McMinnville is the county seat and largest city of Yamhill County, Oregon, United States. According to Oregon Geographic Names, it was named by its founder, William T. Newby (1820–1884), an early immigrant on the Oregon Trail, for his hometown of McMinnville, Tennessee. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 32,187.
McMinnville is located at the confluence of the North and South Forks of the Yamhill River in the Willamette Valley. Part of the Portland metropolitan area, it lies southwest of Portland. The city is home to Linfield College and the Evergreen Aviation Museum (which includes the Spruce Goose).
Town founder William T. Newby joined the Great Migration of 1843, later claiming land in 1844 on the present site of McMinnville in what was then known as the Oregon Country. He built a gristmill in 1853 at what would become the west end of Third Street. In 1855 Newby platted a town and named it after his home town of McMinnville, Tennessee. McMinnville was incorporated as a town in 1876 and became a city in 1882. County residents voted to move the county seat of Yamhill County from Lafayette to McMinnville in 1886.
McMinnville UFO photographs
McMinnville is known among UFO researchers for now-famous photographs published on the front page of the June 9, 1950 edition of the city's newspaper, the News-Register (then known as the Telephone-Register), reportedly of an unidentified flying object seen almost a month earlier, May 11. The Oregonian published the photographs the next day, and within a month they were published in LIFE magazine. The photographs were taken on a farm near Sheridan, Oregon, nine miles from McMinnville by a farming couple, Mr. and Mrs. Paul Trent. Mrs. Trent was the first to see the object—it resembled a classic "flying saucer"—and she pointed it out to her husband, who obtained a camera from their farmhouse and took two photos before the "saucer" flew away. A debate has raged for decades between UFO researchers, who claim that the photos are genuine and are among the best ever taken of a UFO, and UFO skeptics/debunkers, who claim that the photos are a hoax. Both sides in the debate have hired photographic experts numerous times to do a professional analysis of the photos, but so far neither side has offered convincing evidence to prove their case. The Trents' background was also thoroughly checked, and to date no evidence has surfaced implicating them in a hoax. The whole sequence of events has led to a "UFO Festival" being held in McMinnville each year, which is the biggest such gathering in the Pacific Northwest, and second in the country only to Roswell, New Mexico's.