Brunk House & Polk County Fair

August 10, 1995

After a rest stop at Helmick State Park and a brief look-see at the covered wagon that in 1959 crossed the Plains from Independence, MO. to Independence, OR. to commemorate the Oregon Centennial, we arrived at the historic Brunk House, which dates from 1861. It is a well-maintained, two-storied structure with interesting and authentic furniture, furnishings and memorabilia. The grounds include fruit trees, prize dahlias, a tool shed, farm machinery and a herb garden which many Obsidians found very fascinating. The Polk County Historical Society and our hostess, Georgia Wildfang, received us warmly and treated us to a delightful tour of this pioneer farm located about ten miles west of Salem on Hwy. 22. We lunched at the County Park located in a wooded canyon in the Mill Creek Recreational Area, two miles south of Buell. Mill Creek is a beautiful stream with clear water, cascades, swimming holes and good fishing spots. This site has good picnicking and recreational facilities, but is seldom visited, although it is only a short distance off heavily traveled Hwy. 22. Then a great afternoon in Rickreall at the Polk County Fair, whose theme was “When You and I Were Young”, with live music by the Occasional Jazz Band, playing tunes from an era when music was really good. No carnivals, no raucous noise, limited commercialism — just a real nice farm fair with traditional exhibits, crafts and stock, with an emphasis on those disappearing rural values. The Polk County Fair is a true country fair! Many of us toured the nearby Rickreall Dairy, a modern, sophisticated, very clean operation. This is the second largest dairy complex in Oregon. Seeing a calf only two hours old take his first step was quite an experience for us city folk.

Our driver, John Bunker, did his usual excellent job, returning 21 riders to Eugene at 5:30 p:m. Guests were Fran Cooley, Evelyn Knott, A1 Thiessen and Zdenka Tripp; Obsidians were Ingrid Carmichael, Clair Cooley, Bill Eaton, Bette Hack, Dodie Leppmann, Norman Lumian, John & Lenore McManigal, Cleora Mersdorf, Frances Newsom, Virginia Prouty, Liz Reanier, Lois Schreiner, Betty & Harvey Speck, Louise Thurber and Ray Jensen, leader.

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