Oregon City - History

Oregon City - History

Oregon City
(CA-122: dp. 17,070; 1. 673'5"; b. 70'10"; dr. 26'4", s. 32.6 k.; cpl. 1,142; a. 9 8", 12 5", 48 40mm, 20 20mm; cl. Oregon City)

Oregon City was laid down 8 April 1944 by Bethlehem Steel Co., Quincy, Mass., Iaunched 9 June 1945, sponsored by Mrs. Raymond P. Caufield, wife of the City Commissioner of Oregon City; and commissioned 16 February 1946, Capt. Burnett K. Culver in command.

Oregon City departed Boston 31 March 1946 for shakedown out of Guantanamo Bay, then returned to Boston in mid-May.

Oregon City became flagship of the 4th Fleet 3 July and the following month began dockside training of reservists in Philadelphia. From 6 to 19 October she made a post-war Reserve Training Cruise, to Bermuda, then sailed to Boston and remained until the following March with a somewhatreduced complement. Reassigned to the 2nd Fleet in January 1947, Oregon City's crew had returned to full strength by the time she sailed for Guantanamo Bay 30 March. After three weeks of exercises she returned to Boston, not sailing again until 6 June. She embarked midshipmen at Annapolis on the 21st, then sailed for the Canal Zone and the Caribbean on an annual summer training cruise.

Oregon City debarked her.midshipmen at Norfolk in midAugust and sailed for Philadelphia and deactivation. She decommissioned 15 December 1947 and remains berthed in Philadelphia in 1970.

Oregon Trail

The Oregon Trail was a roughly 2,000-mile route from Independence, Missouri, to Oregon City, Oregon, which was used by hundreds of thousands of American pioneers in the mid-1800s to emigrate west. The trail was arduous and snaked through Missouri and present-day Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming, Idaho and finally into Oregon. Without the Oregon Trail and the passing of the Oregon Donation Land Act in 1850, which encouraged settlement in the Oregon Territory, American pioneers would have been slower to settle the American West in the 19th century.


Volcanic activity in the region has been traced to 40 million years ago, in the Eocene era, forming much of the region's landscape. In the Pleistocene era (the last ice age, two million to 700,000 years ago), the Columbia River broke through Cascade Range, forming the Columbia River Gorge. [2]

The Columbia River and its drainage basin experienced some of the world's greatest known floods toward the end of the last ice age. The periodic rupturing of ice dams at Glacial Lake Missoula resulted in discharge rates ten times the combined flow of all the rivers of the world, as many as forty times over a thousand-year period. [3]

Water levels during the Missoula Floods have been estimated at 1,250 feet (381 m) at the Wallula Gap (in present-day Washington), 830 feet (253 m) at Bonneville Dam, and 400 feet (122 m) over current day Portland, Oregon. [4] The floods' periodic inundation of the lower Columbia River Plateau deposited rich lake sediments, establishing the fertility that supports extensive agriculture in the modern era. They also formed many unusual geological features, such as the channeled scablands of eastern Washington.

Mount Mazama, once the tallest mountain in the region at 11,000 feet, had a massive volcanic eruption approximately 5677 B.C. [5] [6] The eruption, estimated to have been 42 times more powerful than the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens, reduced Mazama's approximate 11,000 foot (c.3,350 m) height by around half a mile (about 1 km) when much of the volcano fell into the volcano's partially emptied neck and magma chamber. Mazama's collapsed caldera, in today's southern Oregon, contains Crater Lake, and the entire mountain is located in Crater Lake National Park.

The Klamath Native Americans of the area thought that the mountain was inhabited by Llao, their god of the underworld. After the mountain destroyed itself the Klamaths recounted the events as a great battle between Llao and his rival Skell, their sky god.

The 1700 Cascadia earthquake resulted from a rupture at the Cascadia subduction zone along the coast of the Pacific Northwest. [7] The earthquake caused a tsunami that was destructive in Japan [8] it may also be linked to the Bonneville Slide, in which a large part of Washington's Table Mountain collapsed into the Columbia River Gorge, damming the river and forming the Bridge of the Gods, a land bridge remembered in the oral history of local Native Americans. [9]

Celilo Falls, a series of rapids on the Columbia River just upstream of present-day The Dalles, Oregon, was a fishing site for natives for several millennia. Native people traveled to Celilo Village from all over the Pacific Northwest and beyond to trade. The rapids were submerged in 1957 with the construction of The Dalles Dam.

In 1980, Mount St. Helens in nearby Washington erupted violently, temporarily reducing the Columbia River's depth to as little as 13 feet, and disrupting Portland's economy. The eruption deposited ash as far into Oregon as Bend. [10]

Paleo-Indians Edit

Although there is considerable evidence that Paleo-Indians lived in the Pacific Northwest 15,000 years ago, the first record of human activity within the boundaries of present-day Oregon came from archaeologist Luther Cressman's 1938 discovery of sage bark sandals near Fort Rock Cave that places human habitation in Oregon as early as 13,200 years ago. [11] Cressman found more evidence of early human activity at Paisley Caves, north of Paisley, Oregon, caves where researchers affiliated with the University of Oregon have conducted new excavations during the 21st century. [12] By 8000 B.C. there were settlements across the state, with the majority concentrated along the lower Columbia River, in the western valleys, and around coastal estuaries.

By the 16th century, Oregon was home to many Native American groups, including the Bannock, Chasta, Chinook, Kalapuya, Klamath, Molalla, Nez Perce, Takelma, and Umpqua. [13] [14] [15] [16]

The Natives generally welcomed the arrival of Europeans in the 19th century, for the increased trading opportunities however, the introduction of foreign diseases would prove devastating to local populations. [17] Later, American initiatives to capture the natural resources of the west, especially along the Columbia River, would collide with the interests of natives many tribes accepted multimillion-dollar settlements from the U.S. government in exchange for giving up traditional fishing sites, moving to reservations.

The perception of Oregon by early European explorers and settlers varied according to the purpose and method of exploration. Official explorers came, at first, primarily by sea, in many cases seeking the Northwest Passage, and later over land, but missed many areas of the state now known as Oregon. Fur traders and trappers, initially from the Hudson's Bay Company, explored the land more thoroughly, documenting encounters with most of the local Indian tribes. Christian missionaries, and later immigrants planning to settle permanently in Oregon, sent glowing reports back to their families in the east. [18]

The Spanish exploration team led by Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo sighted southern Oregon off the Pacific coast in 1543. In 1592, Juan de Fuca undertook detailed mapping and studies of ocean currents. Stops along these trips included Oregon as well as the strait now bearing his name. Exploration was retaken routinely in 1774, starting by the expedition of frigate Santiago by Juan José Pérez Hernández (see Spanish expeditions to the Pacific Northwest). Soon the coast of Oregon became a valuable trading route to Asia.

Spanish explorers found a way to explore the Pacific coast as early as 1565, sending vessels northeast from the Philippines, riding the Kuroshio Current in a sweeping circular route across the northern part of the Pacific. These ships – 250 in as many years – would typically not land before reaching Cape Mendocino in California, but some landed or wrecked in what is now Oregon. Nehalem Indian tales recount strangers and the discovery of items like chunks of beeswax and a lidded silver vase, likely connected to the 1707 wreck of the San Francisco Xavier. [19]

Juan Pérez explored the coast of the Pacific Northwest north to British Columbia in 1774. He was the first European to see Yaquina Head on the Oregon Coast. [20] In 1775 another Spanish expedition, under Juan Francisco de la Bodega y Quadra and Bruno de Heceta, explored the coast. While returning south Heceta found the mouth of the Columbia River, but was unable to enter. [21]

British explorer James Cook explored the Oregon Coast in 1778 in search of the Northwest Passage. Beginning in the late 1780s many ships from Britain, America, and other countries sailed to the Pacific Northwest to engage in the region's emerging Maritime Fur Trade business. American sea captain Robert Gray entered the Columbia in 1792, and was soon followed by a ship under the command of George Vancouver, a British captain, who also explored Puget Sound and claimed it for Britain.

The Lewis and Clark Expedition traveled through the region during their expedition to explore the Louisiana Purchase. They built their winter fort at Fort Clatsop, near the mouth of the Columbia. Exploration by Lewis and Clark (1805–1806) and the United Kingdom's David Thompson, who extensively explored the Columbia River from 1807 to 1811, publicized the abundance of fur-bearing animals in the area.

Great Britain and the U.S. both claimed ownership of Oregon, ignoring any claims by indigenous peoples to their territories. The dispute, friendly at first, escalated into the threat of war before it was resolved amicably in 1846 by splitting the region 50-50.

Following the Anglo American Treaty of 1818, the region was "jointly occupied" by the U.S. and Britain. The Americans referred to the region as Oregon Country, while the British knew it as the Hudson's Bay Company's Columbia District, which was administered from Fort Vancouver near present-day Vancouver, Washington.

During the 1820s and early 1830s the American West was explored by private trappers who formed fur trading companies originating from St. Louis. One of these privateer trappers and explorers was Jedediah Smith who led expeditions into the American West. On October 29, 1830 Smith sent Jackson's Secretary of War John H. Eaton a letter and map containing information that he had gathered from 1824 to 1830 of his explorations into the Rockies, the South Pass, and Pacific Northwest. Smith recommended that President Jackson terminate the Treaty of 1818 that gave the British free rein over the Columbia River, and reported that the Indians favored the British over the Americans. [22]

British fur interests tried to block Americans by creating a "fur desert" along the eastern and southern borders by trapping all the animals and leaving nothing for the Americans. [23]

The balance of power shifted in the 1830s as thousands of Anglo American settlers arrived, completely dominating the southern half of the disputed region. Joint occupation ended with the signing of the Oregon Treaty in 1846, when Britain and the U.S. split the disputed region equally, along present borders, with the U.S. generally receiving lands south of the 49th parallel. [24]

The Astor Expedition of 1810–1812, financed by American businessman John Jacob Astor, brought fur traders to the future site of Astoria by both land and sea. [25] Fort Astoria was the first permanent white settlement in the region. Although the fort would remain under American control for only a short time, it would become a component of the United States' later claim on the region. [ citation needed ] A party returning east discovered the South Pass through the Rocky Mountains, which would become an important feature of the Oregon Trail.

At risk of being captured by the British during the War of 1812, Fort Astoria and all other Pacific Fur Company assets in the Oregon Country were sold to the Montreal-based North West Company in October 1813. [26] The North West Company had already been expanding into the Pacific Northwest and dominated the region unchallenged from the 1813 acquisition of the Pacific Fur Company until 1821, when it was absorbed into the Hudson's Bay Company. During this time the North West Company put the Astorian scheme into practice, sending supplies by sea to the Columbia River and exporting furs directly to China. [27] The Hudson's Bay Company expanded the system and during the 1820s and 1830s dominated the Pacific Northwest from its Columbia District headquarters at Fort Vancouver (built in 1825 by the District's Chief Factor John McLoughlin across the Columbia from present-day Portland). Although fur depletion and a crash in fur prices undermined the company in the early 1840s, it remained an important presence until the Oregon Treaty of 1846.

In the 1830s, several parties of Americans traveled to Oregon, further establishing the Oregon Trail. Many of these emigrants were missionaries seeking to convert natives to Christianity. Jason Lee was the first, traveling in Nathaniel Jarvis Wyeth's party in 1833 and establishing the Oregon Mission in the Willamette Valley the Whitmans and Spaldings arrived in 1836, establishing the Whitman Mission east of the Cascades. In 1839 the Peoria Party embarked for Oregon from Illinois.

In 1841, wealthy master trapper and entrepreneur Ewing Young died without a will, and there was no system to probate his estate. A probate government was proposed at a meeting after Young's funeral. Doctor Ira Babcock of Jason Lee's Methodist Mission was elected Supreme Judge. Babcock chaired two meetings in 1842 at Champoeg (halfway between Lee's mission and Oregon City) to discuss wolves and other animals of contemporary concern. These meetings were precursors to an all-citizen meeting in 1843, which instituted a provisional government headed by an executive committee made up of David Hill, Alanson Beers, and Joseph Gale. This government was the first acting public government of the Oregon Country before American annexation. The infamous "Lash Law," requiring that blacks in Oregon – be they free or slave – be whipped twice a year "until he or she shall quit the territory," is passed in June 1844. It is soon deemed too harsh and its provisions for punishment are reduced to forced labor in December 1844.

The Oregon Trail brought many new settlers to the region, starting in 1842–1843, after the United States agreed to jointly settle the Oregon Country with the United Kingdom. For some time, it seemed the United States and the United Kingdom would go to war for a third time in 75 years (see Oregon boundary dispute), but the border was defined peacefully in 1846 by the Oregon Treaty. The border between the United States and British North America was set at the 49th parallel. The Oregon Territory was officially organized in 1848.

Numerous efforts to find easier overland passage to the Willamette Valley were undertaken beginning in the 1840s. The Barlow Road, Meek Cutoff, and Applegate Trail represented efforts to cross the Cascades in the northern, central, and southern parts of Oregon, respectively. The Barlow Road would become the final leg of the Oregon Trail after its construction in 1846, and the Santiam Wagon Road would cut through the central part of the mountains, succeeding where Meek had failed.

Settlement increased because of the Donation Land Claim Act of 1850, in conjunction with the forced relocation of the native population to Indian reservations. The state was admitted to the Union on February 14, 1859.

At the outbreak of the American Civil War, regular U.S. troops were withdrawn and sent east. Volunteer cavalry and infantry were recruited in California and sent north to Oregon to keep peace and protect the populace. Oregon also raised the 1st Oregon Cavalry that was activated in 1862 and served until June 1865. During the Civil War, immigrants continued to clash with the Paiute, Shoshone and Bannock tribes in Oregon, Idaho and Nevada until relations degenerated into the bloody 1864 - 1868 Snake War. The 1st Oregon Volunteer Infantry Regiment was formed in 1864 and its last company was mustered out of service in July 1867. Both units were used to guard travel routes and Native American reservations, escort immigrant wagon trains, and protect settlers from Native American raiders. Several infantry detachments also accompanied survey parties and built roads in central and southern Oregon. [28]

Oregon Senator Col. Edward Dickinson Baker was killed leading Union troops at the Battle of Ball's Bluff on October 21, 1861.

In the 1880s, the proliferation of railroads assisted in marketing of the state's lumber and wheat, as well as the more rapid growth of its cities. This included the connection of the state to the Eastern United States via links to the transcontinental railroads that allowed for faster movement of goods and people. Immigration to Oregon increased after the connection to the east. Additional transportation improvements included the construction of several locks and canals to ease river navigation.

Also in the 1880s, writer Frances Fuller Victor published both fiction and histories that drew on her extensive research of the history of the region, informed by personal interviews with a number of Oregon pioneers. Her most noted non-fiction, which covered many western states, was written while under contract with Hubert Howe Bancroft's History Company, and at the time was published under his name. Her writing was said to accurately capture the notion of Manifest Destiny in this period of American expansion.

Both the Oregon Territory and the State of Oregon have had multiple laws and policies discriminating against racial minorities. An 1844 territorial statute outlawed slavery but also forced freed slaves to leave the territory [29] under threat of lashing (later hard labor). Explaining the law, head of Oregon's legislative assembly Peter Burnett said this:

The object is to keep clear of that most troublesome class of population. We are in a new world, under the most favorable circumstances and we wish to avoid most of those evils that have so much afflicted the United States and other countries. [30]

The law was repealed the following year before it could take effect. [31] Another law, passed in 1849, prohibited black immigration into the territory. The law was repealed in 1854. An exclusion clause was incorporated into the Oregon constitution in 1857, and stood multiple repeal attempts until finally being repealed by a narrow margin in 1916. [31] A law adopted by the state in 1862 required all ethnic minorities to pay a $5 annual tax, and interracial marriage was prohibited by law between (approximately) 1861 and 1951. [29]

Industrial expansion began in earnest following the construction of the Bonneville Dam in 1933–1937 on the Columbia River. The power, food, and lumber provided by Oregon helped fuel the development of the West, although the periodic fluctuations in the nation's building industry have hurt the state's economy on multiple occasions.

The state has a long history of polarizing conflicts: Native Americans vs. British fur trappers, British vs. settlers from the U.S., ranchers vs. farmers, wealthy growing cities vs. established but poor rural areas, loggers vs. environmentalists, white supremacists vs. anti-racists, social progressivism vs. small government conservatism, supporters of social spending vs. anti-tax activists, and native Oregonians vs. Californians (or outsiders in general). Oregonians also have a long history of secessionist ideas, with people in various regions and on all sides of the political spectrum attempting to form other states and even other countries. (See State of Jefferson, Cascadia, and Ecotopia.)

In 1902, Oregon approved of a system of direct legislation by the state's citizens by way of initiative and referendum, known as the Oregon System, and in 1908 also empowered its citizens to recall public officials by ballot initiative. Oregon state ballots often include politically conservative proposals such as anti-gay and pro-religious measures side by side with politically liberal issues like drug decriminalization which demonstrates the wide spectrum of political thought in the state.

The historical policies of racial discrimination have had long-term effects on Oregon's population. A 1994 report from an Oregon Supreme Court task force found minorities more likely to be arrested, charged, convicted, incarcerated and on probation than "similarly situated non-minorities." [32] The report does not place blame on individuals, but instead points out the problems of institutional racism. The report recommends multicultural training of the existing justice system personnel and also recommends diversifying the perspectives, backgrounds and demographics of future hires.

Historic Oregon Newspapers

Oregon City Enterprise
[LCCN: sn94052321]
Oregon City, Clackamas County, Oregon

The Enterprise
[LCCN: sn94052322]
Oregon City, Clackamas County, Oregon

Oregon City Enterprise
[LCCN: sn00063700]
Oregon City, Clackamas County, Oregon

Morning Enterprise
[LCCN: sn00063701]
Oregon City, Clackamas County, Oregon

Launched in 1866 by DeWitt Clinton Ireland, the Oregon City Enterprise is one of the earliest established newspapers in Oregon, chronicling 83 years of &ldquothe Pioneer City at the Falls of the Willamette.&rdquo A study through the paper&rsquos pages illustrates the journey from &ldquothe pioneer Oregon of yesterday to the comfortable, modern Oregon of today&rdquo as told through the publication&rsquos changing editors, political affiliation and name. The Enterprise &ldquoalways stood for the betterment of the town, county and state&rdquo even if it was rather conventional in spirit.

DeWitt Clinton Ireland, born on the fourth of July, 1836 in Vermont, was a rather remarkable character in the field of Oregon journalism His newspaper career, a lifelong commitment, stretched from coast to coast. His obituary, from the January 12, 1913 edition of the Sunday Oregonian [LCCN: sn83045782], stated that he had worked for the Mishawaka Free Press [LCCN: unknown] (later known as the Mishawaka Enterprise [LCCN: sn84037951]) in Indiana and the Detroit Free Press [LCCN: sn83016680] in Michigan, and he was one of the few typesetters who could decipher Horace Greeley&rsquos notorious handwriting at the New York Tribune [LCCN: sn83030280]. After coming to Oregon in 1861, Ireland worked on the The Dalles Daily Mountaineer [LCCN: sn89055266] until 1865 when he moved to Oregon City where he edited the Morning Oregonian [LCCN: sn83025138].

In order to promote the interests of Oregon City in conjuncture with a proposed railroad line coming through town, Ireland established the Oregon City Enterprise [LCCN: sn84022660] with the first issue appearing on Saturday, October 27, 1866. The publication was originally a four-page, seven-column weekly that cost readers $3.00 for a year subscription. In his salutatory, Ireland was one of the first to declare himself a &ldquonews rather than political type of editor.&rdquo However, when politics did seep into the Enterprise Ireland took a strictly Democratic stance.

The earliest issues of the Enterprise were standard fare for the time period. Clipped miscellany constituted the bulk of news stories since little value was placed on &ldquoeditorial services.&rdquo At this early point in Oregon journalism, &ldquoeditors and publishers were, for the most part, printers or perhaps lawyers [and] copy was largely &lsquoreprint.&rsquo&rdquo The paper, consequently, carried little local news at the start. However, one of the more interesting items to come out of the early Enterprise is one of the state&rsquos first newspaper coverage of a baseball game: the Portland Pioneers beat the Clackamas Nine 77 to 45 on October 13, 1866.

On July 13, 1867, the paper increased to eight columns to accommodate increased advertising but would return to seven in a few years&rsquo time. The paper carried the typical advertisements for &ldquocure-alls&rdquo and local merchants. There were also announcements from the pioneer stage companies of the 1850s and &lsquo60s. One such ad touted a low fare ride between Salem and Portland, only $5.00, while another boasted about comfortable new coaches.

On October 17, 1868, the Enterprise announced that the paper would move to Union County, to issue out of La Grande. After some confusion with paperwork, the Enterprise remained in Oregon City and a month later, on November 14, the paper returned as the Weekly Enterprise [LCCN: sn85042452]. This new iteration of the paper, which continued to be published on Saturday, claimed to be an &ldquoIndependent Paper for the Business Man, the Farmer and the Family Circle.&rdquo Contents remained the same and covered stories such as the &ldquomanufacture of the telegraph cable&rdquo to connect France with the United States in 1868. On August 7, 1869 John Myers and D. M. McKenney took over as publishers and, unlike Ireland, were all too anxious to make the Enterprise a political paper.

The following year, Anthony &ldquoTony&rdquo Noltner, a German immigrant, purchased the paper and began editing the Enterprise on June 18, 1870. Noltner started his newspaper career in Oregon as the &ldquodevil&rdquo in the office of the Corvallis Occidental Messenger [LCCN: sn96088331]. It was said that Noltner &ldquowas known by all newspaper men in the state, and by nearly everybody else.&rdquo Noltner remained at the helm of the paper for the next five years.

On November 10, 1871 the Weekly Enterprise assumed its former title and was once again published as the Oregon City Enterprise [LCCN: sn94052321]. On October 29, 1875, in a rather curt notice, Noltner stated, &ldquoWith this issue the Enterprise commences its tenth volume. We have no regrets to recount for the past nor promises to make for the future, consequently we shall not trouble our readers with a lengthy article on what we shall do in time come.&rdquo It was at this point that Noltner, who no longer wished to be associated with a political paper, sold the Enterprise, and Frank S. Dement, a native of Oregon City, became editor and publisher the following issue. Dement, vowed to make the Enterprise &ldquoeminently a newspaper, and not pander to the interest of any party.&rdquo However, under Dement&rsquos editorship, the Enterprise would become a Republican sheet, remaining so until the paper&rsquos discontinuation in 1950.

John Rock succeeded Dement in 1879 as editor. Between 1879 and 1881 the paper increased from four to eight pages. During this time, a &ldquoLocal Matters&rdquo column appeared, focusing on the lives of local residents and other home-grown topics. For example, from the September 22, 1881 column, readers learn that the Pope Brothers finished a new tin roof and Curtis Beals recovered nicely from typhoid fever.

In 1884, J. A. White replaced Dement as editor, and on January 2, 1887, Edward McKeever Rands, later a Washington state senator, began editing the Oregon City Enterprise. By 1888, the paper was once again eight pages and was now printing as the Enterprise [LCCN: sn94052322]. Formatting was always somewhat inconsistent with the Enterprise and the paper frequently experimented with the number and size of pages and columns. For example, in 1889 the paper was an eight-page, five-column sheet, but the following year it used a four-page, eight-column layout.

In the spring of 1889, Rands sold the Enterprise to Charles Meserve, who would be editor for the next nine years. On April 3, 1891, Meserve changed the name of the paper back to the Oregon City Enterprise [LCCN: sn00063700] yet again. Oregon City at this point was constructing several new subdivisions to accommodate the increasing population of the town. People were moving to the city to work in the firmly established industrial areas and the Enterprise saw a steady increase in patronage.

After the tragic death of his wife and infant child, Meserve sold the Enterprise to a group of businessmen who in turn sold it to Leslie L. Porter, a &ldquolawyer who gave up his practice to become an editor.&rdquo Porter saw the introduction of linotype to the Enterprise which was a great improvement over the &ldquoletter-by-letter&rdquo typesetting and allowed for much faster printing. The Enterprise went through a slew of owners in 1906 and 1907 until finally Edward E. Brodie became editor and proprietor on February 7, 1908.

Brodie had left the competing paper, the Oregon City Courier [LCCN: sn00063698], to take on the editorship of the Enterprise. Brodie, who already had a colorful career in journalism at that point, remained with the paper for the next three decades and proved to be an exceedingly capable editor. In 1911, Brodie established the Morning Enterprise [LCCN: sn00063701], a daily that first appeared on January 8. The weekly continued to be published as the Oregon City Enterprise, and the daily was published until 1933. Brodie had also steadily enlarged the printing plant that produced the weekly and daily Enterprise, and by 1916 it was considered &ldquoone of the best all-around printing establishments in the state outside of Portland [and was] capable of making anything from rubber stamps to circus posters.&rdquo

During his time as editor-in-chief, Brodie was also an official ambassador to Siam (1921-1925), what is now Thailand, and Finland (1930-1933) and would often take extended trips overseas to attend to his governmental duties. When Brodie was in Siam, Hal E. Hoss managed the Enterprise, and when in Finland, Harry B. Cartlidge was editor of the paper.

Brodie remained publisher until January 1, 1935, at which point he sold the Enterprise only to repurchase the paper in 1938. Brodie died the following year, widely mourned, of a heart attack in the Oregon state capitol. Walter W. R. May then acquired paper in October of 1943. May would publish and edit the Enterprise until March 1, 1950 when it merged with the Banner-Courier [LCCN: sn00063699] and became the Enterprise-Courier [LCCN: sn00063703]. May became the editor-in-chief of the new publication, which enjoyed a long and popular presence in the community and was published until the 1990s.

Prepared with reference to:

Dennis. Historic Context Statement – A Brief History of Oregon City, City of Oregon City, 2000.

&ldquoEnterprise-Courier Established to Merge Clackamas County News Service into One Daily Outlet,&rdquo The Enterprise-Courier (Oregon City), March 1, 1950.

&ldquoFormer Ambassadors and Ministers to Finland,&rdquo Helsinki, Finland Embassy of the United States.

Grammell, Fred A. The Oregon Exchange. Vol 5-6. Grammell, 1922.

Indian Historical Society. &ldquoMishawaka Enterprise,&rdquo Indiana Historical Society, Historic Businesses.

Lyman, W. D. An Illustrated History of Walla Walla County, State of Washington. San Francisco: W. H. Lever, 1901.

&ldquoOregon City Enterprise Now is 50 Years Old,&rdquo The Sunday Oregonian (Portland), October 22, 1916.

Rowell, Geo. P. American Newspaper Directory. 16th ed., New York: Geo. P. Rowell and Co, 1884-1909.

Turnbull, George S. History of Oregon Newspapers. Portland, Oregon: Binfords & Mort, 1939.


The establishment of Freewater is credited to a group of men who in 1889, dissatisfied with the way things were going in Milton--one main reason being the prohibition of sales of alcoholic beverages--decided to start a sister town. The late H. H. Hanson, a Touchet farmer, was one of the “dozen-odd” people who met shortly before the turn of the century to name Freewater. “I went to Milton in 1889”, said Hanson in an interview shortly before his death, “ . . . as the depot agent for the Northern Pacific railroad, and by that time ‘Freewater’ had had its start.” A man named Mahana – “a visionary sort of man who wanted to do big things” – had laid out a town site north of the depot when Hanson arrived.

New Walla Walla Tried

“Mahana had his troubles,” said Hanson. “First, he decided to call the town ‘New Walla Walla’, but the folks living in the established town of Milton - backed by the Milton Eagle newspaper - made such fun of the name that he changed it to ‘Wallaette’.” Hanson said the “fun-poking” didn’t end. The “Eagle” wrote poems about the name rhyming like – Wallaette – he’ll get there yet. "Mahana forged ahead anyway”, said Hanson, “and decided to establish a grain mill in the new town. He wanted people to invest in the enterprise – sort of subsidize it”, he said, “so it wasn’t long before they named Mahana’s horse “Subsidy.” Mahana continued to sell lots in the town and he advertised the advantages of the location widely. "The people were still jangling quite a bit about the name Wallaette,” said Hanson “ . . . so Mahana decided to change the name again.”

Freewater Chosen

“A meeting was scheduled and about a dozen of us attended,” said Hanson. “We pointed out to Mahana that one of his main advertising attractions was ‘Free Water For All Home Sites’ so we suggested the name ‘Freewater’ for the town and he accepted.” Some of the men who attended the meeting were the Evans brothers, Burton and Bill Kuhns, who later built the town hall.

Mahana established his own newspaper – called the Freewater Herald – and hired a Mr. McComas from La Grande to run it. “The Milton Eagle and the Freewater Herald really battled,” said Hanson, “but most of it seemed in fun. Milton would call Freewater ‘Jerkwater’ and accused the residents of ‘lack of civilization’ since they had just come in from the East, and the Herald would refer to Milton as ‘that place up in the Gulch’,” said Hanson.

While Freewater was organized in 1889, it was not incorporated until 1902. Early stores included Sanders and Tanke, General Merchandise Fred Kuebler, Confectionery Dr. Hill’s Pharmacy George Darting’s Blacksmith Shop White’s Liver Stable Al Pearson’s Real Estate and Ed White’s Cigar Store.

Freewater was also known for its saloons, six in 1902. Some were “The OR AND N”, “The Boozerino”, “The Palace”, operated by Taylor and Ireland, where games were played, including roulette, and horses could be ridden into the saloon the “Ole Kentucky” and “Gallon House”, owned by Hizekiah Keyes, and the Kelly brothers, Jack and Jess.

Oregon’s founders sought a ‘white utopia,’ a stain of racism that lives on even as state celebrates its progressivism

Oregon became a state in 1859 as the United States was hurtling toward civil war.

Slavery, the issue that was tearing the young nation apart, was banned in the new state. Many of Oregon’s leaders believed they had a better model.

They wouldn’t allow black people at all.

Oregon consistently goes “blue” in presidential elections, and conservative commentators invoke the name of its largest city as a shorthand for hyper-liberalism. But Oregon is also one of the whitest states in the country -- originally by design. The effects of that history of racism are still felt today.

The authors of Oregon’s constitution declared that no black people could reside in the state or hold real estate. They relied on precedent for this decree. The territorial legislature had passed a black-exclusion law in 1844 -- dictating regular public lashings until lawbreakers left the territory -- and followed it up with another such law five years later.

The state’s founders sought to create nothing short of “a white utopia,” says Oregon author and scholar Walidah Imarisha. “An idealized racist white society.”

The first inside page of the original Oregon State Constitution (The Oregonian) LC- THE OREGONIAN

This objective was spurred by the U.S. Congress’ 1850 Oregon Donation Land Act, which granted land for free to “every white settler” in the Oregon Territory and explicitly excluded people of color. (Abrogating Native American tribal land rights, the Oregon Territory’s U.S. House delegate Samuel Thurston told Congress, was the “first prerequisite step” before Oregon could join the union as a state.)

The land grants, the black-exclusion laws, the restrictions on voting (the Oregon Constitution barred not just blacks from voting but also Chinese): these actions -- and many more -- sent the clear message to anyone who wasn’t white that “you’re not welcome in Oregon,” says Kerry Tymchuk, executive director of the Oregon Historical Society and the former chief speechwriter for 1996 GOP presidential nominee Bob Dole. “It helps explain why so few moved here, which has repercussions to this day.”

Discriminatory laws in Oregon continued through the decades after statehood. In 1883, an attempt to amend the state constitution’s prohibition of black suffrage failed, even though the ban had been mooted by the U.S. Constitution’s 15th Amendment. In 1923, the Legislature passed laws that kept Japanese Americans from owning property and allowed cities to deny them business licenses. (Twenty-two years later, during the last days of World War II, and with some 4,000 Oregonians of Japanese ancestry held in federal internment camps, the Oregon House pushed a resolution calling on Congress “to deport immediately after the war, all alien Japanese and all Japanese of American citizenship who have indicated dual citizenship…”)

Then there were the everyday customs that carried forward the goals of the state’s fathers, such as redlining -- where real-estate agents and bankers followed industry mandates to keep out of neighborhoods “members of any race or nationality whose presence will be detrimental to property values.”

“Redlining affected jobs -- opportunity -- and education and health care and more,” says Tymchuk. “And the ripples continue.”

Indeed, the process offered a predictable churn: In Portland, the black neighborhoods at first were largely left on their own to sink or swim then priorities changed, and the police moved in en masse, says Imarisha. Young white professionals looking for affordable housing came next.

“Gentrification is a process of violence,” Imarisha adds. The ripples now come from the aftershocks of “over-policing, which is an intimate part of how gentrification happens. White folks tend to sanitize it.”

To be sure, this viewpoint makes many white Oregonians uncomfortable. Their Portland, their Oregon, is a peaceful, inclusive place.

“This history is hidden purposely,” Imarisha says. And the ability to not know about it is “a privilege.”

Tymchuk can attest to this aspect of Oregon’s history making some Oregonians uneasy, even angry.

When the Experience Oregon exhibit opened at the Oregon Historical Society last year, showcasing the good, the bad and the ugly of the state’s history -- including a pointy white Ku Klux Klan hood worn by an Oregon member of the notorious racist group -- the museum heard from a smattering of visitors that the exhibit “made them feel guilty as a white person,” Tymchuk says. “We’d hear, ‘Every other state had this issue as well, so why bring it up?’”

This sign is part of The Historic Black Williams Project, which highlights what was the heart of the black community in Portland through much of the 20th century. The surrounding neighborhood has been impacted by gentrification. (The Oregonian) LC-

Malheur City, Oregon

Malheur City ca. 1880

Malheur City Details

Elevation: 3,940 Feet ( 1,201 meters)

Current Population: none

Primary Mineral: Gold

Malheur City History

Malheur City had a post office from 1879 to 1944. Although modern publications refer to this as the Malheur District, in the 1800s it was referred to as the Shasta district.

Details of the early key events at Malheur City vary between sources. It seems likely that the area was first settled in the early 1860s, about the same time that towns like Auburn and Clarksville were founded.

All of these early northeast Oregon towns were founded at placer gold diggings, but similar to the mines of the Boise Basin in Idaho, suffered from lack of water. Much of the mining at the time occurred in the spring and fall when there was enough rain to work the mines. Extremely dry summer conditions idled most of these districts.

Malheur City, Oregon 1902

Malheur City was likely mined on very small scale for many years and only around the occasional availability of water. How many people were at the town, or even whether there was a year-round population at all, is unknown. This situation changed by the late 1870s with the completion of the Eldorado Ditch, the largest ditch system ever constructed in the West.

The year the ditch was completed is another point of contention among sources, but it is likely that 1878 was the completion year as the establishment of a post office at Malheur City in 1879 indicates that a stable year-round population was finally possible.

Although the town's population seems to have stabilized in the late 1870s, it had at least some notable activity prior to that. The sign at the Malheur City cemetery states that it was established in 1870. A newspaper article indicates that and Odd Fellows hall was completed in 1875.

Red White and Blue Mine south of Malheur City

A 1915 newspaper article calls Malheur City a "former mining center" that now survives on farming, but also states that seasonal placer mining still occurs and that active mines are found within eight miles of the town.

Mining became a local industry again during the Depression years. The USGS states "From 1932 through 1942, the district produced 36 ounces of lode gold and 2,277 ounces of placer gold."

A brush fire burned the remaining buildings in 1957. Today the "Malheur City Convention Center", a modest building built to host an annual get together of area residents, is the only remaining structure.

The Eldorado Ditch

The Eldorado ditch is said to be the largest ditch of its kind in the West. The ditch took over 10 years to build and at one point employed over 1,000 Chinese laborers. The following text is from a historical marker.

A remarkable construction enterprise of its time, the "Eldorado Ditch" carried water for placer mining from the Burnt River above Unity, over Eldorado Pass to Malheur City and the Willow Creek Drainage. Conceived and designed by William H. Packwood and constructed by Chinese labor, the ditch was started in 1863 and by May 1878 was carrying water more than 100 miles.

The main ditch was five feet wide at the bottom and seven feet wide at the top with a grade of 4.8 feet per mile. The ditch never recovered its $250,000 to $500,000 construction cost because of the decline of mining after the 1870’s.

The ditch was the source of considerable controversy between miners and ranchers. The concrete diversion facilities 10 miles to the east at Eldorado Pass were constructed in 1918 as a last attempt by Malheur County ranchers to use the water. This renewed longstanding conflicts with Baker County ranchers protesting the loss of water. After a lengthy court battle, the use of the water was divided between the two counties. This made further use of the ditch impractical and it was abandoned in 1925.

Oregon City Oregon History

Barclay House
Adjacent to McLoughlin House, Oregon City, Oregon .

Clackamas County History Museum
211 Tumwater Dr., Oregon City, Oregon, phone: 503-657-9336

End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center
1726 Washington St., Oregon City, Oregon, phone: 503-657-9336
In addition to theatrical presentations, exhibits, and hands-on Nineteenth Century activities, the Interpretive Center hosts special events during the spring and summer months. Past events have included the Oregon Trail Pageant, the Mormon Trail Sesquicentennial Pageant, the debut concert of the Trail Band's CD Immigrant Dreams and even a couple of visits by the Budweiser Clydesdales -- which admittedly had nothing to do with the overland emigrants of the Nineteenth Century, but we thought it was kind of fun. You may wish to check the current edition of our event and exhibit calendar before planning your visit to the Interpretive Center.

McLoughlin House National Historic Site
713 Center, Oregon City, Oregon, phone: 503-656-5146

Rose Farm, William Holmes House
Holmes Lane, Oregon City, Oregon .

Stevens Crawford Museum
603 Sixth St., Oregon City, Oregon, phone: 503-655-2866


The land today occupied by Multnomah County, Oregon, was inhabited for centuries by two bands of Upper Chinook Indians. The Multnomah people settled on and around Sauvie Island and the Cascades Indians settled along the Columbia Gorge. These groups fished and traded along the river and gathered berries, wapato and other root vegetables. The nearby Tualatin Plains provided prime hunting grounds. [3] Eventually, contact with Europeans resulted in the decimation of native tribes by smallpox and malaria. [4]

The site of the future city of Portland, Oregon, was known to American, Canadian, and British traders, trappers and settlers of the 1830s and early 1840s as "The Clearing," [7] a small stopping place along the west bank of the Willamette River used by travelers en route between Oregon City and Fort Vancouver. As early as 1840, Massachusetts sea captain John Couch logged an encouraging assessment of the river’s depth adjacent to The Clearing, noting its promise of accommodating large ocean-going vessels, which could not ordinarily travel up-river as far as Oregon City, the largest Oregon settlement at the time. In 1843, Tennessee pioneer William Overton and Boston, Massachusetts lawyer Asa Lovejoy filed a 640 acres (260 ha) land claim with Oregon's provisional government that encompassed The Clearing and nearby waterfront and timber land. Legend has it that Overton had prior rights to the land but lacked funds, so he agreed to split the claim with Lovejoy, who paid the 25-cent filing fee. [ citation needed ]

Bored with clearing trees and building roads, Overton sold his half of the claim to Francis W. Pettygrove of Portland, Maine, in 1845. [ citation needed ] When it came time to name their new town, Pettygrove and Lovejoy both had the same idea: to name it after his home town. They flipped a coin to decide, and Pettygrove won. On November 1, 1846, Lovejoy sold his half of the land claim to Benjamin Stark, as well as his half-interest in a herd of cattle for $1,215. [8]

Three years later, Pettygrove had lost interest in Portland and become enamored with the California Gold Rush. On September 22, 1848, he sold the entire townsite, save only for 64 sold lots and two blocks each for himself and Stark, to Daniel H. Lownsdale, a tanner. Although Stark owned fully half of the townsite, Pettygrove "largely ignor[ed] Stark's interest", in part because Stark was on the east coast with no immediate plans to return to Oregon. Lownsdale paid for the site with $5,000 in leather, which Pettygrove presumably resold in San Francisco for a large profit. [8]

On March 30, 1849, Lownsdale split the Portland claim with Stephen Coffin, who paid $6,000 for his half. By August 1849, Captain John Couch and Stark were pressuring Lownsdale and Coffin for Stark's half of the claim Stark had been absent, but was using the claim as equity in an East Coast-California shipping business with the Sherman Brothers of New York. [8]

In December 1849, William W. Chapman bought what he believed was a third of the overall claim for $26,666, plus his provision of free legal services for the partnership. [ citation needed ] In January 1850, Lownsdale had to travel to San Francisco to negotiate on the land claim with Stark, leaving Chapman with power of attorney. Stark and Lownsdale came to an agreement on March 1, 1850, which gave to Stark the land north of Stark Street and about $3,000 from land already sold in this area. This settlement reduced the size of Chapman's claim by approximately 10%. Lownsdale returned to Portland in April 1850, where the terms were presented to an unwilling Chapman and Coffin, but who agreed after negotiations with Couch. While Lownsdale was gone, Chapman had given himself block 81 on the waterfront and sold all of the lots on it, and this block was included in the Stark settlement area. Couch's negotiations excluded this property from Stark's claim, allowing Chapman to retain the profits on the lot. [8]

Portland existed in the shadow of Oregon City, the territorial capital 12 miles (19 km) upstream at Willamette Falls. However, Portland's location at the Willamette's confluence with the Columbia River, accessible to deep-draft vessels, gave it a key advantage over the older peer. [ citation needed ] It also triumphed over early rivals such as Milwaukie and Linnton. In its first census in 1850, the city's population was 821 and, like many frontier towns, was predominantly male, with 653 male whites, 164 female whites and four "free colored" individuals. It was already the largest settlement in the Pacific Northwest, and while it could boast about its trading houses, hotels and even a newspaper—the Weekly Oregonian—it was still very much a frontier village, derided by outsiders as "Stumptown" and "Mudtown." [ citation needed ] It was a place where "stumps from fallen firs lay scattered dangerously about Front and First Streets … humans and animals, carts and wagons slogged through a sludge of mud and water … sidewalks often disappeared during spring floods." [8]

The first firefighting service was established in the early 1850s, with the volunteer Pioneer Fire Engine Company. [9] In 1854, the city council voted to form the Portland Fire Department, and following an 1857 reorganization it encompassed three engine companies and 157 volunteer firemen. [10]


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