Category Archives: Events & activities

Museum Closes for the Season

The Union County museum is closed for the season. We will welcome visitors again on Mother’s Day, May 14, 2017. We use the winter months to upgrade facilities, update and improve exhibits and to give the hard working volunteers a rest!

Thank you, to all who visited and continue to support the museum. We’re proud of the work such a small group of volunteers accomplish to preserve and present the history of Union County, Oregon.

Happy Holidays! We’ll see you in 2017!

Union County Museum’s Concert in the Courtyard

Luke McKern, Greg Johnson, Joy Patterson, Matt Bell

The Union County Museum hosted a free concert in the courtyard, Saturday, July 16, 2016. The Museum Courtyard Concert featured The Bad Penny Pleasuremakers, performing great songs from the vast music library of traditional jazz, Vaudeville and Tin Pan Alley from the teens through the 1930s.

“We play the “good old-good old ones,” says Matt Bell, guitar player and vocalist for the group. “These time-tested tunes can play themselves, but the Bad Pennies really bring them to life – and make the spirit felt all around the room! The Bad Penny Pleasuremakers are not just a band, they are an entertaining band!” 

Since late 2005, the Bad Pennies have been crafting their sound in New Orleans. From the reckless energy of blasting away as street musicians to delivering charm at intimate low-lit bars, the range of a night’s music will have an audience laughing, shouting, feeling randy and making puppy dog eyes. Matt Bell plays acoustic chord melody style guitar and sings. Joy Patterson sings, plays her trusty Kazookaphone, finesses the washboard and drags all kinds of noisemakers out of her hat. Joining the band for the evening were local Union County songsters, Luke McKern on upright bass and Greg Johnson on clarinet.

The music is described on the group’s website as: Traditional Jazz, Swing and Novelty – sweet, hot and SILLY! For more information, call (541) 377-0889, email Matt Bell at emayataytay@mac.com, or go to the Bad Penny Pleasuremakers website. Get a taste of their music on the video from Abita Springs Opry. We thank Matt Cooper and Sharon Porter for sponsoring this concert.

The evening began with music by the Sheehy Brothers, who invited the audience to sing along as they performed nostalgic tunes from the distant past.

The Union County Museum is open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with a mission to gather, preserve and present the history of Union County and the surrounding area. The museum is governed by the Union County Museum Society and managed and staffed entirely by volunteers. Please ask about membership and support the museum. Donations are appreciated and help us maintain and improve the facilities and exhibits.

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Museum to Host Pioneer Day August 29

Merle Miller is shown preparing Dutch-oven main dishes, breads and desserts during a past Pioneer Day.

Union, Oregon__The Union County Museum is hosting Pioneer Day, Saturday, August 29. Come watch a variety of pioneer skills demonstrations, including candle making, sheep shearing (yes – with live sheep!), wool spinning and weaving, tool making, Dutch-oven cooking, and blacksmithing. Mark Wing of Union will give rides in a horse-drawn wagon and talk about the history of Union’s commercial buildings. 

The event takes place in the museum courtyard, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., as part of the Union County Museum Society’s community outreach program. The interior museum exhibits will also be open for touring. 

“Our goal is to entice more people to get to know, enjoy and appreciate the museum,” said Sharon Hohstadt, President of the Union County Museum Society. “We have been pleased with the response to such events in recent years and are happy to meet and acquire new patrons.”

We are delighted to have three exceptional music groups perform in the afternoon. The Tailgate Trio will perform from noon to 1 p.m.; The Huitts will play from 1 to 2 p.m.; and the Twisted Willows (Cindy Frick, Leslie McMillan, Anna Leslie, Matt Cooper and Sharon Porter), perform from 2 to 4.

Admission for the event is by donation. Refreshments will be offered for sale by the Union County Museum Society Board. 

Gary Kohler discusses his black-powder gun and gear collection.

The Union County Museum is dedicated to presenting and preserving the history of Union County and the surrounding area. The museum is continually adding and upgrading exhibits, including the General Store exhibit, new this season. Newcomers always remark on the depth and quality of our exhibits.

Owned and operated by the Union County Museum Society, a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, the museum is an all-volunteer effort by a small but very dedicated group of individuals. Ask how you can get involved!

 

Summer 2015 Events Announced

Any day is a good day to explore the Union County Museum, but please mark you calendar for a fun event coming to the Union County Museum this summer.

Learn about blacksmithing, Dutch oven cooking, toolmaking, carpentry and more.

Pioneer Day, Saturday, August 29, is a great day to introduce the museum to your children, friends and relatives. Watch demonstrations of pioneer skills and get to know the museum volunteers and members. Details will follow as plans are confirmed.

Annual Yard Sale

The annual Union County Museum yard sale fund raiser takes place this weekend, May 30 & 31, 2014. Take this opportunity to visit the museum, seek out a new treasure or usable item for your home, and help out the museum keeps its doors open. While you are visiting, if you are not already a member, please join the Union County Museum Society. Membership allows you to visit the museum for free, opens the door to receive museum news and communication about activities, and lets you support the mission of the museum. We work to collect, preserve and present the history of Union County. We welcome your assistance.

First Board Meeting of the Year Scheduled

Happy New Year! The Union County Museum Society Board of Directors will hold its first meeting of the year Tuesday, January 14, at 4 p.m. in the Island City City Hall meeting room. President Sharon Hohstadt will lead the discussion on museum business, 2014 activities and events and an update the roof repair project. Additional items on the agenda include the treasurer’s and curator’s reports and planning for a membership drive.

Museum Society members and those interested in becoming a member or volunteer are invited to the meeting. Please contact Sharon Hohstadt, in advance if you have any item you would like to see added to the agenda.

Community Steps Up to Help Museum

Wow! The citizens of Union County have shown they appreciate the Union County Museum in a big way. Our request to you for assistance to repair the roof of the museum where it was damaged in the hail and rain storms in August has been very successful. First, the Union County Commission came through with a grant from the Union County Discretionary Fund (a County grant program funded with local transient lodging taxes) to help pay for the new roof. Then, our letters to museum society members and other county residents brought enough donations to repair the interior ceiling and start rebuilding our emergency facility fund.

We thank everyone who helped with this effort. Please visit the museum when we open for the season next Mother’s Day, and return with friends throughout the 2014 season. If you haven’t visited for a while, you will be amazed by the quality of the exhibits and the depth of the collection. If you aren’t yet a member, please consider joining so we can keep you informed of museum news and activities. We are planning some fun events and hope to see you next season!

Historian Mike Hanley Will Speak At Annual Event

Mike Hanley is known for his detailed sketches of the old West. The Union County Museum is pleased to announce Mike Hanley, a historian, artist, author, and cowboy will speak at the museum’s annual fall membership meeting and rally, Friday, October 11, 7 p.m., at the Little White Church, across Main Street from the museum in Union. Hanley, a cattle rancher from Jordan Valley, has published numerous books about Oregon’s colorful ranching history, from the days of great cattle drives, cattle barons and range wars through the shipping of cattle by rail. He is known for his extensive knowledge of the Old West, his wonderfully detailed pin and ink drawings and his authentic Western outlook.

Mike Hanley was part of the team that created the Cowboys, Then & Now Exhibit, originally developed for the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association and Oregon Beef Council and installed in their shared office in Portland in the early 1990s. The exhibit was created to inform the urban audience about the history of cattle ranching and the ranching lifestyle. Upon opening with much fanfare, the exhibit was awarded the best new attraction in Portland and was visited by over a thousand viewers a month. The Union County Museum later acquired the exhibit through a RFP process, when the Cattlemen’s Association and Beef Council moved and no longer had room for the collection. The Museum sent volunteers to Portland to pack and haul the collection to Union, where it opened in 1998. It has been a major component of the museum collection ever since.

Hanley will talk about highlights of the exhibit, the history of cattle ranching and cattle in Oregon, and today’s ranching lifestyle. His books will be available for purchase, along with the Oregon Book of Ranching, a leather-bound 2013 book commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association.

Admission for the event is free and all are invited. The museum will serve refreshments. October 1 - Due to damage from a recent hail and rain storm, the museum has closed for the season a couple of weeks early. However, since this event takes place in a separate building, it is not impacted by the closing and will go on as scheduled.

The museum board asks you to consider joining the Union County Museum Society to support the collection, preservation and presentation of our area’s history. Individual membership is just $10 a year; be a Patron for just $50 a year. Visitors from around the world give the museum very high praise for the quality of exhibits and the depth of the collection. Come to the museum for a fun evening and see why it is worthy of your support.

 

RVers Visit the Union County Museum During Rally

The Northwood RV Owners Association held its 11th annual rally at Hot Lake RV Park last week, with around 150 people from as far away as Alberta, Canada, participating. While camping at the park on the south end of the Grande Ronde Valley, the RVers toured attractions and enjoyed visiting with their road warrier friends.

About 80 people in the group visited the Union County Museum for a pre-arranged tour of the museum and a walking tour of Union’s historic commercial buildings. UCM currator Blanche Koehler and Union City Manager Sandra Patterson worked with organizers for over a year, ensuring that their visit was memorable.

The museum welcomes groups and is happy to help plan such visits. For information on group tours, contact Blanche, 541.562.5566.

Museum Opens for 2013 Season on Mother’s Day, May 12

The Homestead Act Exhibit has been installed in the UCM Livery Station.

The Union County Museum opens for the season on Mother’s Day, May 12, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free for the day and refreshments will be available.

Volunteers have been working long hours, cleaning and sprucing up the museum and finishing new exhibits, including the Homestead Act Exhibit, a collection created by and on loan from the National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center at Baker City.

The exhibit traces the impact of the Homestead Act on the settlement of the West and Midwest from the time of its origin 150 years ago to today. What inspired families and individuals to leave their homes and journey across the country to stake a claim on 160 acres of land – site unseen – build an home and start a farm? Free land! What were the challenges faced by the diverse group? How many proved up their claim and built a new life? How many gave up and returned to the east? Is there a homestead in your family history? 

To create a space for this exhibit and others in the future, the museum board and David Schmidt, an artist/carpenter who has created other exhibit spaces at the museum, acquired barn boards from North Powder, Cove and Haines, and used them to cover the walls of the Livery Station. Visitors will be delighted with the results. 

Also at the museum, the Cowboys Then & Now Collection is especially pertinent this season as 2013 is the 100th anniversary of the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association. The Cowboy exhibit was originally created by the Oregon Beef Council and the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association for their offices in Portland in the early 1990s for public education and outreach. When the Association and Council had to change locations, they sent a request for proposals to museums around the state. The Union County Museum was successful in acquiring the acclaimed exhibit and has been its home since 1997. The Oregon Cattlemen’s Association will celebrate its century mark in Baker City, June 20-22. 

In the Agriculture, Timber & Transportation building, see an exhibit on Century Farms in Union County, a cobbler’s shop, printing press, and architectural elements from the old courthouse.  There is also a wonderful replica of the lookout tower at Hat Point. Other longtime favorite exhibits include the Period Rooms, the Barbie Collection and so much more.