Author: Victoria

The History of Oregon

The History of Oregon

Young Knitters Discover a Decades-Old Wool Festival in the West

This post was taken from “On Nature” by Nancy Redfield. It was originally published on April 29. It has been updated with new information.

When I met Elizabeth in 2008, it was the first time we had seen each other since 1978 when she had won the world championship in the Knitting Institute of America’s Knit Across America contest. That fall, I spent a week in Oregon with my mother, who had purchased a house in the small town of Eugene.

Elizabeth took a road trip with my mother and we saw many of the sights. From the many historic buildings, we took a walking tour, which Elizabeth thoroughly enjoyed. In her introduction to visiting the country, she wrote, “I never realized how many places had little towns so small that I’d have to get off the bus to check to see if there was a town I had missed.” Reading and recalling Elizabeth’s descriptions of Oregon made it all very clear to me. She had seen so many of the same sights she had written about.

When we visited Eugene, I was surprised to learn from Elizabeth that there were two major festivals to celebrate and honor our nation’s first president, George Washington.

The first, in September, is the Washington County Fair and the second, in November, is the Old Town Festival. We also saw an interesting and unique thing at both festivals. In Eugene, it was a two-day-long tribute to Washington. The Old Town Festival, in November, is focused on the history of the town, while the Washington County Fair is the town’s “celebration of our nation’s first president.”

Each day there is a panel on one or two aspects of Washington’s life. These panels are all by women from varied backgrounds. Each morning, women in their 50’s or 60’s are put in a room and asked to speak on Washington’s life. Some are very well known, like former Oregon Governor Mark Hatfield and former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. Others are less known, like Senator Margaret Chase Smith. Elizabeth and I were thrilled to hear a

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