▶️ Little Did I Know: Kelly Cannon-Miller and Deschutes Historical Museum

This is the second to last “Little Did I Know” that I’ll have the honor of presenting to Central Oregon for now.

And leaving a series like this behind, that has meant so much to me and has resonated with the viewers, wouldn’t be complete without me giving a nod to the woman who has almost become my co-host.

Kelly Cannon-Miller, executive director of the Deschutes Historical Museum.

She’s the real deal, folks.

“I have a masters in Public History from Portland State University. I came out of Portland State University and working with the Oregon Historical Society and the National Park Service for my thesis,” Kelly says.

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Kelly and the museum have been a gold mine of stories for me and it’s a great place to get some entertaining yet informative glimpses into what built this area that we love, because they have a passion for what they do.

“Nothing is ever really lost in history for me. It’s just us remembering them. There’s a difference. So being able to bring stories forward is always fun and for me being able to point people to things that make them say, ‘A-ha!'”

I asked Kelly to tell me a little bit about the place that helped launch “Little Did I Know.”

“We’re standing in front of the Deschutes Historical Museum which is operated by the Deschutes County Historical Society and it is the historic Reid School building built in 1914.”

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Brothers George and Ed Brosterhous were contracted to build the school, but George made a fatal mistake that would align him with the history of the school, and Central Oregon and “Little Did I Know” forever.

Some say he haunts the building to this day.

“Unfortunately, it came down to one Brosterhous brother in the construction business. George was on the roof in June of 1914. No one was around. The structure was complete, but the stairwell had not been finished. Something happened and George fell from the roof into the unfinished stairwell and they found him deceased at the bottom. So, George Brosterhous is our resident ghost.”

After the Reid School ran its course, the local government found itself getting ready for a big nationwide historical celebration in 1976 and decided it was time to get serious about history in Deschutes County.

“The County Commissioner got together and said we need to be working on our bicentennial plans. Part of that became working with the American Association of University Women – AAUW – great group, still in existence, to form a Historical Society.”

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The wheels were in motion for what visitors come to see today.

“The school district transferred the school to the county. They turned around to the Historical Society and said ‘would you like to open the museum?’ and the brand new Historical Society said ‘Yes’ and we opened July 4, 1980.”

The museum is not just a dusty place. They serve not only as our historians and record keepers, they bring amazing stories to life in their exhibits, many of which have been featured in this lucky guy’s stories.

“We’re having fun moving into that area where we’re exploring new stories more things for you know people to feature on ‘Little Did I Knows.'”

If you find yourself jonesing for a little bit of “A-ha,” take a trip on down to the historical museum. Tell them that guy from “Little Did I Know” sent ya.

So where is Scott going? He recently got engaged and is relocating with his soon-to-be bride.


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