rom the day he arrived in Salem in 1946, David Duniway gave a great deal of his time and energy to the local historical community. His retirement as State Archivist in 1972 only served to increase his focus on his other projects that have become cornerstones of the local historical community. Duniway helped to organized and became the first director of the Mission Mill Museum Association. He retired as director of the Mission Mill in 1976 to spend more time writing books about Salem history. Duniway was a founder of the Marion County Historical Society and the Salem City Club and served as a member of Salem's sesquicentennial committee. His personal connection to Oregon history was strengthened by the fact that he was the grandson of famous pioneer and equal rights champion, Abigail Scott Duniway.
Duniway was instrumental in several local historic preservation projects such as the Bush House in the 1950s and Deepwood Estate in the early 1970s.