Award-winning Class Finishing Fifth Year

It was no joke when our Trails Across Time Living History Immersion Program teacher Elaine Butler traveled to Salem on April 1st. The occasion was the Willamette Heritage Center’s annual Heritage Awards Banquet. The Education award had four deserving nominees, but the Philip Foster Farm’s “schoolmarm” was its winner.

The award recognizes programs, projects and other endeavors that have provided high quality history-focused educational opportunities to area residents for any age group or a wide range of age groups.

Other nominees were Tammy Wild of the Keizer Heritage Center, Phyllis Quanbeck of the Children’s Educational Theatre, and the Yamhill County Historical Society & Museum

The award was presented by WHC’s education coordinator, Kathleen Schulte. Although it is unusual for a winner to be located so far away from Salem, Trails Across Time (TAT) attracts students from the Salem area, who consider the trip worthwhile for the unique program offered.

Trails Across Time middle and high school students work together each year in an accredited school program that gives them both academic skills and real-world experience in public speaking, customer service, and non-profit management. The program is a collaborative venture between the Philip Foster Farm and Summit Learning Charter, which provides online and in-person classes for K-12 students in Oregon.

Enrollment for the 2016-17 school year will open in May, and is limited.

Closed, But Not Standing Still!

October 31st was the end of our fall season, but there is still lots of exciting activity to report:

1) New Programming Director Jennifer Goldman is on board, and working to connect the Farm with county, state, and local resources and organizations.

2) Plans are progressing for the move of the Lucy House  across Highway 211 in 2016, to join other original buildings on the Philip Foster Farm.

3) Trails Across Time students will teach square-dancing classes at Summit Learning Charter on Thursday, November 12th, and at Winterhaven Charter School in Portland on November 19th, along with some Oregon Trail history.

4) Interested in historic saw mills? One of Estacada’s private mills will be moving to the Farm soon. Contact the Farm at if you’d like to help us bring this piece of lumber history to life.

5) JZH board member Gerri Morse passed away on October 24th. She was responsible for adding cookies and donuts to many school tours, creation of volunteer costumes, writing two children’s books about the Farm, and the development of the Historic Rose Ramble.  PigThatAsked small coverHer memorial service can be viewed at

Annual Meeting July 13, 2015

Our annual meeting will be held July 13th, 2015, at the Estacada Public Library. Arrive early to view our exhibit in the library, including photos and artifacts of Estacada’s founding families. Meeting begins at 7:00 in the Flora Room. We’ll be sharing exciting news about changes in our facilities, and looking for your feedback.

Members Visit More Sites FREE in 2015

For the 2015 year, members of the Jacknife-Zion-Horseheaven Historical Society receive free admission and/or store discounts at the following historic sites in Clackamas County:  End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive CenterMuseum of the Oregon TerritoryMount Hood MuseumBarclay House Gift Shop (at the McLoughlin House in Oregon City), and the Holmes House (aka Rose Farm).  Simply show your JZH membership card to receive your benefits at each site. These organizations have generously offered to extend their member benefits to our members, and we appreciate their collaboration!

School Tours, 2015

Welcome back, 4th graders! We’re looking forward to a full spring of Pioneer Life field trips. If you haven’t booked yours yet, there are still a few openings in the calendar. Take a look and make your reservation today. 

Trails Across Time 2015

The Trails Across Time Living History Immersion Program is growing like gangbusters! Students in grades 6-12 are learning, serving, teaching, dancing, and singing together for the benefit of the Philip Foster Farm.

Estacada Web Academy and the Philip Foster Farm are collaborating on this program that brings together learning and service for kids with a desire to mentor others.

Want to join us for fall of 2015? Apply at beginning in May of 2015.

TAT Students working at the Foster Farm

Trails Across Time at the Foster Farm

Spreading the Word

I don’t know how you found us, but we are doing our darndest to be the best historical site people have actually heard of – instead of the best little site NOBODY’s heard of.

Check out Philip Foster Farm on Yelp, radio promotions on The Buzz and The Wolf, Groupon, Facebook, Twitter, Google ads, collaborations with other organizations..  These are all attempts to let folks know we’re here to give them real fun and real Oregon Trail history.  

Summer Camp is Coming!

Your “Little House” Girl and “Tom Sawyer” boy will love this day camp! Why?

1) Activities that let children wallow in the past, dressing and living the part of pioneer children.

2) Taking the real responsibility children took in the 1800’s for their animals, gardens, family and friends.

3) Real crafts, like blacksmithing, fire-building, cooking over a fire, making ink and quill pens, and more.

4) Teaching other guests about the lives of the pioneers.

Click HERE to learn more!

I hope to see you on July 28th!

Mrs. Butler


Introducing New Staff

Spring 2014 has seen a spate of new hires, although the faces aren’t new to the Farm!

Kate Damon is doing outreach and administrative work for the Farm. She volunteered here at events in her youth before acquiring a degree in history and museum studies, and completing internships with the Portland Art Museum and Fort Vancouver. We’re very excited to have her back!

Caleb Wiles is also a former volunteer, now serving as tour leader and maintainer of lawns. You can often find him singing around the farm on the lawn mower, when the guests are gone.

Cassie Whitlock has graduated from volunteer to tour leader and closet mistress, keeping everyone appropriately dressed in period clothing, and her mother, Tammy Whitlock, has stepped up to serve in the gardens, supervising volunteer help, planning vegetable and flower beds, and overseeing the educational aspects of our botanicals.

Hannah Shaver is less visible, but her janitorial services are no less important to the Farm. She and her family have also served as tour volunteers, and we’re grateful for their continued care of these busy buildings.