Brownsville Oregon – The Little Big Town

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Saturday Farmers Market Brownsville Oregon | Photo Sandy Harris
Saturday Farmers Market Brownsville Oregon | Photo Sandy Harris

If you have ever been to Sweet Home, chances are you have been through Brownsville, Oregon. One of the oldest cities in Oregon. With a population of only about 1700 people, Brownsville is quite the happening place!  To get here just head North (or south depending on where you are reading this from) and take exit 216.  Head east on Hwy. 228.  Most people don’t know that you have to turn off of 228 to enter town. Turn at the Dari Mart and come across the bridge.

Biker in Brownsville Oregon  |  Photo Sandy Harris
Biker in Brownsville Oregon | Photo Sandy Harris

The locals are friendly,  even stopping to let you cross the street.  It has everything a small town needs, from Carlson’s Hardware store to a knitting parlor.  There is the famous haunted Brownsville Saloon; a favorite destination for bikers, pool players and sports fans and I can vouch for their burgers and fries (they have some pretty nice Long Island Iced Teas too).

The Brownsville Park is quite the happening place. The Calapooia River hugs the bank of the park and is a refreshing place to swim when the summer heat kicks in.  Each July 4th the entire town gathers at the park where they set off the fireworks once nightfall hits.

The Calapooia River flooding in Brownsville, Oregon 2011
The Calapooia River flooding in Brownsville, Oregon 2011 | Photo Sandy Harris

The park is a lovely place to have a family reunion, there is a lovely place for the children to play and a very large covered shelter with cooking appliances and benches, it really comes alive in the summer.  In fact, that is where the Bi-Mart Country Music Festival began.  It got so big, they had to find another local, which is now held each year approximately 4 miles East of Brownsville on Hwy. 228 as you head towards Sweet Home.  This year Gary Allan, Blake Shelton and Eric Church will be performing and I am going to do everything I can to go this year!

There is the annual antique fair during the summer as well.  I love going to this each year.  There are food booths, and classic cars, music and just a whole lot of fun.

Harmonica Play at the Pioneer Picnic Brownsville Oregon  |  Photo  Sandy Harris
Harmonica Play at the Pioneer Picnic Brownsville Oregon | Photo Sandy Harris

Pioneer Picnic is coming up soon too!  Each year it is a big celebration and the whole town gets involved.  You can find more detail here at the City of Brownsville website.

You may have read the piece I wrote on Kirks Ferry Trading Post in 2012. This is a must see. The owners wanted to preserve an original hand hewn log house so they built a restaurant around the house! Very cool. The house is completely intact.

One of my favorite places to go is just off of I-5 at the Pioneer Villa Saloon (okay, they are technically in Halsey but too good to not mention).  They have the Pioneer Punch that is just amazing! The people there are great and take very good care of you. I really like the wings too.

Brownsville Oregon
Brownsville Oregon

There are a few eating establishments in town. The Bramble House is located on Hwy. 228 just before you turn onto main street to come into town. Ormando’s Mexican Restaurant opened last year too. They have some pretty awesome food. Ormando’s Favorite is mine too. It’s a really large burrito with ingredients so fresh you would think they just picked them.

There is the Pioneer Picture Gallery across from City Hall that holds thousands of photographs dating way back into pioneer days. It is pretty amazing when you walk into the tiny building. The amount of photographs it holds will astound you.  It even holds some of my award winning photographs!

Brownsville also has an Art Center. Boasting artwork from local artisans. Anywhere from jewelry to potter, oil paintings and water color to photography. You name it, it’s there.

Saturday Farmers Market Brownsville Oregon  |  Photo Sandy Harris
Saturday Farmers Market Brownsville Oregon | Photo Sandy Harris

Saturday Farmers Market will be opening soon right in the center of town and will run through October of each year. I love jumping on my bike and heading there in the summer mornings for fresh vegetables and such for my breakfast. It really is a quant little town.  There are many many more establishments here in Brownsville.  The little big town I have called home for the last three years.  Come on out, I know you will be glad you did.

One of the things you will notice is a sign just before you come across the river.  Brownsville Welcomes You Home.  Here is a link for even more information on the Historic little big town of Brownsville, Oregon.  Did I mention the film Stand By Me was filmed here?

Maybe I will see you out here!

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