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Guest Author | 04/24/2023 | Archived

Celebrate National Historic Preservation Month in Benton County

Did you know that Corvallis was originally called Marysville? It was changed in 1853 to avoid confusion with a California town of the same name. The new name was chosen to represent how people feel about this area - its Latin translation is “Heart of the Valley.” This May, take an adventure to the heart of Willamette Valley to see Corvallis in a new way - by exploring historical sites and activities offered during National Historic Preservation Month.

Benton County Historic Resources Preservation Commission's 2023 theme for celebrating this month is “Windows into the Past – Views to the Future,” which invites you to peer into history for life lessons and appreciation of how things were as a way to see how we can build upon and create what’s coming next.

Enjoy walks down memory lanes with guided tours of historic sections of town. Take in the fresh outdoors with a memorial garden or hikes in natural areas while learning their past stories. Make learning about historical places and events an adventure with a specially created clue hunt! In this game, with new chapters premiering on Saturdays in May, offers puzzles and mysteries as told by ghosts with the 3rd season of “Spectres.”

Historic Preservation Month: Spectres of Benton County Past, Season 3, May 2023, Corvallis, Oregon

Spectres of Benton County Past, now in its third year, was created by the fantastical imagination and technological wizardry of Adrienne Fritze and Mark van der Pol of Conundrum House, a local Corvallis business dedicated to the art of fun through games. As you uncover each location, you learn the rich stories and captivating history told through the voices of people from long ago - the “spectres” real and imagined.

Challenge yourself to complete all four episodes of either Season One or Season Two, or take the day and follow the clues released each Saturday this May for Season Three. This game is free and open to all ages. The game is family-friendly and can be played online so you can share this fun and exciting event with family and friends from other communities and states.

The Benton County Historic Resources Commission is organizing tours, events, and activities throughout May.

More information will be announced as the Benton County Historic Resources Preservation Commission finalizes this year's events, so stay tuned for more details and fun things to discover while exploring the Heart of the Valley’s history! Please watch this article and check the Visit Corvallis calendar and the Commission’s website for updates.

We’d love it if you posted your historic memory-making moments on social media and tagged us on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. If you tag us or use the hashtag #VisitCorvallis on Instagram, we may share your photos with our audience. Have fun!

Historic Walking & Driving Tours in Corvallis

Explore Corvallis and Benton County and discover our history with a variety of self-guided walking and driving tours!

The tours here will guide you around various areas of Benton County and Corvallis, showcasing historic homes and locations, and offering a little background on each stop. Most of these tours were designed for walking, but can be driven as well - although you might want to bring a friend to help you navigate as you drive.

Find self-guided historic walking and driving tours here.

Article by Stacey Newman Weldon. Keep up with Corvallis news, events and happenings by signing up for our email newsletter.

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