About Oregon City
Perched on bluffs overlooking thundering Willamette Falls, Oregon City was the destination for thousands of Oregon Trail pioneer settlers in the 1840s. With its rich heritage and natural beauty, the City at the End of the Oregon Trail continues to connect visitors to our nation’s pioneering past.
The McLoughlin House, built in 1850, has the distinction of being the first National Historic Site in the West. Saved from demolition in 1909, the home was relocated and opened as a museum in 1910; it is managed by the National Parks Service. The historic homes in the McLoughlin District on the hill and the historic buildings on Main Street provide another glimpse into the past. The active McLoughlin Neighborhood Association maintains a series of historic tiles along 7th Street for a self-guided walking tour.
Downtown Historic Oregon City and the bluff’s McLoughlin Neighborhood are connected by the only vertical street in North America, the Oregon City Municipal Elevator. The first Municipal Elevator in Oregon City went into operation in 1915. Since that time a new elevator was constructed and is actively ridden today by 10,000 people every month, connecting two important areas for Oregon City residents and businesspeople alike. In 2008 the Oregon City Municipal Elevator received an artistic upgrade in the upper viewing deck and through the lower tunnel. Community supporters have begun fundraising for the second phase of renovation, the exterior.
In Downtown Historic Oregon City, you’ll find lively streets adorned with colorful murals depicting the early years of Oregon City, overflowing flower baskets, and historic markers. The Oregon City Chamber hosts an annual Open Air Antique Fair here on the fourth Sunday in August with nearly 100 vendor booths. The “Liberty Plaza” is located on the former grounds of the 1921 Liberty Theatre, one of Oregon City’s first movie houses. Liberty Plaza, next to the Clackamas County Courthouse, features a stage and sound system for performances, a stone fountain, historic markers, and colored tile design work depicting a river mosaic connecting the stage and fountain.
The Oregon City Train Station (ORC) began passenger service in 2004. The train station platform is located at 1757 Washington Street. The Oregon City stop is an addition to Amtrak’s Cascade train service which links Seattle, Tacoma and several smaller Washington cities to Portland, Salem, Albany and Eugene. Transportation services have evolved in Oregon City, too. In 2008, Oregon City was one of the first Oregon municipalities to fund and install an electric car charging station at no charge to the auto owner.
Rich history, natural beauty, and a progressive community have found
a home in Oregon City. It is the blend of old and new that makes
Oregon City such a vibrant place to live, work, and play.