A Powerful Legacy

McLoughlin statue

 

ohn McLoughlin has been honored in many ways for the role he played in Oregon's early history. In 1905 the Oregon Legislative Assembly renamed the 9495 foot Mount Pitt in southern Oregon to Mount McLoughlin. The United States Board of Geographic Names recognized that change in 1912. Other Oregon features named after McLoughlin include McLoughlin Boulevard, a major north-south thoroughfare in the Portland area; McLoughlin Elementary School in Oregon City; McLoughlin Middle School in Milwaukie; and Camp McLoughlin, a Boy Scouts of America camp in southern Oregon.

In 1909 McLoughlin's house in Oregon City was dedicated as a permanent memorial. He is also one of two Oregonians honored in the Statuary Hall in Washington D. C. (the other being Rev. Jason Lee). The United States Postal Service honored McLoughlin and Lee in 1948 with a three cent stamp celebrating the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Oregon Territory. And, in 1957 the Oregon Legislative Assembly passed the following resolution recognizing McLoughlin's outstanding contributions to the early development of the Oregon Country and naming him "Father of Oregon."

 

[Text of HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION No. 38]

Whereas the year 1957 marks the centennial of the death of Dr. John McLoughlin, he having died at his home Oregon City on September 3, 1857; and

Resolution

Whereas Dr. John McLoughlin came to the Northwest region in 1824 as a representative of the Hudson's Bay Company, and occupied the position of Chief Factor from 1825, when the regional headquarters of the company was moved from old Fort Astoria to Fort Vancouver, until his retirement in 1845; and

Whereas, in his capacity as Chief Factor, Dr. John McLoughlin directed the far-flung operations of the fur trade in all the country west of the Rocky Mountains and north of the California line, as well as the more localized activities of agriculture, livestock raising, sawmilling, flour milling, dairying and salmon fishing; and

Whereas, from 1825 until 1843, when the provisional government was first established by the settlers in the Willamette Valley, Dr. John McLoughlin was the undisputed governor of the vast area bounded by the Rocky Mountains on the east, Mexican territory (California) on the south, the Pacific Ocean on the west and the Russian settlements on the north; and

Whereas Dr. John McLoughlin exercised a paternal control over the Indians of the region, welcomed and provisioned missionaries and settlers, encouraged schools and church instruction and for a number of years was the only medical practitioner in the region; and

Whereas the many contributions of Dr. John McLoughlin to the development of the Northwest region in general and the Oregon country in particular make him truly deserving of the title by which he is often referred to, the "Father of Oregon"; now therefore,

Be It Resolved by the House of Representatives of the State of Oregon, the Senate jointly concurring:

That the Forty-ninth Legislative Assembly hereby officially confirms and bestows upon Dr. John McLoughlin the honorary title of "Father of Oregon" in recognition of his great contributions to the early development of the Oregon country and in commemoration of the centennial year of his death; and be it further

Resolved, That a copy of this resolution be suitably and prominently displayed in the Dr. McLoughlin Home located in Oregon City, Oregon.

Filed in the office of the Secretary of State May 17, 1957.

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