Aumsville Museum: Visiting the past

April, 2012 Posted in Arts, Culture & History

Aumsville MuseumBy Mary Owen

Aumsville Museum and History Center will open its doors on Saturdays starting this month.

“We have lots of photos of the tornado on display,” said Ted Shepard, president of the Aumsville Historical Society which oversees the museum. “And of course, we have lots of other photographs as well as artifacts and print information on Aumsville people, schools, businesses and events. There are family histories, obituaries, school annuals as well as Oregon Trail and Marion County information.”

Some items are on permanent display while others are changed periodically so visitors will see something new each visit, Shepard said.

The Aumsville Museum, open 1-4 p.m. on Saturdays and by appointment in April through October, first opened its doors in August of 2009 in the brick building at 599 Main St.

Aumsville Historical Society
Museum & History Center

599 Main St., Aumsville
1-4 Saturdays April-October
and by appointment. Free

“The historic structure was the Aumsville State Bank from 1912 to 1933,” Shepard said. “Later it was used as the post office, telephone office, a plumbing shop, and Aumsville City Hall.”

Last year, 486 people visited the museum, while several groups made the museum a tour destination, Shepard said.

“While here, they took time to have breakfast or lunch thus bringing additional business to our local eating establishments,” he said.

For Shepard, providing an opportunity for visitors to learn about Aumsville’s past and to find information on ancestors is a real highlight of working with the museum.

“A recent visitor was able to find information on her grandfather Edgar T. Pierce, who was an officer of the bank and served as Aumsville’s treasurer and mayor,” Shepard said.

“Some of the more interesting artifacts include the Donker family cradle and Maude Boone’s wooden washing machine.”

Shepard said he likes meeting members of other local museums to share ideas and to participate in events with other historical groups, gleaning tips that could better the Aumsville Museum.

“One goal would be to digitize our photographs,” he said. “We would also welcome more information on local family histories.”

“Last year was a big year for Aumsville with its centennial of incorporation,” he said. “We had a four-day celebration. This historical society hosted a car cruise-in, an antique appraisal fair, and assisted with the city’s activities last Aug. 3.”

In honor of the centennial, AHS also published a book, The Centennial of Incorporation of Aumsville, Oregon 1911-2011, which is still available for purchase for $15 at the museum.

Shepard said he and other historical society members would like to increase the days and hours of operation for the museum, which is currently run by volunteers.

“Admission is free, and donations are accepted,” he added. “If someone would like to donate artifacts, print information or photographs, or volunteer time at the museum, just call.”

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