From the Oregon Trail to the Modern Pioneer

This post is sponsored by Oregon’s Mt. Hood Territory but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

This year is the 175th commemoration of the Oregon Trail. Beginning in Independence, Missouri and ending in Oregon City, Oregon, this trail lead thousands of pioneer’s west, ending in Oregon’s Mount Hood Territory. Oregon can be a great place to have a family vacation, it is filled with history for those who are interested in learning more, luckily there are also a lot of places for your to stay (check out this website) while you’re in Oregon, so you can have a relaxing vacation while learning more about its rich history.

For over 15 years, I’ve lived just 30 minutes south of Oregon City. It’s hard to believe that I’ve lived so close to Oregon’s hometown, and knew so little of its rich history and amazing community. There is so much to do in the state of Oregon! We’ve even been looking into Cascade Mountain Pole Barns ahead of a potential move in the future. We’ve always wanted to have a custom home but nothing settled just yet though!

Oregon’s Mt. Hood Territory is filled with history, Oregon City being a great starting point.

Oregon’s Hometown

I met with Jonathon Stone, who is the Executive Director of the Downtown Oregon City Association while visiting. I learned a lot about Oregon City and Downtown Oregon City during this interview.

Being the first U.S city west of the Rocky Mountains, Oregon City holds a lot of history. It not only holds the history of Oregon, but is huge part of the Pacific Northwest’s cultural heritage.

Oregon city is a beautiful place with so much history and plenty of things to do. It is also very close to Lake Oswego. We have been considering a move there after viewing some of the North Star property management lake oswego options. Nothing set in stone just yet though. We stayed at the Best Western on the river and had an amazing view. We enjoyed some great food during our stay and learned a lot about the Oregon Trail.

With all there is to do, see and learn, staying a night or two in Oregon City is well worth it. Even though we were just 30 minutes from home, it felt like we were on a vacation, exploring a whole new city!

You can learn even more about Oregon City and the end of the Oregon Trail from fellow blogger This Messy Season in her post Your Comprehensive Guide to the End of the Oregon Trail! Kala share about some other fun activities and features a modern pioneer from a local brewery!

The Pioneers of the Oregon Trail

In Oregon City, you’ll find the End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive and Visitor Center. We spent our first day here, and learned so much about the history of Oregon City.

The museum is filled with history and hands on activities to help you learn about the Oregon Trail. I had no idea that the Willamette Falls was major reason many pioneers stopped in Oregon City.

After learning about the Willamette Falls, we drove a couple miles down the road to the Willamette Falls Viewpoint. It’s a beautiful, horseshoe shaped falls, and is the largest waterfall by water volume in the northwest!

The Modern Pioneer

The next day I had my interview and tour with Jonathon Stone. Walking into downtown Oregon City, you automatically get an upbeat and fun vibe. It’s filled with cute shops, unique coffee shops and restaurants with amazing food.

10 years ago, Downtown Oregon City was empty. The modern pioneers like Jonathon, working with the Downtown Oregon City Association worked hard to make changes.

Modern Pioneers have now filled downtown Oregon City. It’s full of small shops and locally ran companies.

Jonathon took me to Black Ink Coffee and White Rabbit Gifts for coffee and I was even able to meet the owners. The Black Ink Coffee shop was able to open because of a grant from the Downtown Oregon City Association.

Learning about this shop and the owners was enough to tell me exactly what Oregon City stands for. Inside its colorful, warm and friendly. The shop is also full of local goods. Their coffee is local, the milks are local and this small business continues to support other small business.

The Oregon City Municipal Elevator

Jonathon also gave me a tour of the Oregon City Municipal Elevator. It’s a 130 foot elevator that connects two Oregon City neighborhoods. This elevator is one of a kind in the US, and there are only 4 in the world. It’s also on the national register of historic places! The elevator has a really neat observation deck on top with a great view of the city.

We had such a fun weekend exploring Oregon City and learning about the Oregon Trail. Thank you to Mount Hood Territory for setting up a fun filled weekend!

Explore More!

There is so much more to explore outside of Oregon City as well!

You can read about the Oregon Trail in Baker City here, as shared by Darling Nightengale. You can also read about the Oregon Trail in Topeka KS, as shared by My Breezy Room.





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11 Responses

  1. Stephanie says:

    What a fun little trip- as a History buff I love stuff like this!

  2. This looks amazing, we had such a great time exploring Oregon City. I was so happy to finally you!!

  3. I haven’t been to Oregon City before but I’d love to check it out one day. I’ve heard that Willamette Falls are really beautiful too!

  4. Patricia says:

    What a great history lesson and hands on experience!!

  5. Mary Leigh says:

    This looks so fun! Honestly, I think a vacation 30 minutes away from home sounds PERFECT with kids. It’s like vacation, but you get to spend more time exploring and less time gambling how the ride will be!

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