Story and photos by

Rusty Rae

If, as poet William Cowper wrote, “Variety is the spice of life,” then Aurora, Oregon, represents a zestful opportunity for vintage collectors of all flavors.

Located midway between Portland and Salem, a short drive off I-5, the city brings together a slice of Oregon state history and an eclectic group of classic collectable stores which many antique collectors find is a slice of antique heaven.

Originally known as the Aurora Colony, or Aurora Mills, it was one of the most successful religious communes west of the Rockies. Founded in 1856 on the Pudding River by Wilhelmina Keil, a German immigrant, the Aurora Colony at one time was home to more than 600 souls who followed the basic Christian ideals of Kiel that were driven by the Christian Reformation that swept the country at the time.


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