“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Cottage Grove in Lane County, Oregon — The American West (Northwest)

The Changing Trail to Oregon

The Changing Trail to Oregon Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, September 22, 2017
1. The Changing Trail to Oregon Marker
Inscription.  The trail to Oregon was never a single set of wagon ruts etched from Missouri to the Willamette Valley. Wagons often traveled abreast through valleys and plains sometimes widening the trail several miles. In the mountains they constantly attempted shortcuts and looked for easier grades. Still, the development of two separate travel route in Lane County was a special case.
The western route through this region - an ancient Kalapuya Indian trace and a Hudson's Bay Company "trapper's trail" through the 1840s - crossed into the headwaters of the Siuslaw River and wended north to the Long Tom. An eastern route, blazed in 1846, followed the ridges from Scott Valley northeast entering the upper Willamette Valley east of Divide. By 1855 a middle route - outlined generally by today's Highway 99 and Interstate 5 - came north via Pass Creek to the Coast Fork of the Willamette, passing through Cottage Grove, Creswell, Eugene and Junction City.
Many of the travel routes traversed by Indian, trappers and emigrants remain the same today.

...there being no wagon road across the mountains and falling in with several other wagons we
The Changing Trail to Oregon Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, September 22, 2017
2. The Changing Trail to Oregon Marker
The marker is on the left.
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left them at the foot of the mountain and all hands went to work to cut the road across, our old friend Mr. Scot(t) the pilot yet remaining and working like a good fellow, it was several days before we got to the summit but when we got the road opened up to it we returned and got out wagons and brought them to the summit then took our cattle down into the Willamette valley and now for the first time I placed my foot on the soil for which I had been so long traveling...
-- Rev. A.E. Garrison, Recollection of 1846
Erected by Applegate Trail Coalition.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Roads & Vehicles. In addition, it is included in the Applegate Trail series list.
Location. 43° 47.855′ N, 123° 3.887′ W. Marker is in Cottage Grove, Oregon, in Lane County. Marker is on North River Road near West Main Street, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 19, Cottage Grove OR 97424, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 14 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Crossing the Calapooya Mountains (here, next to this marker); The Applegate Trail - Southern Route to Oregon (here, next to this marker); A Trail by Any Other Name (here, next to this marker); River Road (here, next to
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this marker); The Centennial Bridge (within shouting distance of this marker); Cottage Grove Historical Museum (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Elijah Bristow (approx. 13.4 miles away); Bristow Monument (approx. 13.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Cottage Grove.
More about this marker. This marker is located in Veterans Park.
Credits. This page was last revised on January 18, 2018. It was originally submitted on January 18, 2018, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 138 times since then and 25 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on January 18, 2018, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.

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Sep. 26, 2022