The Linn County Historical Museum (nicknamed the Brownsville Historic Pioneer Museum) was founded in 1962. The museum’s exhibits are displayed in Brownsville’s original railroad depot and six Southern Pacific railroad cars. Collections cover the lives, work, and cultures of Native People, Oregon Trail immigrants, Black and White pioneer settlers, and the early families and communities of Linn County. You will also find exhibits on the Brownsville Mill Race (the earliest source of local industrial hydro-power), the Brownsville Woolen Mill and regional mining. One of the boxcars is even a 29 seat theater, The Boxcar Theatre. The museum also houses a fairly extensive and well used Genealogy Section. Of particular interest is the Covered Wagon that carried the Drinkard family across the Oregon Trail in 1865. Not to be missed is the elegant 1881 Moyer House, open for tours most weekends and by request.
The best of its kind
The very best local historical museum I have seen, and I have been to hundreds. A full account if the local area in well done exhibits that make history interesting. Don't miss it.
Such a fun hand on type of museum. Great look at the area's history. My kids really enjoyed all the different exhibits and being able to climb around in the box car.
Wonderful, must see
This little museum is packed with gems. There were plenty of pieces of old machinery I had never seen. The original wagon from a wagon train is a gem, made even more fun by being able to dress up in the provided era clothing for photos. I really loved the stories of early pioneers written by the pioneers themselves. We spent almost 2 hours. I wouldn't spend less but I could easily spend more.
So much great history! So interesting!
Don't think the tidy little building is small: inside, you'll be pleased by the great displays and local information. Not only do they have a REAL COVERED WAGON (not a replica), but there are so many artifacts from the past. Also, making this museum such a cool destination, there's a little movie theatre inside.
County museum tells a larger story, with considerable charm
This well curated museum celebrates the history of Linn County, Oregon, which seems to have been a microcosm of the state and region. Known regionally as the “Brownsville Museum,” it tells about the lives of the early settlers, from the Native Americans through the Oregon Trail pioneers and well into the 20th Century. A gradual upgrade to the section on the local Native American tribe, the Kalapuya, is in progress at this writing. Target completion date is in April 2019. Artifacts, photos and clearly written explanations fill this old train depot and its attached decommissioned boxcars. The narrow spaces give the museum an intimate setting, with all exhibits feeling up close and personal. One of the highlights is a covered wagon that brought pioneers west to the county in 1865. Another highlight, especially for kids, is the hands-on display of replica pioneer clothing that visitors can wear for photographs. Older adults, from Baby Boomers on up, will recognize many of the artifacts as items like ones their parents or grandparents used. Even the little town itself feels like a small step back in history, with its well-kept houses and tidy yards, many surrounded by white picket fences. All this, and the price is right: Admission is free, but donations for its upkeep are accepted.