“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Near Oregon City in Clackamas County, Oregon — The American West (Northwest)

Grinding Rock

Grinding Rock Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 25, 2017
1. Grinding Rock Marker
Inscription.  Native Americans are understood to have used this large rock for grinding acorns, nuts, or grains, and preparing other foods. The several holes are evidence of long term use. This rock may have been close to Native American encampments located near the mouth of nearby Clear Creek. Abundant salmon runs congregated at the month of the creek and would have been an attractive source of food. Fall encampment is also harvest time for the acorns and other grains of the Willamette Valley and would have been ground to flour in these holes during this time. No other evidence of Native habitation have been discovered on this Historic site.
Once harvested, the acorns were dried in the open air. Women then pounded the acorns into meal from which they would make soup or mush, often using a rock like this one displayed. Natives differ on the use of the name "grinding rock.' Some prefer to call such rocks "pounding rocks," since acorns were really pounded into meal rather than ground. Others call them "bedrock mortars," because the rocks served as a mortar agains which women pounded the dried acorns using a stone pestle. This process left holes in the
Grinding Rock image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 25, 2017
2. Grinding Rock
rock over many generations of use.
Winding down close by from this stone was the trail to the river that was eventually developed into the wagon road leading to Horace Baker's slack-line ferry. Evidence of the wagon road extends along the hillside just inside the tree line from the shed to the Pioneer Church.
Passing the Grinding Rock, a branch trail now leads to the restaurant and up to the cliff face. On the way, there are several remains of quarried rocks showing evidence of drilling and cleaving.
Erected by Baker Cabin Historical Society.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Native Americans.
Location. 45° 23.419′ N, 122° 29.803′ W. Marker is near Oregon City, Oregon, in Clackamas County. Marker is on South Gronlund Road near Carver Road. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1800 South Gronlund Road, Oregon City OR 97045, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Area Commerce (a few steps from this marker); The Baker Family (within shouting distance of this marker); The Baker Cabin Overview (within shouting distance of this marker); The Baker Cabin (within shouting distance of this marker); Baker Site (about 300 feet
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away, measured in a direct line); Baker Cabin Pioneer Church (about 500 feet away); Baker Cabin Historical Society (about 500 feet away); Willamette Falls, circa 1880 (approx. 5.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Oregon City.
More about this marker. This marker is located on the grounds of Baker Cabin Historical Site behind the Baker Cabin near the shed.
Credits. This page was last revised on February 20, 2018. It was originally submitted on February 20, 2018, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 174 times since then and 26 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on February 20, 2018, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.
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Aug. 13, 2020