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Archive for November 16th, 2011

Salem Field Trip

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

I went on a field trip with a group from Trinity to the Willamette Heritage Center in Salem, the state capitol. I went at the behest of a friend who organized it because we were to see an exhibit of quilts made by women who came to Oregon in the 1800s.

I am fairly new to Oregon so I am not very up on its history. The tour of the Heritage Center filled in some gaps in my  knowledge of Oregon history . I always thought that the first settlers came on the Oregon Trail in covered wagons! But, there were folks here before that who came to bring Christianity to the native Americans. They were not very successful, but they did send out the word that this would be a great place to live. The first settlers came on a boat that stopped in Hawaii on the way — I never did find out why? They brought lots of stuff on that boat, including the machinery needed to start a woolen mill and furniture and other household goods. The woolen mill stopped producing fabric in the early 60’s and was subsequently turned into a museum.

We first visited two of the oldest frame homes still existing in Oregon. They were the homes of the earliest settlers.

When first occupied, this did not have those lovely verandas or an indoor staircase. To get to the second floor living quarters, they climbed a ladder!! The photo up at the top is one of the bedrooms with an original sleigh bed brought on that ship to Oregon.

On the table in this room, you can see an original laptop.

As a former weaver, I was very taken with the gorgeous woven coverlets. Below is a coverlet using orange, blue and white. Where the blue and orange mix, it becomes brown! The photo below, shows a detail of another blue and orange quilt.


Here is a red coverlet.

Some of the beds had quilts.

And here is one thrown over a chair.

Here are some other nice shots of the interiors of the two houses we toured.

The crockery on this dry sick was wonderful.

One of the women in the group had an epiphany about why an iron is called an iron when she saw these.

Perched on a hill under some beautiful trees was the church.

These trees on the hill were awesome in stature and color. None of us knew what they are.


The pews in the church were purple. The docent said this was the original color – I love it.

We took a break for lunch in the mill cafe before continuing our tour. Each person’s tea came with a teapot and tea cozy.

The center has a wonderful yarn store where I got into a bit of trouble. More on this and the rest of the tour tomorrow.