By Starla Pointer • Staff Writer • 

Along the Street: Historical Society sells Lafayette church

News-Register file photo##
The Yamhill County Historical Society has sold an 1890s church in Lafayette. It housed exhibits that have now been moved to the Yamhill Valley Heritage Center near McMinnville.
News-Register file photo## The Yamhill County Historical Society has sold an 1890s church in Lafayette. It housed exhibits that have now been moved to the Yamhill Valley Heritage Center near McMinnville.

The Yamhill County Historical Society has sold the historic church that served as the original home of its museum exhibits.

New owners took over the Poling Memorial Church in Lafayette on Saturday, Jan. 15. Real estate agent Mike Morris said the buyers are interested in renovating the 1894 structure to make it a single-family residence.

The 3,702-square-foot building was listed at $175,000, a very appealing price in today's market, Morris said.

Once an Evangelical church, it had been used as a museum for more than 50 years. Previously it held the bulk of the YCHS household exhibits, furniture, personal items and photographs.

More records, textiles and other artifacts were housed next door in the Miller Log Cabin, which was built in 1994.

The 2,600-square-foot log cabin remains on the market, listed at $495,000. It also could be converted to a home; buyers would need to add a kitchen and full bathroom.

"We've had quite a bit of interest," Morris said.

At the end of 2021, YCHS moved its collection to the Yamhill Valley Heritage Center off Highway 18 southwest of McMinnville, where agricultural exhibits and other items already had been on display.

The non-profit heritage center, 11275 S.W. Durham Lane, is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. A $5 donation is suggested.

For more information about the historical society, go to or call 503-472-2842.


2021 sees permits for $87.6 million in projects

Builders and owners took out permits for $87.6 million worth of construction projects in McMinnville during 2021, including $35.8 worth of new commercial buildings and $41.2 million worth of residential properties.

From Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, the builders paid $2.9 million in fees for the permits, including system development charges that will help the city pay for infrastructure maintenance and improvements.

When permits are taken out, the city also collects a construction excise tax on behalf of the McMinnville school district, which is available for educational capital projects. In 2021, the district received $1.38 per square foot for residential construction and 69 cents per square foot of nonresidential construction.

Builders sought permits for 90 commercial structural projects. They ranged from remodeling work in restaurant spaces on Third Street to new construction such as the Pebble Dental office and the tiny home Boutique Retreat, which are both under construction along Ninth Street between Alpine and Lafayette Avenues.

The largest permit taken out in 2021 was for Linfield University's new science complex. The $19.7 million project includes construction of a new building and remodeling in Graf Hall, an existing science building adjacent to the new construction.

Commercial permits also included totals of $451,000 for plumbing work, $545,000 for alarms and fire suppression systems, and $5.4 million for mechanical work. The work happened in a variety of buildings all over town.

The residential projects total $38.4 million for 143 one- and two-family dwellings and $2.8 million for 79 other structures, such as garages. Many of the permits were for houses being built in the northwest section of McMinnville.

Other residential permits totaled $13,500 for demolition, $14,500 for fire sprinkler systems, 3.4 million for mechanical work and $720,000 for plumbing.


New building

A "mixed commercial use" building is going up at 629/631 N.E. First St., McMinnville, just west of the post office parking lot.

Silas and Amy Halloran-Steiner took out the building permit, which says the structure will comprise 2,700 square feet over three stories.


Restaurant reopens

Geraldi's reopened Wednesday after being closed for some kitchen improvements, as well as the holidays. The restaurant at 226 N.E. Third St. has new menu items, as well.


Chamber Leadership

The McMinnville Area Chamber of Commerce is about to start its annual Chamber Leadership Class, which introduces business people to the city and its organizations both for-profit and non-profit, as well providing guidance on leadership in general.

The class meets monthly to tour local businesses, government organizations and non-profits. Discussion topics include teamwork, education, human services, public safety, health care, basic services, business and industry, culture and history and others.

Each leadership class chooses a project that will help the community. One year, for instance, the class raised funds for new equipment for the Soup Kitchen at St. Barnabas.

Many people who've take the course have gone on to leadership roles in the community.

The 10-month program costs $750 for Chamber members and $850 for non-members. For more information on how to enroll or participate, contact Rhonda Pope at the Chamber office, 503-472-6196, or send email to


Melting down

More than three dozen restaurants and other businesses will participate in the 2022 Melt Down, an annual fundraiser for the Yamhill County food bank featuring special  grilled cheese creations.

Restaurants will offer special grilled cheese sandwiches featuring unusual cheeses, meat and other special additions; some will include tomato soup or other sides. For each sandwich they sell, they will donate $2 to YCAP for the food bank.

Additional businesses will offer Melt Down related beverages or items such as wearables or kitchen items.

Look for a list of participants and more information about the Melt Down in an upcoming edition of the News-Register.


Cookie season

Girl Scouts of Oregon and Southwest Washington are selling cookies in their annual fundraising event.

Scouts in McMinnville and other parts of Yamhill County are among those taking orders.

Scouts are offering a new cookie this year, Adventurefuls. The "brownie-inspired" cookie features caramel-flavored creme and sea salt.

In addition, Scouts are offering their nine traditional cookies, including Thin Mints, Samoas and Tagalongs.

Proceeds from cookie sales go toward Girl Scouts projects and activities throughout the year. Cookie sales also teach Scouts business skills, according to Karen Hill, CEO of Girl Scouts of Oregon and Southwest Washington.

Cookies are available through March 13. They can be purchased from local Scouts and from booths the girls set up in front of local stores and at other locations, as COVID regulations allow.

In McMinnville, booths are planned at Safeway, Albertsons, Walmart and Wilco Farm Store between Feb. 18 and March 12. Booths also will be set up at Select Market in Sheridan and at stores in Newberg during that time period.

Go to to find a location or learn general information about the fundraiser.


Chamber Greeters

Alt CoWorking, 609 N.E. Third St., McMinnville, will host the Friday, Jan. 28, McMinnville Area Chamber of Commerce Greeters program. It will run from 8 to 9 a.m.

The Jan. 21 Greeters had been scheduled at Alt Coworking with BCC Business Consulting as the host, but it has been changed to a virtual event.

The Chehalem Valley Chamber of Commerce in Newberg also plans a Greeters program from 8 to 9 a.m. Friday, Jan. 28.

For more information, go to the McMinnville Chamber website,, or the Newberg one, at


Museum grants

The Oregon Heritage Commission is offering grants, usually between $2,000 and $10,000, to museums for collections, heritage tourism, and education and interpretative projects.

“This program is quite broad and can be used to collect the full spectrum of Oregon’s history, preserve it and raise awareness of it," said Katie Henry, Oregon Heritage coordinator. "We hope to see both creative and practical proposals."

Projects could include those related to COVID-19 challenges, as well as cataloging, archival storage, disaster preparedness, conservation, marketing, enhancing visitor experience, training staff, online education, school classes and camps.

In the past, Oregon Heritage has funded projects at the Sheridan Museum of History, Hoover-Minthorn House in Newberg and other sites around the state.

An online workshop about the grant will be offered from 2 to 3 p.m. Feb. 8. Advance registration is required.

For registration and more information, go to or contact Kuri Gill at or 503-986-0685.


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