Downtown McMinnville

Oregon's Favorite Main Street

Search this site:

Get in the alien spirit - decorate a lamp post in the Alien on a Lamp Post Contest! Rules and entry form here

<< Back to History of McMinnville

History of 3rd Street

On an early spring day in 1844, a solitary man astride a horse traversed a well worn Indian trail in search of an ideal spot to settle in the new Oregon country. After he had crossed a clear stream which was later to bear his name, and had traveled some distance through a dense stand of 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.

He reined to a halt, and surveyed the scene with a practiced eye. Here was everything for which he had been searching. Water, wood, and pasture were readily available. The rich soil and rolling contour of the land assured excellent crops. Little did he realize that these meadows were soon to form the foundation for the thriving community of McMinnville.

Closely following Baker’s footsteps was William T. Newby. Newby had been a traveling companion of Baker in the Great Migration of 1843, and he took up a claim immediately to the south of Baker’s. It was on this claim that the city proceeded to grow.

Samuel Cozine, another of the immigrants in the 1843 wagon train, settled to the south of Newby. After his marriage to Mahala Arthur, whom he had courted on the trip across the plains, Cozine opened a blacksmith shop near the original site of Linfield College. Soon other members of the 1843 Great Migration and subsequent wagon trains came rolling to a stop around their friends and acquaintances. (Dorothy Gunness, 1976)

In 1853, Newby erected a gristmill at the west end of the path that was to become Third Street and beyond the site of the present city library. Construction of the mill, which became the hub of activity for the area, was the biggest factor in the establishment of a town at this location. In 1856, with the assistance of Sebastian Adams, a surveyor and teacher, the original town site was platted on a portion of Newby’s land. McMinnville was incorporated as a town in 1876 and enjoyed steady growth. By 1892 the city boasted two public schools, two banks, two flour mills, two newspapers, five churches, a county courthouse, and a college. By 1900, the town had extended its boundaries to encompass more than thirty times its original platted site, and the population had grown to over 1,400.

Between the years 1885 and 1912, most of the historic Third Street 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.

Throughout 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 for you to enjoy as you stroll through historic downtown McMinnville.

The mission of McMinnville Downtown Association (MDA) is to sustain and enhance historic downtown McMinnville as the cultural, retail and professional heart of the community.

Upcoming Events

May

03

Downtown businesses are offering great specials, exclusive previews, trunk shows and drawings.  The Goodwill Ambassadors will be handing out carnations to the first 300 moms, beginning at 1:00 at the US Bank Plaza (3rd and Davis St). Check back soon for specific sales and promotions! 

May

16

Each year in May, downtown McMinnville is "visited" in a cosmic sense. Beings from other galaxies walk the street during the second largest UFO celebration in the country.  Partake in a parade, enjoy live entertainment, watch the pet costume contest and peruse vendor booths over this two day festival. McMenamins Hotel Oregon will also be hosting live speakersm music and more! Visit ...

May

22

McMinnville Farmers' Market

NE Cowls St between 2nd and 3rd

Jun

12

Free, outdoor lunchtime music at the US Bank plaza, NE 3rd and Davis, downtown McMinnville. More info including lineup coming soon.  Sponsors Platinum Boersma's Sewing Center Cascadia Landscaping Citizens Bank Dave Franey Electric Gormley Plumbing + Mechanical Harvest Fresh Hillside Emeritus McMenamins Hotel Oregon Recology Western Oregon Union Block Building   Diamond 3rd ...
97128 NE Third and Davis St, McMinnville OR 97128

Jul

11

The McMinnville Downtown Association and the McMinnville Area Chamber of Commerce are partnering once again to present the 2013 festivities which will feature Vendors, Music and Entertainment, Vendors, a Downtown Street Dance, the “World’s Largest Turkey BBQ,” a Carnival, the Turkey Trot (8K Run, 5K Run/Walk, & 2M Walk),  and much more!  For vendor ...

Jul

25

The IPNC has served as a showcase for the northwest's famed farm-to-table cuisine. Each year over 50 guest chefs from the region's most revered restaurants create inspired courses made from local farm ingredients. The three day event takes place on the beautiful campus of Linfield College.Visit  IPNC for more information.

Aug

22

HE 5th ANNUAL DRAGGING THE GUT FESTIVALFriday & Saturday, August 22-23, 2014 in Downtown McMinnville. Friday Night Kick-Off Cruise. It's a no-host, no frills old style cruising. 5pm to Midnight.Saturday is the big day. Ezra Koch Car Show Noon - 5pm; Live music Noon - 10 p.m.; Cruising 5pm to Midnight; After-party 10pm to ???For more info: Webpage: http://www.GutFest.com/ Facebook ...

Oct

01

Oregon Main Street works with communities to develop comprehensive, incremental revitalization strategies based on a community’s unique assets, character, and heritage. Services are based on the successful Main Street Approach® developed by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and include training and technical assistance. The goal is to build high quality, livable, and sustainable ...
Web Design & Web Development by LVSYS