Did you mean?Try your search again
There are two significant historical museums in Oregon City. These are the End of the Oregon Trail museum near Interstate 205 and Washington Street, and the other is the much lesser known Museum of the Oregon Territory. The unfortunate problem is that the Museum of the Oregon Territory is actually the better of the two museums, as far as I am concerned.
This museum covers everything from the early settlers and early documents that started the state all the way up to modern events, such as pioneering efforts to harness electricity from Willamette Falls.
The book store has a number of items relating to early Oregon including post cards. It isn't as good as the store operated by Oregon Historical Society in Portland, but this museum only has a small fraction of the OHS memership!
The third floor of the museum sometimes hosts events. For example, in the photo you will notice an advertisement for an artists event. The third floor has one of the best views of Willamette Falls from either side of the river.
If you are a little adventurous, cross highway 99E and take a look at Willamette Falls, or cross the street going north and take a look at the prominade across the top of the bluff.
Updated Apr 4, 2011
Address: 211 Tumwater Drive, Oregon City OR 97045
Phone: (503) 655-5574
This paved sidewalk and park wanders along the top of Oregon City's infamous cliff. From it, it is possible to see much of downtown Oregon City, as well as across the river to West Linn and north as far as the clouds will allow you do see.
There are a number of benches.
A drinking fountain is located inside the Oregon City elevator building, but can only be accessed when the elevator is operating.
The pathway leads from the McLoughlin House (which can be accessed by a pedestrian tunnel under the road) south all the way to Tumwater. A pedestrian bridge allows an additional walk along highway 99E to the observation point above Willamette Falls.
The park is a good location mostly free of normal traffic noise, but the noise and smells of the paper mill is quite strong on the southern end of the prominade.
Updated Apr 4, 2011
Some years back, the lawn in front of the old Oregon City Senior Center (now called "community center") hosted an art fair. The artists were *very* local (Oregon City and West Linn for the most part) and the operation was quite informal: at least one artist, having heard of the event, simply showed up halfway through the first day.
Eventually, happened a second time, and eventually it moved to the old Oregon City library grounds.
Today, the event is a far more organized event involving live music, child face painting, and a wide variety of booths including books from the Oregon City library and of course a wide variety of artist works.
Today, the event takes place on the grounds of the End of the Oregon Trail Center near I-205 in Oregon City. It has also developed the name "First City Art Faire" due to the reputation Oregon City has of being one of the oldest cities in the western USA.
The number of visitors has also increased vastly over the original informal event: it may be difficult to find a parking place on Saturday morning.
Updated Apr 4, 2011
Address: 1726 Washington Street, Oregon City, Oregon 97045
The Three Rivers Artist Guild used to be one of the main features of the old Carnegie Arts Center, but then that facility closed.
The Three Rivers Artist Guild used to be the primary attraction in the store in the End of the Oregon Trail Center, but then that museum ran short of money, and it temporarily closed.
Therefore, it should not be surprising that the idea of having a monthly arts show thoughout downtown Oregon City would be put forth. After all, that gets the whole community together to create an attraction for all businesses, not just the artists and not just to one particular facility.
You will find indoor and outdoor artists. Many of the artists will be working on an artwork of some sort or another while they are doing their part of the show. Stores that are open and showing art inside will also have a bit of food or wine available.
Various musical groups will also perform on selected wide spots on the sidewalk.
As the name implies, this show is only the first Friday of the month in May, June, July, August and September.
Written May 7, 2010
Address: Along Main Street in Downtown Oregon City
Willamette Falls was one of the reasons why Oregon City was a main attraction for those coming from the east. Here, early sawmills, woolen mills, and other industry used the power of the falls to create Oregon's first industrial area.
Today, the falls are still used that way: Portland General Electric still runs its very old powerhouse here, dating from the very late 1800s.
The bad news is that they have been heavily modified from their natural state over the years in order to provide more industrial power and less of a barrier to navigation and fishing.
There are some attempts to undo some of these effects during the last few years.
In the 1980s, a decision was made to light the falls with high intensity lighting from the paper mills on each side of the river.
There are several places to view the falls, including highway 99E, the northbound Interstate 205 view point in West Linn, and the downtown Oregon City sidewalk along the Willamette River. If you are northbound on I-205 through the area, you will see signs indicating an exit. Due to blockage from tree branches, you will have to stand on the wall to get a view of the falls if you are visiting when the leaves are on the trees. The best point is approximately 100 feet from the southern end of the view point. Further north, the falls are blocked by trees.
Another viewpoint is the Oregon City - West Linn bridge. Park in downtown Oregon City and walk across the walkway on the south side of the old arch bridge linking the two cities.
The Willamette Falls Heritage Foundation (web site below) features much about the history of the falls and some information about the locks to allow boats to go around the falls.
Updated Sep 7, 2009
Address: Highway 99E, south of Oregon City
Quite a large number of houses in the Portland area were built in an era when it was popular to copy styles from the mid to late 1800s. While virtually all of the original houses and other buildings from that era in Portland have been lost, that is not the case in Oregon City.
Instead, here in Oregon City many of the houses carry historic signs. Thankfully, many of Oregon City's early houses were preserved. Mostly, this was by accident: Oregon City remained a bit of a backwater for many years after the newer city of Portland was created. The new, big city attracted much of the new development, until much of Oregon City remained much as it always had been.
Unfortunately, since the 1980s, some of this has been lost. The very old mill buildings that were on the property of the paper mill disappeared during rebuilding of the mill complex. Several buildings in downtown Oregon City were demolished to make way for newer structures. Some have burned.
Yet, in the area surrounding the McLoughlin House, there are still quite a number of survivors noted with historic plaques above or beside their front doors. Many of these plaques not only tell the date (or in cases where the date is not documented, at least the approximate date) and the style of the house. Queen Anne is one of the most popular styles, but some later houses are "vernacular" style.
Updated Sep 7, 2009
Address: scattered all over Oregon City
Willamette Falls is one of the largest by volume waterfalls in the pacific northwest. It has a crest of about 470 feet (143 m) wide and carries a large portion of the Willamette River. The fall itself is only 42 feet (12 m) but the volume makes up for it.
The shame is that this waterfall has been turned into an industrial park. Hydro power and the surrounding banks with various other industrial plants make this one of the most difficult waterfalls to get an unobstructed view of.
I think many of the best views would be had by boat or on areas that the public is not permitted. If this waterfall was ever to be developed for the public to view it would certainly be a sight to see.
Updated Apr 30, 2007
1 Review and 54 Opinions I have never stayed in this hotel, but I lived in Oregon City for approximately 15 years and it is...