Friday, February 23, 2018

1919 Benton County Snow

Thursday morning I awoke to find a light coating of snow on the roofs and yards.  We typically don't get much snow here: the average annual snowfall is 3 inches.  But one of the years covered by the Circa 1920 exhibition was quite different.  On December 19, 1919, a record 11 inches fell. Additional snow fell on the following days, for a total of 20 inches for the month!  December in 1919 was also unusually cold, so the snow didn't melt but stayed on the ground.

Here are some photos to show what that much snow looked like. The first shows downtown Corvallis looking north along 2nd Street from Jefferson.  Note the man shoveling snow off the roof of the Benton County Bank in the center of the photo.
1919 snowfall in downtown Corvallis, Oregon

The second photograph shows a Corvallis home in the snow. Look at those icicles!

The snow was also deep in Philomath as this photo of the museum's building (then Philomath College) shows. 

By Martha Fraundorf, Volunteer for Benton County Historical Society, Philomath, Oregon

1919 snowfall at Philomath, Oregon

Thursday, February 15, 2018

TED: wood carvings by Ted Porter

The newest exhibition in the upstairs gallery features the work of Ted Chapman and Ted Porter. Porter, a self-taught wood carver from Portland, donated his collection of more than 50 pieces to the Horner Museum in 1986.  As a child, he was intrigued by a carved wooden chain containing a cage with a ball inside that he saw at school.  As an adult working in a logging camp, he decided to try to carve a similar chain out of a spare piece of wood. It took some time before he was able to figure out how to accomplish this feat. One of the pieces he donated shows the beginning of a chain. 

The finished product might look something like this long chain of cedar containing a ball in a cage.  Like all of his chains, it is carved of a single piece of wood.

In addition to carving chains and other whimsies, Porter also produced some more traditional sculptural pieces.  Titled “Weightlifter,” this sculpture of alder depicts a Chinese strongman preparing to lift.
"Weightlifter" by Ted Porter

You can see more of Ted Porter's carvings in Benton County Museum's upstairs gallery until March 3, 2018.

 By Martha Fraundorf, Volunteer for Benton County Historical Society, Philomath, Oregon