Winter-Spring 2012


selected articles from the

Winter-Spring 2012 Newsletter

All Star Volunteers

Members, friends and volunteers gathered to celebrate the accomplishments and honor ACHS volunteers at the annual Volunteer Social Potluck (our volunteers are exceptional cooks too). During 2011, over 3200 volunteer hours were donated thanks to our hard working volunteers. The Stauffer-Will Farm and Village Programs, along with the many events held by ACHS each year take many hands to achieve our goals. More than 100 volunteers donated their time in 2011.
Special attention was given to the members of the ACHS Board, Reg Keddie, Annette James, Roberta Hutton, Brian Asher, Elaine Ihle, Charlotte Hiller and Bill Wettstein for their help and support of staff.
Reg Keddie was given special thanks for the many hours of work that went into the capital campaign and organization of the barn restoration project. Roberta Hutton was recognized for beginning what we hope becomes a tradition in fund-raising; a wonderful dinner at the Stauffer-Will Farm. (This year’s dinner will be held on August 25th.)
We thank each and every volunteer that help to make ACHS a wonderful organization to be a part of.

Spinning for 30 Years

by Kathy Putnam
The Aurora Colony Handspinners’ Guild has been a guild since 1982. It started with a handful of people meeting in the Aurora Colony Museum, but soon outgrew its space. It now meets in Canby, Oregon in a space much more befitting its approximately 150 members.
Every year in mid-March the guild joins with the Aurora Colony Museum and presents their signature event, the Antique Spinning Wheel Showcase.
This is a very special event in which guild members in period costume spend two days spinning on upwards of 30 antique spinning wheels, all in prime working condition.
All of the wheels in the showcase are at least 100-200+ years old. In addition to wheels owned by guild members there will be spinning wheels from the museum collection that were actually used by original Aurora Colony members in the mid to late 1800’s. A key wheel in their collection is a large oscillating frame wheel that allows the operator to sit in a chair and use their foot to operate the spindle.
This March marked the 30th anniversary of this event, which brought 178 visitors to the museum during the show.

Welcome New Staff

ACHS is please to announce the hiring of Kathleen Mason as Marketing and Public Relations Manager. Kathleen brings with her a wide variety of marketing experience working with non-profits in California. She and her husband have moved to the Salem area to be closer to family. Kathleen enjoys history, art and playing with her grandson. Stop by the museum and welcome her to the ACHS Staff.

“Walking With Emma”

by patrick Harris
Marion County Cultural Development awarded a $1500 matching grant to the Aurora Colony Historical Society and the Aurora colony Visitors Association to provide visual and educational tools integrating the Aurora National Historic District with the stories concerning Emma Wagner Geisy, an Aurora Colony member and heroine of a popular series of novels by Oregon author Jane Kirkpatrick. The project includes a map brochure and related signage in the downtown historic district creating a more complete visit for readers. Additionally, the project will result in enhanced museum tours that focus on Emma and the artifacts that tell her story in the museum collection.
The Aurora Colony Visitors Association has a long standing partnership of nearly fifty years with the Aurora Colony Historical Society. While the museum staff now conducts tours and interprets historical information, the workers in the antiques stores also offer a genuine but subtle “backdoor” to history. The economic viability of Aurora’s historic buildings has relied, in large measure, upon a successful antiques industry that began here in 1959, seven years before the museum opened to the public. The business community acts as the first welcome to visitors, providing directions, parking and amenities as well as the volunteer force that maintains the city’s highway grounds, historic bench repainting and individual floral displays at business locations.
This project provides a unique opportunity for Marion County to continue to present itself as Oregon’s historical heartland and also to support a local business group in their efforts to provide an enhanced cultural experience to a growing number of national and international visitors.