Patriot’s Day

Patriot’s Day is a day celebrated in some parts of the U.S and commemorates the battles of Lexington and Concord. It is a day that is observed on the third Monday in April. It’s most often recognized in Massachusetts, Maine, Wisconsin and parts of Florida. It should not be confused with Patriot Day – a day that is observed on September 11th to mark the date of the terrorist attacks.

This holiday was first proclaimed by Governor Frederic T. Greenhalge in 1894 in Massachusetts. He commemorated the day on April 19th to Battles of Lexington and Concord in 1775. By doing so, he replaced the day that was originally celebrated on that day – Fast Day, a now obsolete U.S holiday. Several years later, Maine followed Massachusetts lead and replaced their Fast Day with Patriot’s Day.

This holiday is observed in a number of different ways. In Massachusetts and Maine, people can be found reenacting the battles of Lexington and Concord on this day. Other people use this time off of work or school to plan days at the park with their friends and families. And in Boston, people from all over the world flock to the city to watch the Boston Marathon on this day.

St. Patricks Day

Saint Patrick’s Day, or the Feast of Saint Patrick, is a cultural and religious celebration held on 17 March, the traditional death date of Saint Patrick (c. AD 385–461), who was the foremost patron saint of Ireland.

Saint Patrick’s Day was made an official Christian feast day in the early 17th century and is observed by the Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion (especially the Church of Ireland), the Eastern Orthodox Church, and the Lutheran Church. The day commemorates Saint Patrick and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland, and celebrates the heritage and culture of the Irish in general. Celebrations generally involve public parades and festivals, céilís, and the wearing of green attire or shamrocks. Christians who belong to liturgical denominations also attend church services and historically the Lenten restrictions on eating and drinking alcohol were lifted for the day, which has encouraged and propagated the holiday’s tradition of alcohol consumption.

Saint Patrick’s Day is a public holiday in the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador (for provincial government employees), and the British Overseas Territory of Montserrat. It is also widely celebrated by the Irish diaspora around the world, especially in the United Kingdom, Canada, United States, Brazil, Argentina, Australia and New Zealand. Saint Patrick’s Day is celebrated in more countries than any other national festival. Modern celebrations have been greatly influenced by those of the Irish diaspora, particularly those that developed in North America. In recent years, there has been criticism of Saint Patrick’s Day celebrations for having become too commercialized and for fostering negative stereotypes of the Irish people.

8 Reasons to Visit Dallas, Oregon

An idyllic town with history, trails and wineries. Set among vineyards and rolling hills, Dallas is located about 25 minutes outside of Salem, Oregon. Its owner-operated businesses, small-town charm and walkable downtown square will have you feeling like you’re in Mayberry – for all the right reasons.

  1. Walk the historic downtown.

Although only one building in the core of downtown Dallas is on the National Register of Historic Places, almost every building was built between 1880 and 1910. The town itself is centered around the Polk County Courthouse, which was completed in 1900 and is one of the oldest courthouses still in use in the state. With a 95-foot clock tower, the building is hard to miss.

Surrounding the courthouse, rows of historically-significant buildings house restaurants, antique shops and murals depicting the town’s history.

  1. Peruse antique stores and more.

In downtown Dallas, you won’t find big-name stores. Instead, you’ll find locally-owned shops selling one-of-a-kind items. For antique and vintage treasures, visit Some Things and the Dallas Antique Mall. Right down the street, Main Street Emporium of Dallas has a variety of new and upcycled home goods, children’’ toys and clothing.

Quilters come from all over the country and world to visit Grandma’s Attic Quilt Shop. From fabrics and patterns to quilting lessons and advice, the store offers a little bit of everything and has been a staple in the community for more than 20 years.

  1. Coffee bars, restaurants and taphouses.

For a small town, Dallas boasts a handful of appetizing restaurants, including Pressed Coffee & Wine Bar. Often referred to as the hub of the community, Pressed is a great place to grab a coffee in the morning, order a light lunch in the afternoon and enjoy live music and trivia in the evenings.

If you’re looking for fine dining with farm-to-table food, look no further than Latitude One. Owned by a longtime Dallas resident, the seasonal menu features locally-harvested ingredients in dishes such as steamed clams, mushroom fettuccine and prime rib sliders.

With 65 different taps, West Valley Taphouse is sure to have something to quench your thirst. Most of the taps are dedicated beers, ciders, and Kombucha from the Pacific Northwest, but there are also beers available from around the world.

  1. Plan a day in the parks.

Dallas has an extensive system of parks. At 35 acres, Dallas City Park is the largest park in town. Among its amenities are an 18-hole disc golf course, a suspension bridge, Japanese garden and swimming hole.

On the other side of town, you’ll find Central Bark, an off-leash dog park, and Roger Jordan Community Park, which has a skate park and the only pickleball courts in the area.

Several of the town’s 11 parks are connected through the Rickreall Creek Trail, a multi-use trail for pedestrians, bicyclists and bird-watchers that runs along the creek it’s named after. Once completed, the 4.2-mile trail will connect the west end of Dallas to the east end.

  1. Explore the Delbert Hunter Arboretum.

The Delbert Hunter Arboretum and Botanic Garden is one of Dallas’ hidden gems. Nestled against Rickreall Creek, the arboretum serves as a living museum of native plants. It showcases many species of plants and trees, including high-desert plants, rare shrubs, and flowers. With several walking paths and benches throughout, the arboretum is a perfect place to connect with nature.

  1. Visit Oregon Wine Country.

Polk County is known for expansive vineyards and delicious wines, and Dallas is no exception. There are a handful of wineries located just minutes outside of the downtown area. Take in sweeping valley views at Van Duzer Vineyards, visit one of Namaste Vineyards’ tow tasting rooms or taste wine (and grapeseed oil) at Chateau Bianca Winery.

For a truly unique wine experience, schedule a visit at Illahe Vineyards. The winery strives to make wine as naturally as possible and uses many historical winemaking techniques. Some of the wines are made entirely by hand, without electricity or modern machines!

  1. Bring the kids.

If you’re traveling with children, you’ll want to see what is playing at the Dallas Cinema. Although its undergone a series of name changes, the theater first opened in 1949. It only has one screen, but it shows affordable movies throughout the week.

The entire family can also enjoy the Dallas Aquatic Center. Open for lap and recreational swimming, it features five pools, a waterslide and a spray fountain. The center also offers dedicated times for individuals with special needs, toddlers and adults-only swims.

  1. Learn about nature at the wildlife refuge.

Just shy of 2,500 acres, Baskett Slough National Wildlife Refuge is home to a wide variety of wildlife and plants. The refuge features extensive croplands, wetlands and woodlands, making it an ideal habitat for wintering Canada geese, black-tailed deer and the rare, endangered butterfly known as Fender’s blue.

There are also miles of dirt trails for visitors to hike, viewing platforms and information kiosks.

Presidents Day

Are President’s Day and George Washington’s birthday the same day? There is some confusion about this holiday. Here is a short summary of Presidents’ Day and where the confusion began!

Contrary to popular belief, the observed federal holiday is actually called “Washington’s Birthday.” Neither Congress nor the President has ever stipulated that the name of the holiday observed as Washington’s Birthday be changed to President’s Day. Additionally, Congress has never declared a national holiday binding in all states and each state decides its own legal holidays. This is why there are some calendar discrepancies when it comes to this holiday.

So how did Washington’s Birthday come to be called President’s Day? Many calendars list the third Monday of February as Presidents’ Day and many U.S. states list the holiday as President’s Day. Of course, all of the 3-day retail store sales are called “Presidents’ Day” sales and this vernacular has also been influential in how we reference the holiday.

George Washington Quote:

Upon entering office, Washington was not convinced that he was the right man for the job. He wrote, “My movements to the chair of government will be accompanied by feelings not unlike those of a culprit who is going to the place of his execution.” Fortunately for the young country, he was wrong.

Worry is the interest paid by those who borrow trouble.

  • George Washington (1732-99)

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Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a federal holiday held on the third Monday of January. It celebrates the life and achievements of Martin Luther King Jr., an influential American civil rights leader. He is most well-known for his campaigns to end racial segregation on public transport and for racial equality in the United States.

Martin Luther King Jr. was an important civil rights activist. He was a leader in the movement to end racial segregation. His most famous address was the “I Have a Dream” speech. He was an advocate of non-violent protest and became the youngest man to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. He was assassinated in 1968.

In 1968, shortly after Martin Luther King Jr. died, a campaign was started for his birthday to become a holiday to honor him. After the first bill was introduced, trade unions lead the campaign for the federal holiday. It was endorsed in 1976. Following support from the musician Stevie Wonder with his single “Happy Birthday” and a petition with six million signatures, the bill became law in 1983. Martin Luther King Jr. Day was first observed in 1986, although it was not observed in all states until the year 2000.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a relatively new federal holiday and there are few long-standing traditions. It is seen as a day to promote equal rights for all Americans, regardless of their background. Some educational establishments mark the day by teaching their pupils or students about the work of Martin Luther King Jr. and the struggle against racial segregation and racism. In recent years, federal legislation has encouraged Americans to give some of their time on this day as volunteers in citizen action groups.

So tomorrow, reflect on Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream. That all man be treated equally.

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A Christmas History Part 2

It wasn’t until the 19th century that Americans began to embrace Christmas. Americans re-invented Christmas, and changed it from a raucous carnival holiday into a family-centered day of peace and nostalgia. But what about the 1800s peaked American interest in the holiday?

The early 19th century was a period of class conflict and turmoil. During this time, unemployment was high and gang rioting by the disenchanted classes often occurred during the Christmas season. In 1828, the New York city council instituted the city’s first police force in response to a Christmas riot. This catalyzed certain members of the upper classes to begin to change the way Christmas was celebrated in America.

In 1818, best-selling author Washington Irving wrote The Sketchbook of Geoffrey Crayon, gent., a series of stories about the celebration of Christmas in an English manor house. The sketches feature a squire who invited the peasants into his home for the holiday. In contrast to the problems faced in American society, the two groups mingled effortlessly. In Irving’s mind, Christmas should be a peaceful, warm-hearted holiday bringing groups together across lines of wealth or social status. Irving’s fictitious celebrants enjoyed “ancient customs,” including the crowning of a Lord of Misrule. Irving’s book, however, was not based on any holiday celebration he had attended – in fact, many historians say that Irving’s account actually “invented” tradition by implying that it described the true customs of the season.

Also around this time, English author Charles Dickens created the classic holiday tale, A Christmas Carol. The story’s message – the importance of charity and good will towards all humankind – struck a powerful chord in the United States and England, and showed members of Victorian society the benefits of celebrating the holiday.

The family was also becoming less disciplined and more sensitive to the emotional needs of children during the early 1800s. Christmas provided families with a day when they could lavish attention – and gifts – on their children without appearing to “spoil” them.

As Americans began to embrace Christmas as a perfect family holiday, old customs were unearthed. People looked toward recent immigrants and Catholic and Episcopalian churches to see how the day should be celebrated. In the next 100 years, Americans build a Christmas tradition all their own that included pieces of many other customs, including decorating trees, sending holiday cards, and gift-giving.

Although most families quickly bought into the idea that they were celebrating Christmas how it had been done for centuries, Americans had really re-invented a holiday to fill the cultural needs of a growing nation.

Christmas Facts:

  • Each year, 30-35 million real Christmas trees are sold in the United States alone. There are 21,000 Christmas tree growers in the United States, and trees usually grow for about 15 years before they are sold.
  • The first eggnog made in the United States was consumed in Captain John Smith’s 1607 Jamestown settlement.
  • Poinsettia plants are named after Joel R. Poinsett, an American minister to Mexico, who brought the red-and-green plant from Mexico to America in 1828.
  • The Salvation Army has been sending Santa Claus-clad donation collectors into the streets since the 1890s.
  • Rudolph, “the most famous reindeer of all,” was the product of Robert L. May’s imagination in 1939. They copywriter wrote a poem about the reindeer to help lure customers into the Montgomery Ward department store.
  • Construction workers started the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree tradition in 1931.

A Christmas History Part 1

Christmas is both a sacred religious holiday and a worldwide cultural and commercial phenomenon. For two millennia, people around the world have been observing it with traditions and practices that are both religious and secular in nature. Christians celebrate Christmas Day as the anniversary of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. Popular customs include exchanging gifts, decorating Christmas trees, attending church, sharing meals with family and friends and, of course, waiting for Santa Claus to arrive.

The middle of winter has long been a time of celebration around the world. Centuries before the arrival of Jesus. Early Europeans celebrated light and birth in the darkest days of winter. Many peoples rejoiced during the winter solstice, when the worst of the winter was behind them and they could look forward to longer days, and extended hours of sunlight.

In the early years of Christianity, Easter was the main holiday; the birth of Jesus was not celebrated. In the fourth century, church officials decided to institute the birth of Jesus as a holiday. Unfortunately, the Bible does not mention date for his birth. Although some evidence suggests that his birth may have occurred in the spring, Pope Julius I chose December 25th. It is commonly believed that the church chose this date in an effort to adopt and absorb the traditions of the pagan Saturnalia festival. First called the Feast of the Nativity, the custom spread to Egypt by 432 and to England by the end of the sixth century. By the end of the eighth century, the celebration of Christmas had spread all the way to Scandinavia. Today, in Greek and Russian orthodox churches, Christmas is celebrated 13 days after the 25th, which is also referred to as the Epiphany or Three Kings Day. This is the day it is believed that the three wise men finally found Jesus in the manger.

By holding Christmas at the same time as traditional winter solstice festivals, church leaders increased the chances that Christmas would be popularly embraced, but gave up the ability to dictate how it was celebrated. By the Middle Ages, Christianity had, for the most part, replaced pagan religion. On Christmas, believers attended church, then celebrated raucously in a drunken, carnival-like atmosphere similar to today’s Mardi Gras. Each year, a beggar or student would be crowned the “lord of misrule” and eager celebrants played the part of his subjects. The poor would go to the houses of the rich and demand their best food and drink. If owners failed to comply, their visitors would most likely terrorized them with mischief. Christmas became the time of the year when the upper classes could repay their real or imagined “debt” to society by entertaining less fortunate citizens.

In the early 17th century, a wave of religious reform changed the way Christmas was celebrated in Europe. When Oliver Cromwell and his Puritan forces took over England in 1645, they vowed to rid England of decadence and as part of their effort, cancelled Christmas. By popular demand, Charles II was restored to the throne and, with him, came the return of the popular holiday.

The pilgrims, English separatists that come to America in 1620, were even more orthodox in their Puritan beliefs than Cromwell. As a result, Christmas was not a holiday in early America. From 1659 to 1681, the celebration of Christmas was actually outlawed in Boston. Anyone exhibiting the Christmas spirit was fined five shillings. By contrast, in Jamestown settlement, Captain John Smith reported that Christmas was enjoyed by all and passed without incident.

After the American Revolution, English customs fell out of favor, including Christmas. In fact, Christmas wasn’t declared a federal holiday until June 26th, 1870.

Polk County Historical Society

A group met December 18, 1958, to formulate a Polk County Historical Society. Mrs. Clares Powell invited fourteen ladies to her home on January 1, 1959 to explore interest in organizing a society.

Iris Powell was appointed temporary chairman and Emma Henkle was the temporary secretary. On January 21, 1959, a permanent organization was formed. A constitution was adopted and officers elected. Those elected were: Francis B. Haines, President; Mrs. Delwen Reinemer, Vice President; Mrs. Leland Prather, Secretary; Mrs. O.G. Lyday, Treasurer.

In an April 23, 1959, news article, Dr. Haines stated there were ninety-five signed as charter members.

Meanwhile, the Polk County Museum Commission had dreams of sharing their love of all things historical with residents and visitors alike, long before there was any building to call home. When the Commission disbanded in 1989, the Museum Association continued fundraising efforts while reorganizing into a non-profit organization. Until a permanent building could be realized, the Association became temporary tenants in the 1912 Carnegie Library Building provided by the City of Dallas. On February 16, 1991, the Polk County Museum opened for business.

The Museum Association had been collecting treasures, both donated and on loan, for years. These treasures were now available to be seen and shared with the public, no longer hidden in attics, garages and sheds. The artifacts and documents collected reflected the diversity of cultures and people of the Polk County area. Opening ceremonies included talks by local collectors and historians, performances by local musicians and songs sung by Grand Ronde elders to the beating of a skin drum.

Today, the Polk County Historical Society is a public-benefit, non-profit corporation managed by a Board of Directors consisting of the President, the Vice-President, the Secretary, the Treasurer, nine Directors and the immediate Past President. Board members are elected to the Annual Membership Meeting held each January. The volunteer Board of Directors meets monthly to implement the pronouncements comprising the PCHS Mission Statement.

Fourth of July is a day to celebrate not only freedom, but our history. I encourage you to visit the Polk County Historical Society, and remember just what it is our ancestors fought and died for; what soldiers today continue to fight to protect. Thank you to those who have served, and thank you to those that work to preserve our history.

City of Dallas

Dallas was settled in the 1840s on the north side of Rickreall Creek and was originally named “Cynthian” or “Cynthiana”. A 1947 Itemizer-Observer article states: “The town was called Cynthiana after Cynthiana, KY, so named by Mrs. Thos Lovelady.” The History of Polk County Oregon, 1987, Page 12, states: “To Mrs. Thomas J. Lovelday was given the honor of naming the new settlement and she selected the name after her home town of Cynthiana, Kentucky.”

Another source claims that the origin of the name may have been Jesse Applegate’s wife, Cynthia Ann. However, she lived in the Salt Creek area of northern Polk County and, according to the 1850 Federal Census, had already left Polk County by 1850.

Dallas post office was established in 1852.

In 1856, the town was moved more than a mile south because of an inadequate supply of water.

Dallas was in competition with Independence to be the county seat and the citizens of Dallas raised $17,000 in order do have a branch of the narrow gauge railroad come to their town, thus securing the honor. The line was built from 1878-80. A more suitable name for a county seat was needed, and since George Mifflin Dallas was vice-president under James K. Polk, for whom the county was named, “Dallas” was a natural choice.

Dallas was incorporated as town in 1874, and as a city in 1901.

Today, located in the heart of the Willamette Valley, Dallas is the heart of it all. Just 13 miles west of Salem, close to the coast, and an easy drive from beautiful vineyards and wineries, we think you’ll find just what you are looking for in Dallas.

Dallas has many treasures, with many beautiful city parks, the Aquatic Center, and small town charm. A short drive away is the 2,500 acre Baskett Slough National Wildlife Refuge, the Black Rock trail system – Oregon’s first free ride area for mountain biking, and award-winning wines.

Not only family friendly, Dallas is business-friendly too. With sites from 1 to over 20 acres, with access to highways and rail service, Dallas is ready for employers and can offer incentive packages, streamlined permitting, friendly community, and a supportive business environment.

Dallas is truly a hometown gem!