Preservation of the Old Oregon Trail
started with Ezra Meeker, who came over on the Oregon Trail in 1852, and
settled on MacNeill's Island. In 1853 he brought his family over the Naches
Pass directly into Steilacoom. In 1906 he felt the Old Trail was being forgotten,
so he got a wagon and a team and set out across the country placing stone
markers along the route of the trail.
Since then many states, counties, and cities found
the route on their survey maps and marked crossings along the modern highways.
The Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) also placed many markers across
the country. TheBureau of Land Management (BLM), United States Forest Service,
and National Park Service (NPS) also own and/or interpret many Oregon Trail
sites and segments.In Oregon the Oregon Trail Coordinating Council
ran the 1993 wagon train and built the
Kiosks in rest areas along Highway I-84 which closely parallels
and many times is the Old Oregon Trail.This was headed by NW OCTA
past president .
OCTA works with all of these, and we have recently joined in a partnership
with them and several other trail related organizations such as Trails West,
to promote preservation of our heritage.
Trail Marking and mapping
are the chief and most visible portion of the preservation work, but the
greater task is behind the scenes. Since so much of the trail is today
privately owned, we must seek out the owners through land records and try
to establish good relations with them. We watch newspapers for announcements
of developments which will impact the trail. Many of these we can do nothing
about, but many times we can work with the owners to preserve as much as
possible of important trail sites.
The National Preservation Officer is our own Dick
Ackerman and Chuck Hornbuckle
is our Chapter Preservation Officer. Another area of preservation is the
preserving of signatures on the various register rocks along the trail.
appointed Chair of a committee to look into the new photography techniques
by which such Signature Preservation
is acheived. OCTA
Preservation contains national preservation concerns.
NW Preservation contains the structure
of our local preservation activities and concerns.