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Quick Historical Facts of Oregon City

Our beloved Oregon City, located within the beauty and bounty of Clackamas County. From steep rocky hills to the wild and powerful Willamette River, Oregon City is known to celebrate the historical Pioneer spirit through a host of recreational activities, businesses, historical museums and features!

Over 36,492 people call Oregon City home and it is not hard to imagine that this fruitful location is a prime location that continues to attract individuals who crave an easy commute to major state highways, PDX airport, and small town feel with big city opportunities.

If you have ever wondered about the history of Oregon City, then this is just the blog post for you! We love learning fun and quick historically significant facts that we can share with those who might be visiting our sweet home town! So let’s get to it!

1. Oregon City was founded in 1829 by the Hudson's Bay Company.

2. Dr. John McLoughlin, Chief Factor of Hudson’s Bay Company of Fort Vancouver utilized the power of the Willamette Falls to run a lumber mill.

3. Oregon City became home to fur traders and missionaries.

4. Prior to the euro-american settlement, Oregon City was the prime location for fishing and trade among the Native Americans and home to the Clowwewalla, Cashhooks the Molalla tribes.

5. In 1844 Oregon City became the first U.S city west of the Rocky Mountains to be incorporated.

6. During the 1840-1850’s, Oregon City was the final destination for those traveling the Oregon Trail.

7. Oregon City was established as the capital of the Oregon Territory in 1848 until 1851.

8. Oregon City’s newspaper called the Oregon Spectator (established 1846) was the first American newspaper to be published in the west.

9. For a time, Oregon City was the site of the Beaver Coins Mint, an independent Oregon Territory currency in 1849.

10. The first paper mill in Oregon was established in Oregon City in 1866 and titled the Pioneer paper Manufacturing Company. Unfortunately, due to financial hardship the mill closed the following year but sparked a great economic impact of Oregon City.

11. In 1903 the first automobile entered Oregon City when C.G Miller opened his automobile dealership which caused a growth of auto related businesses in the area.

12. The State Highway Commission was created in 1913 and 1917 the State Highway Fund was put into effect. Soon after High 99E or known as the “Super Highway” in 1923 was built through Oregon City.

13. In 1913 the first municipal elevator was created. As the elevator was powered by water it made trips from downtown to the upper town level helped expedite the city’s commercial and residential growth.

14. Oregon City received Work Progress Administration funding which allowed multiple projects to be completed within the city limits including The Singer Creek Falls and Steps of 1936, a new high school, grade school, swimming pool, street and highways as well.

15. After the Great Depression and World War II, the timber and wood industry recovered and was reinstated to the state’s leading industry.

Interested in learning more about Oregon City’s history and demographics? Check out to explore!


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"Do not go where the path may lead. Instead, go where there is no path and leave a trail."

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