About Oregon City
Deemed the “End of the Oregon Trail,” Oregon City was the final stop for thousands of pioneers who survived the dangers of the trail over the Rocky Mountains. Established by the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1829, this ideal place for fishing became the first U.S. city west of the Rocky Mountains to incorporate.
Two distinct sections define Oregon City. Aptly named, the “Hilltop” is on a high bluff overlooking the Willamette River. The lower portion, simply known as “Downtown” is beside the river. As you can imagine, traveling between the two sections proved a challenge in the 1800s. To solve this dilemma, Oregon City constructed The Oregon City Municipal Elevator in 1915. Known as the first and only “Vertical Street” in North America, the elevator was reconstructed in 1955 out of more formidable materials to ensure safety and longevity. The 89-foot ride takes about 15 seconds. There are only three other municipal elevators worldwide.
Situated where the Willamette and Clackamas rivers converge, Oregon City is a prime setting for a paper mill. The Willamette Falls waterfall supplies hydraulic power to the mills and even exports electricity to the Portland area.
Companies of note include Benchmade, a manufacturer of high-end cutlery, and Chrome Systems Corporation (formerly Chrome Data) was founded here, but has since relocated to nearby Portland. Medrisk, LLC, a major insurance brokerage, is also headquartered here. And in 2006 Anderson Vending Inc. chose Oregon City as its new headquarters.
Home to the third most populated high school in Oregon, Oregon City High School is a force to be reckoned with in girls’ basketball, winning several USA Today girls’ national championships in the 1990s. Oregon City has also been a home to Grammy Nominated singer/songwriter Meredith Brooks.
Replete with historic museums, including the End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center (you can see the covered wagon from I-5), a full-service community college, newly constructed homes and dazzling views of Mt. Hood, over 22 parks, and the aforementioned falls and rivers(all just a short drive from Portland), make Oregon City a top contender for an elite lifestyle.