Oregon Map

Mid-Willamette Valley

Marion, Linn, Benton, Polk County


Polk County

Independence was founded by pioneers who are thought to have migrated from Independence, Missouri. Elvin A. Thorp arrived in the Independence area in 1845 and staked a claim in June of that year. He platted a small townsite that later became known as "Thorp's Town of Independence" or the "Original Town of Independence", now known as "Old Town". These old town blocks are now on the national historic register.

The Willamette river flows along the east side of Main Street and has left its substantial mark on the area. The city web page has a great section on historic downtown Independence showing both the past and the present view of several building. You might want to check it out.

I recall Independence as the place my brother and I went to buy beer when he attended Western Oregon University ("College" in those days) in Monmouth. The college town lays just to the west. Monmouth was "dry" in those days, but Independence was never far away!