Living History at Dorris Ranch

The Living History Program at Dorris Ranch has been in existence for over 30 years, educating the children on the rich cultural heritage of our region. This program is a hands-on, immersive experience in history. We offer interpretive experiences that represent the men, women, and children that lived and worked on the property that is now Dorris Ranch.

Registration for Living History programs will become available as public health recommendations permit. The program runs seasonally from September to November and March to June, Monday through Friday. In 2021, we are offering a modified version of the onsite program and launching new virtual tours.

Group Tours

In 2021, our popular field trip programs will look a bit different. Groups can schedule a 2-hour tour to learn about Oregon history, in the area now known as Dorris Ranch. Modifications for this program include limited group sizes, and individual hands-on kits so participants won't need to touch shared materials. Masks are required indoors and when six-foot social distancing is not possible. We have two daily openings for groups of limited size: 9:30-11:30 a.m. and 12-2 p.m.

About the Curriculum

All curriculum is built and in alignment with current State of Oregon Common Core Standards including the newly enacted Senate Bill (SB) 13, now known as Tribal History/Shared History. This law directs the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) to create K-12 Native American Curriculum for inclusion in Oregon public schools and provide professional development to educators.

Field Trips
What's included in a field trip to Dorris Ranch:
  • A two-hour program.
  • Classes are invited to bring a sack lunch to eat at the ranch after the program.
  • We can accommodate limited size groups, including adults. Adults and chaperones are free.

Pioneer Homestead field trip: Experience the life of an Oregon Trail immigrant at the Masterson homestead. Step back in time to 1852, when William, Eliza, and their five young children settled their donation land claim on what was to become Dorris Ranch. Visit their log cabin, help tend crops, grind grain, bake cornbread, split firewood, pump water, and more. 
People of the Land field trip: Who lived in the Willamette Valley before us? During this educational tour, students experience the lives of Kalapuya people, Hudson's Bay Company trappers, and Oregon Trail pioneers. Learn about the traditional hunting methods of the Kalapuya. Visit the trading post and view furs. Lend a hand at the pioneer cabin.


Please fill out this form to register. If you have any questions, please contact Jen Marsh.
Please note: We will need a log of all participant names and contact information. 
See current availability.  Tours for Spring start the last week of March.

Pricing: Payments must be received in one check made payable to Willamalane Park and Recreation District. We cannot accept cash, multiple checks, or purchase orders.

  • In-district student: $4.50 each
  • Out-of-district student: $5 each
  • Teachers or adult chaperones: Free

 Traveling Trunk Shows

We'll bring history to you. Historical interpreters in period costume transport the excitement of learning to your group. Choose your experience:
  • One-Room Schoolhouse
  • Kalapuya: The First People
  • Entertainment of the Victorian Era
  • The Pioneer Settler

$50 for a one-hour presentation done by one interpreter. Sign up here

Current Availability for field trips
Blank dates are available.

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