Welcome to the
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 Our collection includes over 120,000 artifacts including photographs, historical documents, textiles, clothing, domestic arts, farm implements, scientific instruments and personal possessions.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.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Annual Meeting of the Benton County Historical Society was not held in November 2020. In lieu of the meeting, we announce the results of the election of Trustees:
BCHS members elect the Trustees annually. Out of 432 current Benton County Historical Society members, 199 members returned their ballots. One hundred ninety-eight ballots approved the entire slate of Trustees to serve for the upcoming year. According to the Society’s bylaws, the election is valid if at least 5% of the ballots are returned.
This year, many Society members wrote notes on their ballots, thanking the Trustees for their service.
Members of the Oregon State University marching band wore these uniforms in the 1970s.
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.
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)
So many visitors to the former Horner Museum enjoyed the exhibition of fluorescent rocks that we’ve kept them on display at the Benton County Museum since 2008. James Gilmour Crawford donated many natural history and archaeological specimens to the Horner Museum during the 1920s.
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.
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.
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)
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)
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.
J. C. Avery laid out the town of Marysville on his Oregon Territory donation land claim in 1851. The plat map depicted 24 blocks and 6 fractional blocks oriented along the Willamette River. To avoid confusion with Marysville, California, the name of the town was changed to Corvallis in 1853.
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.
These were made in the 1950’s and ‘60’s. In 1961 you could buy one for $11.88.
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.”
This ceramic plate was owned by Marlene Furman who was a princess for the Corvallis Centennial. Made in 1957.
This machine belonged to Jeannine Gay. It was a present from her mother, Martha Rongner, in 1938 who thought that it would “make me a lady.”
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.