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“Improvements make this a new draw”

Willamette Heritage Center
Ranked #13 of 82 things to do in Salem
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Attraction details
Owner description: 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.
Reviewed January 2, 2012

Every few years, I visit the museum to see what's new. In August of 2011, I observed that the museum and the historical society have combined forces. Several exhibits are up and running that had been in earlier planning phases on my previous visits, so it was neat to see just how much history has been preserved.

Among the working items are the machine that weaves the blankets (it has a name, I've just forgotten it already), and for a few short moments the docent turned it on. It is astonishing to watch it in action. The originally installed electric lighting demo in the basement level is also fascinating, and the blacksmith's shop (with its occasional live demos) is a window into history.

Thank Parabasis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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70 - 74 of 77 reviews

Reviewed December 3, 2011

The entire complex, which included an old mill, an old church, and houses from the 1800s, is well worth a 2-3 hour visit. Admission fee ($6/adult) is modest. There is free on-site parking, as well as a cafe.

Thank LouBobHarborSprings
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 19, 2011

I enjoyed the slide show and appreciated that we were given a key to enter the outbuildings on our own. It was done very tastefully. very helpful staff. I look forward to going back.

Thank jaypoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 16, 2011

This is sort of a gathering of some of the history buildings that would have been torn down if not moved to this location and then beautifully restored. There's an introductory video that helps if you don't have a ton of time to spend here, then the wonderful lady at the front desk hands you a key to open the buildings, reads you a map, tells you how to not set off the alarms, and you're off at a wander. For 6 dollars per adult, we have absolutely no regrets coming here, and will probably visit again even if they hike the price up to where it should be ;).

The gift shop area was *awesome*.

Thank wisnic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 18, 2011

I'm a history nut and come to this museum all the time. Salem is only about 160 years old, so a lot has remained intact. The first house built in Oregon by Jason Lee is here as well as a couple of others. Displays cover everything from the early Native Americans that dwelt here, the coming of the white man, the beaver trappers, and early settlers and the hardships they endured. You will learn how Oregon became a state in 1859 and what has happened since then. There are a couple of gift shops on site as well as a small restaurant to get a bite to eat or drink. The grounds are in a park like setting a creek running through the property that supplies a woolen mill adjoining the property. You can expect to spend a couple of hours at Mission Mill Museum, learn much about early Oregon, and have a great time!

Thank parlaydean
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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