Yamhill Heritage Museum, McMinnville, Oregon
notes by Lynn R. Miller, photos by Kristi Gilman-Miller
There are well over five hundred Pioneer and Heritage Museums across the US, some big, some small, some targeted to a single domain (i.e. homesteading, logging, farming or mining) some like the Yamhill Heritage Center more broadly organized. Most of them have been around a long time and, tragically, many are challenged by lack of volunteer interest and funding. It is very unusual for a region, or town, or county to find the volunteer enthusiasms and the funding to build up a new museum center in these days of baggy pants and plastic wallets. But arguably, with young lives becoming shallower by the minute, we need these efforts and these places to tickle the fancy of young and old alike. In the Willamette valley a county found the ambitious funding and the rambunctious volunteer crew to build what is a fantastic heritage center, the center piece of which is a 400 foot long building crammed full of superb old farm implements, wagons, tractors, coaches, cars and misc. And these encircled by other buildings featuring a working sawmill and blacksmith shop as well as a garage for the old Peerless. If you happen to be traveling anywhere near McMinnville, Oregon you owe it to yourself, your grampa and your little ones to make a stop and check this out. It will brighten old hearts and tickle young ones to new horizons and ambitions. We applaud Yamhill county. Great good work of lasting value.