Wilsonville Library Displays Walt Morey’s 60-Year Old Typewriter
The Wilsonville Public Library and Wilsonville-Boones Ferry Historical Society are highlighting a portion of city and American history by displaying the manual typewriter used by author Walt Morey. The Library is also featuring a photo of Morey and a sculpture commemorating the popular children’s book, Gentle Ben, that was published in 1965.
Now displayed at the entrance of the Library's Walt Morey Children's Room, the 60-year old Remington manual typewriter was used by Morey while producing 17 novels and dozens of short stories. Morey’s most popular book was Gentle Ben, a bestseller that was the basis for a movie and TV series shown over the period of 1965-67, and a made-for-TV movies that aired in 2002 and 2003. Three other Walt Morey books were turned into movies, two by Walt Disney Studios.
“Walt Morey was a very talented writer who contributed significantly to Wilsonville’s history and America’s literary and popular culture,” said Mayor Tim Knapp. “This display is a very special tribute to Morey’s talents and all that he did for our community.”
Morey’s typewriter was donated to the Wilsonville-Boones Ferry Historical Society following Morey’s death in 1992. The typewriter is now housed in a secured kiosk produced by the Historical Society with financial assistance by a matching grant from the City of Wilsonville, funded by revenues from hotel/motel room taxes.
Also on display are five, signed first-editions donated by Historical Society member Ron Wirth plus an accompanying narrative of Morey's colorful career. At various times during his life, Morey was an Alaskan fisherman, sawmill worker, professional prize-fighter and deep-sea diver.
The Wilsonville-Boones Ferry Historical Society also added a binder to the library's Northwest Collection that contains biographical features on Morey and copies of 27 of his short stories. His first, in 1937, resulted in a payment of $55! Morey's books, written from his filbert-farm home on the Willamette River in west Wilsonville, won a dozen national awards and were published in 16 foreign languages.