Historic Preservation Month

MAY 2022 Historic Preservation Month
This year's theme is
More Than Ever, This Place Matters

Some events require registration, all are free  KEEP CHECKING BACK AS UPDATES MAY OCCUR TILL THE END OF MAY
This is a collaboration by the Benton County and Corvallis Historic Resources Commissions. All events are operated by volunteers – please remember to thank them for their service.

Event Program PDF
Architectural Treasure Hunt - Explore our beautiful county and find the treasured historic structures we have pictured in this hunt. 
Enjoy Spectres of Benton County Past, which was created through the fantastical imagination and technological wizardry of Adrienne Fritze and Mark van der Pol of Conundrum House, a local Corvallis business dedicated to the art of fun through games. Spectres is historically factual with a twist of fiction. Enjoy the first season of Spectres during the month of April – spectres.conundrumhouse.com The second season of Spectres starts May 7th and a new episode will release on the 14th and the 21st, with a culminating grand finale at the Corvallis Museum on the 28th.

Date     Day               Event

2          Monday          Franklin School Neighborhood & Tree Walking Tour - MOVED TO THE 16TH

4          Wednesday    South Central Park Walking Tour
Time: 4 pm Meet: In front of the Art Center at 700 SW Madison Ave
Guide: Doug Eaton
Quality historic resources enrich this pedestrian-friendly tour.  See Gothic and Colonial Revival, Italianate, American Foursquare,Craftsman,and High-Style Bungalow homes, while learning about adaptive use.  This walk begins at an 1889 church (now an art center) and includes an 1892 Grocery (now a home).

7          Saturday         Willamette Grange Open House
Time: 2-5 pm Location: 27555 Greenberry Road
Guide: Jay Sexton
Tours of the Historic Willamette Community and Grange Hall built in 1923. Walk through this lovely Hall and see the restoration progress, most notably the new roof structure. Tours are free and will take about 15 minutes, starting at the hour, 20 minutes after the hour and 40 minutes after the hour.

8          Sunday           OSU Walking Tour, Mothers’ Day
Time: 2–4 pm Meet: east side of Benton Hall, SW Pioneer Pl, OSU Campus, Corvallis
Guide: Larry Landis
The tour is limited to 25 persons; for reservations email tro2005@gmail.com
OSU is Corvallis' most recent historic district with more than 80 contributing structures and it’s the only Oregon Campus listed in the National Register of Historic Places.  Learn about the development of campus structures, and early Olmsted and Taylor campus plans, quads, and viewsheds.  Appreciate the most comprehensive collection of distinctive John V. Bennes-designed buildings.

14     Saturday             Four Open House Events

Independent School
Time: 10 am - 1 pm  Location: 25381 SW Airport Ave, corner of Airport and Fern Roads, Philomath
Guides: members of the Independent Community Club
Visit one of Benton County’s few remaining one-room school houses. The Independent School was built in 1919, and is a good example of a Craftsman style schoolhouse with a Bungalow floor plan.  Ask to hear the school bell ring.

Adair Barracks Building
Time: 11 am - 2 pm  Location: 6030 William R Carr Avenue, Adair, in the barracks building 
Guides: members of the group Adair Living History
In 2010, the City of Adair Village took possession of two of the few remaining structures from the World War II-era Camp Adair cantonment. One of the buildings is being restored as an interpretive center. Come and learn about local and military history of the camp.

Palestine Church
Time: 11 am - 2 pm  Location: 7273 NE Arnold Ave, Adair 
Guides: members of the Willing Workers, a group organized in 1916 by farm women to provide a support system for women and families who lived in isolated rural areas
The Palestine Baptist Church was built in 1883 and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Come share the memories of the ladies who used and maintained the structure over many decades until ownership was transferred to Benton County and it was moved to Adair Village.

Lumos Winery – Home of the Historic H bar H Dude Ranch
Time: Tours on the hour at 3, 4, and 5 PM Location: 24000 Cardwell Hill
Guide: winery owner PK McCoy
The tasting room is in the old dude ranch barn and that is all you normally get to see of the old barn, but for these tours you will get access to the back room. You also get to tour one of the original ranch cabins. And taste some wine while you visit.

15        Sunday           North Central Park Walking Tour
Time: 1 pm  Meet: SW 8th St and NW Monroe Ave, Corvallis – southwest corner in front of the Presbyterian Church
Guide: Courtney Cloyd
Diverse historic resources and walkability mark this downtown neighborhood tour. See Gothic, Queen Anne, Italianate, Colonial Revival and Arts & Crafts bungalow homes. The walk begins at the 1909 Presbyterian Church and includes a 1940s courtyard apartment and Corvallis' first college fraternity house.

16         Monday          Franklin School Neighborhood & Tree Walking Tour 
Time: 2-3 pm Meet: Franklin School, 750 NW 18th St, east entrance, Corvallis
Guide:  Lyn Larson
Discover the beauty above you! Celebrate the enduring companionship of heritage trees in the historic Franklin School Neighborhood.  This one-hour guided tour includes the 1889 Franklin Square Park, Corvallis' oldest park and home to more than 15 different tree species. 

17        Tuesday          Benton County Courthouse Tour
Time: 12 pm  Meet: 120 NW 4th St, Corvallis, meet inside at the elevator
Guide: Jill Van Buren    Limited to 15 people, Jill is willing to schedule another tour if more people are interested  Sign up with Inga.Williams@co.benton.or.us
This requires going through the security scanner, do not bring in any sharp objects and you may wish to leave your purse in the car as a time saver.
Tour this 1888 beauty. The oldest courthouse in the state that has been in continuous operation, this courthouse is a regional icon and graces the logos of both Benton County and the City of Corvallis.  The interior and furnishings have been respectfully preserved.                             

21        Saturday         Owens Farm History Walk
Time: 9 am – 12 pm  Meet: registered attendees will receive directions and details on where and when to meet
Register at: Proof of Covid-19 vaccination is required, register here: https://greenbeltlandtrust.org/events/
Join Greenbelt Land Trust and explore the fascinating history of Owens Farm. Learn about the Knotts-Owens family, their influence in Benton County, uses of the farm over time, and hear about the exciting vision for this property in the future. This property is rich with cultural history and accessible by guided tours only. This is a free and family-friendly walk.

22        Sunday           College Hill West Walking Tour
12 pm  Meet: Intersection of NW Jackson Ave and NW Arnold Way, Corvallis
Guide: Dan Brown
The College Hill West Historic District contains over 250 houses dating from 1905 through 1945, and the neighborhood was developed by the builders of OSU. This tour will focus on bungalow, colonial and Tudor architecture, and the original local personalities connected to the homes and the college.  

25        Wednesday    Historic Downtown Corvallis Walking Tour
Time: 1-3 pm  Meet: Corvallis Museum, 411 SW2nd St.
Guide: Mary Gallagher
The tour will begin in the education room with a 20 minute quick history of Corvallis prior to the walk.  Once a shipping point, warehouse district, and industrial area, today's Riverfront Park honors downtown Corvallis' early past.  Appreciate the sites that built the early local economy.  Linger where historic rehabilitation projects fostered dynamic retail growth along 2nd Street.  Learn how downtown changed, and yet remained the same inviting place to meet friends, dine, shop and conduct business. 

Time: 6 – 8 pm  Location: Corvallis Museum, 411 SW 2nd St., downtown Corvallis
Keynote Speaker: WILLIAM G. ROBBINS, Emeritus Distinguished Professor of History at Oregon State University, will speak on the topic of his soon-to-be published book about the history of Benton County.  Books in publication can be found at this website  https://osupress.oregonstate.edu/author/william-robbins
Awards will be presented to those persons in our community that are exemplary historic preservationist and educators. Savory bites and non-alcoholic drinks will be served.

27        Friday              Samuel Whiteside Family House and Barn Tour
Time: 5:00 pm   Location: 6154 Bellfountain Road
Guide: Autumn Peterson
Tour of the Samuel Whiteside 1880s house and 1901 Skipton barn. We'll go over the basic history of the structures and farm outbuildings, discussing the plan for their restoration, preservation and adaptive re-use. In the case of the Skipton barn, when is your building too far gone to save? We'll discuss how to determine the pros and cons of saving such a barn, what options one could consider in salvaging, re-using or re-building. We will not be able to go inside these structures as they are very unstable but we can see inside to the barn and move around and discuss structural issues, ideas on how to best preserve the history and character of these vernacular structures that were a part of early Benton County settler history. 

28        Saturday         Spectres of Benton County Finale
Time: 5:30 pm  Location: Corvallis Museum, 411 SW 2nd St., downtown Corvallis
Registration will be required.

29       Sunday            Van Buren Bridge Video and Guided Tour
Guide: Roz Keeney
This historic structure will be removed and destroyed, most likely this year. Roz has been a tireless advocate for saving the bridge. Please join her in learning the history of the bridge and getting an up front tour of its unique features before it disappears forever.
Video viewing time: 1 pm  Location: Majestic Theater, Community Room
"Van Buren Bridge, A Visit From the Past." The video presents a story about two ghosts returning to Corvallis. They both magically materialize in front of the Van Buren Bridge at the same time. Mary Oppen, a young artist, is in the process of painting the bridge when a man materializes in front of her and blocks her view of the bridge. The man is C. B. (Mac) McCullough, Oregon’s most famous bridge engineer. They begin to talk and discover that they both had lived in Corvallis when they were young and were drawn to the bridge at this time because they had heard that the bridge was going to be torn down.  They had fond memories of Corvallis and the bridge and needed to see it and relive their young lives before it was gone. They take a walk across the bridge and talk about their lives. As they walk Mary talks about the history of Corvallis and Mac talks about the uniqueness of the bridge. They walk across the bridge then disappear into the sunset.
Guided Tour time: 2 pm  Meet: in front of Kinetic Bagel, 250 NW 1st St


For more information contact:
Inga Williams, Benton County Planning Dept. 541-766-6819 inga.williams@co.benton.or.us

Preservation Month activities are funded, for the most part, with a grant from the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Oregon State Historic Preservation Office, Certified Local Government Program


Digital versions of self-guided tour pamphlets. These include more than are linked below. 

The Benton County Driving Tour is linked below under Supporting Documents.

VIDEO TOURS - Now on YouTube
Willamette Grange
Hull-Oakes Lumber Mill
Benton County Courthouse Basement area and Exterior
Benton County Courthouse, Third Floor and Bell Tower
Benton County Courthouse, Second Floor
Benton County Courthouse, Front Facade and First Floor
Historic Sidewalk Markers - self-guided tour pamphlet
 South  Central Park Tour - self-guided tour pamphlet
North Central Park Tour - self-guided tour pamphlet
Franklin School Neighborhood Tree Tour - self-guided tour pamphlet