Volunteers wanted to help preserve Woodburn history by getting involved in museum, Bungalow Theater restoration

How often do you think about the fact that Woodburn still looks and feels like what it is — a good old-fashioned hometown? Especially for those of us who grew up here, the signs and remnants of our heritage are still easily seen when strolling along our downtown streets.

Our library began as a Carnegie Library, and still retains the original building as its heart and soul. Sunday afternoon matinees were once offered at the Pix Theater on First Street, where you could see two full-length movies, and have a drink and popcorn, for about $1.

The Settlemier House, crown jewel of Woodburn, still stands tall and proud today at the intersection of Settlemier and Garfield streets, and is open for public viewing the first Sunday of each month.

Train traffic still flows along Front Street daily, offering passengers a view of buildings that have stood in excess of 100 years, and that include the Woodburn Berry Center Museum and the adjoining Bungalow Theater.

A friend of mine let me know that change was in the air for both of these institutions a few months ago, and she convinced me to attend a Saturday meeting. Unfortunately, I missed the first half, but was there long enough to find myself suddenly sporting the title of "agriculture exhibit planner."

So began an adventure that I am proud to be taking part in with others who believe in the importance of preserving our history.

There are currently four new museum exhibits in the planning stages: One will center on Teratornis woodburnensis, the prehistoric bird discovered and excavated in Legion Park in 1999; one concentrates on the importance of agriculture in shaping our community; another concentrates on Latino culture; and the fourth revolves around the Russian Old Believers.

We need people and their stories. We need someone with grant writing experience to help us continue to find monetary sources to fund improvements because our mission and vision includes updating and repairing the buildings themselves and therefore bringing new life, energy and opportunities for knowledge and entertainment downtown.

If you are interested, Lauren Bruss at City Hall can help you become a part of this endeavor. Come join us in honoring our history together, either with the Museum Committee (next meeting is April 5) or the Friends of the Bungalow (next meeting is April 4) — or both.

Ann H. Albright


Contract Publishing

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