Oregon's History Near You
You don't have to visit the capital to read the stories of citizens who made a difference. There are dozens of heritage sites near you. Some are state parks, and can be visited year round. Others are run privately, and may be found in the Oregon historical registry.
Oregon's Nine Tribes
Oregon has nine federally recognized tribes. These tribes have sovereignty. Their history with the land we call Oregon dates back to time immemorial. To learn more about these indigenous Americans, and the areas they call home, explore the Burns Paiute Tribe; Coquille Indian Tribe; Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation; Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua & Siuslaw; Klamath Tribes; Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde; Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation; Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians; and the Confederated Tribes of the Siletz.
Eastern Oregon doesn't look very different from when emigrants first set eyes on its majestic mountains, expansive high desert and powerful rivers when journeying along the Oregon Trail. Discover that history at the
National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Experience near Baker City. At the
Kam Wah Chung State Heritage site in John Day, learn about the history of Chinese workers in the state. In Joseph, the
Maxville Heritage Interpretive Center tells the unusual story of the multicultural logging community of Maxville.
Central and Southern Oregon
Central Oregon is known for its dry climate, adventure activities, and the beauty of Crater Lake north of Klamath Falls. Take the time, though, to study Central Oregon's past at the
Museum at Warm Springs, which houses tribal treasures of the Wasco, Warm Springs and Paiute tribes.
Southern Oregon has a rich timber and mining history and is home to the Siskiyou Mountains, the most ancient in the state. Combine a historical tour with an overnight stay at the
Wolf Creek Inn, the oldest continuous use hotel in the state. Or find out more about the region's unique settlement and gold discoveries at the
Applegate Trail Interpretive Center in Sunny Valley.
Portland and the Willamette Valley
Oregon's largest city also contains its premier historical museum. The
Oregon Historical Society in Portland has preserved a vast collection of artifacts, photos, films, manuscripts and oral histories. Other popular historical sites include the
Pittock Mansion in Portland's west hills, the
Lan Su Chinese Garden in Chinatown, the Japanese Garden in Washington Park, and the
Oregon Rail Heritage Center in southeast Portland.
Just outside of Portland,
The End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center commemorates the arrival point of Oregon's pioneers in Oregon City.
In the Willamette Valley, explore one of the region's natural wonders at
Silver Falls State Park east of Salem. Visit the site where Oregon's first provisional government was formed at
Champoeg State Heritage Area near Newberg, or explore the history of farming at
Thompson's Mills State Heritage Site southeast of Corvallis, in the heart of the Willamette Valley.
The Oregon Coast
Shipping is deeply embedded in the history of the Oregon coast. In Astoria, learn about the history of the coast's most treacherous river bar at the
Columbia River Maritime Museum, and be sure to visit one of Oregon's lighthouses at
Heceta Head, or
Yaquina Bay. Discover more about the early explorers at
Lewis & Clark National Historic Park, and Fort Clatsop, where the Lewis and Clark expedition spent the winter before their return journey.
History at Home
Oregon Encyclopedia is an expansive journey through Oregon's past. Read stories about
Abigail Scott Duniway, the "Mother of Equal Suffrage,"
the history of Blacks in Oregon, and the legacy of Oregon's American Indian tribes and bands.
Explore More Heritage Destinations