Brownsville/Sweethome Historical Trip

October 23, 1991

Going to Brownsville by the “old” road through Coburg, thirty Obsidians and friends discussed the change in crops grown at this end of the Valley in the last generation from beans and flax to grass-seed and rape-seed. At Brownsville the group divided, half going to the Linn County Museum and the rest to the Moyer House, then after an hour changing back to the other historic location. The Museum is housed in Brownsville’s old depot, moved to the center of town, and in seven box cars and a caboose. Its displays feature Brownsville’s early doctor’s, dentist’s and lawyer’s offices, a bank, general store and blacksmith’s shop. One boxcar is an auditorium which shows videos of local history. The Moyer House, Brownsville’s Italianate “mansion”, has the 1881 hand-painted landscapes, floral designs and stenciling on walls and ceilings. Its period furnishings are largely gifts of the community with a few pieces of Moyer furniture. Members of the Linn County Historical Society acted as guides. Lunch followed at the Main Street General Store. Visiting the Living Rock Studios in Brownsville, built by the Howard Taylor family, followed lunch. This is a unique museum with many rock and Indian exhibits built into its walls, and pictures designed of thin sheets of quartz or agate used in place of stained glass. There are many varieties of petrified wood and mineral specimens, paintings and wood carvings by Mr. Taylor, and family heirlooms and pioneer relics. Then by bus to Sweethome to the East Linn Museum with its outdoor displays of early mining and lumbering equipment. Inside the former church building are interesting displays of Indian artifacts and pioneer furniture and equipment. There are many early models of photographic and turn-of-the-century office equipment. The finale of the trip was a visit to the Weddle covered bridge now moved to Sweethome’s City Park. Home by the forested Marcola Road, the vine maples ablaze with color.

Back at S.E.H.S. by 4:30 p.m. were Ewart Baldwin, Ingrid Carmichael, Lillebil Castell, Thelma Collins, Addie Cook, Clair Cooley, Bill & Marjory Eaton, Minnie Foskett, Bette Hack, Elma Doris Haveman, Lillian Johnson, Roselle Jones, Virginia Kapsa, Helen Knowlton, Dodie Leppman, Mary McLaughlin, Cleora Mersdorf, Virginia Moore, Selma Nelson, Jean Nye, Meribeth Olsen, Janice Pattison, Bonny Quasdorf, Lois Schreiner, Grace Smith, Lanelda Watts, Cristy White, Elaine Yost and Ardis Ebbighausen (leader).

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