Winners will receive a Winner Award Certificate and a $50 gift card to Albany’s downtown first-run movie house: The Pix Theatre. Photos of the winning homes will be on display at the Pix Theatre and on the Albany Visitors Association website along with a list of locations to see. Winners will also be entitled to bragging rights for the entire year! Thank you to all the homeowners who participate in this program. Without your efforts, this wonderful community tradition would not be possible.
The winners of the Night Time Magic Program are determined by a panel of judges who conduct individual random drive-by sightings between December 8 and 15. Homes must be nominated to win.
This is the 29th year that the Albany Visitors Association has been helping to make the holidays bright with the Annual Night Time Magic Holiday Light Program. All nominations receive recognition for participation in Albany’s Night Time Magic program.
The reward for participation: Your holiday spirits will be lifted, your home brightened, your neighborhood enlightened and your community enlivened. If you are interested in being a part of Historic Albany’s “Magic” for 2017’s contest, contact the Albany Visitors Association, 110 3rd Ave SE, or telephone 541-928-0911 to receive future announcements.
Map of the displays
Feel free to download a PDF of the 2016 light display map. If you would rather have one mailed to you, contact us at 541-928-0911 or stop by the AVA office at 3rd and Lyons.
We are very sorry to report that the Holiday Nosh Tour scheduled for Saturday, December 17th, has been canceled due to inclement weather. We want this to be a happy event, but given the reports of black ice, treacherous road conditions, and more freezing temperatures predicted for tomorrow evening, we have made the decision to cancel the tour in interest of safety.
If you have pre-paid for any Nosh Tour tickets, please contact the AVA office at 541-928-0911 and we will issue a full refund. We hope to reschedule the tour sometime in January.
Although we have several ways for you to view our upcoming events, including Featured Events and the full calendar, you might like to print this handy PDF of our 2016 Holiday Events for November and December. If you don’t have a printer, no fear! Stop on in to the AVA office and we will be happy to give you one… or, give us a call at 541-928-0911 and we’l mail you one.
Wine Enthusiast Magazine announced Oregon’s Willamette Valley as its 2016 Wine Region of the Year. The Wine Star Awards are regarded as some of the most important in the wine industry. Each year, the editors of Wine Enthusiast honor individuals, companies and regions that have made outstanding achievements and contributions in the wine and spirits world. The magazine will officially award the region at the Wine Star Awards gala on January 30, 2017 in Miami, FL. The Willamette Valley will also be featured in Wine Enthusiast’s December 2016 issue.
The Willamette Valley, Oregon’s leading wine region, has over two-thirds of the state’s wineries and vineyards and is home to nearly 500 wineries. It is recognized as one of the premier Pinot noir producing areas in the world. Other cool-climate varieties such as Pinot gris, Pinot blanc, Chardonnay, Riesling and Gewürztraminer are equally at home in the Willamette Valley.
“People are already traveling from all over the world to experience great wine and breathtaking scenery,” says Jimmie Lucht, Board President of the Willamette Valley Visitors Association, a non-profit organization that supports travel and tourism in Oregon’s Wine Country. “We are thrilled that this recognition will bring the Willamette Valley to the forefront and give more attention to our wine growers, wineries and this wonderful place we call home.”
While the number of wineries continues to grow, Willamette Valley winemakers haven’t lost their personal, handcrafted approach to making wine, or their desire to do things a little differently. Many winemakers in the Willamette Valley practice sustainable winegrowing techniques based on their respect for the land and desire to see future generations continue the winemaking tradition. Nearly half of all Willamette Valley vineyards are certified sustainable, making the valley the most sustainable wine region in the world.
“Wine lovers worldwide are traveling to Oregon to experience our valley first hand and find our winegrowers as welcoming as our valley is beautiful,” says Jim Bernau, Founder of Willamette Valley Vineyards. “The Willamette Valley is indeed a Star.”
Other 2016 Wine Region nominees include Provence, France; Champagne, France; Crete, Greece; and Sonoma County, California. The Willamette Valley is also home to two other nominees recognized for their achievements in the wine industry: Jim Bernau of Willamette Valley Vineyards earned a nomination for Person of the Year, and King Estate, located in the southern-most part of the Willamette Valley, was nominated for American Winery of the Year.
Willamette Valley: The Willamette Valley is 150 miles long and up to 60 miles wide making it Oregon’s largest AVA. It runs from the Columbia River in Portland south through Salem to the Calapooya Mountains outside Eugene. Named for the river that flows through it, the Willamette Valley has the largest concentration of wineries and vineyards in Oregon and includes six appellations within its borders: Chehalem Mountains, Dundee Hills, Eola-Amity Hills, McMinnville, Ribbon Ridge and Yamhill-Carlton.
The Willamette Valley Visitors Association is a private, non-profit organization that supports travel and tourism in the Willamette Valley – Oregon Wine Country. Comprised of six destination marketing organizations, the Willamette Valley Visitors Association works to maintain the Willamette Valley as Oregon’s premier wine destination, while highlighting the culture, heritage and natural resources of the region.
For more information, connect with the Willamette Valley Visitors Association website: oregonwinecountry.org or telephone 1-866-548-5018.
*This is the fourth installment in our seven-part series on the wonders of Albany, created by AVA Executive Director Jimmie Lucht.
There’s an old saying, “To know a man, walk a mile in his shoes.” This trail will demonstrate the accurateness of the statement. Be prepared to get to know the extraordinary people that settled the west. See and understand the Native Americans that have called this home for centuries, and the explorers, loggers and farmers that came to live in the Mid-Willamette Valley. Experience the rugged, difficult and only east-west route through the Cascade Mountains. Spend a day where the movie, “Stand by Me” was filmed. And finally, get close and personal with the history of the last one hundred years!
Albany is known as having one of the largest collections of historic buildings in Oregon, and is one of the most architecturally diverse with more than 13 styles represented. There are four Albany Historic Districts listed in the National Register of Historic Places: Airport District; Downtown District; Hackleman District and the Monteith District.
Make sure to request the guide, “Seems Like Old Times,” from the friendly staff at Albany Visitors Association, 110 3rd Avenue SE, Albany, 541-928-0911, to find the historic district’s tour routes, as well as information about architectural styles and the people who built these structures.
Your trail begins at Monteith River Park, located at the north end of Washington St. Most Mondays in July and August hosts free concerts by area artists during the “Summer Sounds” concert series. On most summer Thursdays, you will find the free “River Rhythms” concert series, featuring nationally known artists performing in the park as well. Then on most July and August Friday nights there will be “Movies at Monteith” providing family friendly entertainment. Each of these events features a selection of food and drinks available for purchase. So pack a blanket or a lawn chair and let yourself be entertained.
On the Downtown District Tour, the Albany Regional Museum, 136 Lyon Street S, 541-967-7122, offers an extensive collection of area memorabilia, photos and artifacts. Make it a point to marvel at the restoration and revitalization of the Pix Theater, 321 SW 2nd Avenue, 541-926-7499. They feature great movies and a great concessions menu, including their delectable truffles!
While enjoying the Monteith District, head on over to the Monteith House Museum, 518 Second Avenue SW, 541-928-0911. It’s an amazing chance to view the most authentically restored pioneer era home in Oregon. Another structure nearby is the Whitespires Church, 500 SW 5th St. This Gothic Revival structure was built in 1891 and displays beautiful stained glass windows.
Take a little side trip to enjoy the great outdoors at the Talking Water Gardens, 9710 Waverly Drive NE. Perhaps not historically significant, but it certainly is unique. This award winning public/private project takes waste water and runs it through engineered wetlands park to cool and further clean the water before sending it to the river. The loop trail is dotted with kiosks explaining the flora and fauna to be seen as well as the purpose of the ponds and waterfalls.
Back on the trail, head south on Highway 99E towards the small town of Shedd. This is where you will find Thompson’s Mills State Heritage Site, 32655 Boston Mill Drive, Shedd, 541-491-3611. This is Oregon’s oldest surviving water-powered flouring mill. In its heyday, it shipped flour around the world—to China in 1912 and to Belgium during and after WWI.
Heading on 99E south, stop at the Harrisburg Area Museum, 490 Smith Street, Harrisburg, 541-995-4844. This museum holds some wonderful surprises for our history lovers. It has a variety of vintage farming implements, scale models of historic buildings built by Bruce Witmer, a renovated Victorian home that is full of memorabilia, and a picnic area with a table crafted from a single log milled by the Hull-Oakes Lumber Company that is 80-feet long!
Head east to the charming little town of Brownsville, so much to do and see so plan on spending the day. As you enter town, you will be awed by the unusual concrete and rock building on the south shoulder of Hwy. 228. Stop in to meet Nancy Bergeron, the daughter of the artist that built Living Rock Studios, 911 Bishop Way, Brownsville, 541-466-5814. Howard B. Taylor built the structure out of local agates, petrified wood and other semi-precious rocks he found while working in the surrounding hills. The intricate scenarios, many lit from hidden lights, are a sight to behold. As you make your turn onto Main Street and approach the bridge, suddenly it comes back to you—that scene from the classic movie, “Stand By Me.” Yes, this is the same small community where most of that movie was filmed.
While still in Brownsville, make sure to visit the Linn County Historical Museum, 101 Park Avenue, Brownsville, 541-466-3390, and you can view the movie with fresh popped popcorn. Or, pick up a map with directions for the “Stand By Me” walking tour of the film-scene locations. Next, it’s time to tour the Moyer House, 294 N Main Street, Brownsville, 541-466-3390. This historic home will give you a glimpse into life in the 1880s. The house was occupied by the original owners until 1920.
After all this historical touring, you may need some refreshments. Visit Randy’s Main Street Coffee for some of the best cinnamon rolls around and a cup of fabulous hot coffee, or try the Brownsville Saloon for a great burger and a beverage.
Return to Highway 228 and head east to Sweet Home, where “Unique Discoveries for Curious Visitors” is the motto at the East Linn Museum, 746 Long Street, Sweet Home, 541-367-4580. The entire museum contains antiquities from Native Americans, early settlers, loggers, gold miners, and more. Have you ever seen a “steam donkey?” What about a whiskey still? All of these and more are on display at the museum. After a few hours exploring the site, pick up a picnic lunch at one of the restaurants or grocery stores and head over to Sankey Park, 877 14th Avenue, Sweet Home. The Weddle Covered Bridge is located in this park, so take time to wander through this wonderful bridge. It is one of eight covered bridges preserved in the nearby area.
At the end of your day of exploration find your way back to Albany and your motel room. Take a few minutes to freshen up, then drop by Vault 244, 244 W 1st Ave, Albany, 541-791-9511, for a refreshing adult beverage, perhaps even one made with Oregon spirits, and enjoy delicious tapas or a complete meal. The perfect end to your day in Historic Albany.
Spam? No Ma’am! Our Albany Visitors Association e-newsletter is full of great ideas for visitors, new residents, and terrific events and places for family outings. We’ve got you covered, no matter the season. And, we’ll never sell your email address to anyone.
Special November Subscription contest
For e-news subscribers who sign up during the month of November, your name will be entered into a drawing for a free Holiday Nosh Tour ticket (Value $45.00) Wind your way through an Albany evening on a delicious tour of culinary delights aboard the Trolley. The Nosh Tour is scheduled for Saturday, December 17th, and we’re holding a ticket for one lucky new subscriber.
Notice: Due to conflicting events and levels of interest in the Halloween Nosh Tour, we have canceled this month’s event. If you have tickets that you paid for online, please telephone our office for a refund, or we may be able to apply the funds towards the December 17th Holiday Nosh Tour. We apologize for any inconvenience. Please stay tuned for more about the December tour.
Albany is becoming well-known for its farm-to-table eateries, delicious delis, distinctive breweries, wineries and distilleries. With Halloween fast approaching, fun-loving foodies will not want to miss Albany Visitors Association’s October “Nosh Tour.”
Slated for Saturday, October 29, 2016, the tour begins at 4:00 p.m. and guests will be treated to a surprise smorgasbord of culinary samples by local restauranteurs and vintners. It’s bound to be a deliciously good time.
The AVA Nosh Tour is a special event—participants will check in at the Albany Visitors Association and climb aboard the city’s historic trolley. They’ll meet local chefs, get the behind-the-scenes low-down on how meals are prepared, and taste incredible sample plates along the way.
Limited to 28 participants, coveted Nosh Tour tickets are available by pre-registration only, and you must be 21 years of age or older to attend. Tickets are $45 each, or $40 for two or more. This includes transportation on the trolley and all food, drink, and of course, Halloween fun!
To pre-register and reserve your space, telephone the AVA at 541-928-0911. Tickets may also be purchased online by credit or debit card on the AVA culinary tours web page at https://albanyvisitors.com/visitors/dining/culinary-tours-and-events/#Albany%20Nosh%20Tours
By AVA Executive Director Jimmie Lucht
*This trail is designed primarily for those 21 and older; however, if a (c) appears after the attraction, it is suitable for children.
Albany is located in the heart of Oregon’s wine country, but it is also known for the agricultural products that are grown here—and has been historically called “Oregon’s Bread Basket.” This self-guided tour offers tastings of wine, beer, cider, root beer, distilled beverages, handcrafted chocolate, and berries. In addition to the places mentioned below, when you explore the backroads of Albany, make sure to stop at our bountiful roadside stands bursting with farm fresh produce.
Your trail begins in historic Albany. To fully understand the ‘backbone’ of the region, a visit to the Albany Regional Museum (c), at 136 Lyon Street S, 541-967-7122 is a must. Next stop, Monteith House (c), at 518 Second Ave SW, 541-974-7603. You’ll see culinary arts in action—1800s-style during Monteith’s open season, mid-June through September each year.
For an ice cold glass of root beer or a bite of a “Class V Burger” and famous chili beer, Calapooia Brewing Company will accommodate. Located at 140 Hill Street NE, telephone 541-928-1931.
After your burger, take a small backroads trip to Springhill Cellars, at 2920 NW Scenic View Drive. The tasting room is open May through November (with appointment scheduled tastings December through April). Springhill is a small family-owned winery producing award winning Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. Mark your calendars for the annual Federweisser Festival in November. The event pairs new, still fermenting Riesling (the Federweisser) with specially made bratwürst and Zwiebelkuchen, a sweet onion tart. The oom-pah-pah music drifts through the air during the day for a nearly normal German flavor, and at night, a floor-stomping barn dance with a live rock-n-roll band helps work off the extra calories.
Heading west on the trail, your next stop is 4 Spirits Distillery, at 6040 NE Marcus Harris Ave, in Adair Village, 541-760-0696. This small craft distillery specializes in award-winning small batch vodka, American whisky, bourbon whisky, rum and single malt whiskey.
Going south on Highway 99W towards Corvallis, turn east onto Granger Avenue and discover Vivacity Spirits, 720 NE Granger Ave, 541-286-4285. Meet the founders Caitlin Prueitt and Chris Neumann, and taste their signature Turkish Coffee Liqueur—no dessert should be without it!
Returning to Highway 99 heading south, turn east onto Highway 34 (NW Van Buren Ave), and stop at Nectar Creek Mead, 33848 SE Eastgate Circle, 541-760-1343, in Corvallis. Their specialty is craft mead created from local Willamette Valley honey. Nectar Creek was started when two brothers pursued their dream to sustain traditions-old mead recipes and their desire to preserve honeybees and the agricultural heritage of the Valley. In the same complex as Nectar Creek, Mazama Brewing awaits. Located at 33930 SE Eastgate Circle, Suite A, Mazama is a family owned and operated production microbrewery. Jeff and Kathy Tobin started home brewing in 1984 and recognized they had found a passion in their new hobby. In 2011 they traveled to Belgium, which provided the inspiration to start the brewery. Telephone 541-230-1810. Before you leave the complex, make sure to pop into 2 Towns Ciderhouse, 33930 SE Eastgate Circle, 541-357-8301. Three childhood friends who lived in two different towns, banded together with meager savings and a love of craft brewing and cider to launch their dream business. The philosophy is to advance the cider craft industry through a mix of both old and new cider techniques and experimentation.
Whether you choose to head north, south, east or west, culinary treats are to be found in every direction. A visit to Ankeny Vineyard (c), at 2565 Riverside Drive South, in Salem, 503-378-1498, is filled with opportunities to taste fine wines, or side-trips to neighboring historic Cox Pioneer Cemetery (c) and the Ankeny National Wildlife Refuge (c).
Few buildings in Oregon were more important to settlers than flour mills. In 1858 Thompson’s Mills State Heritage Site (c), at 32655 Boston Mill Drive in Shedd, 541-491-3611, began processing local farmer’s summer grain harvest. Thompson’s Mills is a unique survivor of times past, chronicling 150 years of Oregon rural life and honoring the owners who adapted the mill to the changing world around it. It is the oldest water-powered mill in the state and its turbines can be seen in action on guided tours. A water-right that predates statehood produces the water flow that still runs the milling machines for demonstrations today.
Marks Ridge Winery, at 29255 Berlin Road in Sweet Home, 541-367-3292, is the pride and joy of Jay and Janet Westly, who look forward to sharing their handcrafted wines with you in the dramatic setting of their winery. Their tasting room is said to have one of the best views at an Oregon winery.
Continue on Berlin Road to Springbank Farm (c), 32264 Berlin Road in Lebanon, 503-819-6209. Springbank is home to blueberries, wine, and even a farm camp. The camp’s amenities include horse riding, creek-play, straw castles, pigs, bunnies, goats, sheep, chickens, herding dog, and barn cats.
And finally… who doesn’t like chocolate? To finish your tour, head over to the Victorian Chocolate Company (c), at 959 Grove Street, in Lebanon, 541-401-3765. Let Kelly Reetz, chocolatier extraordinaire, tempt your taste buds with his delicious confections and in particular, his truffles.
There’s a little something for every person in your party along this culinary trail, as well as a few surprises. Stop at the historic sites, take a walk in a garden, visit a local museum, but most of all, enjoy the wonder-filled Willamette Valley and the graciousness of Albany.
Back by popular demand, the Monteith Society is once again hosting two fun and spooky historical experiences this October: a candlelit tour of the Monteith House Museum followed by a ride on the Trolley of Terror; and a VIP ghost-hunting experience at the Monteith House. Both are sponsored by the Monteith Historical Society.
The Monteith House is the oldest building in Albany, and was built in 1849. Through the years, various ghost stories have been shared about this building, but very few people have had a chance to hear the stories from the inside of its walls, and even fewer have had a chance to seek out the spirits that dwell within. Please, join us for a ride on the Trolley of Terror and our candlelit tour to hear the ghost stories of downtown Albany and those of the Monteith House that have chilled its inhabitants to the bone.
The Trolley of Terror will take place on October 20, 21, 27 and 28. Tours begin at 6pm, 7pm, 8pm and 9pm. Sign up today for the Trolley of Terror candlelit tour and ghost stories of the Monteith House. The cost of the Trolley of Terror and candlelit ghost tour is $10 per adult and $5 per child. Reservations are highly recommended as space is limited.
Our VIP ghost hunt experience will take place on October 14, 21, and 27, from 10pm-1am. Each VIP experience is limited to 10 people. VIPs will be joined by experienced paranormal investigators and learn how to use various pieces of ghost hunting equipment. VIPs will then get to help conduct a paranormal investigation of the Monteith House. The VIP experience is $40 per person. Reservations are required. This event is appropriate for adults, not young children.
Call the Albany Visitors Association at 541-928-0911 to reserve your seats today!
By guest blogger Richard Engeman
On a recent Wednesday afternoon, Richard H. Engeman (Oregon author and new-to-Albany resident) attended a free “History Bites” talk at the Albany Regional Museum. Richard kindly volunteered his time to the Albany Visitors Association as our guest blogger. The following article is his account of History Bite’s latest speaker, Hasso Hering.
“More people don’t know anything about what’s going on.” –Hasso Hering
Two or three decades ago, news came to us in two formats: in print (as a newspaper or magazine), or a broadcast over television or radio. Reporters, correspondents, and journalists worked for agencies that collected, edited, and distributed “The News.” And from what we read, and what we saw and heard, each of us weighed and analyzed the information to merge it into our understanding of the world.
Today, our understanding of the world is mediated by Facebook, which flings billions of bits of information at us. Some of that is news, but much of it is the instantaneous reaction by millions of other viewers to that news. In many instances, these snippets of news and comments correspond to other reactions: to someone’s attitude, syntax, bias, spelling, ethnicity, gender, etiquette, and a multitude of other aspects. The news itself, is drowned out.
Hasso Hering, former longtime editor of the Albany Democrat-Herald newspaper (he retired in 2012), spoke to the changes in news-gathering and news distribution at a recent, well-attended lunchtime talk at the Albany Regional Museum.
Hasso’s involvement with the news goes back a long way, and his lengthy tenure in Albany was preceded by his experience in newsrooms in California and in Ashland, Oregon. He punctuated his talk with photos and anecdotes that illustrated how much the news-reporting industry has changed in a very short period of time. Hering said that in the not-so-distant past, an editor of a small-city newspaper could approach a national figure like Walter Cronkite, and expect and receive, a prompt and cordial acknowledgement.
Hering described and lauded the work of copy editors, a now nearly defunct profession whose practitioners checked a reporter’s facts, smoothed out the phrasing, queried the quotes, and regularized spelling and capitalization. Such slogging and unglamorous work is what made print journalism reasonably accurate and trustworthy, so much so that television and radio broadcasters relied on printed sources for their own news shows (and they still do).
Hering made an excellent point about the fact that each of us, individually, must sift through the news and analyze it to find the kernels of value to us, and to integrate that information into our lives.
Another former journalist, Bob Hicks of the Oregonian, recently pushed the same point in a Facebook essay, concluding that we can’t be spoon-fed news stories, but must be “active, analytical… and honestly skeptical” with our journalistic consumption. And this is a difficult and challenging task, as Hering succinctly notes, since we are faced with a “proliferation” of news sources. We can’t catch up with all of it, we can’t be sure it is accurate, and we can’t correct misinformation. We are bombarded with news bites, and the bombardment overwhelms our ability to analyze, question, and form reasoned opinions about our world. Technology has made our task harder, not easier as we might have expected.
Hasso gave a jaunty, if sobering, lunchtime talk. However, it was a good experience for this new Albany resident, and I came away from his presentation confident that I had moved to a small but sprightly city that takes its history (and its history-makers like Hasso Hering) seriously. And like Hering, we residents do so with a wry smile.
Albany author Richard H. Engeman is a public historian and archivist, and the person behind Oregon Rediviva, LLC. The name Oregon Rediviva is connected to the history of the Oregon Country: Captain Robert Gray’s ship Columbia Rediviva entered the mouth of the Columbia River in 1792. In 1805, Capt. Meriwether Lewis described a plant, to which the name Lewisia rediviva has been applied. It is better known as the bitterroot, the state flower of Montana.