Joel Perkins was 23 years old when he and several relatives traveled the Oregon Trail from Indiana in 1844. He quickly settled a land claim and, in December 1846, established the town of Lafayette, which the Oregon Provisional Government recognized as Yamhill County’s first county seat. Perkins made himself the town’s clerk, and when he officially platted it in 1849, he donated a full block to be used as the …
Formed in 1943, the all-Black 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion was the first opportunity for African American officers and enlisted men to become paratroopers in the segregated US Army during World War II.
Balloon Bomb Blazes
In 1944-45, Japan launched balloon bombs eastward across the Pacific to set US west coast forests ablaze and cause civilian panic. In May 1945, the military ordered the “Triple Nickles” on a classified mission, code named “Operation …
Welcome to the Oregon Coast
The Oregon Coast boasts forested headlands, towering dunes of sand, and sparkling lakes and rivers. From the Columbia River south to Bandon, the picturesque coastline is bordered to the east by the peaks of the Coast Range Mountains. These peaks are the remnants of a chain of volcanic islands that collided with the North American continent some 50 million years ago. The rugged southernmost section of …
Welcome to Southern Oregon
Southern Oregon is a land of great geographic diversity. Here are the more than 250-million-year-old Klamath Mountains in the south, and to the north and uplifted 50-million-year-old ocean floor and overlying sediments, called “Siletzia” by geologists. To the east is crystal clear crater lake nestled in ancient volcanic Mount Mazama, and beyond it are Basin and Range fault block mountains separated by lakes such as Summer Lake, …
The Hollering Place
a strategic site for communication, trade, and travel
Where this marker now stands, the villages of Qaimisiich on this side and El-ka-titc on the spit to the west, were close enough to call across the bay for a canoe ride – hence the translation of El-ka-titc, “Hollering Place.” Coos Bay has been a trade and transportation center for thousands of years.
In 1852, the chartered schooner “Captain Lincoln” ran …
Richard Sommer & HillCrest Vineyard
Oregon’s successful and widely recognized wine industry can be traced to this place, where Richard Sommer first planted Pinot noir grapes in 1961. The Umpqua and Willamette valleys’ climates and topographies are much like those of European wine regions, but most winemakers of the 1960s believed it was impossible to grow fine wines in Oregon. Sommer, however, recognized the significance of sharing latitude with European winemaking …
Oregon Caves National Monument Rangers
Gruber and Graves families cutting the ribbon with Oregon Historical Marker Committee Chair, George Forbes
The new Oregon Historical Marker
Born at the Oregon Caves National Monument
The story began at the Oregon Caves in 1938. After taking a tour, William B. Gruber, an Oregon inventor, met Harold J. Graves, the president of postcard company, Sawyer’s Inc.
Double Visionaries — Graves and Gruber
Graves asked Gruber about the device he carried consisting …
Jedediah Smith’s explorations in the American West began when he was 21 and lasted until his death at age 32. He crisscrossed the region in search of beaver pelts and new travel routes. His travel journals became a foundation for the first accurate maps of what is now the western United States.
A Life of Exploration
After three years in the Rocky Mountains, Jedediah Smith led trapping expeditions to California in …
Abigail Scott Duniway
In 1860, Abigail Jane Scott Duniway and six other women shocked the town of Lafayette by attending a campaign speech by Col. Edward D. Baker, a U.S. Senate candidate. At that time, most people considered it inappropriate for women to take part in any aspect of political life. Age twenty-six at the time, Duniway’s leadership in the act was the first of countless actions for Oregon’s pioneer of woman suffrage.
From I-84, take exit 234, then drive south on old Highway 30.
Emigrants waited near the summit of the Blue Mountains for stragglers to catch up, resting from the difficult ascent and watering their livestock while they waited. Interpretive displays complement the Oregon Trail monuments at the park entrance.
In the first week of January, 1812, a party of trappers and traders, members of the Astor Overland Expedition, crossed the Blue Mountains in this …