Heritage Folk Blog

Our Trip to Zena

Little Belle at the Valley

There was a small town in Oregon named Zena. It's barely there now, among the hills outside of Salem, but you can find it if you know what you're looking for. It's a good thing we visited the spot when my grandmother was still alive because it's the kind of thing that can get lost through the years. My great-great-great Grandmother Arvazena came across the Oregon Trail as a young mother, herding her 2-yr. old daughter, little Belle, along the way. She also gave birth to her second child on the trip. She was only 18. She wrote about her account many years later, lucky for us, so we have a glimpse into her journey. She and her husband, Daniel Jackson Cooper settled in the Willamette Valley where the little town of Zena was named after her, and her sister Melzena. On a lovely spring day a couple years ago, Mom and I got in the car for a road trip to Zena. We were rewarded with a fine day in rural Oregon and enjoyed walking in Arvazena's footsteps, roaming the grounds of the little white church where her husband pastored, touching the gravestones of our ancestors, and imagining their joy at reaching such a beautiful spot after an arduous trip. Her story has always been an inspiration for us, and my mother and I decided to write a children's book of her story, using clothespin dioramas to illustrate of course. It has been a fun journey for us as well! We hope to make the story available soon.

Welcome to the Heritage Folk Blog!

Clothespin Museum Banner

Welcome to our new website where we'll entertain thoughts on exploring our heritage through crafts. This web stuff is a huge learning curve for me because I'm really much more comfortable with some glue, scissors, fabric and paint! However, I will say there is some creativity involved in all this, too, and it's been fun to think of the possibilities available to us now.

My mother and I love history and especially love interpreting that into clothespin dolls, of all things?!. I suppose we've always both loved dolls, and especially miniature ones. Clothespin dolls are such a nice little size, and can be made easily if you like and much more complicated if you want something special.They are also the perfect craft for kids as supplies are inexpensive, you can complete a doll in a short session, and you can even learn a little history along the way. We even have a little Clothespin Museum and Craft Shop at Knappton Cove (where the other museum is located www.knapptoncoveheritagecenter.org) and we hope you'll visit if you're in the area.

I'll be writing about things that inspire our designs, whether it's a trip to a local museum, an interesting book, something we see on the internet, one of our 'road trips,' or who knows what! So, come along for the journey.

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