See the full AWARE Food Bank Panel – pdf

At 152 Arthur Street, Woodburn, history pulses through every corner, telling a story of community and transformation. The site, now the proud location of the newly rebuilt AWARE Food Bank, has witnessed significant events and housed enterprises that reflect the evolving needs and spirit of the local community.

Early Beginnings: Emmett & Cornell Farm Implements and Plumbing (1910-1949)

The story begins in 1910 when E.G. Emmett and F.W. Cornell established their farm implement and plumbing business at 152 Arthur Street. Their enterprise grew from a simple machinery company they purchased in 1908. During World War II in the early 40’s, when larger machine industries focused on supporting war efforts, Emmett and Cornell ensured that the cars and machinery of Woodburn continued to operate. They managed to keep the local equipment running despite the scarcity of new supplies, showcasing their ingenuity and dedication to the community.

Transition to Kilian Smith’s Farm Equipment (1949-1972)

In 1949, Kilian Smith moved in, turning it into a hub for farm equipment sales. They primarily sold International Harvester products but also stocked other essential items needed by local farmers. This was a crucial period, as the equipment supplied by Smith helped replace the machines that had been continuously patched up throughout the years of World War II.

The Era of Oregon Hope and Help Center Inc. (1972-2012)

The building’s purpose evolved again in 1972 when it became home to the Oregon Hope and Help Center Inc. For four decades, this thrift store served the Woodburn public, providing affordable goods and a sense of community. For four decades, it provided affordable goods and a sense of community, embodying its promise of hope and assistance.

A New Chapter with AWARE Food Bank (2012-Present)

Since the 1970s, the AWARE Food Bank has played a vital role in Woodburn, operating from various locations. In 2012, they moved into the historic building on Arthur Street. Unfortunately, a devastating random act of arson in 2021 destroyed the building, marking a challenging time for the organization and the community it served. However, true to the resilient spirit of Woodburn, the space was rebuilt, and in 2024, AWARE Food Bank reopened its doors at 152 Arthur Street.

Today, it continues to serve the community, providing essential food support and embodying a legacy of service and resilience.

Celebrating Continuity and Resilience

The history of 152 Arthur Street mirrors the strength and adaptability of our Woodburn community. From farm equipment to thrift store to food bank, this location has been a beacon of support and service, embodying the values that define us.

As you step into the newly rebuilt AWARE Food Bank, you’re not just entering a building; you’re stepping into a history that spans over a century. This is a place where the past meets the present, and together, we build a future of hope and support for all. We invite you to join us in continuing this legacy, ensuring that 152 Arthur Street remains a cornerstone of the Woodburn community for years to come.