Pioneer History Comes Alive in Old Town Oregon City


When brave pioneers finally reached the end of their 2,000-mile journey in the early 1800s, they gave their new home a nickname. This part of the state is still known as the “End of the Oregon Trail,” where history is a vibrant part of everyday life. That spirit shows up in heritage trails, cultural centers and even storage units here in Oregon City. This is a town that’s proud to be the birthplace of a state.

A First, West of the Rockies

The area’s earliest settlers knew that they’d chosen the right destination. This part of northeast Oregon offered fertile soil for farming and endless forest growth for the lumber industry. With magnificent Willamette Falls as a backdrop, the newly established community quickly grew into a busy mill town. Oregon City became the state’s territorial capital, and it earned special bragging rights in 1844. That’s the year the thriving outpost became our nation’s first incorporated city west of the Rocky Mountains.

Interpreting History and Culture

While local officials promoted the town’s new status across the state, its original homesteaders built a legacy that still stands. Walk in their footsteps along the Willamette Falls Heritage Trail, or peek into their lives at the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center. Historic presentations guide you through pioneer life with interactive exhibits including videos, crafts and games. Surprisingly, a very modern game has become a part of the city’s most recent cultural celebrations.

Find Your Original Oregon Trail

Take your own historic trip back to gaming platforms from the early 1970s. Dig through those boxes in your storage unit for a copy of The Oregon Trail®. If you have a first edition, bring it with you to the annual Oregon Trail® Game 5K. Celebrate those first settlers from the 1800s and the digital pioneers that braved computer adventures with a race through downtown Oregon City. The rules are simple: Walk, run, skip or just stroll past Oregon City’s historic sites and neighborhoods, and enjoy a fun afternoon that benefits the entire community.

You never know when an old computer game might become the hottest new collector’s prize. Your pioneer antique collectibles grow in value every year. When you need a safe place to stash your history here in Oregon City, Northwest Self Storage offers modern facilities just down the road. We’re proud to serve old and new pioneers all across Clackamas County.

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