Historic Preservation Month

MAY 2023 Historic Preservation Month
This year's theme is Windows into the Past - Views to the Future


This events schedule is a collaboration between the Benton County and Corvallis Historic Resources Commissions, the Albany Heritage Commission, and PreservationWORKS. All events are operated by volunteers – please thank them for their service. Benton County and Corvallis will be celebrating our volunteers at our annual ceremony, which takes place on May 25th at the Whiteside Theater this year.


Enjoy the third season of 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. You can still enjoy the first & second season of Spectres – spectres.conundrumhouse.com . The third season of Spectres starts May 6th and a new episode will release on May 13th and 20th, with a culminating in-person (super fun) grand finale at the Corvallis Museum on the 27th.


1st - 31st          Hidden History Scavenger Hunt 

3rd     Wednesday     Rayburn Addition Historic District Neighborhood Tour
           Time: 4 pm 
           Meet: NW corner of NW 6th and Harrison, Corvallis
           Guides: Doug Eaton and Frank Crotti
Explore one of Corvallis’s oldest neighborhoods, this easy walking tour features homes ranging from the historic 1856 Biddle-Porter House to a 1926 Spanish Revival stucco dwelling, and includes many unique and distinctive homes. You might also get a peak inside some of the homes.

6th     Saturday         An Introduction to Camp Adair’s Four Infantry Divisions
           Time: 10 AM - 2 pm
           Meet: 29555 Camp Adair Road
This event takes place at the Memorial Gardens at E.E. Wilson Wildlife Area. the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will be waiving the parking fee for this event. Four Adair Living History board members will provide information about the four infantry divisions that trained at Camp Adair in the early 1940s, prior to deployment to the European and the Pacific Theatres. We hope those of you who are interested in the history of the Adair area will join us. Please bring a friend who may not be aware of the second largest city in Oregon, Camp Adair, and the impact it had on the local communities and, more importantly, on World War II.         

6th     Saturday         Window Repair Workshop - Albany
           Time: 10 AM to 4 PM 
           Location: Albany   

6th and 7th     Saturday and Sunday    Historic Albany Airport Hanger Open House - Albany (see the new event on the 20th)
                         Time: 10 AM to 2 PM
                         Location: 525 Aviation Way SE
Come see the inside of the historic airport hanger. The hangar was built in 1920 and, besides its age, is impressive because of its full span of arched wood trusses that support the roof. The lattice trusses appear to be made of unfinished redwood and measure 80 feet by 100 feet and are 20 feet tall. The hangar was constructed on an elevated, 100-acre wheat field by U.G. Hayne for $7,435. It was moved to its current site when Interstate 5 was built in 1957-58. The location is on the original north-south runway. This open house event will feature exhibits regarding early Oregon Aviation and, weather permitting, historic aircraft! Parking is available at the airport.          

8th     Monday        Avery-Helm Historic District Tour
          Time: 4 PM
          Meet: corner of SW 5th St and SW Jefferson Ave
          Guide: Carolyn Ver Linden
The Avery-Helm neighborhood is part of the Joseph C. Avery land claim filed in 1845. It includes 9 full block and ten partial blocks laid out on a grid system. The historic houses remaining in the district present a window into the domestic aspects of the city's development from 1870 to 1949.   

9th    Tuesday       Owens Farmhouse Tour and History Walk
          Time: 4 PM - 7 PM
Please register for this event:  https://greenbeltlandtrust.org/event/owens-farm-past-and-future/
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 tour will include a brief look inside the historic Owens Farm House. Dress for the weather and bring snacks and water. We will tour the property at a leisurely pace for up to 1.5 miles including some slight elevation gain.           

9th     Tuesday        1st Avenue History Walking Tour - Albany 
6 PM to 8 PM
           Meet: Burkhart Square next to the Albany Civic Theater at 101st Ave SW - corner of Lyon and 1st
The tour is free but there is a suggested $5 donation per person to benefit the Monteith House. This event is sponsored by The Natty Dresser and is par of Albany's celebration fo National Historic Preservation Month. 

10th    Wednesday   2nd Avenue History Walking Tour - Albany
6 PM to 8 PM
           Meet: Burkhart Square next to the Albany Civic Theater at 101st Ave SW - corner of Lyon and 1st
The tour is free but there is a suggested $5 donation per person to benefit the Monteith House. This event is sponsored by The Natty Dresser and is par of Albany's celebration fo National Historic Preservation Month. 

13th    Saturday   Albany Tweed Ride 2023 - Albany
Arrive by 9:30 am to enter the costume and best bike contests. The ride starts at 10am.
           Meet: The Natty Dresser, 124 Broadalbin St SW
Don your finest tweed attire and join us for a bicycle tour of Albany’s National Historic Districts.  We will be stopping on occasion to talk about menswear and the historic buildings and sights along the way. The ride ends at the Deluxe Brewery where they will be hosting their annual Vintage Bicycle Show and Swap Meet - occurs from 1 PM to 5 PM - 635 NE Water Ave. Food and drink will be available for purchase at the brewery. You are welcome to bring a picnic lunch to the ride, as the brewery allows outside food. Come by early and meet with NW Mobile Bike Repair for a quick check-up. This event is organized by The Natty Dresser as part of Albany‘s celebration of National Historic Preservation Month.

13th    Saturday     Monteith House Living History Saturday - Albany
           Time: Classes start at 11:30 AM and 1 PM
           Location: 518 2nd Avenue
Please register for these classes: https://www.monteithhouse.org/
Step into 1850 on the second Saturday of each month at the Historic Monteith House. Exciting activities take place like, woodworking, pioneer doll making, baking biscuits, making butter, and so many other family friendly activities! 

13th    Saturday     Cumberland Church 131st Birthday Celebration - Albany
          Time: 12 PM to 2 PM
          Location: 1400 Santiam Road S.E.
Celebrate the Cumberland Church's 131st birthday, which has been repurposed as a community events center, and enjoy birthday cupcakes. Music will be offered by the Albany German Band. Visit the center's website to learn more about the church at https://www.albanycumberland.org

13th    Saturday (through June) Letitia Carson Legacy Project Traveling Exhibit
Opens at the Benton County Historical Society Corvallis Museum https://bentoncountymuseums.org/visit/ 
The exhibit includes photographs, historic maps, newspaper articles, published works, and other documentary evidence about Letitia Carson, her family and the Letitia Carson Legacy Project. 

14th    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; to reserve a spot on the tour 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.  

15th    Monday      1912 SE Young & Son Building Tour O(Natty Dresser) - Albany
3 PM
          Location: 124 Broadalbin St SW
The tour will include all floors of the building, artifacts from previous tenants, and behind the scenes at the Natty Dresser. You will learn about the building’s original owner and the architect who made it happen. After the tour, you can stick around and explore the Natty Dresser and get a sample of cheesecake from Beloved Cheesecakes at their location inside the building. This tour is put on by The Natty Dresser as part of Albany‘s celebration of National Historic Preservation Month.

16th    Tuesday     Jobs Addition Neighborhood Walking Tour
           Time: 2 PM, from one to two hours depending on questions
           Meet: SE corner of Franklin Square Park (15th and Polk)
           Guide: Lyn Larson
Architectural walking tour along 13th and 14th streets in Jobs Addition, one of Corvallis's oldest platted  neighborhoods. 

18th    Thursday   Benton County Historic Courthouse Tours - two tours - tours are limited to 20 people each so prior registration through the links below is required.
           Times: 10 AM https://www.eventbrite.com/e/historic-benton-county-courthouse-tour-tick...
                        2 PM  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/historic-benton-county-courthouse-tour-tick...
           Guide: Jill Van Buren 
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. 

19th    Friday      See the Lost Town of Orleans
           Time:  2 PM - 4 PM
           Meet: Meeting location and logistics provided upon registration
           Guides: Dave Eckert and Lyn Larson
Hike along the east bank of the Willamette River to the confluence of the Willamette and Marys Rivers and to the site of the lost town of Orleans, learn some of the area’s history The hike is about 1.5 miles on fairly flat, un-paved dirt road. Pre-registration by May 17th required and participation limited to the first 25 registrants. To pre-register or more information, contact hike leader, Dave Eckert at deckert@willamettewatershed.com.

20th    Saturday    Learn from an Expert - Structural Assessment of the Historic Albany Airport Hangar 
 10 AM to 12 PM
            Location: 525 Aviation Way SE
Mariapaola Riggio, PhD in Structural Engineering and Associate Professor in Wood design and Architecture at OSU, and her graduate students in the "Structural Health Assessment and Monitoring of Timber Structures" class will demonstrate a holistic approach to assessing structural health of historic wood buildings. Structural health assessment is crucial because a building can be likened to a living organism that undergoes changes during its service life due to factors such as the environment, loading history, maintenance, and use. While there has been a growing use of engineered wood systems in large span structures, a specific focus on the performance and reliability of timber structures is relatively recent. Moreover, interest in the conservation of the architectural timber heritage has also increased steadily over the last few decades. 
Please sign up so we get an idea of how many folks will attend. Thank you.

20th    Saturday     Fort Hoskins (Benton County Park) Interpretive Celebration Day & live music from Wild Hog in the Woods
            Time: Commander's House Tours from 10 AM to 2 PM   Music from 11 to 1
            Location: 38150 Ft. Hoskins Road
Join members of the Alliance for Recreation and Natural Areas (https://www.afrana.org) as they give you a tour inside the Commander's House and explain the history and importance of Fort Hoskins. https://www.afrana.org/programs/forthoskins 
Wild Hog in the Woods https://www.facebook.com/people/Wild-Hog-in-the-Woods/100063471583578/ 
While not an official part of our Historic Preservation Month events, please stop and visit Lumos Winery, 24000 Cardwell Hill Drive in Philomath, on your way to or away from Fort Hoskins. Lumos' tasting room is situated in the historic barn of the old H bar H Dude Ranch. They are open from noon to 6 PM.

20th   Saturday     Fairmont Grange Hall #252 Open House
12 PM to 4 PM
           Location: 845 Northwest North Albany Road
Tour this lovely historic Grange Hall, meet today's Grangers, and learn about the 150 years of Grange History in Oregon

20th    Saturday    Ribbon Cutting for the Cumberland Church Steeple
           Time: 12 PM to 2 PM
           Location: 1400 Santiam Road S.E.
The ribbon cutting, dedication of reinstallation of steeple will include A Cappella Choirs from South Albany High School and Calapooia Middle School. Mayor Alex Johnson II and other city officials will be there for ribbon cutting. Food and refreshments will be provided. This event is part of Albany’s celebration of National History Preservation Month. Visit their website to learn more about the church https://www.albanycumberland.org

21st      Sunday   Independent School Open House
            Time: 10 AM to 1 PM          
            Location: 25381 SW Airport Ave, corner of Airport and Fern Roads
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.  http://www.independentcommunityclub.org

21st     Sunday     Willamette Grange Hall - 100 year celebration AND Window Restoration Demonstrations
           Time: 1 PM - 4 PM  
           Location: 27555 Greenberry Road, Corvallis
Celebrate a nationally registered historic building undergoing restoration. https://www.willamettegrange.org  
Included are demonstration and training stations on historic window restoration and paint removal - LEARN FROM THE EXPERTS and come ready to get your hands dirty.

21st     Sunday     Green B. Smith/John Rickard Historic Home Open House
           Time: 1 PM - 4 PM    
           Location: 5570 SW 3rd Street, Corvallis
           Guides: the current owners, Larry and Rebecca Landis           

23rd    Tuesday    College Hill West Walking Tour
            Time: 1 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.  

24th     Wednesday     Corvallis Masonic Temple Tour - this tour is limited to 15 people so you must register to attend: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/620322831287
             Time: 5:30 to 6:30 
             Location: 306 SW Madison Ave.
You will meet in the Temple dining room for 15-30 min talk on Corvallis Masonic History. Then you will have a guided tour of Corvallis Masonic Temple. 

25th    Thursday       What-Is-That-Doohickey Tour
            Time: 5:30 PM
            Meet: Outside Calapooia Brewing on the Hill Street side
Have you ever wondered what to call that “thing” on a building?  If you have, this tour is for you!  The Friends of Historic Albany (FOHA) is going to lead a tour through four blocks of the Hackleman Neighborhood defining and explaining architectural elements along the way.  The walking tour will take about an hour and return to Calapooia Brewing.  The tour is free and will be followed by the FOHA annual meeting, all are invited.  Donations to FOHA are accepted.  For more detail and the latest information, visit https://www.facebook.com/Albany.FOHA/

             Time: 6 – 8 pm 
             Location: Whiteside Theater
             Keynote Speaker: Dr. David Brauner to speak on the history of Ft. Hoskins.
This year we will be celebrating our volunteers, specifically our tour guides. Please join us to express your appreciation of their volunteer work. PreservationWORKS and Corvallis Historic Resources Commission will also be presenting historic preservation awards.
Please sign up so that we can get an idea of how many people will be attending. 

26th      Friday          KOAC Radio Station Tours - three tours - tours are limited to 12 people each so prior registration through the links below is required.
           Location: 6500 Hyslop Road, Corvallis
            Times: 11 AM https://www.eventbrite.com/e/620288247847
                         1 PM https://www.eventbrite.com/e/620310143337
                        3 PM https://www.eventbrite.com/e/620311898587
KOAC is one of the oldest radio stations of its kind. The radio aired its first broadcast in 1923 - so this is a 100 year celebration of the signal, but not of the building which was constructed in 1942.  

27th     Saturday       Spectres of Benton County In-Person Finale
            Time: 5:00 PM to 7:30 PM
            Location: Corvallis Museum, 411 SW 2nd St., downtown Corvallis
            Registration is required. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/628656888677  

31st    Wednesday    Historic Downtown Corvallis Walking Tour and Mary Gallagher Retirement Party
           Time: 3 PM to 5 PM and 5 PM to 7-8 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.       
Please join us after the tour to celebrate Mary Gallagher at her Retirement Party.  The Retirement Party starts at 5 PM and takes place at the museum.

Preservation Month activities are funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Oregon State Historic Preservation Office, Certified Local Government Program. This year we also received a grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

For more information contact:

Inga Williams, Benton County Planning Division 541-766-6819


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