The Willamette Heritage Center, located in Salem, was created in 2010 by combining the Mission Mill Museum and the Marion County Historical Society. The five-acre Heritage Center preserves Willamette Valley history, keeping up mill structures and houses of the first pioneers.
The Thomas Kay Woolen Mill was built in 1889. In 1895 the mill building was destroyed by a fire. A new brick building, that stands in the present day, was constructed in 1896.
The woolen industry was operated by Kay family during 70 years and was closed in 1959. Five years later, in 1964 the Mission Mill Museum was established.
The Willamette Heritage Center embodies the ancient and peaceful land the city was built on, offering you a glimpse into the rich history, and highlighting the buildings in the area that are still standing from those times long ago. The museum tour is a fascinating historical experience, where visitors are able to see the actual Victoria-era pioneer's houses, the mill buildings with the original machinery and industrial wool processing description. There are a water power exhibit and mid 19th-century church.
The Willamette Heritage Center was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
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