Travel: Looping through Linn County

By John Gottberg Anderson For the Bulletin
Published Aug 10, 2014 at 12:11AM / Updated Aug 13, 2014 at 03:44PM


Gas, Bend to Albany via Harrisburg, 175 miles (round-trip) at $3.85/gallon: $26.95

Lunch, Randy’s Main Street Coffee, Brownsville: $11.50

Dinner, Sybaris, Albany: $45

Lodging (with breakfast), Best Western Plus Prairie Inn, Albany: $107.99

Lunch, The Point, Sweet Home: $13

TOTAL: $204.44

If you go


Albany Visitors Association. 110 Third Ave. SE, Albany; 541-928-0911, 800-526-2256,


Best Western Plus Prairie Inn. 1100 Price Road SE, Albany; 541-928-5050, 877-545-4167, Rates from $95.

The Brownsville House. 315 Stanard Ave., Brownsville; 541-466-3043, Rates from $120

Valley Inn Motel. 2885 S. Santiam Hwy., Lebanon; 641-258-8184, Rates from $59


Mama Linda’s Italian Restaurant. 50 W. Oak St., Lebanon; 541-451-5050, Lunch and dinner Tuesday to Saturday. Moderate

The Point Restaurant. 6305 Main Street (U.S. Highway 20), Sweet Home; 541-367-1560, Three meals every day. Moderate

Randy’s Main Street Coffee. 240 N. Main St., Brownsville; 541-466-3900, Breakfast and lunch Monday to Saturday. Budget

Sybaris Bistro. 442 First Ave. W., Albany; 541-928-8157, Dinner Tuesday to Saturday. Moderate to expensive


Dentzel American Carousel Museum & Albany Carousel Studio. 503 First Ave. W., Albany; 541-791-3340, Open Monday to Saturday.

East Linn Museum. 746 Long St., Sweet Home; 541-367-4580, Open Wednesday to Sunday.

Harrisburg Area Museum. 490 Smith St., Harrisburg; 541-995-4844. Open Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

Linn County Historical Museum. 101 Park Ave., Brownsville; 541-466-3390, Open daily. Includes Moyer House, 204 N. Main St.

Thompson’s Mills State Heritage Site. 32655 Boston Mill Drive, Shedd; 541-491-3611, or

Next week: a Northwest baseball circuit

John Gottberg Anderson / For The Bulletin The Crawfordsville Covered Bridge, midway between Sweet Home and Brownsville on State Highway 226, is one of nine covered bridges in Linn County. Built in 1932, bypassed by the highway in 1963, the old bridge remains a landmark and the inspiration for an annual festival.
John Gottberg Anderson / For The Bulletin The red-brick architecture of Brownsvilles Main Street, some of which dates from as early as 1874, has earned the small town designation as a national historic district. A woolen mill that operated from 1862 to 1955 was known throughout the country for its high-quality blankets.
John Gottberg Anderson / For The Bulletin The East Linn Museum, in a former church in downtown Sweet Home, displays a collection of artifacts dating from the earliest pioneer settlement on the Santiam River, in 1852. On an old piano sits the sheet music to Paul Zastrows "Where the Santiam River Flows."
John Gottberg Anderson / For The Bulletin Rafters hail a motorboat and a jet skier on 3Ω-mile-long Foster Lake, just east of Sweet Home along U.S. Highway 20. Created in 1968 by the damming of the South and Middle Forks of the Santiam River, the lake is a magnet for water-sports lovers of all kinds.
John Gottberg Anderson / For The Bulletin The 1937 Weddle Bridge, crossing Ames Creek in Sweet Home, creates a scene of serenity in Sweet Home's 20-acre Sankey Park. But each year on the first weekend of August, this is the location of the Northwest's largest country-and-western music festival, the Oregon Jamboree.
John Gottberg Anderson / For The Bulletin The 1881 Moyer House, inspired by Italianate Village-style architecture, was the home of John and Elizabeth Brown Moyer, she the daughter of Brownsvilles namesake and founder. It was restored in the 1960s and today can be viewed on organized weekend tours.
John Gottberg Anderson / For The Bulletin Surrounded by bears and sasquatches, a chainsaw-carved alien points skyward in front of Patrick Flanagans studio on U.S. Highway 20 southeast of Lebanon. Named for the Biblical cedars of Lebanon, the community still has plenty of the soft-wooded timber for carving.
John Gottberg Anderson / For The Bulletin In honor of the annual Running of the Bulls festival in Pamplona, Spain, Sybaris chef-owner Matt Bennett served a vegetable-rich paella with romesco sauce, a piquillo pepper and savory head cheese. The Albany restaurant is considered one of the best in the Willamette Valley.
John Gottberg Anderson / For The Bulletin A 50-horsepower Case steam tractor, built in 1916, highlights an exhibit of antique farm equipment at the Harrisburg Area Museum. The antique tractor comes out of the garage every year to take part in the Old-Fashioned Fourth of July parade in this town of 3,600 people.
John Gottberg Anderson / For The Bulletin Brownsville's Linn County Historical Museum occupies an 1895 railroad depot a half-block off Main Street. The museum flows into an adjacent boxcar and caboose, featuring replicas of a general store, a bank, a barber shop, a milliner's shop and an old-time movie theater.
John Gottberg Anderson / For The Bulletin A carved bulldog is a visitor favorite at the Dentzel American Carousel Museum & Albany Carousel Studio. The carousel idea was launched in 2003 after the Denztel family, which introduced carousels to North America, donated a 1909 spinning mechanism to the project.
John Gottberg Anderson / For The Bulletin A circus elephant is one of the completed pieces at the Dentzel American Carousel Museum & Albany Carousel Studio. Hand-carved and painted wooden animals, 52 in all, will comprise the Brass Ring Carousel, expected to be a premier attraction when it opens in several years.
John Gottberg Anderson / For The Bulletin A covered wagon that completed the Oregon Trail, and which is coveted by the Smithsonian Institute, is a centerpiece of the Linn County Historical Museum. Established in 1846, the town of 1,700 thrived after 1880, when a narrow-gauge railroad reached its industrial sector.
John Gottberg Anderson / For The Bulletin Brownsville was the location of most of the filming of "Stand by Me," a 1986 cult movie based upon a Stephen King short story. A Historic Brownsville brochure gives directions to 14 shooting locations around the town, which celebrates "Stand by Me Day" annually in July.
John Gottberg Anderson / For The Bulletin The Calapooia River millrace serves Thompson's Mills State Heritage Site near Shedd. Oregon's oldest surviving water-powered mill was built in 1864 to process flour, then was restored by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department and opened to the public in 2007.