Dorris Ranch

Address: 205 Dorris St.

Dorris Ranch is a national historic site, a living history farm and a public park complete with walking trails and natural areas. Dorris Ranch also serves as the western access point of the paved, 4-mile long Middle Fork Path, which runs to Clearwater Park. The park is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Looking for rentals? Click here.
Looking for the Living History program for youth? Click here.

Park Amenities:
  • Natural area
  • Parking
  • Picnic tables
  • Rentals
  • Restrooms
  • Trails
  • Viewpoints
  • Living history village
  • Filbert orchards
  • Historic buildings

Classes at Dorris Ranch


A Night of a Million Stars: 
All ages. Join our friends from the Eugene Astronomical Society for a night of stargazing under the darkness of the new moon. Takes place at Dorris Ranch.

Friday, 8/30, 9-11pm  
$7 ID/$9 OD 
Class #21472. Register Here


Fire Starting 101: Grades 2–5. Journey through time as we try a variety of fire starting techniques, from flint and steel to fire pistons. Learn how to start a fire with one match, in the rain, and how to choose the proper materials to make the most effective fire.
 
Barn at Dorris Ranch
Saturday, 9/21, 2–4pm
$11 ID/$13 OD
Class #22886. Register here
 

Needle Felting: Whimsical Woodland Friends: Ages 14+ . Use wool to create colorful, fun, woodland critters. These fun and easy to make creations make perfect gifts. Foam felting board, wool and needles provided for you to keep. Additional materials available for purchase to take home. Beginners welcome!
 
Tomseth House at Dorris Ranch
Saturday, 10/26, 10am–1pm
$22 ID/$26 OD
Class #22816. Register here
 

Rainy Day Rag Dolls: Ages 4–8. Spend a Saturday morning at Dorris Ranch learning how to make, simple no sew rag dolls. All supplies provided.
 
Tomseth House at Dorris Ranch
Saturday, 11/16, 10am–12pm
$7 ID/$9 OD
Class #22742. Register here
 

Needle Felting: Festive Holiday Ornaments: Ages 14+. Create snowmen, gnomes, stars, or whatever wool ornament or figurines you can imagine! These wool creations are fun and easy to make. Give them as a gift or tie them onto a package. All materials provided; additional materials available for purchase to take home.
 
Tomseth House at Dorris Ranch
Saturday, 12/7, 10am–1pm
$22 ID/$26 OD
Class #22815. Register here
 

Winter Solstice Celebration: All ages. The winter solstice signifies the shortest day of the year and the longest night. Throughout the ages, solstice has been marked by different cultures through celebrations of light, feasts and music. Join us at Dorris Ranch for a family-friendly celebration of light with a campfire, storytelling, sweet treats, craft making and a luminary walk.
 
Barn at Dorris Ranch
Saturday, 12/21, 6–8pm               
$7 ID/$9 OD
Class #22744. Register here




Living History


Living History Village: Each spring and fall, the Living History Village is available for school field trips. Costumed living history interpreters lead school-age students through a historical adventure, emphasizing relationships between people, the environment, and the past. For pricing, details, and scheduling, contact Craig Annsa by emailing craig.annsa@willamalane.org or calling at 541-736-4583.

Traveling Trunk Shows: Let us 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.

About the Orchards 

Dorris Ranch is recognized as the first commercial filbert orchard in the United States and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Oregon's history with filberts started in 1892 when George Dorris and his wife Lulu bought 250 acres of fertile land along the Willamette River and dedicated their lives to farming. After experimenting with a variety of crops, George established the first commercial filbert nut orchard in the United States. Over the next 50 years the Dorris family planted 9,200 trees at the ranch and harvested more than 50 tons of nuts each year.

Now, more than 100 years later, Dorris Ranch continues to make history as a fully-productive commercial filbert orchard. More than half of all the commercial filbert trees now growing in the U.S. originated from Dorris Ranch nursery stock.

Each of the 11 separate orchards was named in order to help hired hands know where to work each day.

The approximate age of each orchard may be determined by looking at the spacing between trees. In the earliest orchards (planted beginning in 1903) the trees are planted very close together. As the years went by, spacing between the trees became greater. Dorris Ranch has a total of 9,250 filbert trees planted in 75 acres.

Most of the trees in the Dorris Ranch orchards are of the Barcelona variety. Because the Barcelona is self-sterile, other varieties—the DuChilly and the Daviana—are planted as pollinators every third tree in every third row.

Today, Willamalane is in the process of removing the Barcelona trees in stages in an effort to fight eastern filbert blight. New blight-resistant trees are replacing the highly susceptible varieties George Dorris planted. 

Filberts are considered a "self-husking" nut. The husk falls off when the filbert drops from the tree. Machines can then pick up the filberts and take them directly to the drying machines. A local orchardist maintains the Dorris Ranch orchards.
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