Dan and Mae Hitchcock

Corvallis Gazette-Times

Sunday, September 5, 2010


Bounty of the County


Alsea Artisans Market part of weekend fundraising event




ALSEA – Local artists Dan and Mae Hitchcock generally don’t participate in artisans markets, but the past two years, the Alsea couple have made an exception. 

    “We usually don’t do stuff like this,” Mae said at her booth at the Alsea Artisans Market, “But Dan and I met at a street festival 28 years age, so these types of events are special to us.”

    On Saturday, the Hitchcock's were offering face-painting and portraits at Clark Park, next to John Boy’s Alsea Mercantile. They were joined by six vendors selling baked goods, produce, jewelry, and quilts.

     The Alsea Artisans Market is one of 20 destinations on this weekend’s Bounty of Benton County, a fundraising event that showcases some of the county’s rural attractions. Passports, which cost $15, are good for discounts and free items at each stop on the tour.

    Last year’s Bounty of Benton County featured 15 locations and raised more than $3,000 for Strengthening Rural Families, an organization that provides parenting support and classes in small communities around the county.

     John Clark, co-owner of John Boy’s Alsea Mercantile, said he wasn’t sure if the artisans market results in more business for his store, even though a free wine tasting was offered Saturday at John Boy’s by Philomath-based Pheasant Court Winery.

    However, Clark said the market brings more people to Alsea, which increases the small towns visibility.

   “It gets people to stop here, at least, instead of buzzing on through,” Clark said, “They slow down and get a chance to smell the roses.”

    Or baked goods, Pamela Turpen, owner of Turpen Family Farms in Alsea, was selling fruit pies, tarts, cookies and zucchini bread.  She was participating in the artisans market for the first time.

    “I’m looking forward to this,” Turpen said, “I didn’t do the Corvallis Farmers Market this year, so this will help.”

     Leslie Hockema, who was helping his wife, Sandy, sell peanut butter balls, said he hoped the presence of the artisans market would encourage motorists to take their foot off the gas pedal.

     “It’s 25 miles per hour through town.” Hockema said. “But people are always flying through here at 45 miles per hour and more.  Maybe seeing this here will

make them slow down.”

For more information, call the Hitchcock's 541-487-4231, e-mail Hitchcockmastercode@gmail.com