Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Vernonia Pioneer Museum

An old chainsaw serves as a reminder of the old lumber mill headquarters that now houses the museum.
We visited Vernonia mainly to see the Mill Pond Park, and stopped by the Vernonia Pioneer Museum as we passed through town.  I'm glad we did.  The museum is an eclectic mix of curiosities.  I would guess a likely scenario for how they obtained many of their items is that someone found they had inherited an interesting but fairly useless item of some historical or sentimental value, and decided that the best thing to do with it would be to donate it here.  The small building is stuffed to the gills with seemingly random old stuff, much of it from Oregon but also things collected as souvenirs from the travels of local families long ago. Some things were surely quite trivial and ordinary in their time, but after many decades most anything becomes rather interesting. Together the collection is so much more than the sum of its parts!  We were delighted to poke around and gaze at the marvels of yesteryear.  Several antique pianos have signs advising that they may be played (gently). Jasper was really fascinated.  Donations are requested but no admission fee is required.
A diorama of a lumber mill.
"Shoe Grease Donated by World Famous Folk Singer 'Baby Gramps' from Kenmore, Wash. 1995."
The museum is home to lots of porcelain dolls, whose owners likely thought that being on display would be a good destiny for these delicate beauties.  It's hard now to imagine so many kids playing with such fragile toys.
An antique washing machine and a handmade show shovel.
A collection of cobalt blue bottles.  Because cobalt blue bottles spread joy.
One of Edison's old cylinder phonographs, the first commercial record

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