Wren Community Website:
Welcome to the Wren Historical Society Web Page.
Wren Historical Society
In 1996 a number of Wren residents decided that there were at least two things that were quite valuable about Wren, Oregon, a charming little village and surrounding countryside with some 375 residents. First, we had a most colorful history. And second, we had several older residents here who could tell wonderful tales about life in Wren, and they would most likely not be with us for long.
So six of us decided to form the Wren Historical Society and set about gathering data for a book about Wren's history. It eventually became Memories of Wren, Oregon by The Wren Historical Society, November, 1998. Contributing members were Nellie Stark, Karen Kennedy, Pat Brown, Elmer Taylor, Dean Sartain, and Jim Hoyt, and a lot of other folks gave of their time and collections of stories and photos. We began this book with a history of the land itself so that people could learn of the geologic past of this area. Then we added the vegetation and animal histories as far as they were known at the time. From there we wrote about the native Americans who lived here originally.
Our more recent history began around 1850 when the first pioneers from the eastern part of the continent were encouraged to settle the Oregon Territory here at the end of the Applegate Trail. They found only a few trappers in the area. The native Americans had been forced to live in the Siletz Reservation to the west.
Over the past 150 years, the area has seen many changes. People came and established homesteads, a dairy, roads and bridges were built, trees were logged, mills constructed, river and rails horses and trucks moved logs, schools and churches were built and filled, there were weddings and graduations and funerals. There's been a train wreck, bank robberies, the rise and fall of the H-H Dude Ranch, the establishment of a community club and construction of a community hall, many dances, brawls, suicide, a triple murder, horrible auto accidents, and the flourishing of the logging industry. And the logging industry changed, the mills closed, the schools consolidated, and the post office and general store saw their demise as the commuter world faced east toward Philomath and Corvallis.
Today the character and occupations of the people have also changed somewhat, but we are still a hardy, self-reliant lot who work hard and are family oriented. We've revived a community organization that fosters a sense of community. We try to bring neighbors together to resolve issues and support each other in good and in hard times. Besides that, we're just our plain old ornery selves. That's entertainment enough.
The Memories of Wren has about 200 pages and is full of photos. Thus far we have sold all 350 copies. It is currently out of print, but we will take orders for future printings if you can be patient with us. The cost is $20 plus $3 shipping. Please contact Nellie Stark at 541-929-3082 or Karen Kennedy 541-929-5711 (firstname.lastname@example.org) to order.
If YOU have stories and/or photos of the area that you're willing to share, we'd love to add them to the collection for our update of the book. Copies of Memories of Wren are also available for loan from the Corvallis/ Benton County Public Library and is available at the Benton County Historical Museum. Again, please contact Nellie Stark at 541-929-3082 or Karen Kennedy 541-929-5711 (email@example.com) if you have any questions.