Tuesday, February 24, 2009

End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center - Oregon City

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The End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center was built to resemble a wagon train. Long ago, there actually was a gigantic awning over the museum. Not sure why, probably budgetary reasons, but it was removed and just the metal braces have been left.

You can still tell that the museum was intended to look like a wagon train though.



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Flags of all the states the pioneers had to go through to get to Oregon.

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Can you see what's written on the steps?

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Names of all the stops along the way. You'd probably recognize them more as stops where you shoot for game, trade goods, caulked and forded the river, or died of dysentry if you played the Oregon Trail game as a kid. :P

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The "Oregon Boot," used in the late 1800s to prevent criminals from escaping. What's missing from the photo is an 18-pound weight, which was fitted around the ankle. The lock could not be picked, nor could a torch or sledgehammer break it apart. No one ever escaped while wearing it.

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For nineteenth-century pioneer wives, laundry was an all-day chore. Stoke fire, draw water from well, heat large tub of water on stove, sort laundry by color, boil clothes with soap, use stick to transfer clothes from boiler to wash tub, rub on washboard, move clothes to water again to rinse, wring, water rinse, wring again, starch, hang dry. Phew? Because after the washing was done, ironing was another all-day chore.

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This buggy and the trunk came together across the Oregon Trail. The quilt, an Oregon Rose pattern, was made by great-grandma Lockwood in 1842.

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A corn husk doll and some other artifacts.

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Between 1844 to 1859, several exclusion laws were passed to prevent blacks from settling in Oregon.

In 1849, Dr. William Allen and his family signed onto a wagon train that did not allow blacks. He had freed his slave, Rose Jackson, before they were to leave, but she did not want to stay behind. So he built a box for her to hide inside during their journey west. At night, she got out to stretch, but otherwise spent the long, grueling trip crouched inside a box. :( (Not this box. This box was just a replica of what they estimated the dimensions of it must have been.)

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The first winter in Oregon, Rose worked as a laundress and made as much as $12 a day, while Mrs. Allen worked as a seamstress and made $2.50. Rose shared her earnings with the family and stayed with them until she married.

Since glass was expensive, one alternative to allow light into homes was to use leather instead.

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After exploring the exhibits in the first section of the "wagon train," I went outdoors to explore the next.

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Nineteenth-century "medicine."

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Cocaine toothache drops?! That'll make the pain go away for sure! ;)

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A cure for "female weakness"?! I won't even go there.

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Very hands-on museum for kids. Imagine you're setting off on the Oregon Trail, what can you fit into the wagon? And remember to unpack and put the items back where they belong when you're done. :)

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Go on! Grind your own wheat.

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An outdoor theatre.

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The 1,930 mile journey on the Oregon Trail began in Independence, Missouri and ended right here at this spot in Oregon City. The museum was built on Abernathy Green, where Native Americans had fished at the nearby Willamette River for 3,000 years, and where George Abernathy arrived on June 2, 1840. He took 640 acres just north of Oregon City to the Willamette River. Later pioneers would stop off or winter over at Abernathy's house, scout out what land they wanted in the fertile Willamette Valley, and file a claim at the Government Land Office.

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From this point, the museum exhibits move outdoors. Can you tell what the vines are?

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How about now?

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They're hops. As in, for making beer.

Gardening and compost plots. I find it amusing that this historic piece of land was just on an ordinary street with traffic lights and passing cars in the background.

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And we'll end the tour here, with the Oregon grape with very withered berries. It's Oregon's state flower! Holly-like leaves, but flatter.

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But my day wasn't done. After paying $7 for admission, the cashier told me my ticket was also good for free admission to the Stevens-Crawford Heritage House and Museum of the Oregon Territory. Even though the ticket didn't expire for three months, I couldn't pass up the chance to go to three museums in one day!

Sadly, The End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center museum had to temporarily close its doors because of financial difficulties on September 9, 2009. The garden and outside exhibits (mainly signs with information on significant pioneers) are still open, but inside exhibits are closed for the time being. :(

All Oregon posts can be found in the tag, Series: Oregon. I suggest reading this particular trip in this order:
I-5 From LA to Portland
Mom and Dad's Garden
Burgerville - Portland - Oregon
Hakatamon - Beaverton - Oregon
I Think I'll Go For a Walk Outside Now...
Vista Point - Oregon City
End of Oregon Trail Interpretive Center - Oregon City
Stevens-Crawford Heritage House - Oregon City
Museum of the Oregon Territory - Oregon City
Mom's Banh Xeo (Vietnamese Sizzling Crepes)
Blackberry Cobbler
Bonneville Lock and Dam - Cascade Locks - Oregon
Bonneville Hatchery - Cascade Locks - Oregon
Multnomah Falls - Columbia River Gorge - Oregon
Horsetail Falls - Columbia River Gorge - Oregon
Wahkeena Falls - Columbia River Gorge - Oregon
Bridal Veil Falls - Columbia River Gorge - Oregon
Historic Columbia River Highway - Columbia River Gorge - Oregon
Latourell Falls - Columbia River Gorge - Oregon
Crown Point Vista House - Columbia River Gorge - Oregon
Banh Cuon Tan Dinh - Portland - Oregon (Closed)
Downtown Portland - Oregon
Lan Su Chinese Garden (Portland Classical Chinese Garden) - Portland - Oregon
Powell's City of Books - Portland - Oregon
Mom's Geoduck, Dynamite-Style and Chao Oc (Vietnamese Rice Porridge with Clams)

How to Prepare Geoduck and Razor Clams
Geoduck, Japanese Dynamite-style
Chao Oc (Vietnamese Rice Porridge with Clams)
Le Bistro Montage - Portland - Oregon
Kenny and Zuke's Delicatessen - Portland - Oregon

The End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center
1726 Washington St.
Oregon City, OR 97045
503-657-9336

*****
1 year ago today, Purple Aloo Gobi (Indian Potatoes and Cauliflower).
2 years ago today, dim sum at Dragon Phoenix Palace Chinese Seafood Restaurant (Long Phung Lau) - Westminster.

3 comments:

  1. I'm enjoying being with you on what is both your trip down your own memory lane and that of Oregon city. Very cool!
    ~ Oanh

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for sharing, now I know Oregon city better.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oanh,
    Mostly it was because prior to this trip, I hadn't been home in nearly 2 years so I was feeling particularly homesick. I went three times last year!

    Sonia,
    You're welcome.

    ReplyDelete

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