The Methodist Parsonage - Salem, Oregon
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member ddtfamily
N 44° 56.062 W 123° 01.594
10T E 497903 N 4975659
Marker describing the history of the Methodist Parsonage
Waymark Code: WMH3KR
Location: Oregon, United States
Date Posted: 05/16/2013
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member silverquill
Views: 2

This marker describes the history of the Methodist Parsonage, dating to 1841 and listed in the National Register of Historic Places. It is one of the oldest wood frame houses remaining in the Pacific Northwest. The text reads:


The Parsonage was the second frame building constructed after the Mission's sawmill was erected. Built in the summer of 1841, approximately where the water tower serving the Thomas Kay Woolen Mill currently stands, it was initially the living quarters for the missionaries involved with the Indian Manual Labor School - located on the site where Willamette University now stands. Among the residents of the Parsonage were Reverend Gustavus Hines and his family, Reverend William Roberts and Reverend George Gary.

"Thus you see that the 'parsonage' is the cradle of Methodism in the Pacific Northwest. It was built and occupied as a parsonage ten years before Willamette University was incorporated, and doubtless has entertained practically every early missionary of the Methodist Church during his or her lifetime in the region. I venture to affirm that there is no building standing in the Pacific Northwest with the historical significance of this one and it would be too bad to have it lost simply because at the present time it happens to have some old and unattractive washings on the porch."
                                    - Letter to Willamette President Bruce R. Baxter, 1935, from Burt Barker Brown.

The above excerpt is a small example of a nearly thirty-year battle for the restoration of this significant building. Being the second oldest frame structure still standing in the Pacific Northwest, it has earned its place in Oregon history. After a long list of locations, uses and occupants, the Parsonage has found its home at the Willamette Heritage Center, restored and serving as a gateway to the past.

Photo captions:

  • The Parsonage in the 1960s before it was restored.
  • Rev. Gary was sent by the Mission Board to replace Jason Lee. Due in part to a perceived lack of focus on the conversion of the Native population, the Mission was ordered to close. Upon his arrival in 1844, Gary took immediate steps towards achieving that goal.

  • Click a photo to enlarge

Historic Topic: Pioneer

Group Responsible for placement: Historical Society

Marker Type: City

Region: Willamette Valley

County: Marion

State of Oregon Historical Marker "Beaver Board": Not listed

Web link to additional information: Not listed

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