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Oregon Trail 1843-1883


The place to learn about Oregon history and, a must do in Portland, is the Oregon History Center. Proud home of the Oregon Historical Society, which can trace roots back to the 1870's when the Pioneer families decided to mark their places in history. They collected things and photographs that they knew would be unique and treasured by future generations. This Pioneer Association evolved into an organization and library worthy of any state on the planet.

Without this library, the Historical Gazette would have been, at times, devoid of copy. We would have been lost without the kind help navigating the volume of history available. How to choose, what to pick. What media of yesterday would be the featured writers of today? These were questions that were impossible to decide alone.

With guidance of the librarians and research clerks... and help from the local historians who were good to give me their time and opinions. E. Kimbark MacColl and Chet Orloff gave me clues and news as to what to use in my paper. I shall always be grateful to Bill Naito, too, who offered up suggestions and encouragement in spite of others in his organization working to spite me and put my product under cover and sell my papers when they had been done as a promo donation, gratis. I had blessings and I had curses. I lived because of both. One helping me, and the other, challenging me. Like the boomtown publishers and pioneers we wrote about, we were always on the edge of starvation. That'd be me and my partner, Keith Whittle. He helped me do my projects, like the Historical Gazette and I helped him do his projects, like the Atomic Veterans History Project.

Oregon Trail Series
This series was sponsored by many different businesses. We published ten editions on the Oregon Trail and planned many of the next series while we were doing the Oregon Trail Historical Gazettes which have been dedicated to telling the history of the American West. We did not try to re write history to suit our tastes, but rather present it as we found it in the stories of the day.

#1 Emigrant Wagons Roll Westward Oregon Trail 1843
#2 Gold Seekers Rush to California Oregon Trail 1849
#3 Border Wars or Indian Massacres Oregon Trail 1856
#4 Oregon Territory Joins the Union Oregon Trail 1859
#5 War Disrupts Manifest Destiny Oregon Trail 1863
#6 Roads Bring Soldiers & Emigrants Oregon Trail 1869
#7 Oregon, Land of Gold & Opportunity Oregon Trail 1873
#8 Chief Joseph Surrenders to Col. Miles Oregon Trail 1877
#9 The Columbia River: Trail to Trade Oregon Trail 1880
#10 Trains Roll Emigrants Westward Oregon Trail 1883

Oregon Historical Society
1200 SW Park Avenue
Portland, Oregon 97205
(503) 222-1741

Oregon History Center Building
Haas Mural, JingZi-Photography


Another Oregon Trail edition was published as an Oregon Trail Merchandise promo piece done for Made In Oregon. That makes 11 editions. I could tell an interesting back story of how I came to publish that Extra edition and of other happenings that went on during the celebration of 1993, 150th Anniversary of the Oregon Trail migration. At least 1,000 copies of that editon was distributed. May be you have one in your souvenirs of the day. I made several appearances and either gave away or sold Gazettes. Perhaps you met me at the Oregon Fair that year. I had a table at the Oregon Author's Table, thanks to the arrangement by Bert Webber, another publisher of the day. He published new and old books about Oregon for tourism. His niche was unique and my Historical Gazette spoke to same audience of historical tourists.


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Bridget E. Smith, editor & publisher

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Historical Gazette
Published in Portland, Oregon
© 1991-2017