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Silverton Country Museum in the Ames-Warnock house on Water Street. File Photo

50 years – Silverton Country Historical Society celebrates anniversary

By Melissa Wagoner The Silverton Country Historical Society is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2024 with banners, exhibits, promotional materials and events throughout the year including a Homer Davenport Community Festival parade float and a celebration in the fall. “We especially want to honor and thank our members, donors, supporters, and volunteers who have helped along the way,” Director Jeff […]

Documentarian Michael Turner

Monument – New documentary explores family history, Holocaust

By Melissa Wagoner Growing up, Michael Turner knew that his Hungarian grandmother, Lici, was a Holocaust survivor and that both her parents and sister were killed in Auschwitz. But it wasn’t something Lici talked about – at least not with her grandson. “When I was in high school, some video producers came and interviewed my grandma about her experiences in […]

Carlo Antinucci, Pietro Sangiorgi and Craig Bazzi, participate in the Italian Conversation Nights at the Silver Falls Library. Melissa Wagoner

La vita è Bella – Shared Italian heritage brings people together

By Melissa Wagoner Growing up, Craig Bazzi’s grandparents – immigrants from Northern Italy – spoke mostly Italian, as did their neighbors. “But it wasn’t spoken in our home,” Bazzi recalled. And so, the language wasn’t something he ever learned. Then, as an adult, he took a trip to Italy with his wife, to reconnect with distant relatives and to see […]

Dr. Olwyn Davies, shortly before his death in 2021. File Photo

Remembering Dr. Davies – New mural to be revealed First Friday

By Melissa Wagoner Dr. Olwyn Davies practiced medicine in Silverton for 65 years, delivering an estimated 2,000 babies and becoming the sole primary care doctor for generations. “He was my doctor in 1972,” Nan Fleck – a patient of Davies who later went on to become his office assistant – said. “And my husband was a patient when he was […]

Historical crowdfunding campaign succeeds

A Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign – initiated Aug. 1 by historian, Gus Frederick, and a group referring to themselves as the “Silverton Freethinkers” – has succeeded in raising over $2,500 to fund the digitization of The Torch of Reason, a weekly newspaper published by the Liberal Oregon University from 1896 to 1903. “It was a prominent voice during the ‘Golden Age […]

The R.C. Geer farmhouse south of Silverton. The nonprofit that operates the 1851 homestead has received a heritage grant that will allow it to replace the roof. GeerCrest Farm & Historical Society

Preserving history – GeerCrest receives grant toward a new roof

By James Day The Geer farmhouse is in line for a new roof, courtesy of a grant from Oregon Heritage. Oregon Heritage, a division of the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, awarded the GeerCrest Farm & Historical Society $20,000 for its roof project. The award was one of 18 statewide that added $277,681 to historical preservation efforts. Jim Toler, a […]

Queen of Angels

‘Emerging from the clouds’ – Witnessing Queen of Angel’s legacy through historic Sister’s artistic contributions

By Stephen Floyd Sister Protasia Schindler’s name comes up in many conversations about the Sisters of Queen of Angels Monastery. Not as an administrator or reformer. Her paintings adorned the halls and helped foster a thriving culture of arts and letters. Even the giant sequoia outside the front steps was her unintentional handiwork. Schindler’s whimsy and spirited approach to monastic […]

Colegio Cesar Chavez 50th Anniversary

Supporters of Colegio Cesar Chavez will be hosting a 50th anniversary celebration on Aug. 26 in Mount Angel. The public is welcome to attend. Hosted by PODER, a Woodburn-based nonprofit focused on supporting the Latinx community, the event will celebrate the school’s pivotal role as the first accredited, independent four-year Chicano/Latino college in the U.S. Colegio Cesar Chavez was founded […]

Artist Tonya Smithburg working on the new mural. Melissa Wagoner

New mural – Historic Silver Creek mill site featured

By Melissa Wagoner The Fischer Flouring Mill was once one of the most eye-catching pieces of architecture in Silverton. Located along Silver Creek – where Silver Falls Library and Old Mill Park are situated today – the mill utilized state of the art turbine-powered electricity to process various grains for farmers in the Silverton area for over 30 years before […]

Supporting one another – Sisters found faith amid modern changes

Editor’s note: This is the second in a series of articles about the future of the Benedictine Sisters and the Queen of Angels Monastery. By Stephen Floyd Sister Dorothy Jean Beyer knew she wanted to be a nun in the second grade. She attended St. Mary’s School and admired the work of the Benedictine Sisters of Mount Angel who taught […]

Your Garden: How the Terrarium Changed the World

By Gregg Harris Don’t you just love all the wonderful plants we have available to us today? It hasn’t always been like this. In the 1820s there was a 95% failure rate whenever you tried to transport a live plant across the ocean. Salt spray, temperature and lack of light in the hold of the ship would cause nine out […]

Pratum memories – Artist captures iconic grain elevator in new mural

By Melissa Wagoner It was forbidden love – not farming – that was on Whitney Davis’s mind the first time she noticed the old wooden grain elevator outside Pratum. “I had met my high school sweetheart, Cody Glennie, my sophomore year,” Davis – who graduated from Silverton High School in 2010 – said. “He grew up in Pratum, just a stone’s throw […]

Perseverance – Benedictine Sisters’ move continues tradition

By Stephen Floyd The Benedictine Sisters of Mount Angel aren’t disbanding when they move out of Queen of Angels Monastery this summer. In fact, the order made an impact far and wide without a long-term home after they arrived in Oregon 141 years ago. Sister Dorothy Jean Beyer, the monastery’s former prioress and a member of the order, said departing […]

Classical music returns to Silver Falls State Park

Pianist Hunter Noack brings back his “In A Landscape: Classical Music in the Wild” performances to Silver Falls State Park on July 5 and 6. In its eighth season, the outdoor concert series allows America’s most stunning landscapes to replace the traditional concert hall.  A nine-foot Steinway grand piano travels on a flatbed trailer to National Parks, urban greenspaces, working […]

Slice of history: Silverton resident writes book on Allied involvement in Russian Civil War

By James Day Silverton resident Lee Mercer has published a novel about a little-known piece of World War I-era military history. Along with their French, British, Australian and American allies, Canadian troops fought on the side of the White Russians against the Red Bolsheviks from 1918-19. In The Archangel Invasion, Mercer tells the story of Canadian Ammon Freeman, who is […]

American identity – Ahamu Umi gives MLK Day keynote

When African-American racial and social justice activist Ahjama Umi saw a gang of conservative white motorcyclists roar in at a funeral he was attending for one of its members, he didn’t feel intimidated or threatened. He saw an opportunity for dialogue on issues likely foreign to the gang. That’s how Umi works: transform a culture through dialogue, getting people to […]

Base coat – Silverton Mural Society gathers community support

By Melissa Wagoner When Chris Davie joined the Silverton Mural Society in 2020 the organization was in desperate need of help. Longtime leader, Vince Till, had recently passed away and support had begun to wane. “The key thing for the mural society is, we always need money,” Davie, who is now the board treasurer, said.  “It costs $10,000 to $12,000 […]

Elves back in business – Holiday bazaars, festivals, make comeback

By Melissa Wagoner Holiday bazaars are not just providing holiday spirit this year, they’re also bringing a little bit of “normal” to a year that has been anything but. “In a way it is a little more special this year,” Kim White – Vendor Coordinator for Santa Mouse, Silverton’s longest running holiday bazaar – confirmed. “It is giving us something to look […]

Datebook: December 2021

Frequent Addresses Mt. Angel Public Library, 290 Charles St. Silverton High, 1456 Pine St., Silverton. Silverton Senior Center, 115 Westfield, 503-873-3093. Age 50 and older. Silver Creek Fellowship, 822 NE Industrial Way, Silverton. Weekly Events Monday SACA Food Pantry, 9 a.m. – noon, SACA, 421 S Water St., Silverton. Repeats Thursdays. 503-873-3446, silvertonareacommunityaid.org Mt. Angel Community & Senior Center Store, […]

Christmas cheer – New Silverton mural now at Oregon Garden Resort

By Melissa Wagoner  Silverton’s newest mural is a bit off the beaten track, but definitely worth the trip. Located at the Oregon Garden Resort, this 40-foot tribute to all things Christmas, is the latest creation of prolific muralist, Lori Rodrigues, and a focal point for the upcoming Silverton Christmas Market. “Learning about the ideas for the market really drew me […]

Comforting cats

By Melissa Wagoner When Donna Hues learned that her short story, “Guard Cat,” was among the top 300 contenders for a spot in the popular book series, Chicken Soup for the Soul: My Clever, Curious, Caring Cat, she was more than a little surprised. “They get 1,000-plus stories,” Hues said of the fierce competition. She’s normally a historical fiction novelist. “I thought well, if […]

Lunaria presents new show ‘Inspired’

Through the month of November, Lunaria Gallery in Silverton features Kara Pilcher on the main floor, plus the annual Member Holiday Gift Show will be held in the upstairs Loft Gallery. Inspired by dance, grandchildren, the garden, and books, featured artist Kara Pilcher was motivated to try to capture an image with paint, usually watercolors. The result has been a […]

Taking care of a Wright – Grant boosts needed Gordon House upkeep

By Brenna Wiegand Last month the Oregon Cultural Trust awarded the Gordon House Conservancy a grant of $13,325 toward ongoing preservation of the Frank Lloyd Wright designed home. The money goes a long way toward funding the stabilization of a sagging 20-foot beam spanning its living room, thereby preserving the home’s structural integrity and protecting the Conservancy’s mission of educating […]