Bill Coleman oral history interview, March 8, 2017
From Christoffer Petersen on March 10th, 2017
Bill Coleman is part of a large multigenerational hop growing family, primarily based in St. Paul and Mt. Angel. In his interview Coleman talks about his family’s history with hops in the Willamette Valley, growing up in a farming family, jobs he did as a child and adult, and the strong work ethic and values that were part of his upbringing. He also talks about the rapid expansion of farm land his family experienced in the 1950s through 1970s, the locations of the farms throughout the counties of the Valley, business relationships with other farming families and the monks at Mt. Angel Abbey, labor history and changes over time, and technologies he developed to improve efficiencies. He addresses the roles of different family members in current company structure, how to hand down knowledge through generations, and how they value communication. He shares his thoughts on his own travels and the value he places on meeting new people and appreciating the place he is from. This interview was conducted by Tiah Edmunson-Morton at Bill Coleman’s sister’s house in Mt. Angel, Oregon on March 8, 2017. Also present was Coleman’s sister Jane Wavra and great niece Michelle McKay.
Interview conducted as a component of the Oregon Hops and Brewing Archives, Special Collections and Archives Research Center, Oregon State University Libraries.