Century Farms and Ranches Web Exhibit
About the Jackson-Martinak Farm
Established by Willis and Mary Jackson in 1853
Location: Linn County
Current Owners: Joyce [Jackson] Martinak and Art J. Martinak
Willis and Mary Jackson left Indiana for Oregon with their children in 1852. While on the Oregon Trail, the entire family except for Willis contracted measles, which took the life of the Jackson’s six-week old child. By 1853, the Jacksons had filed a 320-acre donation land claim three miles from Tangent. In the early days the farm was designed to be nearly self-sufficient. The family raised cattle, hogs, chickens and horses, along with oats, spring barley, clover hay and wheat. Over the years rye grass became the main crop.
In addition to rye grass, cattle, sheep, and hay also are raised. The farm suffered a setback in 2004 when the Jackson Family’s historic barn burned. The mortise and tenon-constructed barn had been built with hand-hewn timbers in the 1850s. The scene was all too familiar to many of Oregon’s agricultural families who are subject to routine disappointments in situations over which they have little or no control.