Wednesday, January 25, 2012

hometown tourist : artsy stuff at the harrisburg museum

"Hometown Tourist" is an occasional series in which I tell tales about our adventures around town, and actually, the whole state of Oregon. Take a peek and come exploring with us!

This past summer I had buckled the kiddo into the car one afternoon and gone off hunting for a nap. I picked a direction, then drove and drove . . . through a couple of towns . . . through scenic pastures full of sheep . . . for about half an hour, until I decided to turn around before I got lost, and ended up in the parking lot of The Harrisburg Area Museum.

Besides a room full of newer and antique tractors and farm equipment, the museum features several additional outbuildings full of local history and artifacts, as well as a tiny church and a tiny schoolhouse decorated with historical finds.

We didn't have much time to spend there the first time we discovered the museum (we'd arrived a half hour before closing time), but we've been back a handful of times since then and spent a bunch of time exploring. The kid is totally into the museum for the farm equipment; nothing quite like massive tractor wheels and exposed engines for this guy. I'm kinda into the handcrafts, like these huge button samplers . . .

this quirky "Aristocrat Sign Maker" stamp kit . . .

and these nifty scale models of buildings designed and built in a local woodworker's garage as a hobby.

(Please excuse the foggy photos; it was cold out on our most recent trip, and the lens kept fogging up . . . )

We really recommend it. And if you happen to be there during a slow period, museum curator Leethra will treat you to a guided tour upon request. That woman possesses an incredible wealth of knowledge and passion for local history. And she's really sweet to little kids, too.

(p.s. you can make these photos bigger by clicking on them . . . but you probably knew that!)

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