McMinnville, know as the heart of Oregon's wine country, is the county seat and largest city of Yamhill County. It has a population of approximately 33,000 and is located in a picturesque setting surrounded by farmland and vineyards at the confluence of the North and South Forks of the Yamhill River in the Willamette Valley. The town was founded by William T. Newby, an early immigrant on the Oregon Trail, who came from McMinnville, Tennessee, platted the area, and named it after his hometown. He also donated land to be used as a site for higher education and is now where Linfield College sits today. McMinnville is also home to Chemeketa Community College, and the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum which displays more than 80 historic aircraft, including Howard Hughes seaplane, Spruce Goose.
McMinnville has a historic downtown with many buildings preserved from the late 1800's, which today house shops and residences. The town has been popular with UFO believers since 1950, when photographs of what were thought to be UFO's were published in several newspapers and Life Magazine, and each year a UFO Festival is held here.
Today, McMinnville is considered the capital of Oregon's wine industry with dozens of wineries and is known as a Pinot Noir paradise, and is host to the International Pinot Noir Celebration. It has been recognized by Sunset Magazine as a top 20 "Dream Town", and Bon Appetit Magazine rated it as one of the top "Best Foodie Towns" in America. Picture of Hotel Oregon, now a popular downtown pub and restaurant, courtesy of Wikipedia and M.O. Stephens; picture of Riley Center at Linfield College courtesy of Wikipedia and DerRichter; picture of Evergreen Aviation Museum courtesy of Wikipedia.