Troutdale, Oregon: More than 100 years at The Gorge

Troutdale was incorporated as a city in 1907, but its beginnings go back to the 1850s when early settlers named it “Sandy,” due to its proximity to the Sandy River. The Troutdale name came later due to a local trout farm on the river.

Historical photo of the Union Pacific Railroad Depot of 1907Established as a rail town, Troutdale was shaped by the advent of the automobile and the establishment of the nation's first scenic byway, the Columbia River Highway. 2016 marked the 100th anniversary of the Historic Columbia River Highway, and a century of travelers from Portland and nationwide making their way through Troutdale on their way to experience the grandeur of the Columbia River Gorge.

Troutdale has a long history of vitality and activity, reflecting the beauty and opportunity afforded by the Columbia River. Locals voted in their first female mayor, Clara Latourell Larsson, in 1913, shortly after women were allowed to vote in Oregon and six years before the 19th amendment was ratified to give women the right to vote nationwide. Today, a “Bronze Clara” statue stands in her honor in the town's Mayors Square.

Historical structures populate Troutdale’s unique downtown, beginning with the Troutdale Water Tower, a harbinger of Troutdale’s early industry as part of the 1920 Bissinger Wool Pullery. Others include the former Troutdale City Hall, built in 1922 and soon to be the home of Away Days Brewing; and the Gateway to the Gorge Visitor Center, housed in the original Union Pacific Railroad Depot of 1907.

You can learn more about Troutdale's rich history by visiting the Troutdale Historical Society, and one of their three museums.

Visit Troutdale today to learn more of the Columbia River Gorge’s history!