Wren Historical Society

The Wren Historical Society (WHS) has disbanded, as of 2014. The information here below is being retained as historical information. The last two paragraphs provide current information regarding the ordering of copies of Memories of Wren. The WCC is managing the assets of the WHS.


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, Wren had a most colorful history. And second, there were several older residents here who could tell wonderful tales about life in Wren, and they would most likely not be with us for long.

Six residents 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. They began this book with a history of the land itself so that people could learn of the geologic past of this area. Then they added the histories of the vegetation and animals, 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, as 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. The first printing sold out of all 350 copies. The book was revised in 2013, and is available for $22 plus $3 shipping. Please contact a WCC Board Member 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 (winken@casco.net) if you have any questions.