Fort Yamhill–where the lives of soldiers, settlers & native peoples met (2010)

Bring your imagination to Fort Yamhill State Heritage Site

You have to see what’s not there to get a picture of this frontier military outpost just 35 minutes northwest of Salem. But, you don’t have to do it alone. For the remainder of August, interpretive park ranger Matt Huerter will take you into “The Hidden Fort” on daily tours, morning and afternoon. Schedule

Both the tours and interpretive panels along a half-mile hard-surfaced trail explore the fort’s purpose, and explain what life was like for tribal residents, white settlers and soldiers alike. “This place is all about the relationships involved during the mid-19th century period in Oregon history,” says Matt. “It tells a fascinating story.”

Ranger Huerter’s afternoon tour begins next to the fort’s only surviving building, and one with a significant past. It is one of the houses occupied by the fort’s officers, including 2nd Lt. Philip Henry Sheridan. Sheridan served in Oregon during 1856-1861 before gaining fame as a cavalry leader and achieving the rank of brigadier general during the Civil War. Long since relocated to its current location, Matt tells about the house’s restoration and the plans to return it to its original hilltop site in the officers’ quarters.

Video clip of Matt’s “Hidden Fort” tours.

Fort Yamhill State Heritage Site
Walking Tour Guide (pdf)

Posted on August 4, 2010, in event, state parks and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. Isn’t the park northWEST of Salem?

  2. To Whom it may concern.
    Two things:

    1- We here in Dayton would love to work with the Fort Yamhill Heritage Site to “cross-market” both the “original” blockhouse here in Dayton and its original location at the Heritage Site.
    2- The City is about to have a certified contractor renovate and repair the blockhouse. I believe there are still some original old growth timbers in the blockhouse. If he replaces any of them and you are interested in them, you might want to call the city of Dayton and coordinate. Cheers.

  3. Hello,

    As 2010 President of Oregon Treasure Trails Society (Metal Detecting) I would like to offer the services of a select group to cover the grounds for items to maybe put in a museum if you wish. Anyone can find coins, it the lost treasures that mean the most. Together we can reclaim some of the past for the future park users to enjoy. This offer is for any parks we can readily get to and I know other clubs that would help in their areas.

    • Park Manager Ryan Sparks responds to your comment:

      “Thank you for your offer. Metal detecting at Fort Yamhill would need to be done with the oversight of a trained archaeologist. Any items found would be cataloged and mapped so we would have detailed records of where they were found. We don’t have any archaeology projects planned in the next two years. In the future, it may be possible that a small group of people with metal detectors could assist an archaeologist on site.”

      For more information about metal detecting in Oregon State Parks, please visit

  4. I am a pre-Civil War and Civil War reenactor, portraying the 4th US Infantry, the regiment that was stationed up and down the northwest coast, including Fort Yamhill. I would be perfectly willing to come out to do some living history for the park, if the park manager and staff are interested. Who would I need to be in contact with about this? Also, is there a Fort Yamhill historical society or other kind of group formed? if so, where may I find them? Thanks

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