Category Archives: Events & activities

Third Tuesday Event Focuses on the French Canadian Influence in Union County

Why is Ramo Flat called Ramo? Who was Mose Lore? Was Nelson Murray born in Canada as Narcisse Morais? The answers to these questions will be revealed when the Union County Museum continues their Third Tuesday event, July 18, 7 p.m., in the Little White Church across Main Street from the museum, in Union.

At the end of the 18th century, the big fur trade companies – Northwest Company, Hudson Bay Company – built trade forts throughout northwestern North America, from Vancouver on the Columbia up to the 60th parallel in what is now British Columbia. These companies employed French Canadian voyageurs as guides and river men. When the fur trade ended, these men stayed in the Northwest. Many married Native American women and settled in communities near the former trading posts.

In the 1860s and 1870s, some of the French-Canadian settlers – trappers, carpenters, gamblers, horsemen, blacksmiths, farmers, and saloon keepers, many with their wives and children, came to Catherine Creek. They came from French Prairie in Marion County, from the Red River settlement in Manitoba, and from Frenchtown in Walla Walla. Almost all were born in Canada; almost none came here directly from Canada.

The Union County Museum invites you to discover the French Canadian settlement of Union – how it came to be, how it was connected to the other Frenchtowns of the northwest, and how it was written out of history.

Presenter Sarah Hurlburt is an associate professor of French at Whitman College and the secretary of the Frenchtown Historical Foundation in Walla Walla, WA. Her research specializes in the French-Canadian communities of the northwestern United States in the 19th century.

John Sheehy, a board member of the Union County Museum Society, grew up hearing stories about the old French Canadians in High Valley. He has been researching the French Canadian community of Catherine Creek since 2012 and contributed to this presentation.

Do you have an area of expertise you would like to share, concerning the area’s social, geological or cultural history? If so, please contact John Sheehy, 541.805.1001, to talk about your speaking experience and topic of choice. The next Third Tuesday takes place August 15.

Third Tuesday Presentation Examines Local Japanese-American Wartime Experience

The Union County Museum launches their Third Tuesday, June 20, with a presentation by Cassie Gray-Jeffries, a resident of Union County and 2016 graduate of Eastern Oregon University. The new monthly event is designed to give people the opportunity to hear local history experts speak on a variety of topics. The casual hour-long event takes place in the Little White Church, across Main Street from the museum, in Union. It begins at 7 p.m., and includes time for questions and answers and refreshments.

Following the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, in December of 1942, the United States government ordered the evacuation and internment of over 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry who were living on the nation’s west coast. The wartime imprisonment of these men, women, and children, many of them U.S. citizens, is widely known amongst both scholars and the general public. What most do not know, however, is that select groups of Japanese Americans were able to escape this fate through various means. This presentation will primarily focus on upon the history and archaeology of a site within Union County, Oregon, where a small group of Japanese-Americans were able to both avoid internment and make vital contributions to the national war effort by laboring in the timber industry.

With degrees in both Anthropology/Sociology and History, Cassie Gray-Jeffries specializes in the historical research and archaeology of the Japanese-American Internment Period. She has been awarded a fellowship with the Oregon Heritage Commission for her work involving the history and archaeological study of the forgotten lumber company camp in Union County. Join us for an enlightening presentation and discussion. The museum will open at 6 p.m., to allow time for attendees to view the exhibits before the presentation.

Do you have an area of expertise you would like to share, concerning the area’s social, geological or cultural history? If so, please contact John Sheehy, 541.805.1001, to talk about your speaking experience and topic of choice. The next Third Tuesday takes place July 18.

UCM Third Tuesday 2017 flier

Museum Open for the Season

The Union County museum is open for the season and volunteers are ready to welcome you to this jewel of Eastern Oregon heritage. We used the winter months to upgrade facilities, update and improve exhibits and to give the hard working volunteers a rest!

The restored pine floor looks fantastic!

One of the recent accomplishments is the refinishing of the floor in the Little White Church, located across Main Street from the museum and owned by the museum society. Moe Cabinets of North Powder used their wood working expertise to expose and refinish the pine floor, which is over 100 years old. The results are stunning! Book the Little White Church for your small wedding or event. Contact Carol, 541.562.5279 or cjmulvany@charter.net, for information or to schedule a visit.

Thank you, to all who visit and continue to support the museum. We’re proud of the work the volunteers accomplish each year to preserve and present the history of Union County, Oregon.

Please stop by!

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.

# # #

 

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.