Located in Clackamas County, Oregon, Gladstone is a city worth seeing. The population in 2020 was 12,017. Between the mouths of the Clackamas and Willamette rivers, about 12 miles (or 19 km) south of Portland, Oregon’s largest city, is the suburban hamlet of Gladstone.
The first Clackamas County Fair and the Oregon State Fair were both originally hosted in Gladstone before being relocated to more expansive venues. William Jennings Bryan, then the Secretary of State, and Theodore Roosevelt, then a contender for president, both delivered remarks there.
Those who received grants under the Donation Land Claim Act established the first settlements in the region. Donation land claims were given to the Cason and Rinearson families as the first Gladstone immigrants. Both the acreage between Jennings Lodge and the Clackamas River, as well as the area between the Willamette River and Portland Avenue, belonged to Peter M. Rinearson and his family.
East of Portland Avenue, Fendal Cason, who arrived in Oregon in 1843 and later served in the legislature of the Oregon Territory, held an area of same size.
Gladstone was built over the remains of multiple Native American communities that were there before European colonization.
A group of explorers led by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark set out to discover what was beyond the borders of Louisiana in 1804. Natives such as the Kalapuya and the Clackamas informed the expedition about the Gladstone – Oregon City area, even though they just passed through it on their way to and from the Pacific Ocean through the Columbia River.
Cholera and smallpox outbreaks, brought by repeated waves of explorers and traders, took a terrible toll on the local peoples and contributed to a major decline in population in the years that followed.
After the establishment of Oregon City and the arrival of European immigrants, local Indians were asked to leave so that the region might be used for cultivation and settlement. The federal government set aside land for indigenous and reclaimed Gladstone for urban renewal.
Many outposts had already been constructed in the area around Gladstone even before the city was actually constituted. However owing to things like fires and floods, only a small percentage of those settlements survived to grow into the modern cities we know today.
Linn City (formerly known as Robin’s Nest) was one such place. Robert Moore founded the town in 1843 and, along the Willamette River, he constructed four mills to produce wheat and timber. The town expanded with the addition of warehouses, residences, and mills until a fire in 1861 destroyed much of them. The Great Flood of 1862 destroyed what was left of the town, and subsequent attempts to reconstruct were abandoned.