Willamette Heritage Center Permanent Exhibits Houses Tour
The Willamette Heritage Center cares for three of the oldest frame houses still standing in the Pacific Northwest. The Lee House and the Methodist Parsonage were built in 1841 to house members of the Methodist Mission to Oregon (1834-1844).
The Boon House was the residence built by Oregon Trail travelers John D. and Martha Hawkins Boon and family in 1847. Today the houses host a variety of exhibits from period rooms to hands-on galleries that look at the lives and livelihoods of Mid-Willamette Valley residents of the past.
Methodist Parsonage (1841)
Not Wheelchair Accessible due to the narrowness of the original door jambs
The Parsonage was the 2nd frame structure built with lumber from the mission’s sawmill. Originally located near where the water tower for the mill stands today, this building was probably designed by Hamilton Campbell, a cabinet maker who came to Oregon with the mission’s Great Reinforcement in 1840. The house was designed as a duplex to house two missionary families in charge of the mission’s school. Among its residents were Rev. Gustavus Hines, Hamilton Campbell, and their families. This was the only building retained by the Methodist Church when the mission closed, and it served as the parsonage for their minister and as a base for circuit riders (itinerant preachers) in the valley.
This church, representative of the meetinghouse-style associated with early country churches, was moved from outside of Aumsville to the Museum’s grounds in the 1980s. Also known as the “Condit Church,” after its founding minister, Rev. Phillip Condit, and the community it served. Condit came to Oregon with his family from Pennsylvania in 1854. The building of the church was truly a community effort. The doors, window sashes, pews and pulpit were all handmade by church members and the construction was finished in April 1858. Sadly, Rev. Condit didn’t live to see its completion. The church looks much as it did in its early history. The organ on display is the same one that was donated to the church in 1915 by Ladies Missionary Aid Society. Currently, the church is used for events and museum programs.