Points of Interest
Monmouth and Independence have a variety of interesting places to explore, things to see, and activities to do. There are museums, art galleries, a local airport, historic buildings, Western Oregon University, and many community parks.
Located in Independence in a historic church, the Heritage Museum houses a collection of artifacts, documents, and photographs of this riverfront town that was once the “hop capitol of the world.”
The museum is located adjacent to the Polk Count Fairgrounds & Event Center in Rickreall, a short drive or bike ride north of Monmouth on Hwy 99W. It offers a large archival collection and many artifacts from original pioneer families in the area.
The Ash Creek Arts Center is located at the historic former City of Independence Library at 311 Monmouth Street. At this time, the Center is open only during classes which are held the second Saturday of each month.
The Cannon Gallery of Art is located in the heart of Western Oregon University’s campus in the beautifully renovated Campbell Hall. Campbell Hall was built in 1871 and is the oldest building still in use the Oregon University System. The gallery has approximately 700 square feet of exhibition space and holds six exhibitions during each academic year. Thematic and media-specific exhibits by regional and nationally acclaimed artists are included in each annual schedule. For more information contact Gallery Director, Paula Booth at 503-838-8607.
Located on the historic Independence riverfront, River Gallery has been a destination for art lovers since 1998. A cooperative run by 13 partners, River Gallery’s focus has always been to provide a venue for incredibly talented Oregon artists. River Gallery hosts several juried shows throughout the year to give an opportunity for emerging artists and artists who are new a chance to share their work. Their Wild Women” show every January is not to be missed!
Community Parks – Independence
Mt. Fir Park
Mt. Fir Park is located on F Street between 7th & 9th Streets. The seven acre park borders Ash Creek and includes the “Inspiration Garden” project being managed by the Master Gardeners of OSU Extension Polk County. Current gardens include a children’s garden, bee & butterfly garden, medicinal plants, vegetable beds, and a prairie/wildflower garden.
Off-leash Dog Park
Located near the Willamette River at 54 Grand Street, this fenced area is a destination for dogs who want to run an play in a safe environment.
Independence’s first park, included in the original town platt in the 1800’s, Pioneer Park is located at the corner of 7th & C Streets. The park has picnic tables, a playground, and a beautifully shaded area nestled among tall, mature trees. It’s located at the South Fork of Ash Creek and features an intact native riparian zone.
Riverview Park, located in the heart of the city’s downtown, is the largest park in Independence and home to the Independence Amphitheater along with a large playground, disc golf course, biker/boater campground and a 5k path along the Willamette River. A sparkling fountain welcomes visitors and numerous events are held throughout the summer, including the River’s Edge summer movie & concert series.
Community Parks — Monmouth
Gentle Woods Park
Gentle Woods is located at the north edge of town adjacent to Pacific Avenue (Hwy 99W) in a woodsy area. There is children’s play equipment, a picnic shelter, picnic tables with Bar-B-Q pits and even horseshoe pits. The restrooms are open from the week before Easter to October 1.
Monmouth’s largest park can be found on Madrona Street near Edwards Road. The park contains multiple play areas for ball games, a sheltered picnic area, an arboretum, a paved walking trail, children’s play equipment, and a year-round restroom facility. The park is handicapped accessible.
Main Street Park
Located in the center of downtown, this is Monmouth’s public square. The park contains a gazebo, a water fountain with a splash play area, picnic tables, children’s play equipment, and an amphitheater. It is handicapped accessible, and the home of the 4th of July Celebration and Music in the Park series. A year round restroom facility is onsite.
Off-leash Dog Park
This fenced dog play area is located off of Hwy 51 on Hogan Road near the City of Monmouth Power & Light offices. There are separate grassy areas for both small and large dogs.
Additional Points of Interest
An Oregon mid-sized university, Western Oregon University offers a wonderful blend of small classes and personal connections between students, faculty and staff – along with global opportunities to grow and be challenged. Explore the campus, check-out a DII sporting event, catch a performance in Rice Auditorium, and more.
Independence State Airport is a public-use airport located one mile northwest of the central business district of Independence. It is owned by the Oregon Department of Aviation and is located at 4905 Airport Road.
Tour the farm and learn how hops are grown and processed to create the world famous Rogue beer.