"Great Oregon Steam-up" Brooks Things to Do Tip by glabah
Brooks Things to Do: 12 reviews and 49 photos
Every year, on the last weekend in July and the first weekend in August, the Antique Powerland museum association hosts the Great Oregon Steam-up. This event features a large number of OPERATING antique machines. This includes:
+ Operating steam engines of various sizes (and thus the name "Steamup") including steam tractors, model steam engines, and some stationary examples. See the small steam engines being used to drive ice cream making aparatus in the main photo of this tip.
+ Historic fire equipment (see photo 2)
+ a steam powered railroad crane that works and lifts objects as a demonstration. See photo 4, and a couple of the videos I have, plus dozens and dozens of other videos by various others available on YouTube.
+ an operating streetcar line that currently circles about 3/4 of the grounds. (see photo 3 - yes, they have also a working wig-wag signal as well over the main road into the museum)
+ Along with the line, a Streetcar Museum (currently located in the Oregon Electric Railway Historical Society car barn, but an actual interpretive center is being built)
+ some creative uses of historic engines including making making bubbles (see photo 5). Other antique engines are used as water pumping demonstrations or other things that illustrate how the machines were originally used.
+ antique automobiles including a permanent museum collection
+ an entire truck museum
+ an entire caterpillar museum,
+ the Willow Creek Railroad (1/8th scale railroad you can ride)
+ The Pacific Northwest Logging Museum has slowly increased their presence over the years, and the 2010 show featured a number of new demonstrations by their volunteers. Planning is underway for their museum building on the property.
+ The "Two Cylinder Club", which is an early day gasoline tractor group.
+ Blacksmith shop demonstrations
+ Stationary Gasoline Engine Museum Building
+ Historic Electrical Equipment (this has been a slowly developing series of exhibits since the new structure at the main entrance was constructed).
+ Wheat Threshing and other farm harvesting techniques using the historic farm equipment on hand. This is a modern day descendant of the 1950s and 1960s era "Threshing Bees" that started the whole Annual Steamup event.
and many other historic machines and equipment, almost all of which operate.
The northwest corner of the grounds becomes a large swap meet during Steamup, with sales of all manner of things including machinery parts, toys of various types (typically something involving machinery), and various odds and ends of all kinds.
The first day of the 2007 show had some 10,000 people through the gate, which was a record for attendance for a single day of the steamup, I have been told.
However, as time has gone on, the prices have increased. The 2008, 2009 and 2010 shows have had the prices increased to pay for such items as a new complex-wide fire hydrant system and other very expensive pieces required as part of growing pains. The 2010 show has ticket entry prices of $10 for adults, with children 12 and under being free of charge. These increased prices have resulted in increased ticket sales revenue, but it also has meant fewer people visiting. Prices have remained the same for the 2012 Steamup.
All of the photos for this tip are from the 2007 show. They have great gobs of photos on their web site from previous shows as well as from the various museums located on their property. I have also attempted to keep up with some of the changes to the museum complex over the years, and have a few travelogues with ongoing photos, including 2005 and 2006 and 2007 and 2008 and 2010 and 2011.
While the photos show examples of what is on display, by far the most interesting part of coming to the Great Oregon Steam-up is that a considerable portion of the equipment here is running. Therefore, to really see the Steam-up as it should be viewed, please see some of my Brooks videos, which were all taken during various annual Steamup shows.
Address: 3995 Brooklake Road NE, Brooks, OR 97303
Directions: Exit Interstate-5 at Brooks and head west about 1/4 mile. The museum is on the north side of Brooklake Road
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