Wintertime still a good time to fish

Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean the fish aren’t biting.

Steelhead and salmon abound in several rivers in the area, including the North and South Santiam, the mainstem of the Santiam, and a little farther away in the Alsea and Siletz rivers, and many others.

But if you just want to get away for the day, or just an afternoon with the kids, the mid-Willamette Valley is full of places to go fishing for trout, and some of the best are right here in Albany.

Mitch Smith, owner of Two Rivers Fly Shop in Historic Downtown Albany, says many local waters have been stocked with rainbow trout, some of which tip the scales at several pounds.

“Locally, the state is stocking the heck out of Timber-Linn Lake,” Smith said, adding that a couple of weeks ago a man came into his shop who had caught a 9-pound rainbow there. “The state also plants those brooders and they have put some big ones in there.”

Along with the normal planting of legal keeper-sized fish (8-inch minimum), the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife plants a few large brood fish – used to collect eggs for spawning more trout at hatcheries – to give the public a shot at landing “the big one.”

Albany has a fine selection of easily accessible lakes to fish, making it a perfect place to take the kids, particularly Timber-Linn and Waverly Lakes, which were planted recently. The ODFW has taken down its stocking schedule to keep people from congregating at any one place due to Covid-19 restrictions but is releasing some details about local stocking after the fact. For the latest information about fishing in the Willamette Zone, go to

Smith said right now a good bet to take fish is with Powerbait fished just off the bottom, or with Wooly Bugger flies in black, brown or olive on a fly rod or fished behind a casting bubble using spinning gear.

If you would like to talk more about fishing, visit Mitch Smith at Two Rivers Fly Shop, 204 1st Ave. SW, in Albany, give him a call at 541-967-9800, or drop him a line at The shop is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and Saturday 10 to 4.

To plan your next adventure in Albany, go to

Photo by Dan Bateman

Holiday events to warm your heart

If you are searching for some holiday spirit amid our current Covid-19 lockdown, look no further. Here is a list of events to warm your hearts and fill your days with joy.

Topping that list are two such events close to home, both physically and virtually.

The first is a YouTube video, done in a physically-distanced Zoom meeting-like fashion, featuring the high school a capella choir group, South Albany Ascend, singing the Christmas classic, “Baby, Please Come Home.” The group is under the direction of choir director Brett DeYoung, and the arrangement was done by Deke Sharon. You can find this fun rendition here.

And if you want to get out of the house to have some fun, enjoy the sight of 26 houses and businesses lit up for the 2020 Night Time Magic Holiday Light Contest and then vote for your favorite! This year’s theme is “Cherished Traditions in a New Light.” Vote by Dec. 20. For more information visit the webpage visit Night Time Magic or Facebook Night Time Magic

If you happened to miss the Christmas Porch Tour, held Sunday, Dec. 3, click on the video to get a little taste of the fun at the Albany Historic Interior Homes Tour Facebook page. Twelve houses and three venues participated by decorating their porches and yards in a bright holiday blast of fun.

Just want to relax in front of a fireplace with a crackling Yule Log but don’t have a fireplace? We’ve got you covered. Click here for a cozy YouTube video that will warm your heart.

Here are a few more events and online links to keep your holiday spirits high:

Willamette Master Chorus Annual Holiday Concert

The Willamette Master Chorus continues the tradition and brings you a festive Holiday Concert, featuring the Trail Band Sextet, members of the well-known Oregon Trail Band and members of the Judson Middle School Choir. Videos of the concerts can be seen here.

Candy Cane Lane 8th Annual Holiday Lights

Dec. 10-31, The Meadow Community, 310 Pitney Ln., Junction City, See Santa, Mrs. Claus and Santa’s Elf as they hand out candy (with COVID-19 safety precautions). Please bring food for the local food bank. Click here for information on the AVA Calendar of Events..

Albany String Orchestra – Virtual Winter Concert

Concert was held Dec. 19. Music includes pieces by Bach and Vivaldi, and a collection of carols and holiday songs that will leave you with a song in your heart and a smile on your face. See the concert here.

Here are more Christmas videos to enjoy (click on the entry):

“Christmas Canon,” Trans-Siberian Orchestra

“12 Days of Christmas,” Pentatonix

“Linus & Lucy,” Vince Guaraldi Trio

2020 Christmas Porch Tour

Enjoy the sights and sounds of an old-fashioned holiday celebration in Historic Downtown Albany. The Christmas Porch Tour offers a festive look at a few of our beautiful historic homes decked out in their Christmas best in a self-guided walk or drive-by event bursting with bright, holiday-wrapped fun.

The tour will be held from 2 to 7 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 13.

A dozen houses will be on this year’s tour and most are within the Monteith Historic District. Albany has more than 800 historic structures within its four nationally registered historic districts. (For more information about the houses on this tour, see the bottom of this blog.)

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, participants are asked to not enter the homes or go onto the porches, to wear masks where appropriate, and enjoy the homes from the sidewalk or the comfort of their vehicles. Because of restrictions, there will be no horse-drawn wagon or trolley rides.

But while restrictions may be in place, there is still plenty of fun to be had.


In addition to seeing beautiful homes, participants can take part in a contest for prizes while they are touring, including a large gift basket courtesy of the Monteith Society, and four $25 gift certificates to Downtown Albany businesses. Allform you have to do is download a contest form here or pick up an entry form along with your ticket at the AVA. Then, as you visit each home find a poster associated with each house and write down the Christmas image in the numbered slot that’ matches that location. After filling out the form, return it to the Albany Visitors Association, 110 3rd Ave. S.E., and put it into the mail slot. Contest posters will remain up only during the tour. Deadline for submissions is 5 p.m. Monday, Dec. 14. Make sure to have your contact information on the entry from, and winners will be contacted. It’s as simple as that!

GET TICKETS (with a map!)

Where do you get a ticket? Tickets are available for download now by clicking here or at the AVA office beginning at 1 p.m. the day of the tour. (Be sure to print legal size. For convenience, print on both sides on one sheet of paper and fold like a booklet!) There is no cost for the tickets or contest, but participants are strongly urged to make a donation. Funds made from the tour are used by the Monteith Society to help run and maintain the non-profit Monteith House Museum, so give generously! Contact-free donations can be made with your credit or debit card using our online payment option here: ( Please note: you don’t have to have your own Paypal account to use this)

Enter the dollar amount you wish to donate:


if you prefer, checks can be made payable to the “Monteith Historical Society” and mailed to the AVA, PO Box 965, Albany, Oregon 97321, or other donation arrangements can be made by emailing us.

An added sprinkle of fun this year is that some of the houses are participating in the Night Time Magic Holiday Lights Contest. Take time after the tour to visit the other homes in this contest, then go online to vote for your favorite! Stay tuned for that link!

Other highlights on tour day:

The Monteith House will be lit by candlelight.
The Whitespires Church will be lit for the tour. Check out the star on the side of the building!


Here is more information about the houses on this year’s Christmas Porch Tour:

  1. Research in Progress
    1930, Cottage
    1535 Takena St. SW
    Homeowner: Elizabeth Anderson

This cozy 1930 cottage is almost entirely original on the interior – from the cast-iron tub in the bathroom, to the potato bin in the kitchen, and the upstairs dressing room.  A double-and-a-half lot allows for ample gardening, and the rose garden in the front is the envy of all who pass by during the summer months. The owner and her daughters are slowly bringing this beauty back to its full potential, with lots of love and patience and elbow grease. The family’s nutcracker collection and heirloom ornaments are visible through the front window, as is the grand piano inherited from the owner’s great-grandmother. 

  1. Hulin House
    1879, French Second Empire
    804 Broadalbin St. SW
    Jeff Blackford & Jim Jansen

Dr. Hulin used this house as his residence and place of work, sharing part of it as his office with Dr Aiken. Note the two front doors: the door on the right was where Dr. Hulin and Dr. Aiken had their medical practice. The homeowners have heard stories of emergency surgery in the office (now the dining room) caused by a hit-and-run with a horse-drawn carriage.

In the early 1910s to 1920s a large addition was added, and again in the 40s, and the house was subdivided into two addresses. One upstairs (8th Ave) and one downstairs (Broadalbin). Sometime during the late 70s to 80s, the owner reconnected the home to make it one address and added the garage and connected the garage and the house with a breezeway.

Over the last four years, Jeff and Jim have been restoring the house back to the historic  beauty that it once was, both inside and out, with period lighting, historic furniture, and even throwing elaborate holiday events dressed in traditional Holiday attire.

  1. Research in Progress
    c. 1920, Rural Vernacular/Craftsman-Bungalow
    2020 17th Ave. SW

    Homeowners: Keith Kolkow & Jerrod Taylor

The home first appears in tax records in 1920, though the homeowners suspect it is much older. All the original interior walls were wooden shiplap, which is irregular for the region (some have been preserved and/or replaced). It is suspected the house was originally a farmhand’s home on the original area homestead and was just a box home with four rooms.

Multiple additions and alterations were made to the home over the years, making it the Craftsman style you see today. The front porch, corbels and second-floor window are not original. On the backside of the house there was also a porch which is now enclosed and acts as a dining room with a “back staircase” to the second floor.

Fun fact: the plumbing once had every kind of pipe since indoor plumbing began including, clay, copper, galvanized and PVC!

  1. Research in Progress
    1919, Craftsman Bungalow
    821 7th Ave. SW
    Homeowners: Neva & Eric Anderson

The Anderson Family purchased the 1919 Bungalow in 2017, with the intent to call it home for several years to come. With that in mind, the family began restoration and age-appropriate upgrades, as the home had been neglected for several years. Upon renovation, the homeowners vowed to keep the bungalow’s original charm with its historic wood trim, clawfoot tub, hardwood floors, single pane windows, brick fireplace and covered front porch. The restoration was completed by the Anderson family themselves, in which the process lasted a long and relentless year-and-a-half. The bungalow was deemed a ‘kit’ house back in the early 1900’s, as the house came packaged as a kit, and was shipped in a train box car, likely from Sears & Roebuck. Homeowners at the time could thumb through a catalog, pick out their home kit and it would then be shipped to them via train. It was then up to the homeowner to assemble the home themselves or seek local hires for support.  Thus, over 100 years later, the windows of the 1919 bungalow still shake when local trains make their way through Albany on their journey north, just as it did in 1919 when it was first built.

  1. Briggs House
    1874, Colonial
    606 5th Ave SW

    Homeowners: Sierra Rawson & Jose Gomez

The Briggs house is a 2.5 story home with a basement. There is a notable architectural hood over the front porch. Neighbors lovingly refer to it as the “eyebrow.” Historical information states that the Briggs House was originally built as a Gothic Revival but was Colonialized after the turn of the century. During a renovation, a Gothic window was discovered on the west side of the upper story. The Gothic window sits in the living room today as part of the decor of the home.

  1. Barrett House
    1909, Transitional Box
    637 5th Ave. SW

    Homeowners: Jody & Randy Kruse
  2. Barrett was a Linn County Judge who built the home in 1909 and his family lived in the house until 2017, when his daughter Zella Mae Packard passed away. The home is still in its original style – the homeowners have the architectural plans – and it was recently given a renovation this past year highlighting all its details. The Kruse’s are a three-generation family who are enjoying the livability of this wonderful home in the Monteith Historic District. Homeowners Jody and Randy invite tour-goers to notice decorations through the windows of the home, as they have worked hard to make the inside festive as well.
  1. Cougill House
    1903, Queen Anne/Colonial Revival
    803 5th Ave SW

    Homeowners: Suzette & John Boydston

The Boydstons are just the fourth owners of this home. Before purchasing the Cougill House, the homeowners would walk past the house with their then-small children, and felt it needed love. In the years since moving in, their 9-foot Christmas tree is always placed in the parlour next to the stairs, and decorated with ornaments collected over many years, some made by the Boydston children over 20 years ago.

  1. Merrill House
    c. 1906, Queen Anne
    802 5th Ave. SW

    Homeowners: Marilyn & Bob Hill

Much of the interior woodwork and architectural features remain in this wonderful home, including the original picture moldings and plate rail, oriel windows in the parlor and casement windows in the living room that retain the wavy vintage glass. Pocket doors separate the parlor and living room, and the home has two sets of stairs. Marilyn’s extensive nutcracker collection was started in 1970, and the family’s tree features several Hallmark house and baby shoe ornaments collected over several years. The icebox and buffet in the dining room belonged to Marilyn’s grandmother.

  1. Hayes House
    c. 1887/1902, Gothic Revival w/Bungalow Porch
    806 5th Ave. SW

    Homeowners: Deborah & Toby Blasquez

Research is not conclusive, but it is believed this late 1860s or early 1870s Carpenter Gothic-style home was moved one block from Sixth Avenue. Perry Spink, an 1852 Oregon Pioneer from New York state, settled in Albany in 1857. He was a successful trucking and wood-lot business owner and built the home for his wife, Rebecca Jane, and their children.

Rebecca Jane died in 1872 and Spink married Mary Armstrong. Spink built a new and vastly larger octangular home for his second wife on the corner of Sixth and Maple, and it is thought he moved this home to its current location.

When it was moved, the home stood higher on a new above-ground basement to allow for a sawdust-burning furnace. The original home was heated by three interior woodstoves. In addition, the east-facing side porch was enclosed to make room for an indoor bathroom. Electricity was added at that time, but the large porch pillars were added much later when the home was owned by a Linn County surveyor and are from the original Linn County Courthouse.

Notable former residents of the home include Stanford-educated Professor T.A. Hayes, who was superintendent of the Albany Schools, and the Franz Pfeiffer family.  Franz was the son of the Revere House (hotel) owners and he owned a downtown tobacco and confectionary store. The home fell into disrepair until the 1970s, when two Albany families – the Vetters and the Popes – were able to save the home.

This home with three porches features leaded glass windows facing north, original doors and hardware (including the second-floor gothic door) and many rooms with original flooring. There is an intriguing second-floor landing that looks into the large country kitchen. The Carpenter Gothic style is a more modest style than homes built later in the nineteenth century and certainly this home has had many additions and changes. But it retains its original charm and warmth by owners who have lovingly improved it over the years. 

  1. Thompson House
    c. 1885, Rural Vernacular
    839 5th Ave. SW
    Stephanie Newton & Scott Azorr

A Rural Vernacular Farmhouse-style home built in 1885, the Thompson House also has Eastlake and Queen Anne architectural elements.  It retains the original built-ins in the dining room and early 1900s light fixtures in the living room, and the large front porch sports an impressive porch swing. The furnishings reflect Stephanie’s eclectic style with eco-friendly second-hand décor. Also of interest is the acid-etched image of a woman in a pane of glass and the original deed and tax records to the home.

  1. Conner House
    1859, Colonial Revival
    914 5th Ave SW

    Homeowners: Kim & Erik Christensen

The Connor House was built in 1859 by John Conner, the first banker in Albany, and who also was one of the founders of Albany College (which later moved to Portland and became Lewis & Clark College). The house boasted a 300-foot hitching post and livery stable, being a social spot for much of Albany.

The Connor house was extensively remodeled in 1900. This is when it went from the farm style to a Colonial Revival, which was in fashion for the time.

Erik and Kimberly Christensen have owned the Conner house past 13 years, after relocating to Albany from Seattle. Having family in the antique business, furnishings are in the traditional theme and compliment the house throughout. The home boasts several collections of: vintage china and stemware; artwork; sporting equipment from days gone by; and an extensive collection of antique and vintage holiday decorations collected through Erik and Kimberly’s 30-plus years together.

Areas of interest in the Home include:

  • The house foundation was raised up in 1900, when the sawdust-burning furnace was installed. The basement has full-size windows and currently accommodates an updated space to include a “man cave,” a 380-bottle wine cellar, shop, laundry room, paint and moldings room, firewood storage, doggy lounge and a gift wrapping station.
  • Seth French of French’s Jewelers in downtown Albany owned the house for over 25 years. In 1940, Seth tore down a wing on the house to build the first two-car attached garage in Albany. The original dark wood garage doors from the house have been incorporated in the home’s basement, serving as a hallway to the cellar today.
  • The house has been updated throughout the years with the addition of updated plumbing, automatic sprinklers, electrical, and central gas heat and air-conditioning. Many of the original windows have been restored as well. The double hung windows on the third floor provide great ventilation and a good view of the summer gardens. The balcony over the front porch was lovingly repaired and the columns reproduced by Erik Christensen with the help of a family friend.
  1. Research in Progress
    c. 1915, Craftsman Bungalow
    924 5th Ave. SW
    Homeowners: Joyce & Kenny Drake

This attractive home was built around 1915 to 1920, where a livery stable once stood. A rusted horseshoe was unearthed by the family a few years back when digging in the backyard. The home was bought as a kit house for the daughter of the family next door, who lived in what is now the Conner House, which is also on this tour. Unfortunately, all records from the time of the house’s beginnings were lost. The home has had a couple owners over the years and the Drakes purchased it in 1997 from former Olympian and Linn County Parks Director Dyrol Burleson. The Drakes had a new porch installed a couple of years ago but other than that the house is mostly original.


Plan to attend Veterans Day events

Albany is known for honoring its veterans in a big way, and this year will be no exception, thanks to the hard work of several individuals, organizations and businesses.

Photo of two veterans.Despite the canceling of Albany’s nationally recognized Veterans Day Parade due to Covid-19 restrictions, several other wonderful events will be held including a reverse version of the parade and a memorial service that can be attended in person or watched online.

Here are seven ways Albany is honoring our veterans you won’t want to miss for Veterans Day:

National Guard Flyover. Look up as an F-15 from the Oregon Air National Guard takes a pass over Albany on November 11, 11:15 a.m.

Reverse Veterans Day Parade: 10 a.m. to noon, Wednesday, Nov. 11, Mid-Willamette Valley YMCA. Enjoy the fun of seeing floats from the comfort of your car in this upside-down version of the Veterans Day Parade, sponsored by the YMCA, Southpaws Pizza and Burcham’s Metals. Several floats will be on display in the YMCA parking lot. Enter from 34th Avenue and travel through the lot before exiting onto Pacific Boulevard. Enjoy the sounds of music provided by KRKT and bring along some non-perishable food items to drop off at the float sponsored by Christmas Storybook Land and Fish of Albany. The donations will be given to Fish for its food pantry.

So far, those participating in the reverse parade are Burcham’s Metals, Beaver State Corvette Club, Linn-Benton Community College, Christmas Storybook Land, Forslund Crane Service, Honor Flight, the Oregon National Guard, Albany Aquatics Association, KRKT, Linn County Sheriff’s Department, Greenberg Solar Power, Glenn Lamora, Lawrence Fisher and Fish of Albany.

Providing refreshments to veterans will be Cork’s Donuts, The Brim Coffee Co., Dutch Bros and Benny’s Donuts.

For more information call the YMCA at 541-926-4488. To register a business for the reverse parade call 541-981-7502.

Veterans Day Memorial Service: 11 a.m., Wednesday, Nov. 11, Timber-Linn Memorial Park. The ceremony will include the laying of two wreaths, a rifle salute, a bugler sounding Taps and several speakers, including Kellie Odegaard, Vice President of Operations and Veterans’ Services at the Edward C. Allworth Veterans Home in Lebanon.

Covid-19 restrictions limit the number of people who can attend the event at 100, therefore the ceremony will be filmed and available on the City of Albany’s YouTube Channel or through the city’s social media after the event. Randy Martinak of the Linn County Veterans Memorial Association said the public is welcome to attend, but to please wear masks, maintain physical distancing and to not block cameras filming the service.

Virtual Annual Veterans Concert: 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 14 and Sunday, Nov. 15. Enjoy a virtual feast of song each day from the Willamette Master Chorus at its website. If you happen to miss the concerts, they will be available on the group’s YouTube channel through its website.

Other Veterans Day activities and Information:

Veteran of the Year: This year’s Veteran of the Year is Peter Butler of Lebanon. Butler is an Air Force veteran, having served with the 724th Air Force Band. He is a member of several veterans’ organizations, including serving as a bugler with the Post 51 American Legion Honor Guard.

Bricks: On Saturday morning, Nov. 7, members of the Linn County Veterans Memorial Association will help several families place bricks with the names of veterans into the Sentry Wall. One of those bricks will be for Henry Schauer, a World War II Medal of Honor winner. Schauer was awarded the medal for action in Italy in 1944 while with the 3rd Infantry Division.

Veterans Banners:  Banners with images of Albany-area veterans are being hung in the downtown area, thanks to a collaboration between the Albany Rotary Club and the Greater Albany Rotary Club. The first batch of 30 went up on Wednesday along 1st and 2nd Avenues east of Lyon Street. The next batch of 40 banners is scheduled for hanging next week along Lyon and Ellsworth streets.

Uniforms on display: Several businesses in downtown Albany are again displaying military uniforms from different eras and different campaigns, each with a little history about them. The uniforms are sponsored by individuals and provided by the VFW 661 – Uniform Display Museum. The displays will be up Nov. 10-16. A list of uniform locations is available on the Albany Downtown Association website and Facebook event pages.

Writers have kind words for Albany

We love to hear nice things about our community and share what others have to say about their visit here. Lately we’ve had a few shout-outs from new friends and old. Listen to what they have to say about some of our favorite local places. 

Photo of street in Historic Downtown Albany, OR. with flowers.June Russell-Chamberlin contacted us to borrow a few photos to go along with her article for opening her story with these kind words:

“City culture, small-town charm and outdoor adventure come together in the Willamette Valley and create a variety of fun things to do. With forests and waterways just a short drive from almost any town, it’s no surprise that residents enthusiastically embrace outdoor recreation.” Read more:

206 ½ Historic Hotel was one of her stops. “Once lodging for wives of GIs at Camp Adair during World War II, today the private bedrooms and communal spaces of the 206 ½ Historic Hotel in downtown Albany, Oregon, draw guests who delight in connecting with other travelers.” Read more:

The temptation is real! “In addition to carrying breakfast and lunch classics, Brick & Mortar Cafe tempts diners with twists on traditional breakfast fare. Enjoy classic eggs benedict, or savor eggs benedict topped with Oregon bay shrimp, spinach and dill Hollandaise sauce.” Read more:

Here’s what she had to say about Sweet Red Bistro: “Exposed brick, glossy dark wood and fanciful chandeliers set the stage for cocktails and romantic dinners at Sweet Red Bistro in downtown Albany, Oregon. Start the evening with tapas or the indulgent cheese and charcuterie board and a wine tasting.” Read more:

Her overall sentiment depicts Albany as a delightful town with nearby adventures and well worth making a regular stop. 

“Known as ‘The Gem of the Willamette Valley,’ Albany, Oregon, is in the heart of the Southern Willamette Valley’s fertile farmland. Locals know how to make the most of the local bounty with farm-to-table cuisine and award-winning craft beverages, including beer, wine, artisan cider and distilleries.” Read more:,_History_Craft_Beverages_in_Albany

We asked our friends at NW Travel and Life to put together a few inspirational words about Albany for the season. Veronika Patrashko was inspired by the location, color, history and bounty our area has to offer. She summed up her first impression in such an endearing way: “Pack a getaway full of history, family fun and wine country adventures in one of the Northwest’s best-kept secrets: Albany, Oregon. Whether you’re planning an overnight, a long weekend or a full vacation, this historic destination in the hub of wine country has you covered. Located just over an hour from Portland, Albany sits center stage for an easy-access change of pace.” Read more:

Next, Veronika put together a lovely itinerary that is easy to follow, taking advantage of roads less traveled, wide open spaces and natural beauty any time of year but particularly colorful in the fall. Read more:

Travel Oregon’s Jen Anderson tempts her audience with a must-see list of Oregon’s Food Trail stops including Albany’s own Frankie’s restaurant in her article titled: Cozy Cool-Weather Patios for Outdoor Dining Willamette Valley section. “Dine on excellent farm-to-table fare like Willapa Bay fried oysters, crispy pork-belly fries and vegan red-curry tofu on the heated patio at Frankie’s in Albany.”

We are thrilled to have these writers share their perspectives and hope you will take their advice and come by the next time you’re up for a visit. 

Have a spooktacular time in Albany

Get into the spirit of the Halloween season and beyond in and around Albany with trick-or-treat events, haunted corn mazes, a good old-fashioned trip to the pumpkin patch, holiday markets and much, much more

Here are a few fun and exciting events you won’t want to miss.

Photo of entrance to corn maze.In lieu of the traditional trick or treating in downtown Albany, The Albany Downtown Association/Movies at Monteith is sponsoring a Downtown Halloween Character Hunt contest, from Oct. 15 through Oct. 30. A fun activity for the whole family, be on the lookout for your favorite Halloween movie characters displayed on posters throughout downtown for a chance to win a movie night prize basket to the Pix Theater! Print out a Character Hunt entry form here before leaving home and record your discoveries, then drop it off at the ADA office, 126 Ferry St. SW, before 5 p.m. on Oct. 30. Happy hunting!

While you have the costumes out, get ready for the Downtown Facebook Costume Contest, which will be held Halloween Week, Oct. 26-30. To participate, have a picture taken by an Albany Downtown Association volunteer between 3 and 5 p.m. during that week at Two Rivers Market. For more information, contact the Albany Downtown Association at 541-928-2469 or Photos will be posted on the ADA Facebook page on Halloween and winners will be selected by the public based on the number of Likes and Shares. The winner in each age group will receive a First Burger Kid Meal, and Albany Historic Carousel & Museum ride token, and a ticket to The Pix Theater. Runners-up will receive a movie ticket to The Pix.

The Trolley of Terror will not be stalking the streets of Albany this year. Instead, the Monteith Historical Society is holding the Monteith Historical Ghost Walk on Oct. 30. Experience the most “spirited” tales told by lantern-light. Ghost walk tours are booked by appointment only for groups sheltering in place together, up to 10 people. Cost is $10 per group. The tour is currently full, but a waiting list is available. Call or text 541-220-0421. The list is quite long, but interior tours of the house, ghost stories included, are being offered. Call for details.

The Trick-or-Treat Cruise Thru REGISTRATION NOW CLOSED please see the rest of this list and the Albany area events calendar for more opportunities to enjoy the season.

Visit The Barn at Hickory Station for their Truck or Treat event on Saturday, Oct. 31. Visit The Barn and 10 food trucks for 11 threats from 4 to 9 p.m. Please wear a mask where age appropriate.

Halloween on Main & Grant: Oct. 31, from 11 a.m. to 2:45 p.m., Lebanon. Live performances and a virtual costume contest. Dress up in your Halloween best and enjoy live performances by two local dance groups, the Hocus Pokie Dancers and the Gypsy Spirit Dancers. Also, submit a family appropriate costume picture at the Facebook page here for the virtual costume contest. The top three most-liked photos will win People’s Choice Awards. Winners will be announced on this Facebook page and the Lebanon Downtown Association website.

Here is a list of more places to visit and events to take in during the Halloween season:

Farms and fun

Davis Family Farm: Take hayrides to the pumpkin patch and enjoy cider and donuts throughout October. Open daily 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Cost is $4.50 for the hayride, corn maze and hay pyramid, 4380 NE Hwy 20, Corvallis. 541-752-0697.

Grandpa’s Fresh Market: Grandpa’s Pumpkin Patch, 36533 Hwy. 226, will be operating as self-serve this year with an honor system. Pay in a lockbox, so please have cash. The patch will be monitored for assistance if needed. The farm stand is located at 36483 Hwy 226. 541-928-8778.

Bose Family Farm: A corn maze and more! Open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday through Sunday. 35765 Cyrus Road NE, Albany.

The Melon Shack: The Haunted Corn Maze, ongoing through Oct. 31, plus pumpkins and fresh donuts! NE Garden Ave at NE Highway 20, Corvallis. Check days and times at, or call (541) 243-4152.

Peoria Road Farm Market: Open 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., seven days a week, 33269 SE Peoria Rd. if you are hunting for that special pumpkin, this is the place to look, with several colorful varieties to choose from.  Their fruit, vegetable, and flower market is about 1.6 miles down Peoria Road on the left, just off Highway 34,

Don’t forget your Albany Farmers’ Market to find your perfect already picked pumpkin with a large variety to carve, cook, or bake it in a pie, along with all the other tasty harvest treats our valley has to offer. The market is open every Saturday from 9am – 1pm.

Spooky stuff

Morningstar Grange Haunted House: 7 p.m. to midnight Oct. 30 and 31; 7 to 9 p.m. Cost is $5. Proceeds will benefit local food banks and the Morningstar Grange, 38794 Morningstar Road NE, Albany. COVID-19 guidelines will be in effect. Masks will be required to enter. For information visit  Facebook – Haunted House at Morningstar Grange, or the Calendar of Events at the Albany Visitors Association.

Tennessee Thunder Railroad: Saturdays and Sundays noon to 4 p.m. in October, 37672 KGAL Drive, Lebanon. Cost is $6 adults, $5 kids 2-11, and under 2 free. Admission also gets you access to the pumpkin patch, fall themed photo backdrops, 4 acres to roam, pumpkins, cornstalks and glass gem corn available for purchase, along with train-themed items in the gift shop. For information, 458-223-0258, or here.

Runaway Pumpkin Express: 12 to 1:30 p.m., Oct. 31, 750 S 3rd St., Lebanon, 541-619-0342. Dress up hop aboard this 1.5-hour train ride through the streets of Lebanon. For more information, 541-619-0342, or visit here for tickets.

An Evening with Edgar Allen Poe – Virtual: Oct. 31, Albany Civic Theater actors will perform six different haunting adaptions from the wonderful and creepy world of Edgar Allan Poe. The performance will be presented as an old-style radio show live on Facebook. This is a free event, but if you would like to support the arts, you can “buy a ticket” for any amount you choose at this link. For information, 541-928-4603, or visit Albany Civic Theater

Sweet Red Bistro “After Dark” events: The Historic Downtown Albany night spot will be holding events during Halloween Week: Oct. 27, Spooky Trivia Night (sold out), 6:30 p.m.; Oct. 28, Wicked Wednesday, 8:30 p.m.; Oct. 29, Thriller Thursday, 8:30 p.m.; Oct. 30, Freak Show Friday, 8:30 p.m.; Oct. 31, Nightmare on First Street, 8 p.m.

Note: Due to Covid-19 restrictions, some traditional events have been cancelled or altered. For current updates on physical distancing and other requirements, call ahead or check the website for your destination before heading out.



Historic Carousel looking for volunteers

The Albany Historic Carousel & Museum is a magical place to visit and thousands have enjoyed the experience. But, if you really love it and want to get up close and personal for a few hours a week you are in luck. The Carousel is looking for volunteers.

The Carousel will be holding two open houses to recruit more volunteers, so step up to help run this wonderful attraction. The open houses will be 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 20 and 2 to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 21 at the Carousel. Snacks, prize drawings and rides will be available for those attending, and brief presentations by volunteers sharing their stories and information about the various positions will be held at the top of each hour. Volunteers must be at least 15 years of age.

The Carousel usually has a pool of about 250 volunteers but is currently down to 25 to 30 active participants. For more volunteer information check out the website and fill out a volunteer application.

Few people realize that volunteers are the very heart and soul of the Carousel, who make sure it is ready to run 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. Jobs include cheerful greeters, tour guides, café staff, gift shop cashiers, carvers and painters.

Just imagine taking control of this wonderful mechanism and helping make dreams come true for kids of all ages. Or learning to carve some of the fantastic creatures that whirl around on the historic 1909 Dentzel mechanism, a vital part of the Carousel that was worked on by – you guessed it – volunteers. Or help give the creations depth and life in the painting studio.

“Our volunteers are amazing!” said Carousel Executive Director Peggy Burris. “Some of them are retirees looking to give back to our community now that they have some free time. Some are in high school and adding to their resumes while getting valuable job experience. And some of our volunteers are local business owners who’ve set aside a few hours a week to bring smiles to others.”

So far since opening, more than 47,000 volunteer hours have been logged by more than 460 dedicated people, young and old, serving in so many ways and keeping the Carousel turning and bringing joy to our community. And they are kept very busy, with more than 160,000 visitors coming through the doors each year.

If you would like to volunteer but are concerned about safety measures for Covid-19, just know that the Carousel has taken every precaution to ensure the safety of everyone on the premises – visitors, staff members and volunteers.

All staff, volunteers and visitors are required to wear masks and a limit of 50 people in the building at one time is being enforced, so some people may have to wait a few minutes during busy times before being allowed to enter.

Go here for more about Covid-19 procedures and expectations,




Northwest Cuisine – Savor the Bounty of Harvest

Remember! The last Albany Farmers’ Market will be November 21. Watch for our next newsletter and details about Holiday markets including the Holiday Farmers’ Market on Saturday, Dec. 12!

What exactly is Northwest Cuisine? In Albany we consider it foods that have been grown locally and prepared with techniques to bring out their natural flavor. In the Willamette Valley, nearly anything grows, and the farmers seem to enjoy trying new crops, new varieties, and new flavors.Photo of fresh vegetables and fruit at Farmers Market, Albany, OR.

Driving through the countryside throughout the season you can sample the fare at many roadside stands. Spend a delightful morning or afternoon taking in the region and gathering fresh produce along the way for your favorite homemade locally grown dinner. Use the Mid-Willamette Valley Food Trail as your guide to tasty stops along the way.

Farmers’ markets are plentiful in the valley and the Albany Saturday Farmers’ Market, on the corner of Ellsworth and 4th provides a variety of local produce, including a wide array of organic options, fresh baked bread, cut flowers and plants. They are open every Saturday from mid April to mid November, and because it is fresh, selections depend on the season. Oregon’s autumn bounty is upon us and your options are abundant. The last one of the season will be Saturday, Nov. 21.

Another great source for local food is Midway Farms with a small farm stand on Hwy 20 open 7 days per week.

If you are just passing through and don’t have the wherewithal to prepare your own meal, there are several restaurants that pride themselves in using local produce, meat and dairy products for their menu. Try one of these for a true taste of the Northwest. 

SYBARIS, 442 First Ave SW, is an award-winning establishment described as both elegant and eclectic, featuring Northwest Cuisine. Matt Bennett has twice been nominated for Best Chef: Northwest by the James Beard Foundation. The gourmet menu changes each month using the finest local seasonal ingredients, including Buffalo, Dungeness Crab or Wild Boar. 

SWEET RED BISTRO, 208 West First Ave., serves delicious, fresh homemade soups, salads, desserts and specials. Fall is here so they are rolling out all our favorite seasonal items – you simply must try the Pumpkin Flan. The extensive wine collection, creative cocktails, leisurely dining and warm hospitality make a great combination for celebrations. Now open for Sweet Red After Dark, 8:30pm to 10pm. The lights go down and the music goes up! Late Night Tapas and Cocktails every Friday and Saturday!

CALAPOOIA BREWING CO., 140 Hill St NE. For some of the best micro-brewed beers in the valley, visit this unique pub which serves numerous locally brewed micro-beers, great hamburgers, and sandwiches, or specials like pork loin and potatoes, and VIVACITY SPIRITS of course, housed in the same location. 

FRANKIE’S, 641 Hickory St NW, starts with a serious dedication to locally grown farm fresh produce and meats and seasoning, adds a unique twist to old favorites, and is a must-do for out-of-town guests. Take dinner to go or have a seat with comfortable indoor tables or patio dining. 

Historic Albany has without a doubt, some of the finest eateries in the northwest! We also feature authentic Eastern European, Mexican, Vietnamese, Thai, and Chinese cuisine.

Here are a couple more examples for your pleasure: 

NOVAK‘S HUNGARIAN, 208 2nd Ave SW. For authentic high quality Eastern European cuisine with a down-home atmosphere, try Novak’s.  Chicken Paprikas is their signature dish, with other wonderful choices including Papa’s Kolbasz (sausage) and Mama’s amazing cabbage rolls. Seasonal special with the harvest of hazelnuts – Mozart Torte, their famous Hazelnut cake. Everything is prepared fresh with love. 

HOUSE OF NOODLE, 2025 Santiam Hwy SE is a popular Thai food restaurant with take-out, delivery and dine-in options. This time of year, Pumpkin Curry made with a red curry base, sweet pumpkin, basil and bell pepper is a favorite! 

Our restaurateurs are taking great care to stay sparkling clean, sanitized and provide a socially distanced atmosphere. Please remember to wear your mask upon entry! 

Albany was also recently featured by NW Travel Magazine’s Veronika Patrashko:

Take Time for Covered Bridges

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.

2020 Historic Homes Tour Photo Gallery

Homes on tour

Photo Gallery
Travel Alerts and Current Happenings for Albany & Linn County, Oregon
COVID-19 - See updates for AVA, Albany businesses including restaurants, hotels and retail shops, and local events