Oregon Historical Society - Field Services




The Century Farm & Ranch Program has its roots in the Statehood Centennial Celebration. Started on the eve of the celebration in 1958, the program was created to honor farm and ranch families with century-long connections to the land. This program recognizes Oregon’s rich agricultural heritage and has registered over 920 properties over the past 40 years. All applications are added to the Oregon Historical Society Library (OHS) and can provide valuable information about settlement patterns, livestock and crop choices, building design, and family history. Successful applicants receive a special certificate signed by the Governor of Oregon and OHS dignitaries.


1. Application may be made by the owner(s) of the farm or ranch.

2. Your farm/ranch must have been operated continuously in the same family for one hundred years or more. A farm/ranch settled any time 100 years ago or earlier will be eligible if it meets other requirements. If the farm/ranch has ever been rented out, it will not qualify.

3. The farm/ranch must have a gross income from farming/ranching activities of not less than $1000 per year for three out of the five years immediately preceding the application.

4. You must live on the farm/ranch, or if you live off the property, you must actively manage and direct the farming/ranching activity on the land.

5. The line of ownership from the original settler or buyer may be through children, siblings, or nephews/nieces. Adopted children will be recognized equally with other descendants.

6. Only the legal owner(s) of the property may apply for the Century Farm/Ranch certificate. The honor will be presented to joint owners, such as husband and wife or brother and sister, if they are co-owners.

7. Deadline for returning applications is July 1 of the current year. All applications bearing postmark by midnight of that date will be considered.

8. Applications must be submitted on official forms provided by the Oregon Historical Society will all questions filled out completely. Applicants are encouraged to write or submit additional descriptive information to provide documentation for the application. All information will be deposited in the OHS Library for future reference.

9. All applications must include verification of continuous ownership for 100 years. Acceptable forms of proof include a document (either original or photocopy) showing the date of earliest ownership. This may take the form of an official document such as a Donation Land Claim, Deed of Sale, or Homestead Certificate. Other records, subject to review, include Family Bible, diary entry, or correspondence.

10. Applicants must submit, with their completed applications, a Statement of Affirmation form. This form must be certified by a Notary Public.

Where To Send Completed Application Packets

When you have completed the required documents, please address them to:

Rick Read, Field Services Coordinator
Oregon Historical Society
1200 SW Park Avenue
Portland, OR 97205


Next Steps

All applications are reviewed in July by a special Advisory Committee composed of representatives from selected agricultural agencies and organizations. If the application is approved, the owners are notified by mail. Certificates are presented at the Oregon State Fair in Salem. Metal highway signs are available from a Portland vendor at the owners’ expense (details are provided when application is approved).

Still Have Questions About the Program?

If you need more information about the Century Farm & Ranch Program, please contact Rick Read at the address shown above. The office phone number is 503-306-5215 (leave a Voicemail message if necessary). If you are connected to the Internet, the email address is rickr@ohs.org

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