Aurora Brightens with Tulips

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Fifty cherry trees blooming and tulips popping out all over Aurora make this an ideal time for a visit!

Get out of the house and make your way to Aurora, Oregon where fresh air, quaint historic charm and 25 shops and a world-class museum are ready to welcome you.  Aurora is known nationally as Oregon’s center for antiques and vintage decor and is just 20 minutes from both Portland and Salem, I-5 Exit 278.  (One exit north of Woodburn Premier Outlet stores.)  Aurora is the perfect place to bring your Easter week guests, too!  Free and easy parking, no admission (!) and something of interest for every member of the family.  (Some stores will be open on Easter Sunday.)

Looks what’s happening here!

March 28-May 4 Tulip Fest!  Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm, Woodburn.  Just 10 minutes from Aurora, this is spectacular color not to be missed.  Fields of tulips, activities for kids, gift shop, food and weekend festivities, too.  www.woodenshoe.com

2014NotableMusic-250x167April 26  An Evening of Notable Music presented by the Aurora Colony Historical Society, Richard R. Brown Fine Arts Center, Canby High School.  7pm.  Professional musicians featuring piano, band and choral music made famous by the Aurora Colony from 1856-1883.  Special performances also by Music Scholarship winners of Canby, North Marion and Molalla School Districts.  Advance tickets at (503)678-5754 or online reservations at www.auroracolony.org

Bring Mom to town May 11 or 12 with our special package described below.

Bring Mom to town May 10 or 11 with our special package described here.

May 10-11  Mothers Day Weekend, “Wine & Jewelry Weekend”  Choose your day to bring Mom to Aurora for a special package that she’ll long remember.  A ticket for two takes you all around town and includes wine tastings at several stops, specially marked wine glasses, a pair of artisan made Swarovski crystal earrings and $12 to spend in the shops.  Many stores will feature special jewelry displays, collections or have jewelry artists on hand.  A ticket is $60 for two people.  For more information call (503)939-0312.  Tickets available here online or at Aurora shops.

It’s a perfect TIME to visit Aurora!

This Art Deco clock set was found at Main Street Merchantile in Aurora.

This Art Deco clock set was found at Main Street Merchantile in Aurora.

It may be stormy outside, but Aurora’s shops are generally close together and quite cozy inside for a winter’s relaxing pastime of antiquing.  An ideal time for quiet browsing, you’ll find an enormous cache of antique and vintage decor and collectibles within a few blocks in this historic village.  Just park your car for the day (free) and load it up with your purchases as you shop.

And do plan on having a delicious lunch, dessert or dinner in Aurora.  Whether it’s a freshly baked cinnamon roll and coffee at the White Rabbit Bakery or Heirloom Revival Co., a deluxe pannini sandwich and pie at Scattercreek Junction, homemade soup at the new Christa’s Cafe on Main Street or a famous burger or steak dinner at the Colony Pub, you can be sure that reservations will not be required – just come as you are!

Welcome Expo Shoppers!  16 antiques stores!  Open all weekend, beginning at 10am-5pm.  Give yourself enough time to look in the “nooks and crannies” of Oregon’s Antiques Capital.  Wide range of vintage goods in all prices, dealers welcome too.  Many shops open on Monday, 10-5 for those traveling home from the Expo.  Just 20 minutes south of Portland,I-5 exit 278.

March 8-9 Antique Spinning Wheel Showcase, Old Aurora Colony Museum.  Presented by the Aurora Colony Handspinners Guild. www.auroracolony.org

Outdoor Antiques Faire!  August 9th, 8am-4pm.  Contracts are about to go out soon for Aurora Colony Days , our biggest summer event.  Booth space reservations available by contacting Jan Peel, homeagain9@aol.com or calling (503)678-0227.  Sponsored by the City of Aurora.

Happy Groundhog Day in Aurora

GroundgogRWe don’t know why our Punxsutawney Phyllis is on the West Coast with Phil on the East Coast (there must be a story there), but she’s crawled out of her winter slumber to see what’s going on in Aurora.  It’s a great day to shop for antiques and vintage home decor, giftware (Valentines, of course) and have a great lunch or dessert and there’s still time to make it home to watch kickoff for the Super Bowl!

Shops begin opening at 10am, most at 11am.  You’ll find many “Groundhog Feature” pink tags all around town.  Will Phyllis see her shadow?  Does she miss Phil?  If you’ve got a story, send it to us in 250 words or less and you may win a $50 gift certificate to Wilbur Marmalade Studio, a new shop with loads of creative stuff.  Mail to:  Aurora Colony Visitors Association, PO Box 86, Aurora, OR 97002.  Deadline is Valentines Day, 2/14/14.

Make Aurora your Winter Destination

Just steps off Highway 99E in Aurora, HEIRLOOM REVIVAL CO. ANTIQUE COFFEEHOUSE is just the warm spot to enjoy antiques and a delicious coffee or tea.  Open every day 10-5, drive-thru opens at 6am.

Just steps off Highway 99E in Aurora, HEIRLOOM REVIVAL CO.: AN ANTIQUES COFFEEHOUSE is just the warm spot to enjoy antiques and a delicious coffee or tea. Open every day 10-5, drive-thru opens at 6am.

You’ll find that Historic Aurora is the perfect spot to spend a relaxing and stimulating winter day.  Just minutes from Portland or Salem it will take you back 150 years with its 19th century buildings and dozens of antiques and specialty shops.

 

Find local wines, a candy factory with tasting room/gift shop, fiber arts stores and delicious lunches and dinners all within easy walking and ample parking.  And of course, enjoy hot coffees, teas and yummy pastries around town including at one of Aurora’s newest businesses, HEIRLOOM REVIVAL CO.: AN ANTIQUES COFFEEHOUSE.  A family business, you will be surrounded by rooms of antique furniture, china, “mantiques” and a variety of interesting finds.  Sit in their midst and enjoy fresh pastries, cookies, coffee or teas by Steven Smith Teamaker, creator of Stash and Tazo teas.  Open Daily.

Warm yourself with a delicious coffee by Portland's Nassa Familia, family owned and roasted in the Pearl District and specially prepared for you at Heirloom Revival Co.

Warm yourself with a delicious coffee by Portland’s Nassa Familia, family owned and roasted in the Pearl District and specially prepared for you at Heirloom Revival Co.

January is a great month to visit with all shops open during the month.  (The Old Aurora Colony Museum is closed in January, preparing for their big year with the important Pioneer Reunion.  www.auroracolony.org)

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February 1 Great Groundhog Hunt, 10-4.  Find our cute furry groundhogs hidden in the shops and win prizes.  Our Punxsutawney Phyllis is getting a head start on her big national day and is warming up in Aurora!  Just come to town and pick up your pink map in any of Aurora’s shops and eateries.  Free family fun!  (Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.)

 

February 22 Antique Bottle Show & Antiques Show, 9-3  American Legion Hall.  Friday, Feb. 21 has an early-bird admission of $5 from 1-5 after their dealer set up.  Saturday is the full show with admission by donation.  Free appraisals.  This is Aurora’s oldest continuing antiques show, don’t miss it!

 

Visit the Aurora Village this Season

Fresh cedar garland and red bows are a hallmark of Aurora's historic downtown.

Fresh cedar garland and red bows are hallmarks of Aurora’s historic downtown.

Put Aurora on the top of your holiday venues this season!  You’ll find easy parking, no lines, good food and a memorable, HAPPY experience.  Lots of great gift ideas – from that special vintage item to local wine, hazelnut candy, hand crafted fiber items, old fashioned gift items as well as our special suggestion book mentioned below.  Aurora is open every day, just 20 minutes from Portland or Salem, I-5 Exit 278.

Winter reading suggestion!  Emma of Aurora by Jane Kirkpatrick.  Just released by Random House publishers, this popular novel trilogy is now available in one book!  Purchase in Aurora at various shops or at the Old Aurora Colony Museum. $20.  Share the story of Emma Giesy as she makes her way to the Northwest and finally finds her destiny in Aurora. 

Need a Place to Entertain your Guests this Season?  There’s something for everyone no matter what their ages or where they hail from.  Just load them into your car or van and drive on out.  Easy parking, public restroom, good food and a day for memory making.  They will be sure to find it a highlight of the visit with you!  Stores begin opening at 10 am, closing at 5pm.  Monday through Sunday.

Pacific Hazelnut Farm Candy Factory, Open Monday through Saturday.  A great place to bring your guests, the gift shop here will impress them with freshly made candy made on the premises as well as many other Oregon gourmet products.  Shipping available. Open 9-5.

January 3 First Friday in Aurora!  6-9pm It’s a cozy after-hours opportunity at two places in historic Aurora.  Heirloom Revival Co., an Antiques Coffeehouse will feature live folk music and specialty teas & coffees (14936 3rd St) and Pheasant Run Wine Tasting Room will have live music, lite bites and wine tasting (21690 Main St).  Plan on stopping off at both!

Mark your Calendars for our Popular Winter Event in 2014:  February 1  Ground Hog Hunt in Aurora, 10-5, Look for “Punxsutawney Phyllis” in Aurora’s shops and enter drawings for great prizes.  She’s hiding before her big day on Feb. 2.  Great family event and it sure does stir up the body from staying inside after the holidays!

February 22 Antique Bottle & Antiques Show & Sale.  American Legion Hall.  Friday, 2/21 Dealer set up and Early Bird shopping 1-5pm with $5 admission.  Saturday 9am-3pm for general show, admission by “donation.”  Free appraisals.  Sponsored by the Oregon Bottle Collectors Association, information www.obcaweb.org

Autumn in Aurora – Stop in for a Spell

Aurora's shops are filled with seasonal touches for your home!

Aurora’s shops are filled with seasonal touches for your home!

Antique shopping and autumn go hand in hand, all over the country.  Make the short drive to our rural village to find the best in vintage decor, historical architecture and enjoy good food and wine tasting besides.  You’ll find harvest festivals all around us as well as nursery stock and that favorite fruit stand before it rolls up for the winter.  Get out today!

Emma Walk smTake the free Walk with Emma walking tour through Aurora’s historic district.  Pick up your walking tour brochure at the Old Aurora Colony Museum or at downtown shops and follow the numbered signs on this easy 5 square block tour.  See 19th century Aurora through the eyes of Emma Giesy, real-life Aurora Colony lady and heroine of Jane Kirkpatrick’s trilogy of novels.

 

 

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Aurora’s Scarecrow Contest Tour  Look for our creative scarecrow displays in both the commercial area and residential streets of the village.  Judging on October 20 will reveal big ribbons for the winners!

CLICK on our banner for the Scarecrow Tour and see photos of all of the entries as well as a walk/drive tour through town.

 

Pumpkin Fest, Sept. 28-Oct  31.  Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm, Woodburn. 10-6 daily.  Bring the family for a variety of autumn and Halloween activities.  Just 15 minute from Aurora.  www.woodenshoe.com.

Autumn at Fir Point Farms, Aurora.  Tues-Fri 10-5, Sat-Sun 9-5 through October.  Pick out your pumpkin, enjoy fresh doughnuts, baked goods and a variety of family Halloween activities including the hay maze.  Just 4 minutes from Aurora.  www.firpointfarms.com

Looking ahead to the Holidays!

November 9  Santa’s Christmas Bazaar, American Legion Hall, 9-4.  For table space call Frances at t(503)678-6251,

November 9  Holiday Open Houses at Time After Time, Timeless Antiques, Back Porch Vintage, Wilbur Marmalade Studios.  11-5.  Fun holiday decor, gifts, treats.  (Time After Time Holiday Open House continues through Monday, November 11 on Veterans Day, 11-5)

November 29-Dec 1  Aurora Celebrates the Holidays.  Merchant Open House Weekend.  11-5.  Fresh cedar garlands, red bows,  refreshments and old fashioned holiday shopping without the stress of the malls!  Bring your Thanksgiving guests for a memorable day.

December 7  An Aurora Colony Christmas, Old Aurora Colony Museum. www.Auroracolony.org.

December 7-8  Wine & Chocolate Walk Weekend, 12-5.  Taste local wines with their perfectly paired chocolate candy while you browse our antiques and specialty galleries.  $30 per couple includes specially marked wine glasses, an afternoon of tastings and $12 to spend in any of the shops.  Watch for advance ticket information soon (tickets are limited) or call (503)939-0312.

 

 

Every Day in Aurora is an Antiques Show

Find authentic bathroom fixtures, leaded and stained glass windows and thousands of historic salvage at Aurora Mills Architectural Salvage, Aurora.  Open Tues - Sun 10-5.

Find authentic bathroom fixtures, leaded and stained glass windows and thousands of historical salvaged pieces at Aurora Mills Architectural Salvage, Aurora. Open Tues – Sun 10-5.

Extend your summer with an early fall visit to Aurora!  Most shops and museum are air conditioned.  24 antiques shops, specialty stores and eateries, candy factory and wine tasting!  Public restroom, RV parking

OKTOBERFEST AT MT ANGEL Sept 12-15, 11am-midnight Thurs-Sat, 11am-9pm Sunday.  Just minutes from Aurora, go the back way through Aurora and skip the I-5 Woodburn exit congestion.  Get warmed up here in Aurora for an exciting day of food, music and revelry at Mt Angel, Oregon’s olde world city, for this famous annual event.  (Take I-5 to Canby/Hubbard exit 282A to Aurora which is located on old Hwy 99E then go south to Woodburn; then left at Hwy 214 to Mt Angel.)

Fall Antique Bottle & Collectible Show Sept 20-21, Aurora American Legion Hall.  Friday 1-5pm is the early bird $5 admission.  Saturday is the public show 9am-3pm, admission by donation.  Presented by Oregon Antique Bottle Collectors Association with lots more than “just” old & rare bottles.  Make this your day to visit Aurora!

DAHLIAS IN BLOOM All of September!Swan Island Dahlia Farm, Canby 9-6 daily.  Just minutes from Aurora.  Spectacular fields of blooming dahlias, purchase freshly cut bouquets or tubers for your own gardens.  Fields open all of September 9-6 daily.  From Aurora (and from Salem area):  take Hwy 99E north into Canby; turn left on Grant Street then go right at any street to a left on Holly St which you will follow out toward the Canby ferry, then watch for signs turning left as you begin to see fields of flowers.  Go to the end of street to entrance to farm.  From I-5:  (From the north) take Canby exit and left at first light Arndt Road, following it north as it turns into Knightsbridge Road, to Holly St.  Left on Holly toward Canby ferry follow signs to farm.

Now – Take the free “Walk with Emma” self-guided tour of Historic Aurora!
Emma Walk smPick up your complimentary copy in Aurora’s shops or at the Old Aurora Colony Museum then take the easy-walk 5 square block tour while you visit shops, have a bite to eat or rest on our historically designed blue benches.  Discover the “back stories” of our history told by Emma Giesy, a real Aurora Colony woman and heroine of novelist Jane Kirkpatrick’s trilogy of Aurora.  Watch for Emma of Aurora, the complete trilogy under this title being published this fall by Random House.

New shop in town!  Heirloom Revival, 3rd & Main Street.  Tues-Sun 10-5.  Filled with antiques and vintage goods, this new shop is taking off right away.  Just steps off Hwy 99E across from American Legion.

 

 

 

 

Star Spangled Summer in Aurora

The 2013 Little Miss Pioneer Court invites you to Aurora this summer and to Aurora Colony Day on August 10th.  Little Miss Pioneer Liliana Piercy (center) has a big smile along with princesses Megan Netter (left) and Jayden Sahlin (right).  See the girls at various events around the North Willamette Valley this summer.

The 2013 Little Miss Pioneer Court invites you to Aurora this summer and to Aurora Colony Day on August 10th. Little Miss Pioneer Liliana Piercy (center) has a big smile along with princesses Megan Netter (left) and Jayden Sahlin (right). See the girls at various events around the North Willamette Valley this summer.

MUSEUM AND MOST SHOPS  ARE AIR CONDITIONED.  ENJOY AURORA ALL SUMMER!

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“Walk with Emma”  Beginning June 22 pick up your FREE self-guided walking tour brochure in Aurora’s shops and eateries or at the Old Aurora Colony Museum.  Use the map for the five-square-block walk while you visit shops and sites along the route, rest on authentically styled benches and discover Aurora’s past through text and photographs.  Even if you’ve visited Aurora many times, you’ll have new insight into this unique town and the people (like Emma!) who lived here.

 

Aurora Farmers Market  1st and 3rd Saturdays, 9am-2pm. Downtown park at Main & 2nd Streets.  A new location for locally grown produce and products.  Make it your first stop on your weekend shopping!

Aurora Colony Days August 10   Registrations now open!  It’s time to register for all activities including the Outdoor Antiques Faire, Art Show & Sale and the lK/5K Walk/Run.  Click on Aurora Colony Days above tab for details and registration forms.

July 20  Aurora Colony Handspinners Guild Picnic and Dye Day, Old Aurora Colony Museum.  Open to the public with regular museum admission.  11-4.  Spend an afternoon in the 19th century courtyard of the museum with its shady trees and historical herb garden while our handspinners get together for their annual day to dye wool.  It’s not only instructive but a creative enterprise with this friendly bunch.

July 27-28 and August 3-4. The Great Oregon Steam-Up!  7am-6pm. Antique Powerland Museum.  Just 15 minutes south of Aurora off I-5 in Brooks.  Featuring John Deere, big parade, train and trolley rides, lots of family activities. (Relax in Aurora afterward!)  3995 Brooklake Rd NE, Brooks. (Exit 263) Antiquepowerland.com

July 27 & August 3  “Live in 1865″ at the Old Aurora Colony Museum.  11-4.  Two Saturdays of “kid-centered” activities guaranteed to be a highpoint of the summer (and maybe childhood, too!).  Activities include walking on stilts, wash day, candle dipping, old fashioned table games, much more in the 19th century garden courtyard.  Students $2, free for pre-school kids.  www.auroracolony.org.

August 10th Aurora Colony Day events:  see post above and details on tabs!

 

 

 

It’s Strawberry Time!

We're getting the garden courtyard of the Old Aurora Colony Museum ready for our annual Strawberry Social on June 23.

We’re getting the garden courtyard of the Old Aurora Colony Museum ready for our annual Strawberry Social on June 23.  From this . . .

To This!  Join us for strawberry shortcake and ice cream while you listen to music of the Old Time Fiddlers and enjoy the beginning of summer.

. . . To This! Join us for strawberry shortcake and ice cream while you listen to music of the Old Time Fiddlers and enjoy the beginning of summer.

June 23  43rd Annual Strawberry Social!  Old Aurora Colony Museum. 12-4pm.  You won’t feel like you’re stuck in the back of a stuffy grange hall eating your strawberries at OUR annual event.  Instead, explore the five buildings of the museum including two furnished Colony homes and relax in our courtyard with its beautiful herb garden while old time music wafts over the friendly crowd.  It’s an annual kick off to summer that will become your favorite!  (503)678-5754.  Adults $5.50-6.50, children under 12 $3  www.auroracolony.org.

Emma Walk sm“Walk with Emma”  Beginning June 22 pick up your FREE self-guided walking tour brochure in Aurora’s shops and eateries or at the Old Aurora Colony Museum.  Use the map for the five-square-block walk while you visit shops and sites along the route, rest on authentically styled benches and discover Aurora’s past through text and photographs.  Even if you’ve visited Aurora many times, you’ll have new insight into this unique town and the people (like Emma!) who lived here.

 

Aurora Farmers Market  1st and 3rd Saturdays, 9am-2pm. Downtown park at Main & 2nd Streets.  A new location for locally grown produce and products.  Make it your first stop on your weekend shopping!

Aurora Colony Days August 10   Registrations now open!  It’s time to register for all activities including the Outdoor Antiques Faire, Art Show & Sale and the lK/5K Walk/Run.  Click on Aurora Colony Days above tab for details and registration forms.

June 22  Aurora Concerts in the Park fundraiser at Pheasant Run Winery Tasting Room, 5-9pm.  Join us for an evening of fun and wine-enjoyment where a portion of the proceeds will support the summer concert series beginning July 10th.  Sponsored by Pheasant Run Winery.  www.pheasantrunwine.com

July 4th  Shops begin opening at 10am.  Whether you make Aurora your destination for an Americana day of antiques shopping or stop here on your way to another event, you’ll find exciting inventories, good food and a friendly staff to welcome you.  Shops close at 5pm.

July 10th  First Concert in the Park opens!  FREE 7pm.  “Get Rhythm”  Johnny Cash Tribute Band celebrating the music of the legendary Johnny Cash.  Aurora City Park Amphitheater located on Liberty Street.  Bring your picnic, blankets and chairs, rain or shine.  Food, beer or wine available for purchase.  For details and a complete schedule of concerts go to tab above.

July 13-14th  Oregon Lavender Festival.  At the peak of lavender season, visit a variety of local farms and view fields of purple for an exciting yet “relaxing” event!  Pick up information in Aurora’s shops or visit www.oregonlavender.org or www.oregonlavenderdestinations.com  Many farms open all summer with their products available.

July 20  Aurora Colony Handspinners Guild Picnic and Dye Day, Old Aurora Colony Museum.  Open to the public with regular museum admission, get tips as you watch these fiber artists make their magic with natural and novel dyes in the 19th century courtyard of the museum’s village.  www.auroracolony.org

 

 

 

 

How Aurora Became an Antiques Capital

Some in town say it is “the end of an era” when news of the passing of Vergie Taylor was announced this week.  Vergie and her late husband, Max, were a major part of the development of Aurora from a tiny little North Willamette Valley town, that (fortunately) time forgot, into a dynamic destination for the appreciation of that forgotten past.

Arriving in Aurora in 1970, (44 years ago this month), they established several businesses, most of them operating simultaneously.  You’d see Max or Vergie moving around between Taylor’s Treasures, their fabulous antiques store in the historic colony Keil store building, then to lunch or dinner preparations at the elegant Aurora Colony Inn Restaurant down Main Street (currently Home Again Antiques) and in between Vergie might be selling milk and popsicles at their neighborhood General Store on Highway 99E.  With Vergie always upbeat and dressed in period costume, Max would be able to tell you anything about the antiques he displayed and sold.

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Their attention to detail and to the quality of the businesses they offered marked a solid reason for folks to drive “down to Aurora” to go ‘antiquing’ – not a major pastime in those days -or to make this a stop on a cross-country vacation.  Soon, the town became listed as Oregon’s first National Historic District with events at the expanding Ox Barn Museum (later renamed Old Aurora Colony Museum).   With interest in the preservation of the historic buildings, more antiques shops and another fine restaurant filled the town, but it was the Taylor’s businesses that were always the center of attention.

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Max & Vergie Taylor (surrounded by antiques, of course).

Vergie contributed to Aurora’s civic life as well, serving on the city council, opening her lovely home to tours, spreading her love of interior decorating far and wide and always offering a cheerful word even when her health was in serious decline.  A celebration of her life will take place this Saturday, June 8, 10am at New Life Foursquare Church, Canby at Territorial/Hwy 99E, (located between Canby and Oregon City).  We thank her for her energy, her enthusiasm and her attention to quality that has served as a role model for our business community today.

As a parting remembrance, please print out this famous recipe served nearly every day at their Aurora Colony Inn Restaurant. It was made by Gladys Pauls who lived next door to the restaurant and baked it in her kitchen (now Time After Time).  This dessert is still mentioned by people who dined there.

Shaker Lemon Pie

2 lemons, 2 cups sugar, 4 eggs, pastry for 2 crusts

“This is yet another very old lemon pie recipe which the early Ohio Shakers fashioned frequently.  Slice two lemons as thin as paper, rind and all.  Place them in a bowl (it states, yellow bowl) and pour over them 2 cups of sugar.  Mix well and let stand for 2 hours or better.  Then go about making your best pastry for 2 crusts.  Line a pie dish with one.  Beat 4 eggs together and pour over lemons.  Fill unbaked pieshell with this and add top crust with small vents cut to let out steam.  Place in a hot oven at 450 degrees for 15 minutes and then cut down heat and bake until a silver knife inserted into custard comes out clean.”  (Apparently, until you have made this once, you will have to watch and test.)

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Farewell from Vergie.