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When one thinks of Trailblazers regarding the Adair area, most think of the 70th Infantry Division. These Trailblazers would be a brand-new Division activated at Camp Adair, in that they had no history prior to WWII and was formed as a living memorial to the pioneering spirit of those who came and founded the roots of the state of Oregon. Many soldiers would make their way through the grounds of Camp Adair, many would give their lives in service. The ones who came home to work at being productive and live with the trauma that they encountered. They set standards as people to aspire to.

Portrait of an elderly woman with short white hair, smiling, wearing earrings and a blue blouse with a beige background.

Then there are the Trailblazers that would call the area home after the military would close the final base of Adair Air Force Station. The community that would purchase and move into the housing left from those days would transform into the robust and growing community that we have today. That to vision and leadership and not just from any community member but one who organized many things in Adair Meadows.  This person was Charlene King.

 Charlene would be asked to run for a new position of mayor for the new City of Adair Village. She would win the election in 1976. Then was tasked in making many decisions of which the effects are still in play to this very day. What makes Charlene such a Trailblazer, is that she would become the first woman mayor in the state of Oregon.

She was tasked to make decisions on fire coverage, commerce, and working with the many land-owning entities that have stakes in the city boundaries, that would make a thousand-piece puzzle seem easy to navigate, to ensure that the residents would have resources needed for the community to flourish. She would balance relationships in the city and county to ensure the citizenry would be able to have necessities like clean water. She would take to task larger city entities, the City of Albany in a major case, to ensure that the water treatment plant would stay under Adair Village control. That, and long after, would ensure that the plant would stay staffed and providing the much necessary resource for the community.

She would continue to be a driving force in the community even after she was done being mayor. She would continue to serve on the city council and planning commissions and that was after serving as Benton County Commissioner. She would drive for the preservation of the community history and was a presence that pushed Adair Living History into existence and pursue the aches and pains of building the interest for the interpretive center. She was present at Founder’s Day celebrations and took time for university students that wanted a better understanding of small-town politics and big vision aspirations. She would do this with dignity and grace.  

Book cover titled 'Adair Diary: The Early Years - The City of Adair Village. A Mostly True Collaborative Memoir' featuring images of a flag and a historic building.

Unexpectedly, Charlene would pass away in February of 2019. This Trailblazing woman has left a legacy that resides today with Adair Village community and Adair Living History. ALH sells the book she co-wrote, Adair Diary: A Mostly True Collaborative Memoir, at events and strives to keep her memory alive as we focus on the future and the running of the Interpretive Center.