Category Archives: Oregon History

Historic Covered Bridges

Oregon has the largest collection of historic covered bridges in the western part of the United States, with over 50 covered spans. These timber bridges were often covered to protect them from the weather. Now, the remaining examples of this obsolete bridge construction technology, generally located in pastoral rural settings, provide one of the most significant tourist attractions in the state.  Allow the Innkeepers of the Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild to share local examples of Oregon History then take the road less traveled along Oregon’s Backroads.

** Can you guess which covered bridge is featured in the photo?  Answer at the end of this post.

Just last week we took a road trip for seek some of the 20 covered bridges in Lane County, a county that has the distinction of possessing more covered bridges than any other county west of the Mississippi.  Seventeen of these bridges are listed in the National Register of Historic Places.  We started our journey in Eugene, Oregon and headed east on Hwy 58, finding 6 along this road.  You could easily do them all in one day using C’est La Vie Bed and Breakfast in Eugene as your home base. Take a couple of days to discover all Lane County has to offer.

The Innkeepers of the Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild invite you to explore our historic destinations.  The heyday of covered bridge building in Oregon occurred between 1905 and 1925 when there were an  estimated 450 covered bridges in the state.  By 1977, this number had dwindled to 56.  All but one of these historic bridges can be found west of the Cascade Range.  The Swalley Canal, Rock O’ The Range, Covered Bridge is just north of Bend.  The others can be found in the Willamette Valley and west toward the Oregon Coast near many inns of the Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild.  Plan our next authentic Geotourism adventure along the backroads of Oregon.

The innkeepers of the Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild are ready to share Oregon, its environment, culture, and heritage with you.  Get to know our State like a local. Whether you’re looking for a quiet escape, a world class city experience, or a new spin on business travel,  you can be assured of combining gracious hospitality with ambiance when staying at an inspected and approved Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild member Inn.

** If you guessed Goodpasture Bridge on the McKenzie River you were correct

Willamette Stone

The Willamette Stone was a small stone obelisk originally installed by the Department of Interior in 1885

The Willamette Stone Heritage Site is located in the west hills of Portland, Oregon.  The surveys completed from this location promoted settlement of the Northwest and began the transfer of land from government ownership to private ownership.  The first marker, placed in 1851, a simple cedar stake, was replaced with a small stone obelisk in 1885.  In 1945 the property was purchased to preserve and protect the origin point of the land survey system for Oregon and Washington.  A stainless-steel marker, set into the original obelisk, was rededicated in 1988.  The Willamette Meridian is one of 37 principal meridians in the United States.  All land surveys and property descriptions in the states of Oregon and Washington are referenced at this point.  The Willamette meridian runs north-south, and the Willamette baseline runs east-west through the marker.

The Willamette Valley marks the end of the Oregon Trail and the history of that migration can be discovered at heritage sites, museums, and cemeteries across the region.  Known for its premium wines, craft breweries, cideries, meaderies and distilleries the Willamette Valley is also home to unique, one-of-a-kind Bed and Breakfasts awaiting your visit.

The innkeepers of the Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild are ready to share with you their version of Oregon Culinary Tourism and Geotourism.  Get to know our State like a local; stay with one of our nearly 100 hosts in any one of our many regions. Experience romantic getaways, historic treasures, and tucked away rustic retreats.  Whether your trip is for a quiet escape to a quaint rural or coastal town, taking in Oregon Geotourism, for a World Class City experience, or for a new spin on business travel, you can be assured of combining gracious hospitality with ambiance by staying at an inspected and approved Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild member Inn.

Lightship Columbia

Lightship Columbia is the last lightship serving the Pacific Coast

Lightship Columbia, a 128-foot welded-steel lightship, was built in 1950 for the U.S. Coast Guard. It was stationed at the mouth of the Columbia River near Cape Disappointment between 1951 and 1979. Retired in 1979, after 28 years of service the Lightship Columbia was sold to the Columbia River Maritime Museum in Astoria in 1980.  Lightship Columbia, is afloat, open to the public as part of museum admission. On December 20, 1989, the Lightship Columbia was added to the National Register of Historic Places as National Historic Landmark #89002463.

The Columbia River Maritime Museum has the largest collection of Pacific Northwest maritime artifacts in the country and works to preserve the rich maritime heritage of the entire Columbia River region.  Exhibits take an exciting look at the legendary Columbia River entrance, where the forces of the mighty Columbia River and Pacific Ocean meet to create one of the most dangerous bar crossings on the planet.  There have been approximately 114 vessels wrecked, stranded, sunk in collisions, or capsized in the Columbia River estuary, on the nearby beaches or at sea within a few miles of the entrance giving it the name “Graveyard of the Pacific.  Here, waves can exceed 40 feet in height during the most severe winter storms.  This museum is one of the country’s finest displays about shipwrecks, lighthouses, fishing, navigation and naval history.

Guests staying at these Oregon Coast bed and breakfasts enjoy hiking, biking, kayaking the rivers trails, paths and surf.  Over 600 Victorian homes are tucked away throughout Astoria along with museums, galleries, antique shops and small intimate gift shops and fine restaurants.

The innkeepers of the Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild are ready to share Oregon, its environment, culture, and heritage with you.  Get to know our State like a local. Whether you’re looking for a quiet escape, a world class city experience, or a new spin on business travel,  you can be assured of combining gracious hospitality with ambiance when staying at an inspected and approved Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild member Inn.

 

Prospect Historic Hotel

Prospect Historic Hotel/Motel and Dinner House

The Prospect Historic Hotel/Motel and Dinner house was built in 1888 as a stagecoach stop halfway between the Rogue Valley and Crater lake.  This Nationally Registered Historic Hotel has been restored for full comfort while maintaining its charm.  Being the closest Bed and Breakfast to Crater Lake along the Rogue Umpqua Scenic Byway,  the inn is a perfect home base while exploring Southern Oregon’s National Forests, Wilderness areas and BLM land, and the majestic Lake, of course.

From the inn you can take a stroll to the Rogue River and three lovely waterfalls and to the Avenue of the Boulders, huge boulders thrown when Mt Mazama blew up 7000 years ago.  From the Prospect Hotel head out for the day to hike, bike, raft, fish, Cross Country Ski or snowshoe.  You get the picture: plenty to do from the Prospect Hotel.

Prospect Historic Hotel Bed and Breakfast Inn provides lodging in its 10 room, each with period furnishings and decorations, private baths and beautiful quilts on every bed.  Hearty belly filling breakfasts.  Stay where Teddy Roosevelt, Jack London, Zane Grey, John Muir, William Jennings Bryan, Gifford Pinchot and Hubert Humphrey slept. Relax in the sitting parlors, warming your toes at the fireplace and catch up on some local history from our collection of books.  Unwind on the wrap around Veranda with a glass of wine or a microbrew and a good book.

Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild is ready to share Oregon with you: it’s environment, culture, and heritage. Combine gracious hospitality with ambiance at an inspected and approved Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild member Inn.

Iwetemlaykin State Heritage Site

The Iwetemlaykin State Heritage Site

The Iwetemlaykin State Heritage Site, pronounced  “ee-weh-TEAM-lye-kin”, is an Oregon State Park adjacent to a Nez Perce National Historical Park, site of Old Chief Joseph Gravesite and Cemetery, all ancestral homes of the Chief Joseph Band of the Nez Perce.

Short trails with spectacular views of the Wallowa Mountains pass Knight’s Pond, a cool summer oasis and a peaceful respite for hikers. Look for spring and summer wildflowers during your walk. You also may catch glimpses of deer, fox, bear and raptors.

For an historic Oregon experience, consider spending a few days in Joseph, Oregon, and visiting the Iwetemlaykin State Heritage Site at different times of day.  In the early morning you’ll probably find wildlife there.  During the day, watch the sun cast varying shadows on the Wallowa Mountains.  In the afternoon, visit Wallowa Lake and the Old Chief Joseph Gravesite.  Come back to Iwetemlaykin in the evening as the coolness descends.

Two Oregon bed and breakfasts welcome you to the Wallowa Valley and this Oregon State Treasure, Iwetemlaykin State Heritage Site

  • Bronze Antler Bed & Breakfast is located nearby in Joseph.  This 1920s period bungalow is restored in the European Arts & Crafts style.  The inn’s library includes many books on local Oregon history to round out your geotourism experience.
  • Belle Pepper’s Bed and Breakfast is one block from Joseph’s main street,walking distance of galleries, restaurants, and other local businesses.

The innkeepers of the Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild are ready to share Oregon, its environment, culture, and heritage with you.  Get to know our State like a local. Whether you’re looking for a quiet escape, a world class city experience, or a new spin on business travel,  you can be assured of combining gracious hospitality with ambiance when staying at an inspected and approved Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild member Inn.

The videos of Travel Oregon’s Oregon, Only Slightly Exaggerated reveal whimsical scenes of enchanting forests, vineyards, rivers, mountains and more, and share with you that magical feeling of being in Oregon.

Now the captivating artwork is coming to the real world, proudly hand-painted on walls in Oregon where the illustrations represent the destinations.   Let the Oregon Mural Trail inspire you to get outside and experience the wonders of each community.  Take photos of the murals and use the hashtag #OregonIsMagic in social posts to share the love.  And while you’re there, visit the landmarks and businesses that make these towns just so magical.

The featured mural is in Ontario’s Red Apple Mall. At Oregon’s eastern edge and in a different time zone, Ontario is the gateway to desert beauty, stunning river canyons and towering mountain ranges. Any time of year, this little town is a great sunny destination and basecamp to outdoor adventures at the Owyhee Canyonlands, Lake Owyhee, Pillars of Rome and more. Make time for Four Rivers Cultural Center and Museum, which honors the area’s cultural heritage, Native American, Basque, European, Hispanic and Japanese.

There are several Oregon Trail Sites sights from the Idaho border to Baker City,  the National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center offers living history demonstrations, interpretive programs, exhibits, multi-media presentations, special events, and more than four miles of interpretive trails.  From the top of Flagstaff Hill you can still see the trail running out across the plains.

Baker City Blue Door will be the first member in of the Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild as you travel into Oregon.  The historic home of two prominent Oregonians, the Inn is a simple and elegant get-away to rest and relax. Located on a tree-lined residential street, the inn is in the heart of historic downtown Baker City.

Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild is ready to share Oregon with you: it’s environment, culture, and heritage. Combine gracious hospitality with ambiance at an inspected and approved Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild member Inn.

Guest blogger: Roselyn, innkeeper
R.R. Thompson House in Carlton Oregon

This Christmas, Pittock Mansion takes a look back at the hobbies and pastimes of the legendary family in its annual holiday extravaganza.

From knitting to hiking, beekeeping to music, the decorations highlight familiar and not-so-familiar hobbies enjoyed by Henry and Georgiana Pittock, their children and grandchildren who resided in the opulent mansion 100 years ago.

Volunteers have decorated each of the rooms in the 16,000 sq. ft. mansion into a holiday showcase. Each room displays items related to one or two hobbies, such as skiing, opera, tea parties or card games.

The displays are on view through December 31 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (closed Christmas Day).  Built in 1914, the mansion “tells the story of Portland’s transformation from pioneertown to modern, industrialized city through the history and legacy of one of its most influential families, the Pittocks.” (http://pittockmansion.org)

The decorated mansion is a holiday treat for locals and tourists alike. Adding to the ambiance are musical recitals in the music/living room with stunning views of the Portland skyline.

The R. R. Thompson House will be glad to host your visit to the Willamette Valley of Oregon. We are located in the ‘Great Little Town of Carlton,’ and just an hour’s drive to Pittock Mansion.

Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild is ready to share Oregon with you: it’s environment, culture, and heritage. Combine gracious hospitality with ambiance at an inspected and approved Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild member Inn.

Oregon Trail

The Historic Oregon Trail turns 175 in 2018.  Time for you to hit the highway, inspire your own pioneer spirit, stand in the actual wagon ruts pioneers left behind, and visit the numerous interpretive sites, monuments and cultural centers along the way.

The Oregon Trail traversed 2,170 miles of what today is Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming, Idaho and Oregon.  Travel the Oregon National Historic Trail through Oregon, from Idaho, along the Columbia River and around Mt Hood.

There are several trail sights from the Idaho border to Baker City, the National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center offers living history demonstrations, interpretive programs, exhibits, multi-media presentations, special events, and more than four miles of interpretive trails.  From the top of Flagstaff Hill you can still see the trail running out across the plains.  Lodging in Baker City, Oregon: Baker City Blue Door

The cemeteries along the route reveal so many Oregon Trail stories: where the emigrants came from, how they lived, and died, as they headed for Oregon and the awaited promises.

The last hurdle for emigrants on the Oregon Trail was the Cascade Range. Early pioneers either had to barge down the treacherous Columbia River, make their home in The Dalles, or travel the Barlow Road through the Cascades along the south side of Mt Hood.  Lodging option on Mt Hood: Old Parkdale Inn Bed and Breakfast 

The Columbia Gorge Discovery Center and Museum reveals the cataclysmic floods that helped shape the Columbia River Gorge. Here also you’ll experience interactive exhibits of the Lewis and Clark expedition, The Oregon Trail and 10,000 years of Native American life in the Gorge.  Lodging: Hood River Bed and Breakfasts

At the End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center and Historic Site in Oregon City, visitors can learn about the journey, discover what it was like to be a pioneer and what life was like for those who reached Oregon Territory.  Lodging options: Willamette Valley Bed and Breakfasts

“On such a journey as this, there is much to interest and amuse one who is fond of picturesque scenery, and of wild life.” – Randolph Marcy, 1859

Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild is ready to share Oregon with you: it’s environment, culture, and heritage. Combine gracious hospitality with ambiance at an inspected and approved Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild member Inn.

Hood River Valley

October is National Apple Month

October is recognized as National Apple Month and Oregon is among the leaders in fine apple production.  Apples are a member of the rose family of plants and the blossoms are much like wild-rose blossoms.  Oregon produces over 21 commercial apple varieties, with Fuji and Gala leading the state’s production but we know of one orchard, Kiyokawa Family Orchards in the Hood River Valley that grow over 90 different varieties! The state’s rainfall and mild climate make it a prime location for apple orchards. The most orchards can be found in Oregon’s northwestern region near and around Portland.  In 2015 Oregon produced an estimated 110 million pounds of apples.

History of the Apple – Oregon Growers

In 1847, Henderson Luelling brought more than 700 one year old grafted fruit trees from Iowa to Oregon by ox-team along with his wife and 8 children.  Today, in front of a military building in the city of Vancouver, WA, an historic apple tree with a plaque on it records the following story: ‘In 1847, Henderson Lewelling, know for promoting the fruit industry in Iowa, Oregon, and California, came to Oregon in a covered wagon with his wife, children and 350 fruit trees that had survived the long journey.’  It goes on to say ‘By 1850, their first crop produced 100 apples. It was the time of the Gold Rush in California, and when they rushed to San Francisco with the apple crop, prospectors were so hungry for fresh fruit that he sold them for $5 each. They used the money to build more orchards.’

Today, the Hood River Valley is one of the major growers of apples.  Kiyokawa Family Orchards in the Hood River Valley have been growing the finest produce available since 1911. The fertile soils found at the base of Mt. Hood and rarified, glacier-fed water sources create a unique growing environment.  The Kiyokawa’s take pride in promoting local and sustainably grown produce and utilize a farm management system that incorporates best management practices.

Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild is ready to share Oregon with you: it’s environment, culture, and heritage. Combine gracious hospitality with ambiance at an inspected and approved Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild member Inn.

Central and Eastern Oregon Museums

Central and Eastern Oregon Museums Worth making the trip

The Central and Eastern Oregon museums will take you back in time. A glimpse into an ever changing Oregon, it’s indigenous people, hearty immigrants, and hard working cattlemen.

Tamástslikt Cultural Institute where the history, culture and hospitality of the people who have lived on this land for more than 10,000 years comes alive.  More than just a museum, Tamastslikt celebrates the traditions of Cayuse, Umatilla and Walla Walla Tribes.

High Desert Museum, in Bend, Oregon, is nationally acclaimed and is dedicated to broadening the understanding of the High Desert’s wildlife, culture, art and natural resources.

At daily shows and demonstrations, wildlife experts will help you learn about the Museum’s more than 100 wildlife creatures — from porcupines, golden eagles and owls, to bats, lizards, snakes and spiders.   In the Birds of Prey Center you will have a rare opportunity to get a close-up look at some of nature’s fiercest predators – owls, hawks and eagles.

Kam Wah Chung State Heritage Site in John Day, Oregon, is a must-see for anyone with an interest in Oregon history. This structure was built as a trading post on The Dalles Military Road in the mid-1800’s. Chinese businessman Lung On and herbal doctor Ing Hay worked out of this building. Dr. Hay administered care to the Chinese gold-mine workers, pioneers, and others from the John Day area and beyond by using traditional Chinese remedies. Built to preserve the legacy of the Chinese workforce in Oregon, the museum contains artifacts and displays that share some of the trials of everyday life of these people.

They walked for 2,000 miles…men, women, and children by the tens of thousands. The story of this journey comes alive today through the life-size exhibits at the National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center, Baker City.  The museum offers living history demonstrations, interpretive programs, exhibits, multi-media presentations, special events, and more than four miles of interpretive trails. Let the innkeepers of the Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild share their knowledge of these unique museums and many other natural attractions in the beautiful and vast expanse of Eastern Oregon.

These are but a few of the many historical museum located in Central and Eastern Oregon.  Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild is ready to share Oregon with you: it’s environment, culture, and heritage. Combine gracious hospitality with ambiance at an inspected and approved Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild member Inn.