History

About Our Community

Photo: Frasier Farmstead MuseumIn the 1800’s, the separate towns of Milton and Freewater incorporated, Milton in 1889 and Freewater in 1892. Lying in the southern part of the Walla Walla River Valley, hearty pioneer families found an ideal climate and plenty of elbowroom. Milton and Freewater merged in 1950 as the town that bears the name Milton-Freewater, Oregon. Located on Oregon Highway 11 in the northeastern part of Umatilla County, it is 34 miles northeast of Pendleton, Oregon and 10 miles south of Walla Walla, Washington.

Photo: Horse and RiderHere in the mild climate near Oregon’s Blue Mountains, our friendly population welcomes you to a variety of outdoor activities; excellent steelhead fishing, deer, elk and upland game bird hunting, downhill and cross-country skiing, snowmobile trails, hiking, camping and picnicking are all within short distances from Milton-Freewater. In town you may enjoy our 35 acres of parks, tennis courts, 18-hole executive golf course, aquatic center and racquetball courts. A visit to our local Frazier Farmstead, maintained by the Milton-Freewater Historical Society, is a treat for history buffs. Frazier Farmstead Museum is open April – December, Thursday through Sunday. Settled by community founder W.S. Frazier in 1868, the six acre site is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and includes a “turn of the century” home with many original furnishings, several farm buildings, flower, herb and rose gardens. Umatilla County’s oldest structure, the McCoy Cabin, was built in 1856 and has been relocated to the Farmstead grounds for preservation.

History enthusiasts will also enjoy a visit to our portal kiosk containing area maps with points of local historical interest. Other suggestions for how to spend time are available at the Chamber of Commerce and Information Center located at 157 S Columbia.

Spending an afternoon touring local wineries and the areas only cider company is a delight in itself. Once your country-side tour is complete, stop by Petits Noirs for some fine hand-crafted chocolates or Our Daily Bread for a delicious pastry or fresh baked breads to enjoy with your wine selections. Shopping is always a "must do" on any trip. Top off the day and enjoy a personal experience browsing through local specialty shops offering a vast selection of unique items. Click on our Member Directory to find individual listings and websites.

Photo: Frog RacesArea festivals include our own Muddy Frogwater Country Classic Festival. Always the third weekend in August, the festival boasts a wide variety of commercial/craft/food vendors, Kid Zone,Talent of The Valley Competition, Friday and Saturday night concerts, art show, softball tournament and more, ending on Sunday with the annual Corn Roast/Watermelon Feed rounding out the weekend. Other Milton-Freewater events include: Carvin' by the Blues, Junior Show, Frazier Farmstead Summertime Festival and the Mary Stewart Christmas Craft Show. Surrounding area events are the Walla Walla Balloon Stampede, Weston Pioneer Days, Caledonian Games, Umatilla County Fair, Walla Walla Frontier Days and Pendleton Round-Up.

Milton-Freewater’s industries include, farming, food processing, small industry and technology. Apples, cherries, prunes, plums, grapes, wheat, peas, peonies, alfalfa, corn and asparagus dominate the areas farm fresh fruits and vegetables. With a long growing season, mild winters, plentiful water and rich soil, agriculturists find the Milton-Freewater area a great place to raise almost any crop, and they do.

Technology plays a major role in providing employment to an ever-increasing number of qualified workers. Through creative financing and strong negotiating, the community’s Urban Renewal funds continue to entice prospective enterprises to Milton-Freewater. A community of 7,050 people, it boasts an ever progressive school system, a host of clubs and service organizations and many churches. It is not only an ideal place to locate light industry, but has become a favored retirement community as well.