Newberg has more than its fair share of historic properties

By George Edmonston Jr.

The National Register of Historic Places was introduced in 1966 to keep track of and raise awareness to a community’s most historic buildings, sites, structures, districts and objects.

Nationwide, there are more than 87,000 separate listings on the register. In Oregon, the number is 1,948…and counting.

In Yamhill County there are 80 listings. Dayton has the most, followed by Newberg with 12, then McMinnville.

Here are Newberg’s NRHP locations, in chronological order:

Hoover-Minthorn House,115 S. River Street, NRHP listing dated 10/29/75. Originally built in 1881 by “Father of Newberg” Jesse Edwards, purchased in 1884 by Henry and Laura Minthorn, this is Newberg’s oldest and most historic house. From 1885 to 1888, President Herbert Hoover lived here as the adopted son of the Minthorns, who also happened to be his aunt and uncle.

Jesse Edwards House, 402 S. College, 10/25/80: Edwards built this house in 1892. Today it is owned by George Fox University and serves as a residence for presidents of the university.

John T. Smith House, 414 N. College, 11/15/84: This Queen Anne-style cottage dates to 1904. Smith helped found the Friends Church and was Newberg’s first City Recorder. Smith’s wife, Rebecca, was also City Recorder and a professor at George Fox.

Ewing Young Burial Site, North Valley & Stone, 11/27/89: Young was a fur trapper, rancher and businessman and among the earliest Indo-Europeans to settle the Oregon Country. He came to the Newberg area in 1834. Several years after his death (1841), an acorn was planted on his grave. Today, a giant oak marks the spot and sits on private property four miles west of town and a quarter mile north of highway 240.

Joseph and Virginia Chambers Farmstead, 30295 N. Hwy 99W, 3/5/92: Built in 1912 by Pennsylvania furniture makers Joe and Virginia Chambers, the couple first named the place Orevania Farm. The current owners have lived here 46 years and said the farmstead is a rare example of an original “farm ensemble intact,” an attractive grouping of big house, cottage, carriage house and barn.

Fernwood Pioneer Cemetery, Everest Road, 8/5/94: This lovely cemetery sits adjacent to Friends Cemetery and dates to 1882. It contains the final resting place for many families responsible for the early settlement and development of Newberg. The names include Parrish and Everest. Sebastian Brutscher, the pioneer who gave Newberg its name, is also buried here.

Charles K. Spaulding House, 717 E. Sheridan, 8-26-94: This lovely Queen Ann was constructed in 1900. In 1897, Spaulding had built a logging and lumber operation that today can still be seen as the large mill on the river south of town. In 1927, the mill was converted to pulp and paper. In its day, the Spaulding Lumber Company (and mill) carried the largest payroll in Yamhill County.

Minthorn Hall, 414 N. Meridian, GFU campus, 6/13/97: Built in 1887 when Fox was Friends Pacific Academy, the hall was located on Third Street, later moved to its present location in 1892, where it remains as the oldest building on campus. Named for Henry and Laura Minthorn, cited in the first entry of this story. Known to earlier generations as Kanyon Hall.

Paulson-Gregory House, 509 S. College, 3/18/99: Built by Jesse Edwards in 1913 for J.C. Paulson, this house features the rare cream colored bricks produced by the Newberg Brick Factory in the early 20th century and represents a period when Newberg was the brick making center of the Pacific Northwest. The Gregory family purchased the house in 1922 and resided there for 36 years.

Union Block Building, 610-620 E. First, 5/5/2000: Also known as the Wilson Building.Built by the Union Building Company in 1907. Home of three prominent Newberg banks and the Imperial Hotel (1907-1929). Miller Mercantile operated in 616 for many years, followed in turn by Coast to Coast hardware, Wilson’s Furniture and White’s Collectibles. Martin Redding’s insurance agency was in 612 (1940-1960), important because A-dec co-founder and co-owner Joan Austin spent several of her formative years as a business woman at this agency.

Parrish-Bristow Farmstead, 30280 NE Wilsonville Road, 7/17/2000: A beautiful farm house with a pioneer feel, it was built in 1905 by William Albert Parrish and his wife Anna May (Bristow). Parrish held charter memberships in the Fernwood Grange, Newberg Debate Society and the First Christian Church. He worked as a farmer and for 20 years as a road supervisor for Yamhill County.

J.C. Penny Building, 516 E. First, 6/13/2007: The first nationwide chain department store to enter the local market, Penny operated in this decorative masonry style building until 1980. Many still know this address as Khron’s Appliance store. Critter Cabana (pets and supplies) is the current occupant. A fire on Dec. 13, 2012, did extensive damage to the interior. Now under restoration.

This story also published under the headline “Newberg has more than its fair share of historic properties” in The Newberg Graphic, April 3, 2013.