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

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. Event is full; add your name to the wait list

Puddle Play: Tiny Treasures: Ages 1–4. Wear your boots for a morning splash through Dorris Ranch, and then get out the nets and oversized magnifying glasses for a closer look at what lives in and around the puddles.

Dorris Ranch
Saturdays, 10–11am
$6 ID/$8 OD per session
1/18: Register here
2/8: Register here
3/7: Register here

Wilderness Explorers: Ages 4–8. This six-session course equips youth with the tools they need to examine and appreciate our natural environment. Specifically designed to connect youth to nature by encouraging exploration and increasing kids’ comfort with spending time outdoors. This nature discovery program focuses on environmental likability, rather than environmental literacy.

Dorris Ranch
Tuesdays, 2/25–4/7, 10–11am
$35 ID/$42 OD. Register here

Dorris Ranch
Saturdays, 4/25–5/30, 10–11am
$35 ID/$42 OD. Register here

Lively Park
Saturdays, 2/29–4/4, 10–11am
$35 ID/$42 OD. Register here

Lively Park 
Tuesdays, 4/21–5/26, 10–11am
$35 ID/$42 OD. Register here

Mother’s Day Tea: All ages. Spend the afternoon honoring that special woman in your life. Enjoy sweet and savory treats in the historic Dorris Ranch barn. Pose in our old time photo booth and at the end of the day take home a special craft that the two of you created together.

Barn at Dorris Ranch
Saturday, 5/9, 2–3:30pm
$15 ID/$18 OD. Register here

Living History

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. Or, we can bring history to you with a Traveling Trunk Show! Learn more about the Living History program here.

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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