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About Philomath

The City of Philomath is located mid-Willamette Valley with a population of 4610.  Established at the base of Mary’s Peak, the tallest peak in the Coast Range, Philomath is just West of Corvallis and Oregon State University and a short 45 minute drive from the Oregon Coast.  This unique location offers very diverse opportunities including hiking and mountain biking on Mary’s Peak, Division I sports at Oregon State University, fishing on the Alsea River, or wine tasting at local wineries.

The City is located on the north bank of the Mary’s River, a tributary of the Willamette River.  Mary’s River Park, a City park in the southwest part of the town, is peaceful natural area that attracts residents and visitor alike.  The privately owned rodeo grounds, adjacent to the park property, are host to the annual Philomath Frolic and Rodeo.

Park Reservation Information


Philomath’s beautiful natural surrounding and its location between Corvallis and the coastal city of Newport, provide an attractive site for business and tourist development.  Nestled in the foothills of the Coast Range and Mary's Peak, the vineyards and wineries of Benton County enjoy the most scenic and favorable grapes growing conditions in the Willamette Valley.  You'll find friendly tasting rooms, usually staffed by winemakers and their families making Benton County a prime location for wine lovers.

The City’s commercial district includes a variety of businesses, as well as the Benton County Historical Museum The Police Station, City Hall and the Philomath Community Library are located on a city campus off Applegate Street.  

Incorporated In 1882, the City of Philomath is located in Benton County, where Mary's River leaves the Coast Range, at an elevation of 280 feet above sea level. While the name, "Philomath" (pronounced "fill-o-math"), is difficult on the tongue, the name is derived from two Greek words meaning "lover of learning" or "scholar".


Philomath College was established in 1867, on eight acres in Benton County. As settlers arrived they began developing the town around the college site, carving it out of the mountain wilderness. The college's name suited these first citizens' ideals, and so the town was named Philomath.


 Benton County Historical Museum                

Today, little remains of the original college. Its outlying buildings long ago gave way to time's ravages. However, the red brick of the center section still stands. It has been carefully restored to its original state. Presently, the building houses the Benton County Historical Museum, which serves as an archive and display facility for items of historical significance to Benton County; as well as an exhibit space for contemporary art. A biennial "Quilt County" event, sponsored by the museum, attracts visitors from all over the Northwest. The museum, with its distinctive bell tower, is a well-known Philomath landmark.  The museum is located at 1101 Main Street, Philomath, Oregon.



Philomath Area Chamber of Commerce
PO Box 606
Philomath OR 97370
Phone: 541.929.2454