History of Oregon City - Catholic Outpost of Oregon.
McLoughlin was known for his fair treatment of all people he dealt with, whether they were British subjects, U.S. citizens, or of Indigenous origin. At the time, the wives of many Hudson's Bay field employees were Indigenous, including McLoughlin's wife Marguerite, who was Metis (Indigenous peoples in Canada and parts of the United States who are unique in being of mixed Indigenous and European - primarily French - ancestry). John was known everywhere he went as "The White Haired Eagle." John was always infamous for his temper, particularly when anyone would insult Marguerite for her color or age. McLoughlin's additional habit of repeating words as he struggled to communicate (remember - he was primarily a French speaker) was also seen as sign that he was "crazy". There are tales about men literally running in fear at the sight of his huge broad-shouldered frame topped with a mop of white hair as he came to into town to beat down whoever dared speak ill of his beloved brown-skinned wife. We love John McLoughlin a lot.
In 1843 McLoughlin and Father Blanchet traveled to Oregon City to select a location for a new church and school near what is now 10th and Water Streets. The new church was built in 1846, reportedly using 160,000 bricks fired on site at a cost of $20,000 - no Hiddens in this one!
St. John the Apostle Church was founded in 1844, more than a decade before Oregon attained statehood. The church was the headquarters for the Diocese of Oregon City (now the Archdiocese of Portland). The new Bishop Norbert Blanchet lived in the church when he was preaching there and was then promoted to Archbishop of Oregon City.
The masonic details on the front of the Bishop's House are particularly interesting to me given the diocese's move from Masonic-heavy community in Oregon City to this site.
First Nuns arrive to the West in Oregon City, 1848.
Masonic History of Oregon City.
The front facade (east) is highly decorated with a series of geometric patterns, of vague Egyptian derivation, scored into the surface of the building. Pilasters (plain on the second floor, fluted on third and fourth) at the corners and on the front of the building provide further decoration and serve to divide the building into three bays, with the central bay equal to the size of the north and south bays together. The building has a parapet wall, the central portion is curvilinear, capped with a simple coping. Directly below the curved portion is "Multnomah Lodge No.1, A.F. & A.M." and the lodge symbol incised into the wall surface.
Elbridge Trask July 15, 1815 – June 23, 1863.
Tracing Elbridge Trask's Travels in the Pacific Northwest.
1835 - Trask is at Sauvie's Island, outside of Portland, Oregon and is linked to the Whitmans for the first time.
1836 - Trask catches the first Methodist wagon train with the Methodists to Mission Bottom with Elijah White.
1836-1839 - Trask is trapping all up and down Pacific Northwest.
1842 - Elijah White's wagon train with Elbridge Trask arrives in Fort Vancouver September 1842. Did Dr. John McLoughlin help White and Trask? This is the around the time McLoughlin began having trouble with HBC as he gave collateral to settlers and gave supplies to those in need who needed them.
October, 1842 - Confirmed that Trask is Oregon City on his way to Astoria in 1843. How long he's here is unclear. 1843 - Trask is working as an "Official Greeter" to pioneers arriving in Astoria and Tillamook as he is working in various mills up and down the coast. Did he greet the Catholics when they arrived via Astoria early on in 1848 or even later in 1856 when Blanchet brought Mother Joseph out that way?
Emilie Gamelin is visiting political prisoners for the same activities that Matthieu was sentenced to death for when he escaped! Did this Angel of the Poor visit our Oregon Pioneer in Quebec?
1847 - Dr. Marcus Whitman, his wife Narcissa and other Protestant missionaries are attacked by Cayuse Natives and killed with 12 others. Bishop Augustin Blanchet pulls everyone from the Walla Walla mission and goes to St. Paul, Oregon to be with his brother Archbishop Francis Norbert Blanchet and the St. Paul mission expands. 1847 - Trask marries Hanna Abell Tripp in Clackamas County Oregon (Oregon City).
1849 - Gold is discovered in California. Elijah White (Trask's wagon train leader) attempts to found the town of Pacific City, Washington instead. It's location was about a mile from Ilwaco, and the Post Office remained in service until 1865.
1852 - Trask is noted for making solid relationships with local Native/Indigenous people in the Tillamook area, like Dr. McLoughlin, Bishop Blanchet, and Mother Joseph also did in their travels.
1854 - Trask helps build the Morning Star, a ship crucial to bringing supplies for survival to the area. There is a replica of this ship outside the Tillamook Cheese Factory in Tillamook, Oregon. 1863 - Trask died on June 23, 1863. Elbridge Trask is buried in the Pioneer Cemetery east of Tillamook, OR. Since the exact location of his grave is not known, a memorial plaque has been placed at the entrance. His home was across the road from the present day Sunset Memorial Cemetery.
Moving the Catholic Diocese to Portland, Oregon.
The Pharmacist that Never Left the Building.
SJ's been here several times, and they are always happy to talk to their customers about their ghostly experiences here, as the haunting seems to be ongoing and friendly. If you visit to ask them about the resident ghost, make sure to at least throw a few bucks in the tip jar if you take up their time.
Here's a great video showing one of the incidents that made the local news a couple of years ago.
Ghost Children In the Municipal Elevator.
There actually have been two elevators at this location. The current elevator was built in 1954–55, and it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2014. The original elevator that was constructed in this area was built as a means of transportation for the residents in the city. The alternative option before the build would have been walking the stairs from the base to the top of the cliff, which consisted of 722 steps. The first city bond was issued for "A public elevator at the bluff".