Park Heritage Notes–Willamette Stone (2010)
One of Oregon’s smallest state parks preserves a landmark that influenced the settlement of two states
Willamette Stone State Heritage Site covers only 1.54 acres four miles west of downtown Portland. However, a marker within the site identifies the spot where Oregon’s first surveyor general, John B. Preston, drove a stake on June 4, 1851 establishing the starting point for all land surveys in Oregon and Washington. Known as the “initial point” or origin of the Willamette Meridian, it is the point from which all lands in the public domain in the two states were divided into townships and ranges.
Transfers of land from the federal government to private land ownership were based on the federally sponsored surveys originating from this initial point. A short trail leads from the parking area to the marker.