Community’s home: Brown House debuts as event space with music

February, 2018 Posted in Arts, Culture & History, Community

Brown House Event Center

By Mary Owen

The Santiam Heritage Foundation will host an Oregon Pioneer Spirit Folk Music Play-In as one of its first events in the newly named Brown House Event Center.

“When the Santiam Heritage Foundation was formed in 2001 to save the 1903 Charles and Martha Brown House, members decided not to make it a museum,” said Steve Poisson, vice president of the board of trustees.

“Rather, their vision was for it to become a community event space. Now that the first floor is essentially complete, we are able to offer it for use for public and private events. Thus the name change. We see this new event venue as a place for the community to come together, so we added ‘building community’ as a simple statement of our vision for use of the house.”

Originally known as the historic Charles and Martha Brown House, the center’s new name reflects a realization of the goal set by the founders, Poisson said.

Screen Shot 2018-02-01 at 2.36.21 PM“We hope the new name begins a new chapter of memories being made in the house for many years to come,” he said.

“This will support our restoration efforts both inside and out, and ensure our continued existence as an important community resource,” he said.

The Play-In is co-sponsored by the Brown House Event Center and Salem for All!. It starts at 1 p.m. on Feb. 4. Stayton artist Paul Toews will emcee and provide some original poetry regarding the American “Quest for the West,” Manifest Destiny, and the spirit of time.

The musicians will be led by Stayton musician Maria Bulkow. The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments sold benefit ongoing rehabilitation work.

Events for this year include a St. Patrick’s Day Beer Tasting, a quilt show, concerts and annual favorites such as the Victorian Tea, the Ghost Tour and Chocolate Walk, and the Patriot’s Day Cruise In.

“The house and grounds will be available for rental and use by other organizations and individuals for public or private events,” Poisson added.

Funds and volunteer labor are still needed to finish restoring the second floor and property, Poisson said.

“We plan to approach businesses in the community to form partnerships with those that are also invested in building our community, because we cannot complete this project without broad-based community support,”
he said.

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