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Marion County is in the center of the Willamette Valley and borders the Willamette River and the Cascade Mountains. It was established in 1843 and called the Champooick District.  It was renamed Marion County in 1849, after Revolutionary War hero, Continental Army General Francis Marion. The Willamette Valley area has been inhabited for 5,000 years and The Kalapuyans were the Native Americans who originally settled in Salem. In 1849, Salem was designated the county seat, and in 1864 it was confirmed as the state capital.

Historic Sites and Museums in Marion County: 

  • Court Street - Chemeketa Street Historic District
  • Gaiety Hill - Bush's Pasture Park Historic District
  • Saint Paul Historic District
  • Mahonia Hall
  • Reed Opera House
  • A.C. Gilbert's Discovery Village
  • Mission Mill Museum

For more information about Marion County History, please click here


This Marion County website page is for History, Facts, Archives, Records, Museums, Exhibits, Documents, Genealogy, Libraries, Historians, Research, Historic Preservation, Ancestry and Statistics in Marion County, Aurora, Detroit, Donald, Gates, Hubbard, Idanha, Jefferson, Keizer, St. Paul, Scotts Mills, Sublimity, Turner, Breitenbush, Butteville, Champoeg, Hayesville, Marion, Mehama, Silverton, Woodburn, Stayton and Mount Angel.

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