The signs are up in Brownsville and the Historic Oregon Film Trail continues! Three signs honoring Brownsville’s starring role as a location in “Stand By Me” were offically unveiled May 22nd.
The Historic Oregon Film Trail, designed to showcase iconic and interesting film locations in the state, will be unveiling three more signs in Brownsville, May 22, 2019 at 2:00 PM. The signs mark three different filming locations related to the now, classic feature film, “Stand By Me,” and will feature facts and anecdotes about the film. Join us for coffee, tea, blueberry scones and blueberry muffins at the site of the famous blueberry pie-eating contest.
Dating back to 1909, Oregon has a rich and interesting film history with over 450 feature films & television shows that have utilized thousands of locations around the state for a wide variety of production backdrops. Today, Oregon continues to be a destination for creative media producers from around the world. From Emmy winning television productions, to Oscar nominated feature films; world-class animated films to award winning interactive games – Oregon is a brand unto itself.
Oregon Film, in partnership with the Oregon Made Creative Foundation, created the Historic Oregon Film Trail featuring signage located at strategic points around the state. The creation of the Trail aims to strengthen the correlation between the film/TV industry, economic development, and tourism. The signs in Brownsville were a collaborative partnership between the Oregon Film Office (partnered with the Oregon Made Creative Foundation,) the City of Brownsville, the Linn County Historical Museum and the Brownsville Chamber of Commerce, who collectively provided funding for the signs.
Fans of “Stand By Me” have been coming to Brownsville since the movie was released in 1986 however it wasn’t’ until 2007 that the Brownsville community held the first event to commemorate the film. The “Stand By Me” fan base has expanded by leaps and bounds since then . In the early days of Stand By Me Day the average visitor count was 100 to 200. After the 30th Anniversary (which had over 3,000 fans) the visitors average 500 on that one day. Stand By Me Day takes place every July 23rd and is sponsored by the Linn County Historical Museum. The event brings fans from all around the world but the country most represented throughout the year, is Japan. The film takes place in 1959, in the fictitious town of Castle Rock, a year and time period that many Japanese tourists appreciate which adds to the interest in traveling to Brownsville to visit sites from this popular classic film. Tourists can wander through the town on a self-guided “Stand By Me” tour looking at original filming locations, many of which have not changed since shooting took place in 1985 (and was released in 1986.)
Three Historic Oregon Film Trail signs that have been installed at key locations and points of interest;
- Outside City Hall where six different locations from the film can be viewed, including the scene where the character, “Vern” finds a penny in the street.
- On the wall of the Linn Country Historical Museum. While the museum was not one of the filming locations, the Linn County Museum Friends, Inc. sponsors the Stand By Me Day “We are the place visitors come to find information about the movie, pick up souvenirs and find the Walking Tour map, so it seemed like a natural fit.” LCMF President Roger Geeting.
- At the Brownsville Pioneer Park where the film’s well-known and loved “Blueberry Pie Eating Contest” took place. The scene featured nearly 100 Brownsville residents as extras. After filming the production company donated many picnic tables for use in the park.
“The city of Brownsville has sometimes been called Mayberry, or Stars Hollow, or in this case, Castle Rock. We don’t mind the comparisons; we are a friendly small town who are happy to welcome our many “Stand By Me” visitors from all over the globe. They are a happy group who love to wander the town, visit the businesses and tell their stories, even if we don’t speak their language. The movie and its fans have been a long term boon to this little town.” Linn County Historical Museum Coordinator Mandy Cole.
“Oregon’s rich film and television history is ingrained in the state’s cultural make-up. Iconic filming locations are, literally, spread throughout the state and both Brownsville and “Stand By Me” are centerpieces in our collective effort to recognize this. We are grateful to all of our partners that helped make this deserved recognition possible.” Tim Williams, Executive Director, Oregon Film.
“To this day Brownsville still looks very similar to the fictitious “Castle Rock” and it is very cool to see movie fans faces when they see this “live movie set” still in action. It’s an interesting, unique blend of nostalgia, make-believe and reality existing in the same place.” Scott McDowell, Brownsville City Manager.
““Stand By Me Day” has been a wonderful addition to our already wonderful community of Brownsville. It continues to bring many visitors, to walk the streets, visit the bridge and take photos of familiar scenes in the movie. Our City Hall, Pioneer Park and many other locations were featured in scenes from “Stand By Me.” So, come on world, we are ready for you!” Brownsville Mayor, Don Ware.
Phase two of the Historic Oregon Film Trail will encompass a digital interface that the many Historic Oregon Film Trail partners will be able to utilize for their own promotions as well as to entertain and educate visitors and Oregonians alike.
The Astoria-Warrenton Area Chamber of Commerce and the Oregon Film Office developed the initial Historic Oregon Film Trail concept and identified the Astoria movie locations as the first signs to be rolled out on the Trail earlier this year. (The Oregon Coast Visitors Association provided additional funding for these signs.) Additionally, Oregon State Parks partnered with Oregon Film with the Oregon Made Creative Foundation to install a sign at Gleneden Beach State Recreation Site. More signs are in the process of being installed in other locations around the state.
About Oregon Made Creative Foundation:
The OMCF is a program of The Charitable Partnership Fund, a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation. It was founded through the efforts of Oregon Film (a/k/a the Oregon Governor’s Office of Film & Television) as a stand alone non-profit foundation focused on providing opportunity and grants for #OregonMade creators through strategic partnerships and creative connections. www.oregonmade.org
About the Historic City of Brownsville:
Brownsville is a small town of 1700 people located in the southern Willamette Valley of western Oregon, founded in the 1840’s. Downtown Brownsville is a wonderful collection of 1880’s to 1920’s buildings with many historic houses dating back to the 1850’s. While conveniently located within 25 miles of Eugene, Albany, Corvallis, Sweet Home and Lebanon, Brownsville is relatively isolated and has maintained a true “small-town” feel, which is hard to find today. The historic downtown shopping district with cafes and antique stores, as well as beautiful 26-acre Pioneer Park surrounded by the Calapooia River, are attractions, which draw visitors from around the area and around the world.
About the Linn County Historical Museum:
Also known by its original name, the Brownsville Historic Pioneer Museum, it is now the Linn County Historical Museum, located in Brownsville, Oregon. Founded in 1962, the Museum’s exhibits cover the history of Linn County from its earliest days until the early 20th century with our main focus on Pioneer History. The museum itself is housed in the original train Depot and six boxcars. Also part of the museum is the elegant 1881 Moyer House, open for tours most weekends and by request. The museum collections cover the lives, work, and cultures of the Native People, Oregon Trail immigrants, Black and White pioneer settlers, and the early families and communities of Linn County. Additional exhibits are the Brownsville Mill Race (the earliest source of local industrial hydro-power), the Brownsville Woolen Mill and a charming Main Street area. Of particular interest is the Covered Wagon that carried the Drinkard family across the Oregon Trail in 1865, one of the few remaining wagons still intact that made the trip.
The Museum is part of the Linn County Parks Department.
About the Brownsville Chamber of Commerce:
First settled in 1846, we are a small town, with fascinating people, classic houses, picket fences, old fashioned front porches and a lazy river that winds through our beautiful city park. Experience a leisurely pace in our charming shops, memorable restaurants, and unique museum. You’ll find us nestled in the foothills of the Cascades in the Mid-Willamette Valley, just off I-5, an easy drive from Portland, Eugene, or Corvallis. The Brownsville Chamber of Commerce invites you, your family or your business to our friendly community, where life is sweet and the welcome is warm.
About Stand By Me Day:
Every year Stand By Me Day is held on July 23rd. Fans come from all over the world to attend the celebration. Linda McCormick, Event Chair, notes that fans are passionate about this film as well as the 1950’s era, with its nostalgic music and sensibilities of that time period. The day revolves around walking tours, a fan forum, blueberry pie, music, a cruise in, a raffle, costume contest, fifties games in the park, all with a small town fifties flavor as only Brownsville can do it. For more information please contact the Linn County Historical Museum 541-466-3390 or [email protected]. The website is linnmuseum.com.