Willamette Falls tour to feature historical reenactors

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Fundraiser for Clackamas County museums seeks to engage families in learning about David Douglas, John McLoughlin

COURTESY PHOTO: – Larry McIntyre from West Linn portrays 1840s-era businessman Robert Moore, who worked with Dr. John McLoughlin to bring the Willamette Falls economy to life for the settlers.

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PORTLAND, Ore. (Pamplin) — Heritage steering-committee members are volunteering to portray the region’s natural and cultural history through the “Bluff Walk-No Bluffing” tour from 10 a.m.-noon on Saturday, Nov. 27. The easy-paced walking tour will describe the history of the area, from the Ice Age floods at Willamette Falls to the area’s population boom during the Oregon Trail migration.

“This event is an effort of some of our best reenactors to show off Willamette Falls, Oregon City’s settlement and the catastrophic floods that have sculpted our area,” said Rolla Harding, leader of the steering committee.

Participants in the tour will meet David Douglas, botanist of the 1820s, who visited the bluff and falls; Dr. John McLoughlin, founder of Oregon City; and scientists from the 1940s who described the gigantic floods whose impacts can be clearly seen on the bluff walk from the Museum of the Oregon Territory to Singer Creek Falls.

Oregon City’s Municipal Elevator will serve as an observatory to overlook regional geology, geography and settlement of two cities at Willamette Falls.

“We’re doing this on Saturday, Thanksgiving weekend, because we feel families and friends will be looking for an outdoor activity that all can participate in, enjoy and learn from,” said tourism guide Thelma Haggenmiller, a member of the heritage steering committee.

Pre-registration is required by calling 503-260-3432.

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