Knott-Owens Farmstead is the northern gateway to Corvallis, and will proudly tell the story of Benton County’s enduring agricultural, architectural, and stewardship heritage to visitors, residents, and lifelong learners. The completed project will be a living museum for Parks and Recreation to provide a broad range of appealing, educational programs that teach not only about our shared past, but also about our shared present responsibility to sustainably care for the environment, as a trust for tomorrow’s generations.
Knotts-Owens Farm is a 126 acre century farm acquired by the city in 2000. The farmstead was in ownership by the same family from 1850 until 2012. When the city purchased the property, a life estate was placed around the farmstead, until the property was vacated by the family in 2012. The city engaged in a conceptual and management plan that outlines the community’s desire to restore the property to be available as a museum for the community and an educational facility for school groups.
The Knotts-Owens Farm Conceptual Plan addresses a historic homestead on 30 acres of oak-dotted farmland, and hinges on three themes:
historical, agricultural, and interpretive.
At the heart of the site, the farmstead crowns the expansive landscape, and will host educational activities focusing on the history and culture of the farm, the community and the valley. Needed intervention will protect this highly significant resource from potential loss. Preliminary assessment, stabilization and repairs will buy critical time for the Farmstead and lead directly to a sound, practical, phased rehabilitation plan.
Currently, the Knotts-Owens farmstead suffers from long-deferred maintenance. Conservation of the structures’ historic fabric and form is key to restoring the site’s vitality. As preservation benchmarks are met, each advances the time when citizens and visitors of Corvallis, Benton County and the mid-Willamette Valley will draw inspiration from the settlement-era family farm. Consultant recommendations will directly inform rehabilitation activities and build the basis for interpretive, management, and fund-raising plans.