Educational Programs

The mission of the Education Committee for the Historical Society is to engage, share, and demonstrate the history and heritage of Yamhill County. To that end, we invite schools and homeschool students to visit our museum in McMinnville and experience history.


Pioneer Days, at the Heritage Center is an intricate part of the Yamhill County Historical Society.  The schools (public, private and homeschooled) from Yamhill County are our first priority to serve.  If we have any openings after mid-December a waiting list is created for those who are outside our county.  After the first of January those on the waiting list will be contacted in the order that made their request.


Pioneer Days is designed with a focus on Oregon history, including traveling the Oregon Trail and life on the Oregon farm for children.  It is offered during the fall and spring and is designed for 4th graders (9-10 year olds).  We conduct a program that allows students to enjoy many of the activities children of 130 years ago experienced.  Students attend Hutchcroft School—a one room schoolhouse from the Yamhill Area that was moved to the Heritage Center—experience a 1880’s class and participate in varied hands-on activities. Examples range from making candles, working with wood using old time tools, washing clothes, sewing, leather work, and music.  They also watch a blacksmith ply his trade.  We have a full-sized replica of a covered wagon for students to get in while wearing pioneer clothes.


This is a VOLUNTEER run program and activities can vary daily.  To help us sustain this program, there is a $4.00 charge per student attending.  Chaperones and teachers are free.

Please contact Terry Nelson at for more information and to schedule your students for a hands-on history lesson or sign up below.

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The Historical Society also participates in off site programs with our Covered Wagon: such as AG FEST at the State fairgrounds in April; Winter Ag Fest at Polk County Fairgrounds in February; the State Capital birthday party and Oregon Trail Live—weather permitting.    We also bring exhibits to some of the Agricultural Expositions and other events.


We provide children’s programs at our Farm fest and Harvest fest events.


For SMALL GROUPS that would like a “Pioneer Day” type experience but may be younger or older than our target audience, we can provide an age appropriate program that includes the School House, Covered Wagon, and Cabin.  This program may include some costuming depending on the age of the participants and would last approximately one hour.  Cost is  $2.00/child. Chaperones and teachers are free.  THIS PROGRAM RUNS ONLY IF VOLUNTEERS ARE AVAILABLE.  

Please contact Cynthia Christensen at for more information and to schedule your SMALL GROUP for a hands-on history lesson.

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