Living Beaverton - Your guide to everything Beaverton


The Oregon City Municipal Elevator and Promenade

Oregon City, Oregon has a few amazing facts about it. Many people consider it to be the end of the Oregon Trail. Many people set out west via wagon trains trying to get a fresh start at the time of the gold rush. Now another cool fact about Oregon City is that it is the oldest incorporated city west of the Mississippi.

Oregon City Elevator

Now, what I like about Oregon City is there are really two parts to it. The lower part, really known as old town, where most of the businesses are, and then the upper part of Oregon City, where most houses were built in the mid 1800 and the early 1900s, I'm guessing to keep them from flooding when the river rose.

But, there needed to be a way for pedestrians to get from the upper level to the lower level. In the mid 1860s stairs were installed and in 1915 an elevator opened to the public that was water powered and was a 3 minute ride from top to bottom. In 1924 it was converted to electric and made the 3 minute ride a fast 30 second ride.

In 1955, the elevator was rebuilt and is still in use today and has an operator. Around the elevator you will get to see some amazing pictures to show you just some of the changes over the past 100+ years.

So what is so unique about this elevator? It is one of only four municipal elevators in the world. During the busy tourist season it can have up to 1300 riders a day! This free elevator has a very nice operator and if you ask quickly during the 30 second ride, they will answer questions for you.  

Now, if you have kids like mine, who love elevator rides, you have to immediately head back up which gives you another 30 seconds to ask some more questions. But, once you get to the top, and head out of what is called the space saucer, and head to the right you can take the promenade and see some of the historic homes along the trail. Here are some pictures below of some of those beautiful homes along the trail.


Click here if you can't see the pictures.

Now at the end of the promenade you can cross over Highway 99 and go out on the observation deck and look out over the Willamette River Falls. Below you can see the panoramic photo I took from the foot bridge above Highway 99, and at the left of the photo you can see the observation deck.

Willamette Falls (Oregon City)

This is fairly short walk, but it really is a walk down memory lane, so come to the original capital of Oregon, visit the end of the Oregon Trail, and see the beauty of Oregon City from the Elevator tower or anywhere along the promenade.



Respect Realty LLC (Expect More)


At Respect Realty, LLC our agents believe in 100% dedication to client satisfaction.  We specialize in property and land acquisition around the Portland Metro and Vancouver, WA area. We delight in working with first time home buyers and sellers to guide them from start to finish. Our doors are always open and we are always happy to assist you with your real estate questions.


Reach out today, we look forward to talking with you!


Todd Clark and Seraina Aguayo (Owners of Respect Realty)

Respect Realty LLC (Expect More)



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Comment balloon 3 commentsRespect Realty LLC • August 27 2008 11:41PM



I really like the rotating pictures. The homes are gorgeous. They definitely caught my attention.


Posted by Christine Donovan, Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M (Donovan Blatt Realty) over 10 years ago

Wow!  Latourette seems to have as many houses as John McCain.  I love the little creamy yellow frame place!  And I never heard of a water powered elevator before!

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) over 10 years ago


I love hearing about the exploits of the Clark family!!! Thanks,   Fran

Posted by Fran Gaspari, "The Title Man" - Title Insurance - PA & NJ (Patriot Land Transfer, Inc.) over 10 years ago

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