Celebrate Albany history during Preservation Month

White hisstoric house with red flowers, Albany, OR Photo by Camron Settlemier
Photo by Camron Settlemier

History buffs will enjoy several treats in May during National Preservation Month, with a host of events planned to celebrate Albany history and the efforts to keep and maintain our historic treasures.

And one event that anyone can take part in: the Memorial Day Porch Tour.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, nearly all events were canceled for 2020. This year, hopes are high that most, if not all, will be held. As of this writing some events are finalizing details, and more events could be added before May 1, so stay tuned. And, because of the nature of the pandemic, any surge in cases could cause some events to be changed or canceled, so keep an eye on this blog and the AVA Calendar of Events for any new developments.

For now, get ready to have some fun with friends and enjoy diverse ways to celebrate our wonderful bounty of history.

Memorial Day Porch Tour As a tribute to the men and women who gave their lives serving our country, some Albany residents are paying their respects by adorning their porches for Memorial Day weekend — May 29-31 — as part of activities in May during National Preservation Month.

People can start touring them on Saturday, May 29, through Memorial Day. The event is sponsored by the Albany Landmarks Commission, Albany Downtown Association, and the Albany Visitors Association.

Here are addresses to participating sites: 821 7th Ave. SW; 821 12th Ave. SE; 220 7th Ave. SE; 900 Price Rd. SE; 914 5th Ave. SW; 700 Broadway SW.

View and Download map of participating locations here or see the Albany Explorer app on Google Play and Apple App Store

Basket Drawing A random drawing was held for a gift basket among the participants and the winner is 821 7th Ave. SW. Thanks to all who participated! Thanks also to all who helped sponsor the drawing and provided the contents of the basket: Albany Downtown Association, Albany Visitors Association, Brick Circuit, City Delivery Service, Jim Janson, Landmark Commission, Lux + Lu Boutique, Natural Sprinkles, Sybaris Bistro, and Town & Country Reality – Jessica Pankratz.

Here are photos of the participating houses.

Albany has a long history of supporting veterans, and participants are encouraged to illustrate that dedication by decking out their porches with patriotic colors, flags, signs, flowers, balloons, lights or whatever they feel inspired to use to create a Memorial Day theme.

Once finished, participants are asked to take a picture of their porch and send it to the AVA so they can be posted online for all to enjoy. After Memorial Day, participants are encouraged to keep their porches trimmed through the Fourth of July to honor all veterans and those currently serving.

Participants are asked to email their name and address to info@albanyvisitors.com by Friday, May 21, 3:00 p.m. Once the porch is finished, they can email the photo to the AVA, or post it on Facebook at #authenticallyalbany. As a small token of appreciation, anyone taking part will be entered in a drawing for a gift basket. Names will not be posted online, just the addresses for the tour.

For more information, contact the AVA at 541-928-0911, or info@albanyvisitors.com.

May 1 through May 31, 2021

City of Albany Hashtag Mini-Tour Are you a fan of historic buildings? Please join Historic Landmarks on Facebook and Instagram for a series of mini tours as historic district residents and fans showcase one small feature of their favorite historic building. For residents, there’s no deep cleaning involved: just snap a photo or take a video of the building and/or the feature you love, inside or out and tell us something about it. Fans, snap your photo or video from the sidewalk or public right of way. Next, share it on your own Facebook or Instagram (make sure your Facebook post or your Instagram account is public) and be sure to type the hashtags #authenticallyalbany and #oregonheritage in your description or in the comment section. Simple as that! Historic property fans and tour hosts can then use the search bar in Facebook or Instagram to search for the hashtags and see all the mini-tours folks have hosted.

Hidden History Scavenger Hunt Keep a sharp eye out as you tour Albany’s Historic Downtown and spot the wonderful details on this list of architectural elements. Pick up an entry form at The Natty Dresser, 124 Broadalbin St. SW., or download one here and return them to the shop by 5. p.m., May 31.

Kids Downtown Scavenger Hunt The Albany Downtown Association invites families to stroll downtown and peek in store windows on a hunt to find mini-posters featuring items from days gone by. Learn a little about how things used to be and enter your findings on the entry form. Get the form and details HERE

Albany Farmers’ Market is the oldest outdoor farmers’ market in Oregon. Open every Saturday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Purchase hand-picked produce, fresh flowers, baked bread, local eggs, meats and more. The market is located at 4th and Ellsworth in the City Hall parking lot. Be sure to follow the physical distancing rules for a safe and healthy market experience. For more about what the market has to offer, including online pre-visit order forms to make your visit even safer, be sure to check their website at LocallyGrown.org.

Sunday, May 2

Cumberland Church Open House Tour the former Cumberland Church, built in 1892, and learn about plans to relocate and renovate the building to create a community events center. Volunteers will be available to answer any questions and solicit input from the community. Tours will be available Sundays 1 to 5 p.m. Reservations are required. To reserve your place, call the Albany Visitors Association, 541-928-0911 by noon the preceding Thursday. Visitors are required to wear face masks.

Friday, May 7

1st Friday & Wine Tastings sponsored by The Natty Dresser: 4 to 9 p.m., Downtown Albany. For information go to the 1st Friday Downtown Albany Facebook page.

Saturday, May 8

Tweed Ride Cruise along on bikes and look great doing it on Albany’s annual Tween Ride. The event takes place on the Saturday of Mother’s Day weekend and is part of the Historic Preservation Month activities. Participants don their finest tweed attire (or any period clothing) and take a bicycle tour of Albany’s historic districts. The event begins at 10:30 a.m. and is hosted by The Natty Dresser, 124 Broadalbin St. SW, a full-service menswear shop in the heart of Historic Downtown Albany. The tour will be stopping on occasion to talk about historic buildings and sights along the way. The ride begins at The Natty Dresser and ends at the Deluxe Brewery, where they will be hosting their annual Vintage Bicycle Show and Swap Meet (see the next entry). Food and drink will be available for purchase at the brewery. You are welcome to bring a picnic lunch on the ride, as the brewery allows outside food. Bring a cup if it looks like it is going to be a warm day for wearing tweed; there will be a water break along the way.

Vintage Bicycle Show & Swap Enjoy more than 75 vintage bicycles from 1 to 5 p.m. at this annual event, sponsored by the Deluxe Brewing Company, 635 Water Ave NE. Admission is free and socially distancing rules will apply. Most of the bike show will be outside.

Takenah Walking Tour The Albany Regional Museum is holding two walking tours, at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., beginning at the museum, 136 Lyon St. S. For a short time in its history, Albany was called Takenah. The tours, narrated by Bill Maddy, will focus on the people, places and politics of the Hackleman District, their role in the name change, and in the overall history of Albany. The tour will be on city sidewalks and not always wheelchair friendly, Covid regulations for safe distancing will be required. Space is limited and registration is required by calling the museum at 541-967-7122. Fee for the tour is $5 per party (maximum six persons per party). Registration deadline is May 3.

Sunday, May 9

Cumberland Church Open House Tour the former Cumberland Church, built in 1892, and learn about plans to relocate and renovate the building to create a community events center. Volunteers will be available to answer any questions and solicit input from the community. Tours will be available Sundays 1 to 5 p.m. Reservations are required. To reserve your place, call the Albany Visitors Association, 541-928-0911 by noon the preceding Thursday. Visitors are required to wear face masks.

Wednesday, May 12

1st Avenue History Tour Meet at Burkhart Square, at the corner of 1st Ave. and Lyon Street, at 6 p.m. and take an informative tour of 1st Avenue. Sponsored by The Natty Dresser.

History Bites: Albany’s Cast Iron Bernadette Niederer will present a virtual program, from noon to 1 p.m., highlighting Albany’s history cast iron works and where some of those architectural details might be seen. Albany Regional Museum

Thursday, May 13

2nd Avenue History Tour Meet at Burkhart Square, at the corner of 1st Ave. and Lyon Street, next to the Lyon Street Bridge at 6 p.m. and enjoy stories about the history of 2nd Avenue in Historic Downtown Albany. Sponsored by The Natty Dresser.

Saturday, May 15

Water Avenue Tour Sponsored by the Friends of Historic Albany, learn about businesses that used to line Albany’s waterfront. Stay tuned for details.

Sunday, May 16

Cumberland Church Open House Tour the former Cumberland Church, built in 1892, and learn about plans to relocate and renovate the building to create a community events center. Volunteers will be available to answer any questions and solicit input from the community. Tours will be available Sundays 1 to 5 p.m. Reservations are required. To reserve your place, call the Albany Visitors Association, 541-928-0911 by noon the preceding Thursday. Visitors are required to wear face masks.

Wednesday, May 19

Friends of Historic Albany Annual Meeting All are invited to attend this Zoom meeting, particularly anyone interested in joining the group. On tap will be an update on the year’s activities and election of officers. FOHA

Sunday, May 23

Cumberland Church Open House Tour the former Cumberland Church, built in 1892, and learn about plans to relocate and renovate the building to create a community events center. Volunteers will be available to answer any questions and solicit input from the community. Tours will be available Sundays 1 to 5 p.m. Reservations are required. To reserve your place, call the Albany Visitors Association, 541-928-0911 by noon the preceding Thursday. Visitors are required to wear face masks.

Monday, May 24

S.E. Young Building Tours: Noon and 4 p.m. RSVP request by calling 541-248-3561. Meet at the Broadalbin Street entrance to The Natty Dresser, 124 Broadalbin St. SW, five minutes prior to the tour.

Saturday, May 29

Memorial Day Porch Tour In tribute to the men and women who gave their lives in defense of our country, and to those who have served and continue to serve in the military, several porches will be adorned in their honor. Beginning May 28, photos of the participating porches and a map of where to find them will be available to view. Stay tuned for where to find that as the date approaches.

Sunday, May 30

Cumberland Church Open House Tour the former Cumberland Church, built in 1892, and learn about plans to relocate and renovate the building to create a community events center. Volunteers will be available to answer any questions and solicit input from the community. Tours will be available Sundays 1 to 5 p.m. Reservations are required. To reserve your place, call the Albany Visitors Association, 541-928-0911 by noon the preceding Thursday. Visitors are required to wear face masks.

Year-Round Opportunities

We will be updating this post regularly throughout Historic Preservation Month, so check back frequently for new activities, Other ideas for you include:

  • Albany Explorer App or download a tour and use your car or bike to travel the various routes from “Seems Like Old Times.”
  • Stop by the new Fire Station 11 and get peek at the 1927 American LaFrance fire engine and other items of interest on display in the lobby. The station is at 611 Lyon St. SE.
  • Albany’s Historic Carousel & Museum Take a ride on one of the whimsical critters that grace the historic 1909 Dentzel mechanism, tour the new museum or catch one of the carvers creating yet another masterpiece. Don’t forget to check out the gift shop, then have a treat at the snack bar for the road. Operating hours are TBA depending on Covid restrictions.
  • Get an up-close look at some of Albany’s past through interesting exhibits at the Albany Regional Museum. Visit the ARM website for current operating hours.
  • Mark your calendar for Albany’s two historic homes tours, the Summer Historic Home Tour on July 31 and the Christmas Tour on Dec. 12. Traditionally the tours were of the inside of the homes. Since Covid, the tours have been restricted to the exteriors with activities planned around the event. Stay tuned for more information about each.

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