June 1834

John Work, leader of a fur brigade, notes in his diary that they made camp at the usual traverse of the Laurie (Marys) River not from the confluence with the Willamette.

   

Nov. 5, 1845

On November 5, 1845, Joseph C. Avery, eventual founder of Corvallis, registered his provisional land claim near the confluence of the Willamette and Marys Rivers.

Joseph Conant Avery<BR>1817 - 1876 Pioneer surveyor Joseph C. Avery's surveyor's chains used to measure and lay out the town of Marysville (Corvallis) in 1851. In 2008, Dorothy Jean Johnson Rath, the great-granddaughter of Corvallis founders J. C. and Martha Avery, donated the silver flatware service that belonged to her great-grandmother to the Benton County Historical Society. The flatware was made by the Schulz and Fischer Company of San Francisco in 1868. (A year later, this same company furnished the golden spike to railroad builder Leland Stanford.) Each piece of the service is engraved with Martha Avery's monogram. The Rath donation also includes a cape and veiled cap worn by Florence Avery, daughter of J. C. and Martha Avery, who was born in Illinois in 1844.    

1846

Applegate Trail is established. For a short time, this was another route into the Willamette Valley.

Photo of Applegate Trail marker, taken circa 1985 at Monroe, Oregon    

1846

Dr. Harry Conant founds the Monroe Gazette newspaper.

   

1846

Chloe Donnely Boone teaches in Benton County near Greenberry. She is the first woman school teacher in Benton County. She is Daniel Boone's great-granddaughter.

   

Dec. 23, 1847

On December 23, 1847, the Oregon Territory House of Representatives created Benton  County. It is a vast tract of land. The county's boundaries are from the middle of the Willamette River south to the 42nd parallel (today the boundary between Oregon and California), then west to the Pacific Ocean. Its northern boundary is Polk County (approximately where it is today), going West to the Pacific.

   

1847-1848

Avery measured off a few town lots in the future town of Marysville, which later became Corvallis, Oregon. The city sold lots in Marysville.

   

1848

Many Benton County residents, primarily men, leave for California in pursuit of gold.

Brass and wood scale used by L.C. Burkhart of Albany, Oregon, in 1849 in Feather River, California, during Gold Rush. J.C. Avery wore this belt next to his body. It is not clear if he wore the belt around his waist, or across his shoulder. Mr. Avery went to the California gold fields after the discovery of gold in 1848. He returned home for the winter, returning to the gold fields in the spring of 1849, where he remained through the summer. When he returned in the fall of 1849, he brought with him a stock of general merchandise that he purchased in San Francisco, shipping it to Portland and then to his land claim on the present site of Corvallis, Oregon, where he opened the first store in the vicinity. The following year, in 1851, he platted the town of Marysville, Oregon Territory (later renamed Corvallis).    

1848

David Henderson, a farmer who arrived in the Oregon Territory in 1846, files papers indicating his occupancy, in 1848, of 320 acres - the future townsite of Philomath, Oregon.

   

1848

The First Methodist Episcopal Church is organized in Corvallis.

   

1849

George W. Bethers, an early Benton County settler, writes a momentous letter to the Religious Telescope, the Ohio-based official publication of the United Brethren Church. Bethers requests that the Church send a minister to the Marys River Settlement, an area of pioneer farms that included the future townsite of Philomath, Oregon.

George W. and Kezia Newton Bethers    

March 3, 1849

On March 3, 1849, the Oregon Territory is organized.

The J. C. Avery Building, which was used as the Territorial Capitol Building for a brief time in 1855. This view is at the final location on SW Adams Street, just west of Second Street. The building was shifted from its original location facing Second Street at Adams Street, to this location, slightly west, facing Adams Street, about 1882; it was demolished by the end of 1888.    

1850

Oregon Donation Land Claim (DLC) Act passes in Congress. It allows an adult white man to claim a half section of land for himself and, if he is married, another half section in his wife's name (640 acres), if he arrived before December 1850. The Act is one of the first allowing a woman to hold property under her own name. It is also the most generous land act in the history of the United States.

1873 Donation Land Claim certificate authorized by President Ulysses S. Grant, issuing ownership of 640 acres of land in Benton County Oregon to John and Mary Ann Foster. 1877 Donation Land Claim certificate authorized by President Rutherford B. Hayes, issuing ownership of 640 acres of land in Benton County Oregon to Andrew and Elizabeth Foster.    

1850

The post office of Avery is established. The name is changed to Marysville later that year.

   

1850

Benton County's population is 814.

   

March 1850

John Fiechter and Cynthia Ellen Newton are married and file on a 640-acre Donation Land Claim. Their first home is a log cabin. (This claim eventually becomes part of the W.L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge.)

The John and Cynthia Fiechter House was built in the mid-1850s.
<P>Photo taken circa 1998-1999 for an educational slide program entitled " width="75" border="0"> John Fiechter, born March 16, 1822, in Germany, died October 3, 1861, in Benton County, Oregon, USA.    

1851

William Dixon is granted a license to operate a regular ferry put into operation across the Willamette River at the foot of today's Van Buren Ave.

William F. Dixon    

1851

The town of Marysville is platted by Joseph Avery.

Pioneer surveyor Joseph C. Avery's surveyor's chains used to measure and lay out the town of Marysville (Corvallis) in 1851.    

Jan. 1851

In January 1851, Benton County is drastically reduced in size by the Oregon Territorial Government.

   

Jan. 23, 1851

Marysville becomes Benton County seat.

   

Oct. 1851

Steamboat service between Corvallis and Portland begins.

   

Dec. 25, 1851

A First Baptist Church is organized.

   

1852

Post offices are established at Starrs Point (discontinued 1874) and Jennyopolis (discontinued 1857)

   

1852

The first case of homicide in Benton County occurs. Nimrod O'Kelly is accused of killing Jeremiah Mahoney. O'Kelly pleads guilty and gives as a reason that Mahoney was trespassing on his land. On June 29, 1852, O'Kelly is tried and convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to be hanged. However, the sentence is not carried out. Eventually, he is pardoned by the governor in March 1856.

   

1853

In the spring of 1853, a wagon train of nearly 100 members of the United Brethren Church, including five ministers, began the arduous trip west. The caravan was formed in direct response to George Bethers' letter of 1849. The sixteen wagons arrived in the Oregon Territory in late September and early October; it seemed miraculous that only one person did not survive the trip. Many of the travelers ended up in the Marys River Settlement.

   

1853

Because Marysville, California, is on the same stage line, postal authorities request that the name of Marysville, Oregon Territory, be changed. Corvallis, meaning "Heart of the Valley," is recommended.

   

1853

Corvallis is the principal shipping point for the southern mines. Large pack trains and freight wagons leave almost daily loaded with goods available from local merchandise stores - apples, butter, cheese, sperm candles, tallow candles, flour, wheat, white sugar, nails, cooking stoves, and lumber.

   

1853

The United Brethren in Christ wagon train arrives under the leadership of Thomas Jefferson (T.J.) Connor, one of the men appointed by the church to answer the call to establish a church and be a pastor at the Marys River Settlement. Another missionary for the Marys River Settlement, Jeremiah Kenoyer, who brought his family, is also on the wagon train.

   

July 3, 1853

The Episcopal Church - Church of the Good Samaritan is organized.

   

Sept. 24, 1853

The Presbyterian Church is organized in Corvallis.

   

Dec. 20, 1853

Marysville becomes Corvallis. The name is reported to have been coined by J.C. Avery from Latin, meaning "Heart of the Valley." The name of the post office is officially changed to Corvallis, Oregon Territory, on February 18, 1854.

Painted on the underside of the trunk in black are the words    

1854

Matzger and Hartless build a grist mill on the North Fork of the Marys River about one mile west of Philomath.

   

1854

Soap Creek Post Office is established and the name is changed to Tampico in the same year (discontinued 1860).

   

1855

The United Brethren in Christ Church is organized in the Union Schoolhouse in Philomath.

   

1855

The Fiechters begin construction on a lumber house. They complete the two-story Classical Revival style farmhouse in 1857. According to family tradition Cynthia's father offered suggestions for the plan and style. The central chimney with double hearths and double entrances on the front are similar to a southern vernacular double house. It faced the Applegate Trail. (Today the house is located in the W.L. Finley Wildlife Refuge.)

John Fiechter, born Mar. 16, 1822 in Germany, died Oct. 3, 1861 in Benton County, Oregon, USA.    

1855

The American Hotel is erected on the southwest corner of Second and Madison in Corvallis, Oregon.

This hotel was erected in 1855.  It is shown here at a later date, when it was called the City Hotel.<br><br>The Sept. 15, 1855 issue of the Pacific Christian Advocate notes: The new hotel (The American) erected and nearly finished by Messrs. Graves and Pike is one of the finest of the kind in the Territory. The main building is thirty feet by sixty on the ground, three stories high, with a two-story wing in the rear, eighteen feet by thirty-six. Upon the top of the main building is an observatory, for a view of the town and the surrounding country.

<br><br>This building burned in 1873. See Fagan (1885) for an account of this fire.    

1855

The Oregon Statesman, published in Corvallis by Asahel Bush, becomes Benton County's first newspaper. Mr. Bush brought the newspaper to Corvallis when Corvallis was declared Oregon's capital, and he returned to Salem when Salem was again declared the capital.

   

1855

The first Benton County Courthouse is constructed in the same block as the present courthouse.

Benton County, Oregon, courthouse, 1855.    

1855

Kings Valley Post Office is established.

Kings Valley, Oregon, postmark.    

Jan. 16, 1855

On January 16, 1855, the Territorial Legislature declares Corvallis the capital and meets there briefly, voting itself back to Salem almost immediately. Salem officially was declared the capital on December 12, 1855.

   

Nov. 5, 1855

By Presidential Executive Order the "Coast Range Indian Reservation" is established, mostly in Benton County.

   

1856

Telegraph lines are completed between Corvallis and Portland.

   

1856

Liberty Post Office is established northeast of Corvallis (discontinued 1867) in what is now the vicinity of Adair Village.

   

1856

Kalapuya Indians are sent to Grand Ronde Indian Reservation in western Polk and Yamhill counties. Some were later moved to the Siletz Reservation.

1982-044.0041    

1856

The U.S. Army establishes Fort Hoskins in Kings Valley to monitor traffic entering and leaving the newly established Coast (Siletz) Indian Reservation. The 200-300 troops serving at the fort are charged with protecting the reservation from encroachment and harassment by settlers and with confining and monitoring the tribes on the reservation.

   

1857

African-Americans Eliza Gorman and her mother Hannah purchase property on Fourth Street from William and Julia Dixon and build a small house. It is unusual for women to own property and since they were African-American even more unusual. (The house still stands.)

   

1857

Corvallis is incorporated as a city and chartered by the Territorial Legislature. J.B. Congle becomes the first mayor.

1859 Kuchel and Dresel Print of the J. B. Congle House.    

1857

Alsea Indians sent to Siletz Indian Reservation in what is now Lincoln County.

   

1857

African-Americans Mary Jane Holmes and Reuben Shipley are married. It is said that a sum of money was demanded of Reuben by the man who claimed to be her owner for Mary Jane's freedom. They settle near Philomath.

   

June 8, 1857

The Masonic Lodge, Corvallis Lodge #14, A.F. & A.M., is chartered with 18 members. The group meets on the upper floor of the Friendly Store.

   

Oct. 6, 1857

The town of Monroe is platted on October 6, 1857. It is centered around Joseph White's sawmill.

   

1858

The Methodist Episcopal Church South is organized in Corvallis, Oregon.

   

1858

Corvallis College is chartered by the Southern Methodist Church.

   

1859

Emily J. York, resident of Benton County, graduates from Willamette University, becoming the first person to graduate from a college west of the Rocky Mountains.

   

1859

Lewis Southworth (frequently misspelled Louis), an African-American slave, makes his final payment on the $1,000 ($23,000 in today's dollars) to buy his freedom from his master James Southworth. He was allowed to leave the Territory to earn his freedom. He was an industrious man and held a variety of jobs to raise the money. At one of the jobs, he earned $400 teaching violin and playing fiddle for a dancing school in Yreka, California.

Lewis Alexander Southworth Lewis Alexander Southworth    

1859

James Stewart is fined $3.00 for allowing his horses to run at large in town. James Roberts is charged $5.00 for leading his horse on the sidewalk. William Girl pays a $10.00 fine for shooting his pistol on the downtown street, and P. Newton pays $12.00 for driving across a sidewalk with a team and wagon.

   

Feb. 14, 1859

Oregon is admitted to the Union as the 33rd state and the 18th free state. Oregon is known as the Valentine State.

   

April 4, 1859

High school opens at Monroe, Starrs Point, under the management of Benjamin F. Giltner, an experienced teacher from Pennsylvania. There is tuition, and board can be obtained on reasonable terms.

   

1860

J.A. Knight opens the Knight Furniture Factory. He not only manufactures furniture, he also runs an undertaking business.

Knight Furniture Factory, Corvallis, Oregon.    

1860

Corvallis has a population of 620 (four are free blacks and two are Native Americans).

   

1860

Pioneers Elijah and Mary Liggett, who own a Donation Land Claim just south of Neabeack Hill (at the southwest corner of Bellfountain Road and Chapel Drive) sell 1.5 acres to the Church of the United Brethren. On that site, the United Brethren construct a church, "Bethel Chapel," that is probably the first structure built in the Philomath area for religious purposes.

   

1860

Stagecoach service from Portland to Sacramento through Corvallis begins.

   

Feb. 4, 1860

The Calliopion Literary Society is organized. Its object is to benefit the young men of the city and community and to establish and maintain a library. The Society is to meet "twice a month for the education of its members and the entertainment of its friends."

   

1861

Former slaves Reuben and Mary Jane (Holmes) Shipley donate 3 acres of their 101-acre farm to be used as a community burying ground. The pioneer graveyard, known as Mount Union Cemetery, is located on the east flank of Mount Union (now known as Neabeack Hill).

   

1861

St. Mary's Catholic Church is built by Father Poulin. It is consecrated by Archbishop Blanchet.

St. Mary's Catholic Church. 1902 image of the 1861 church building taken by Noble William Leadbetter.    

1861

With the outbreak of the Civil War, regular troops at Fort Hoskins are summoned east. State volunteers garrison the fort. The government's intent is to keep the secessionist movement in the mid-Willamette Valley from erupting into armed conflict. (The fort is permanently closed when the war ends in 1865.)

   

April 1861

United States Civil War begins.

This Civil War Union army forage cap was given to the Horner Museum by General U. G. McAlexander.    

1862

Chinese laborers, mostly men, come to Corvallis and work as cooks, railroad workers, servants, and laundrymen.

This image, circa 1885, is labeled:    

1862

The Corvallis Gazette begins publication.

   

1863

Corvallis city fire department is organized.

   

1863

The Oregon Weekly Union, published in Corvallis, is suppressed by the United States government for pro-slavery beliefs.

   

1865

A sawmill is established at the head of Pleasant Valley, about seven and a half miles from Philomath by Jesse Hoffman.

   

1865

Job C. Eaton founds the Monroe Brick and Tile Works circa 1865.

   

Feb. 14, 1865

Thomas J. Connor, a United Brethren missionary and leader of the 1853 wagon train to the Marysville Settlement, gives the following significant statement at a community meeting: "By mutual agreement a number of citizens of Benton County, Oregon, met at 'Maple Grove' school house on the 14th day of February, 1865, to take into consideration the propriety of trying to build up a high school or an institution of learning of some kind in their midst." That dream eventually takes shape as the pioneer Philomath College.

In September 1865, the College Board of Trustees develops plans for a town to be called "Philomath" (meaning "lover of learning"). The original plat for the City of Philomath includes eight acres for a college campus, and 128 town lots. Lot sales were to provide significant funds for construction of the Philomath College building.

   

Dec. 1865

U.S. President Andrew Johnson signs an executive order that cuts the Siletz Reservation into two parts. The reservation loses approximately 239,000 acres.

   

1866

Congress aids the Corvallis and Yaquina Bay Wagon Road Company, organized by Benton County residents as a toll road, by granting lands to Oregon for the construction of a military wagon road from Corvallis to Yaquina Bay. When complete, the Corvallis and Yaquina Bay Military Wagon Road is the most important east-west route in Benton County during the 19th century. In the vicinity of present-day Philomath, the route follows Chapel Drive, skirts the south end of Mount Union (Neabeack Hill), turns north into Philomath, then heads northwest toward Wren, through the Blodgett Valley, over the summit of the Coast Range and on to the coast.

   

1866

Construction of the Philomath College building begins in early 1866. The structure measures 40 by 60 feet; the east and west wings are added during the early 1900s.

   

1866

The Corvallis/Yaquina Bay Military Wagon Road is built.

   

1867

The Evangelical Church is organized by the Reverend James Crossman. Services are held in the Courthouse.

   

1867

Philomath, Oregon, Post Office is established.

Philomath Post Office, early 20th century.<BR> Postal cancellation from Philomath, Oregon, USA.    

1867

The Philomath College building opens for the 1867-1868 school year. In October 1867, the educational institution opens with two teachers and an enrollment of about 100 students. (The pioneer structure now houses the Benton County Historical Society and Museum.)

The first building of Philomath College was built in 1867. According to internal evidence, this view appears to date very soon afterward. There is no landscaping; the surrounding land is covered with wild grass. The dress of one woman appears to have a hoop skirt, and her hair is done with ringlets, both characteristic of 1860s fashion. This is an oblique view from a foreground of unlandscaped land to just above the peak of the flagpole atop the tower. A group of about 45 women, men, and children pose in a line in the yard, and a few others in doors and windows. Most of the children appear to be of elementary or secondary school age, which is consistent with the first use of the building, and is also indicated by the presence of parents.    

1867 - 1868

Benton County experiences the coldest winter to date; "sleighing was indulged in for two whole weeks."

   

1868

Corvallis College is designated State Agricultural College in 1862 under the Morrill Act.

   

1870

Corvallis' population reaches 1,200.

   

1870

The Corvallis Opera House is built by means of public subscription. It is the first public meeting place in town and considered one of the finest in the West. It draws many famous actors and actresses.

Corvallis Opera House image, exterior. Corvallis Opera House image, interior.    

Feb. 1870

In February 1870, the farmers of Benton County hold a mass meeting and unanimously agree to organize a Farmers' Club.

   

April 4, 1870

The Corvallis Brewery burns. Although firemen fight to save it, the building is a total loss. Fortunately, the building, located on the riverbank, was not close to other buildings, so no other structures were involved. It is reported that while the building and distillery apparatus were insured, it was not sufficient to cover the damage.

   

1871

The Corvallis City Council passes an ordinance declaring all gambling illegal on Sunday. Additional ordinances prohibit the use of houses or other places for opium use, and ban nude bathing in any river, lake, slough, or creek within the corporate limits of Corvallis.

   

1871

Alsea Post Office is established.

   

1872

The Henkle Sawmill four miles west of Philomath on the South Fork of the Marys River is destroyed by fire. It is rebuilt and has a capacity to produce about 10,000 feet of lumber per day, chiefly fir timber. It finds a ready market in the local area.

   

June 18, 1872

George Wrenn organizes the first fire company - Young American Engine Company.

   

March 29, 1873

At 1:30 a.m. the City Hotel in Corvallis is reduced to ashes. The fire spread so rapidly that occupants only manage to escape in their night clothes. John Murray, age 60, in Corvallis to visit his son-in-law, dies in the fire.

   

1874

Teachers are required to pass standardized tests, but no college training is required. Teachers who want to upgrade their teaching certificates must attend normal school. A life certificate, the highest available, requires two years of normal school and a passing grade on a state examination.

   

Feb. 2, 1874

Starrs Point Post Office is moved to Monroe.

Monroe, Oregon, postmark.    

1875

A flood reroutes the main channel of the Willamette River and Booneville land is left high and dry.

   

1875

The Corvallis Flour Mill is located about a quarter of a mile south of Corvallis, Oregon. The 40-by-50-foot building is 3 stories high, and it has a manufacturing capacity of 100 barrels of flour in 24 hours. In 1877, it was purchased by H.H. Fischer.

   

1875

Pitman's Sash and Door Factory is built on the banks of the Willamette River at the corner of First and Jefferson Streets in Corvallis, Oregon. It manufactures doors, sash, blinds, brackets, etc.

   

1875

The Corvallis City Hall burns and most records are destroyed, including the school records.

   

March 5, 1875

The Alsea portion of the Indian Reservation is closed, and the Indians are sent to Siletz. Their former residence is thrown open for Euro American settlement.

   

June 16, 1876

Joseph Avery, one of the founders of Corvallis, dies at the age of 59. He is buried in Crystal Lake Cemetery.

1994.038.0156    

May 17, 1877

Construction of what was to become the Oregon Pacific Railroad begins. The line went from Corvallis to Yaquina City, just east of Newport.

   

1878

The Hawkins' Saw Mill is erected in 1878 by David Enos, located about one mile west of Philomath, Oregon. It has a capacity of about 6,000 feet of lumber per day, which is manufactured chiefly from red and yellow fir. Four workmen are employed.

   

1879

Rickard Post Office (discontinued 1880) is established 2 miles east of Bruce, Oregon. Today this is part of William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge.

   

1880

The Corvallis Foundry is established in 1880. It carries on foundry work and a blacksmith business.

   

1880

First telephone service begins in Benton County.

The R.M. Thompson Building on Second Street, Corvallis, was the location of Corvallis' first telephone.    

1880

Wells Post Office is established (discontinued 1936). Wells was located in what today is the E.E. Wilson Wildlife Refuge.

Main Street of Wellsdale, Oregon. View taken looking toward false-fronted store of J.A. Carter General Merchandise. Wellsdale Public and High School with the students posed in front of the building.    

1880

Benton County's first telephone franchise is established. It is operated out of the Ray Grocery Store, located at 2nd and Monroe Streets in Corvallis.

   

Jan. 9, 1880

A "hurricane" occurs. Although no one is injured, farmers suffer because fences are flattened, barns and sheds are demolished, grain and hay is destroyed, and roads and bridges are damaged.

   

Jan. 28, 1880

The first train arrives in Corvallis, and passenger train service begins, provided by Western Oregon Railroad.

   

1881

St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church is built in Monroe. It is 40 by 70 feet, with a steeple 90 feet high. It is dedicated on April 29, 1883.

   

1881

Philomath gets its first phone line when a telephone is installed in the Henkle Store.

   

1882

The Twelfth Legislative Assembly of the State of Oregon considers a bill for the incorporation of the City of Philomath at its September-October session in 1882. Oregon House Bill No. 104 easily passes the House and Senate, and is approved by the Governor on October 20, 1882.

   

Feb. 25, 1882

On February 25, 1882, the warehouse of W.A. Wells, near the railroad depot, was destroyed by fire. George Wrenn, a member of the Corvallis Hook and Ladder Company, was killed instantly when a portion of the burning building collapsed on him. He had always been an active member of the Corvallis Fire Department. It was through his efforts that the first fire company was organized in 1872--Young American Engine Company.

George P. Wrenn Memorial    

1883

The First Congregational Church is founded by 13 heretics asked to leave the First Presbyterian Church.

First Congregational Church at the northwest corner of 3rd and Jefferson, Corvallis, Oregon, seen here circa 1900. <BR>    

1883

Lobster Post Office is established.

   

1883

The Corvallis City Council passes an ordinance declaring: "that it should be unlawful for any person or person to play the game of cricket, football, basketball, townball, the game of cat, or games of like nature within the corporate limits of the City of Corvallis on the first day of the week, commonly called Sunday."

   

1884

The Corvallis chapter of the Women's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) builds their headquarters on Second Street. It is the first WCTU building constructed on the West Coast. It is a "moral force" that causes the number of saloons in Corvallis to decrease.

   

1884

Jesse Hoffman sells his Pleasant Valley saw mill to Francis Moore. It has a capacity of 600 feet of lumber per day.

   

1884

D.C. Roses starts a cigar factory in Corvallis that employs two men.

   

1885

The Corvallis Water Company is organized. The gravity flow water system has a 15,000-gallon reservoir built atop a 55-foot tower. Power is provided from Pitman's Planing Mill to the reservoir. Chinese laborers lay the water mains and pipes.

   

1887

Benton County is enjoying a boom of progress and prosperity. The population is 8,000, and Corvallis is growing. With civic enthusiasm at a fever pitch, the county's leaders decide the time is right to build a new courthouse: an impressive edifice that later would be described as "an ornament to the city and a credit to the county."

   

1888

Blodgett Post Office is established. First called Emrick, the name was changed the same year.

View of the Blodgett Valley (looking to the north?). In the distace is the one-room Blodgett schoolhouse, and in the foreground are several buildings that are part of one or more farmsteads. This may be the Davis farm. Blodgett, Oregon, circa 1910.    

1888

There is controversy about the cost of the new courthouse. Some believe the old courthouse was in good shape, even if it was small and somewhat crowded. Before the new courthouse opens, two of the three County Court members, who made the decision to build a new courthouse, Joseph D. Johnson and George W. Houck, are voted out of office. Only Judge Erastus Holgate survives the election.

   

1888

Steamboats make runs three times per week between Corvallis and Portland.

   

1888

Construction began for the second (and present) Benton County Courthouse in Corvallis.

Benton County Courthouse, Corvallis, OR, USA<br>1980-043.0011p Newel post at Benton County Courthouse, Corvallis, Oregon, USA    

1888

Granger Post Office is established between Corvallis and Albany (discontinued 1903).

   

1888 - 1889

Work continues on the Courthouse. The total cost, including furnishings, was less than $70,000. The foundation, brickwork, and finishing of the exterior cost $34,628, nearly half the project's cost. The single most costly item was the Town Clock, which cost $1,225. It bears the legend, "The Flight of Time," above its four faces.

   

July 4, 1888

Independence Day festivities today brought over 6,000 people to see the cornerstone laid in Benton County's new courthouse. Events include a parade, dedication ceremonies, fire hose races, and a "sham battle."

   

1889

A schism in the United Brethren in Christ Church divides the local congregation and affects the church's Philomath College. The discord was over several issues, but the most serious was the rule that no member of a secret society could be a member of the church. The liberals, a majority, were in favor of making several changes, including doing away with the secret society rule. They succeeded in modifying the church constitution. The radicals want to continue with the established rules, and leave the church.

   

1889

Corvallis Times begins publication.

   

1889

The Greek Goddess of Justice, Themis, stands over the entrance to the Courthouse. Such a statue generally is depicted with a blindfold to show she judges impartially. When this is pointed out to an early Corvallis judge, he responds, "It's high time that Justice saw what she is doing."

H1897-032-0023 1980-043.0010p    

1889

Benton County Courthouse is completed at Corvallis, Oregon.

Photo circa 1897 Photo circa 1888-1897 Photo circa 1907-1914    

1889

A private electric power plant is built by L.L. Hurd. The system installed is a Westinghouse dynamo.

   

1889

A new college is established in Philomath, Oregon. Initially called the Radical College, its name is soon changed to the College of Philomath. Philomath now has two colleges.

College of Philomath building circa 1895. This is the second building constructed after the first building was destroyed by fire.    

July 1889

The county moves its offices into the new Courthouse and the Corvallis City Council convenes in one of the rooms it leased for $75 annually.

   

Nov. 4, 1889

Circuit Court Judge R.S. Bean presides at the first session in the new courthouse.

   

1890

The population of Corvallis reaches 1,527.

   

Sept. 1890

President Keezel of the College of Philomath is fatally injured while working on the new college building when the scaffolding he is working on collapses and he falls. His wife, Sarah Keezel, is asked to be the new president. She is believed to be the only woman holding the position of co-educational college president.

Sarah L. Keezel as featured in <i>The Morning Oregonian</i>, Thursday, August 3, 1899.    

1892

The City of Corvallis purchases the Corvallis Water Company.

   

1892

Corvallis City Hall is built. It is located on the southeast corner of Fourth and Madison Streets. The fire companies are housed on the lower level.

1990-068.1263    

1892

The Corvallis Carriage and Wagon Company is built next to the railroad tracks between Eleventh and Thirteenth Streets in Corvallis, Oregon. Many local people buy stock in the company. However, western oak is very different from eastern oak. Western oak cracked and checked even after it was made into vehicles. In addition, sales people already had contracts with eastern firms and could not purchase from the local company. (The carriage company is a complete failure and closes in 1896.)

   

1893

Hotel Corvallis is constructed on the southeast corner of Second and Monroe Streets. It has a distinctive corner tower.

Hotel Corvallis, Corvallis, Oregon, USA    

1893

Benton County is reduced approximately to its current boundaries.

   

Feb. 20, 1893

Named for Abraham Lincoln, Lincoln County is created by the State Legislature, and Benton County is reduced to the approximate size it will remain - the third smallest county in the state. People who lived on the coast were tired of the long trek to the county seat. The people of Benton County raised $5,000 in attempt to stop the effort, but they were unsuccessful.

   

1895

Bellfountain Post Office is established and is known as Dusty from 1895 to 1902 (discontinued 1905).

   

1895

The population of Corvallis is 2,500.

   

July 25, 1895

The Oregon Pacific Railroad declares bankruptcy and is sold at a sheriff's sale.

   

1897

The Corvallis Creamery is established. Dairying has become of greater importance regionally.

Oblique view, looking to the southeast from the intersection of First and Madison Streets, toward the Corvallis Creamery Building, circa 1915.<BR>In the foreground can be seen the tracks that served the river front industries, as well as a boxcar of the Northern Pacific Railroad. (The tracks were not Northern Pacific.) Three children pose on top of the boxcar. Two delivery trucks of the Corvallis Creamery can be seen on First Street, one beside the boxcar, and the other in front of the building. The Corvallis Creamery work crew is also posed in front of the wood frame, multi-story creamery building. An awning overhangs First Street beneath which can be seen cream cans. A water tower, from which an American flag hangs, is located on top of a section of the building. A sign advertising the price paid for butter fat is affixed to the building, as is a sign with the name of the business. Interior view of the Corvallis Creamery, circa 1908. <BR>    

1897

A provision is made for nine grades in the public school. Until 1897 only eight grades were taught.

   

1897

Lobster Post Office is changed to Box Post Office to serve the residents of Lobster Valley. It was probably a big box placed by the side of the road (discontinued 1906).

   

1897

The Legislature establishes standard norms for county schools. Schools that meet the norms get more support.

   

1898

Glenbrook Post Office is established (discontinued 1905).

   

1898

The Spanish-American War begins.

Toy battleship U.S.S. Maine made of printed cardboard over a wood frame.    

1899

Fern Post Office (discontinued 1903) between Philomath and Bellfountain and Peak Post Office (discontinued 1917) on the side of Marys Peak are established.

Labeled by donor as Peak Post Office (Old Davidson Home), 1910. The post office was established October 11, 1899. Virgie Davidson was the first Postmaster. 2 miles northwest Marys Peak (about 6 miles south of  Blodgett). Discontinued October 15, 1917. Postal cancellation from Peak, Oregon, USA    

1900

Under the leadership of President Thomas Gatch, Oregon State University, known then as the Agricultural College of the State of Oregon, enjoys an enrollment of 405 students.

2003-107.0002    

1900

Corvallis population: 1,819; Benton County: 6,706; Oregon: 413,536.

   

1900

Bruce Post Office (discontinued 1905) is established 10 miles south of Corvallis.

   

1900

The economic downturn that was the Panic of 1893 is now all but forgotten in Benton County, as the next 10 years will be a period of growth and prosperity for the area. The influence of the Willamette River as a major transportation artery is clearly on the wane, replaced by the railroad and the soon-to-appear automobile.

   

1900

Of the 714 families living in Benton County in 1900, 362 are renters.

   

1900

Brown Post Office is established 8 to 10 miles southwest of Corvallis (discontinued 1903).

   

1900

Gatch oversees the establishment of the college's Department of Commerce, the eleventh such program in the United States and the first in the Pacific Northwest.

   

1900

Up to the year 1900, the flouring mills of the area dominate Corvallis's industrial output. They will be replaced during the first decade of the new century with industry related to timber.

   

Nov. 16, 1900

The police chief took a woman's cow to the pound because it was staked too close to the sidewalk and anyone passing by had to step over the rope. The chief took the action after giving the owner a warning. While the chief was trying to take the cow, the owner unbuckled the halter and let the cow loose; however, the chief prevailed and took the cow away. The woman's husband paid the fine and took the cow home. According to the Corvallis Gazette, "This little incident may serve as a lesson to quite a number of people around the city."

   

1901

Leadership in business and commerce, lifestyle, and culture in Corvallis are provided by the Benton County Citizen's League, the Commercial Club, the Village Improvement Society, and the Civic Improvement Committee. The most influential of these is the 150-member, men only, Commercial Club.

   

1901

The birth of men's basketball at the college, under the direction of W.O. "Dad" Trine.

   

1901

Mike Flynn, Sam Ewing, J.D. Irvine, and E.A .Cone start Benton County Lumber Company. They purchase 300 acres of land on the south side of Mary's peak, and build a steam-powered sawmill, a logging camp, and a flume to carry the logs to their planing mill at the juncture of Highways 20 and 34 in Philomath.

A. Hagerty and other employees at Benton County Lumber Co. mill in 1914. Benton County Lumber Company Employees with Circular Saw Blade, circa 1908.    

1901

Blackledge Furniture Company opens in Corvallis, Oregon.

O. J. Blackledge Delivery Wagon on Second Street, Corvallis, circa 1905. Closeup photo of Blackledge Furniture Store.    

1901

Edward Buxton purchases the Central Planing Mill from F.P. Sheasgreen and the subsequent Buxton's Mill becomes the largest and best known manufacturing firm in Benton County.

Central Planing Mill, Corvallis (Benton County), Oregon<BR>. Rebuilding the Central Planing Mill in 1911, Corvallis, Oregon.<BR> <BR>    

1902

Corvallis is characterized by wooden sidewalks and unpaved streets. The streets are unlighted. Train service to Portland is once a day; freight service via the Willamette River is once a week.

   

1902

Philomath College gymnasium is built.

Philomath College Gymnasium, seen here circa 1905.    

1903

J.G. Horning operates the River View Poultry Yards. This is the beginning of Benton County becoming by the 1920s one of the best known poultry breeding centers of the world.

   

1903

The Dr. George R. Farra house is constructed near downtown Corvallis at 660 SW Madison. It is a two and one-half story, wood frame house constructed with a bellcast gable roof with dormers and cross gables on the east and west elevations, and is considered a landmark property in the location surrounding Central Park. It later becomes the Madison Inn and is currently used for apartments.

Dr. George R. Farra residence, Corvallis, Oregon, USA    

1903

Franz Edmund Creffield arrives in Corvallis. Over the next 4 years, as a self-appointed prophet and leader of a religious cult of his own creation, consisting mostly of women followers and a few men, he will turn the town of Corvallis (and the entire mid-Willamette Valley) on its ear as rumors and tales of the unbecoming religious practices of the group make their rounds through every nook and cranny of the community.

   

1903

Southern Pacific buys the Oregon and California RR and finished the line from Oregon to California.

   

1903

The last steamboat trip north from Corvallis is made.

   

1903

August Fischer is Corvallis' first owner of an automobile, a 1903 Rambler.

   

1904

Businessman Mark Rickard opens Corvallis' first auto "dealership" in the rear of Long's Sporting Goods Store on Second Street. His might also be the second oldest dealership in the state. He is an agent for Pope, Peerless, Chalmers, and Flanders automobiles.

   

1904

Benton County Review started.

Original office of the Benton County Review newspaper. This building is the former Maple Grove school building moved to this location behind the Oddfellows building in Philomath, Oregon.    

1904

A well-improved and pleasant city residence can be bought for an investment of $1,000-$2,500.

   

1904

International students are allowed to attend the agricultural college for the first time.

   

1904

The last of the horse-drawn stage as a mode of transportation: the Corvallis and Albany Stage Line, which operates from the Viditos Livery Stable in Corvallis.

   

1905

Noon Railroad is built by Noon Lumber Co., following Woods Creek to the north side of Marys Peak. It is a narrow gauge logging line.

   

1905

Gamma Delta Phi becomes the first permanent Greek letter social organization on the Corvallis campus in April. Alpha Tau Omega made a brief appearance in 1882 but was disbanded in six months.

   

1905

Louisa Irwin's Addition platted.

   

1905

The city votes to build a gravity flow water system to tap water from the Marys Peak watershed. The system is ready for use in 1906.

Early 20th century image of a stream in the Corvallis watershed, probably Rock Creek or one of its tributaries, backed up by a log crib dam. This is one of the four intakes of the Corvallis Water Department.    

1905

Corvallis adopts a local option law and becomes a "dry" town.

   

1906

First State Bank of Philomath opens. It will fail 5 years later.

   

1906

Religious cult leader Creffield is murdered on the streets of Seattle by Newberg resident George W. Mitchell, brother of one of the followers, who later goes to trial and is found innocent by a jury who judges his actions as justifiable homicide. The trial makes national news and is for weeks all the talk in Corvallis and Benton County; many citizens helped raise the money for Mitchell's defense.

   

1906

Corvallis-OSU Symphony Orchestra begins.

   

1907

John Richard Newton Bell, a local Methodist minister and OAC campus chaplain, begins the tradition of throwing his hat into the Marys River after wins over the University of Oregon in football. It becomes one of the city's most popular social and recreational events, which Bell continues until his death in 1928. (See also 1913, 1921).

   

1907

North College Hill Addition.

   

1907

Larry Russell begins bus service in Corvallis. He operates a "bus line" out of the old Territorial Capitol building on Second Street using a Ford Touring car.

   

1907

William Jasper Kerr, B.S., D.Sc., LL.D., is appointed by the Board of Regents as the sixth president of the Agricultural College of the State of Oregon. Kerr will serve as president until 1932.

   

1907

College Crest Addition platted.

   

1907

Under the direction of Head Coach F.S. Norcross, the college football team finishes its six-game schedule undefeated, with no ties and no points allowed, the mythical pristine season never before or since achieved by any athletic team in OSU history.

1907 football rally.    

1908

The name State Agricultural College is changed to Oregon Agricultural College. Faculty totals 53 members.

   

1908

The agricultural college establishes the College Book Store in conjunction with the Business Office.

   

1908

A rail line is extended south of Corvallis for the first time.

   

1908

North College Hill (supplemental plat) Addition platted.

   

1908

Philomath Creamery opens.

Philomath Creamery, sometime between 1908 and 1925.    

1908

Corvallis begins numbering streets. Monroe is chosen as the north-south base line because it is the most central street and the longest street running east to west.

   

1908

Oregon Agricultural College's Forrest Smithson wins the gold medal in the high hurdles at the London Olympics.

   

1908

Roosevelt creates the Siuslaw National Forest of 625,000 acres.

   

May 30, 1908

The 15-foot-high Civil War Soldier's monument made of Barre Vermont granite is dedicated at Crystal Lake Cemetery at a cost of $1,000. It is a gift of the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR), a group of Civil War veterans, and the Women's Relief Corps, an auxiliary of the GAR, in "appreciation of the gallant service rendered to their country by the soldiers and sailors of the civil war."

   

1909

The plat of the new town in the Alsea Valley, prepared by W.H. Malone, was examined and duly approved by the Benton County Court. (Source: "Corvallis Gazette," January 19, 1909).

   

1909

The first public high school is completed in Corvallis.

   

1909

Corvallis High School is established in 1909. Before that, the private academies and college prepatory departments served the function.

   

1909

Over 200 buildings are constructed in Corvallis and vicinity.

   

1909

New Additions platted, including Emery and Kent's Addition, Fairview Addition, Miller's Addition, N.P. and B. Avery's Second Addition, Park Terrace Addition, Rosedale Addition, and West Corvallis Addition.

   

1909

McCready Brothers Sawmill is founded on the flat land on the north side of the confluence area of the Willamette and Mary's Rivers. The business will later become the Corvallis Lumber Company.

Corvallis Lumber Co. Logs in Flood, Corvallis, Oreg. 1943    

Jan. 1909

Due to popular demand, the Independent Telephone Company installs an additional switchboard that allows another 2,000 subscribers to receive telephones. The old switchboard has a capacity for only 600, but actually accommodates 700.

   

Nov. 24, 1909

The flood of 1909 is one of the worst floods in Corvallis history. It disrupts many Thanksgiving celebrations.

   

1910

The Palace Theater advertises for the first time in the Weekly Gazette-Times newspaper. It is located on north Second Street and operated by Small and Whiteside.

   

1910

Between 1910 and 1920, the Corvallis business district expands from Second Street west to Third Street. As this happens, most of the wood-frame commercial buildings remaining on Second Street are demolished and replaced with masonry buildings.

   

1910

Corvallis High School opens in a building at the present location of the city's Central Park. It will remain there until 1935, when the school moves to a new building constructed a half-mile north and west on 11th Street.

Corvallis High School, Corvallis, Oregon. Corvallis High School.    

1910

Paving of city streets in Corvallis begins.

   

1910

Between 1910 and 1920, the population of Corvallis grows by 26 percent.

   

1910

Corvallis population: 4,552; Benton County: 10,663; state of Oregon: 672,765.

   

1910

By 1910, Corvallis can boast of three movie theaters, the Palace Theater on north Second Street, the Star Theater, and the Idlewild Theater.

Horse and carriage on Main Street in Front of the Palace Theatre, and Sam Moses store, 1917. Randall Miller on horse.    

1910

During the first 10 years of the twentieth century, the population of Corvallis increases by 150 percent, to 4,552 residents of all ages.

   

1910

From Jacksonville, Oregon, Vance DeBar "Pinto" Colvig (1892-1967) will enroll at OAC, play in the band, draw cartoons for the school yearbook, stay until 1912, and then leave Corvallis to become a vaudeville actor, legendary professional clown, and one of the greatest voice-over entertainers in American history. The voice of "Goofy" and numerous other cartoon characters for the Disney Corporation, he is also credited with composing the children's song, "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf." He provided the voices for "Sleepy" and "Grumpy" in the movie, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. His voice is also heard as one of the Munchkins in the Wizard of Oz. Soon after World War II, he became the first Bozo the Clown, a role that would land him in the Clown Hall of Fame in 2004.

   

1910

OAC uses "Beavers" for the first time as a reference to its athletic teams.

   

1910

Corvallis Gazette-Times begins daily publication.

   

1910

Nolan's Department Store moves into the Harding Building. It is the first major retailer to move from Second Street to Third Street. Nolan's advertises, "It pays to walk a little farther."

Nolan's Department Store, circa 1910 (Decade and date based on the unpaved condition of Third Street and the date of the building.) Window display at Nolan's Department Store at night, circa 1930 (301 SW Madison, Corvallis, Oregon).    

1910

Gus Harding builds a large commercial building on the northwest corner of Third and Madison streets, which becomes the cornerstone of what will become the Third Street business district.

   

1910

OAC's McAlexander Fieldhouse is constructed.

McAlexander Fieldhouse, circa 1911-1912. ROTC at McAlexander Field House, 19__. Car show beneath tie dyes.    

1910-1911

The Hotel Corvallis is extensively remodeled; a distinctive corner tower is removed, and another story is added. The hotel is renamed the Julian Hotel for owner Julian McFadden.

   

1911

Built in 1911, the Corvallis and Philomath Garage, also known as Hathaway's Garage, was the second building erected in Corvallis specifically to sell and repair automobiles. The two-story building, located at 341 SW 2nd Street, was constructed of poured cement with a pebble dash front.

Vern Clark and Hubert Hathaway in front of the Philomath Service Garage. Vern Clark and Hubert Hathaway at their Philomath Service Garage.    

1911

Buxton's Mill suffers a devastating fire and is rebuilt.

   

1911

The Washington Avenue railroad spur, which leads to the riverfront, is removed.

   

1911

The old Corvallis Hotel at the southeast corner of Second and Monroe streets is expanded and reopened as the Julian Hotel, named for its owner Julian McFadden, who had purchased the older business in 1907.

   

1911

Anna Zou Crayne is appointed as OAC's first Dean of Women.

   

1912

Corvallis boasts the largest hopyard in the Willamette Valley, located just to the south of the Crystal Lake Cemetery. In 1929, it will be owned by the Seavy family. Other hopyards are located north of town, including the Butler Hopyard and the McFadden (family) Hopyards.

Agricultural laborers at the Seavy Hop Yard, 1930. Seavey Automatic Sprayer at the Ireland Hop Yard, 1933.    

1912

Susan Beeson Taylor is elected Benton County Treasurer. She is the first woman elected to public office in Benton County.

   

1912

OAC has approximately 2,800 students enrolled in all programs.

   

1912

Alpine Post Office is established at Alpine, Oregon.

   

1912

The Oregon Electric Company begins railroad service from Portland to Corvallis. Track for the OEC runs parallel to the main line of the Southern Pacific, but on the east side of the Willamette River, across property that is on the western boundary of the Trysting Tree Golf Course.

   

1912

Boy Scouts and Campfire Girls are established in Benton County.

   

1912

A bridge is built over the Willamette River at Corvallis. It was completed in 1913.

Willamette River bridge, Van Buren Street crossing, approximately 1913. Willamette River bridge, Van Buren Street crossing, approximately 1913.    

1912

The bond election for the Van Buren Street bridge is the first in which women can vote after the statewide suffrage amendment passed earlier. Mrs. Gun Hodes casts the first ballot.

   

1912

A brochure touts the virtues of settling in the mid-Willamette Valley, and claims, "Corvallis has more phones per capita than any town its size in the U.S."

   

1912

A Memorial Bell in memory of George P. Wrenn is placed near the fire station at the corner of Fourth and Madison Streets by the Corvallis Fire Department and the Ladies Coffee Club. Wrenn, a fireman, died in a warehouse fire on February 25, 1882.

   

1912

The Philomath State Bank, incorporated in 1911, constructed "a reinforced concrete building suited to banking purposes" at 1301 Main Street. The historic structure now houses The Wine Vault.

   

1912

The Prather-Alcorn-Miller Machine Shop, located on the northeast corner of Second and Adams, is completed in the fall of 1912. The building is constructed of concrete blocks manufactured by the Concrete Construction Company. This machine shop, which included a turntable for servicing automobiles, replaced a blacksmith shop in this location after automobile owners began bringing their cars to the blacksmith shop for repairs.

Prather-Alcorn-Miller Building (1912) on the right. Photograph from the Benton County Historical Society, Harland Pratt Collection.    

1913

The stadium that will later be known as Bell Field, which will be the home of OSU football until the construction of Parker Stadium in the early 1950s, is constructed on the site where today's Dixon Student Recreational Center is located. (See also 1907 and 1921)

   

1913

Ohio native Jess A. Hanson (1887-1978) arrives in Benton County and begins a poultry breeding business on a 30-acre farm just to the west of the OAC campus. His farm will eventually expand to 350 acres and Hanson will become the world's pre-eminent breeder of White Leghorn chickens for egg production. Over the next 20 years Hanson's Leghorns will win over 100 national and international contests for egg-laying and set 21 world records.

1981-002.0041    

1913

The Majestic Theater opens in Corvallis, Oregon.

Varsity Theater, 115 S.W. 2nd St. Corvallis, Benton County, Oregon in 1976.  Photo by Preston Onstad.  Formerly this was called the Majestic Theater.    

1913

The first bridge across the Willamette River in the vicinity of Corvallis opens for traffic. It replaces a ferry that had operated since the first settlers arrived in the area.

   

1913

County Judge Victor Moses orders that the grey concrete exterior walls of the Courthouse be painted "whiter than snow."

Judge Victor Moses, Comm. George Smith and H.C. Herron of Benton County in 1912.    

1914

Corvallis residents see their first airplane.

   

1914

James Withycombe, a professor of agriculture at Oregon Agricultural College and director of the Oregon Experiment Station, is elected governor by the largest plurality ever given a candidate for the state's highest office up to that point. A member of the Republican Party, Withycombe was born in Tavistock, England, in 1854, and moved to a farm in Hillsboro when he was 17. His first term began in January 1915. At the time of the election he was a resident of Corvallis. (See also 1918, 1919)

   

1914

World War I begins.

   

1914

4-H Club work begins in Benton County, Oregon.

   

1914

OAC receives acclaim as "Lady McDuff," a White Leghorn chicken under the care of faculty members in the college's poultry department, becomes the first chicken in the world to lay more than 300 eggs in one year (303 total).

   

1914

The County bows to the presence of women in the Courthouse by adding a restroom for them.

   

1915

Lewisburg supports enough activity to be classified as a village. In addition to the Mountain View Grange hall, the small rustic community features an elementary school, a high school, a church, and a State Game Farm, and is a lively farm center.

   

1915

Oregon State puts West Coast football on the map with a 20-0 upset win over Michigan State in East Lansing. The result stuns the nation and moves legendary sportswriter Grantland Rice of the New York Tribune newspaper to pen the famous poem he calls "The Pacific Slump."

   

1915

Footballer Herman "Abe" Abraham becomes OSU's first consensus All-American in any sport.

   

1915

Land that had belonged to Corvallis town-founder J.C. Avery is purchased for conversion to a city park. The property includes Avery's house.

   

1915

OAC becomes a founding member of the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference, one day to become the Pac-10. The other charter members are the University of Oregon, the University of California, and the University of Washington.

   

1916

The Airdome, an outside theater, opens in the location that will eventually house the Whiteside Theatre.

   

1916

J.C. Avery's house burns to the ground. The only surviving structures are two brick chimneys, 10 feet apart.

   

1917

OSU's alma mater, "Carry Me Back," is written by W. Homer Maris, a University of Oregon graduate who receives his M.S. degree from OAC in 1918. It is officially adopted by the college in 1919.

   

1917

The Oregon state legislature enacts a law providing for the creation of a state highway commission and authorizes it to construct and maintain a system of modern highways throughout the state. This relieves Benton and every other Oregon county from a responsibility they had assumed since the early days of pioneer settlement of the Pacific Northwest.

   

1917

The Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) is first established at OAC.

R.O.T.C. at McAlexander Field House, 19__.    

1918

The 50th anniversary of Oregon Agricultural College as a state institution of higher education. Enrollment is 1,668, under the supervision of 160 teaching and research staff.

   

1918

By the end of the year, OAC has nearly 2,000 students, alumni, and faculty enlisted in the military and fighting in World War I.

   

1918

Corvallis General Hospital is built.

   

1918

James Withycombe, former professor of agriculture at OAC, is re-elected Republican governor of the state. (See also 1914, 1919)

   

1919

Steamboat traffic stops servicing Benton County, Oregon.

   

1919

Governor James Withycombe dies at home on March 3. Secretary of State Ben Olcott automatically becomes governor. (See also 1914, 1918)

   

1920

During the 1920s, the development of the area known as south Corvallis takes place on the south side of the Mary's River.

   

1920

From 1920 to 1930, the population of Corvallis increases 31 percent.

   

1920

The "wheat slump of 1920" closes the Fischer Brothers Milling Company.

   

1920

Corvallis population: 5,752; Benton County: 13,744.

   

1920

The number of dairy cows in the county (8,064) outnumber the number of beef cattle (2,630) as the dairy industry replaces cattle ranching.

   

1920-1930

By the 1920s, the timber industry in Benton County is cutting more timber (60 million board feet) than it produces in new growth (40 million board feet).

   

1921

The Blue Mouse Theater is opened on North Street in a building built by the Oddfellows.

   

1921

The Hillcrest Addition is platted.

   

1921

OAC's football stadium, constructed in 1913, is christened Bell Field, named for J.R.N. Bell, a local Methodist minister who, by this point in his life, is considered to be the greatest OAC athletic booster of his generation. Sometimes nicknamed the "Little Beaver Mascot," or just "Beaver Mascot," he is seriously ill the day of the ceremony and does not attend. (See also 1907 and 1913)

   

1921

One hundred seventy-three new residences are built in Corvallis.

   

1921

Paved road reaches Monroe from the north Benton County line.

   

1921

The Lincoln Tract is added in south Corvallis.

   

1922

Corvallis sees the appearance of its first apartment buildings made of brick, concrete, and stone, including the Beaver Apartments on north Second Street, the Fairview Apartments at Twelfth and Van Buren streets, the Ball Apartments in the Ball Building on Third and Jefferson, and the Schneider Apartments on 26th and Arnold Way.

   

1922

Nineteen new buildings are added to the Corvallis business district, including the Weigand Block (Second Street, between Monroe and Jackson), the Eberting Building (same location), the Beaver Laundry Building (just to the north), the Smith-Allen-Rennie Building (Third and Madison), the Pulley-Darling-Hyde-Thatcher buildings (west side of Third between Madison and Monroe), the Johnson Porter Building (for the Pacific Telephone Company on the southwest corner of Third and Monroe), and the Ball Building on the northwest corner of Third and Jefferson.

   

1922

The Whiteside Theatre is built by George and Samuel Whiteside on the northeast corner of Fourth and Madison streets. The cost is $100,000, a huge sum for the times.

c. 1925.  Printed on the postcard on the bottom left is the following: Color lantern slide, circa 1940 (probably 1941), depicting main facade of Whiteside Theatre.    

1922

KOAC radio is established as KFDJ.

   

1922

One hundred twenty-five new residences are constructed in Corvallis.

   

1922

Sam H. Moore opens the Benton County Hatchery on the corner of Eleventh and Taylor streets, at that time the largest electric hatchery on the west coast.

   

1922

Linus Pauling graduates from Oregon Agricultural College. He will go on to become one of the seminal scientists of the twentieth century and the only person in history to win two unshared Nobel Prizes.

   

1923

Carver Tracts are added in south Corvallis, Oregon.

   

1923

OAC abolishes all academic work not of college standing.

   

1924

OSC wrestler Robin Reed wins the gold medal at the Paris Olympics.

   

1924

The last of the ramshackle old barns, sheds, and lop-sided lean-to's that once were interspersed among business houses along Second and Third streets between Van Buren and Washington streets is torn down, making way for a variety of modern business structures, including the Benton Hotel and the Elks Temple.

   

1924

The Memorial Union at Oregon Agricultural College is organized and incorporated.

   

1924

The Corvallis City Improvement League plants trees through the community.

   

1924

Fischer Brothers Milling Company reopens with an emphasis on feed and seed rather than flour.

   

1925

Hotel Benton is built on the southwest corner of Fourth and Monroe streets.

Corvallis' Hotel Benton photo circa 1925 Corvallis, Oregon's Hotel Benton photo appx. 1983    

1925

Corvallis hires its first city planner, A.D. Taylor. Among other things, he recommends that the riverfront be acquired by the city and developed into a park.

   

1925

Ernest Wiegand, a professor of horticulture at OAC, adds calcium salts to cherry brine to perfect the modern process for making maraschino cherries. It is a myth that the maraschino cherry was invented at Oregon State University since the product had been around for a long time prior to Wiegand's arrival at Oregon Agricultural College in 1919.

   

1925

First Women's Day organized at OAC. It becomes "Women's Weekend in 1933 and "Mother's Weekend" in 1947.

   

1925

Radio station KFDJ is licensed as KOAC and its power is boosted to 500 watts.

   

1925

Siletz agency closes.

   

1925

OAC's School of Forestry purchases 80 acres north of Lewisburg that will eventually become OSU's Peavy Arboretum.

   

1925

Notre Dame's legendary football coach Knute Rockne arrives in Corvallis to teach his then-famous "Rockne Method" football course as a summer faculty member at Oregon Agricultural College. He has a special affinity for OAC because of his friendship with Beaver Head Football Coach Paul Schissler. He will return each of the next three years (1926-28) to do the same, much to the delight of the college community, townspeople, and Dean Ellwood Smith, head of the OAC School of Basic Arts and Sciences and director of the summer session.

   

1925

Building permits are required for the first time in Corvallis.

   

1926

Lilly Acres is added in south Corvallis.

   

1925

The Crees Building is constructed downtown on the west side of Third Street between Madison and Jefferson streets.

Third Street Looking North from Jefferson Avenue (undated photo) McGregor's, in the Crees Building, Corvallis, Oregon.  Undated photo.    

1926

The Women's Building at Oregon Agricultural College is erected.

Oregon Agricultural College (OAC), ca. 1928 OAC Women's Building under construction, ca. 1928    

1926

The Gazette-Times newspaper moves into a new building at the southwest corner of Third and Jefferson.

Gazette-Times Corvallis building.  Undated photo    

1927

The wood-frame Occidental Hotel building at the southeast corner of Second and Madison streets is replaced by the Corvallis Hotel.

Occidental Hotel and streetcar, in the intersection of Madison Avenue and Second Street, circa 1890.    

1927

Oregon Agricultural College becomes Oregon State Agricultural College.

   

1927

Steel pipes replace wooden water pipes from Marys Peak watershed.

   

1928

Trucks and automobiles have now fully eclipsed the railroad as the chief means of passenger and freight service between Benton County and the rest of the state.

   

1928

The Memorial Union building and Weatherford Hall are completed on the OSAC campus.

Memorial Union, Corvallis, Oregon Weatherford Hall, Corvallis, Oregon    

1928

Railroad passenger service between Corvallis and Yaquina Bay is discontinued.

   

1929

By the dawn of the Great Depression, the three largest employers in Benton County were agriculture, education, and timber.

   

1929

Owing to financial difficulties, Philomath College closes its doors for the upcoming school year. The collapse of the stock market in the fall and the Great Depression that follows deal a final blow to the institution; it never reopened.

   

1930

Corvallis population: 7,585; Benton County: 16,555.

   

1931

The building that will house the Corvallis Public Library is completed. It is designed by the architectural firm of A.E. Doyle and Associates of Portland and is generally attributed to the genius of Pietro Belluschi, head of the firm and chief designer, who is also responsible for the Portland Art Museum and Portland's Equitable Building, both critically acclaimed.

Corvallis Public Library, undated photo. Pietro Belluschi was the architect.    

1931

Notre Dame football legend Knute Rockne pays his last visit to Corvallis in February. He is on a 25,000-mile tour sponsored by Studebaker. He is picked up at the train station by his friend, Paul Schissler, head football coach at Oregon State, and the two highlight their time together with a promise to have the two schools meet on the gridiron in Oregon in 1933. Rockne died in a plane crash a month later and the game the two men dreamed of playing didn't happen until the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl in 2001.

   

1931

The Philomath public library opens in Philomath, Oregon.

   

1931

The Post Office building in downtown Corvallis, Oregon, is constructed.

Corvallis, Oregon, Post Office under construction.    

1931

OSAC is hit hard by the Great Depression. The staff is reduced to 66 positions; remaining staff must donate one day's income each month for five months; a staff salary cut is initiated by members.

   

1933

The worst year for building construction in Corvallis history. Only three permits were issued for the 12-month period.

   

1933

First annual "Dad's Weekend" established at OSAC.

   

1935

Oregon State Agricultural College awards its first Ph.D. degree.

   

1935

Corvallis High School moves from its Central Park location to a new art deco building a half mile to the northwest on 11th Street. The old building becomes the junior high school until it is destroyed by fire in 1946.

   

1935

The Work Projects Administration (WPA) was established in 1935 by executive order of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The WPA employed millions of Americans and many of the products of their labor are still utilized and enjoyed today.

The Benton County Historical Society is honored to be an official custodian of WPA art by Oregon artists, including Percy Manser, Charles Heaney, Eric Lamade, Martina Gangle, C.C. McKim, Edward Sewall, Robert E. Harbison, Conrad G. Pedersen, William Forsyth McIlwraith, and others.

Etching entitled    

1936

Stimson's Addition is platted for Corvallis, Oregon.

   

1936

Ralph Hull starts the Hull-Oakes Company, a steam-powered lumber mill.

   

1936

T.J. Starker and Rex Clemens begin buying forest land.

   

1937

The name of Oregon State Agricultural College is changed to Oregon State College.

   

1937

In one of the most remarkable stories in the history of Oregon prep sports, the boys basketball team from the tiny farming community of Bellfountain in southern Benton County, known then as the Bellfountain Bells, defeats Portland's Lincoln High School, 35-21, for the state high school championship. Bellfountain enters the game with a student population of less than 30 students, all grades, while Lincoln is one of the city's largest, with an enrollment many hundreds more.

Bellfountain High School State basketball champions (1937). 1937 Bellfountain basketball jersey.    

1938

Country Club Heights Addition is platted in Corvallis.

   

1938

Philomath City Hall, built in 1938, housed the offices for the city attorney, city council, fire department, city mayor, municipal judge, police department, public works department, city recorder, street department, city treasurer, and water commission.

Philomath City Hall at 1215 Main Street, Philomath, Oregon.  Photo by Pacific Power and Light Company, 11/16/1970.    

1939

Longhill Heights Addition is platted for Corvallis, Oregon.

   

1939

Benton-Lincoln Electric (later Consumers Power) incorporates to provide electric service to rural areas.

   

1940

Cedar Hurst Addition is platted for Corvallis, Oregon.

   

1940

Corvallis population: 8,392; Benton County: 18,629. From 1940 to 1950, there will be a 93 percent increase in the population of Corvallis.

   

1940

Frank Llewellyn Ballard is appointed president of Oregon State College, the eighth to hold the office in school history. A member of the Class of 1916, he is the first graduate of Oregon State to serve as president.

   

1941

Highway 20 is paved all the way to Newport, Oregon.

   

1941

Knollbrook No. 1 Addition is platted for Corvallis, Oregon.

   

1941

Oregon State College President Frank Ballard resigns because of illness. Dean of Science Francois Archibald Gilfillan is appointed interim president. He is also a graduate of Oregon State, Class of 1918.

   

1941

F.L. Lilly Tracts are platted for Corvallis, Oregon.

   

1941

As Japanese warplanes attack Pearl Harbor, Honolulu, Hawaii, on December 7, an event that marks the entry of the U.S. into World War II, Corvallis native and KGMB radio's Webley Edwards is the first to announce the attack to listeners in the Hawaiian islands.

   

Dec. 7, 1941

World War II begins.

   

1942

In September, the 104th "Timberwolf" Division arrives at Adair. The Division will make its reputation fighting in Europe at the Battle of the Bulge.

   

1942

In August, the 96th or "Deadeye" Division is the first to arrive at Adair. The 96th will fight at Okinawa.

   

1942

Country Club Heights Addition was platted.

   

1942

Passenger train service to Corvallis, Oregon, is discontinued.

   

1942

August Leroy Strand is appointed the ninth president of Oregon State. He retired in 1961 and served as president emeritus until 1980.

   

1942

Built on 50,000 acres in Benton and Polk Counties, and requiring the relocation of the residents of the small community of Wells, Camp Adair, an army cantonment located approximately 12 miles north of Corvallis, begins to take shape in the spring of 1942. From 1942 to 1944, Camp Adair will be the second largest city in the state. Four army divisions--the 70th, 91st, 96th, and 104th--train here for the battlefronts of World War II, eventually disbursing to such places as the Battle of the Bulge and Okinawa. By 1945, the facility was being used to house German and Italian POWs.

Raoul Mound (extreme left) and four Military Police (MP) sergeants at Camp Adair, Oregon. Raoul Mound with sentry dog, Kerrie Blue Terrier, at Camp Adair, Oregon.    

1942

OSC appears in its first Rose Bowl, played in Durham, North Carolina, because of the outbreak of war with Japan and government restrictions against the gathering of large crowds on the West Coast. OSC wins the game over Duke 20-16 in the only Rose Bowl ever played away from Pasadena, California. To date, this remains OSU's only Rose Bowl victory.

O.S.C. vs. Duke, Rose Bowl Game January 1, 1942.  Don Durdan with ball.    

1943

Camp Adair, World War II training camp, is dedicated

   

1943

OSC's 75th anniversary as a state college. Enrollment is 4,743.

   

1943

In August, the 91st Division arrives at Adair. Known as the "Powder River-Let Her Buck" Division, in 1944 it will be involved in the recapture of Rome.

   

1943

In June, the 70th Division arrives at Adair. It is often referred to as "Oregon's Own" and is the first to push across the infamous Siegfried Line, one of Nazi Germany's last stands of the war.

   

1944

All schools are required to be part of a high school district by the Oregon Legislature. Kings Valley High School consolidates with Philomath.

   

1945

Richland Acres Addition is platted.

   

1946

Holly Cornell, Jim Howland, Burke Hayes, and Fred Merryfield form the CH2M company.

   

1947

Timber harvest in Benton County increases from 99.8 million board feet in 1939 to 210 million board feet in 1947.

   

Dec. 13, 1947

On December 13, 1947, Philomath celebrates the grand opening of the new Waucomah Theater, described in the Philomath Benton County Review as "ultra-modern in every detail." Today, the rehabilitated historic building is home to JanniLou Creations, a popular quilting shop.

   

1948

First liquor store in Philomath, Oregon.

   

1949

Bernard Malamud is hired to teach English at Oregon State College. Over the next 10 years he will become one of the college's legendary faculty members.

   

1949

Air Force ROTC is established at Oregon State College, one of only 33 schools in the country to offer the program.

   

1950

Corvallis population: 16,207; Benton County: 31,570.

   

1951

On Tuesday, Oct. 30, the Benton County Historical Society is founded as the Benton County Pioneer-Historical Association at a meeting held in Education Hall of the Federated Church, with Claude Buchanan acting as temporary chairman. Ed A. Blake is the first president. Over the course of the next several weeks, the name of the association is changed to Benton County Pioneer-Historical Society.

On Nov. 20, the first regular meeting of the Benton County Pioneer-Historical Society is held at the home of President E.A. Blake.

Edgar A. and Lottie Blake    

1954

City of Corvallis begins condemnation of the riverfront (what is now Riverfront Park).

   

1955

Automated sawmill is developed by Mater.

   

1955

Dixie, Inavale, Mountain View, and Lincoln schools are incorporated into the Corvallis School District; Garfield elementary school in Corvallis is built.

   

1956

Evans Products (now Evanite) purchases property from Ralph Chapman (site of former Fisher mill).

   

1956

Timber harvests in Benton County begin to decline from an average of 175-200 million board feet (mbf) per year to about 156 mbf per year.

   

1956

Philomath High School burns. A new school is quickly built and opens for fall, 1956.

   

1957

Highland View Middle School opens at Highland Drive and Cleveland Ave.

   

1957

Citizens Bank opens at Second Street and Madison Ave.

   

Jan. 1, 1957

The Oregon State College Beavers lost to the Iowa Hawkeyes in the 43rd Rose Bowl.

1957 Oregon State University Rose Bowl program. 1957 Pasadena Rose Bowl football ticket.    

1958

Chamber Music Corvallis begins.

   

1958

Malamud publishes The Magic Barrel, which wins a National Book Award.

   

1959

The Ash Building, at Second and Western, was built for John Ash, the owner of Builder's Supply in Corvallis. The first occupants of the building were the Siuslaw National Forest, the Marys Peak Ranger Station, the offices of Builder's Supply, and Datron, Inc., an electronic data processing firm. The reinforced concrete building was built at a cost of $165,000. (Source: "Gazette-Times," Corvallis, Oregon, Thursday, October 22, 1959.) The building was designed by local architect Cleo Jenkins. Plans for this building are in the collection of the Benton County Historical Museum.

   

1960

Corvallis population: 20,669; Benton County: 39,165.

   

1960-1968

Corvallis School District builds several new schools: Jefferson Elementary in 1960, Adams Elementary in 1962, Wilson Elementary in 1963, Cheldelin Middle School in 1967, and Hoover Elementary in 1968.

   

1960-1969

The number of lumber mills in Philomath, Oregon, declines from fifteen in 1959 to around ten.

   

1961

James Herbert Jensen is appointed tenth president of Oregon State University. He had previously served as provost at Iowa State University. He was OSU president emeritus until 1993.

   

1961

The Corvallis Arts Council is "formed to nuture local artistic expression."

   

1961

Oregon State University's Cross Country team wins the school's first-ever NCAA team national championship.

   

1961

Oregon State College University Archives are established.

   

1961

Oregon State University Press is established.

   

March 6, 1961

Oregon State College becomes Oregon State University (March 6).

   

1962

Oregon State University's Terry Baker wins the Heisman Trophy, still the only college football player in the Pacific Northwest to do so.

   

1962

The Columbus Day Storm peak winds hit on October 12, 1962.

   

1963

Federal legislation creates Finley National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge was named for William L. Finley, an early conservationist who persuaded President Theodore Roosevelt to set aside the first national wildlife refuge west of the Mississippi River. Read more >>>

   

1964

The flea collar is invented at Oregon State University.

   

1964

The United States Fish and Wildlife Service purchases the property that becomes the first National Wildlife Refuge west of the Mississippi River. It is named for William L. Finley, an early conservationist and photographer who persuaded President Theodore Roosevelt to establish the refuge. The 1855 historic Fiechter House is used as the first refuge office.

   

1965

Corvallis library expands its building.

   

1967

Malamud publishes The Fixer, awarded both a National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize for fiction.

   

1968

Oregon State University is selected as one of the nation's first three Sea Grant universities.

   

1968

African-American students protest the expulsion of Fred Milton from the football team for growing a Van Dyke goatee-type beard in violation of an OSU athletic department rule that prohibits facial hair. For several weeks, tension is thick as students rally, march, and boycott classes and athletic practices to voice their disapproval of the rule.

   

1969

On March 5, members of OSU's Black Student Union march off campus in protest of certain Intercollegiate Athletics Department policies affecting football player Fred Milton, who had earlier been asked by Head Coach Dee Andros to shave his beard and mustache.

   

1969

Roy Alton Young is appointed acting president of Oregon State University, following the resignation of President Jensen. In 1966, Young had been appointed as the university's first Dean of Research.

   

1970

Corvallis population: 35,153; Benton County: 53,776.

   

1970

Robert William MacVicar is appointed Oregon State University's 11th president. He had previously served as chancellor at Southern Illinois University. He retired in 1984.

   

1971

CH2M merges with Clair A. Hill and Associates to form CH2MHILL.

   

1971

Crescent Valley High School opens at Corvallis, Oregon.

   

1972

Corvallis, Oregon, Fall Festival begins.

   

1972

Siletz Confederated Tribes is reorganized and petition for recognition is submitted.

   

1972

Corvallis passes home rule charter.

   

1972

Philomath College building is placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

   

1974

Hewlett-Packard buys land in Northest Corvallis.

   

1975

Good Samaritan builds new hospital north of town.

   

1975

Washington and Roosevelt Elementary Schools close.

   

1976

Calyx Magazine begins publishing in Corvallis.

   

1976

Alpine Vineyards opens, signalling the beginning of the wine industry in Benton County, Oregon.

Estate Bottled,Willamette Valley, 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon bottle from BCHSM collection (2005-043.0001). Wine label.    

1976

Corvallis Community Band begins performing.

   

1976

Hewlett-Packard opens its Corvallis plant.

   

1979

In Bozeman, Montana, at the Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women's Region IX Basketball Tournament, OSU defeats the University of Oregon by a score of 75-68, ending the Duck women's 23-0 season and No. 20 national ranking.

   

1980

Benton County Historical Museum opens in the old Philomath College building.

   

1980

Corvallis population: 40,960; Benton County: 68,211.

   

1980s

Hewlett-Packard invents inkjet printer.

Hewlett-Packard Thinkjet personal printer. The Thinkjet (thermal inkjet) was introduced in 1984 and was the first mass-marketed personal inkjet printer.    

1981

Oregon State University scientist Warren Kronstad and his research team introduce Stephens Wheat, the major variety now grown in the Pacific Northwest.

   

1981

Oregon State University's LaSells Stewart Center, the largest private-gift project ever financed at an Oregon public college or university, is completed.

   

1981

Led by quarterback Ed Singler, OSU rallies from a 28-point deficit late in the third quarter against Fresno State to win 31-28 in the biggest comeback in NCAA Div. 1 football history up to that time. It will be OSU's only win of the season.

   

1982

Oregon State University alumnus and Heisman Trophy winner Terry Baker is inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

   

1984

Oregon State University President Robert MacVicar retires, then serves as president emeritus until 1998.

John Vincent Byrne is selected as OSU's 12th president. He had previously served for three years as the chief administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

   

1984

Oregon State University alumnus Milton Harris establishes the university's first endowed chair, in polymer chemistry.

   

1985

Given absolutely no chance to win by West Coast sportswriters, OSU shocks the University of Washington 21-20 in a game in which the Beavers were 36-point underdogs. At this time, this was the biggest upset in college football history.

   

1988

Corvallis da Vinci Days is founded. Visit their web site >>>

   

1990

Corvallis population: 44,757; Benton County: 70,811.

   

1990

Dr. Sam Stern, Oregon State University College of Education, becomes the first American appointed to an endowed chair in Japan.

   

1991

Corvallis Farmer's Market begins.

   

1991

Corvallis Sister Cities Association is formed; it establishes a sister city relationship with Uzhhorod, Ukraine.

   

1991

Oregon State University is designated a Space Grant university.

   

1991

The northern spotted owl is listed as threatened, and timber harvests on U.S. Forest Service lands in Benton County decline to 0.

   

1992

The Corvallis-Benton County library expands its building.

   

1993

Oregon State University celebrates its football centennial.

   

1994

Linus Pauling, Oregon State University's most distinguished graduate, dies on August 19.

   

1994

Three firefighters with OSU connections, all members of the elite Hot Shots, die while battling a blaze on Storm King Mountain in Colorado. John R. Kelso and Robert A. Johnson were 1991 OSU graduates, and Terri A. Hagen was a senior when she last attended OSU in 1993. Two other Oregon Staters survive the fire, 1994 graduate Brian J. Lee and student Tommie L. Rambo.

   

1994

A library service district is created by Benton County voters.

   

1994

A study released by the University of Southern California lists Oregon State University as the Pac-10's safest campus.

   

1994

High tech employment surpasses timber products manufacturing employment in Region 4 (Linn, Benton, and Lincoln counties).

   

1995

OSU's Horner Museum closes. Over the next decade, the collection will be stored and inventoried, and ownership will be transferred to the Benton County Historical Society.

   

1995

The Philomath Community Library opens in a building built by community volunteers.

   

1995

Vegan Magazine lists Corvallis as "one of the 13 best towns to be a vegetarian."

   

1996

Heavy February rains and snow melt cause significant flooding in Corvallis. Several OSU buildings suffer damage as a result of the flooding. In November, record rainfall for a 24-hour period leads to flooding in 10 OSU buildings and causes power outages and loss of heat in others.

   

1996

Paul Glissan Risser becomes the 13th president of Oregon State University. He had previously served as the president of the Miami University of Ohio.

   

1996

Raised in Corvallis and a graduate of Corvallis High School, author and adventurer Jon Krakauer publishes Into Thin Air, the story of his ascent of Mt. Everest in May, 1996, in which eight fellow climbers are killed by the sudden appearance of a rogue storm. His other books include Into the Wild, Eiger Dreams, and Under the Banner of Heaven.

   

1997

Raised by her mother in Corvallis in the 1960s and 70s, singer/songwriter/guitarist Meredith Brooks is nominated for a Grammy Award for her hit song "Bitch."

   

1999

Oregon State University is named one of America's 100 most wired colleges and universities, according to a survey in the May issue of Yahoo! Internet Life.

   

2001

Corvallis-born Carl Edwin Wieman wins the Nobel Prize in Physics. His other awards include the Lorentz Medal (1998) and the Oersted Medal (2007).

   

2002

The Whiteside Theatre closes.

Color lantern slide, circa 1940 (probably 1941), depicting main facade of Whiteside Theatre.    

2002

In November, Oregon State alumnus Don Pettit (chemical engineering, 1978) begins a sojourn of four months aboard the International Space Station, Alpha.

   

2003

Oregon State University senior Casey McCoy receives five degrees at June's commencement ceremonies, the first OSU student ever to earn that many degrees at one time.

   

2003

Economist Edward Ray becomes Oregon State University's 14th president. He had previously served as a faculty member and administrator at Ohio State University.

   

2004

In early January, a major winter storm hits Oregon, dumping snow and ice on Corvallis and OSU. The university closes for three days and heavy ice damages many trees around both the city and the county.

   

2004

Oregon State University becomes one of America's first Sun Grant universities.

   

2004

An $80-million expansion to OSU's Reser Stadium is launched.

   

2005

The Corvallis High School building that has served the city since 1935 is demolished.

   

2005

Corvallis establishes a sister city relationship with Gondor, Ethiopia.

   

2005

New Alsea Community Library opens.

   

2006

A new Corvallis High School building, the third in the city's history, opens in the fall.

   

2007

Corvallis High School alumnus Brad Bird wins an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature for Ratatouille, a Disney computer-animated film about a rat who dreams of becoming a chef in a fashionable French restaurant. Bird directed the film. His credits also include The Incredibles and The Iron Giant.

   

Feb. 14, 2009

Oregon celebrates the 150th anniversary of its statehood.