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Willamina, Oregon facts for kids

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Willamina, Oregon
Bus stop in Willamina OR
Bus stop in Willamina OR
Timbertown, USA
Location in Oregon
Location in Oregon
Country United States
State Oregon
Counties Yamhill, Polk
Incorporated 1903
 • Total 0.98 sq mi (2.54 km2)
 • Land 0.94 sq mi (2.43 km2)
 • Water 0.04 sq mi (0.11 km2)
225 ft (68.6 m)
 • Total 2,025
 • Estimate 
 • Density 2,396.17/sq mi (925.35/km2)
Time zone UTC-8 (Pacific)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-7 (Pacific)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 503
FIPS code 41-82350
GNIS feature ID 1163355
Dr. Andrew Kershaw House Willamina Oregon

Willamina is a city in Polk and Yamhill Counties in the U.S. state of Oregon. The population was 2,025 at the 2010 census.

The Yamhill County portion of Willamina is part of the PortlandVancouverBeaverton, Metropolitan Statistical Area, while the Polk County portion is part of the Salem Metropolitan Statis


Willamina was named after Willamina Creek, which in turn was named for early settler Willamina Williams shortly after she fell off of her horse and into a creek, which was subsequently named after her. Williams was born Willamina Craig in 1817 in Ohio. She married James Maley in 1837 and the couple came to Oregon in 1845 with James' daughter. While looking for land to settle, the family came across a tributary of the South Yamhill River and named it for Mrs. Maley. James Maley died in 1847, and Willamina married Enos Williams in 1848. They settled in what is now Amity.

Willamina post office was established in 1855 on the James Brown land claim, about a mile east of present-day Willamina. The office moved in 1863 about two miles west to the Jeremiah Lamson land claim. In 1866, the office was moved and renamed to present-day Sheridan. In 1878, a new Willamina post office was established; it operated from December 1880 to March 1891 just over the county line in Polk County. A gristmill and sawmill were established in 1878. The townsite was platted in 1879 and Willamina incorporated in 1903. At that time the city had 200 residents.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.96 square miles (2.49 km2), of which, 0.92 square miles (2.38 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) is water.

The city lies near the intersection of Oregon Route 18, Oregon Route 18 Business, and Oregon Route 22 next to the South Yamhill River. The communities of Shipley and Sheridan are to the east, and Valley Junction is to the west.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 68
1910 376
1920 247 −34.3%
1930 360 45.7%
1940 677 88.1%
1950 1,082 59.8%
1960 960 −11.3%
1970 1,193 24.3%
1980 1,749 46.6%
1990 1,717 −1.8%
2000 1,844 7.4%
2010 2,025 9.8%
2019 (est.) 2,250 11.1%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 2,025 people, 698 households, and 501 families living in the city. The population density was 2,201.1 inhabitants per square mile (849.8/km2). There were 777 housing units at an average density of 844.6 per square mile (326.1/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 82.1% White, 0.3% African American, 8.8% Native American, 0.1% Asian, 0.4% Pacific Islander, 2.3% from other races, and 5.9% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.0% of the population.

There were 698 households, of which 40.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.7% were married couples living together, 16.0% had a female householder with no husband present, 10.0% had a male householder with no wife present, and 28.2% were non-families. 20.6% of all households were made up of individuals, and 7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.89 and the average family size was 3.26.

The median age in the city was 33.2 years. 28.4% of residents were under the age of 18; 9.8% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 25.4% were from 25 to 44; 26.6% were from 45 to 64; and 9.8% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 50.1% male and 49.9% female.


West Valley Fire station in Willamina Oregon
West Valley Fire District station in Willamina

Willamina experienced an economic boom in 1907, when a brick-making company, the Pacific Face Brick Company, moved from Newberg and opened the Willamina Clay Products plant. The Sheridan and Willamina Railroad was built to the city because of the brick plant, which ran for 82 years. Bricks made at Willamina Clay Products were used in the Portland Art Museum, Jackson Tower, and Lloyd Center in Portland, and the Yamhill County Courthouse. The brick plant closed in 1974; the buildings were razed in 1976. The red clay for the company's products came from Newberg, the white clay from Willamina, and the buff clay from Buena Vista.

The other mainstay of the city's economy is the timber industry, and when Pacific Plywood Corporation opened a plant in 1939, the city's population tripled. Willamina became known as "The Little Town with the Big Payroll". As of 2002, the city's largest employers were Spirit Mountain Casino in nearby Grand Ronde, Willamina Lumber Company, Willamina School District, Maben Trucking, and Eddy Trucking.


Willamina is served by the Willamina School District, including Willamina High School.



The Sheridan and Willamina Railroad was founded in 1907 and became part of the Southern Pacific Railroad's Willamina Branch in 1913. The independent short line company Willamina and Grand Ronde Railroad (W&GR) extended the line south and west from Willamina to Grand Ronde in 1922; the W&GR changed ownership several times. It was purchased by the Willamette Valley Railway in 1980. Today the lines east and west of Willamina are owned by the Portland and Western Railroad, although the portion of the line from Fort Hill to Grand Ronde is abandoned.

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