The west shore. (Portland, Or.) 1875-1891, April 01, 1885, Page 101, Image 9

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Ithe WEST SHORE. 101
Clackamas, containing an area of about 1,450 square
miW With the ircstcrn end lying in tU WillawolU
Valley, it reaches back into the mountains to suoh an
extent that the greater portion of its area is hilly and
mountainous. In the foothills and the many small val
leys, some of which lie far up toward the summit ridges,
are many acres of land open to sottloment, while thou
sands of acres near the Willamette, and in the higher
land back from the river, have been cultivated for many
years. Of the 1,054,000 acres in the county, 825,000 are
owned by private individuals, 58,000 by the O. & 0. R. R.
and 22,000 by the State. The remaining 700,000 acres
are Government land, subjsot to entry undor the general
land laws. Fully one-half of it is good arablo land, or an
amount equal to that which is already taken. Hundreds
of sections of such lands are in close proximity to schools,
churches, post offices aud stores, and are within one day's
drive of either Oregon City or Portland. By living on
such places the settler would have an almost unlimited
stock range, and his fenoing might Bltogothor be oonflmxl
to the land he wished to oultivnto. The soil in the foot
hills is of the richest kind, well watered and no lack of
timber, and no more healthful climate exists in tho United
States. Some portions of this vacant land are heavily
timbered, while othors are oovored with but a light growth
of trees and brush. No ojen prairie land is to bo had.
Grain, hay and vegetables are the ohiof crops, and fruit
trees are very productive. The fact that green grass can
be had by cattle the year round rendors this region, and
particularly the little well-watered valleys, especially
adapted for dairying.
The western end of the county is traversed by two
lines of the O. R. & N. Co.'s system, affording splondid
shipping facilities, to which are added the numerous boat
plying on the Willamette. Those are enabled to pass the
. falls at Oregon City by means of locks and a short canal
constructed jointly by the State and private enterprise.
The oounty seat and largest town is Oregon City, the
oldest town in the Willamette Valley. It is situatod at
the famous Willamette Falls, whose beauty has won ad
miration from all travelers since the pioneers first beheld
them, more than half a century ago. The amount of
power running to waste there is sufficient to build up a
large manufacturing city. In the almost unlimited quan
tity of its water power, its splendid shipping facilities by
rail and river, its fine location in the edge of the great
valley, Oregon City offers greater advantages to manu
facturing enterprises than any other place in Oregon.
At present there are two flouring mills and a woolen mill
in Oregon City, but no doubt this great water power will
at no distant day be utilized by more extensive indus
tries. When this is done Oregon City will grow rapidly.
This should be taken into consideration by those looking
for homes or for safe investments for their capital.
Coal and limestone of a fair quality are found in the
foothills. Iron ore is found in great quantities in several
portions of the county, and especially along the Willam
ette. At Oswego, a small town on the river, a few miles
below Oregon City, are iron works employing a number
of hands, and extensive rolling mills have been projoctod
for erection at that plaoe. Other small towns in tho
oounty are Milwaukie, Chuby, New Era, etc The assessed
value of property for the year 1884 was 13,844,140.
Lying bntweou Clackamas and Linn, and separated
from Yamhill and Polk by the Willamette River, is the
oounty of Marion. It has a frontago on tho river of sixty
miles, but contracts quickly as it extends eastward, run
ning up to the summit of the Cascades in a gradually
narrowing strip. In its area it embraces soma 1,200
miles of prairies, foothills and mountains, the greater
xrtion of which is valuablo for agriculturo, and the re
mainder for grazing and timlxir. The western end is in
the vory hoart of the Willamette Valley, and Is watered
by tho great river from which the valley derives its name
and by numerous tributaries of that stream. This section,
some thirty-six miles long by fifteen wide, embraces somo
of the finest land in the valley. Tho general surface of
tho country is that of an undulating plain, with an
ascending sloe to the foothills and ranging up into tho
mountain pnnks of tho Cascades, in which are many val
leys lying lmtwoon tho rocky ridges of mountains. While
there are many detached and scattered prairies In the
oounty, the principal ones are Hiilem, French and Howell
prairies, exceedingly fine bodies of farming land, having
a deep, rich soil. French Prairie lias, however, much
marshy laud, owing to its flatness. The Waldo Hills aud
the hills south of Salem were, undoubtedly, onoe 0en
prairies, but have boon overspread with oak and fir.
Theso rolling hills are among tho lost farming lands in
Oregon. The first settlers naturally selected tho prairie
land, whore the expense of preparing it for cultivation
was comparatively light, but the later ones in theso timber-covered
hills seem to have secured equally as good
soil, though at greater exponso for clearing. The yield
of wheat on both clauses of land is from twenty-five to
forty bushels per acre, and this rate has been maintained
in somo seasons under the most adverse circumstances;
also oats, flax, barley, rye, buckwheat and vegetables
produce well. FruiU flourish in the hill regions.
Tliero is considerable alluvial bottom land along tho
Willamette, Santiam and Pudding rivers, having a riuh,
warm, sandy loam, and producing immense crops of veg.
etables. It is esooially adapted to hop culture. Cutter
aud cheese are made in considerable quantities, and the
field for dairying is an inviting one. Good lands can lw
had in the foothills, where, by slashing off and burning
the light fir brush, and sowing grass seed on the burn, a
rich and permanent pasturage is secured, with ample
supply of hay for winter use. This can also bo done in
lands too rongh for cultivation, aud the ground can then
be used for grazing either cuttle or sheep. The limlnir
resources of the oounty are valuable. Along the streams
and lowlands are ash, alder and maple, in the hills oak
and yellow fir. In the Cascade are great bodies of fir,
pine and cedar. Water (Niwcr in uIhiimIiiiic is running
I to wbhU) in the streams, eiMM)ihlly those in the Cascades.