In addition to its well-known historic districts, Albany and the surrounding area have enough museums to keep history buffs busy for days. Here are some of the places to explore when you visit the mid-valley.
This museum is a fun collection of old Albany memorabilia, photos and artifacts. View a shoeshine stand popular in Albany for decades or the Camp Adair exhibit, and be sure to stop in the Tripp Research Room. The Museum is open Tuesday through Friday 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.-2 p.m., and during other times by appointment.
Albany’s Historic Carousel and Museum is a non-profit, volunteer organization dedicated to building a traditional old-world carousel in Albany’s downtown historical district. The carousel, museum, and carving studio are located at 503 First Avenue West, in downtown Albany. Hours are subject to change. Please refer to the Carousel’s website for the most current hours and days open.
The Monteith House, the first frame structure built in Albany in 1849, is one of the most authentically restored homes in Oregon. It is now a house museum, where visitors can see the pioneer kitchen Christine Monteith used to prepare meals or the original piano brought by covered wagon to help make the wilderness a bit more civilized. The house is open to the public for touring. Open Friday and Saturday 12 – 4 year-round, and summer hours include Thursday and Sunday,. Other times of the year by appointment.
Benton County Historical Museum
1101 Main Street / PO Box 35
Philomath, OR 97370
The Benton County Historical Museum in Philomath, Oregon, is housed in the former Philomath College Building. The central part of the building was completed in 1867. The left wing was added in 1905 and the right wing in 1907. The college remained open until 1927, and was turned into a museum in 1980.
The Boston Mill Society
1132 30th Place SW, Albany OR 97321-3419
The Boston Mill Society is a non-profit group working to preserve the Thompson Mills State Historic Site as a center to interpret the agricultural, commercial, industrial and social life of Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Thompsons Mills (originally Boston Mill) is Oregon’s largest water-powered mill. It is an integral part of the history of Linn County and the Willamette Valley.
Located 1 1/2 miles east of Shedd, Oregon, the mill is free to visit and guided tours are offered daily. It is the oldest water-powered mill in the state and its turbines can be seen in action on guided tours.
The Mill and grounds are open daily from 9:00 – 4:00. Free guided tours are offered every day at 10 a.m., noon, and 2 p.m., and last about one hour. Self guided tours may be taken any time we’re open. The Mill and grounds are closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Years Day.
East Linn Musuem
746 Long Street
Sweet Home, OR 97386
This little gem features a collection of several thousand artifacts, photos, documents and records dating back to 1852. Housed in a former church, the 3,000 square foot building provides plenty of space to wander through a variety of period rooms such as a pioneer kitchen, parlor or bedroom, as well as outdoor displays of logging, mining and farming tools and equipment.
The Depot Museum
39004 NE 1st Ave., Scio, OR 97373
Located at 1st and Ash, the depot itself was the West Scio Depot that in 1985 was dismantled from a farm west of town, moved, and completely rebuilt on the present site. Hours are Saturday & Sunday 1pm-4pm or by appointment. 503-394-2354
Linn County Historical Museum
101 Park Ave., Brownsville, OR 97327
Linn County Historical Museum was established in Brownsville in 1962 by the Linn County Historical Society in cooperation with the City of Brownsville. It’s located in the historic Brownsville railroad depot, plus six Union Pacific boxcars. The museum is open Monday through Saturday 11 a.m.-4 p.m. and Sunday 1-5 p.m. Group tours may be pre-arranged for any time or day. Call to arrange for tours or for further information.
Rock Hill School Foundation
The Rock Hill School Foundation has restored Rock Hill School to represent the typical one-room schoolhouse of the early part of the century. The current structure is the fifth school building to occupy the site, continuing a tradition dating back to 1853. It is open to tours by arrangement. Click below for more information.