Linn County Historical Museum

101 Park Avenue
Brownsville, OR 97327


About the Linn County, Oregon Historical Museum

The Linn County Historical Museum was established in Brownsville in 1962 by the Linn County Historical Society in cooperation with the City of Brownsville.

Under the leadership of Floyd Jenks, of Tangent, and others, many county residents contributed time, talent, funds and artifacts to stock the new museum.

Freida and Ben Fisher of Brownsville and Elaine and Edward Poland of Shedd led the search of the backrooms, barns and attics of Linn County for relics of its past. In only a few months they and others arranged for the June opening of the original store-front museum on Spaulding Avenue in Brownsville.

Over the years the collection grew and expanded into an adjacent building to the east. Many visitors were charmed by the "grandmother’s attic" feeling of the museum, with its scenes of domestic life and commerce, cases, shelves, nooks and crannies overflowing with a jumble of historical items.

The new facility in the old relocated Brownsville Depot and railroad cars was dedicated on June 16, 1984. It captures the essence of early Linn County life with replicas of a general store, a bank, a barber shop and milliner’s shop, all rich with the objects, clothing and turn-of-the-century tools of the trade. The pioneer Drinkard covered wagon stands in the lobby containing some items brought across the plains on the Oregon Trail.

Other museum displays range from exhibits on the Indians and natural history to Linn County cities, manufacturing and agriculture. Exhibits frequently change, so museum-goers will always find new and interesting displays to intrigue the mind and eye.

New at the Depot facility are a mini-theatre, a research collection and a museum store.

The theatre occupies one of the box cars, and includes 30 seats from the old Linn Theatre in Brownsville. Historical and vintage video programs are shown by request.

Photos and documents from Linn County’s past are being sorted and indexed for use by genealogists and historians, an ongoing effort to establish and maintain a research facility at the museum.

A museum store operated by the Museum Friends carries a selection of books, cards, photos and other mementos. Proceeds from sales help support the work of the museum.

Other important support comes from donations, both at the door and to the Linn County Historical Museum Trust.

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