Immerse yourself in the rich history of the Willamette Falls Heritage Area.
Our Heritage Area includes the many linkages between the upriver and downriver heritage sites that augmented the settlement story of Oregon. The story in the Willamette Valley includes places where Native Americans lived, fished and traded and where the first settlers (French-Canadians) claimed lands and built communities. The boundary incorporates the earliest political, cultural and commercial sites of the Oregon Country and U.S. Territory, the original pioneer settlements, and locations where key decisions were made that eventually brought Oregon into the United States.
Many different communities of people contributed to the rich cultural landscape of the heritage area. Although the forced removal of the Native Americans in 1856 is indeed tragic, their survival and influence throughout the region enriches our cultural heritage. From enhancement of salmon and Pacific lamprey habitat to preservation of traditional skills and artistic endeavors, the tribal communities continue to build upon their centuries of experience in this place. The heritage area is dedicated to supporting their efforts.
The History of Willamette Falls
Present Native tribes and bands live along Willamette River and near Willamette Falls 1806. Lewis & Clark Expedition hears about Willamette Falls.
Dr. John McLoughlin’s long tenure as Chief Factor for Hudson’s Bay Company begins.
Provisional Government established; first Constitution ratified.
Iron Smelting begins in Oswego's Iron Furnace.
Willamette Falls Navigation Canal & Locks Open for business.
First long distance transmission of electricity in the world.
Station B, now T.W. Sullivan electric power plant.
Willamette Falls State Heritage Area Established.