SALEM EVENTS

PHOTOS: A rainy celebration of sheep, archaeology

Visitors to Willamette Heritage Center Saturday gathered under umbrellas and tents as they roamed the grounds of the historic mill for a celebration of all things fiber.

The annual Sheep to Shawl event drew hundreds of people to watch live sheep shearing and learn about the process of turning wool into yarn and clothing.

The mill’s historic exhibits were open to the public, along with the traveling PNW Community Coral Reef Project, a knit recreation of a marine ecosystem.

Visitors also got a chance to see the archaeological dig on the northwest side of the heritage center campus, where volunteers are working with state, city and tribal archaeologists to excavate the likely site of the former Methodist parsonage.

A living history demonstrator practices embroidery at Sheep to Shawl on Saturday, May 4, 2024 at Willamette Heritage Center (Ron Cooper/Salem Reporter)
Musicians perform at Sheep to Shawl on Saturday, May 4, 2024 at Willamette Heritage Center (Ron Cooper/Salem Reporter)
Spinners make thread Sheep to Shawl on Saturday, May 4, 2024 at Willamette Heritage Center (Ron Cooper/Salem Reporter)
A living history demonstrator practices embroidery at Sheep to Shawl on Saturday, May 4, 2024 at Willamette Heritage Center (Ron Cooper/Salem Reporter)
Abigail House, left, a Willamette University student, and Jessica Curteman, a state archaeologist, excavate the site of the former Methodist parsonage building at Public Archaeology Day on Saturday, May 4, 2024 at Willamette Heritage Center (Ron Cooper/Salem Reporter)
The PNW Community Coral Reef Project on display at Willamette Heritage Center on Saturday, May 4, 2024. (Rachel Alexander/Salem Reporter)
A bleached section of the PNW Community Coral Reef Project on display at Willamette Heritage Center on Saturday, May 4, 2024. (Rachel Alexander/Salem Reporter)
A rainy day for Sheep to Shawl on Saturday, May 4, 2024 at Willamette Heritage Center (Ron Cooper/Salem Reporter)

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Photographer Ron Cooper and his wife Penny moved to Salem in 1969 to take a job as photographer at the Oregon Statesman (later the Statesman Journal). Their three children, Monica, Kimberly, and Christopher, attended and graduated from Salem public schools. Cooper retired from the Statesman Journal in 2001 but, has continued his passion for photography in many ways, including as a photographer for the Salem Reporter.