Skip to Main Content

Local History in the Special Collections and Archives Research Center

Historical Sketch

An aerial photograph of Adair Village.
The community of Adair Village - what was known as Camp Adair during World War II - is located north of Corvallis, Oregon on Highway 99W. Between 1942 and 1946 - the year the site was decommissioned - Camp Adair served as a training camp and base for over 45,000 troops and military personnel. Between 1957 and 1969, the former camp headquarters building housed an Air Force radar station. In 1976, the community was incorporated, and "the Air Force facilities, along with a few surviving wartime structures, became the nucleus of Adair Village."  As of the 2010 census, the population was 840.


Dan Poling Papers, 1956-1966
The Dan Poling Papers consist of Poling's dissertation on Adair Village and a history of the Blue Key National Fraternity. Poling's paper, Adair Village: A Post-War Project in Community Living for Married Students of Oregon State College, was completed in 1956 for his Doctor of Education degree at the University of Oregon. Poling describes the housing needs of students following World War II; the history of Adair Village; the physical plant, management, and services provided at Adair Village; and community life activities (Box 01). Poling earned a BS in Commerce from Oregon Agricultural College in 1928 and served as Dean of Men at Oregon State from 1947 until the early 1970s.

Oregon State University Memorabilia Collection, ca. 1860-present
The Memorabilia Collection is an artificial collection containing items of interest about Oregon State University and to a lesser extent, the city of Corvallis, and the state of Oregon, including programs, posters, brochures, clippings, buttons, pennants, stickers, and other ephemera. The Memorabilia Collection includes information about Oregon State University buildings and campus development; academic departments and programs; research, extension, and outreach; faculty, staff, and alumni; student organizations; intercollegiate and intramural athletics; and other campus events, activities, and issues. Materials relating to Adair Village can be found in Box-folder 1.13 and 151.7; materials documenting the history of Camp Adair can be found in Box-folder 24.17, 32.13, 180.13, and 182.20-21. Select items from this collection have been digitized and are available in Oregon Digital.

John H. Gallagher, Sr., Collection, 1932-1973
The Gallagher Collection consists predominantly of engineering site reports for former military sites in Oregon (Camp Adair, Camp White, and McNary Field). The collection also includes photographs of Camp Adair, and the engineering reports for Camp Adair include additional images (Boxes 01 and 02). Items from this collection have been digitized and are available in Oregon Digital.

Douglas and Mabel McKay Papers, 1901-2014
The Douglas and Mabel McKay Papers document Douglas McKay's student years at Oregon Agricultural College (OAC), his military service during World Wars I and II, and his political career. Douglas McKay graduated from OAC in 1917 with a BS in Farm Crops and married Mabel Christine Hill that same year. McKay was a successful businessman and politician, serving as an Oregon State Senator, Oregon Governor, and Secretary of the Interior in the Cabinet of President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Photographs of Camp Adair during World War II can be found in Box 04 and Box 11; two sketches of Camp Adair drawn by Don Lynch are housed in Box 11.



Harriet's Photograph Collection, circa 1868-1980
Harriet's Photograph Collection--named for the first University Archivist, Harriet Moore--is an artificial collection of photographic images documenting a range of Oregon State University programs, activities, and personnel from the institution's founding as Corvallis College in 1868. The collection consists of about 25 cubic feet of photographic prints and negatives (approximately 30,000 items) dating from the late 19th century through the 20th century. The three images of Adair Village in the collection - all cataloged as image HC 0816 - have been digitized and are available in Oregon Digital.

News and Communication Services Photograph Collection, 1949-1999
The News and Communication Services Photograph Collection contains images generated and collected by the News and Communication Services Office that depict campus buildings, faculty and staff, recreational and athletic activities, and other events. Images relating to Adair Village or Camp Adair include an aerial view of Adair Village take circa 1960 (image #1191, Box 02); a photograph of OSU Librarian Rodney Waldron at the Oregon Resource Center for Cooperating Libraries at Adair Village (image #7045, Box 11); and several images of Camp Adair buildings that were salvaged and re-purposed on OSU's campus (images #5244, 6497, and 6618, Boxes 09, 10, and 11). Select images from this collection have been digitized and are available in Oregon Digital.

Gwil Evans Photographic Collection, 1930-1968
This extensive photographic collection consists of photographs taken by the staff of the Oregon State College (and later Oregon State University) News Bureau. The collection documents the full range of University programs and activities and includes images of campus buildings and development; student life; instruction and research; faculty, staff, and alumni; and Extension Service programs especially for the post-World War II period through the early 1960s. The collection has been mass digitized and is available in Oregon Digital. All images of Camp Adair and Adair Village have been digitized, and can be viewed by clicking on the following links: Adair Village and Camp Adair.

W. Lester Powell Photograph Collection, 1913-1956
The W. Lester Powell Photograph Collection consists of images taken and assembled by Powell documenting Powell's student years at Oregon Agricultural College (OAC). Powell attended OAC from 1912 to 1917. Of special note are several duplicate prints of Wells, Oregon, a small town in north Benton County that was evacuated and demolished in the early 1940s to establish Camp Adair (images #289-292, Box-folder 1.1).

President's Office Photographs, 1923-1998
The President's Office Photographs consist of photographs documenting the activities of the presidents of Oregon State University, primarily from 1960 through 1995, as well as individual portrait photographs of Oregon State faculty and staff from the 1930s through 1960s. The collection includes images of Camp Adair facilities (images #1059-1070, Box-folder 2.06), and the Camp Adair quonset huts (images #1140-1143, Box-folder 2.06).

Agriculture Photograph Collection, circa 1890-1970
This is an artificial collection of photos from many sources pertaining to various aspects of agriculture in Oregon, the Pacific Northwest, the Midwest, and Canada. Two groupings of photographs in Series 2, Emergency Farm Labor Service, document soldiers from Camp Adair assisting in harvesting crops (images #123a-123d, Box-folder 1.08), and engaging in other agricultural labor as part of the recuperative process (images #140-142, Box-folder 1.10). Several of these images - image # 123a, 123c, and 141 - have been digitized and are available in Oregon Digital.



Camp Adair, Oregon, Maps and Aerial Photographs, 1942-1973
The Camp Adair, Oregon, Maps and Aerial Photographs collection includes topographic maps, orthophotographs, and other maps and images documenting Camp Adair, which was located north of Corvallis, Oregon. Camp Adair was a U.S. Army training facility during World War II. Most of the materials in the collection were prepared by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the bulk are from the war years of 1942-1944. The maps offer details on buildings in the cantonment area; artillery ranges; training courses; roads, ditches and culverts; and general land features.

Oregon State Highway Division Maps of Oregon Cities and Towns, 1969-1989
Produced in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration, the Oregon State Highway Division Maps of Oregon Cities and Towns consist of street maps of 230 municipalities in Oregon primarily from the 1970s and 1980s. In addition to streets and roads, the maps include details such as city limits, road systems, post offices, schools, public buildings, court houses, and some notable land features. The population of the town or city is also noted on each map. Maps of Adair Village dating to the 1970s can be found in Box 01.

Record Groups

Business Affairs Records, 1912-2007
The Business Affairs Records consist principally of payroll records, policy and procedure statements, memoranda sent by the Office of Business Affairs, and records of tuition and fees. Contained within the collection are documentation of many general policies, functions and actions of the university regarding fiscal affairs. Salary increases and cuts, regular and irregular payments of the university, and many payroll records are also housed within the collection. Also included are past university budgets; Capital Construction Funding Records; preliminary plans for new buildings; and contracts, correspondence, and contract supplements. Records documenting the transfer of Camp Adair to OSU, and generally relating to Adair Village and Adair Heights, are also included in the collection and can be found in the following microfilm reel-folder locations: 8.324 (Camp Adair), 15.512 (Adair Heights), 15.519 (Adair Village), 25.776 (Adair Heights and Adair Village), 27.903 (Adair Heights), 27.905 (Adair Housing Bids), 27.909 (Adair Village Heating Plants), 30.1054 (Adair Village).

Facilities Services Records, 1888-2010
The Facilities Services Records document the physical campus of Oregon State University in Corvallis, as well as OSU facilities throughout the state of Oregon beginning, with construction of the first building on the current campus in 1888. The records consist predominantly of architectural drawings and files for the design, construction, and modification to structures. Architectural drawings and maps relating to Camp Adair - more specifically, the Adair Air Force Station, Lands and Rights of Way, and the Veterans' Housing Project - can be found in Folder 2, 3, and 4, respectively. Additional project files relating to Camp Adair can be found in Box 107.

Oral Histories

Horner Museum Oral History Collection, 1952-1993
The Horner Museum Oral History Collection consists of more than 250 oral history interviews conducted or assembled by the Horner Museum. The interviews address a variety of topics including the stories of Oregon State University faculty, students, and academic departments; the history of Corvallis and Benton County, Oregon; evolving economic and cultural perspectives on natural resources in rural Oregon; the life experiences of Native Americans and other ethnic minorities in the region; and the recollections of Americans born in the first few decades of the twentieth century. Two oral histories in the collection - with W. Waldo Ball and Alan B. Berg (February 28, 1979) - discuss life at Camp Adair during World War II. The two Ball interviews that touch on Camp Adair are available online (July 5, 1979 and July 19, 1979); the Berg interviews have been digitized and are available upon request.

CH2M Hill, Inc. Oral Histories, 1961-1984
The CH2M Hill, Inc. Oral Histories document the evolution of the CH2M Hill engineering firm through the lens of personal histories of its principal founders and longtime employees. The collection consists of recordings and transcripts of interviews with seven individuals crucial to the creation, growth and character of the firm, as well as extensive background information compiled by the project's managers, employees of the Horner Museum. All of the audiocassettes held in this collection have been digitized and these files are available upon patron request. The collection includes an interview with Archie H. Rice, who served as Camp Adair's Chief Sanitary Engineer in 1942. All audiocassettes in the collection have been digitized, and these files are available upon request.

Rare Books

Baker, John Harvard. Camp Adair: the Story of a World War II Cantonment: Today, Oregon's Largest Ghost Town. 1st ed., 2003. UA26.O7 B35 2003

The Community Spirit, 1948. F884.A4 C6

Polk County Museum Association. Camp Adair Memories, 1941-1993. The Association, 1993. UA26.O7 C3721 1993*

Polk County Museum Association. Camp Adair, 50 Years Ago, World War II. The Association, 1992. UA26.O7 C371 1992*

Village Council. Adair Village Directory. F884.A4 A4

Additional rare books documenting Adair Villages's and Camp Adair's history can be found by searching the Valley Library's online catalog.

Digital Resources

Looking for online content? Oregon Digital, ScholarsArchive, and Media Space contain a wealth of digitized materials that document the rich history of Oregon's residential communities. Often, digitized materials are gathered together as sets, either by publication or collection. Please note that links listed below are "canned searches" for specific content relating to the city, town, or community in question.