Category Archives: Oregon History

Say farewell to summer in extraordinary Eastern Oregon. Plan your end of summer escape that includes a stay at the Wilson Ranches Retreat, authentic Eastern Oregon Ranch.

Pioneer hospitality and an authentic ranch vacation await you at Wilson Ranches Retreat Bed & Breakfast providing exceptional lodging in central Oregon. Immerse yourself in a peaceful ranch environment rich in history and love on a 9,000 acre working cattle and hay ranch in the beautiful Butte Creek Valley, three miles west of the small town of Fossil, Oregon.

Travel the Journey Through Time Scenic Byway to Wilson Ranches Retreat and the abundant activities that await

Ranch Activities

Saddle up for a ride into the high desert hills, join in a cattle drive, hike, walk, or just plain mosey along while soaking breathtaking views and big-sky horizons in all directions. Enjoy a couple of hours in the saddle for spectacular views of the Columbia River Plateau, John Day Basin, and the Cascade Mountain Range.

Central Oregon Dude Ranch

Hike on one of the many game and cattle trails through the high desert hills surrounding Wilson Ranches Retreat. Explore miles of unique geology, flora, fauna and awe-inspiring viewpoints.

Flora and Fauna: The juniper and sage-covered high desert hills are magnificent for riding, birding, hiking, and photography. Wildflowers of lupine, mariposa lilies, Indian paintbrush and many more begin painting the range in late spring. Wilson Ranches is teeming with wildlife: Mule deer, pronghorn, elk, coyotes, badgers, squirrels, beaver, and birds of prey. Soak up nature and be replenished.

Birding: Wilson Ranches Retreat is nestled in the Butte Creek Valley and is home to Upland game birds (Chukar, Quail, and Hungarian Partridge) and birds of prey (Red-tailed Hawks, Golden Eagles, Bald Eagles, and Great Horned Owls).

Hunting: Upland game birds (Chukar, Quail, and Hungarian Partridge) hunting is available exclusively to Wilson Ranches Retreat guests from October through January.

Outdoor Activities

Explore the Natural wonders of the John Day River Territory

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The John Day Fossil Beds National Monument is a treasure of Earth’s history that covers the past 55 million years of time since the Dinosaurs died out and mammals took over the world.

Visit the Painted Hills: distinguished by varied stripes of red, tan, orange, and black, this area preserves a sequence of past climate change.

The John Day River is noted as a United States Wild and Scenic River and an Oregon Scenic Waterway and runs through the most geologically interesting country around.

For more than 50 years, people have been collecting remarkably preserved and beautiful fossils from an area behind Wheeler High School in Fossil, Oregon.

Museums and Cultural Activities

With plenty of cultural activities and museums in Oregon, there are many great ways to celebrate the heritage of the John Day River Territory! Visit museums with exhibits that tell the story of ancient fossil beds and display Native American artifacts dating back thousands of years.

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.

Hospitality Update: With guidance from the Oregon Health Authority, Oregon will again require masks in some outdoor public spaces and all indoor public spaces, that includes the inns of the Oregon B&B Guild. This measure is intended to slow the spread of the COVID-19 delta variant and went into effect Friday, Aug. 13. 

Let’s all be respectful and safe and follow the guidance of the CDC. Our inns will continue to do everything in our power to keep you safe. Not sure if your favorite inn is open? Give them a call as they just might be.

Lightship Columbia

Lightship Columbia is the last lightship serving the Pacific Coast

We shared with you ‘Best Hike in Oregon for History Buffs: Fort Stevens. This 4,300-acre park near Astoria, Oregon, is one of the nation’s largest campgrounds and a must-see destination for history buffs. It has much to offer, including beach-combing, a freshwater lake, trails, wildlife, and a historic shipwreck.

Also in Astoria is the Lightship Columbia, a 128-foot welded-steel lightship, 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 visiting the Oregon Coast and our 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.

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.

Hospitality Update: With guidance from the Oregon Health Authority, Oregon will again require masks in all indoor public spaces, that includes the inns of the Oregon B&B Guild. This measure is intended to slow the spread of the COVID-19 delta variant and goes into effect Friday, Aug. 13. 

Let’s all be respectful and safe and follow the guidance of the CDC. Our inns will continue to do everything in our power to keep you safe. Not sure if your favorite inn is open? Give them a call as they just might be.

facts about oregon

Here are five fun and quirky facts about Oregon that most people don’t know.

facts about OregonThere’s a Llama to Love
Did you know that Oregon residents own 25% of the total llama population in the whole United States? Most of the llamas are in Clackamas county, though they’re closely followed by Washington, Yamhill and Marion counties. You can even invite a llama to attend your special event in Oregon — all dressed up!

Portland, Oregon, Got its Name with the Flip of a Coin
Portland’s got its name in a coin toss. Yep. If the coin had landed on its other side, the city would have been named Boston instead. The momentous flip happened in 1845 when two politicians, originally from New England — Asa Lovejoy from Massachusetts and Francis Pettygrove from Maine — each wanted to respectively name the city Boston and Portland. The coin went up and it was all decided as it came down. You’ll notice on The Oregon Trail of Waterfalls map we’ve crossed out Boston and written Portland, to mark the historical event.

Crater Lake is the Deepest Lake in the United States
Located in south-central Oregon, Crater Lake is the deepest lake in all of the United States and one of the top 10 deepest lakes in the world. Crater Lake is is famous for its water clarity and deep blue color. The lake was formed when a volcano collapsed more than 7700 years ago. Crater Lake is approximately 2,000 ft deep. It’s home to two islands: Wizard Island (a cinder cone near the western shore) and Phantom Ship (a natural rock pillar near the southern shore).

The Oregon Flag has TWO designs
The Oregon flag is the only state flag that has a different design on each side. The front of the Oregon flag has the escutcheon from the state seal in blue and gold. The other side of the flag has a gold beaver, the state animal. See the flag here.

The Largest Living Thing on Earth is in Oregon
Can you guess what it is? it’s a GIGANTIC mushroom! More specifically, it’s a specific honey fungus and measures more than 2-miles across. You’ll find in Oregon’s Blue Mountains.

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.

Hospitality Update: Things are looking up. The CDC has lifted the mask mandate for fully vaccinated individuals and while Oregon is following this guidance, some inns may still be requiring masks to be worn in some situations. Please check with individual B&Bs to inquire about their specific policies. 

Let’s all be respectful and safe and follow the guidance of our individual counties, inns and businesses. Our inns will continue to do everything in our power to keep you safe. Not sure if your favorite inn is open? Give them a call as they just might be.

And there you have it, five facts about Oregon!
The Clock is Ticking on these Deals

Roseburg is Magic on the Oregon Mural Trail

Roseburg is MagicThe Umpqua Valley’s largest city, Roseburg, is an inviting destination for arts and culture and off jumping-off point for adventures. The Wild and Scenic North Umpqua River is just minutes away, where fly fishers cast lines. Along the Rogue-Umpqua Scenic Byway, known as a highway of waterfalls, visitors can encounter more than 15 dazzling cascades.

Take a downtown walking tour to learn about the historic Applegate Trail and the 1959 Roseburg Blast. The Douglas County Museum illuminates thousands of years of natural and cultural history. For another glimpse into the past, visit the nearby covered bridges nearby. Foodies will love the eateries in Roseburg and the valley’s long winemaking tradition dating back more than a century. Major Oregon attractions are an easy drive away as is iconic Crater Lake National Park. At the end of a full day rest beneath the great spreading crown of the Courthouse Elm, an Oregon Heritage Tree.

C.H. Bailey House is nestled in Southern Oregon’s Umpqua Valley wine country. It’s Brenner Suite is a private luxurious “green” bungalow with a kitchen, queen-sized bed with luxurious linens, bathroom with walk-in shower, living room with gas fireplace, walk-in closet. Complimentary local wine and beer, and breakfast is included in the ADA accessible suite.

The captivating artwork of the Oregon Mural Trail are 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.

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.

Hospitality Update: We all may be a little rusty, and a little leery, on planning trips just yet. And while it’s almost safe enough to climb aboard that travel train, we’re ready when you are! Our inns have been proactively doing everything in our power to keep you safe and welcome you back. Not sure if your favorite inn is open? Give them a call as they just might be.

Courthouse Elm in Roseburg Oregon

The Courthouse Elm ‘was given to Douglas County by Binger Hermann. Hermann served in the U.S. Congress from 1885 until 1897, and again from 1903 until 1907. During the intervening years, he was Commissioner of the General Land Office in Washington, D.C. The Courthouse Elm in Roseburg Oregonoccasion for the tree donation is not known positively, but research suggests that it was planted very near the turn of the century, possibly at a dedication ceremony for courthouse, which was rebuilt after a fire on December 7, 1898.

‘In addition to its heritage, the tree gives much pleasure to local residents with its great spreading crown and huge supporting limb structure.’ Oregon Travel Information Council

What does it take for a tree to be recognized as an Oregon Heritage Tree?

‘Honored groves, single trees or groups of trees have something in common with one another no matter what the species: they are trees that tell a story; trees that confound and astound; trees that educate both Oregonians and visitors about significant people or events from the past; trees that have survived natural disasters or stand as silent sentries to the passage of time. And that’s only a small part of what makes an Oregon Heritage Tree compelling.’

Take a few days, explore Oregon and the inns of the Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild in Southern 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.

Hospitality Update: Things are looking up. The CDC has lifted the mask mandate and Oregon will be following this guidance, which applies to fully vaccinated individuals. That means Oregonians and our guests who are fully vaccinated no longer need to wear masks or social distance in most public spaces.

Let’s all be respectful and safe. While it’s almost safe enough to climb aboard that travel train it’s still a little scary but we’re ready when you are! Our inns will continue to do everything in our power to keep you safe. Not sure if your favorite inn is open? Give them a call as they just might be.

oregon trail

The Oregon Trail and Native Heritage are woven into Oregon history in many varied ways.

The Oregon Trail History

The Oregon Trail was a 2,170-mile, large-wheeled wagon route, from Independence, Missouri, to Oregon City, Oregon, used by hundreds of thousands of American pioneers to emigrate west in in the mid-1800s. The trail was filled with peril – potential accidents, ailments, and steep climbs, and crossing through Indian territories – but it paved the way for the United States to expand to the west.

Contrary to popular Hollywood depictions, most Indians were tolerant, helpful even, of the pioneer wagons that drove through their lands, at least initially. Over time, relationships between the Indians and pioneers deteriorated. The passing of the Oregon Donation Land Act, encouraged settlement into the area in 1850. Slowly relations improved. Today Interstate 84 passes through towns originally established to serve those using the Oregon Trail. There are currently nine federally recognized tribes in Oregon: Burns Paiute of Harney County; Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians; Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde; Confederated Tribes of Siletz; Confederated Tribes of Umatilla Reservation; Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs; Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Indians; Coquille Indian Tribe; and Klamath Tribes.

To learn more about Oregon’s native heritage of the land, check out:

Tamástslikt Cultural Institute, located on the Umatilla Reservation, about 15-minutes from Pendleton, is the only tribal-run museum that highlights the history and culture of Native Americans along the Oregon Trail. While there, visit the Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts – it’s the only fine-print studio on a reservation.

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. The outdoor wagon encampment, trails and access to the historic ruts are open daily. Located five miles east of Baker City, on Highway 86, Exit 302 from Interstate 84, 125 miles northwest of Boise, 95 miles southeast of Pendleton.

The Museum at Warm Springs houses a large collection of North American Indian artifacts. 2189 US-26 in Warm Springs.

Chachalu Museum and Cultural Center tells the story of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde — the community, Tribe, and culture that has persisted despite the challenges. 9615 Grand Ronde Road
In Grand Ronde.

The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde Center for Native American Art at the Portland Art Museum has a Native American art collection with 3,500 prehistoric and historic objects created by some 200 cultural groups from throughout North America. 1219 SW Park Avenue in Portland.


The Oregon trail of Waterfalls represents countless hours, many sketches, and endless conversations to help make your next Oregon road trip one to remember. We look forward to seeing you soon. Please complete the form below to receive your free limited edition map now, while supplies last! If you prefer to view a digital version of the map or if you’re outside the U.S. or Canada, click here.

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NEXT: Click on each image below to create your own epic Oregon road trip! Click here to view a digital map with interactive links.

We look forward to seeing you on the Oregon Trail!

Giant Spruce of Cape Perpetua on the Oregon Coast. Oregon Heritage Trees tell the Oregon Story.

Giant Spruce of Cape PerpetuaHalf a century before Christopher Columbus sailed to the America’s, a tiny Sitka spruce began its life nourished by a nurse log on the Oregon coast. Today, it is the largest and oldest tree in the Cape Perpetua Scenic Area of the Siuslaw National Forest. Nearly 600 years old, it stands over 185 feet tall and has a circumference of 40 feet.

Nearby the tree, indigenous people dwelled at the mouth of Cape Creek for 1500 years. In the 1930’s the Civilian Conservation Corps established a camp here and built the first trail to the tree, probably opening up an ancient Indian trail.

What does it take for a tree to be recognized as an Oregon Heritage Tree?

‘Honored groves, single trees or groups of trees have something in common with one another no matter what the species: they are trees that tell a story; trees that confound and astound; trees that educate both Oregonians and visitors about significant people or events from the past; trees that have survived natural disasters or stand as silent sentries to the passage of time. And that’s only a small part of what makes an Oregon Heritage Tree compelling.’

It’s possible to drive the entire Pacific Coast Scenic Byway in a single day. But why would you when you have 6 member inns of the Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild from Cannon Beach to Port Orford?  Take a few days, explore Oregon and the inns of the Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild.

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.

Hospitality Update: Things are looking up. The CDC has lifted the mask mandate and Oregon will be following this guidance, which applies to fully vaccinated individuals. That means Oregonians and our guests who are fully vaccinated no longer need to wear masks or social distance in most public spaces.

Let’s all be respectful and safe. While it’s almost safe enough to climb aboard that travel train it’s still a little scary but we’re ready when you are! Our inns will continue to do everything in our power to keep you safe. Not sure if your favorite inn is open? Give them a call as they just might be.

Octopus Tree Heritage Tree

Octopus Tree in the Cape Meares National Wildlife Refuge

Octopus Tree Heritage TreeThe forces that shaped this unique Sitka spruce, Picea sitschensis, have been debated for many years. Whether natural events or possibly Native Americans were the cause remains a mystery.

The tree measures more than 14 feet across at its base and has no central trunk. Instead, limbs extend horizontally as much as 30 feet before turning upward. It is 105 feet tall and is estimated to be around 250 years old.

What does it take for a tree to be recognized as an Oregon Heritage Tree?

‘Honored groves, single trees or groups of trees have something in common with one another no matter what the species: they are trees that tell a story; trees that confound and astound; trees that educate both Oregonians and visitors about significant people or events from the past; trees that have survived natural disasters or stand as silent sentries to the passage of time. And that’s only a small part of what makes an Oregon Heritage Tree compelling.’

Bonus: for those searching geocaches – Picea Sitchensis Octopoda GC3M4NX

The largest Sitka Spruce in Oregon can be found less than a mile away. Follow the Big Spruce Trail to behold this awesome 800 year Oregon Champion Tree. Bonus: Great Grandma Tree GC1KP5Q

Cape Meares National Wildlife Refuge is a short drive from Oceanside Oregon, a cozy little hideaway located just off the Three Capes Scenic Route. Built upon a hillside overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Oceanside offers the ambiance of a quaint European Village.

At Thyme and Tide Bed and Breakfast in Oceanside fall asleep to the sound of the surf and wake up to a delicious hot breakfast.

Also in Oceanside: turtlejanes bed and breakfast offers two beautifully appointed bedrooms with spectacular views, king-size beds, private bathrooms with heated floors, and blackout shades on the windows.

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.

Hospitality Update: Things are looking up. The CDC has lifted the mask mandate and Oregon will be following this guidance, which applies to fully vaccinated individuals. That means Oregonians and our guests who are fully vaccinated no longer need to wear masks or social distance in most public spaces.

Let’s all be respectful and safe. While it’s almost safe enough to climb aboard that travel train, it’s still a little scary, we’re ready when you are! Our inns will continue to do everything in our power to keep you safe. Not sure if your favorite inn is open? Give them a call as they just might be.

Sitka Spruce

What does it take for a tree to be recognized as an Oregon Heritage Tree?

Sitka Spruce ‘Honored groves, single trees or groups of trees have something in common with one another no matter what the species: they are trees that tell a story; trees that confound and astound; trees that educate both Oregonians and visitors about significant people or events from the past; trees that have survived natural disasters or stand as silent sentries to the passage of time. And that’s only a small part of what makes an Oregon Heritage Tree compelling.’

The Sitka Spruce at Klootchy Creek

‘This Sitka Spruce was the first tree to be designated an official Oregon Heritage Tree and was once the biggest tree in Oregon and the National Co-Champion Sitka Spruce. It germinated from a seed on the forest floor around the time of the signing of the Magna Carta in 1215 and grew to its mature height about the time Christopher Columbus sailed to the new world. A legacy of the primeval coastal old growth rain forests of the Pacific Northwest, it was also remarkable for being bypassed for logging when spruce was in high demand for building military aircraft, but it was considered to have too many limbs to meet the standards of the national aircraft board.

‘Sadly, this once magnificent tree suffered severe damage on December 2, 2007 when hurricane force winds snapped the tree about 80 feet above ground along an old lightening scar. The top portion shattered as it hit the ground.’

Visit the Sitka Spruce at Klootchy Creek

This tree is located on US Highway 26 in Klootchy Creek County Park. Visit it on your way to the Oregon Coast from a Willamette Valley or Portland bed and breakfast. Or a reversed trip: from a Coast bed and breakfast inland.

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.

Hospitality Update: We all may be a little rusty, and a little leery, on planning trips just yet. And while it’s almost safe enough to climb aboard that travel train, we’re ready when you are! Our inns have been proactively doing everything in our power to keep you safe and welcome you back. Not sure if your favorite inn is open? Give them a call as they just might be.

Historic Covered Bridges

The Historic Covered Bridges of Oregon

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. 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.

For you geocachers I have found caches at over 20 of these bridges. We geocache while taking the covered bridge tours.

Oregon History

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.

Discover Oregon History

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 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 adventure along the backroads of 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.

Hospitality Update: We all may be a little rusty, and a little leery, on planning trips just yet. And while it’s almost safe enough to climb aboard that travel train, we’re ready when you are! Our inns have been proactively doing everything in our power to keep you safe and welcome you back. Not sure if your favorite inn is open? Give them a call as they just might be.

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