Saturday, June 14, 2008
Small Town America - Adams, Oregon
Growing up in a small rural farming community instilled a love of small town America in my soul. I have a dream one day of driving cross country and not touching a single freeway on my journey, traveling the backroads all the way to see what I think of as real America.
I want to try to do a series of the small towns that I run across in my little circle of the world, but my best intentions sometimes go by the wayside so this first one may be all that you get!
On a recent Sunday morning, Riff, Noah and I took a stroll through the streets of Adams, Oregon while visiting my Dad and Sharon. They moved to Adams about a year ago and really like living there. We were delighted with the sights and smells that this small town in the heart of wheat and barley country had ready for us. Nothing overpowering or assaulting to the senses, just that morning smell of farm country waking up to start the day. Maybe those of you who don't have country life in your blood won't know what I mean when I say that the golden shimmering smell of wheat hangs in the light morning air. Believe me, it's true.
This is Main Street in Adams, Oregon, population approximately 310. Adams is 13 miles northeast of Pendleton on Route 11 and was established in 1883. The Union Pacific Railroad was building tracks between Pendleton and Walla Walla, Washington when they came upon a pretty large problem. Hmmmm, how to get the tracks across Dry Creek Canyon. Quite a dilemma. All building of the tracks came to a halt and since it was late summer, some shacks were thrown up for the railroad workers to winter over in. Turns out that those shacks were on the property of farmer John Adams. Two years it took to resolve the problem of bridging that canyon and by then a little community was established on Farmer Adams land. Well, naturally the Adams family were the first residents so the little town was named after them. Soon a post office, Mercantile, saloons, a church, a schoolhouse and a brick-making factory were to follow. Present day Adams still can boast that many of these first building stand in immaculate condition. Join me on a little tour of one of the finest small town America's you will find.
Adams Store and Cafe'. We got in fairly late on Saturday night and left Sunday morning, so the store was not open while we were there. Next time I promise to get an inside shot or two. I have visions that it is to-die-for inside this country store. The cafe' is open for breakfast and lunch from 6:30 to 2. I think breakfast is on my list of to do's next time we're visiting as well.
This building houses Adams City Hall in one-half and the public library in the other. Being a lover of books and libraries, I stood, nosed pressed against that library window to take in, from the outside, the feel of this tiny public library. It was delightful. Dark woods and lots of shelves with magic waiting to be read.
This gorgeous schoolhouse, built in 1883 (I think), has been purchased by a private party and converted into their home. Can you imagine? It's incredible. Looks like there is still a gym in the back of the building. Oh what I wouldn't give to have a tour of that place. Beautiful!
Across the street from City Hall is this beautifully well maintained park. I'm sure it's large enough for all 310 Adams residents to enjoy a community picnic together and there is plenty of playground equipment for the little one's to enjoy. Swings, slides, a merry-go-round, 4 square, basketball hoops, tetter-totters, anything you can imagine is in this park along with public restrooms (clean!) right across the street. A little wooden footbridge going to I don't know where spans a pretty little meandering creek at the back of the park.
Adams is Small Town America at it's finest. Beautiful and clean right in the heart of farming country. If you're ever in Northeast Oregon, wander off the beaten path and drop in to the Cafe' for a soda. You'll be glad you did!
Check out the Adams, Oregon website for more fun information on this little town.
Posted by Paula at 7:53 AM