Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Yesteryear at Aurora Colony

Recently I was privileged to show two of my quilts and one of my mother-in-laws at the 38th Annual Aurora Colony Historical Society Quilt Show. See previous post. I promised that I would do a post about the historical museum. So, I have decided to do it as part of my "Yesteryear" series that posts on Tuesdays.

The mission of the historical society is to promote interactive lifelong learning by inspiring curiosity about the heritage of the Aurora Colony. The Colony was established in 1856 when the people of the Bethel Colony in Missouri decided to try to find a utopia in the West. The people, under the leadership of Wilhelm Keil, had all things in common, including lands, houses and monies. Nearly 600 people, almost all German and Swiss emigrants, established and lived in the Aurora Colony, a Christian communal society, from 1856 to 1883.

The houses and buildings from the Aurora Colony represent one of the largest concentration of structures built by German craftsmen in the Pacific Northwest. Several remaining structures are part of the museum and can be viewed as part of a walking tour. We especially enjoyed the carpenter shop and the blacksmith shop.

The colony members supported the lifestyle through agricultural production and the application of their manufacturing skills. They made most of their own products including furniture, textiles and baskets. They also had a wonderful band that played at the community fairs, much to the delight of everyone!


Marlene said...

Very interesting Linda, I find new things in my own neighborhood all the time. Is this Colony in Aurora, Oregon? I have been to Aurora and visited the antique shops once but had no idea of the historical past of that small, quaint town.

Linda Pruitt said...

Yes, Marlene, this is in Aurora Oregon. It's right across the street from the antique shops. I realize that it looks like just a museum building, but the grounds out back are very interesting.

JacBer said...

What a cool place that is. I do like the picture of the old wagon :-)

Ani said...

Great article on a fascinating place, Linda! I need to get out to Aurora again, especially since I love antique shops so much.

(By the way, in case I didn't say it before, congratulations on having your wonderful quilts there!)

CountryDreaming said...

This reminds me of a historical Shaker village I visited in Harrodsburg, Kentucky. Always fascinating to peer into the past and see how people lived.