Century Farms and Ranches Web Exhibit
About the Heater Family Farm
Established by Lorenzo and Sophia Heater in 1852
Location: Marion County
Current Owners: James M. Heater and Timothy J. Heater
Lorenzo Heater came with two brothers to Oregon in 1850. After spending a year gold mining in California, he accumulated what he thought was a “fortune” of 1,100 dollars. He returned to Iowa for his family and arrived back in the Willamette Valley in 1852, establishing his donation land claim. In the early years, the Heater Family raised cattle and sheep while growing hay, small grains, and hops. During the 1950s and 1960s the main crops were strawberries, sweet corn, cucumbers, bent grass, blue grass and sheep.
Christmas trees make up the largest single enterprise on the farm. In addition, the Heater Family maintains a conifer nursery, small grain production, specialty seed crops, and hay. While Lorenzo Heater’s land claim site continues to be the headquarters farm, the family now farms around 5,000 acres.