Events & Activities

What’s Your Historical Expertise?

Gary Kohler discusses the Mountain Man era in the Pacific Northwest.

The Union County Museum launched its Third Tuesday Series in June 2017. The event is designed to give local history fans the opportunity to chat with experts on a variety of topics. The casual hour-long event begins at 6 p.m., and includes time for questions and answers and refreshments.

The museum launches its 2018 Third Tuesday Series May 15, at 6 p.m., in the museum at 333 South Main Street, Union. Sharon Porter, a retired member of the EOU education faculty, is the guest speaker, sharing items from her vintage sewing machine and toy collection. She describes her pathway to collecting vintage sewing machines and toys in the passage below:

“Not used to having a spare moment while teaching at EOU, I suddenly found time to rediscover old hobbies of my school days in central Ohio and Kentucky. Sewing my own clothes through high school and college, I wondered how much fun it could be to sew without a deadline. So, at retirement I turned to quilting as so many do here in the county. As a beginner, I am quite content to sew simple designs on vintage machines. There is something inspiring about sewing on a machine that holds a history of another person’s creative efforts. Vintage machines led me to a surprising hobby…toy sewing machines. When out in the RV, at band camp, or on the deck, I can relax and sew amidst a brew of music and companionship. I love to travel and these tiny wonders fit nicely in a suitcase and off I go! Come hear a bit of the history of the vintage sewing machines in our museum and the toy collection I have been inspired to start collecting.”

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.

We’ll see you at the Union County Museum! Open Mother’s Day through September, Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 4 p.m.


Museum Society Annual Meeting

Guest speakers from Restore Oregon and Oregon Rediviva will be the highlight of the Union County Museum Society’s 2017 annual meeting Friday, October 6, at 7 p.m. The event takes place in the Little White Church, beside City Hall and across Main Street from the museum in Union. Learn about the dedication and efforts of these organizations and individuals as they work to keep the landmark structures and significant places from Oregon’s past available to enjoy.

The guests will be visiting Union to put on a barn restoration workshop Saturday, October 7, at the OSU Agriculture Research Center in Union. The workshop is presented for all with an interest in preserving or restoring historic barns and other agriculture structures.

The annual meeting begins at 6 p.m., and includes a brief recap of the season, election of the board of directors and approval of the 2018 budget.

Refreshments will follow the presentation and discussion. Admission for the event is free and everyone is invited, although membership is required to vote.

After a rewarding season, the museum closes October 6 and opens again Mother’s Day, 2018. 


The new General Store is a walk-in exhibit that is drawing great reviews.

New in the museum in 2016 is a mercantile exhibit, taking museum visitors back in time to the 1890s through 1920s. Museum curator Blanche Kohler, Union carpenter David Schmidt and volunteers worked on the exhibit all spring, using old photos of Union County stores to design the space. They gathered items from the museum collection to fill the 20 x 18’ walk-in replica of a typical small-town general store.

“From the classic false-front storefront to the layout and methods of displaying products, the museum’s General Store takes patrons back to a completely different shopping experience than what they are used to today,” said Kohler. The exhibit is in the South Building, directly behind the Cowboys Then & Now Collection, which has been housed at the Union Count Museum since 1998.

Dick Roth

Author Dick Roth discusses the history of Union’s Railroad with a museum visitor during a museum event.


Do you have a pioneer skill to demonstrate, or family stories to tell about pioneer and settlement living? Please contact the museum if you would like to participate in a museum event.


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