Oregon: Other Historic Sites

A list of important historic sites in Oregon.

Bonneville Dam Historic District

Location: Columbia River, Bonneville, Multnomah County (also in Washington)

Relevant issues: Science and technology

Statement of significance: Built in the 1930’s by the federal government to raise and divert the Columbia River to generate hydroelectric power, the dam represented a unique engineering challenge for a diversion/overflow dam; it was the first major structure built with a “hydraulic drop” capable of developing more than 500,000 kilowatts of electric power. Other structures in the district are the No. 1 Powerhouse, the Navigation Lock, the Fishways, and the Fish Hachery.

Jacksonville Historic District

Location: Jacksonville, Jackson County

Relevant issues: Western expansion

Statement of significance: Founded as a mining town in 1852, Jacksonville is a mid-nineteenth century inland commercial town significant for its magnificent group of surviving unaltered commercial and residential buildings. The town was the principal financial center of southern Oregon until it was bypassed by the railroad.

Lightship Wal-604 “Columbia”

Location: Astoria, Clatsop County

Relevant issues: Naval history

Statement of significance: The 1950 Lightship Wal-604 (Columbia), along with its sister Wal-605, is the best representative of the last class of lightships built under the auspices of the U.S. Coast Guard. Although these vessels closely resembled earlier lightships in external appearance, they were a distinct departure in terms of the rest of their construction. Of the lightships built after 1939, Wal-604 retains the best integrity and is associated with the nationally significant station off the Columbia River Bar. It was retired in 1979 as the last Columbia station lightship, as well as the last on the Pacific Coast.

Sunken Village Archaeological Site

Location: Portland, Multnomah County

Relevant issues: American Indian history

Statement of significance: Sunken Village is the archaeological remains of a Chinook settlement (1250-1750 c.e.) which is extraordinarily well preserved. The Chinooks who lived there were a cosmopolitan people and practiced a successful, complex hunter-gatherer economy that permitted densely occupied villages and extensive trade relations.

Wallowa Lake Site

Location: Joseph, Wallowa County

Relevant issues: American Indian history

Statement of significance: This site, commanding an excellent view of a high, glaciated lake and mountain country, preserves a traditional Nez Perce ancestral campground associated with religious and cultural values that have persisted for more than the century that has elapsed since the band of nontreaty Nez Perce led by Young Chief Joseph was driven out.