Spreading the Word

I don’t know how you found us, but we are doing our darndest to be the best historical site people have actually heard of – instead of the best little site NOBODY’s heard of.

Check out Philip Foster Farm on Yelp, radio promotions on The Buzz and The Wolf, Groupon, Facebook, Twitter, Google ads, collaborations with other organizations..  These are all attempts to let folks know we’re here to give them real fun and real Oregon Trail history.  

Summer Camp is Coming!

Your “Little House” Girl and “Tom Sawyer” boy will love this day camp! Why?

1) Activities that let children wallow in the past, dressing and living the part of pioneer children.

2) Taking the real responsibility children took in the 1800′s for their animals, gardens, family and friends.

3) Real crafts, like blacksmithing, fire-building, cooking over a fire, making ink and quill pens, and more.

4) Teaching other guests about the lives of the pioneers.

Click HERE to learn more!

I hope to see you on July 28th!

Mrs. Butler


Introducing New Staff

Spring 2014 has seen a spate of new hires, although the faces aren’t new to the Farm!

Kate Damon is doing outreach and administrative work for the Farm. She volunteered here at events in her youth before acquiring a degree in history and museum studies, and completing internships with the Portland Art Museum and Fort Vancouver. We’re very excited to have her back!

Caleb Wiles is also a former volunteer, now serving as tour leader and maintainer of lawns. You can often find him singing around the farm on the lawn mower, when the guests are gone.

Cassie Whitlock has graduated from volunteer to tour leader and closet mistress, keeping everyone appropriately dressed in period clothing, and her mother, Tammy Whitlock, has stepped up to serve in the gardens, supervising volunteer help, planning vegetable and flower beds, and overseeing the educational aspects of our botanicals.

Hannah Shaver is less visible, but her janitorial services are no less important to the Farm. She and her family have also served as tour volunteers, and we’re grateful for their continued care of these busy buildings.


Oregon Trail for Kids!

Here at the Philip Foster Farm, we are busy from April through October, hosting children from schools, camps, day cares, and families who want to learn more about Oregon’s pioneers.

But there’s another layer of learning happening, as many of our volunteers are also young people, learning about the past, and discovering their own skillsets for public speaking, professional dress and behavior, and historic authenticity.

Adult volunteers are invited to join the team of tour leaders and teachers who work with these volunteers each week to provide the best possible educational experience for everyone on our Farm.

Volunteers of all ages are invited to contact us at jzhhistsoc@rconnects.com to learn how you can bring history to life!

2014 and still rolling!

On the horizon for 2014:

1) Travel Oregon has designated us as a “Bike Friendly” attraction.

2) We are hiring a Gardener and Farm Manager for continuous improvement of the guest experience.  (email jzhhistsoc@rconnects.com to apply)

3) Trails Across Time, our free public charter school for grades 6-12, continues to serve students who want to make a difference in the community, make some friends, and get a great 21st century education with a 19th century twist.

4) Guests are enjoying new signage in the barn and gardens, highlighting the history of artifacts and plants that tell the story of our region’s pioneers.

5) As always, students from all over are coming to the Farm for tours this spring, connecting with local students and volunteers to learn and do. (email jzhhistsoc@rconnects.com to volunteer)

Welcome, Bicycles!

Recognized by Travel Oregon as a Bike-Friendly attraction

Haunted Farm 2013

Pioneers didn’t celebrate Halloween, or have much time for ghosts, but they did have a pretty close relationship with death and dying. On your family-friendly guided tour of the Farm, you’ll meet Oregon’s first axe murderess, children of all ages, and Eagle Creek’s earliest pioneers, telling their own stories.  Event runs from 6:00-8:00 p.m. ONLY on October 26th. Admission is $5.00 per person or $20.00 per family. Make a night of it by taking the shuttle up to Eagle Creek Elementary’s Family Fun Night as well. Foster founded the Eagle Creek School in 1850.

New this spring!

What’s new around the Philip Foster Farm?

The flower gardens are looking gorgeous, thanks to the weeding efforts of volunteer Stephanie Cibula, the planting efforts of (blacksmith) Sam Morse, and the tireless work of the Northwest Rose Historians, including JZH board member Gerri Morse. Please visit their website to see what they are planning for the Farm!

Suzi Trexler is coming on this summer as an intern. She’ll be working with visitors and campers, planning exhibits, building website content, and organizing our archives.

We’re excited to have the Farmhouse Nursery as our new neighbor to the north. It has taken over the feed store, and now offers a range of services for people, animals, and gardens.

Estacada Web Academy is now accepting applications for our Trails Across Time Living History Immersion Program. TAT students will meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays next fall, helping with Farm tours and gardens, sharing pioneer and modern skills and learning, and building a fun community of 6th to 12th graders. Maximum of 16 students will be accepted, so early applications are encouraged!

Seasons for Change

A seasonal calendar is a beautiful thing! Not only are there exciting seasons of activity, but there are these equally exciting times of working behind the scenes to plan and prepare. Writing grants, collaborating with local, regional, and national organizations, planning advertising campaigns, and sharing our ideas for 2013 with board members, staff, volunteers, community members and guests – these activities challenge us to think deeply about our mission, the vision we have for our organization and our community, and the many people who can help us bring it to pass.

If you’d like to help us move forward on the BIG goals we have for 2013, please contact us at jzhhistsoc@rconnects.com, and tell us about it. Over the next year, we will need hundreds of volunteers, for everything from writing to videography, to crafting, to giving tours, to a few things we don’t even know we need yet.

It’s going to be a great year! Please join us,

Elaine Butler (Site Manager)

Charter School Openings

Trails Across Time is a unique charter school for grades 6-12, that meets two days each week to learn and lead, with work online at home the rest of the week. Students help to maintain and give tours of the Farm, learn about US and Oregon History, and develop leadership skills. Unit studies coordinate social studies learning with language arts and science, and students have individually assigned online math courses, with access to skilled instructors. Free to Oregon students. More information at http://mrsbutler.atspace.org/TAT.html.

Next semester begins January 21, 2013.