Take a history stroll through an Oregon heritage park (2012)
Oregon’s state parks protect some of the state’s most significant heritage sites and contain important historical treasures. May is Historic Preservation Month, and it’s a great time to plan a visit.
Some heritage is outdoors, some indoors; some are large objects while others are just a piece of paper; some may be original, some may be accurate replicas. The choice of what to visit is yours.
May was also the month in 1843 when more than 100 men gathered at Champoeg and decided by a small majority that they wanted the area now known as Oregon to become a part of the United States. At Champoeg State Heritage Area, you can visit a monument at the site where they made their decision, and see objects and stories related to that day in the interpretive center.
Oregon history is expansive. Thompson’s Mills State Heritage Area a great place to explore our industrial history. Tours show how grain was turned into flour, and marvel at the ingenuity of early Oregon residents.
Oregon’s industrial heritage is also on display at Collier Memorial State Park where dozens of pieces of logging equipment, both large and small, are on display and occasionally operated. You can dig into the state’s mining heritage at Sumpter Valley Dredge State Heritage Area.
Historic inns at Wolf Creek and Frenchglen show how travelers lived in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The Pete French Round Barn, Iwetemlaykin State Heritage Area and Kam Wah Chung State Heritage Site show the diverse heritage of eastern Oregon.
You can time your May visit to any of these parks with local heritage events. Some of these are listed on a heritage events calendar maintained by Oregon Heritage, the OPRD staff who provides technical support and services to people and organizations documenting, preserving, interpreting and sharing Oregon’s heritage.