Historical photo##A photo of Third Street looking west from the intersection of Davis Street around the year 1912.
Historical photo##A photo of Third Street looking west from the intersection of Davis Street around the year 1912.
Historical photo##A building-top view of Third Street near what is now the railroad crossing shows a white wood-frame house, currently home to the Bistro Maison restaurant. In the distance is the previous Yamhill County Courthouse, built in 1889 and replaced in 1963.
Historical photo##A building-top view of Third Street near what is now the railroad crossing shows a white wood-frame house, currently home to the Bistro Maison restaurant. In the distance is the previous Yamhill County Courthouse, built in 1889 and replaced in 1963.
By Don Iler • News Editor • 

Downtown website a blast from the past

A new website is being created to the local web development firm LVSYS, working under contract for the McMinnville Downtown Association, to document the history of downtown buildings and businesses over the ensuing 160 years. The MDA aims to launch the website by the time Turkey Rama rolls around the second weekend in July.

Rebecca Quandt, MDA’s promotions and marketing director, has collected documents, artifacts and interviews to assemble a comprehensive history of the downtown historic district. “The website will give people some context on why Third Street is important,” she said. 

Quandt has been gathering information on all the primary and secondary historic buildings, along with the businesses that have occupied them over the years. Her aim is to update information put together in the 1980s, when McMinnville’s downtown was declared a historic district.

The site will feature an interactive map, showing the lots downtown and allowing people to click on them to see what buildings are there and which businesses have occupied them over the years. From there, visitors will be able to click to see historical photos or artifacts, as well as listen to oral history interviews.

The site, being funded through a $12,000 grant from the state, will include an interactive timeline highlighting important events in downtown history.

Quandt said the site will bring together various bits of history that have been gathered and documented over the years, but in different formats and places. She said it will make the area’s history more visual, and will be mobile-friendly, allowing visitors to review local history from their phones or tablets as they tour downtown.

“What’s so great is it’s much more visual than what’s been done before,” she said. “It’s compiling everyone’s work and research into one place.”

Quandt said the Yamhill County Historical Society had provided invaluable assistance, as had numerous volunteers.

But she remains in need of additional period photos and artifacts. She said it could be something as simple as an old receipt from a business.

She is also interested in conducting additional interviews with people whose memories hark back to an ealier era. They can reach her at 503-472-3605.

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