OTE - Oregon Travel Experience

Historical Marker Details

Click the title of each marker to see details about the markers.

41st Infantry Division

Sunset Highway

Subject:The rest area was dedicated to the 41st Infantry (Sunset) Division.
This division was organized for World War I in 1917 at Camp Greene, North Carolina and was demobilized at Camp Die, New Jersey in 1919. It was reorganized and Federally recognized at Portland, Oregon in 1930. The division was mobilized for World War II 16th September, 1940, and campaigned in Papua, New Guinea, Luzon and the Southern Philippines. It …

Read More

A 3D Viewing Device

 

Oregon Caves National Monument Rangers

Gruber and Graves families cutting the ribbon with Oregon Historical Marker Committee Chair, George Forbes

The new Oregon Historical Marker

Born at the Oregon Caves National Monument
The story began at the Oregon Caves in 1938. After taking a tour, William B. Gruber, an Oregon inventor, met Harold J. Graves, the president of postcard company, Sawyer’s Inc.
Double Visionaries — Graves and Gruber
Graves asked Gruber about the device he carried consisting …

Read More

Abernethy, George

George Abernethy

Subject: George Abernethy was the first Provisional Governor of the Oregon Country.
From 1845 to 1849, George Abernethy was the first Provisional Governor of the Oregon Country, which extended from the Pacific Ocean to the Rocky Mountains and from California to Northern British Columbia. After arriving in Oregon in 1840 as part of the Methodist Mission at Champoeg, he was involved in a series of meetings that ended in the …

Read More

Abert Rim

Abert Rim

Subject:Abert Rim,a 2,500-foot fault scarp, is one of the highest in the United States.
Captain John C. Fremont named this fault scarp in honor of Colonel J.J. Abert., when his expedition stopped here on  December 20, 1843
Abert Rim, some 2,500 feet above the valley floor is one of the highest fault scarps in the United States. This basalt formation, a basic lava covering much of Eastern Oregon, issued from great …

Read More

Abigail Scott Duniway

Abigail Scott Duniway
(1834-1915)
In 1860, Abigail Jane Scott Duniway and six other women shocked the town of Lafayette by attending a campaign speech by Col. Edward D. Baker, a U.S. Senate candidate. At that time, most people considered it inappropriate for women to take part in any aspect of political life. Age twenty-six at the time, Duniway’s leadership in the act was the first of countless actions for Oregon’s pioneer of woman suffrage.
Startting …

Read More

America’s First Transcontinental Auto Race

America’s First Transcontinental Auto Race

Subject:First car to cross the Cascade Mountains in 1905 traveling from New York to Portland.
Automotive history was made here June 20, 1905, when the first car to cross the Cascade Mountains conquered the Santiam Wagon Road. Dwight Huss drove ‘Old Scout’, a 1904 Oldsmobile curved dash runabout, from New York to Portland in 44 days. ‘Old Scout’ was the first car to travel North America from …

Read More

American Indian Seasonal Round

American Indian Seasonal Round

Subject: Describes the seasonal round of gathering food and plant material by the ancestors of the Paiute Tribe.
American Indians have occupied portions of the northern Great Basin for 10,000 years. The region’s earliest inhabitants lived in caves and camps along the shores of glacial lakes and marshes. This area was the homeland of the ‘Wada-tika’ (wada seed eaters), a band of the Northern Paiute Indians. They often …

Read More

Ancient Indian Fishing Grounds

Ancient Indian Fishing Grounds

Subject: Before dam construction on the Columbia River, the falls were ancient fishing grounds of all the Indian tribes of the middle Columbia River area.
Before a network of dams controlled the Columbia River it was often a raging torrent. Here at Wyam Falls, known today as Celilo Falls, a vertical drop of more than 20 feet and sheer basalt bluffs on either shore forced the river into …

Read More

Applegate Trail

Subject:  Site where Applegate Trail crosses the Klamath River.

The Southern Emigrant Route
The first emigrant train over the ‘Southern Route’ including more than fifty wagons under the leadership of Captain Levi Scott and David Goff, left the Oregon Trail at Fall Creek or Raft River on the Snake River, August 10, 1846. The Klamath River was crossed eight miles upstream from this sign on October 4, 1846. This trail, roughly 680 …

Read More

Applegate, Jesse

Jesse Applegate

Subject: Homestead of Jesse Applegate, pioneer, statesman, and philosopher.
Jesse applegate 1811-1888
Pioneer, statesman, philosopher. Leader of migration to Oregon in 1843. Leader of Provisional Government of Oregon in 1844-1849. First Surveyor General in 1844. Trailblazer, Fort Hall, Idaho, to Willamette Valley, in 1846. Member of Constitutional Convention for State of Oregon in 1857. Settled here in 1849, one-half mile west of this spot. His house was scene of first Court …

Read More

Aurora

Aurora

Subject:  Site of a Christian co-operative founded by Dr. Wilhelm Keil.
Dr. Wilhelm Keil founded here a Christian co-operative colony patterned after his colony at Bethel, Missouri. Musicians of the settlement made it widely famous. After Dr. Keil’s death in 1877 the communal enterprise was dissolved.

Baker

Baker

Subject: Baker City is recognized for its place in the early transportation system for gold discovery.
In October 1861, a group of prospectors in search of the mythical Blue Bucket Mine, made camp on a creek six miles southwest of here. That evening, Henry Griffin discovered gold in the gulch which bears his name. That started a stampede which continued for years. In 1862, Baker County was created and named for …

Read More

Balloon Bomb

Subject:  Japanese “Balloon Bombs” used in World War II, caused the only casualties of the war within the continental US
Very near here, on a warm spring day in 1945, six people- a woman and five children- were killed by a Japanese “balloon bomb,” or Fugo. The party had arrived for a picnic when they discovered the deflated balloon. While they gathered around the strange device, it exploded. These were the …

Read More

Bannock War

Bannock War

Subject: Site of the decisive battle between US troops and the Bannock and Paiute Indians.
Five miles northwest of this location, one of the last battles of the Bannock War was fought in June 1878. The Bannock War began in May 1878 when the Bannock Indians of Southern Idaho became angered over treaty violations and increasing settlement. With the U.S. army in pursuit, the warring Bannock fled to this area and …

Read More

Battle Mountain

Subject: Site of a decisive engagement of the Bannock War July 8, 1878.

The decisive engagement of the Bannock War was fought on the foothills of Battle Mountain, July 8, 1878. The war -a protest against White encroachment, and the last major uprising in the Pacific Northwest- was started by Bannock Indians, but Egan, a Piutes, inherited command. Wounded, he led the Bannocks, Piutes and Snakes on a wide sweep out of …

Read More

Beacon Rock

Beacon Rock

Subject:  Prominent geographic feature named by Lewis and Clark in 1805.
HISTORIC OREGON TRAIL
The prominent monolith across the river was named Beacon Rock by Lewis and Clark, November 2, 1805. It marked the beginning of tidewater for early river explorers who used it for a landmark in their journeys. The Indians say that when the Chinook Winds blow softly up the river one can hear the wailing of unhappy, beautiful Wahatpolitan, the …

Read More

Boone’s Ferry

Subject: Tells the history of the Boones Ferry across the Willamette River near this site.
During the period of Oregon’s Provisional Government (1841-1849), residents traveled by Indian trails, water courses, or on primitive rough-hewn wagon roads etched by emigrant settlers. During the days of the Territorial Government (1849-1859), and long before the State Highway Commission was established in 1917, travel and commercial transportation was often the result of ambitious, enterprising Oregonians such …

Read More

Boone’s Landing

Subject:  The establishment of Boone’s Ferry, Boone’s Landing (the precurser to the City of Wilsonville) and Boone’s Ferry Road.
Many of Oregon’s early transportation routes resulted from the efforts of enterprising pioneers like the Boone family of Clackamas County. In 1846 Alphonso Boone, grandson of Daniel Boone, emigrated to Oregon via the Applegate Trail with his large family. By 1847, using local Tuality Indians as oarsmen, they established Boone’s Ferry near …

Read More

Bristow Monument

Elijah Bristow, a veteran of Andrew Jackson’s army, erected his cabin here on Pleasant Hill in 1846, the earliest year of settlement in Lane County. He and his wife, Susannah, then led in establishing the county’s first church and first school. This replica of their fireplace is from the original stones.
Hwy/milepost: OR 58 MP 4
 

Broughton’s Expedition

Subject: Furthest point inland reached by British Comander William Broughton sailing up the Columbia River in 1792.
Captain George Vancouver in a voyage of exploration to the northwest coast of America ordered by the British Admiralty Office assigned Lieutenant William Robert Broughton, Commander of H.M.S. Chatham, to explore the navigable waters of the Columbia River with boat crews from his ship. This point marks the farthest inland reached by Broughton who camped …

Read More

Brownsville

Subject:Describes the ancient beginnings of Brownsville and its evolution of names.
A TOWN WITH ANCIENT BEGINNINGS AND MANY NAMES
Long before the first pioneer settlers arrived here in the 1840’s, this area was occupied by the ancient Mound Builders and then the Kalapuya Indians. The relative ease of finding food in the valley made the Kalapuya vulnerable to intruders, including other tribes, because they did not need to fight or go very …

Read More

Camp Adair

Subject: Site where military divisions were trained during World War ll
The US War Department ulimately selected 55,000 acres at this location for an infantry training site in 1941. Temporary quarters were constructed, and the site was dedicated as Camp Adair in 1942. Camp Adair was designed to train two divisions at the same time.
CAPTION #1:
The camp was named after Lt. Henry R. Adair, a West Point graduate and Oregon pioneer descendant, …

Read More

Camp Adair- Hwy 99

Subject: Site where military divisions were trained during World War ll
SITE OF THE CANTONMENT WHERE THESE DIVISIONS TRAINED DURING WORLD WAR II.
70TH INFANTRY DIVISION
TRAILBLAZER DIVISION
274th, 275th and 276th Inf. Regts; 882nd, 883rd, 884th (I) and 725th (M) FA Bns. Attached to Seventh Army. Action in Saar Region. Maj. Gen. John E. Dalquist and Allison J. Barnett, Commanding Generals.
91ST INFANTRY DIVISION
POWDER RIVER DIVISION
Reactivated at Camp White. 361st, 362nd, 363rd Inf. Regts; 346th, …

Read More

Cannon Beach

Subject:  How Cannon Beach got its name from the 1846 wreck of the Naval schooner Shark.
Lt. Neil M. Howison, U.S.N., arrived in the Columbia River 1 July, 1846 on board the 300-ton United States Naval Survey Schooner ‘Shark’ for the purpose of making an investigation of part of the Oregon Country. His report was instrumental in creating public interest in the Oregon Territory and formulating a decision on the location …

Read More

Canyon Creek

Subject: Route of trappers, Applegate Trail, stage coaches and freight wagons.
The narrow gorge of Canyon Creek has long served as a travel corridor. Native Americans likely trekked this canyon for thousands of years. Alexander McLeod of the Hudson’s Bay Company provided the first written account of the route in 1829, while traveling from Fort Vancouver on the Columbia River to California’s central valley. The U.S. Exploring Expedition, under Lt. George Emmons, …

Read More

Cattle Drives

Subject:  The old Oregon Cattle Trail along which up to 100,000 head of cattle were driven to eastern buyers.
After the close of the Sioux and Paiute Indian Wars the ranchers of Wyoming and Montana discouraged in their attempts to fatten the Texas Longhorn, turned to Oregon for their cattle. During the spring cattlemen and their cowboys arrived daily from the Rocky Mountain Area to purchase herds which had been assembled …

Read More

Central Coast Region

This marker was made possible by the City of Yachats
Marker Text:
Welcome To the Oregon Coast
The rugged shore of the Central and Northern Oregon Coast is backed by the Coast Range Mountains, remnants of a chain of volcanic islands that collided with the North American continent some 50 million years ago. The Oregon Coast is notable for its basalt headlands, such as Cape Foulweather and Cape Perpetua, and for a succession of …

Read More

Champoeg State Park

Subject: The site where Oregon’s provisional constitution was adopted in 1843.
This area, once named tchámpuick, the ‘place of yampah’ was the traditional homeland of the Tualatin Kalapuya tribe.   Fur trappers first arrived here by canoe in 1811, and they found lush open prairies bordering the Willamette River.  In 1830, French-Canadians retiring from the Hudson’s Bay Company and their Indian wives began farms and raised families near here.  Champoeg soon became a …

Read More

Conflict at Pistol River

Subject:  Site of the battle in the Rogue River Indian Wars, 1856.
During the early 1850s hundreds of miners and settlers poured into southwest Oregon and onto Indian lands staking claims and establishing farms. The clash of cultural attitudes toward the ownership and use of natural resources led to the Rogue River Indian Wars of 1853-56. War came to the coast in March of 1856, when the ‘Tu-tu-tuni’ attacked Ellensburg, a …

Read More

Cow Creeks – A Tale of Strong Recovery

Subject: Story of perserverance and recovery by the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Indians.
The story of the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians is a tale of perseverance and strong recovery in the face of great loss. Epidemics and hostilities with miners let to large population declines. The tribe entered into a treaty with the United States in 1853, and ceded nearly 800 square miles for less than three …

Read More

Cutoff Fever

Subject: Describes three different Oregon Trail cutoff routes that wagon trails took from this location
Eager to save time on the Oregon Trail, emigrants often attempted shortcuts. Between 1845 and 1854, tree wagon trains left this campsite seeking a cutoff to the Willamette Valley
Sidebar #1
The Meek Cutoff of 1845
Frontiersman Stephen Meek persuaded over 1,000 people with 200 wagons to avoid the notorious Blue Mountains, Cayuse Indians, and Columbia River by turning west …

Read More

Cutoff to the Barlow Road

Subject:  A shortcut to the Barlow Road from the Oregon Trail
Samuel K. Barlow established a wagon road in 1845-46 from The Dalles across the Cascade Range. Many Oregon Trail emigrants preferred the new road to the perilous Columbia River route, which had claimed many lives. The Barlow Road allowed emigrants to drive wagons to the Willamette Valley for the first time.
By 1848 many overlanders left the Oregon Trail soon after …

Read More

Dayton Courthouse Square Park and Blockhouse

OTE and ODOT sign crews install new Dayton marker

Courthouse Square Park Marker, installed June 2013

Dedication of the Courthouse Square Park marker in Dayton, July 18, 3013

Courthouse Square Park
Fort Yamhill Blockhouse
Courthouse Square Park is a monument to the civic and commercial aspirations of Dayton’s founders, Joel Palmer, his son-in-law Andrew Smith and Christopher Taylor. Palmer and Taylor, who settled here to farm in 1848, laid out the town site on …

Read More

Dead Indian Memorial Road

Subject: Explains the events leading up to and the reasons for the naming of this road.
Long before the first Euro-American emigrants trekked westward, this road was a trail used by the Takelma and Shasta Peoples as a trade route. With the arrival of settlers and gold-seekers, the trail quickly became a wagon road called ‘Indian Market Road.’
During the 1850s, the increased population of Euro-Americans, their occupation of traditional food gathering areas, …

Read More

Deschutes River Crossing

Subject: Point where the Oregon Trail crossed the Hazardous Deschutes River.
The Oregon Trail crossed the hazardous Deschutes River at this point by floating the prairie schooners and swimming the livestock. An island at the river mouth was often utilized when the water was high and the ford dangerous. Pioneer women and children were frequently ferried across the stream by Native canoe men who made the passage in exchange for bright colored …

Read More

Dorian, Marie

Subject:  Madam Dorion was a woman of courage and member of the Wilson Price Hunt Expedition of 1811-12.
MARIE DORION – WOMAN OF COURAGE
Madame Marie Dorion, a Native American of the Sioux Nation, gained recognition for her endurance and courage in the early American West. As the only woman on the long and difficult Wilson Price Hunt Expedition from Montreal to the wild Oregon Territory, Marie’s strength of character and courage …

Read More

Durkee

Subject: Durkee was a favorite emigrant campground and later a relay and stage station.
HISTORICAL OREGON TRAIL
This spot was famous in early days as Express Ranch an important relay station on the Umatilla-Boise Basin Stage and Freight Route. It was also a favorite camping place for emigrants and teamsters
Hwy/milepost: Old 30 MP 327

Ecola

Subject:William Clark’s visit to this area in 1806 and his purchase of whale oil and blubber from the local Indians.
ECOLA
On January 8, 1806 William Clark and perhaps fourteen of the famous expedition reached a Tillamook village of five cabins on a creek which Captain Clark named Ecola or Whale Creek. Three days earlier, two men sent out from Fort Clatsop to locate a salt making site had brought back whale …

Read More

Eldorado Ditch

Subject:  Describes the history of the controversial ditch built from 1863 to 1878 to carry water for gold mining.
HISTORIC ELDORADO DITCH 1863-1925
A remarkable construction enterprise of its time, the ‘Eldorado Ditch’ carried water for placed mining from the Burnt River above Unity, over Eldorado Pass to Malheur City and the Willow Creek Drainage. Conceived and designed by William H. Packwood and constructed by Chinese labor, the ditch was started in …

Read More

Emigrant Springs State Park

From I-84, take exit 234, then drive south on old Highway 30.
Emigrants waited near the summit of the Blue Mountains for stragglers to catch up, resting from the difficult ascent and watering their livestock while they waited. Interpretive displays complement the Oregon Trail monuments at the park entrance.
Marker Text:
In the first week of January, 1812, a party of trappers and traders, members of the Astor Overland Expedition, crossed the Blue Mountains in this …

Read More

Empire City

Empire City- This location is also called the Hollering Place

Empire City marker

Empire Pier

Subject:  Describes the history of the port city from its native origins through its decline after the turn of the 20th century.
Native Americans occupied the banks of this river and its bay long before Euro-American settlements appeared. Empire City, a bustling port of call that occupied this portion of Coos Bay’s waterfront, was once the site of an …

Read More

Farewell Bend

Subject:  Famous camping spot and the last sight of the Snake River for the westbound emigrants.
HISTORIC OREGON TRAIL
The last camp on the weary journey across the Snake River plains. Here the Oregon Trail left the Snake River and wound overland to the Columbia. Here, camped Wilson Price Hunt, December 23, 1811; Capt. Bonneville, January 10, 1834; Nathaniel J. Wyeth, August 25, 1834; John C. Fremont, October 13, 1843.

First Coastal Expeditions

Subject: First overland treks in 1826-27 led by Alexander McLeod of the Hudson’s Bay Company.
Included French Canadians, such as Michel Laframboise who served as an interpreter, as well as Hawaiians, and Iroquois Indians. These explorations opened this portion of Oregon’s coast to commercial trapping and further exploration.
McLeod’s first expedition camped on the banks of nearby Beaver Creek from June 29 to July 10, 1826. Calling this stream the ‘Nackito River,’ McLeod …

Read More

Fort Clatsop

Subject: The 1805-1806 winter headquarters of explorers Lewis and Clark.
Fort Clatsop, built by Lewis and Clark in December, 1805 for use as winter headquarters, was situated eight-tenths of a mile south of this point. The site was chosen because of the game in the surrounding country and because it was convenient to the coast where salt could be made for the journey of the exploration party back to the Missouri. Elk …

Read More

Fort Harney

Subject:  History of the U.S. military post, 1867-1889.
Fort Harney-on the former Malheur Indian Reservation, was named for Gen. Wm. S. Harney. who took command of the Military Department of Oregon, Sept. 13, 1858. The fort was established Aug. 10, 1867, and became a permanent Military Post by order of the President. The Fort Harney Military Reserve of 640 acres was created on Jan. 28, 1876. On Sept. 13, 1882 the President …

Read More

Fort Rock

Fort Rock is the remnant of a maar volcano or tuff ring, formed when rising basaltic magma encountered water and exploded violently. The exploded debris—called tuff—fell back to earth around the volcanic vent to form this steep-walled, fort-like ring. Over time, the basin filled with a shallow lake, which breached the south rim of the tuff ring and cut a terrace about 60 feet above the floor of the valley. A State Monument and a National Natural Landmark, Fort Rock is one …

Read More

Fort Stevens State Park

Subject:History of the area, land uses, and the naming of Fort Stevens
Fort Stevens was named for General Isaac Ingalls Stevens, first Governor of Washington Territory, who died a hero of the Civil War of 1862. The fort was built in 1846 and decommissioned in 1947. Some 3000 acres of sandy wasteland known as Clatsop Sand Plains were stabilized here in the 1930’s by the planting of beach grass, shrubs and …

Read More

Fremont Memorial

Subject:  A memorial to the 1843-44 John Fremont expedition to Oregon and California.
A MEMORIAL TO THE PERSONNEL OF THE SECOND FREMONT EXPLORING EXPEDITION TO OREGON AND NORTH CALIFORNIA.
The reports of this expedition directed the migration of the Western Settlement toward the Oregon Country which hitherto had been merely a rendezvous for trappers. On December 16th, 1843 the expedition while enroute from The Dalles of the Columbia to Sutters Fort on …

Read More

Glacial Erratics

Subject:  This fine-grained rock was rafted to this location during catastrophic floods that occurred during the end of the Ice Age.
The 90-ton glacial erratic rock at the top of this 1/4 mile-long trail is a stranger from a distant location- it was transported here thousands of years ago on an iceberg in the wake of a cataclysmic flood.
During the last Ice Age, 13,000-15,500 years ago, a giant glacier dammed the …

Read More

Grand Ronde Indian Reservation

Subject:Tells of the forced relocation of inland valley Indians to the Grand Ronde Reservation, their fight for U.S. Government recognition, and their efforts toward economic stability.
Indians inhabited Oregon’s inland valleys for thousands of years before Euro-Americans began to arrive in the late 18th Century. In the early 1780s, and again in the 1830s, diseases spread by seafarers and fur trappers swept through Oregon’s valleys killing most of the native population. …

Read More

Gray, Captain Robert

 

Captain Robert Gray, commanding the sloop Lady Washington, left Boston in October 1787 on a trading voyage to the West Coast of North America, seeking otter furs. To his small crew of about a dozen men, Gray soon added Markus Lopeus, who boarded at the Cape Verde Islands off West Africa. Rounding the tip of South America and sailing north, the Lady Washington traded along the coast, and reached Tillamook …

Read More

Great Basin

This site marks the northern limit of the Great Basin, a region some six hundred miles long and up to five hundred miles wide. It began forming 17 million years ago as the result of regional uplift and east west stretching by geologic forces that continue today. This stretching created a pattern of north trending mountain ranges separated by broad flat valleys. Precipitation that falls within the Great Basin leaves …

Read More

Great Tsunami of 1700

During the 18th century, Native American villages occupied the mouths of nearly every stream along this coastline-including here at Siletz Bay. Since native peoples probably had little idea about the relationship between earthquakes and tsunamis, they were taken by surprise in January 1700, when this beach was hit by a devastating tsunami. References to great flooding and ground shaking events in the oral traditions of many Pacific Northwest coastal tribes …

Read More

Heppner Flood

OREGON HISTORY – SUNDAY, JUNE 14, 1903
A flash flood swept down on Heppner, and caught residents unaware, killing hundreds and destroying nearly the entire town. A cloudburst hit in Balm Fork Canyon, south of Heppner. The rushing waters tore down the narrow canyon, picking up haystacks, chicken pens and livestock and piled it all up behind a steam laundry that straddled the canyon near the edge of town. This very …

Read More

Historic La Grande

La Grande was the first town permanently settled in Northeastern Oregon. Daniel Chaplin laid out the original ‘Old Town’ in spring of 1862 and Ben Brown built the first house, a log cabin, alongside the Oregon Trail at the corner of B Avenue and Cedar Street.
As the prime lands of western Oregon were settled, and then gold was discovered in eastern Oregon, a reverse migration used the Oregon Trail from …

Read More

Homeland of the Burns Paiute

Homeland of the Burns Paiute marker

This region is the homeland of the ‘Wadatika’ (wada seed eaters), a nomadic band of Northern Paiute Indians. Today, the descendents of these people are known as the Burns Paiute.
Armed conflicts between ranchers and the ‘Wadatika’, during the late 1800s, led President Ulysses S. Grant to create the 1.8 million-acre Malheur Reservation in 1872. Pressure from settlers opened portions of the reservation to grazing and …

Read More

Homeland of the Cow Creeks

Subject:History of the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Indians
This portion of the southwest Oregon is homeland to the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Indians. They thrived here for thousands of years before contact with Euro-Americans. Living in plank-house villages, they followed a seasonal round of resource use. Moving from summer camas meadows and salmon fisheries along the rivers to the high country, they picked huckleberries and hunted for deer in …

Read More

Indian Trails

An ancient trail passed through here as part of an extensive Indian trade network linking peoples of the Northern Great Basin and Columbia Plateau to those living west of the Cascades. Obsidian, bear grass, and slaves were transported over these trails to major trading locations along the Columbia River in exchange for dried salmon, smelt, sturgeon and decorative sea shells. The long established route was later used by Peter Skene …

Read More

Japanese Attack on Oregon

Prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor, a contingent of Japanese I-Class submarines sailed from Yokosuka via the Marshall Islands to take up positions off Hawaii and the coast of North America. Five of these vessels carried midget two-man submarines and 11 carried aircraft.
Early on the morning of September 9, 1942, the Japanese submarine I-25 surfaced off Brookings. The crew quickly assembled a specially designed seaplane, and within a few minutes …

Read More

Jedediah Smith

Jed smith marker 10.2014

 
Jedediah Smith
(1799-1831)
Jedediah Smith’s explorations in the American West began when he was 21 and lasted until his death at age 32. He crisscrossed the region in search of beaver pelts and new travel routes. His travel journals became a foundation for the first accurate maps of what is now the western United States.
A Life of Exploration
After three years in the Rocky Mountains, Jedediah Smith led trapping expeditions to California in …

Read More

Lone Tree of the Oregon Trail

Subject:Tells the story of the tree that served as a landmark for Indians, trappers and Oregon Trail emigrants.
Early Oregon Trail emigrants crested the south flank of Flagstaff Hill and, with the Blue Mountains looming to the west, saw a solitary tree in the valley below. Called l’arbre seul (the lone tree) by French-Canadian fur trappers, this large tree, possibly ponderosa pine or Douglas-fir, towered majestically above the floor of Baker …

Read More

Lure of Gold

Subject:Gold mining drew emigrants from the east and west along the Oregon Trail
Beginning in 1843, thousands of Oregon Trail emigrants trekked through this region toward new lives in the West. This epic journey indelibly etched the landscape with wagon ruts, such as those near by. When Henry Griffin, a prospector from California, discovered gold eight miles southwest of present-day Baker City in 1861, the emigration pattern changed radically. Eastern Oregon …

Read More

McKay, Thomas

Subject:Thomas McKay, Hudson’s Bay Company fur trader and operative, died near here.
‘One of the Oregon Country’s most picturesque fur-traders, Thomas McKay, is buried near Scappoose. He was a daring leader, famous storyteller and could drive a nail with a rifle ball. A Canadian, he arrived with Astorians as a teenage boy; served with North West Company, became a clerk with the Hudson’s Bay Company, established a grist mill at Champoeg. …

Read More

McLoughlin, Dr. John

Subject:Dr. John McLoughlin was the Chief Factor of the Hudson’s Bay Company and founder of Oregon City.
DR. JOHN McLOUGHLIN 1784-1857
Chief factor of the Hudson’s Bay Company at Fort Vancouver, philanthropist, and founder of Oregon City. The land on the east bank of the Willamette River at the falls was claimed by Dr. McLoughlin and the Hudson’s Bay Co. in 1828-29. First called Willamette Falls, the town was platted in 1842 …

Read More

Meacham

Subject:Originally Lee’s Encampment, later site of the Mountain House. Honored by visit of President Harding in 1923.
HISTORIC OREGON TRAIL
First known as Lee’s Encampment, from establishment of a Troop Camp by Major H.A.G. Lee in 1844. A.B. and Harvey Meacham operated famous Mountain House here which gave the town its present name. In later years a famous railroad eating house. The Log Cabin, became nationally known under the supervision of Grandma …

Read More

Meek, Joseph L

Subject:The land claim of Meek, mountain man, who helped found the Oregon Provisional Government.
This marks the land claim of Joseph L. Meek, famed and unlettered ‘mountain man,’ who arrived in 1840 after driving from Fort Hall to Walla in the first wagon on that part of the Oregon Trail. He was a founder of the Provisional Government; served as the first sheriff, the first marshal, the first census taker. He …

Read More

Memaloose Island

 
Memaloose Island in the background
Subject:Site of ancient burial ground for Mid-Columbia Tribes.
Memaloose Island, visible from this point, was once an important Indian Burial Ground for Mid-Columbia Tribes. The dead were wrapped in skins or blankets and often placed in a sitting position, sheltered by Grave Houses of poles, slabs and bark. Before water rising above Bonneville Dam reduced the original four-acre island to about half an acre, Indian remains were …

Read More

Nesmith, James W

Subject:James Nesmith, a leader in early Oregon government, lived near this site.
PIONEER AND STATEMAN
James W. Nesmith, born in New Brunswick, Canada on July 23, 1820, was among the first emigrants to trek the Oregon Trail in 1843. He filed a land claim near present day Monmouth in 1844, and the following year took part in the formation of Oregon’s Provisional Government. Nesmith was elected to the Territorial Legislature in 1847, …

Read More

Nez Perce

Subject:Homeland of the Nez Perce Chief Joseph.
Wallowa Valley, summer homeland of the Joseph Band Nez Perce, was part of the expansive Nez Perce reservation established by the treaty of 1855. Upon discovery of gold in the region, the U.S. eliminated the reservation in the Wallowas in 1863. The Joseph Band held on until 1877 when, under pressure from increasing white settlement, they were ordered to abandon their ancestral homeland. Violent …

Read More

Ogden, Peter Skene

Subject:Travels of Ogden and his fur trapping party through Oregon.
Peter Skene Ogden, Chief Trader for the Hudson’s Bay Company, and Thomas McKay, Clerk, with a company of 15 employees and 20 freemen and some Native families and over 100 horses, left The Dalles, September 19, 1826. They went up the Deschutes and Crooked Rivers to the Harney Basin, exploring and trapping beaver, with little success. Returning over Newberry Crater to …

Read More

Ogden, Peter Skene

Subject:Peter Skene Ogden, leader of five expeditions into ‘Snake Country.’
Peter Skene Ogden, leading a party of Hudson’s Bay Company trappers, camped near here on October 10, 1828. On this Ogden’s fifth and final expedition into the ‘Snake Country,’ he started on September 22, from Fort Nez Perce (Walla Walla). From here, passing Alvord Lake, he went south to the Humboldt River and thence last to Great Salt Lake, first reached …

Read More

Ogden, Peter Skene

Commemorates the far-ranging chief trapper of the Hudson’s Bay Company.
This Park is named for Peter Skene Ogden, 1793-1854. In the fall of 1825, Ogden led a Hudson’s Bay Company trapping party on the first recorded journey into Central Oregon, crossing the country to the north and east into the Crooked River Valley not far above here. He was in the vicinity again in 1826 bound for the Harney Basin …

Read More

Oregon City

Subject:Honors Dr. McLoughlin, pioneers, early Oregon government and many firsts in Oregon.
Oregon City – supply point for pioneer emigrants was first located as a claim by Dr. John McLoughlin in 1829. The first provisional legislature of the Oregon Country was held here in 1843 and land and tax laws formulated. Oregon City was the capital of the Oregon Territory from 1845-1852. The first Protestant church (Methodist) west of the Rocky …

Read More

Oregon City Falls

Subject:Notes uses of site ranging from early Indian salmon fishing village to first long-distance hydroelectric power generation in the United States.
Oregon City – once known as Willamette Falls – was early the site of an Indian salmon fishing village. The Falls furnished the power for a lumber mill which began operation in 1842, a flour mill in 1844, a woolen mill in 1864, and the first paper mill in the …

Read More

Pendleton

Subject:Campground for the Astor Party and emigrants on the Oregon Trail.
OREGON TRAIL
Members of the Astor Party under the leadership of Wilson Price Hunt camped here in 1812 on their way to the mouth of the Columbia. They traded with the Indians for horses which they used for food. The river was called the Eu.o.tal.la (Umatilla) and abounded with beaver. From 1844 the wagon migrations to the Willamette Valley passed this …

Read More

Philomath

Philomath College Building
Philomath college was chartered November 1865, as the United Brethren School for Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and California.  The name combines two Greek words meaning love of learning.  The building’s center structure was completed in September 1867, of bricks made from clay extruded near the building.  the center structure is 40 X 60 feet in 2-feet-thick walls.  The west wing was completed in 1905; the east wing in …

Read More

Pinot Noir

Richard Sommer & HillCrest Vineyard
Oregon’s successful and widely recognized wine industry can be traced to this place, where Richard Sommer first planted Pinot noir grapes in 1961. The Umpqua and Willamette valleys’ climates and topographies are much like those of European wine regions, but most winemakers of the 1960s believed it was impossible to grow fine wines in Oregon. Sommer, however, recognized the significance of sharing latitude with European winemaking …

Read More

Prehistoric River

Subject:An Ice Age river flowed across the high desert in the rocky canyon near the marker.
OREGON GEOLOGY
Ages ago a river flowed across the high desert country in the rocky canyon several hundred yards beyond the marker. The prehistoric river drained a large ice age lake that formed from the blocking of normal drainage in the area by lava flows. The lake covered a large area to the east in the …

Read More

Sandy River Bridge

Subject:Boat crew of HMS Chatham sights river and names Mt. Hood from here in 1792. How Sandy River received its name.
HISTORIC OREGON TRAIL
On Oct. 30th, 1792 off the point in the Columbia River where the Sandy empties its waters the boat crew from the H.M.S. Chatham (Vancouver’s Voyages) saw the snow clad peak which Lt. Wm. R. Broughton named Mt. Hood in honor of the Vice Admiral Samuel Lord Hood …

Read More

Santiam Wagon Road

Subject:Founding of the route between central Oregon and the Willamette Valley
The pass located east of here through the Cascade Range was once called Wiley Pass after Andrew Wiley. Wiley with other Willamette Valley pioneers explored it in 1859 while searching for a route to move their livestock to the grass lands of central Oregon for summer grazing. In 1864 the Willamette Valley and Cascade Mountain Military Wagon Road Company was …

Read More

Scottsburg

Subject:Honors Levi Scott, founder of town, and early area commerce.
Few Oregon communities have had a more colorful history than Scottsburg. It was named for Levi Scott, a pioneer of 1844, who homesteaded here and founded the town in 1850. There was a lower town at the head of tidewater on the Umpqua River which became the site of business houses and mills. A mile upstream was the upper town, the …

Read More

Sherar’s Bridge Area

Subject:Gateway to Central Oregon crossing the Deschutes River.
This area of the Deschutes River has been a river crossing and fishing location for thousands of years. Peter Skene Ogden made note of an Indian camp and bridge when he crossed here in 1826. Early pioneers using the Meek Cutoff to the Barlow Road passed here on their way to The Dalles and the Willamette Valley. John Todd built a bridge in …

Read More

South Alternate Route of the Oregon Trail

Subject:Describes the pioneer route along the Snake River.
During the late 20th Century thousands of Americans left farms, families and friends to trek the Oregon Trail toward new lives in the West. The trail was nearly 2,000 miles across prairies, mountains and parched deserts, and contrary to popular belief, it was not a single set of parallel ruts leading from Missouri to the Willamette Valley. Pioneers, always searching for shortcuts or …

Read More

Southern Oregon Coast Region

Welcome to the Oregon Coast
The Oregon Coast boasts forested headlands, towering dunes of sand, and sparkling lakes and rivers. From the Columbia River south to Bandon, the picturesque coastline is bordered to the east by the peaks of the Coast Range Mountains. These peaks are the remnants of a chain of volcanic islands that collided with the North American continent some 50 million years ago. The rugged southernmost section of …

Read More

Spruce Soldiers

Subject:Describes the use of Oregon Sitka Spruce in the construction of aircraft during World War l.
SPRUCE SOLDIERS OREGON TRAVEL INFORMATION COUNCIL
Aircraft proved their military worth during World War I — initially for observation purposes, and later for the support of ground troops and bombing. When the United States entered the war in 1917, air supremacy was hotly contested and airplane production was vital to the war effort.
Early airplanes were constructed …

Read More

Sunset Highway

Subject:The Sunset Highway is dedicated to members of the 41st Division who wore the Sunset emblem.
This highway is reverently dedicated to Oregon’s sons. Members of the 41st division, both living and dead, who wore the Sunset emblem and offered their all in complete devotion to the cause of world peace.

Terrible Trail

Subject:While trying to find their way into the upper Williamette Valley, emigrants traveled an alternate route that started in present-day Vale and traversed the desert near this site.
MEEK/ELLIOTT THE TERRIBLE TRAIL
Weary Oregon Trail emigrants, eager to ease travel or gain mileage, often attempted cutoffs and shortcuts. While many of these alternate routes proved successful, others did not–they became roads to ruin for some and the end of the trail for …

Read More

The Dalles to Canyon City Wagon Road

Subject:The discovery of gold sends thousands of fortune hunters into the upper John Day basin.
The discovery of gold at Canyon Creek on June 8, 1862, brought a rush of people and supplies into the upper John Day basin. Within a year, nearly 10,000 fortune hunters trekked to the gold fields from the nearest access and supply point – The Dalles – over a series of trails that became The Dalles …

Read More

The Hollering Place

The Hollering Place
a strategic site for communication, trade, and travel
Where this marker now stands, the villages of Qaimisiich on this side and El-ka-titc on the spit to the west, were close enough to call across the bay for a canoe ride – hence the translation of El-ka-titc, “Hollering Place.” Coos Bay has been a trade and transportation center for thousands of years.
Camp Cast-a-way
In 1852, the chartered schooner “Captain Lincoln” ran …

Read More

Tillamook Burn

Subject:Describes the devastating forest fires of 1933, 1939 and 1945 and subsequent reforestation.
Trees on 240,000 acres were killed in 1933 in one of the Nation’s worst forest fires which started four miles northeast of this point. Later fires extended the burn to 355,000 acres-to more than 13 billion board feet of timber. This area is now being reforested with Douglas Fir, spruce, cedar and hemlock. With effective protection a new …

Read More

Tillamook Burn

Subject:The site of disastrous forest fires in 1933, 1939 and 1945.
Oregon’s Historic Tillamook Forest Fire of 1933 spread over 240,000 acres of forest land, fires in 1939 and 1945 brought the total to 355,000 acres. Over 13 billion board feet of timber were killed. Devastation by these disastrous fires aroused Oregon voters to approve a bond issue for reforestation and protection of the burned area. Access roads were built and …

Read More

Troutdale

Subject:Pioneer community settled in the 1850’s.
This pioneer community gateway to the Columbia Gorge was settled in the 1850’s. Cattle herds of early pioneers were driven to the nearby Sandy River from the Dalles while the emigrants rafted their wagons down the Columbia. First known as Sandy, the present name came from fish ponds built by the town’s founder, Captain John Harlow. By the turn of the century railroad and river …

Read More

Tsunami – Seaside

Subject:Provides information about the devastating waves called ‘tsunamis’ which can strike the Oregon coast and what action should be taken in case of such an occurrence.
TSUNAMI – SEASIDE
Devastating waves called ‘tsunamis’ can strike the Oregon coast at any time. These waves are caused by great undersea earthquakes that occur along the Cascadia Subduction Zone, one of the largest active faults in North America.
Tsunamis are dangerous and destructive. They have struck …

Read More

Tsunami- Newport

Subject:Provides information about the devastating waves called ‘tsunamis’ which can strike the Oregon coast and what action should be taken in case of such an occurrence.
Devastating waves called ‘tsunamis’ can strike the Oregon coast at any time. These waves are caused by great undersea earthquakes that occur along the Cascadia Subduction Zone, one of the largest active faults in North America.
Tsunamis are dangerous and destructive. They have struck the Oregon …

Read More

Tsunami- Reedsport

Subject:Provides information about the devastating waves called ‘tsunamis’ which can strike the Oregon coast and what action should be taken in case of such an occurrence.
Devastating waves called ‘tsunamis’ can strike the Oregon coast at any time. These waves are caused by great undersea earthquakes that occur along the Cascadia Subduction Zone, one of the largest active faults in North America.
Tsunamis are dangerous and destructive. They have struck the Oregon …

Read More

Umatilla County

Subject:Campsite of emigrants on the Oregon Trail.
HISTORIC OREGON TRAIL
Weary emigrants traveling westward on the Oregon Trail favored a campsite on the near bank of the Umatilla River at this point. On leaving they climbed the same hill the highway now traverses, then recrossed the Umatilla River at Echo 20 hot, dusty miles westerly.
In the years 1863-64 at this site a settlement composed of 3 buildings called Middleton, the first County …

Read More

Umpqua- Southern Oregon Region

Welcome to Southern Oregon
Southern Oregon is a land of great geographic diversity. Here are the more than 250-million-year-old Klamath Mountains in the south, and to the north and uplifted 50-million-year-old ocean floor and overlying sediments, called “Siletzia” by geologists. To the east is crystal clear crater lake nestled in ancient volcanic Mount Mazama, and beyond it are Basin and Range fault block mountains separated by lakes such as Summer Lake, …

Read More

Upper Klamath Lake

Subject:Klamath Lake wildlife sanctuary and Oregon’s largest body of water.
This is Oregon’s largest body of water, about 90,000 acres. Indians inhabiting its shores (‘People of the Lake’) lived well on wild fowl, fish and wocus seeds. The first known white visitors (1825-26) were Hudson’s Bay trappers under Tom McKay and Finan McDonald. In 1846, while exploring here, John C. Fremont received news of the war with Mexico, which caused him …

Read More

Vanport

Subject:Site of the nation’s largest public housing project. Vanport was destroyed in a flood in 1948.
VANPORT
Within a year of the US entering World War II, more than 160,000 people moved to Portland- a city of only 360,000 – to work in Home Front industries. Industrialist Henry Kaiser’s three shipyards employed the most workers. To house his employees and their families, Kaiser persuaded the US Maritime Commission in 1942 to fund …

Read More

Wallowa Lake

Subject:Wallowa Lake was created by the advance and retreat of alpine glaciers.
OREGON GEOLOGY
Wallowa Lake has been formed by the damming action of glacial drift. The easterly shore of the lake is a splendid example of a lateral moraine and the northern boundary of the lake of a terminal moraine. An outwash plain extends beyond the town of Joseph. The east and west lateral moraines record two major stages of glaciation …

Read More

West, “Captain” John

Subject:Founded the first cannery on the Oregon shore of the Columbia River and exported lumber and canned salmon globally.
WESTPORT, OREGON
“Captain” John West was a selfmade man. A native of Scotland, he settled on the lower Columbia River near this spot in the early 1850s after trying his luck in the goldfields of California. West built and operated sawmills, ran a general store and post office, built and managed a salmon …

Read More

Willamette Falls

Subject:The falls were originally a Native American fishing site and later became the power source for numerous mills and electricity generation.
Willamette Falls was early the site of an Indian salmon fishing village. The falls furnished the power for a lumber mill which began operation in 1842, a flour mill in 1844, a woolen mill in 1864 and the first paper mill in the Pacific Northwest in 1867. The first long …

Read More

Willamette Falls Locks

Subject:Series of five locks with a total lift of 50.2 feet opened in 1873.
Willamette Falls Locks- still in use below this point-were opened on New Years Day, 1873, when the steamer Maria Wilkins became the first vessel to navigate up the west end of Willamette Falls. Farming and shipping interests had long sought to eliminate expensive portages around this age-old bar to navigation 26 miles above the mouth of the …

Read More

Willamette Post

Subject:The first trading post in the Willamette Valley in 1811.
The first trading post in the Willamette Valley was located on the Prairie Knoll just east of this point. The post was established in 1811 by the Astor Company to trade for furs and to take game which was cured and sent by canoe to Fort Astoria at the mouth of the Columbia. Subsequently operated by the North West Company for …

Read More

Willamette Stone

Subject:Site of first surveyor’s base mark in Pacific Northwest.
This short trail leads to the Willamette Stone, the surveyor’s monument that is the point of origin for all public land surveys in Oregon and Washington. The landmark was established on June 4, 1851 by John B. Preston, Oregon’s first Surveyor General.
With increasing settlement and passage of the Donation Land Claim Act, the Oregon Territory desperately needed to extend the Public Land …

Read More

Williamson River

Subject:Camp site for the Pacific Railroad survey party in 1855.
A Pacific Railroad Survey party searching for a practicable route for a railroad to connect the Sacramento Valley with the Columbia River passed near this point bound north on August 20, 1855. Lieutenant R.S. Williamson headed the party with 2nd Lieutenant Henry I. Abbot second in command. Among the officers in the Army escort were Lieutenant Phil S. Sheridan and Lieutenant …

Read More

Yaquina Bay

The old Yaquina Bay Lighthouse established in 1871 is the earliest aid to navigation standing within the range of the first recorded landfall made from a ship to the shores of the Pacific Northwest. Captain James Cook made this landfall on March 7, 1778. At noon he named Cape Foulweather. On account of the heavy weather he was compelled to stand out at sea at night and only approach the …

Read More