By Paul Daquilante • Staff Writer • 

Willamina 'growing and developing'

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Sheridan and Willamina were always the brunt of jokes growing up in the Southeastern part of the county. It’s where you just didn’t go. It’s a little bit like Appalachia very beautiful area with junked out cars, tweakers and old refrigerators in everyone’s back yards.

Chief Kyle

Wow, so uncalled for.


Must be all the progressives and Californians that lived there....right?



No these are more likely multi generational (we called them the “hill people.”) Like people from Vernonia , Oakridge out of Eugene and Idahna east of Salem are also like this. I think families who used to be in the timber industry before that industry got shut down by Portland and then they turned to meth and other hard drugs to cope and had lots of out of wedlocked children.


Your generalization’s are laughable....and actually kinda sad....


Great job Kenna West...and all the others that are all doing such a good job out in Willamina. Keep up the great the work!


Communities like Willamina/Sheridan are in the cross hairs of the crisis in good middle class jobs typically filled by men. It is well documented that women oft choose to only marry "men with a stable job and a good income." (see link). Hence, marriage rates in these types of communities as well as the inner cities dropped.

This carries with it increased probabilities of drug use ect. While we've recognized, and at least attempted to address, the disparities of girls in schools we've miserably failed the very large portion of boys whom aren't college bound. This facet needs to be considered when making industrial and educational policy.

Paul Daquilante

gregtompkins . . .

There are Willamina residents who do live on Hill Street. Were you referencing those citizens? Just wondering.

Paul Daquilante/reporter


Paul, I just thought Willamina , like Vernonia , Oakridge and Idahna, Marion Forks, Falls City etc those are “Hill People” because they live in higher elevations. You have City people, farmers and hill people. Hill People are like Oregon’s Appalachians I don’t know the proper way to describe what I’m talking about. Former Timber people that Portland environmentalists shut down and now economically depressed.


Paul - to give you context, growing up I had a lot of extended family that would fit Greg's description. Even around Amity, before the hills became homes to McMansions, the hills were typically where poorer folks (including some of my relatives) lived. This is going a ways back though.

Willamina CM

Working in Willamina has been absolutely wonderful and our beautiful City is no longer what it was when those jokes were being bandied about. We have a wonderful School Superintendent and school system, we have 10 gig fiber optic which has led to professionals moving to our City who can telecommute using the high speed internet and new businesses moving to town, 10 gig fiber also provides fast internet service for our school, Library & citizens, we have a flourishing artist community, and with the hard work of our Deputies and the drug dog that is stationed here in Willamina we have significantly reduced the drug activity in and around our City, we have lovely new homes going in, strong infrastructure, beautiful parks, and citizens who care about their City. If you haven't been out here lately, come visit, see just how fantastic our beautiful City of Willamina is today! Kenna West, Willamina City Manager


I grew up in Willamina in the 50s and 60s. One of the best towns to grow up in this state or any other place for that matter. We took pride in the town, our schools and the people we lived with and worked with. You can joke all you want about “Hill People” but they are some of the most loyal,hardworking and prideful people you will meet anywhere. In the early 70’s the environmentalists came up with the spotted owl conspiracy and tried to ruin a great place to live by taking the timber industry away. Through it all that Willamina Pride has shown its self time and again. Congratulations Kenna and the rest of the citizens of Willamina to continue the Legacy of a great small town.


@Willamina CM the 10G Internet would be a draw for me since I am an IT professional. But Willamina is too far away from Beaverton and Aurora. It might be good if you telecommute but still a little too far compared to Newberg. PS I am only in my 40’s but I am old enough to remember when everything south and west of McMinnville were no go zones. Glad to see gentrification has come.

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