In 1967 Oregon Attorney General Robert Y. Thornton hosted the 61st annual conference of the National Association of Attorneys General in Portland. As part of a conference event, Thornton planned for the Grove of the States as an homage to First Lady, Lady Bird Johnson, and her work fostering the 1965 Highway Beautification Act. The First Lady pushed hard for freeway right-of-ways filled with green landscaping and wildflowers instead of …
Shaggy bark from Western Juniper
J.W. P. Huntington
The Target Tree, one of the Junipers in the Grove.
Following the line of a very old Native American Trail, the Huntington Wagon Road was marked by J.W. Petit Huntington in 1864 as a route between The Dalles and Fort Klamath. When the road was firmly established, it was used by prospectors, homesteaders, soldiers, and tradesman. Warm Springs Indian scouts frequently used the road in …
A.M. Drake original homestead lodge and several of the Ponderosa Pines
Plaque marking the area of the A.M. Drake Homestead
Pinecone from the Ponderosa Pine
A.M. and Florence Drake arrived in Central Oregon in June 1900. As they made their way through the homeland of the Northern Paiute tribes and alongside the Deschutes River in a covered wagon, the Drakes stopped to assess their surroundings and make camp. It is reported the couple butted …
Last year, a motivated group of volunteers showed up to push wheelbarrows, swing shovels, and plant 20 replacement trees at the Grove of the States (located at French Prairie Rest Area southbound). Among the many volunteers were two members of the Oregon Travel Information Council (Chair Gwenn Baldwin and Mike Marsh) and OTE Executive Director Nancy DeSouza.
[Make sure to visit the image gallery at the bottom of this page, it …
What is this project about?
Oregon’s Grove of the States is located at the French Prairie Rest Area (southbound I-5 at Milepost 281), near Wilsonville. The Grove is believed to be the oldest arboretum of state trees in the US and was originally a collection of trees from 53 US states and territories. The concept for the Grove was conceived and implemented by former Oregon Attorney General Robert Thornton in the mid-1960s as a way …
Notable trees that once graced Oregon
There are notable trees aplenty in Oregon, and you may have visited some of them on weekend forays across the state. However, trees have finite lifetimes. They are vulnerable to disease, rot, weather or humankind incidents. While not all of the trees represented in the“tree memorial” are Oregon Heritage Trees, during their lifespans many were beloved in their communities and by tree aficionados.
We will be …
This grove of trees was protected by the Garden Club of Oregon and given to the People of Oregon in 1949. The Garden Club started many conservation projects including Operation Wildflower on state highways, “Don’t Be a LitterBug!” campaign. The Oregon Myrtle is a highly valued evergreen hardwood that has played a significant role in Oregon’s coastal economies. The site is now owned by State Parks as the Coquille Myrtlewood Wayside …
Oregon’s Grove of the States enters active restoration phase
On November 11, 2016, a team of two dozen highly skilled volunteer arborists from four local companies sponsored a work day in Oregon’s Grove of the States to prepare the site for the next phase of its restoration.
Located at the southbound I-5 French Prairie Rest Area (at Milepost 281 near Wilsonville) the Grove is believed to be the oldest public arboretum of state …
Learn what’s possible and what’s not
Oregon’s public rest area system has a lengthy history of welcoming travelers and providing safe clean facilities for motorists to refresh. At OTE managed rest areas, dedicated employees provide a range of services. From helping families find lost keys and pets to ensuring that the grounds are free from obstructions and hazards, our specialists are present during peak travel hours, seven days per week and …