Estacada History

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Chapter 1

America, at the turn of the 20th Century, was a very exciting time for exploration, new ideas, amazing inventions and new ways of thinking. Electricity was spreading like wildfire across the globe and, occasionally, you might even see one of the new internal combustion automobiles you had read about. But, if you wanted to go anywhere, riding on the train was the cleanest, safest and easiest way to travel.

To give you an idea of the number of trains that were running back then. In 1891, six different railroad companies had train tracks in Portland! Due to a slump in the economy and, too many businesses competing, the rail- road business colapsed. That's when the Oregon Water Power and Railway Company was created and took control of the bulk of the old lines. With almost no competition, OWPR did well and started buying up land along the Clackamas River for the purpose of building Dams to provide power for their electric trains, and the City of Portland.

From 1904 to 1907, OWPR extended a train line from Sellwood in South East Portland all the way to Cazadero just south of Estacada. Several towns rapidly grew along this line, Boring, Barton, Eagle Creek, Estacada and at the very end, Cazadero.

The remains of this train line are the Springwater Corridor that runs from SW Ivon St. to Boring. The Cazadero Trail that is currently in planning stages should cover the rest of the route from Boring all the way to the Cazadero Dam.

Chapter 2

In the Summer of 1927 some controversy arose over the origin of the name "Estacada" with a series of letters to the Editor of the Oregonian. After hours of research, my best answer is this... "Estacado is a Spanish word and it means staked out or marked with stakes. It was first suggested by George Kelly as a name for the town site at a meeting of the Oregon Water Power Townsite Company directors on December 27, 1903.

Kelly had selected the name at random from a U.S. map showing Llano Estacado in Texas. If Kelly's suggestion had not been drawn from the hat, the town could have been named Rochester, Lowell or Lynn. The name Estacada is also used in Arizona." - Wikipedia

The Hotel Estacada opened in 1904 and it became another tourist draw for the area. It was situated directly across the train tracks from the train station at the Cazadero and, it helped to secure a steady flow of tourists. and helped the town secure a foot hold in the community.

Estacada was incorporated as a town in 1905 but, before there was ever a town named "Estacada" the OWPR had built an attraction named "Estacada Park" along the Clackamas River. This park was created as a tourist destination for those living in Portland, to attract them to ride the train there and thus partially or completely pay for the train and it's maintenance. The city of Estacada grew to support tourists here, and somewhat to support Timber Industry further up the Clackamas River.

Sometime around 1908 the OWRP became known as the Portland Railway, Light and Power Company. This company consolidated not only OWRPs holdings, but all the other holdings of independent train lines in Portland.

Chapter 3

The town of Faraday was established as a train stop for workers at the Faraday Dam. It never had a Post Office and it is doubtful there was much more then a tent city for the workers that built the dam.
The name Faraday was given to our local dam by O.B. Coldwell, the vice president of the PRLP. You've probably guessed by now that the name "Faraday" actually comes from the British Scientist, Michael Faraday, who discovered the induction of electric currents.

Stay tuned!
More to come soon!