Image of Thompson Mills

history & heritage

No matter where you are in the Willamette Valley, you’ll find its rich history and heritage on display. Some you can experience through restored historical attractions (prepare to be wowed), where passionate volunteers share stories of bygone eras. Curious collections are curated within a wide array of museums, some harkening to times gone by while others are sleek and elegant. And educational opportunities abound through natural history museums and university exhibitions open to all.

Honoring Our Indigenous Communities

The tribes of the Kalapuya — including the Tualatin, Yamhill, Luckiamute, and Santiam people — have hunted, fished, foraged, traded, traveled, and lived on the lands across the Willamette Valley for thousands of years. With such a rich past, thriving present, and promising future, we want to honor these Indigenous communities by sharing stories and resources for learning more.

Preserving and Protecting the Oak Trees of the Willamette Valley

Oak savannas and woodlands, which once covered much of the Willamette Valley, are dwindling in numbers today; just 5% of the region’s historic oak trees remain.

So we took a look at the history of oak trees in the Willamette Valley, what’s being done to protect and preserve oak trees today, and where you can see these regal trees today.

Rolling hills covered in vineyards at Stoller Vineyard
Rolling hillsides covered in vineyards and oak trees at Stoller Family Estate. Photo by Mike Haverkate.
A red and white building with a sign denoting it was where a movie was filmed in Oregon.
The award-winning film One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest was largely shot at the Oregon State Hospital—which is today the Oregon State Hospital Museum of Mental Health.

Filmed in Oregon: Willamette Valley Stars on the Silver Screen

Over the decades, more than 500 movies have been filmed in Oregon—including several that have been shot in the Willamette Valley (such as Stand By Me, Twilight, Animal House, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest).

So we’ve rounded up some famous filming locations around the Willamette Valley to help you enjoy the region’s occasional brush with Hollywood.

Explore the Possibilities