The City of Oregon City
Wondering “What is it like in Oregon City?” There are generally a few major things that make a place wonderful: climate, the lay of the land (mountains, trees, rivers, ocean) and people. Although the climate in Oregon City is usually typical for the Pacific Northwest with more rain than snow in the winters and stunning summers, the lay of the land here is atypical because of our incredible Willamette Falls and four officially designated heritage trees (all on private property.) The weather here has been interesting with a few examples of recent extreme occurrences. With a major ice storm in February of 2021 followed by a major heat event that same summer, who knows what the future holds!
Three of the four Heritage Trees are over 134 years old. The oldest is a 250 year old Oregon White or Garry Oak tree at the location of Dr. Clyde Mount’s historic house on 916 Center Street, Oregon City OR 97045. The home was built in 1932 by Dr. Mount, a dentist who graduated from the University of Oregon. He was one of a team of brothers who owned and operated the Oregon City Hospital. Do you have a tree on your Oregon City property that you would like to see considered for designation as a Heritage Tree because of its age, species, natural resource value or ecological or historical association? You can find a nomination form on the city’s website by clicking here. The William L. Holmes House, also known as Rose Farm, was built in 1848 by William and Louisa Holmes in Oregon City. It was nicknamed the “Rose Farm” by friends and neighbors because of the many roses Louisa planted in the garden. Visit the home by clicking on the website for hours.
We have a local hospital named after our lovely Willamette Falls- they are working on an expansion called the Carol Danielson Suzuki Cancer Center, created by more than $3 million in philanthropic donations. The new 32,000-sq ft center should be complete by the end of 2022, and will bring world-class cancer care close to home.
The falls itself is impressive; 1,500 feet wide and 40 feet high. It is the largest waterfall in the Pacific Northwest by volume and the seventeenth widest in the world. There is a massive effort underway to rediscover the falls with a project called Willamette Falls Legacy Project. The website for this project is comprehensive and wonderfully done! I urge you to visit the link I shared above. We look forward to more opportunities to connect physically and emotionally with the beautiful falls and our Willamette River. The integrated connection with downtown will spur tourism and economic development.
You can see here how the neighborhoods are associated with the land and river. Thinking of a biking or walking tour? See a walk/bike map of Oregon City here. Interested in a GUIDED WALKING tour? We have that here. Interested in a GUIDED BIKE tour? We have that here. Interested in historic Oregon City or genealogy? The End of the Oregon Trail Center is developing a genealogy research center. With the cost of standard admission, you can access ancestry.com and other online resources through the genealogy computer in the third wagon of the exhibit. The journey of the Oregon Trail is an incredible event in the lives of real people. If you have a family story about the Oregon Trail, share it with them at HistoricOregonCity.org so they can include it in their digital collection and exhibit.
The people of Oregon City make it a delight. With so many entrepreneurs and opportunities for growth here, the sky is the limit. Did you know that Benchmark Knives has its 144,000 sq. ft manufacturing facility and corporate headquarters here? Read inspiring stories about the people of Oregon City in my BLOG. You can get a wonderful sense of the citizens’ connection to the land by visiting the Oregon City Farmers Market. Equally important as the “grown-ups” are our children! Our high school ranks within the top 20 in the state and even has an equestrian team, something you don’t find everywhere, which is just part of a larger robust sports program.
Here is some information on Oregon City schools:
- Oregon City public schools – Ocsd62.org
- Marylhurst K-8 private school – Themarylhurstschool.org
- Spring Water K-8– An Environmental Sciences Charter School – Springwater
- North Clackamas Christian School – NCchristianschool.com
- Oregon City Service Learning Academy HS – a charter school – OCSLA.org
- Alliance Charter Academy HS – AllianceAcademy
- Clackamas Academy of Industrial Science – caisoc.com
- Clackamas Community College – Clackamas.edu
Interested in the ARTS?
- Abernathy Center for Performing Arts – Apadancetheter
- Instruments Ballet Academy – Instruments
- Krayon Kids Musical Theater Company – KrayonKids.org
- Park Place Music Academy – Parkplaceacademy.com
- Acting Classes: Clackamas Reparatory Theater
- Private Music Teachers:
There are many options also in West Linn and further away – this website focuses on supporting options in Oregon City.
You will also find shopping, kayaking and canoeing, a movie theater, concerts in the park, breweries, wineries, a distillery and splash pads in the summer. View these by clicking on the other tabs under “Community” above!
Built in 1845, the Francis Ermatinger House is one of the oldest structures in Oregon. Rumor has it, the understated, federal-style residence is where Asa Lovejoy and Francis Pettygrove, two influential businessmen, flipped a coin to decide the name of Portland. “Heads” and we name it Boston, “Tales” and we name it Portland. In 1910 the house was moved from its original location on McLoughlin Blvd to 619 6th St, Oregon City, OR 97045. In 1977, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Finally, in 2015, it was rehabilitated … read about the project here.
We are delighted that the Grand Ronde tribe reclaimed Willamette Falls, and work began to tear down the old Blue Heron Paper Mill. Located on the Willamette River downtown, the falls have been one of Oregon’s least-accessible natural wonders, with public access blocked by the paper mill that shut down in 2011. In 2019, the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde purchased the land to transform the site into a community center where people can enjoy a river walk, dine at a restaurant, stay the night or attend an event. The site has space for up to 300,000 sq ft. of new buildings and would be a natural extension of downtown Oregon City into the newly developed area. Illustration credit: Willamette Falls Legacy Project
Along with this project, comes much welcomed Main Street improvements including two vehicle lanes, two bike lanes, sidewalks, crosswalks, trees, street lighting and a roundabout with landscaping all enhancing the ambiance and the walkability of Oregon City. Improving walkability means that this new community was created encouraging pedestrian activity for people of all ages and abilities. Why is this important to build areas like this?
Oregon City offers so much variety in Real Estate. Choose from a home with a riverfront view on Clackamas River Drive, a home with enough land for horses or a Christmas tree farm, or a home snuggled into a historic neighborhood. Oregon City has newer neighborhoods like Meriwether with less lawn to worry about and larger estates, with private gates. The average sales price of homes grew 19.6% from March 2021 to March 2022 with an average price of $592,800. Kristina Browning, the Oregon City Realtor is your best bet for starting your real estate process. Give her a call to get the lay of the land and set a timeline up for your purchase or sale. The average time for a home sale from beginning to end as of March 2022 is 34 days so it’s important to set up realistic expectations and proper representation. Kristina:
- is a Masters Circle Realtor
- has a Seller Representative Specialist designation
- is the Vice-Chair of the Caufield Neighborhood Association
- Volunteers at The Marylhurst School
- is a Mom to a boy named Blue
Realtor, 503 Properties