Short cuts are meant to get you where you’re going a whole lot faster, but there are some back road rest stops where you’ll want to put on the brakes, catch your breath and savor a unique perspective on Oregon’s past. This week, we take a rest behind the scenes at a word of mouth museum in Washington County where a life long local hangs on to history for your enjoyment at the one and only “Three Mile Museum.”

Winter’s hold seems firm and lasting across Oregon on a day marked by more fresh snowfall. The snow lights up the scene across the coast range mountain foothills. While across the Tualatin Valley, it’s quiet times and the farming life is mostly indoors.

Tom Meier is a life long learner and self-proclaimed ‘protector’ of Oregon’s past at a place you’ve likely missed. It’s a home for one of a kind farm tools that got the jobs done when ingenuity was born of necessity; items headed for the landfill and irreverent death. Rescued items like cowboy spurs, old film projectors and even older telephones.

For decades Meier has scoured old homesteads and family estate sales and gathered items that can leave you scratching your head. It is a collection that continues to grow each day inside a place that just makes you feel good to see that someone cares this much about our past.

Tom admits that his 40 years of pack rat-ing Oregon memorabilia selectively. The former grade school teacher is adamant that we risk losing ourselves when we lose touch with where we’ve come from and his Three Mile Museum is a tie that binds us with our stuff and Oregon’s past with the present.

Meier’s word of mouth Three Mile Museum doesn’t require an admission fee, but it does require a reservation to visit; especially for small groups of people. Tom Meier asks visitors to contact him in advance at [email protected]

about author Grant McOmie

Grant McOmie is a Pacific Northwest broadcast journalist, teacher and author who writes and produces stories and special programs about the people, places, outdoor activities and environmental issues of the Pacific Northwest. A fifth generation Oregon native, Grant’s roots run deepest in the central Oregon region near Prineville and Redmond where his family continues to live.

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