Oregon City "Trolley"
Around 1983, the city of Oregon City rented a bus that had been outfitted as a "streetcar" look-alike. Basically, it was a bus body and frame with wooden seats and other elements to make it look somewhat more like an antique streetcar. It was named by its owners "Dolly the Trolley". For a brief period during one summer, this "trolley" carried passengers between the Canemah District and downtown Oregon City. The service was reasonably popular, but only temporary. Though, the city had been made interested in such vehicles.
Soon after Oregon City was selected as the site of the End of the Oregon Trail museum, a proposal was floated to connect this and other historical sites in the city and other locations with tourist interest with a similar service as had been done as a test in the early 1980s.
Today, the diesel powered bus called "The Oregon City Trolley" connects the Rivershore hotel, the End of the Oregon Trail Museum, and various other locations in Oregon City. This supplements existing bus service provided by TriMet, which serves the entire Portland area and does not serve some of the places the Oregon City trolley does.
While it really is still a bus, the interior is well maintained and has attractive brass hardware. The two benches at the front of the "trolley" run the length of the area where the driver sits, while behind that the seats face forward. See photos 4 and 5.
Unfortunately, the city budget only allows the "trolley" to operate during the peak tourist season in the summer. Service ends on Labor Day.
To date, the service is free of charge, but there is a farebox in the "trolley" for donations.
- Historical Travel
Oregon City Elevator
The Oregon City Elevator is a local tradition as well as a way to get between the upper level of downtown Oregon City and the lower level, central part of downtown Oregon City.
Around 1913, the city constructed its first elevator to supplement existing staircases (which were incompatible with the new "hobble skirt" unless women wanted to do shameful things such as expose their ankles - gosh how horrible!) that provided movement of people between the area of Oregon City built on top of the cliff, and the central downtown area.
The original elevator was run by water pressure, and most of the city lost water when the elevator was operating. Eventually, the elevator was converted to electricity.
In the 1950s, the old elevator was replaced by the new concrete tower.
The elevator has an operator, who also serves as the city's one-person tourist information office and downtown instruction giver on how to find stuff most people don't know how to find.
In the 1980s, artwork was painted on the inside of the upper tower, but that has since been removed due to its wear and tear. In the 1990s, the original pastel pink color (a very popular color in the 1950s when the elevator was originally painted!) was replaced by the current greenish blue color.
In 2008, installation was completed on the redecorating of the OC elevator. The interior now features better lighting of the tunnel under the railroad tracks. The walls of both the upper level observation tower / connection to upper Oregon City and the tunnel below feature historic photographs of Oregon City and the construction of the elevator. The photographs are three to a frame, and as the point of viewing changes, the photographs change from one photograph to the other.
The web site below is for the city of Oregon City, which operates the elevator but does not currently feature much information about the OC Elevator on their web site.
Operating hours as of this writing are Monday through Saturday 6:45 AM to 7:00 PM, and Sunday 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM.
There is also a Wikipedia entry for the Oregon City Elevator
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