Willamette Heritage Center

Thomas Kay Woolen Mill
The historic Thomas Kay Woolen Mill at the Willamette Heritage Center in Salem. (Oregon State Archives Photo)
The Willamette Heritage Center (WHC) connects generations by preserving and interpreting the history of the Mid-Willamette Valley. The 14 historic structures on the WHC’s five-acre campus house permanent and changing exhibits, a research library and archives, textile learning center and event and office spaces.

Early settlement buildings take visitors back to the 1840s, when Euro-American missionaries and immigrants settled in the Mid-Willamette Valley, home of the Kalapuya. The 1841 Jason Lee House and Methodist Parsonage are the oldest standing wooden frame houses in the Pacific Northwest, featured along with the John D. Boon House (1847) and Pleasant Grove Church (1854), built by Oregon Trail immigrants. The 1896 Thomas Kay Woolen Mill, a National Park Service-designated American Treasure, vividly tells the story of industrialization in the Mid-Willamette Valley. Changing exhibits explore and highlight the rich and diverse cultural heritage of the region. The Research Library holds valuable photographs, records, and documents focused on Marion County. The WHC offers a variety of historical courses and tours as well as educational programs and events year-round. These include Sheep to Shawl in May, Oregon Trail Live in September, and Magic at the Mill in December.

The WHC is a private, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization formed from the merger of Mission Mill Museum and the Marion County Historical Society. The WHC is open Monday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The Research Library is open Tuesday through Friday, 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and by appointment.​


Michelle Cordova, Executive Director 
Address: 1313 Mill St. SE, Suite 200, Salem 97301
Phone: 503-585-7012
Fax: 503-588-9902
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