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Gladstone is a four square mile suburban community twelve miles south of Portland at the confluence of the Clackamas River into the Willamette. It has a population of about 11,000. To the south, across the Clackamas, is Oregon City; across the Willamette is West Linn; to the north lies the city of Milwaukie. In the higher areas one can easily see Mt. Hood in the distance to the northeast, and in some places Mt. Adams and Mt. St. Helens can also be seen. The Portland International Airport is only about 15 minutes north by way of the I-205 freeway.

While there are still a few building sites in some of the isolated corners, the city is essentially fully developed. There is a grade school, middle school, and high school, numerous churches, two supermarkets, and a number of other small stores scattered throughout.

The population of Gladstone is approximately 10152 and the approximate number of families is 3745 . The amount of land area in Gladstone is 6.34 sq. kilometers and the amount of surface water is 0.123 sq. kilometers. The distance from Gladstone to Washington DC is 2450 statute miles. The distance to the Oregon state capital is 38 statute miles. Gladstone is positioned 45.38 degrees north of the equator and 122.59 degrees west of the prime meridian.

Clackamas Indians

There were several indian groups living in the area to become Gladstone. Lewis and Clark did not visit the Gladstone-Oregon City region but did have it described to them by the native people. Later explorers and traders brought diseases and epidemics that took a very heavy toll on the native population and the size of the tribes dwindled to near extinction.

When Oregon City was founded and people began moving to the area, they complained to their government about the lazy, drunk, and theiving indians. The government responded by forcibly rounding up the indians and forcing them to leave their lands for a reservation. With the natives removed from the scene, the Gladstone area was ripe for settling. Today the only visible remains of the native presence is a large tree called "The Pow Wow Tree." An indian burial ground near that area is now covered over by a street and a number of houses.

Early Homesteaders

Rhinearson and Cason each claimed 640 acre lots in the area to be known as Gladstone. The Rhinearson house can still be found on a golf course near the Willamette river, and his descendants were still involved with the city in the 1950's.

Failed Starts

Several small towns were established in this period, but only a few remained to become the cities of today. Floods and fires were the primary villains, and one can imagine the heart ache these disasters must have evoked.

Linn City was settled in the 1840's by Robert Moore who built four flour and lumber mills along the bank of the Willamette. Warehouses, homes, and mills were added until 1857 when a fire destroyed several of the buildings. Efforts at rebuilding the small town ceased when a flood came later that year and wiped out the rest of the buildings.

Founding of the City

Gladstone was founded in by a man named ?? Cross in the late 1800's. He laid out the town's first streets and had his home built in a prominant location. It is now a mortuary, but the building is still very well kept. There is also a small park named after him, ironically located at the same place one of the indian tribes made its camp.


Gladstone is well known for its excellent school system, low crime rate, and close proximity to Oregon City and Portland.

The town can be divided into four catagories. The old section is laid out on a grid of streets bordered by the Clackamas on the south, McGloughlin? Blvd. on the west, Webster on the east, and the foothills to the north. The river section of town is the strip of land between McGloughlin? and the Willamette. On the east side of town is a large park at one time owned by the Seventh Day Adventists. The fourth section of town is the remaining hilly area north of the old section.

Old Gladstone

The old section is laid out on a grid of streets running north/south and east/west. North-south streets are named for colleges, while east-west streets are named after universities (Dartmouth, Exeter, Fairfield, Gloucester, and Harvard, for instance).

Along the River

The river area has a number of very nice homes. Earlier in Gladstone's history this was a very "ritzy" area, though the age of the houses makes this less true today. Several parks and a golf course also occupy the area.

The Seventh Day Adventist Camp

At some point in the past, this large area came under the ownership of the Seventh Day Adventist religious organization. The campsite would sit virtually empty for nearly 50 weeks. Then for two weeks Gladstone would be invaded by a horde of fanatics in tents, trailers, and moble homes.

A large chain fence and a dense hedge prevented access to the camp by Gladstonians except for the more brave and venturesome. But in 1990 it all changed when possession of the land changed hands. The camp was left open for anyone to explore freely. Now ownership of the camp is in question, but hopefully it will remain open to all.

The Hills

On the north side of town are rocky hills that were virtually uninhabitable until late in this century. In the 1960's and 1970's the area came under development and was laid out with streets and houses. One street running around the base of the easternmost hill is known throughout the state for its beautiful Christmas lights display every year. Several churches, the city's middle school, a few convenience stores, and a couple care centers are the only exceptions to the area's all-residential nature.


Being borderd by rivers on two sides, there are only two primary thoroughfares to and from the town. The I-205 freeway runs along the eastern edge of the city running south into Historic Oregon City. McGloughlin? Blvd. also runs north-south, but through the western side of the city.

Inside the town the main streets are Portland Avenue, which runs from the high school through the middle of the Old Gladstone, to the river, Webster, which runs along the eastern edge of Old Gladstone from the freeway and the river north into the hills. Oatfield Road winds its way through the hills and drops down into Milwaukie.

-- Written by BryceHarrington

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Last edited January 27, 2001 4:49 am by BryceHarrington (diff)