Wednesday, July 18, 2012

hometown tourist: the shelton - mcmurphy - johnson house

"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!

Awhile back, the kiddo and I stopped in at the Shelton-McMurphy-Johnson House, a local Victorian-era house that's been made into a museum.

I don't recommend the tour for toddlers. At least not for toddlers like mine, who are active and curious and always getting into everything. The tour is long (over an hour), nothing is permissible to touch or climb on, the stairs are steep, and if you want to take photos, they will all turn out blurry as you simultaneously dive to keep your toddler from climbing on an antique bed or pulling open (or over) a glass-front china cabinet.

But for older, more patient children and adults with an interest in history, it's a beautiful, interesting place to visit.

Filled with era-appropriate furnishings, clothing, and household objects (many of which were actually owned by the three major families who owned the house for a hundred years) the house tells the history of the people who lived there and the local area.

Twin and double beds on the sleeping porch.

Intricately carved bed in the master bedroom.

Sewing machine in the hall nook.

Doll furniture in the nursery.

Humpty-Dumpty print in the nursery.

Kitchen utensils in the working kitchen (not restored, but useable for weddings and other events).

The best part, as far as the kiddo was concerned, was being turned loose on the wooded paths on the side of Skinner's Butte. Especially the late-spring puddles, perfect for stomping.

We might stop back in for Living History Day on August 4th, which sounds way more kid-friendly than the usual museum tour, with kids crafts, ice cream, and people in costumes.

If you're in Eugene, Oregon on that day, you should come too!

Have you been out exploring your local museums this summer? What do you recommend for young kids?

(p.s. you can make these photographs larger just by clicking on them, but you probably already knew that.)

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