As the highway led to 2 lane roads and neighborhoods gave way to wide expanses of farm land, our anticipation began to build. Being the weekend after Thanksgiving had us already feeling a kinship with those early American settlers. And knowing we were traveling along the Oregon Trail only added to the connection between past and present.
A small dip in the road and then we suddenly found ourselves transported back in time. Nestled among majestic pine trees the historic town of Aurora, Oregon has all of the charm and character that one might expect from an early colony. If I closed my eyes I could almost see the horses tied to posts outside the general store and women in calico hurrying about on their errands.
Founded in 1856 by Dr. Wilhelm Keil and named for his daughter, Aurora was listed among America’s Top 10 antiquing destinations by the Travel Channel. Main street overflows with original buildings converted into antique stores and starting Thanksgiving weekend, cedar swags and red bows indicate that this village is ready to welcome Christmas in grand, historic style.
The crown jewel among all of these shops is Aurora Mills Architectural Salvage.
A porch filled with old windows, columns, bathtubs with Christmas wreaths and vintage soda crates are only a small indication of what awaits inside.
And, visiting Aurora Mills Architectural Salvage during the holidays only adds to the magic. An antique sleigh greets you in the front room and you can almost here the sleigh bells “jingling” as it races across a snowy landscape.
This 2-story building is filled to the rafters with every kind of treasure you could imagine and if you were in the process of restoring a home you would feel as though you had just struck gold!
Metal baskets are stocked with antique hinges and cabinet hardware.
Knobs and pulls are on display like precious jewelry. And, to those of us with a love for all things vintage, they are just as thrilling to see as any diamond!
This room filled with bathtubs was of particular interest to my children who were certain that they needed to “try out” each one and would have, had we not quickly intervened!
I could have spent hours here. And, experiencing it with my parents who were visiting from out of state made it even more special. They saw so many things that reminded them of their own childhoods and recounted stories to my children as we wandered through each room.
3 generations together, marveling at each new discovery.
And as we wound our way through this warehouse of history, I sensed something wonderful happening.
My 9 year old son and 5 year old daughter were developing a passion for the past. They showed genuine curiosity and interest in how these antiquities would have fit into the everyday life of those that have gone before us.
And, their mother’s history loving heart almost burst with joy and pride.
Until one of them nearly knocked down an item that cost thousands of dollars.
The history lesson was over.
But, hopefully, their love for all things “vintage” is just beginning!
If you would like to learn more about historic Aurora, Oregon, please visit the Aurora Colony Visitors Association Website. And to learn more about the items for sale at Aurora Mills Architectural Salvage please visit their website or blog.
Thank you so much for joining me today and I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas from the beautiful state of Oregon!
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