The Oswego Iron Heritage Trail is a tour route that guides walkers along existing streets and pathways to seven sites associated with Oregon’s pioneer iron industry. The first iron furnace on the Pacific Coast was built in Oswego in 1866. Today it is the only surviving historic furnace west of the Rocky Mountains.
The Trail offers a different way of looking at the landscape, through the eyes of those who mined its ore, cut its timber, and harnessed its waterpower for the purpose of smelting iron. Colorful interpretive signs at each site give a glimpse of mining and iron making in nineteenth century Oswego. The signs were researched, written and designed by Lake Oswego residents Susanna Campbell Kuo and Corinna Campbell-Sack. A map at each site shows the trail route. See the links below to view each trail sign.
Three of the seven destinations are located along the Willamette River: the 1866 blast furnace in George Rogers Park, the site of the 1888 furnace in Roehr Park, and the site of the pipe foundry in Foothills Park. The Prosser iron mines are located in Iron Mountain Park, although the tunnels are no longer accessible. The Iron Mountain Trail follows the rail bed of the narrow gauge railroad that transported ore from the mines to the iron works. In Tryon Creek State Park the trail passes an old charcoal pit where fuel was produced for the furnace. At one time charcoal pits dotted the landscape between Dunthorpe and West Linn. Two sites focus on the lives of the workers: the Worker’s Cottage on Wilbur Street and the Oswego Pioneer Cemetery where some 90 workers are buried.
The Trail was funded by the City of Lake Oswego and created under the auspices of the City’s Historic Resources Advisory Board. The Oswego Pioneer Cemetery and Tryon Creek State Park are partners in the trail project. The interpretive display in the cemetery was supported by an Opportunity Grant from Clackamas County Tourism & Cultural Affairs. The interpretive sign in Tryon Creek State Park was designed and funded by the Friends of Tryon Creek in partnership with the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.