Category Archives: Oregon History

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

Four County Point in the Tillamook State Forest

Four County PointWe all know the another Four Corners in America that is a big-time tourist destination. That would be the only place where four state boundaries meet: Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona.

In Oregon, our Four County Point in the Tillamook State Forest notes the meeting of Clatsop, Columbia, Washington and Tillamook counties. A stone sunk into the Coast Range forest, not far off U.S. 26, marks the only place in Oregon where four county points meet.

Hike the Four County Point Trail

Four County Point is located on US Highway 26 and we invite you to take a moderate 1 mile hike hike through a Douglas Fir Forest 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.

Bonus: and for those searching geocaches – 4 – Corners Oregon geocache GCAD7A

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. 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.

Oregon Heritage Tree

Oregon Heritage Trees – Trees that Tell an Historic Story

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

Oregon Heritage Trees‘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.’

We spent the last couple of days exploring around Eugene, Oregon: chasing waterfalls, geocaches, covered bridges and Oregon Heritage Trees. We are aware of the need to travel to destinations that make it easy to maintain social distancing practices. Here in Oregon we’ve got your social distance travel needs covered.

Owen Cherry – 174 years in Eugene Oregon

Folklore is the Owen Cherry tree, pictured above, was planted in 1847 by Eugene Skinner, co-founder of the City of Eugene in 1853. By 1950 the site of the tree was owned by George Owen, a former Eugene City Councilor, lumberman, and philanthropist. Mr. Owen donated the site to the city. The Owen Rose Garden has more than 4,500 roses of over 400 varieties. The magnificent Owen Cherry was in spectacular spring bloom when we visited this past week.

Ellmaker Grove – Ellmaker Oak, Maple Row and Incense Cedar

The trees that make up the Ellmaker Grove include the 300-400 year old Ellmaker Oak and numerous large big leaf maples that were planted by the Ellmmaker family. Of particular historical significance was the proximity of the Ellmaker Ranch to the Applegate Trail. The Ellmakers planted a row of maple trees, which they called “Maple Row” leading from the wide Applegate Trail to their smithy.

Suggested lodging in Eugene, Oregon

C’est La Vie Inn in Eugene, Oregon, offers a quiet urban oasis for the traveler with discriminating taste. C’est La Vie Inn proudly offers four rooms to choose from, each with its own distinctive charm and luxurious amenities.

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.

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.

So Peaceful. The Prospect Hotel, while truly being the ideal base for day tripping Crater Lake, is also a wonderful experience all in itself.’ a TripAdvisor contributor

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.

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.

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: Oregon is one of the top states where it looks like social distancing is working. Our inns have been proactively doing everything in our power to keep you safe, welcome you back, when you’re ready to travel again. Not sure if your favorite inn is open? Give them a call as they just might be.

Lane County Covered Bridges

With 20 covered bridges, Lane County 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

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, first heading west for a couple of bridges and waterfalls, then  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 trip back in time and discover all Lane County, anc C’est La Vie Bed and Breakfast, has to offer.

C'est la Vie Inn bed and breakfast

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: Oregon is one of the top states where it looks like social distancing is working. Our inns have been proactively doing everything in our power to keep you safe, welcome you back, as travel restrictions are being lifted. Not sure if your favorite inn is open? Give them a call as they just might be.

Oregon Trail

The Historic Oregon Trail turns 177 in 2020. 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.

This last week we traveled the Old Emigrant Hill Road, just north of La Grande, caching over 25 hides along the way while visiting some Oregon Trail sites. The cemeteries along the route toward Portland 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. Hospitality Update: Oregon is one of the top states where it looks like social distancing is working. Our inns have been proactively doing everything in our power to keep you safe, welcome you back, as travel restrictions are being lifted. Not sure if your favorite inn is open? Give them a call as they just might be. 

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.

Bronze Antler Bed & Breakfast is located nearby in Joseph and welcomes you to the Wallowa Valley and this Oregon State Treasure, Iwetemlaykin State Heritage Site. 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.

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: Oregon is one of the top states where it looks like social distancing is working. Our inns have been proactively doing everything in our power to keep you safe, welcome you back, as travel restrictions are being lifted. Not sure if your favorite inn is open? Give them a call as they just might be. We know that Bronze Antler is welcoming guests.

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.