Preserving the Past

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Canby Depot Museum Offers A Glimpse Into The City’s Rich History

Local History: Canby Depot Museum
By Kelly Romo, Contributing Writer|Photos courtesy of The Canby Depot Museum

Canby’s beloved Depot Museum serves as the home of the historical society, and a gateway into the vibrant history of Canby. This captivating museum warrants a visit by everyone interested in the illustrious past of this remarkable place. For the Canby Historical Society, the preservation of this history is more than just a duty — it is essential in maintaining the city’s unique identity and serves as a poignant reminder of our common heritage. This beautiful museum is worth visiting to learn about the rich history of this special place.

The Canby Depot was a critical asset to the town until its closure in 1976. The Southern Pacific Railway donated the depot to the city in 1978. Following the donation, the challenge to find a suitable relocation site ensued. In response, the “Save the Depot Committee,” led by city treasurer and historian Myra Weston and other city leaders, spurred community involvement to prevent the loss of this historical landmark. Despite time constraints and complications, the community rallied with fundraising and volunteer efforts to successfully relocate and renovate the depot, which opened as a museum in 1984. The community’s contributions, including donations gathered by former station master Herman Bergman, enriched the museum’s collection, solidifying the Canby Depot as a critical resource for those interested in Canby’s history.

The Canby Depot Museum offers visitors a glimpse into the city’s abundant history, carefully preserved and showcased. At the heart of the museum is the depot itself, as well as the beautiful “Our National Bouquet” flower map. Notably, the depot has preserved original elements such as a historical caboose and luggage cart that feel frozen in time. Visitors to the museum will also find an array of primary source documents, providing invaluable information on Canby’s history.

Canby’s Photo Collection

One of the most exciting things the Canby Depot Museum offers is a photo collection of Canby dating back to 1850. These photos are both digitalized and printed, and they show the evolution of Canby over the years. The museum is always eager to expand its photo collection, and they have recently put out a call to action asking for more photos from the community. The museum also has High School Yearbooks dated from 1917 to the present, as well as oral histories and other historical media available for viewing.

Canby Women’s Civic Club Archives

Other fascinating documents include the Canby Women’s Civic Club archives. These archives contain minute books from the Canby Women’s Civic Club from 1924 to the 1960s. The minute books are original primary source documents that offer insights into the civic club’s activities in the past and the role women played in Canby’s history.

Canby’s Newspapers

Thanks to the Pamplin Media Group, the Canby Depot Museum also has a collection of Canby Herald Newspapers from the 1920s to the present. These newspapers are a treasure trove of history and offer insights into life in Canby over the years.

Canby’s Memorabilia

The Canby Depot Museum has an impressive memorabilia collection reflecting Canby’s history. The collection is constantly growing, and the museum is always looking for new items to add and serve as a reminder of Canby’s history and the people who contributed to its growth.

Outreach and Special Events

The museum is collaborating with Canby High School to recruit a student to its board, demonstrating its commitment to fostering interest and involvement in local history from among Canby’s youth. In addition to its regular exhibits, the Canby Historical Society hosts several special events and programs throughout the year. These include a spring and fall flea market that brings the community together and helps raise funds. On the Fourth of July, the Society hosts a festive pancake breakfast, and in December, it organizes a St. Nick Day, complete with photos with Santa and holiday cheer.

The Canby Depot Museum is open from Thursday through Sunday, between 1pm and 4pm. Please note that the museum remains closed during major holidays and for the months of January and February. The admission fee is a nominal $2.00, while children aged 12 and under and members have free entry.

The Canby Depot Museum is located at 888 N.E. Fourth Ave, Canby. For more information, call them at 503-266-6712 or email Visit Facebook for updates on new exhibits and events.