Features 2016-11-08T19:09:13+00:00

Canby Farmers Market

Fresh and Local

Canby Farmers Market opens in May with all the flavor of the regional Ag community. Local farmers, hand crafters, food artisans and nurseries are all a part of this regional attraction. Located on highway 99E and Sequoia Pkwy in Canby, this Farmers market brings the best of what the Canby Area has to offer. The goal of the market is to bring attention of the rich agricultural heritage that makes the Canby area so special. Visitors will find a variety of items to take home and enjoy…fresh produce, quality plants, crafts and much more. For information regarding the market or being a vendor, contact  Marilyn Nash at 503-516-5166.

When visiting Canby, there are certain things you just don’t want to miss!

Canby Depot Museum

Depot History

The Canby Depot Museum is housed in one of Oregon’s oldest railroad station. The original canbydepotArticles of Incorporation of the Canby Historical Society refer to the wish for a museum. In the early 1980’s the existing Canby Depot facility became available to the society.

The Canby Depot had been an active train station at the intersection of N. 1st and Grant Street throughout almost the entire history of the city, but the railroad was going to dismantle the depot unless the facility could be moved. Canby Historical Society was able to raise funds for the move of the depot to it’s present location near N.E. 4th and Pine Street adjacent to the Clackamas County Fairgrounds.

Canby Historical Society has now had a museum for over 20 years and our members continue the work of organizing and displaying photos, artifacts and exhibits of historic significance, which afford a glimpse of 19th century life in this community.

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The Canby Ferry

The Canby Ferry (formally the M.J. Lee II) is a ferry in the U.S. state of Oregon that connects Canby, and Wilsonville/Stafford in 76196c025455bafdbd87d84f8770234cClackamas County across the Willamette River. The service has been in operation since 1914, except from 1946 to 1953. The specific vessel used has been replaced and updated several times, most recently in 1997. It is one of three remaining ferries on the Willamette River.

The ferry has room for six cars (or 75 tons) and a total passenger capacity of 49. A toll is charged for all crossings. As of 2013, a passenger car costs $4.00, a motorcycle, bicycle, or pedestrian $2.00, and $24.00 is charged if a vehicle takes up the entire ferry. The ferry, the M.J. Lee II, is a cable ferry powered by electricity provided by overhead lines and is guided across the river by an underwater cable 1.25 inches in diameter, leaving the vessel relatively unaffected by the river’s currents.

The ferry is named after Millard Jerome Lee, the first child born in Canby. Lee was born in 1872, two years after the town was platted in 1870. The vessel currently in use, M.J. Lee II, has been providing the service since 1997.

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The Dahlia Theater

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The Dahlia Theater – the heritage of a city. On the corner of NW Third and Elm Street sits the oldest church in Canby, Oregon. Built in 1884 by the First Methodist Episcopal Church, the lovely white-frame building augmented by the all bell steeple, in classic Gothic Revival Style, was originally located one block South on Second and Elm Street.

The early Methodist pioneers held their first Worship Services in private homes followed by meeting in two log Schoolhouses before moving services to the white schoolhouse built on the prairie by William Knight in 1875. The O & C Railroad donated 40 acres west of Canby to the Methodist Church in 1872 and used as a campground and site for annual meetings. Additional buildings were erected for services some time later. One of these relocated cabins still sits behind the Stogdill-Knight house at 486 SW 2nd Avenue.

By 1884, the need for a church “in town” prompted the construction of the white frame church on what was then called “block eight” of Canby’s 1870 mapped town site of 24 Blocks. Two lots were donated by the church’s first pastor, Reverend and Mrs. Samuel Mathews. Mathews was a Nurseryman, growing trees in the town site’s western portion. In 1891, he donated a third lot to the Methodists for a parsonage. The house at 569 NW Third from the Chapels current location was either Mathew’s home or more realistically, the parsonage.

In 1910, the church and its two lots were valued at $3,000, but soon considered too small. The following year, Frank E. Dodge was hired to build a new Moorish-style church; which still stands and is the current facility for the Church of God in town. At that time, the little white frame building was moved to the north of the lots and turned to face Elm.

St. James Roman Catholic Parish bought the white church in 1912 and moved it to face NW Third at Elm where it stands to this day. Archbishop Alexander Christie dedicated the little Catholic Church on Thanksgiving Day in 1912. Reverend Father Matthew Jonas lived in quarters at the rear of the building; as did his successor Reverend Father Michael Fleming. During the period that Father Jonas served the church (1915-1934), many improvements were made.

Parishioners dug a basement under the church which held a wood-burning furnace and later an oil burner. Stained-glass windows created by the famous Povey Brothers of Portland were added; inclusive of the round one which depicts Jesus at the rock in the Garden of Gethsemane. These were given in memory of Dora Wurfel of Barlow. A pump organ provided music for the services. Pressed tin, crafted by Joseph John Klupenger around 1920, adorns the current interior walls. J.J. Klupenger.

In the early 1940’s, the Catholic Church built a rectory next door to house the priest and in 1957, renamed St. Patrick’s Parish, built a new church on NW Ninth. Ownership was maintained by the Catholic Church until 1962 when the church and twelve lots were purchased for $28,500 by Mrs. Mina Freyer; a Ninety-One (Whiskey Hill) school teacher.

Various tenants occupied the building; including several church denominations, an antique shop and a dance studio. Sheldon and Catherine Spalding, and Rufus and Betty Jacobson owned the church for a short time before June of 1978 when Joe and Joan Burleson purchased it for the Willamette Academy of Arts.

From 1979 until 1989, Christo Fellowship once again held services in Canby’s oldest church. Darlene Key, owner from 1989 to 2005, preserved the historical church.

In 2005, Marilyn Nash purchased the little white church and renamed it “The Canby Wedding Chapel”. Marilyn is passionate about the preservation of this beautiful piece of history. Marilyn hosted weddings and special events year round until early 2015.


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The City of Canby

A Brief History of Canby

By Peggy Sigler and Myra Weston

On the high plateau, bordered by the Willamette and Molalla Rivers, Canby was once the seasonal meeting place for tribes of localOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Indians and was well known for its annual crop of wild strawberries. The area known as Baker Prairie was an open expanse of ground in the dense fir forest that stretched for miles.

Baker, one of the earliest white settlers in Oregon, arrived in the area in 1832 with a cattle drive from California, took an Indian wife and was soon farming.  The land he “squatted” on was what is now north Canby.  Other settlers arrived, including Philander and Anna Lee in 1848, who bought “squatter’s” rights beside a spring-fed creek on what is now SE First Avenue.  The family’s long-time home nearby was on the site now owned by Package Containers, Inc.

Lee began growing apples on 80 acres of land and shipped them to the gold miners in California.  In 1850, the Lees gained title to their 647 acres through the Donation Land Claim Act which brought many more settlers over the Oregon Trail to Baker Prairie and surrounding areas.Joseph Knight and four sons moved to Baker Prairie in 1868. They were instrumental in Canby’s early development as they opened one of the first general stores, built many local buildings, served as postmaster, school clerk, sheriff, druggist, blacksmith, carpenter and more.  William Knight’s 1874 home still stands at 525 SW Fourth Avenue as does the 1890 Knight Building on NW First Avenue, the original meeting place of City Council and first home of Carlton & Rosenkrans, “Clackamas County’s largest department store.”

Along with a meager network of dirt roads and trails, some still visible, such as Territorial Road with its tall fir trees lining the road, the Willamette River served as main transportation.  Steamboats took produce into the markets of Oregon City and Portland from the little local communities of Baker Prairie, Barlow, New Era, Riverside, Macksburg, Mundorf, Lone Elder, Mark Prairie and others. 

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The Canby Library

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Located in downtown Canby, Oregon at 292 N Holly Street, we serve the recreational, informational and cultural needs of the Canby community.

Turn to the Canby Public Library for books, DVDs, audio books, databases and other materials, free WiFi and Internet access, and fun, informative programs for people of all ages.