Clackamas County to celebrate 175th anniversary
Clackamas County is going to be 175 years old and has plans for an 11 a.m. celebration on Oct. 25.
The Clackamas District was created in 1843 by the state's provisional legislature along with Champooick, later named Marion, Twality, later named Washington and Yamhill, which now are counties.
The hour-long event will include a time capsule that will be buried later that day on the grounds of the Red Soils Campus. Part of the ceremony will include a description of the items inside the capsule that will be buried for 50 years. The capsule will be lowered at 2 p.m. just outside the Public Services Building where the Hearing Room in located.
The ceremony will include all living former Clackamas County Commissioners, who will be introduced and recognized for their work. Patrick Harris, executive director for the Aurora Colony Historical Society relating the history of the county. Re-enactor Doug Neeley, former Oregon City mayor, will give a talk as John McLoughlin.
McLoughlin was born in 1784 in Quebec Canada. He became a doctor in 1803 and fled Quebec after a scuffle with a British Army officer. In 1824, after rising through the ranks of the North West Company and Hudson's Bay Company, he moved his family to Fort Vancouver just north of Portland.
When the Oregon Trail opened in the 1840s bringing in a flood of Americans to the Northwest, McLoughlin assisted the hungry, tired travelers, but his actions weren't approved by the Hudson Bay Company. He retired in 1846 and moved to Oregon City at the same time the U.S. and Britain agreed to extend the American northern border at the 49th parallel to the Pacific Ocean. Eventually he opened several businesses, but the U.S. treated him as a foreigner and took over most of his substantial holdings and businesses. However, he remained a successful businessman.
McLoughlin was one of the first to recognize Oregon's natural resources and began diversifying Hudson Bay Company's operations launching what would become the state's large scale agricultural, lumber and salmon export industries In addition, he established new posts in west central Oregon and empowered fur trapping south of the Columbia River. In 1851 he became a U.S. citizen and served briefly as Oregon City's mayor and helped provision relief efforts in 1847.
American sentiment changed after McLoughlin died in 1857 with settlers spreading support for him. He's been remembered through schools, streets, businesses and even geographic features named for him. That includes Mount McLoughlin, a southern snow-capped volcano.