Welcome to the Troutdale Historical Society

Taking Care of Old Business First

Mayors Square Mural, located in downtown Troutdale at Mayors Square - muralist Dwayne Harty commissioned by THS and funded through a Community Enhancement Project grant through the City of Troutdale in 2016.

2021 History Hunt Raffle Drawing Winners!

Jean Freeman

McMenamin's Edgefield certificate for one night's lodging for two in a

queen European style room 

James Workman

Envi Adventure ticket for up to three for a scenic ride in the Columbia Gorge

Bruce Stannard

Ristorante Di Pompello Restaurant $35.00 gift certificate

Dennis Gavin 

 McMenamin's Edgefield $120.00 gift certificate to

Ruby's Spa and Salon 

Natalie Constance 

Autographed Timbers Soccer Ball with certificate

donated by Bettianne Goetz 

Gary McCoy 

Autographed copy of Sharon Nesbit's

It Could Have Been Carpdale, Centennial History of Troutdale, Oregon 1907-2007

donated by David Ripma 

Kristy Curletto 

Sugarpine - $ 100.00 gift certificate 


Patrice Hernandez

McMenamin's Edgefield gift certificate 

Your Link to a Good Time - 20 holes of golf for two


Sally Mackey

Sugarpine - $50.00 gift certificate 

David Ripma 

Centennial Poster, Historic Columbia River Hwy 1916-2016 by

Mike K. Rangner, Northwest Art Mall

donated by Bettianne Goetz 

Susan Leigh 

Firebird Bronze - a free tour of Foundry with Rip Caswell


Cathy Peetz 

Autographed copies of Where Eagles Nest and Echoes of Forgotten Places,

by Helen F. Wand 

Tammy Bates 

Sugarpine - $50.00 gift certificate 

Tamar Moore

Troutdale General Store - gift certificate for two lattes  

Thank you to all who participated in our first History Hunt. We hope you had fun and learned some interesting facts about our area.  Congratulations to our raffle winners and a big thank you to our sponsors. - Troutdale History Hunt Committee 

                        History Hunt Clues and Answers

Clue 1:

Native Americans have fished, hunted, lived, and gathered together along the Columbia River
for thousands of years. What tribe lived around the confluence of the Sandy and Columbia

Answer: Chinookan people of the Columbia River

Clue 2:

In 1803 President Thomas Jefferson commissioned a unit of the U.S. Army to explore across
the country and bring back information about the geography, plants, animals, and people they
encountered. This group camped opposite the Sandy and Columbia River confluence. What
was the unit named, and who were the two leaders?

Answer: The Corps of Discovery, led by Capt. Meriwether Lewis and 2nd Lieutenant William Clark

Clue 3:
In what year was the city of Troutdale incorporated, and in what county?

Answer: 1907 in Multnomah County

Clue 4:
In 1911 a complex of buildings was constructed on Halsey Street at what is now known as
McMenamins Edgefield. What were the two establishments of this area before it was a
destination resort?

Answer: The first purpose was the Multnomah County Poor Farm; the second was Edgefield Manor Nursing home

Clue 5:
Who was the first mayor of Troutdale, and what year did he start his term?

Answer: Aaron Fox, 1907

Clue 6:
The first woman mayor of Troutdale was Clara Latourell Larsson, who started her term in 1914.
A statue of Clara stands in Mayors Square in downtown Troutdale. She holds a newspaper.
What does the middle column headline of that paper say?

Answer: Mrs. Larsson Honored by Townspeople

Clue 7:
According to the Mayors Square mural plaque of downtown Troutdale, what did a gallon of gas
cost in 1915?

Answer: 29 cents per gallon

Clue 8:
The Troutdale Vision Clinic in downtown Troutdale formerly housed an important business in
Troutdale, which opened in 1891. What was the business, who was the original owner, and who
was the final owner of the business, which closed 104 years later in 1995?

Answer: Aaron Fox, the Troutdale General Store, Roy Meger

Clue 9:
The Bissinger Wool Pullery, a wool and hides processor, opened in Troutdale in 1920 just north
of downtown. What structure still remains of this business?

Answer: A gravity-flow elevated water tank tower

Clue 10:
In the 1920s, Troutdale was known as the Celery Capital of the World. You can see a display
about this in the Troutdale Travel America Truck Stop. Name three other successful crops grown

Answer: Cherries, strawberries, raspberries, lettuce, potatoes, cabbage, cauliflower, roses, gladiolas

Clue 11:
What was the name of the gas station that survived the 1948 and 1964 floods in Troutdale?
Hint: This location on the Sandy River served the community as a snack and tackle shop, as a rental
home, a gas station, and is most recently a drive-in restaurant.

Answer: Staten Gas Station, Sugarpine

Clue 12:
Take a photo with the re-created tree whose form developed from two logs rolling over it during
the 1876 flood. It became a place where people met with visiting. What is the name of this tree?
Hint: This is also the Troutdale Historical Society’s logo.

Answer: Lovers Oak


Clue 13:
Depicted in the Visionary Park Statue, two people are pointing east toward Broughton Bluff and
what is now the Troutdale Art Center. Who are the two men, and what are they planning?

Answer: Sam Hill, Sam Lancaster; Forming a plan to build what is now the Historic Columbia River Highway


Clue 14:
A decades-long Troutdale resident, newspaper reporter and columnist, author, historian,
member of many civic committees, founding member, and active volunteer of Troutdale
Historical Society has a named room in the McMenamins Edgefield main lodge. Who is this
person? What is the room number? And what is depicted on the door?

Answer: Sharon Nesbit, Room 3, bagpipers on Edgefield lodge steps

Clue 15:
Find the 1927 water tower at McMenamins Edgefield. What was the original purpose of this
Hint: Water from this tower was not intended for drinking.

Answer: Fire protection sprinkler system for the main lodge.

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Our Mission


A panoramic view of Troutdale's east end with Troutdale City Hall and Wilson Construction/Larsson Garage on Historic Columbia River Highway.  The white two story house uphill on the left above City Hall was the home of Clara Larsson, c1930

Our mission at the Troutdale Historical Society is to gather and preserve material relating to the history of the community of Troutdale, the Sandy River, the Columbia River Gorge, and nearby areas to be available for public viewing. We are committed to stimulating interest in the history and knowledge of our past.

The year 2016 marked the 100th anniversary of the construction of the Historic Columbia River Highway. We continue to educate visitors at our King of Roads-Byway of the People exhibit describing the construction, destruction, and rebuilding of the Columbia River Gorge scenic route. Our programs focus on local landmarks, buildings, and sites in our community that tell the story of Troutdale.

Annually, we host a festive Christmas open house in the historic Harlow House, and eleven months of the year, on the last Tuesday of the month we co-host a fascinating history program at McMenamins Edgefield. Keep an eye on our events page for more programs hosted by the Troutdale Historical Society.

Would you like to become a member of the Troutdale Historical Society?

We have two different ways to sign up on our membership page; print out and complete our membership application or select the plan you want. You will receive a quarterly newsletter, updates in upcoming activities, a reduction in membership cost with the Oregon Historical Society, a 10% discount to our Barn Store, and even a part in running our museums. We even have room for volunteers to learn and grow in historical work.

Our Museums

August 26, 2021 - Regrettably we have closed the museums for the unforeseeable future to protect our volunteers and guests from the surge in COVID cases. 

Harlow House Museum 
THS Barn Exhibit Hall
Depot Rail Museum & Caboose

We maintain three museums - Fred E Harlow farmhouse built c1900; Barn Exhibit Hall currently exhibiting King of Roads - Byway of the People; 1907; Depot Rail Museum and 1975 CA-10 Union Pacific Caboose. Our museums educate the immediate community and visitors about the history of Troutdale and surrounding areas with rotating exhibits illustrating our unique and colorful history. 

Fred E Harlow House, c1900

726 E Historic Columbia River Highway

Open: Saturday & Sunday 11 am - 3pm.

Closed: Monday - Friday

Admission: Free, suggested donation $3

Barn Exhibit Hall, 1998

732 E Historic Columbia River Highway 
Open: Saturday & 
Sunday 11 am - 3pm.
Closed: Monday - Friday

Admission: $5 - ages 12 years +; Free - under 12 years, THS Members, Multnomah County Residence, and Museum for All Participants

Depot Rail Museum, 1907

& 1975 Caboose

*Closed for Renovations*

Thank you for supporting Oregon History

On May 18, 2021,

Multnomah County said “YES” to Oregon history and passed the Oregon Historical Society levy (Measure 26-221) with 78.53% approval.


Thank you "Yes for Oregon History" for your support! 

What that Means for you:
This allows all Multnomah County Residents free

admission to all Historical Society museums

in East Multnomah County.

Shop & Donate

Shop at these participating businesses and they will donate a percentage to the Troutdale Historical Society.


​Sign up is easy...click on an image and it will direct you to their website.

Thank You!


Click the logo to find out more about each business.


Thank You!

Contact the

Troutdale Historical Society

Physical: 732 E Historic Columbia River Hwy 

Mailing: 219 E Historic Columbia River Hwy

Troutdale, OR 97060

(503) 661-2164

Thanks for submitting!