed by: Rachel Thomas, archivist for George Fox University and the Northwest Yearly Meeting of Friends. Rachel enjoys exploring her native Oregon and using what her family calls her “museum-dar” to find little known historical sites and museums to explore.
Ramona, Beezus, Henry and their friends were childhood companions to thousands of young readers. Their lives on Klickitat Street bring fond memories or early school days and long summers. Beverly Cleary, author of the Ramona Quimby and Henry Huggins books is an Oregon native. She was born in McMinneville about an hour south of Portland, raised nearby in the small town of Yamhill, and later moved to Portland, the setting for her novels. Brush up on your Ramona knowledge by rereading some of the books before you come!
Fans can enjoy walking tours of “Ramona’s World.” A self guided walking tour developed and published by The Library Foundation will take you to sights such as Klickitat Street and the Beverly Cleary Sculpture Garden. Children (and adults) can enjoy playing at parks along the route. Make sure to bring your tin can stilts!
For die-hard fans, a day trip to Yamhill through the scenic Willamette Valley (the heart of Oregon’s wine country) is in order. The Yamhill County Historical Society is happy to answer questions (they also have a fantastic museum!). Driving through Yamhill, visitors will view many sites from Beverly Cleary’s childhood.
Beverly Cleary recently celebrated her 101st birthday, and is celebrated by the people of Oregon.