Map of McMinnville Oregon printed in 1906.
Map of McMinnville Oregon printed in 1906.
View of Third Street looking East. Early 1900s photo taken near the corner of present day Adams and Third Street.
View of Third Street looking East. Early 1900s photo taken near the corner of present day Adams and Third Street.
View of Third Street looking East. Early 1900s photo taken near the corner of present day Adams and Third Street.
View of Third Street looking East. Early 1900s photo taken near the corner of present day Adams and Third Street.
View facing west. Photo taken between 1905 and 1912. On the right is Union Block building and on the left with the parapet is the Wright Building.
View facing west. Photo taken between 1905 and 1912. On the right is Union Block building and on the left with the parapet is the Wright Building.
This photo taken ca. 1911 depicts a baby show in downtown McMinnville near the corner of Cowls and Third Street. This was the only baby show ever held. The buildings shown are the J.B Mardis Building where Eagles Nest Gallery is currently located to the right of that is the Campbell Building where Pura Vida, Community Plate and Twist Hair Salon are located.
This photo taken ca. 1911 depicts a baby show in downtown McMinnville near the corner of Cowls and Third Street. This was the only baby show ever held. The buildings shown are the J.B Mardis Building where Eagles Nest Gallery is currently located to the right of that is the Campbell Building where Pura Vida, Community Plate and Twist Hair Salon are located.
Photo taken ca. 1910.  Corner of Third and Cowls facing east. On the left is the J.B Mardis Building where Eagles Nest Gallery is located and on the right is the O.O Hodson Building where Willamette Valley Vineyards has it's tasting room.
Photo taken ca. 1910. Corner of Third and Cowls facing east. On the left is the J.B Mardis Building where Eagles Nest Gallery is located and on the right is the O.O Hodson Building where Willamette Valley Vineyards has it's tasting room.
Corner of Third and Davis looking east. The building on the left is Union Block and the the building on the right is the Wright Building where La Bella Casa, The Sage Restaurant, and Cupcake Couture are located. Photo taken ca. 1908
Corner of Third and Davis looking east. The building on the left is Union Block and the the building on the right is the Wright Building where La Bella Casa, The Sage Restaurant, and Cupcake Couture are located. Photo taken ca. 1908
Corner of Third and Davis looking east. The building on the left is Union Block and the the building on the right is the Wright Building where La Bella Casa, The Sage Restaurant, and Cupcake Couture are located. Photo taken ca. 1911.
Corner of Third and Davis looking east. The building on the left is Union Block and the the building on the right is the Wright Building where La Bella Casa, The Sage Restaurant, and Cupcake Couture are located. Photo taken ca. 1911.
Third Street looking west. Taken at Turkey Rama, the annual summer festival downtown. Hotel Elberton, currently McMenamins Hotel Oregon can be seen on the right with Mack Theater located across the street.
Third Street looking west. Taken at Turkey Rama, the annual summer festival downtown. Hotel Elberton, currently McMenamins Hotel Oregon can be seen on the right with Mack Theater located across the street.
Early morning delivery to Third Street businesses. Photo taken near the corner of Davis and Third facing east. The Wright building can be seen on midway down the street. The building located to the right is where Key Bank is located now. Photo taken ca. 1904.
Early morning delivery to Third Street businesses. Photo taken near the corner of Davis and Third facing east. The Wright building can be seen on midway down the street. The building located to the right is where Key Bank is located now. Photo taken ca. 1904.
Lights over Third Street. Photo taken in the early 1930s near the corner of Third and Davis facing east. Union Block is located on the near left and the Wright Building on the near right.
Lights over Third Street. Photo taken in the early 1930s near the corner of Third and Davis facing east. Union Block is located on the near left and the Wright Building on the near right.
Photo taken near the corner of Third and Evans facing west. The U.S.National Bank Building, where NW Food & Gifts is located, is on the right. Photo taken ca. 1971
Photo taken near the corner of Third and Evans facing west. The U.S.National Bank Building, where NW Food & Gifts is located, is on the right. Photo taken ca. 1971

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Map of McMinnville Oregon printed in 1906.
View of Third Street looking East. Early 1900s photo taken near the corner of present day Adams and Third Street.
View of Third Street looking East. Early 1900s photo taken near the corner of present day Adams and Third Street.
View facing west. Photo taken between 1905 and 1912. On the right is Union Block building and on the left with the parapet is the Wright Building.
This photo taken ca. 1911 depicts a baby show in downtown McMinnville near the corner of Cowls and Third Street. This was the only baby show ever held. The buildings shown are the J.B Mardis Building where Eagles Nest Gallery is currently located to the right of that is the Campbell Building where Pura Vida, Community Plate and Twist Hair Salon are located.
Photo taken ca. 1910.  Corner of Third and Cowls facing east. On the left is the J.B Mardis Building where Eagles Nest Gallery is located and on the right is the O.O Hodson Building where Willamette Valley Vineyards has it s tasting room.
Corner of Third and Davis looking east. The building on the left is Union Block and the the building on the right is the Wright Building where La Bella Casa, The Sage Restaurant, and Cupcake Couture are located. Photo taken ca. 1908
Corner of Third and Davis looking east. The building on the left is Union Block and the the building on the right is the Wright Building where La Bella Casa, The Sage Restaurant, and Cupcake Couture are located. Photo taken ca. 1911.
Third Street looking west. Taken at Turkey Rama, the annual summer festival downtown. Hotel Elberton, currently McMenamins Hotel Oregon can be seen on the right with Mack Theater located across the street.
Early morning delivery to Third Street businesses. Photo taken near the corner of Davis and Third facing east. The Wright building can be seen on midway down the street. The building located to the right is where Key Bank is located now. Photo taken ca. 1904.
Lights over Third Street. Photo taken in the early 1930s near the corner of Third and Davis facing east. Union Block is located on the near left and the Wright Building on the near right.
Photo taken near the corner of Third and Evans facing west. The U.S.National Bank Building, where NW Food & Gifts is located, is on the right. Photo taken ca. 1971

History

On an early spring day in 1844, a solitary man astride a horse traveled across a well-worn Indian trail in search of an ideal spot to settle in the new Oregon country. After crossing a stream that would later bear his name and traveling some distance through dense timber, 26-year-old John Gordon Baker emerged into a clearing of rolling meadows where lush, waist-high grass waved gently in the Oregon breeze. Little did he know that these meadows would soon form the foundation for the thriving community of McMinnville. Closely following in Baker’s footsteps was William T. Newby, who had been a traveling companion of Baker’s during the Great Migration of 1843. Newby took up a claim immediately to the south of Baker’s, and this is where the city proceeded to grow.  Samuel Cozine, another immigrant in the 1843 wagon train, settled to the south of Newby. Soon other members of the 1843 Great Migration and subsequent wagon trains came rolling to a stop around their friends and acquaintances.

Between the years 1885 and 1912, most of the historic business structures were built. They were constructed primarily of brick and were the successors of the town’s earlier wooden business structures. Building activity peaked in 1928, with McMinnville’s commercial center extending from City Park on the west to the railroad tracks on the east. Through the years, McMinnville has continued to expand while remaining sensitive to its history and the buildings associated with its past. Many of the buildings from that era are still intact today.

Ruth Stoller

In 1987, the McMinnville Historic District, which includes historically significant buildings built between 1884 and 1937, were entered into the National Register of Historic Places. The District consists of a nine-block area and is comprised of 64 historic properties in 14 easy-to-walk blocks.

In February of 2015, the McMinnville Downtown Association received funding to develop a comprehensive inventory on the buildings and businesses within the MDA’s historic district. For this project, private, county and state archives, personal interviews, historic newspapers, local high school and college yearbooks, city directories, maps, and other documents were compiled. 

We hope HistoricMac.com will serve as a living history of McMinnville’s historic district - past, present and future, and be used by residents, students, historians and tourists alike.

Click to download walking brochure

Click to watch some videos about the history of McMinnville

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