The Willamette Valley Herb Society (WVHS) is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year with a party from noon to 4 p.m., Sunday, at the Aurora Colony Museum.

The celebration will take place in the Emma Wakefield Herb Garden in the courtyard of the museum. The Emma Wakefield Herb Garden was established in July 1974 in honor of Emma Wakefield, “Canby’s Herb Lady.” For the last 40 years, WVHS has continuously maintained the garden as a way to honor Wakefield and to educate the public about the historical uses of herbs. The Willamette Valley Herb Society will have demonstrations on the use of herbs, making lavender wands, leaf rubbings, flower pressing and potpourri. Several herb-based items will be for sale. Cookies and ice tea will be served. The event is included in museum admission.

Emma Wakefield, who died on May 1980 in Maine, was a home herbalist who encouraged others to grow and use herbs. At age 78, Emma was the one of the founding members of the Willamette Valley Herb Society. During the 44 years she lived in Canby she became a recognized authority on herbs.

In full summer bloom, the Museum’s herb garden welcomes visitors with bouquets of color and fragrance. The herb garden, a replica of a typical Aurora Colony herb garden, features culinary and medicinal herbs that would have added flavor to meals and comfort to the sick: a variety of mints, yarrow, valerian, horehound, tansy, agrimony, rosemary, thyme, chamomile and many more. The Willamette Valley Herb Society has published a book listing these herbs and others. The book is available for sale in the Old Aurora Colony Museum’s gift shop.

Museum admission is $6 for adults; $5 for seniors (60+) and AAA members; $2 for students; free for members and children 5 and under. Tour groups are welcome. For more information call the Old Aurora Colony Museum at 503-678-5754, visit the website:, or email the Museum: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The Old Aurora Colony Museum is located at 15018 Second St. NE, Aurora, OR, 97002.

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