Current Events

581599_497193153639237_76373777_nThe Big Dig: Exploring the Archaeology of “home’ at the Charles and Melinda Applegate House, Yoncalla, Oregon September 24- Sept 30, 2017.

Public event on September 30th, 2017

In the Spring of 2012, the University of Oregon’s Historic Preservation Program offered a course entitled “Interdisciplinary Approaches to Historic Site Analysis” in which the class conducted preliminary research and site investigation of the Charles and Melinda Applegate House property in Yoncalla, Douglas County, Oregon. The National Register- listed house remains in the ownership of Charles and Melinda’s descendants, who manage the property for family and educational uses with limited public access. The non-profit Applegate House Heritage Arts and Education are interested  in more definitively identifying the location of the original log claim cabin and the blacksmith shop (as well as other outbuildings) and any archaeological remains associated with these buildings. Although the location of the cabin has not been confirmed, several generations of family oral history suggest it was to the west of the current house in what is now an agricultural field according.

For years we have sought the location of the Applegate homestead cabin so that we could do an archaeological field study of the site. In the fall of 2014 we found it, using Ground Penetrating Radar equipment provided by the University of Oregon’s Museum of Natural and Cultural history. But in the process we found much more. We found what appears to be the site of semi-subterranean prehistoric Native American dwelling, located quite near the homestead cabin. So at long last we will be excavating not only the cabin but also the Native American Dwelling.

This exciting project will take place in the last week in September. It will be directed by Archaeologists Pat O’Grady and Christopher Ruiz from the Museum and Professor Liz Carter of the University’s Historic Preservation Program. Volunteers from the Oregon Archaeological Society will help with the work, along with a selected number of local high school students. Archaeologists from the Bureau of Land Management and the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Indians will also be involved.

As the dig culminates, the public will be invited to attend an event on September 30th, that exposes what was found, some aspects of the process and what these findings might mean for our understanding of the past. Events during the day also include: an Indian Welcoming Ceremony and Drumming, tours of open archaeological site, original spring house and old house. There will also be cider pressing and tasting, corn shucking and grinding, ethnobotanical display, a vineyard tour and wine tasting, as well as music by the Slow Ponies.

On Saturday, September 30th the dig will be open to the public on the following schedule:

11 am –
Welcoming Ceremony, featuring Esther Stutzman
with Splachta Ala Drumming

12 pm-
Station tours begin with artifacts on display in the studio and a viewing of the open archaeological pit. The nearby springhouse will also be available for viewing.

12-3:30 pm-
On going house tours

1:00 pm-
Vineyard tour and wine tasting

2 pm-
Slow Ponies perform

3 pm-
Quilt drawing

Ongoing throughout the day there will be Indian tacos, beverages as well as activities such as corn shucking and grinding, and an ethnobotanical display.


Funding for the Field Study

This archaeological field study is by far the biggest project our organization has ever taken on. It will cost more than $25,000 dollars. Through donations and grants we have raised more than half of that already, and we are working hard to meet our goal. It you would like to contribute, please make out a check to AHHAe with “archaeology project” on the memo line and send it to our Treasurer, Sue Winn, at 7179 Scotts Valley Road, Yoncalla, OR 97499. Donations for our general operating expenses are also always welcome. We depend on your support to keep our cultural and educational programs going.






Sunday, December, 6th 2-4 pm

Reserve with Sue Winn at 541-849-2917

click link below for invitation

2015 holiday tea invite



2015 House Tours

Tours of the Applegate House in Yoncalla on Sunday, August 23, will afford the public a rare opportunity to view this historic house and learn some of the history and lore associated with it. The tours will be hosted by Shannon and Susan Applegate, descendants of Charles and Melinda Applegate, who built the house between 1852 and 1856.

The oldest house in Oregon that has been continuously occupied by the same family, the Applegate House is little changed from its early days. Books, furnishings, tools, guns, and photos tell the story of one of Oregon’s most distinguished pioneer families. Even the herb garden and the majestic locust and black walnut trees have tales to tell.

The grounds will be open at noon, and tours will be offered at 1:00 and 2:00. Tickets for the tours will go on sale when the gates open and will be limited to 40 people per tour. The cost is five dollars, with children under 12 admitted free. Visitors are welcome to picnic in the shade of the trees while they await their tour. Cold drinks will be on sale, and a number of interpretive panels will be displayed, recounting various aspects of pioneer life and the life of native people of the area.

Joe Ross will be on hand to provide some old-time music. This is an excellent opportunity for families to absorb some of the spirit of Douglas County’s pioneer past.

Holiday Tea 2014


December 7th, 2014 from 2-4 pm

Send $15.00 to Sue Winn, 7179 Scott’s Valley Road, Yoncalla, OR 97499 to reserve now.

Contact information and questions call Sue at 541-849-2917 or Susan at 541-849-3500.


Apple Day 2014!

Check out our poster for all the details:

Saturday, September 13th from 10 am!

Screenshot 2014-08-27 06.13.51



Spring Tea 2014!

Reserve now to hold your spot for

Saturday, May 10th, 2014 at 2 pm

Call Sue Winn at 541-849-2917



Upcoming events for 2014:

Vineyard Planting- Sat., April 5th- 10-4

Spring Tea- Sat., May 10th

Youth Day Camp- July 28-Aug 1

Apple Day- Sat., Sept 13th

Holiday Tea- Sun., Dec. 7th


Holiday Tea at old Applegate House December 8th, 2013 from 2-4 pm.

santa pic

click here for details and registration

So sorry- this event has been cancelled due to the weather.


Heritage Music Day article from the Register Guard


Heritage Music Day on Saturday, August 24th, 2013


    “A Tale of Three Fiddles” will be the theme of our big event for the year—Heritage Music Day on Saturday, August 24. The story of two of the fiddles is well known to anyone who has toured the Applegate House. Made in 1895 by George “Buck” Applegate for his twin daughters, Eva and Evea, these finely crafted instruments are notable for the artful scenes on their backs, beautifully executed in wood inlay (marquetry). A third fiddle, also featuring a marquetry scene on its back, and probably the inspiration for the two fiddles made by Buck, has recently been located. That instrument was the proud possession of pioneer fiddler Henry Lane, “a rambler and a gambler,” who loved young Harriette Applegate. The connection between his fiddle and those made by various Applegate descendents a generation later inspires our celebration of music, artifacts, and good old fashioned story-telling.
     Arthur W. Johnson, Buck’s nephew (Fanny Applegate’s fifth child), bought the “Hen Lane fiddle” from John L. Applegate in 1938. Son, Arthur F. Johnson, crafted many stringed instruments during his life. We are hoping that the present owner of the fiddle, grandson Douglas Johnson, will be able to join us from Maryland for the occasion.
     Talks on the role of music in pioneer and Native American life will also be featured, along with enough drumming, strumming, and fiddling to keep your feet tapping all day long. Food will be provided by the Komemma Cultural Protection Association, the proceeds helping to support their ongoing educational programs to keep alive the spirit and lore of the native people of Yoncalla.
2 fiddles

2 thoughts on “Current Events

  1. I am a descendant of Fanny and would like to attend this event. How do we register as I waited too long to sign-up for the Spring Tea. I don’t want to miss this one!
    Heidi Fleshman Guyer

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