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Willamette Heritage Center

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Address: 1313 Mill St SE, Salem, OR 97301-6398
Phone Number: +1 503-585-7012
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Closed now
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Mon - Sat 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

The Willamette Heritage Center, formerly the Mission Mill, is a National...

The Willamette Heritage Center, formerly the Mission Mill, is a National Parks-designated American Treasure. Take a trip to the past with a costumed guide-led tour through all stages of the wool production process at the restored 1889 water-powered wool mill.

Located on a beautiful 5-acre campus in the heart of Salem, the Willamette Heritage Center is also home to the oldest homes in the state. The Lee House and Methodist Parsonage, both built in 1841, as well as the Boon House (1847) and Pleasant Grove Church (1858), are all available for tours.

With a total of 14 historic structures, permanent and changing exhibits, a cafe, shops, art galleries, and event spaces, there's always plenty to see at the Willamette Heritage Center. The site is a paradise for history buffs, explorers, and photographers alike. Stop by Monday through Saturday, 10 to 5, to discover the history of the Mid-Willamette Valley.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 64 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 34
  • 25
    Very good
  • 3
  • 1
  • 1
Quite a lot to do here

This is a great museum focusing on the history of Salem and nearby environs. We started with the historic buildings (houses, a parsonage, and a Methodist church) for which the... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed July 10, 2016
Springfield, VA
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64 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 64: English reviews
Canby, Oregon
1 review
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2016

I attended a training a Willamette heritage in January. The outside stairs had not been properly maintained and I slipped and fell on slimy stairs. No apology, no compensation for pain and inconveniences. Very disappointing experience and will avoid attending events there; I can't afford the risks.

Thank bergin2016
Springfield, VA
Level Contributor
224 reviews
65 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 165 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2016

This is a great museum focusing on the history of Salem and nearby environs. We started with the historic buildings (houses, a parsonage, and a Methodist church) for which the front desk gives you a key to let yourself in. I agree with a previous poster who commented on the typos on some of the displays -- there are some... More 

Thank Carol757
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2016

Permanent Exhibits, limited duration exhibits, inside a historic working woolen mill. the mills still runs off the original mill race. events include Christmas, holidays, conferences, history presentations, demonstrations, traditional blacksmithy, water features, ducks, Marion county heritage archives, shops and businesses. small cafe with limited lunchtime hours. Large event space in the top of the mill, smaller meeting spaces with local... More 

Thank David L
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
102 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2016

Cafe here closes at 3 pm so no chance for a late cup of coffee/tea. Only saw the upper floor of spinning room when present for a meeting - vast room that seats 400+ people. Pleasant grounds. Lots of onsite parking.

Thank Denise E
Fountain Valley, California
Level Contributor
183 reviews
42 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 21, 2016

We didn't have time to do the houses tour, but were fascinated by the Mill tour. This woolen mill used to be run by water power, but a more modern turbine now provides electricity to the museum area. Our small entrance fee provided us with a key to open the areas exhibited, including the machine shop, the picker house where... More 

Thank edq88222
Salem, Oregon
Level Contributor
40 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 21, 2016

It's always a fascinating historical experience and a greal family trip. The old mill equipment is all in place as well as the water wheel and drive system that powered it all. There are interesting displays of fabrics that were woven over the years of it's operation. In addition there are several buildings from the early to late 1800's that... More 

Thank EJT106
seattle, wa
Level Contributor
111 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 19, 2016 via mobile

Love this place, the cluster of historic building is just the right size, history well presented, some stairs but not too many. Nice overview of the local history. All out side to prepare accordingly.. The mill is kind of amazing, the mill race, machine shop, carding, spinning, weaving rooms are interesting. For the building geeks, the size and visible structural... More 

Thank fredSeattle_Wa
Renton, WA
Level Contributor
117 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2016

Loved the history, ladies were weaving upstairs ( there is an elevator). There are several shops, hair salon and cafe. The shops were full of unique items. The grounds are lovely. Nice addition to a Willamette University visit since it is located across the street.

Thank Head-mama
Salem, Oregon
Level Contributor
88 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2016

Seeing the actual houses that the pioneers lived in and what they had for furnishings and household implements was quite interesting. This is an interesting look at turn of the century and earlier manufacturing and water power sourcing and usage.

Thank twobuttes
Level Contributor
20 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2016 via mobile

Attended a 2-day meeting at the Dye House here, and it easily accommodated our group of 30-35. The Dye House meeting space is very good and roomy, but the space can be noisy and echo-y. The operator might consider hanging noise-absorbing tapestries, panels, or cloth to cut down on this. Another bonus is the tasty cafe onsite, which provided our... More 

Thank GregShine

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Keystone, South Dakota
over a year ago

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