Oregon City Oregon
A major player in the formation of Oregon Territory, the city has gained prominence in recent decades as the location of several massive paper mills along the Willamette River. Dr. John Ross of the Hudson’s Bay Company founded it.
McLoughlin built a timber mill at the junction of the Clackamas and Willamette rivers in 1829 so he could use the water power from Willamette Falls. Travelers on the Oregon Trail who wanted to stake land claims arrived there in large numbers throughout the 1840s and 1850s.
It competed with Portland for early dominance in the area and served as the capital of the Oregon Territory from 1848 to 1851. The Oregon Spectator, the city’s newspaper founded in 1846, was the first American newspaper published west of the Rocky Mountains.
When Oregon City College opened in 1849, it was a Baptist institution, but by the 1870s, it had closed. The Beaver Coins Mint, which issued money for the independent Oregon Territory beginning in 1849, was located in Oregon City.
Houses and other structures from the time of the city’s establishment have been preserved, giving the downtown area some of its original historic flavor.
There are better and worse parts of town. The bottom level is situated on a bench overlooking the Willamette River. Canemah basalt, which originated from a vent 12 kilometers (7.4 miles) to the southeast in the Boring Lava Field, forms the bluff at the higher level.
Until the construction of stairs in the nineteenth century, Indian paths served as the only means of access between the two floors. In 1915, the city constructed the water-powered Oregon City Municipal Elevator to link the two areas; the elevator was electrified in the 1920s. It was required in 1952 that a new electric elevator be “as simply as feasible and without decoration.”
With a total area of 9.29 square miles (24.06 km2), the city is mostly land (9.05 sq. miles) and partly water (0.24 sq. miles; 0.62 sq. km2), according the United States Census Bureau.
The Willamette River, which runs along the city’s northwest edge, and the Clackamas River, which flows north of the city and eventually combines with the larger Willamette, are the two primary rivers in Oregon City. Oregon City and West Linn are separated by the Willamette River, while Oregon City and Gladstone are separated by the Clackamas River.