The 1930s were a rough time to live here in Woodburn. It was a time that made people very thankful for small things, and when World War II came along, many of the men who went to war collected things and sent them home to their wives, sweethearts and mothers.
I don't know for sure, but I think that was what started people collecting things as a hobby. I go to garage sales a lot, and I have been sad to see many of the collections put up for sale, and other families now own parts of it.
In my own family, my mother and I traveled and she collected cups and saucers and I collected charms for a bracelet.
My mother-in-law was a teacher, and she collected bells. I still have some of the bells the hand bell that she used in the one-room school to call the kids in from recess, and the tiny bell she used to call her helper when she was old and ill.
My friend Gene Hasty from Hubbard collects metal banks that used to be given when you opened an account, and my neighbor, Marge Winn-Powers collected teddy bears.
A number of people I knew collected match books, salt and pepper shakers or dolls.
Some of the people who moved to Senior Estates had time on their hands, and they took up model building, photography or rock collecting.
The Woodburn Historical Museum has been very lucky to fall heir to some of these collections. We display several permanently, and some on a rotating basis.
One of the collections is a camera collection, and we have a very wide selection from old Kodaks to one of the early Poloroids to early digitals, and we have an enlarger as well.
Another of the collections is of Native American artifacts, and was donated to the museum by the family of John Meyer, who was an early resident of the town. The collection contains arrowheads, fishing weights and mortar and pestle of stone and a stone knife.
One of the collections that is most fascinating to the school children who tour the museum is the old bones and fossils which are in the case closest to the door. They were collected all over the world, and are a real cross section of bones, teeth and fossils.
I think that the collecting craze has gone out of style nowadays. Many of the things we used to collect are so expensive that we can't afford them anymore. Our time, too, has become more limited, and we fill it with other things electronic. But I feel fortunate that some of the families of our friends have seen fit to share with the museum and, therefore, with each of us who tour it, the things that have been collected.
Come see our collections any Saturday. We are open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.