Sunday, April 11, 2010

Oregon City

We had a very long day yesterday starting out at Oregon city, then on to the Mt. Hood and Columbia Gorge areas of Oregon. What an impressive history the state has here; what with the Lewis and Clark Trail, as well as the Oregon Trail which many pioneers took to begin life in what was then the Oregon Territory. At our first stop in Oregon City we saw a memorial to John McLoughlin, "Father of Oregon". In 1821 he was sent to be Chief Factor of the Columbia Department of the Hudson Bay Company. His home has been restored and is now run by the National Park Service. Our guide for the tour of the house was very knowledgeable regarding the history of  McLoughlin and his family. There were some artifacts of the family in the house, as the china on the dining room table. Most fascinating to me was that it had traveled from England in barrels of molasses! Oregon City was initially the site of a an Indian salmon village. When it was first established as a city, in the early 1800s, it was mostly located on the first "level" along the Wilamette river. The falls of the river were an important source of energy for the woolen, flour paper and lumber mills which were subsequently built. The falls are in the shape of a horseshoe, which you can see in the picture below.
As the city grew and expanded into the bluffs above, it became apparent that there needed to be an easier way to get to those upper levels other that hiking. In 1913 a municipal elevator was built. The city continues to operate the elevator, and "Elevator Street" remains the only "vertical street" in North America. Below is a picture of the town which I took from the promenade on the upper level.
From Oregon city we drove to Mt. Hood National Forest. As we drove into the higher elevations there were many signs warning us that until April 30 we should have chains on our tires which we did not have, but the road was clear of snow. Below is one of the first views we had of the mountain.

No comments:

Post a Comment