Main Street in downtown
Location in Oregon
|• Mayor||Ila Skyberg|
|• Total||0.96 sq mi (2.49 km2)|
|• Land||0.92 sq mi (2.38 km2)|
|• Water||0.04 sq mi (0.10 km2)|
|Elevation||225 ft (68.6 m)|
|• Estimate (2012)||2,054|
|• Density||2,201.1/sq mi (849.8/km2)|
|Time zone||Pacific (UTC-8)|
|• Summer (DST)||Pacific (UTC-7)|
|GNIS feature ID||1163355|
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.
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.
As of the census of 2010, there were 2,025 people, 698 households, and 501 families residing 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.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,844 people, 666 households, and 480 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,138.0 people per square mile (827.9/km²). There were 715 housing units at an average density of 829.0 per square mile (321.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 84.22% White, 0.16% African American, 9.82% Native American, 0.16% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 1.84% from other races, and 3.74% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.42% of the population.
There were 666 households out of which 39.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.1% were married couples living together, 13.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.9% were non-families. 22.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.77 and the average family size was 3.19.
In the city, the population was spread out with 32.4% under the age of 18, 9.1% from 18 to 24, 28.3% from 25 to 44, 19.8% from 45 to 64, and 10.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 99.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.8 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $32,326, and the median income for a family was $37,250. Males had a median income of $30,082 versus $22,432 for females. The per capita income for the city was $13,349. About 10.9% of families and 14.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.2% of those under age 18 and 7.7% of those age 65 or over.
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.
Willamina was formerly served by The Sun, Sheridan's weekly newspaper, which ceased publication in 2014. Currently, Willamina is served by the News-Register, a county-wide publication based in McMinnville.
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.
- Brown, Charlene. "Willamina (city)". The Oregon Encyclopedia.
- "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-12-21.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-12-21.
- "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-06-02.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "City of Willamina, Oregon". Retrieved 2015-05-18.
The City of Willamina has rich pioneer history dating back to 1846 when a pioneer settler woman named Willamina Williams fell off a horse and into a creek; the creek was given her name.
- McArthur, Lewis A.; McArthur, Lewis L. (2003) . Oregon Geographic Names (7th ed.). Portland, Oregon: Oregon Historical Society Press. p. 1041. ISBN 978-0875952772.
- "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017.
- "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
- Engeman, Richard. "George Gay House near Hopewell". Oregon Historical Society. Retrieved April 19, 2014.
- "Willamina Brick Plant Feasibility Study Urged". The Sun. March 6, 1991. Retrieved April 19, 2014.
- "Portland Architecture by Pietro Belluschi". Museum of the City. Retrieved April 19, 2014.
- "Brick Manufacture is Big Industry at Portland". Clay Record. 31 (5): 33. September 14, 1907.
- "Willamina Community Profile". Business Oregon. Retrieved April 19, 2014.
- Daquilante, Paul (July 3, 2014). "West Valley Reacts to The Sun Closing". News-Register.
- Austin, Ed (2014). The Oregonian Railway. Images of Rail. Arcadia Publishing. pp. 13, 39. ISBN 978-1-4671-3031-8.
- "Willamina & Grand Ronde Railway". Abandoned Railroads of the Pacific Northwest. Retrieved April 19, 2014.
- Media related to Willamina, Oregon at Wikimedia Commons
- Entry for Willamina in the Oregon Blue Book
- "Willamina (city)". The Oregon Encyclopedia.
- Official website
- Historic images of Willamina from Salem Public Library
- Willamina Planning Atlas, 1979
- Willamina Brick Factory historic inventory by Stephen Dow Beckham