Founded in 1957, the Yamhill County Historical Society is a not-for-profit educational and public service organization engaged to protect, preserve and share the history and heritage of Yamhill County. An exceptional group of quilts and other textiles dating from the 1850s through the twentieth century, and a beautiful assortment of Native American baskets and tools are among the more than 15,000 items found in the Permanent Collection. The society also owns many antique tractors and unique farming artifacts.
Currently the YCHS has two locations, one in Lafayette (Historic Lafayette Museum) and one just southwest of McMinnville on Hwy 18 (Yamhill Valley Heritage Center).
At the Lafayette site there are three buildings: the Poling Memorial Church (built 1892, register of historic places 2002), a metal storage barn constructed in the 1970s, and the Miller Log Cabin Museum (built 1994). The Church houses thousands of artifacts spanning the 19th and 20th centuries, and the log cabin houses the Ruth Stoller Research Library containing photos, genealogical and archival materials, and books by local and regional authors.
The Yamhill Valley Heritage Center on Hwy 18 at Durham Lane is a twelve acre site with several buildings housing a saw mill, a blacksmith shop, and an incredible fleet of antique farm vehicles. This complex was made possible by generous donations from the Kauer and McPhillips families. An Activities Building is available for rentals for various events. Construction continues at this site as we gradually unfold a vision of a vintage village.