Linn County Historical Museum
Come visit us today!
About the Museum
"One of the best small museums I have ever seen!"
Looking for the Brownsville Historic Pioneer Museum? That's our nickname. Officially, we are the Linn County Historical Museum, located in historic Brownsville, Oregon. Museum exhibits are displayed in Brownsville's original railroad depot and six Southern Pacific railroad cars. Our collections cover the lives, work, and cultures of Native People, Oregon Trail immigrants, pioneer settlers, and early families and communities in Linn County. Also part of the historic Linn County experience is the Moyer House, located just south of the Museum. The 1881 Moyer House, an historic house museum on the National Register of Historic Places, displays the life of one of Linn County's earliest pioneer families, John and Elizabeth Moyer.
In 1962, the Linn County Historical Society and the City of Brownsville worked together to create the Linn County Historical Museum. Under the leadership of Floyd Jenks of Tangent and others, many county residents contributed time, talent, funds and artifacts to create the new museum. Frieda and Ben Fisher of Brownsville and Elaine and Edward Poland of Shedd led the search of the back rooms, 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 . Many visitors were charmed by the "Grandmother’s attic" feeling of the museum with its scenes of domestic life and commerce, overflowing with historical items.
The new facility at 101 Park Ave, Brownsville, in the old relocated Brownsville Railroad Depot and Southern Pacific boxcars 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. Our exhibits are rich with the artifacts, clothing and turn-of-the-century tools of the trade. One of the Museum's treasures, the Drinkard covered wagon, is one of only three still existing; it rolled across the plains with the pioneer Drinkard family in 1861. Seeing this rugged wagon allows visitors to understand the immense challenges early Euro-Americans actually faced.
Exploring the displays in Southern Pacific boxcars reveals Kalapuya Native American history and artifacts, exhibits on the Brownsville Mill Race (the ealiest source of local industrial hydro-power), the Brownsville woolen mill and regional mining. And, of course, do not miss watching a movie in our Linn Theater. Sit in one of the original Linn Theater seats and watch a selection of free movies from Alice in Wonderland to Shirley Temple to Buster Keaton.
Genealogy research is also important to many of our visitors and the Museum has an outstanding genealogy library. We have Donation Land Claim information, pioneer history books and maps, genealogy records and photographs of many early Linn County families. Our volunteers and staff will do their best to help you find your Linn County ancestors.
Come by and see us soon!
Volunteer with Us!
You can be part of this great team to help keep Linn County's history alive.
Volunteers make the Museum and Moyer House as wonderful as they are. Our volunteers give tours, work with photographs, accession collections, organize past collections, coordinate programs and serve our visitors. The opportunities are endless and we want to ensure your time is enjoyable.
If you are interested in becoming a volunteer please contact
The Linn County Historical Museum
Our gift shop is the perfect place to come to do your holiday shopping. We've got a wide selection of coloring books, cookbooks, paper dolls, historic toys, postcards, mugs, T-shirts, and Stand By Me memorabilia. We also have many books covering the history and geography of this area. Whatever your interest, you are likely to find something here.
Proceeds from the Gift Shop help support the Museum and Moyer House.
Remember all members receive a 10% discount!
We have Brownsville t-shirts and sweatshirts in many colors!
New Stand By Me t-shirts are here!