Sandy Carter is a West Linn retiree, writer and history lover who’s never sure how to fill out the line on application forms that allows about 25 characters for “Occupation.” After her retirement as grant-writer for a human services agency, her volunteer work with Willamette Falls Heritage Foundation expanded, focused on promoting heritage and preservation in the historic industrial territory surrounding Willamette Falls. Specifically, she’s focused on a healthy future for Willamette Falls Navigation Canal and Locks and has been the voice of Locks advocacy since 2002.
Sandy joined the board of the Cultural Coalition in 2016 as a heritage representative and was happy to be able to contribute to the creation of its new 2018 Cultural Plan. On the side, she teaches basic grantwriting for nonprofits and has gathered oral histories for legacy projects like SavethePTBoat and the industrial area at West Linn’s Locks. She authored $1.09 an Hour and Glad to Have It, published in 2010, which introduced the stories of 17 career mill workers at Crown Zellerbach West Linn. She also produced two full-length oral history video documentaries sourced from those interviews and coordinated three “Art Contemplates Industry” plein air events at historic county powerhouses. All products of her projects have been printed and placed in Clackamas County libraries for future research.
Carter’s American ancestors arrived in Oregon in wagon trains in 1845 and 1888. Her background includes a journalism degree from the University of Oregon, some magazine and newspaper reporting and several community and local preservation awards. She has twice contributed articles to the Oregon Historical Society Quarterly, and has published a family letters collection from WWII: Letters from the Sewing Box. Besides the Foundation and the Cultural Coalition, she belongs to the League of Women Voters and local heritage organizations, and one of her best memories is riding in an open red convertible on a sunny July morning as the Grand Marshall of the West Linn Old Time Fair Parade.