Oregon Map

North Willamette Valley

Washington, Yamhill, Polk, Multnomah, Clackamas, and north Marion counties


Clackamas County, 97023

Pronounce this one with a long "a" in the middle and you will fit right in. Estacada is a mill and lumbering town which like Molalla and Myrtle Creek has fallen upon hard times. The original settlers pronounced the name with an "ah" in the middle, but the arrival of the lumberjacks and other ruffians in the early 1900's changed it to the present pronunciation. Estacada is the gateway to many recreational opportunities afforded by the upper Clackamas river, one of those clear fast flowing streams for which Oregon is famous. Fishing, camping, hiking, hunting and white water rafting are common pursuits in the area. The Chamber of Commerce has a nice video you might want to check out.

The Faraday dam is just upstream, one of several that send power to Portland and the Willamette Valley. At the turn of the (prior) century Faraday was simply a bunch of logs wedged across the river diverting water to a power house. The first long distance transmission of power in the United States occurred here. One day a ball governor failed and the power turbine self-destructed. Since power was needed in Portland the operators commandeered a generator waiting on the docks of Portland to be shipped to the Orient. Soon the powerhouse was back in operation. I never heard whether the good people in the Orient were ever reimbursed.

The town has for quality and quantity about the best set of murals in Oregon. Of course it is easy to think of competitors like Silverton and Junction City. I have placed here a selection of those murals, but you really should see them yourself. If you like stuffed dead animals you will like Estacada's Safari Club. I do not know the whole story, but the Safari Club features the spoils of many hunting trips to Africa. I have never seen another collection of mounted animals of this magnitude. It is truly amazing. (alas the Safari Club is now closed-2013)