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Articles written by Roberta Mckern

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 By Roberta McKern    News    August 31, 2022

Adventures in preservation: saving Weddle Bridge

"You know, this would probably make a good subject for an article," an East Linn Museum volunteer said as she held up a thick, green plastic notebook. The item had come with Ben Dahlenburg's scale...

 
 By Roberta McKern    News    July 27, 2022

What the nose knew (some scented vignettes)

At this time of year, as summer begins to wane, some of us are lucky enough to be able to visit scented backyards, where perfumes set forth by blooming honeysuckle, privet hedge, butterfly bush and...

 
 By Roberta McKern    News    June 29, 2022

Teacher's autograph albums full of notes from 'dear friends'

Among the more unexpected finds at the East Linn Museum are two small autograph albums and a photocopy of a third. Some of us might remember having such collections as young ladies in grade school....

 
 By Roberta McKern    News    June 1, 2022

Following log drives downriver into history

Thanks to late East Linn Museum volunteer Ted Fitzwater, we can float down the South Santiam River on a log drive. Inspired by the cover of "Sweet Home in Linn County, New Life, New Land," a...

 
 By Roberta McKern    News    April 27, 2022

Mining adventures in Linn County history

Here at the East Linn Museum, we're taking yet two more looks at the Quartzville Mining District. First, we had a visit from Cindy Budlong, a Mill City Historical Society volunteer representing their...

 
 By Roberta McKern    News    March 30, 2022

The art of speculation and history

If we want to exercise our speculating and surmising abilities, the East Linn Museum's the perfect place to visit. Why? Because it's filled by objects with obscure pasts. Some were possessions...

 

Historic postcards worth more than a thousand words

Not long ago, a number of colorful picture postcards at the East Linn Museum drew attention as they were placed in new albums with plastic sheaths, which allow both sides to be seen. What have we...

 

What chittem bark brought to the valley

While reading through Lois Rice's notes at the East Linn Museum, a couple of newspaper clippings caught my attention. One, from July 1904, dealt with collecting chittem bark. The other, from...

 

Rich histories embroidered into special quilt

A call came to the East Linn Museum a while back. Would we be interested in a quilt made by a ladies’ club east of Foster for a young lady turning 16 in 1942? “Another friendship quilt?” the...

 

Scraps reveal plenty about local history

If we want to be impressed by the transitory nature of history at the East Linn Museum, we can examine notes and newspaper clippings about our area compiled by Lois Rice about 50 years ago. Rice, of...

 

Cattle tracks through history at the East Linn Museum

As we meander through the East Linn Museum, we likely don't have cattle in mind until we come across lariats, saddles, mohair chaps and a branding iron in its tack room. Although some of the branding...

 

'Shooting anvils,' medicine shows and a cold murder case

At the East Linn Museum, it gladdens the researcher to come across an anecdote-filled history about a family that settled here in 1852 (and its descendants). Alvin and Polly Morris homesteaded on Fern...

 
 By Roberta McKern    News    August 25, 2021

Roberta McKern: Exploring the era of plastics at East Linn Museum

In the mid-1940s, following World War II, an optimistic announcement declared that the era of plastics had arrived. In reality, plastics of some sort had been around since 1869, when John Wesley...

 
 By Roberta McKern    News    July 28, 2021

Queen Victoria's influence lives on at museum

When we enter the East Linn Museum, thoughts of England's Queen Victoria don't come readily to mind. Still, her era's influences directly reflect on our area and many of the artifacts on display...

 
 By Roberta McKern    News    June 30, 2021

'Niceties' from the past abound at East Linn Museum

The East Linn Museum contains many niceties. The first, of course, is its research room’s historical materials. The many articles in the museum’s collection reflect the lives of those who settled...

 
 By Roberta McKern    News    May 26, 2021

Minor mysteries add spice to life at East Linn Museum

"Which way?" "I think that's upside down." "Wait, something's stuck in there." "Looks like a piece of cork." "It won't shake loose." "No. I'll see if I can get it. I think I can." Two lady volunteers...

 
 By Roberta McKern    News    April 28, 2021

Oregon pioneers took the trail to where grass was greener

A book entitled "The Willamette Valley: Migration and Settlement on the Oregon Frontier" can be located in the research room of the East Linn Museum with a little effort. Written by geographer...

 

Museum harbors truths about lye and washerwoman blues

We hear the phrase "The more things change, the more they stay the same," and often we nod and echo, "Yes, yes." Should we? Likely not. Things do not hold steady and unchanged, as we can easily tell...

 

Old bottles tell all manner of tales from days of yore

This is a tale of old bottles. Once, a pair of 5-year-old twins lived in a little house with their mother and father and younger sister and brother. About two blocks south flowed a small river. On an...

 

Former forest ranger's local history a go-to for stories of old

Roy Elliott's 1971 book, "Profiles of Progress," ranks high on the favorite book list at the East Linn Museum. The best history of Sweet Home in the museum's research room, it includes sketches of...

 

Calapooia River has wound its way through lot of local history

In the East Linn Museum a large, hand-drawn map of Linn County backs a partition of the household room near the rear exit sign. Most of us would not notice it if our attention were not directed...

 

'Shooting anvils,' medicine shows and a cold murder case

At the East Linn Museum, it gladdens the researcher to come across an anecdote-filled history about a family that settled here in 1852 (and its descendants). Alvin and Polly Morris homesteaded on Fern...

 
 By Roberta McKern    News    July 1, 2020

Museum parlor walls contain memories, mysteries

Let us suppose, for a moment, that you are back in the early parts of the 20th century, attending a family gathering at Grandma's. Grandpa is there, too, but the house is always thought of as...

 
 By Roberta McKern    News    January 1, 2020

Museum collection includes echoes of Christmases past

If fantasies about museums came true, in the quiet and darkness around midnight or early morning as we wait, from a display case we might hear the high, sweet voices of children singing Christmas...

 

Museum’s collection has strong representation from local logging heritage

For The New Era “This is a logging town, so why don’t you have more about logging?” a recent visitor to East Linn Museum asked. Actually, the museum has quite a few logging artifacts in the hall... Full story

 

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