Early Newberg citizen Jesse Edwards built the house in 1881 in a style typical of rural American homes of the late nineteenth century. It has Italianate details in the trim under the eaves. Edwards sold the house to Laura and John Minthorn in 1885 when the Minthorns moved to Newberg so that Dr. Minthorn could serve as the first superintendent of the Friends Pacific Academy. Typical of many deeds in Newberg at that time, the deed stipulated that if alcohol was found on the premises, the deed reverted to the grantor. Herbert Hoover lived in the home with the Minthorns from 1885 to 1888. In 1888, the Minthorns moved to Salem and sold the house. Hoover moved to Salem with them.
The Newberg house was altered in the early 1900s and may have been used as a rooming house. In 1947, one of Hoover’s boyhood friends, Burt Brown Barker, organized a foundation to restore the house and turn it into a museum in honor of Hoover.
Hoover came to Newberg on August 10, 1955, his 81st birthday, to dedicate the house as a museum.
The furniture in Hoover’s bedroom is the actual set he used as a boy, and selected furnishings throughout the house belonged to the Minthorn family. Other furnishings in the house were gathered from homes in the countryside around Newberg and from the Friends Pacific Academy.
Among the Minthorn family pieces are two rocking chairs that are in the parlor.
When Hoover dedicated the house as a museum, he sat in one of the chairs to look at the stereopticon and Pennington family Bible on the table. These items are still in the parlor near where they were when Hoover visited.
In 1956, the Oregon Medical Society commissioned prominent Portland artist and portraitist Sydney Bell to paint Dr. Minthorn’s portrait. It was dedicated on August 10, 1956 and hangs in the parlor over a settee that was originally the Pacific Friends Academy.
The Hoover and Minthorn families have generously contributed to the furnishings and collection in the Museum. Among the items are a fishing creel and a fly fishing rod that Hoover used to fish with as an adult. Since he frequently fished in Oregon, he may have used the creel and rod when fishing Oregon rivers. The creel and rod are in Hoover’s boyhood bedroom upstairs.
The Hoover-Minthorn House Museum is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.