Yesterday at a local farm store I saw a packet of 15 historic postcard reproductions of places in Salem, Oregon, and decided to buy it in spite of the cards not being true old postcards. The scenes depicted are wonderful and I will have fun sharing them with you along the way. I decided the first one to share would be this one of the Thomas Kay Woolen Mill, specifically because the website for the Mission Mill Museum (what the Mill is now called) indicates some charming Valentine's Day activities to be held there on February 12, this coming Saturday.
- From the Calendar & Events section of the Mission Mill Museum's website:
The back of this postcard reads:
This is a rare photograph of the original Thomas Kay Woolen Mill building constructed in 1889. The main building was equipped with the latest equipment, the newest innovations, and the finest-quality machinery. Seven years later, it burned to the ground. The main mill structure was destroyed in less than two hours.
"With the help of the Salem community, it took nearly six months to rebuild" after the fire, as mentioned in a short and sweet video about the Mill's history at the museum's website. If you can spare four minutes you will find the video here. The sound seemed low to me so make sure your speakers are turned up.
Additionally, the website's Exhibits section offers background about "Salem's American Treasure . . . (an) historic 5-acre site (that) interprets the vibrant red structures of the Thomas Kay Woolen Mill and the simple white frame houses of devout Methodist missionaries, the founders of Salem......"
Mission Mill Museum interprets the history of the Thomas Kay Woolen Mill - designated an American Treasure by the National Park Service - which produced wool products from 1889 to 1962 and represents one of Oregon’s earliest and strongest industries.Mission Mill also interprets the history of Jason Lee's Methodist Mission to Oregon which settled in the Willamette Valley in 1834 before the major Oregon Trail migrations. The missionaries brought formal education, industry and large scale agriculture and advocated for U.S. government in the Oregon country.
Mission Mill Museum preserves Mission houses, an Oregon Trail settler's house, a historic church and the structures, equipment, and original water-powered turbine of the Thomas Kay Woolen Mill with related artifacts. The museum’s two histories are shared with visitors through individual and group tours, interpretation, speakers, living history, children’s programs, hands-on activities, special events, the museum store and rental facilities.
I have not been inside the Mill for years (last time was for a sparkling wedding), although I drive by it frequently when in Salem and always glance over to admire the striking red building. In preparing this post I found renewed interest in the place and hope to walk the grounds and tour the buildings in the near future, perhaps in the spring.