Thursday, July 29, 2010

Clear Skies over Salem

This 1936 aerial photo features what was once the Bush family's estate surrounded by the developing neighborhoods of south Salem. The Bush House and Barn area -- at the time still owned and occupied by the family -- are located among the trees at the upper left corner of the property. The open fields to the right had been given to the City for use as a park in 1917.

There are none of the landmarks we see today -- no stadium, no ball field, no soap box derby track -- just trees and open pasture and a number of well-worn footpaths cutting through the fields, and the sinuous line of Pringle Creek winding through the grid.

What a treasure it is to have this land protected as a park for the citizens of Salem. Come and enjoy it while the skies are clear!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

It's Time!

The Staffordshire dog is guarding the first lavender wand of the season! Many thanks to Sundance Lavender Farm for donating the fresh lavender. We make and sell these fragrant wands to raise funds for the Bush House Museum Restoration Fund, to cover ongoing costs of restoration and preservation of our collection.

Come visit us at the Museum's booth during this weekend's Salem Art Fair & Festival, the main fundraiser for the Salem Art Association. You can purchase a handmade lavender wand (or two), view some historic photos, and pick up a complimentary ticket for a guided tour at the Bush House Museum.

The Museum itself will be open for free guided tours throughout the weekend, starting at 11:00 am every day.

Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Totally Cool!

In case you didn't see the Statesman Journal this past Sunday, they are featuring a series of articles about Lulu Hughes Bush. Lulu, who married A.N. Bush in 1886, traveled to Europe in the summer of 1905 and kept a journal of her voyage through The Netherlands, Belgium, France, England, and Scotland. The newspaper is publishing the journal, which is on loan to the Museum and has been transcribed by Museum staff, along with photos and a video. A link to the series can be found here.

This is totally cool for a number of reasons. First, a lot of people who wouldn't otherwise know about the journal can read about Lulu's trip to Europe, which would have been an unusual experience for any Salemite. Second, we would never be able to show the journal to the public with the level of detail provided by the newspaper series -- even if a visitor could decipher Lulu's handwriting, it would take a lot of time to go through the journal page by page.

Like many women of her era, Lulu lived in the shadow of her husband. We have only a few photographs of her, and no letters. This journal gives us a chance to learn a little bit more about who she was as a person, and to share her story with the community. Totally cool.