Dover Oregon



by kind permission of the Dover Mercury, (KMG) May 2010



Oregon Mount Hood and Timberline Lodge Clackamas County Oregon

Oregon Mount Hood and Timberline Lodge Clackamas County Oregon

Among the early inhabitants of Oregon, on the west coast of the US, were the Chinook people. Clackamas, the county in which the community of Dover once existed was named after people who belonged to the Chinook. Like others of the Chinook, the Clackamas used to compress the heads of their infants between boards to force the forehead to slope backwards.

In 1579 Sir Francis Drake sailed along the Pacific coast, possibly as far north as Oregon by which time Spanish explorers had already made voyages along the coast. James Cook, in 1778, described the Oregon coast and ten years later Captain Robert Gray landed crew from his American vessel, the Lady Washington. This was the first known actual landing of Europeans. It was not for another ten years that Captain Gray returned, this time in his ship Columbia and sailed up a great river that he named after his ship. He later claimed the entire region drained by the Columbia and at about the same time fur traders arrived.

John Jacob Astor, of the Pacific Fur Company, established the Astoria trading post on the Columbia River in 1811. His great -grandson, of the same name and after whom Astor Avenue was named, was the MP for Dover from 1922 to 1945. Following the declaration of the War of 1812 between Britain and the United States, Astoria was sold to the British North West Company and renamed Fort George. His Company was subsequently taken over by the British Hudson Bay Company.

The sovereignty of Oregon was, for a long time disputed between Britain, US, Spain and Russia. Eventually, a series of treaties established the joint occupancy between the US and British, north of the 42nd parallel. However, the rich Oregon fur trade that was controlled by the Hudson Bay Company effectively gave the supremacy to the British.

This became a major issue in the US Presidential election of 1844 following which, the Treaty of Oregon was signed in 1846. The two countries agreed on the boundary for the territory, provided by the 49th parallel running east-west from the Rockies to the coast; together with a north-south line mid-channel between Vancouver Island and the mainland to the Pacific Ocean. This was established as the Oregon Territory in 1848.

Following the discovery of gold in California a year later, many of the original European inhabitants left Oregon to seek their fortune. In order to attract Europeans, who would settle and work the land, the Donation Land Act (1850) gave large tracts of land free to those prepared to stay. This more than compensated for the itinerant first comers and Statehood was sought and granted in 1859.

This, however, was at the expense of the Native Americans, which led to a number of uprisings. Following the American Civil War (1861 -1865 ), the original inhabitants of the State were increasingly being forced to live on reservations. While the European settlers, although finding life hard managed to eke a living by fur trading, agriculture, timber and manufacturing.

In 1869 the Union Pacific Railroad arrived and the State began to prosper. It was in the Mount Hood area of Clackamas County, named after Admiral Arthur Hood, Frederick R French settled. Having connections with Dover, England, on 16 June 1890 he opened a post office, thus officially registering the settlement of Dover. Although the area was very beautiful it was also hostile but the settlement thrived with eight more postmasters. However, the settles all but gave up and the post office closed on 31 August 1911.

Time passed and towards the end of the twentieth century Mount Hood, a 'potentially active' volcano, has become renowned for the Timberline ski -resort - the only all -the -year -round in the US. On the slopes, where the snow does clear, such as where Dover once stood, is a Mecca for camping and fishing as well as a base camp for climbers. This has gone to make Mount Hood the second most climbed mountain in the Western Hemisphere.

Thanks: Mark Moore,


John Tullis, Timberline

Marcus Hibdon, Communications and Public Relations Manager, Mount Hood Territory, Oregon