Subtopic : Starting a Second Century: The Lewis & Clark Centennial Exposition, 1905: Celebrating Settlement: Agrarian Oregon
Themes: People and the Environment, Social Relations, Transportation
Oregon The Land of Opportunity Brochure (detail)
Portland Chamber of Commerce Mss 6000-4-1
The era of the Exposition was a time of agricultural optimism. Wheat farmers had begun pushing south from the Columbia River in the 1880s and were now supporting new towns like Wasco and Moro. Sheepherders traded their wool at Shaniko at the terminus of the Columbia and Southern Railroad. Hood River orchardists were sawing down the Douglas fir trees that filled the valley, killing the stumps with arsenic, and planting apple trees. James J. Hill began to push the North Bank Railroad (now the Burlington Northern) along the Columbia from Pasco to Portland in 1906 and Swift and Company built a huge new meat packing plant in North Portland. Headlines in a special issue of the Oregonian on January 1, 1910, told the excitement: “Wheat Output Will Be Enormous” — “Interior Towns Face Bright Future” — “Oregon Forging to Front as Livestock State.”
Each county had an alcove to show off its products and accomplishments. Baker and Josephine counties displayed mineral samples. Lane showed off canned goods. Douglas featured bunches of grapes and bottles of wine. Morrow and Umatilla highlighted sheaves and bags of grain. Stuffed sheep overlooked the Marion County section. Elk towered over Union County.