In the early 19th century, Oregon City was the big city. Located on the Willamette River which was navigable to this point, Oregon City was the territorial capital of Oregon from 1844 to 1853. It was also the end of the Oregon Trail. Pioneers traveled to Oregon in the 1840's, drawn by the promise of free land and the fertile Willamette Valley.
End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center - Step back into the 1840's, where kids can try on pioneer bonnets and skirts or shirts and pants, grind wheat for flour, pack a covered wagon with flour, salt and sugar, sit in an outhouse, play with old-fashioned wooden toys and games, get a land certificate, sit on benches to read a McGuffey's reader or practice writing. A 30 min. movie, Bound for Oregon, is a good introduction to life on the Oregon Trail. Take the scavenger hunt to look for a prairie schooner, Dutch oven, butter churn, wagon wheel and washtub. Outside, wander through the Heritage Garden, check out the official "End of the Trail" markers, watch demonstrations of log splitting and cabin building. There are picnic tables under the trees, bring your lunch.
Baker Cabin (Carver) - To continue your explorations of the Oregon Trail, head east on Clackamas River Dr. to Carver (this is about 8 miles). Visit the hand-hewn log cabin of Horace and Jane Baker. The Bakers came west on the Oregon Trail in 1846, claimed their land and settled here. The cabin, built in 1856, is constructed without nails, inside is a huge stone fireplace for cooking, outside a well and pump for water. The grounds are open year round.
Philip Foster Farm (Eagle Creek) -The Foster Farm was a stopping off point for pioneers at the end of their journey on the Oregon Trail. Philip Foster operated a store on the farm, had meals and rented cabins to immigrants. Today, see a complete replica of his store (fully stocked), hand-hewn log cabin, barn and farmhouse, vegetable garden and pumpkin patch. You can wander around the farm year round, dawn to dusk. To see inside the farm buildings, they are open June to September. There are also annual events, such as barn dances, a "cider squeeze," and Christmas celebrations.