Historical homes featured in August tour, teaching community about its past

Three years ago, the Yamhill Enrichment Society organized a historical look at McMinnville and tried a historical home tour on a whim.

“People loved it, it was so successful,” said Patti Webb, YES board member. The effort was so successful in fact that people from Dayton asked YES to organize something similar the following year. This year it’s Newberg’s turn.

“We’ll be going around to different towns, we may be making the same circle but are thinking of Carlton next year,” Webb said.

The tour plays on the society’s mission statement to cultivate cultural GARY ALLEN - History of constructed wood - The Hoover-Minthorn House Museum, and its famous herb garden, is among the nine Newberg homes on an August tour sponsored by the Yamhill Enrichment Society.

“We want to talk to people about the history of our community,” she said.

Numbering nine homes in Newberg, the tour is self-guided and starts at a home at 515 E. Sherman St. owned by Darcie Destito.

“The house was built in 1904 by the volunteer chief of the fire department,” Destito said. “It’s basically what the house is named after, the Nelson House.”

Although she just happened upon the historical home eight years ago, she said it was meant to be.

“We had looked everywhere, all over Portland, because we wanted an older house and what drew us to Newberg was definitely the house,” she said. “I saw pictures of the house and interior and I said, ‘That’s the one I want.’ We plan to keep the home in the family forever, as long as we’re alive at least.”

Destito and Webb both agreed the buildings’ architecture is a large draw for visitors.

“During this period of architecture people were combining lots of different elements so you’re going to see houses that just have different architectural elements included in them,” Destito said. “It’s kind of like a transition period going from pure Victorian to arts and crafts and that type of thing. They’ll get a good view of these transitional piece overall.”

She added that this makes for some original homes and is part of what drew her and others to Newberg.

“We always have people outside taking pictures or asking to come inside,” Destito said. “They just gather around so I know people are definitely interested.”

Each homeowner will accommodate visitors in different ways. Destito said she was lucky to have Ken Austin Sr. let her use his vintage fire truck, Truck No. 3, for the tour. It’ll be parked in the driveway, along with various historical photos spread around the house for visitors to compare to modern day.

“I expect (there) to be 300 and more (visitors) because people, they love to go in the houses,” Webb said. “Some people will go in and are done, other people like the history and have a lot of questions. You could be in the house for an hour, but there are nine this year so you can’t dilly dally or you won’t get through all of them.”

Also new this year is a garden party after the tour’s end. Held at house No. 9 at 1408 N.E. Chehalem Dr., the party will feature local wineries and restaurants.

Tickets for the Aug. 9 event are available online or at the Newberg Farmer’s Market. For more information and pricing, visit

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