Welcome to the
Benton County Historical Society

The Benton County Historical Society is a leading cultural institution in the Willamette Valley.

We operate museum facilities and preserve collections to the highest museum standards, providing a dynamic visitor experience and quality education programs. Our collection includes over 120,000 artifacts including photographs, historical documents, textiles, clothing, domestic arts, farm implements, scientific instruments and personal possessions.

We sponsor numerous exhibitions, lectures, educational programs and special events, and offer many opportunities to get involved.

Please enjoy exploring our website which features information about current and past exhibitions and events, interesting sites in Oregon and many resources to help you delve into our fascinating history or get involved in the Society.

  • ON PARADE

    Members of the Oregon State University marching band wore these uniforms in the 1970s.

    Oregon State University marching band uniform
  • CHINESE JACKET

    Evangeline Joy Metcalf was born at Shedd, Oregon, May 3, 1892. She ordered this silk Manchu style coat from China in the 1920s.

    The ornately embroidered motif features five-clawed dragons.

    Kimono
  • TEA TIME

    Satsuma tea set from Japan

    Made for export, satsuma ware is characterized by yellow earthenware densely covered with colored enamel and gilt. The design typically included faces of Japanese warriors and holy Buddist elders, dragons, and Japanese landscapes. (Undated)

    Teapot
  • STETSON HAT

    Stetson hat and scenic hat box

    High Hat
  • CIVIL WAR DRUM

    Drum Corps member James Plunkett arrived at Fort Hoskins about 1864 with the 4th California Infantry, a volunteer infantry regiment.

    Fort Hoskins was one of three forts built by the U.S. Army during the Civil War to monitor the Coastal Indian Reservation in Oregon.

  • DRAFTING SET

    Oregon pioneer Joseph C. Avery (1817-1876) used this drafting set to lay out the town of Marysville (Corvallis) in 1851.

    J.C. Avery moved to Oregon in 1845 with 25 head of cattle. After exploring the western side of the Willamette Valley, he staked out a 640-acre provisional land claim where the Marys River enters the Willamette River. Part of this land today is Avery Park.

  • MATCHBOOK COVER FROM CAMP ADAIR, OREGON

    An eagle symbol decorates the cover. Inside, shown on the next slide, three monkeys proclaim “Spreading rumors will make monkeys of us all!” and “If it’s a rumor, kill it, if it’s a secret, keep it!” (1942-1945)

  • MATCHBOOK INTERIOR FROM CAMP ADAIR, OREGON

    Three monkeys proclaim “Spreading rumors will make monkeys of us all!” and “If it’s a rumor, kill it, if it’s a secret, keep it!” (1942-1945)

  • MEDICAL HEAD MIRROR

    The donor, Dr. George Drost, took over Dr. Mary Howells’ practice in 1947. Dr. Howells had taken over the practice of Dr. Foster in 1911.

  • VINTAGE CLOTHES IRON

  • OSWALD RABBIT

    Oswald the Lucky Rabbit is the icon of the rift between Walt Disney in his early years and Charles Mintz of Universal Studios. Oswald is allegedly the inspiration for Mickey Mouse.

    From Universal Pictures.

  • HANDY HANNAH HAIR DRYER, MODEL 895

    These were made in the 1950’s and ‘60’s. In 1961 you could buy one for $11.88.

  • KODAK BROWNIE TARGET SIX-16

    This camera was manufactured in the U.S. from July 1946 to November 1951. It is a metal type camera with a shutter rotary and it used roll film size 616. It has a handle on the top and two “brilliant finders.”

  • CENTENNIAL PLATE

    This ceramic plate was owned by Marlene Furman who was a princess for the Corvallis Centennial. Made in 1957.

  • SINGER SEWING MACHINE

    This machine belonged to Jeannine Gay, a former Benton County Commissioner. It was a present from her mother, Martha Rongner, in 1938 who thought that it would “make me a lady.”

  • HELP WANTED FLYER

    This sign was found by the Weltzin family near either the blacksmith shop or barn on the former Rowland farm property in Benton County, Oregon. The donor’s family has owned the farm for many years.