Amity - A small town to ‘DIG’
AREA: 390 acres POPULATION: 1,641 INCORPORATED: 1880 FOUNDERS: Brothers Joseph & Ahio Watt NAME: Originally the name of a school built by two rival communities after the amicable settlement of a dispute.
“The Friendliest Little City in Oregon,” located about seven miles south of McMinnville on Highway 99W, Amity features an easily walkable downtown revitalized in recent years thanks to the Downtown Improvement Group (“DIG”) which was formed to develop an attractive, unified and defined downtown core, and city leadership emphasizing infrastructure improvements.
Adjacent to the Eola Hills, Amity is also a budding wine stop. The Coelho Winery tasting room was among the first to put down roots in the downtown, which also celebrates great food and local charm. The Coelho’s latest investment was a renovation of one of downtown Amity’s centerpiece buildings, and the subsequent opening of Trade Street Commons, as space shared with food and shopping.
Another addition in 2017 lies across the street, Maria’s Mexican Grill and Amity Pub, complementing the food and drink offerings.
Around town you’ll find plenty more wines from Samuel Robert Winery, Cottonwood Winery, Dukes Family Vineyards, Mystic Wines, Kristin Hill and iOTA Cellars. Outside downtown, wineries like Amity Vineyards and Keeler Estates feature spectacular rural views to admire while you taste. Just south of the city is Blue Raevan Farms, a county favorite serving pie many could describe as “to die for.”
One of the area’s most popular tourist attractions is the Brigittine Monks, an order founded in 1370. Located at 23300 S.W. Walker Lane, they are dedicated to a life of prayer and work. The monks are also known for gourmet fudge packed in one-pound containers.
If you’re a history buff, the Amity Pioneer Historic Cemetery is a point of interest. It’s listed as a state historic cemetery with the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. Three War of 1812 veterans are buried here, as well as two Confederate soldiers and Joseph Watt, one of two brothers who established the city between 1848 and 1849, opening the first woolen mill in Oregon.