As fall approaches, your list of interesting outdoor activities wouldn’t be complete without taking time to tour Linn County’s picturesque covered bridges.
The quaint structures – Linn has eight of them – evoke a simpler time when life moved a little slower and when builders put roofs over their bridges to protect the massive timbers from Oregon’s rainy climate. Carefully maintained, most are still open to both pedestrian and vehicle traffic.
Take the day and bike or drive your way to some of these beautiful structures along quiet country roads. Five of the bridges are clustered not far from Albany around the town of Scio and marked by signs on a 30-mile loop that takes about 2 and a half hours if you are driving. Included on that tour are the Hoffman Bridge, Gilkey Bridge, Shimanek Bridge, Hannah Bridge and Larwood Bridge. After touring the bridges, take time to head into Scio and have a delicious lunch at the Covered Bridge Coffee House Restaurant (or do takeout and picnic at your favorite bridge). Head back to Albany or take the rest of the day and add the other three Linn County bridges: Weddle Bridge in Sweet Home, Short Bridge near Cascadia, and the Crawfordsville Bridge.
On your tour, take note of Shimanek Bridge, the only one in the area painted red rather than the traditional white. And, if you plan ahead and get some takeout from one of Albany’s great eateries, spend the day at the Larwood Wayside picnic area where the Larwood Bridge spans Crabtree Creek next to an old water wheel that once provided electricity to rural residents. Take your fishing poles and try your luck for trout as well. The creek is regularly stocked.
The Larwood Bridge is at the confluence of Roaring River and Crabtree Creek, which also has the quirky reputation of being the only place in the world, according to “Ripley’s Believe it or Not,” where a river flows into a creek.
If you want to discover the bridges for yourself, click here to view a list of Linn County’s Covered Bridge Country. For a map and a little history, click here for a copy of Seems Like Old Times and turn to Page 20, or download the Explore Albany app to get the same information on your phone. And read a description of touring Linn County Covered Bridges from Travel Oregon.
Early pioneers built the first covered bridges in Oregon, which later gave way to better-designed structures beginning in the early 20th Century. Due to a lack of steel during the world wars, and the abundance of Douglas fir, construction of these treasures continued well into the 1950s. Covering the bridges, while a beautiful addition to any span, had a practical application of keeping the wooden trusses dry. A covered bridge can last up to 80 years, while uncovered wooden bridges had about a nine-year lifespan.
As you tour the bridges notice the diagonal bracing and counter bracing of the beams in a crisscross pattern, both on the sides of the bridge and overhead under the roof. This is the Howe truss design, developed in 1840 by William Howe, which helps make the bridges stronger and last longer.
At one time there were about 450 covered bridges in Oregon. Today, just over 50 remain.
What better way to practice social distancing than to spend a sunny afternoon on the water?
Catch some rays, get a little exercise and get up close and personal with a giant duck as you leisurely cruise around Albany’s Waverly Lake in paddle boats during these summer months.
The boats run Wednesday through Friday from noon to 6:30 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., until Sept. 6. Cost is $5 per half hour and each of the boats can hold up to four people. Six paddleboats are The paddle boats offer a quiet diversion on the five-acre lake, a former rock pit, that offers fishing, walking paths, picnicking areas and an oversized Wood Duck decoy, which has greeted visitors to Albany for several years and has become the city’s unofficial mascot.
The duck, made by a spray-foam company just north of Albany, greeted visitors to Albany in the 1980s until it was pulled from the lake in 2007 in severe disrepair. A fundraising effort helped resurrect the faux waterfowl, and with the help of volunteers and the work of Main Auto Body, the Waverly Duck was repaired repainted and relaunched in the summer of 2017.
So, get on a paddle boat and get close, but please don’t touch and help keep Albany’s iconic bird floating for years to come.
Beyond the duck and paddle boats, Waverly Lake serves as a great little fishing hole, too. Bring the fishing poles and try your luck for some of the trout planted each spring and early summer by the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife, including some brood trout that tip the scales at over 10 pounds.
Waverly Lake is one of three Albany-area lakes stocked yearly by the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife.
Fishing licenses are required for any person 14 years of age or older and can be purchased at most sporting goods stores in the area.
Summer isn’t canceled … it just looks a little different. So, if you’re looking for that little something different for the kids to do, motor over to the Fun in the Park “To Go” program run by by the City of Albany Parks & Recreation Department.
This is the 15th year for the program. In past Fun in the Park events, families would gather in Albany parks to find picnic tables full of crafting supplies and Parks & Rec staff on hand to organize games and other activities. But because of Covid-19 restrictions on the number of participants allowed to safely gather, Parks & Rec had to come up with another approach: A drive-thru event.
The idea is simple: Parents take a lap through the loop in Bryant Park to pick up that week’s cool activity kit for kids — handed out by Parks & Rec employees wearing masks — to enjoy at their favorite park or at home. The crafting kits are for kids ages 2 to 12.
The free event is planned through the next six Wednesday’s until Aug. 19, from 10 a.m. to noon. Parents are asked to register on the Parks & Rec website by the Monday prior to each week’s event so staff can get an accurate count of how many kits will be needed to be assembled. Kids can also put on their investigator’s cap and play an “I Spy” game. Upon entering the park, they will be given a page with different items on it that they can hunt for as they cruise around.
The first events were held July 8 and July 15, and so far hundreds of kids have participated, so make sure to reserve your spot and register today! Dates left are July 22 and 29, and August 5, 12 and 19.
Sponsors for the program include Coastal, Kona Ice, Kristi Crawford Photography, Oregon Freeze Dry, Xtreme Grafx, Oregon AFSCME, Home Depot, Les Schwab, Linn-Co Federal Credit Union and Red Canoe Credit Union.
Businesses have started to reopen in Albany and around Oregon, but leisure travel remains discouraged for now. Stay safe by staying local.
What can you expect when you do decide to go shopping? Some people are hesitant to get out and about in light of restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic. But a few Albany-area businesses are hoping their participation in a new program will help take some of that trepidation away.
We’re proud to join our industry partners in committing to a safer Willamette Valley by taking part in the all-new Responsible Reopening program, sponsored by the Willamette Valley Visitors Association. In order to elevate a valley-wide message of unity, care and excellence we hope others will join our fellow businesses and pledge to implement these self-regulated Willamette Valley Community Commitments, in addition to mandated state requirements, for the health and safety of locals and visitors alike.
So far, more than a dozen area businesses and organizations are participating and have pledged to enact a 10-point safety checklist designed to create the safest possible environment.
How will you know? Participating businesses are displaying decals and other signage bearing the Responsible Reopening logo to feature those safety standards (as seen here with this blog). As an example, upon entering Sybaris Bistro you notice the spacious layout has changed to offer patrons the safest dining experience possible while keeping the same quality service and atmosphere Sybaris fans have come to enjoy. The restaurant also offers limited seating outside.
To date, here are Albany-area businesses taking part in the program who are making sure their patrons and staff are safe: Springhill Cellars Winery, Urban Ag Supply, Comfort Suites Albany, Albany Visitors Association, St. Innocent Winery in Jefferson, Phoenix Inn, Sybaris, Calapooia Brewing Company, Deluxe Brewing & Sinister Distilling, Frankie’s, Phoenix Inn Suites, Bryant Family Farm, Gallery Calapooia, Iron Water Ranch and Albany Historic Carousel & Museum.
So, when you get the urge to shop or get a meal out, take time to look for the Reopen Responsibly signs in and around Albany.
The 2020 Fresh & Local Linn-Benton guide to sourcing locally grown food is here.
Want to buy local? This comprehensive guide shows you how! Locally Grown is your premier guide for sourcing local foods. The free guide provides information for all consumers, including farmers markets, farm stands, U-Picks, CSAs, and more.
You can view the magazine online or pick up a hard copy from our 24-hour visitor center publications rack in front of the Albany Visitors Association front door, 110 3rd Ave. SE., off of Lyon St. View the online edition.
*COVID-19 Addendum – please contact providers in advance for information, from farmers and local food providers, many have adapted their normal methods of selling local food to increase physical distancing and promote safer access.
Thank you to the farms, food businesses, community partner and sponsors who made this publication possible.
Looking for fun this March? Below, we’ve highlighted events all across Linn County that will appeal to family members of all ages. In fact, there’s so many activities we have to split our monthly blog into two parts. So enjoy “Part 1” and come back in another week or so for the second half. For even more fun, check out our full online calendar.
March 6th The Albany Historic Carousel & Museum is hosting “A Wee Bit o’ Fun” from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Join the critters for rides, make-and-take activities, Leprechaun Bingo and $5 dinner specials. Rides are unlimited with pot-o-gold raffles every ride – all for the $5 admission fee.
March 6 Ever heard the phrase, “Now cut that out?” Well, two local artisans, Melissa Babcock Saylor and Linda Herd, will share their “cut-it-out!” pieces at Gallery Calapooia for a First Friday reception on March 6 from 6 to 8 p.m. Saylor specializes in paper collage works and Herd in hand-sawn jewelry. Their show will remain up for the month of March in case you miss the reception.
March 7 from 2 to 5 p.m., It’s time for the “Beards and Brews Festival.” Celebrate luxurious facial hair and quaff delicious frothy beverages at Calapooia Brewing Co.’s annual fundraiser. For more information visit the event Facebook page.
March 7 from 4 to 9 p.m., get your brews on at the “3rd Annual Albany Taps & Caps,” presented by 3 Sheets Brewery & Taproom, The Growler Garage & Tap House, No Rails Ale House, Deluxe Brewing, Calapooia Brewing Company, and the Albany Downtown Association. This is a fundraiser benefiting Furniture Share. For tickets and information call the Albany Downtown Association at 541-928-2469 or visit ADA’s website.
March 7 From 5:30 to 8 p.m., join your friends for a fun evening supporting children’s literacy at “Library Uncorked!” Taste wine, beer and cider from the Pacific Northwest and bid on cool items in the silent auction. Ticket holders receive a unique event glass, five tasting tickets, an opportunity to win a grand prize drawing, delicious hors d’oeuvres and music by the Bush Pilots. Tickets are available at both the main library and the Carnegie, at the Friends Bookstore or purchase online.
March 10 At noon in the Lebanon Public Library, historian Tony Farque will tell the story of the Santiam Wagon Road. Sponsored by the Lebanon Museum and the library, the program is open to all and free of charge. Audience members are welcome to bring a lunch and eat while they listen. The library is located at 55 Academy St. in Lebanon.
March 11 from noon to 1p.m. If you haven’t attended a History Bites presentation at the Albany Regional Museum, what are you waiting for? Conveniently scheduled once per month during the lunch hour, these free presentations almost always entertain and educate on life in our community over the last few centuries. Previous topics have included the history of nutria and how they infamously populated the Willamette Valley, and Civil War Era clothing for women and children. Topics to be announced, so stay tuned, we’ll let you know as soon as we hear from the museum! (The photo is from last month’s presentation and presenter Linda Steffen.)
Save the Dates for the marvelously nutty play “Squirrel Lake” at the Albany Civic Theater. Through a series of unfortunate misunderstandings, things go terribly and hysterically wrong for a family gathering for a reading of a will. Performances at 7:30: March 6, 7, 12, 13, 14. Performance at 2:30 on March 8. For tickets and more info view ACT’s website.
THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELED! March 13 and 14 ((((The “Fly Tyers & Fly Fishing Expo”)))). For more information, visit the event website.
March 13 — LBCC CONCERT CANCELED.
March 14 Take to the calm waters of Cheadle Lake in Lebanon, Oregon. from 9 to 11 a.m., Bring your kayak, canoe, or other non-motorized watercraft and join “Build Lebanon Trails,” as they follow the water trail on the lake. Learn about the history and the development of this crown jewel of the Lebanon trail system plan. *Please note: in order to participate, you must sign a waiver and use all required safety gear as listed by the organizers. Read about requirements and registration at the organizer website.
March 14 — IRUN FOR KIDS POSTPONED: The “17th Annual iRun for Kids” race will be rescheduled. Telephone 541-979-2773 for more information.
March 14 — 1st ANNUAL CORNHOLE TOURNAMENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED: Due to actions combating the coronavirus, this event will be rescheduled, according to the Albany Fire Department Facebook page.
March 14 and 15 Will you see a little red corvette at the mall? Come find out during the annual “Corvette Show” at Heritage Mall in Albany. This event is free and sponsored by the Beaver State Corvette Club Members. For more info visit the mall’s Facebook events page.
March 20, 21, 22 — HORSE FAIR CANCELED: Due to the governor’s ban on events of 250 people or larger to combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the Annual NW Horse Fair & Expo at the Linn County Expo Center in Albany has been canceled. Organizers of the event say the fair will be back next year, March 26-28, 2021. For more information, visit the event website.
March 30 — POSTPONED. “History Sips” with the Albany Regional Museum at Deluxe Brewing and Sinister Distillery, 635 NE Water Ave in Albany, from 7 to 8 p.m. The topic is “The History of Women in Brewing.” Admission to the presentation is free (spirited and brewed libations available for purchase). Donations gratefully accepted and go towards the operation of ARM.
On Saturday, July 27, 2019, the Annual Summer Historic Interior Home Tour offers an opportunity to peek inside some of the city’s finest historic buildings and houses on the National Historic Register. From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., homeowners and hosts will be available to answer questions about the history of the dwelling, restoration efforts, historic house maintenance, and other details about Albany’s four historic districts. The tour is self-guided; you can visit the homes in any order by walking, personal vehicle, or horse-drawn wagon and vintage trolley, both of which are included in the $15 price of admission (well-behaved children aged 12 and under are free). For more information telephone Albany Visitors Association at 541-928-0911.
Online tickets are available below. Please bring your email confirmation with you the day of the tour to our office, and breeze past the lines! Tickets will also be available at the Albany Visitors Association office the day of the tour.
In celebration of National Historic Preservation Month, Albany’s 2019 month-long party kicks off on May 1st with a variety of events spanning across four weeks. Here are most of the fun things to do, and more will be added as we receive word.
*Note: events are free, unless marked with a $ sign.
May 1st through the 31st
Albany’s Hidden History Scavenger Hunt Photo Tour Sponsored by the Natty Dresser, entry forms available at the Albany Downtown Association, 126 SW Ferry St, Albany. Return entries to the ADA by 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 31st to be entered to win a prize. The grand prize winner will be announced June 1st. For more information contact the Albany Downtown Association 541-928-2469.
Albany Farmers’ Market is the oldest outdoor farmers’ market in Oregon. Open every Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 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.
Historic Albany Display at City Hall and the Albany Downtown Public Library Presented by the City of Albany Landmarks Commission, City Hall’s and Historic Carnegie Library’s display cases will be filled with Albany history artifacts and images. Viewing is available during regular business hours. City Hall: Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., 333 Broadalbin SW; Historic Downtown Carnegie Library: Monday – Friday 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., 302 Ferry Street SW.
May 3rd through the 25th
Albany Civic Theater (ACT) is one of the oldest, best-known community theaters in Oregon. 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, and to provide exciting creative opportunities for local actors, technicians and theater lovers. In May, ACT presents “The Addams Family” musical. The theater is located at 111 First Avenue W. Tel: 541- 928-4603. albanycivic.org. ($)
The Albany Regional Museum First Friday. 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. The museum will be open late the first Friday of each month to help visitors appreciate the cultural history of our city. ARM is located at 136 Lyon Street S.
Albany Wine Walk in Historic Downtown Albany 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. with over 20 wineries participating. Enjoy tasting along with the ambiance and atmosphere of beautiful Historic Downtown Albany. Sponsored by the Albany Rotary Club. Tickets for sale at the Albany Visitors Association ($)
The Gallery Calapooia First Friday Reception 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Gallery Calapooia is located in the historic Flinn Block Building, an 1887 French Second Empire style on 1st Avenue. The 19th century building has a beautiful cast iron façade and a spacious interior with old brick walls, making it a wonderful setting to view fine art. The gallery is located at 222 W. 1st Ave. Come meet the artists and enjoy live music and refreshments.
Historic Garage Tour From 2:00 – 3:30, meet other architectural history buffs under the big tree at SE 5th and Jefferson. There will be a walking tour of several historic outbuildings, and the exterior of seven other historic structures. You’ll see a barn, garages, conversions, and even a former outhouse.
May 4th and 5th
Carriage Me Back. Be transported to another time at this annual Brownsville, Linn County event, where the history and hijinks of Linn County are reenacted from a different historical time every year. This year, the carriage will travel back to 1888. Visitors can ride the horse-drawn carriage through Historic Brownsville and see costumed actors performing historical skits. This is a fun day for the whole family to spend in the quaint town of Brownsville. You must register your spot. Telephone 541-466-3390 or visit linnparks.com or the Linn County Parks Facebook page. ($ to ride carriage, walking free)
The Albany Regional Museum – History Bites. This ongoing series is being offered the second Wednesday of each month at noon. This month, learn about the history of the Albany Streetcar. Serving light refreshments and you are welcome to bring your own lunch. Regular museum hours are Tuesday through Friday, from 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. and Saturday 10:00 a.m.- 2:00 p.m. See it for yourself at 136 Lyon Street S.
Preservation Awards Presentation at the City Council meeting The awards start at 7:15 pm, at Albany City Hall Council Chambers, 333 Broadalbin Street SW. Please contact Laura LaRoque 541-917-7640 for more information.
Monteith House Museum Pre-Season Cleanup 9:00 a.m. – noon, 518 2nd Ave SW. The Monteith Society will lead volunteers in cleanup and light maintenance of Albany’s oldest home and living history museum. Following the cleanup is the annual Open House, from noon to 4:00 p.m. Teens welcome to help out and then enjoy the refreshments at the open house.
Masonic Cemetery Cleanup 9:00 a.m. – noon. Volunteers should 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. Meet at 700 Broadway Street SW (west end of 6th and 7th Ave SW).
Albany Tweed Ride Don your best tweed cycling attire for a leisurely ride through Albany’s three National Historic Districts. Meet at 10:00 a.m. in front of The Natty Dresser, 425 1st Ave W. After touring the exterior of several historic homes and buildings, the ride ends at the Deluxe Brewing Company’s Vintage Bicycle Show. Plan to have lunch and a beer with your tweedy friends. The ride and show are free, showing antique bikes requires registration and a $5 registration per bike. Beer and food purchase also cost $.
Monteith Historical Society’s Historic Home Tour Committee at the Albany Farmers’ Market. Pick up great preservation information AND great fresh produce, flowers, eggs and more. City Hall Parking Lot.
Albany Regional Museum Presents the Albany Streetcar History Tour with three time slots to join this informative tour: 10:00 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Bill Maddy, Albany Regional Museum Docent, will conduct a narrated ride on historic Albany streetcar routes. Guests are also invited to step inside the museum and view the expanded train station display. The 1870 arrival of the first railroad to Albany is a special story and instrumental in the growth of the town. Streetcar seating is limited and reservations are required. Please call to reserve your ticket to board. 541-967-7122. Costs $ at time of reservation.
6th Annual Albany Vintage Bicycle Show presented by Deluxe Brewing Co. 1:00 p.m. – 5: 00 pm. at the Deluxe and Sinister tasting room, 635 NE Water Ave. View a collection of interesting, rare, and memorable vintage bicycles and vote for your favorite to win the People’s Choice Award. All ages welcome in the main brewery area. Tasting room open to 21+ only. Non-alcoholic drinks are available for purchase and there will be a local food truck on site. Free Admission, food and libations cost $.
Historic Downtown Walking Tour of 1st Ave. 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. Information at 541-248-3561.
Historic Downtown Walking Tour of 2nd Ave. 7:30 p.m. Meet at Burkhart Square (Lyon and First Ave). Learn about Albany’s historic architecture & history. Sponsored by The Natty Dresser. Information 541- 248-3561.
May 18th and May 19th
Gingles Cemetery Cleanup, North Albany. Inga Williams, Benton County Planning, is hosting a cleanup at Gingles Cemetery May 18th and 19th, from 9am to 4pm. An owner of a nearby farm (8765 NW Springhill Drive) is allowing participants to park by their barn. A shuttle will then drop participants off near the cemetery entrance. Interested persons should register with SOLV online. Questions? Contact Inga at 541-766-6027.
May 17th through May 19th
Linn County Lamb and Wool Fair The oldest fair of its kind in Oregon includes sheep shows, fiber arts, crafts and Northwest Champion Sheep Dog Trials. The event is held at the Scio Fairgrounds, 38764 N Ash St, Scio, OR. lambfair.com
City of Albany Landmarks Commission presents the Albany Unseen Guided Walking Tour confirm info (which buildings) and final date. Space is limited, reservations required. Contact Laura LaRoque 541-917-7640.
May 30th through June 2nd
This year is the 110th Annual Lebanon Strawberry Festival. This remarkable event has something for everyone, from a Saturday night fireworks display and the World’s Largest Strawberry Shortcake, to a parade and entertainment. Located at Cheadle Lake Park, 37919 Weirich Dr, Lebanon, OR. lebanonstrawberryfestival.com
AVA is pleased to announce the winners of the 2019 AVA Photo Contest. We received over 250 stunning images, and although our judges struggled mightily to hone the honors down to just a few in each category, the end results are beautiful.
The Albany Visitors Association (AVA) is excited to announce the winners of our 12th Annual Photography Contest. The purpose of this contest is to find images suitable for use in marketing materials for Albany and the surrounding area. The contest is open to photographers of all skill levels, and this year 15 talented photographers entered 251 beautiful and creative photos.
Prizes this year included ribbons and gift cards for the winners of Champion, Reserve Champion, Staff Choice, and People’s Choice. All Photographers who earned a ribbon were entered into a drawing for $200, and Camron Settlemier was the talented and lucky winner this year.
Winning photos are on display through May at the Albany Visitors Association at 110 3rd Ave SE. All entries can be viewed on the Albany Visitors Association Flickr page.
Champion, Dave Maestas, “Reflections at Waverly Lake”
Reserve Champion, Cathy Webb, “Taking Off”
People’s Choice, Katelynn LaGrone, “Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival”
Staff Choice, Keith Kendrick, “Bridges of Albany in Winter”
1st Place, Oliver J. Anderson, “Home Tour Snacks”
2nd Place, Cathy Webb, “Tomato Assortment”
3rd Place, Katrina Wilson “Takena Tomatoes”
1st Place, Oliver J. Anderson, “Tweed Bike Start”
2nd Place, Katelynn LaGrone, “NW Art & Air Festival”
3rd Place, Jonna Lynn, “Up & Away, Art & Air Festival”
1st Place, Camron Settlemier “White Snow on Blue House”
2nd Place, Stephanie Low, “Ralston House”
3rd Place, Oliver J. Anderson, “Monteith Unadorned”
Life in the Community
1st Place, Dan Bateman, “Study in Red”
2nd Place, Oliver J. Anderson, “Monteith Volunteer”
3rd Place, Stephanie Low, “Cyclist in Fall”
1st Place, Stephanie Low, “Welcome to Albany”
2nd Place, Oliver J. Anderson, “Monteith Adorned”
3rd Place, Camron Settlemier, “Thompson’s Mill in Motion”
1st Place, Pavla Zakova-Laney, “Handsome Buck”
2nd Place, Cathy Webb, “The Guardian”
3rd Place, Camron Settlemier, “2 Flakes Short of a Blizzard”
1st Place, Dave Maestas, “Sunrise on Old Salem Rd.”
2nd Place, Keith Kendrick, “Foot Bridge over Bowman Park”
3rd Place, Barry Hoffman, “Snow Day”
Congratulations to all the winners!