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News Release
Close up of Wisteria Braid
Close up of Wisteria Braid
Oregon Heritage Tree to be dedicated in Brownsville (Photo) - 04/17/24

(Brownsville, Oregon) The Travel Information Council and its volunteer Oregon Heritage Tree Committee invite the public to participate in the induction of the Moyer House Linden Wisteria into the Oregon Heritage Tree program. The event will take place on Friday, April 26 at noon on the front grounds of the Historic Moyer House at 204 N Main St, Brownsville, Oregon 97327.

The Moyer House Linden / Wisteria, scientific name Tilia americana/ Wisteria floribunda, is the 83rd Oregon Heritage Tree, a designation that recognizes trees with statewide or national significance. The linden tree is 90 inches in circumference and the wisteria vine 135 inches. The pair is approximately 55 ft tall and estimated to be 143 years old. 

Speakers at the event include representatives from Linn County Parks and Recreation and Craig Leech, chair of the Oregon Heritage Tree Committee. 

The Moyer House wisteria and its companion linden tree display a unique partnership that have become a landmark to the Brownsville community, as well as a unique addition to the Oregon Heritage Tree Program. The two were planted concurrently in the northeast corner of the Moyer House front garden as seen in historic photos starting in 1882. The tree and vine are entwined in one another with the wisteria relying on the linden for support. In the spring, wisteria blossoms are profuse, popping out everywhere amongst the linden branches. 

Elizabeth Brown (1841-1922) arrived in the Calapooia Valley via the 1846 Blakely-Brown wagon train, captained by her uncle James Blakely. John Moyer (1829-1904), a carpenter from Ohio, arrived by horseback in 1852 after a journey of just three months. The two married in 1857 and raised their children in a humbler home on the property where the much grander Moyer House now stands. John gained wealth in lumber, cattle, a sash and door factory, and early businesses investments. 

They built the showpiece 1881 Moyer House to display their success. Formal landscaping adorned the front garden, which included the linden and wisteria, facing Main Street. The tree and vine have grown to enormous size over the course of 142 years. The Moyer House was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974 as an example of an Italianate home. 

“More than 130 years later, the two venerable specimens dominate the property, reflecting the passing seasons and reminding visitors of the impacts of the immense 1880s westward migration and subsequent transformation of the valley,” said Stacey Whaley, Linn County Parks Director. 

Oregon Heritage Tree Committee Chair Craig Leech encourages the public to visit the Moyer House Linden and wisteria. “Visiting an Oregon Heritage Tree is a chance to learn localized Oregon history and honor the vital role trees play in giving character to our urban spaces and building community pride. The Moyer House Linden / Wisteria has become a landmark in Brownsville and a unique addition to the Oregon Heritage Tree Program.”

The tree dedication will take place and noon and kick-off an afternoon open house at the historic Moyer House to honor the completed restoration of the home. Volunteers will be on hand from noon until 4pm to answer visitor questions about the house. The event is free and open to the public.  

The Moyer House Linden Wisteria can be viewed on city property at 204 N Main St, Brownsville, Oregon 97327. Tours of the interior of the house begin in the museum lobby at specific hours on Saturdays. Updated tour times and information can be found at: https://linnparks.com/museums/the-moyer-house/

The Oregon Heritage Tree Program is the first state-sponsored heritage tree program in the country. It was established in 1995 to increase public awareness of the important contribution of trees to Oregon’s history and the significant role they play in the quality of our daily life. The program is administered by the Oregon Travel Information Council and a committee of dedicated volunteers from across the state. For more information regarding the Heritage Tree program visit www.oregontic.com/oregon-heritage-trees

View more news releases from Oregon Travel Information Council.