Albany was founded in 1848 and was an agricultural mecca for many an Oregon Trail pioneer. These early roots are still cherished in Albany—and today, history and heritage are alive and flourishing.
More than 700 historic buildings dating from the 1840s to the 1920s are nestled in four historic districts. Albany Visitors Association publishes a free guide to help you plan your own walking or driving tours through these charming neighborhoods, so during National Preservation Month, stop by and pick one up from our office.
National Historic Preservation Month is an opportunity to celebrate Albany history with events (most of them free) throughout May. The National Trust for Historic Preservation encourages cities across the nation to raise awareness about the month-long event, and states that “Preservation Month was designed to raise awareness about the power historic preservation has to protect and enhance our homes, neighborhoods and communities – the places that really matter to us. It provides an opportunity to celebrate the diverse and unique heritage of our country’s cities and towns, and enables all of us to become involved in the growing preservation movement.”
If you’d like to view our guide to Preservation Month, view it online or Print the PDF.
The following events are planned to show-off Albany’s historical attractions, instill community pride, promote heritage tourism, and showcase the social and economic benefits of historic preservation:
Hidden History Scavenger Hunt Photo Tour (sponsored by the Natty Dresser). Information and entry forms are available at the Albany Downtown Association, 126 SW Ferry St, Albany. Return your entries to the ADA by 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 31, to be eligible to win a prize. The grand prize winner will be announced on June 1st. For more information contact the Albany Downtown Association at 541-928-2469.
A Historic Albany Display will be open at the Albany City Hall. The display is presented by the City of Albany Landmarks Commission. The display show-case will be viewable during regular business hours: Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., 333 Broadalbin SW. (Free admission.)
Albany’s Old Fashioned Farmers’ Market is open every Saturday, 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Purchase hand-picked produce, fresh flowers, baked bread, local eggs and meats, and many other wonderful items. Located at 4th and Ellsworth, City Hall parking lot. Admission is free. The market is open through November, so not just during Historic Preservation Month. For more information, visit www.locallygrown.org.
Come participate in the Friday Wine Walk in Historic Downtown Albany from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Over 20 wineries are featured. Sponsored by the Albany Rotary Club. For more information, telephone 541-928-0911, or stop by the Albany Visitors Association on Third and Lyon for ticket purchases. Adults over over 21 please.
Gallery Calapooia’s First Friday will be held from 6:00 p.m. to -8:00 p.m. Gallery Calapooia is located in the historic Flinn Block, an 1887 French Second Empire style on 1st Avenue in Albany. The building has a beautiful cast iron facade and a spacious interior with old brick walls, making it a wonderful setting to view fine art. 222 W. 1st Ave. 541-971-5701. Regular gallery hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 11am–6pm. Free.
Albany Regional Museum First Friday kick-off 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. The museum will be open late the first Friday of each month (starting in May) to make it easier to appreciate Albany history, heritage, and culture. Regular museum hours are Tuesday through Friday, 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. and Saturdays, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. 136 Lyon Street S. More info at: armuseum.com, 541-967-7122. Free admission.
Albany Civic Theater presents ACT is an all-volunteer, nonprofit community theater that takes pride in producing a year-round season of top-quality comedies, dramas and musicals chosen to appeal to a wide range of audience tastes. May’s ACT performance is Annie the Musical, by Thomas Meehan, Charles Strouse and Martin Charnin, Directed by Christi E. Sears. 111 First Avenue West. Check ACT’s website for ticket information: albanycivic.org ACTS is one of the oldest, best-known community theaters in Oregon.
City of Albany Landmarks Commission presents: Albany Unseen Guided Walking Tour 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Meet at the Albany Regional Museum (136 Lyon St S) for an insider’s tour of the 1887 Commercial Italianate Building. Walk to the 1914 American Renaissance US Post Office building for an in-depth tour and then to the 1912 St. Francis Hotel designed by Charles Burggraf for discussion and consider the potential of these iconic Albany buildings. Space is limited, reservations required. Laura LaRoque (541) 917-7640 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org Free.
The Preservation Awards Presentation will take place during the Albany City Council meeting at 7:15 p.m., at the Albany City Hall, 333 Broadalbin Street SW. Telephone 541-917-7640 or email email@example.com for more information. The event is free.
The Albany Regional Museum presents its brown bag lunch series History Bites. This ongoing series is being offered the second Wednesday of each month at noon. Bring your own lunch. Beverages and light snacks provided. Regular museum hours are Tuesday – Friday, 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., and Saturdays 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. The museum is located at 136 Lyon Street S. Visit their website at www.armuseum.com or telephone 541-967-7122 for more information. Admission to both History Bites and the museum is free.
Monteith Historical Society’s Historic Interior Home Tour Committee presents preservation FAQs during the Albany Farmers’ Market, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Purchase hand-picked produce, fresh flowers, baked bread, local eggs/meats and more at Albany’s old fashioned farmers’ market. Saturdays, 4th & Ellsworth, City Hall parking lot. More info at locallygrown.org.
Monteith House Museum Pre-Season Clean-up 9:00 a.m. to noon, 518 2nd Ave SW. The Monteith Society will lead volunteers in clean-up and light maintenance of Albany’s oldest home. Following the morning’s work, there will be an Open House from noon to 3:00 p.m. Telephone 541-928-0911 for more information.
The Masonic Cemetery Clean-up will take place from 9:00 a.m. to noon. Please bring gloves, kneepads (if needed), and other cleaning implements—snacks will be provided. Volunteer work by the Friends of the Albany Masonic Cemetery is made possible by a grant from the Oregon Heritage Cemetery Grant Program. Assemble at 700 Broadway Street SW (west end of 6th & 7th Ave SW). If you would like to learn more about volunteer opportunities at the Albany Masonic Cemetery, telephone Kathy Griffiths at 541-967-1941.
The Albany Regional Museum presents the Albany Streetcar History Tour, at three times on Saturday: 10:00 a.m.,11:00 a.m., and 1:00 p.m. Assemble at 136 Lyon St S, and hop aboard Albany’s vintage streetcar with Bill Maddy (Albany Regional Museum docent and railroad historian) for a narrated ride on historic Albany streetcar routes. Guests are also invited to step inside the museum to see the expanded train station display. The story of the 1870 arrival of the railroad in Albany is instrumental to the growth of our town. Streetcar seeing is limited and reservations are required, so please reserve your ticket to board: 541- 967-7122. The tour is free.
Albany Tweed Ride Don your best tweed cycling attire and join us for a leisurely ride through the Albany Historic Districts. Meet in front of the Natty Dresser at 12:15 (ride starts at 12:30 p.m.) for an hour-long tour of historic Albany. Prizes will be given for the Best Dressed Participants (male and female) as well as a prize for the favorite bicycle. Ride past many lovely historic homes and stop for refreshments at the Monteith House Museum before cycling on to the Deluxe Brewing Company’s Vintage Bicycle Show. Enjoy a cool libation at the no-host bar, explore the bicycle parts swap meet and see the winners of the bike show. This is a FREE event, let the Natty Dresser know if you plan to attend and they’ll have the right amount of refreshments on hand. Telephone 541-248-3561 and RSVP. Vintage attire is encouraged. For more information, visit the event Facebook page.
The 5th Annual Albany Vintage Bicycle Show is presented by Deluxe Brewing Co. and runs from 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. at 635 NE Water Ave. Register online at www.deluxebrewing.com. View a collection of interesting, rare, and memorable vintage bicycles, and vote for your favorite to win the People’s Choice Award. 2018. Categories: Best Original Condition, Best Restored Condition, Best Custom Build, Best BMX (Freestyle or Race), Most Unique/Rare Bicycle. All ages welcome in the main brewery area. Tasting room open to ages 21 and over. Non-alcoholic drinks are available for purchase and there will be a local food truck on site. For more information email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Free Admission.
City of Albany Landmarks Commission presents: Window Repair Workshop with Chris Gustafson of Vintage Window 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. This comprehensive class will include how vintage windows work, basic window repair techniques and simple maintenance techniques for homeowners. Space is limited, reservations required. Laura LaRoque (541) 917-7640 or e-mail: email@example.com Free.
Historic Downtown Walking Tour of 1st Ave. The event starts at 7:30 p.m. Meet at Burkhart Square (Lyon and First Ave). Learn about Albany’s historic architecture and history. Sponsored by the Natty Dresser. Telephone 541-979-9108 or visit www.monteithhouse.org for more information. Admission is free and donations can be made to the Monteith Historical Society.
The Historic Downtown Walking Tour of 2nd Ave will start at 7:30 p.m. Assemble at Burkhart Square (Lyon and First Ave). Learn about Albany’s historic architecture and history. Sponsored by the Natty Dresser, telephone 541-979-9108 or visit www.monteithhouse.org for more information. Admission is free, however, donations can be made to the Monteith Historical Society.
City of Albany Landmarks Commission presents: Historic Building and Maintenance Contractor Fair 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Meet at Calapooia Brewing Company (140 Hill Street NE). Contractors and vendors with historic building and maintenance expertise will be available to share their knowledge and answer questions about restoring and renovating historic houses and porches. Free. Pre-registration is not required.
City of Albany Landmarks Commission presents: Porch Talk & Guided Walking Tour 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Meet at City Hall (333 Broadalbin Street SW) for an informative tour the porches of several historic Albany homes. Porches vary significantly from one house style to the next. Tour guides will give an overview, answer questions, and touch on the styles and materials that are appropriate for the timeframe and architectural style of house. Space is limited, reservations required. Laura LaRoque (541) 917-7640 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Free.
Linn County Historical Society Presents “Jennie Parrish: Early Oregon Healer.” At 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 20, Jane Kirkpatrick, historian and author, will present at the Lakeside Center, located at the Mennonite Village at 2180 54th Avenue SE in Albany. All programs sponsored by the Linn County Historical Society are free and open to the public. Telephone 541-926-4680. The presentation is free.
Albany Masonic Cemetery Memorial Weekend Recognition Take a self-guided cemetery walking tour. Start at the location, 700 Broadway Street SW, Information will be on hand regarding the grant, work and tours. Questions? Contact email@example.com 541-967-1941 Free.
Sad that you couldn’t fit all of preservation month activities in during May? We will keep adding chances to visit or tour historic displays and events as we get the chance. Starting off with a few listed below:
Albany Fire Station 11 Historic Display Stop in at the new fire station downtown and get a close-up look at the 1927 American LaFrance fire engine and other items of interest on display on the front lobby. Located at 611 Lyon St SE. Free display open during usual public business hours.