Saturday, October 24, 2009

Clyde List Editorial: The Road to Butteville

It's too bad you can't walk from Sherwood to Butteville anymore. Butteville's where you caught that most charming of all American Frontier inventions: a stern wheeler. This ship might carry you North to Oregon City or South to Albany and Eugene. To experience this thrill (alas, no longer available to us today) you merely pointed your nose South and started walking. You followed (what we now call) Main Street onto Ladd Hill Road. Then you came to the Willamette River and caught the ferry boat across to Butteville. To an historian, the best part of the story is that Butteville has close ties to the most historically significant place in the entire Pacific Northwest: Champoeg. As historians, our task is clear: We must begin searching for people who lived along Ladd Hill Road, in order to get a clearer picture of Old Sherwood Town's relationship to the historical epicenter of this place called "The Oregon Country."


JayCee said...

It takes some effort of the imagination to understand that Old Sherwood Town stood at the cross roads of two competing American visions. (1) The Thomas Jefferson/Southern States in Control/Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer Vision. (2) The Abraham Lincoln/Northern States in Control/P.T.Barnum Vision.

These two Visions meet at the intersection of 3rd Avenue and Pine Streets, in Old Town. (3rd is what's left of the Oregon City Lafayette Wagon Road.)

JayCee said...

On one hand, you had river people always orienting everything to the Willamette and Tualatin rivers. On the other hand, you had the town builders, always throwing bridges over the rivers and building highways and railroads to link the towns together.

Anonymous said...

What do ya mean, it's too bad you can't walk to Butteville any more? Why I walk to Butteville ever week for supplies and the mail from my place over by Rex. If'in the Ferry is down or there's no sternwheeler, I just jump in the 'ole muddy an' swim acrost.--John Brown

Anonymous said...

I suppose you climbed Mount Hood that time with Joel Palmer too, in Indian moccasins, just to figure out where the Barlow Trail should be built.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for including the map; it makes it easier to visualize that trek!

Lilly Morgen said...

I think this summer we should plan a walk from Middleton or Sherwood to Butteville!!!

Clyde said...

Oh yes. I think you're on to something here. The interesting part is this: The Sherwood-Butteville connection was brought up to me by-- not a hiker-- but a biker. It would make a great bicycle tour (if you don't ask me to go along! I'm too old for this!)

Anonymous said...

I see bikers up there on Parrett Mt. Road on nice days. I think they are going up and over the hill. You could go the Ladd Hill way, but there may be less traffic on the Parrett Mt. Road.

Clyde said...

Thank you for your suggestion. An experienced biker and/or Parrett Mountain resident would be helpful.

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