Downtown McMinnville

Oregon's Favorite Main Street

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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 McMinnville Downtown Association works to promote and enhance our historic downtown as the economic, social and cultural heart of the community.

Upcoming Events

Feb

13

Currents Gallery Winter Art Classes

Feb

13

Celebrate Oregon's 157th birthday with the Yamhill County Historical Society!

 

Feb

14

Monthly meeting of the Yamhill County Historical Society

 

Feb

16

Currents Gallery Portals Show

Call to Oregon Artists

Feb

19

Lindfield's Dad's Weekend is an opportunity for you and your Linfield student to spend time together in McMinnville. Enjoy a game, see an arts performance, or grab a bite to eat downtown. All of those are options for you and your student during Dads Weekend. To help you plan your travel, activities will begin in the afternoon of Friday, Feb. 19 and will run through Saturday, Feb. 20.

Feb

20

Enjoy viewing local art works, shopping and sipping our fabulous wines!

Mar

05

Stroll downtown historic McMinnville with tour guide and preservationist Rebecca Quandt.

 

Mar

11

23rd Annual McMinnville Wine & Food Classic

Mar

14

All are welcome for this 3.14 mile run/walk on March 14th in celebration of math, science and good health!

Mar

19

Enjoy viewing local art works, shopping and sipping our fabulous wines!

Apr

05

Friends of Family Farmers is traveling the state, hosting listening sessions.

Apr

29

Lindfield's Mom's Weekend is an opportunity for you and your Linfield student to spend time together in McMinnville. Enjoy a game, see an arts performance, or grab a bite to eat downtown. All of those are options for you and your student during Mom's Weekend. To help you plan your travel, activities will begin in the afternoon of Friday, Apr. 29 and will run through Saturday, Apr. 30.

Apr

30

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).

May

12

Opening May 12 through October 6 • Join us every Thursday from 1–6PM!

May

13

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. Vendor applications will be available by the end of February 2016  

May

29

Linfield College celebrates its graduates of 2016

Jun

09

Concerts on the Plaza

US Bank Plaza

We're proud to present the 23nd Annual Concert Series in Historic Downtown McMinnville.

US Bank Plaza
US Bank Plaza 97128 335 NE Third, McMinnville, OR 97128

Jul

08

Celebrating its 56th year, Turkey Rama is one of McMinnville’s oldest and most loved traditions! The community festival observes the historical importance of the once-thriving turkey business in the surrounding county. The turkey farms are gone, but Turkey Rama lives on!  As the face of our community has changed, so has the festival itself. Turkey Rama now includes the “World’s ...
Downtown McMinnville
Downtown McMinnville

Jul

29

The IPNC is a three-day event, famous around the globe, as a mecca for lovers of Pinot Noir and Northwest cuisine.

Aug

13

The Oregon Wine Country Half Marathon returns to the Yamhill Valley on August 13th. The race begins at 7 a.m. Sunday at Stoller Vineyards.
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