Local History: The Building That Gave Philomath, Oregon Its Name

Head down Highway 20 in Oregon, the Corvallis-Newport Highway and you’ll eventually pass right through the small town of Philomath. This is an interesting name for a community and there has to be a story behind it.

Philomath College

Philomath is actually the combination of two Greek words and means a love of learning. It got this name because in 1867, the brick building that is still the main focal point of the community was built. This building was founded as the United Brethren School for Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and California. This small college persevered through these early days and educated local students for 62 years, before closing in 1929. The town that grew up around it took its name from the college and has thrived.

There is a nice historical marker out front and the building is today the home of the Benton County Historical Society & Museum. It’s toally worth a stop, whether just to take the opportunity read the marker or to venture inside and explore the museum.

It’s a beautiful building and has a very unique story. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1972.

You can also visit the Benton County Historical Society & Museum online too:

Benton County Historical Society & Museum

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