Historical Resources

This is a forum for trip reports that pre-date the Portland Hikers forum, trail photos from pre-digital era, or any other discussions that focus on trail history.
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idoru
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Historical Resources

Post by idoru » November 28th, 2023, 3:44 pm

I've been doing a ton of digging through trip reports here over the last year or two, and in that time I've come across a lot of informative, high-quality posts about the history of different areas thanks to some very knowledgeable members (Don Nelson and his encyclopedic knowledge of the Gorge come to mind as one example). My historical knowledge of the area is definitely lacking - I grew up on Puget Sound so I've got a very generalized knowledge of WA tribes, how the area was settled, etc., but beyond that never cared much for history during my youth.

However, the more that I get out into the backcountry (and the more that I read threads like this), the more I feel a desire to understand the history of areas I'm venturing out into. It seems like there's a more vibrant history to places than I would've expected, and I'd like to soak that up.

So, hit me, I guess, with your recommendations for historical reading material related to the Gorge, Hood, Wallowas, Sisters, early Oregon history, etc.

Thanks! :)

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retired jerry
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Re: Historical Resources

Post by retired jerry » November 28th, 2023, 3:53 pm

The Deschutes River is interesting. There are some information boards at the state park next to the Columbia with interesting history.

The Oregon Trail crossed the Deschutes right at the state park.

There were two competing railroads built on both sides of the Deschutes. They blew each other up with dynamite... Now, you can backpack up on the east side on the old railroad grade. There's an active railroad on the other side...

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bobcat
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Location: SW Portland

Re: Historical Resources

Post by bobcat » December 1st, 2023, 8:54 am

Somewhat randomly, here are some resources:

There are a couple of old trail guides, if you can find copies, that are loaded with historical information:

* A Guide to the Trails of Badger Creek by Ken & Ruth Love (written before the establishment of the Badger Creek Wilderness)

* Indian Heaven Backcountry by Mel Hansen: all the old sheep trails and history in Indian Heaven

* Hiking Oregon's History by William L. Sullivan

* The old Don and Roberta Lowe guidebooks also have some historical information for many trails

Also Trail Advocates has collected a bunch of historical information for the Clackamas: Historical Items.

The Columbia River: A Photographic Journey is a great site that follows Lewis & Clark on their trip but also details subsequent history for sites along the river.

justpeachy
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Re: Historical Resources

Post by justpeachy » December 12th, 2023, 8:40 am

Here are some book suggestions:

The U.S. Forest Service in the Pacific Northwest: A History, by Gerald W. Williams

Mount Hood: A Complete History, by Jack Grauer

Lonely on the Mountain, by George M. Henderson

McNeil's Mount Hood, by Fred McNeitl

On Mount Hood: A Biography of Oregon's Perilous Peak, by Jon Bell

The Columbia River Highway: From the Sea to the Wheatfields of Eastern Oregon, by Clarence E. Mershon

Building the Columbia River Highway: They Said It Couldn't Be Done, by Peg Willis

Mount Hood National Forest, by Cheryl Hill

Oregon's Fire Lookouts, by Cheryl Hill

Fire Lookouts of the Northwest, by Ray Kresek

Deschutes National Forest, by Les Joslin

Three Sisters Wilderness: A History, by Les Joslin

Oregon's Sisters Country: A Portrait of its Lands, Waters, and People, by Raymond R. Hatton

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idoru
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Re: Historical Resources

Post by idoru » December 13th, 2023, 1:56 pm

Thank you all for your suggestions, I really appreciate it and can't wait to dive into all of this! :)

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