Gladstone, Oregon

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Gladstone, Oregon
Fire and police station in downtown
Fire and police station in downtown
Official seal of Gladstone
Nickname(s): Home of the Pow Wow Tree, Happy Rock
Location in Oregon
Location in Oregon
Coordinates: 45°22′52″N 122°35′35″W / 45.38111°N 122.59306°W / 45.38111; -122.59306Coordinates: 45°22′52″N 122°35′35″W / 45.38111°N 122.59306°W / 45.38111; -122.59306
Country United States
State Oregon
County Clackamas
Incorporated 1911
 • Mayor Wade Byers
 • Total 2.48 sq mi (6.42 km2)
 • Land 2.40 sq mi (6.22 km2)
 • Water 0.08 sq mi (0.21 km2)
Elevation 57 ft (17.37 m)
Population (2010)[1]
 • Total 11,497
 • Estimate (2013)[1][2] 11,724
 • Density 4,790.4/sq mi (1,849.6/km2)
Time zone Pacific (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST) Pacific (UTC-7)
ZIP code 97027
Area code(s) 503
FIPS code 41-29000[1]
GNIS feature ID 1136316[3]
Website City of Gladstone

Gladstone is a city located in Clackamas County, Oregon, United States. The population was 11,497 at the 2010 census. Gladstone is an approximately four-square-mile (10 km²) suburban community twelve miles (19 km) south of Portland at the confluence of the Clackamas and Willamette rivers.[4]

In its heyday, Gladstone was known as cultural and social center, and hosted both the inaugural Clackamas County Fair, and the Oregon State Fair, before both were moved to more spacious locations.[5][6] Gladstone once attracted such notable speakers as Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan and presidential candidate Theodore Roosevelt.[7]


Clackamas Indians[edit]

Prior to European settlement, there were several Native American groups living in the area that was to become Gladstone. Although Lewis and Clark did not visit the Gladstone-Oregon City locality during their expedition, they did have it described to them by the native people. Subsequently, successive waves of explorers and traders would introduce diseases and epidemics which would take a heavy toll on the native peoples and dwindle their populations to near extinction.[8]

As Oregon City was founded and European settlers began moving to the area, they petitioned their governments to remove the local natives from the land, so that the settlers could have it to farm and live on. The government responded by rounding up the native peoples and forcing them to leave their lands for reservations. With the natives removed from the scene, the Gladstone area was ripe for further settling.[9]

The Pow Wow tree[edit]

Today, the only remnants of the bygone natives is a large maple tree called "The Pow Wow Tree," which is listed as an Oregon Heritage Tree.[10]

The tree still stands at Clackamas Boulevard, and is said to have marked the place where the different native tribes, mainly Clackamas and Multnomahs, met to make trading agreements, settle community affairs, and conduct wedding ceremonies. In 1861, it was used as a parade ring for the first State Fair with the Pow-Wow Tree marking the entrance.[7]

Early homesteaders[edit]

The earliest homesteads in the area were recipients of the Donation Land Claim Act. The Cason and the Rinearson families were the first settlers to receive their donation land claims in Gladstone. Peter M. Rinearson and his family owned the land between Jennings Lodge and the Clackamas River, and between the Willamette River and Portland Avenue.[7] Fendal Cason, who came to Oregon in 1843 and would go on to serve on in the Oregon Territorial Legislature, owned an area of equal in size east of Portland Avenue.[11]

Unsuccessful early townships[edit]

Several small towns were established in this period, but due to various natural disasters, such as fires and floods, only a few remained to become the cities of today.

One such community was Linn City (originally named Robin’s Nest). Settled in the 1843 by Robert Moore, Robert himself built four flour and lumber mills along the banks of the Willamette. Warehouses, homes, and mills were steadily added until 1861, when a fire destroyed several of the buildings. Efforts at rebuilding the small town entirely ceased however, when the Great Flood of 1862 came and wiped out the remaining buildings.[12][13]

Another such ill-fated settlement was Canemah, located near the Willamette Falls. Canemah prospered until 1861, when the same great flood swept most of the town over the falls. Even after reconstruction, much of the town's importance to river commerce ended in 1873 with completion of the Willamette Falls Locks. Ships no longer needed to dock and unload goods and passengers for portage around the falls. The remaining town officially survived until 1929, when it was annexed to Oregon City.[14]

Founding of Gladstone[edit]

Judge Harvey Cross (1856-1927), founder of Gladstone Oregon

Gladstone was founded by Judge Harvey Cross in 1889, and formally incorporated on January 10, 1911. It was named after the British statesman William Ewart Gladstone.[15] Judge Cross laid out the city's first streets. Cross' home was built in the late 1840s by Fendal Cason, and Cross purchased it in 1862.[16] The Cason-Cross House later became Cochran Mortuary, and as of 2008, Mr. Rooter, a plumbing service, occupies the space.[16] There is also a small park named after Cross, located at the same place one of the Indian tribes made its camp.

Chautauqua movement[edit]

In 1894, Oregon City author Eva Emery Dye persuaded Judge Cross that bringing the Chautauqua movement to the area would be of great benefit to the community and surrounding area.[17] Accordingly, Judge Cross granted a fifty-year lease of his land, named Gladstone Park, to the newly formed Willamette Valley Chautauqua Association for an annual summer assembly that offered lectures, concerts and theatrical performances.[17] Gladstone's first outdoor Chautauqua was held on July 24–26, 1894.[17] Gladstone's Chautauqua Park grew to be the third-largest permanent Chautauqua assembly park in the United States.[17]

Cross Park, named for Gladstone founder Harvey Cross

As time passed, however, better transportation, traveling vaudeville acts appearing in Portland, and the advent of radio meant that the Chautauqua's attendance began to dwindle.[17] In 1927, the Willamette Valley Chautauqua Association went bankrupt.[17] Judge Cross died on August 7, 1927, and shortly thereafter, Gladstone Park, including its buildings and Chautauqua Lake, were sold to the Western Oregon Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.[17] Since that time, the Seventh-day Adventists have held an annual camp-meeting on the site in July, with up to 20,000 attending on weekends. The Oregon Conference of Seventh-day Adventists headquarters was moved to the site in 2008.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has an official area of 2.48 square miles (6.42 km2), of which, 2.40 square miles (6.22 km2) is land and 0.08 square miles (0.21 km2) is water.[1]

Adjacent communities[edit]

Despite its abutment with two major waterways, The city of Gladstone is immediately bordered by several other communities, each is listed in descending order of population:[4]

  • Oregon City, the county seat of Clackamas County, sits to the south, almost entirely separated by the Clackamas county river
  • West Linn, to the west, is delineated by the Willamette River.
  • Jennings Lodge, a census-designated place and unincorporated area. Jennings Lodge runs between Oak Grove and Gladstone
  • Oatfield, a census-designated place and unincorporated area. Similar to Jennings Lodge, it exists between Milwaukie, to the north, and Gladstone, to the south
  • Clackamas, to the north-east, an unincorporated area and former census-designated place residing within greater Clackamas County
  • Johnson City, a very small incorporated city of approximately 500 residents existing north-east of Gladstone (also see the similar city of Maywood Park, Oregon). In 1968, the 45-acre town tried unsuccessfully to annex to Gladstone.[18]

Although the above cities are generally considered as part of the much larger Portland metropolitan area - Gladstone, Oregon City, West Linn, and Milwaukie each possess the population and production of a micropolis in their own right and this relatively dense sub-region contains a combined population exceeding 100,000 people.[19]

Despite the City of Gladstone's proximity to the city of Milwaukie, at no point do the two share political boundaries.[4]

Major thoroughfares[edit]

Being bordered by rivers on two sides, there are only two primary thoroughfares to and from the city. Interstate 205 runs north-south along the eastern edge of the city, while McLoughlin Boulevard (Oregon Route 99E) runs north-south through the western side.[4]

City Planning[edit]

This same set of Gladstone street names is used for the north-south main streets in the center of Back Bay, Boston, but the origin of any connection to Gladstone is unknown.

Purportedly, at the suggestion of surveyor, Sidney Smyth, Judge Harvey Cross decided to name a number of Gladstone streets after American colleges (e. g. University of California, Berkeley, Cornell University, etc.) and a number of United Kingdom Dukes, Earls, and universities (.e.g. University of Exeter, Earl of Dartmouth, Earl of Clarendon, etc.).[17]

The one exception to this general naming convention was Portland Avenue, Gladstone's main street. This avenue was named for the Interurban Electric Streetcar (1893) line that originally ran from Oregon City to Portland through the heart of Gladstone.[17]


This region experiences warm (but not hot) and dry summers, with no average monthly temperatures above 71.6 °F. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Gladstone has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate, abbreviated "Csb" on climate maps.[20]


Historical population
Census Pop.
1920 1,069
1930 1,348 26.1%
1940 1,629 20.8%
1950 2,434 49.4%
1960 3,854 58.3%
1970 6,254 62.3%
1980 9,500 51.9%
1990 10,152 6.9%
2000 11,438 12.7%
2010 11,497 0.5%
Est. 2013 11,724 2.0%

2010 census[edit]

As of the census of 2010, there were 11,497 people, 4,540 households, and 3,009 families residing in the city. The population density was 4,790.4 inhabitants per square mile (1,849.6/km2). There were 4,779 housing units at an average density of 1,991.3 per square mile (768.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 89.2% White, 0.9% African American, 1.0% Native American, 1.6% Asian, 0.4% Pacific Islander, 3.4% from other races, and 3.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 8.7% of the population.[1]

There were 4,540 households of which 32.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.7% were married couples living together, 14.2% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.4% had a male householder with no wife present, and 33.7% were non-families. 26.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.51 and the average family size was 3.01.

The median age in the city was 39.2 years. 23.5% of residents were under the age of 18; 8.3% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 26.1% were from 25 to 44; 28.3% were from 45 to 64; and 13.8% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.6% male and 51.4% female.

2000 census[edit]

As of the census of 2000, there were 11,438 people, 4,246 households, and 3,014 families residing in the city. The population density was 4,619.0 people per square mile (1,780.7/km²). There were 4,419 housing units at an average density of 1,784.5 per square mile (688.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 90.42% White, 0.72% Black or African American, 0.61% Native American, 2.11% Asian, 0.29% Pacific Islander, 3.04% from other races, and 2.82% from two or more races. 6.12% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.[26]

There were 4,246 households out of which 36.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.6% were married couples living together, 13.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.0% were non-families. 21.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.66 and the average family size was 3.11.

In the city the population was spread out with 26.6% under the age of 18, 9.3% from 18 to 24, 29.2% from 25 to 44, 23.4% from 45 to 64, and 11.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 93.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.9 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $46,368, and the median income for a family was $52,500. Males had a median income of $38,619 versus $28,300 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,388. About 6.6% of families and 9.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.4% of those under age 18 and 5.9% of those age 65 or over.

Arts and culture[edit]

The annual Gladstone Cultural Festival and parade in early August commemorates Gladstone's former status as a popular Chautauqua destination. The festival is held in Max Patterson Memorial City Park.[27]

KRYP is a Spanish language FM radio station that broadcasts from the city.[28]


Gladstone Public Library

Gladstone is served by the Gladstone School District, which includes John Wetten Elementary School, Kraxberger Middle School, and Gladstone High School. In 2006, a bond was passed to allow approximately $40,000,000 worth of construction on the three schools.[29] The majority (approx. 26 million) of the money will be going towards the high school.[29]

The city operates a library that is part of the Library Information Network of Clackamas County. In 2012, the city council approved plans for a new $10 million library, but ballot measures backed by the group Save Gladstone blocked the financing and construction pending specific voter approval.[30][31] The city then placed a new measure on the November 2014 ballot for a $6.4 million option.[32]

Public safety & quality of life[edit]

City Hall and municipal court

Some polling data suggests that Gladstone citizens are satisfied with city services they receive and a large majority consider Gladstone a particularly "good/excellent" place to live.[33][34] Perhaps reflecting this support, the police, fire, and medical services levy renewal measures were overwhelmingly approved by voters in November 2012.[35][36][37]

Despite its relatively small geographic size, The city of Gladstone recognizes 17 separate parks and recreational areas.[38]

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2014-09-08. 
  2. ^ "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2014-10-02. 
  3. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved September 10, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Oregon Transportation Map for the City of Gladstone". 2013. Retrieved 10 September 2014. 
  5. ^ "History". Official Clackamas County Fair and Rodeo website. Retrieved 10 September 2014. 
  6. ^ "Oregon State Fair". Special Collections & Archives Research Center - Oregon State University Libraries. August 31, 2011. Retrieved 10 September 2014. 
  7. ^ a b c "GLADSTONE HISTORY". City of Gladstone official website. Retrieved 10 September 2014. 
  8. ^ "Brief History of Oregon City". Official City of Oregon City website. 2000. Retrieved 10 September 2014. 
  9. ^ Kohnen, Patricia. "The Clackamas Chinook people". Retrieved 10 September 2014. 
  10. ^ "Pow-Wow Tree". Oregon Travel Experience. Retrieved September 8, 2014. 
  11. ^ Flora, Stephanie (2004). "Captains of 1843". Emigrants to Oregon in 1843. Retrieved September 10, 2014. 
  12. ^ Thomas, Mike (October 23, 2009). "Linn City: A Victim of Nature's Wrath". U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT. Retrieved 10 September 2014. 
  13. ^ "Linn City". January 20, 2013. Retrieved 10 September 2014. 
  14. ^ Hedges, David. "Canemah". The Oregon Encyclopedia. Retrieved 10 September 2014. 
  15. ^ McArthur, Lewis A.; McArthur, Lewis L. (2003). Oregon Geographic Names. Portland: Oregon Historical Society Press. p. 404. ISBN 0-87595-278X. 
  16. ^ a b "Historical society plans to feed minds, bellies". The Oregonian. August 20, 2008. Retrieved December 16, 2008. 
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h i "History of Gladstone Part 2". Gladstone Historical Society. Retrieved December 16, 2008. 
  18. ^ McArthur, Lewis A.; McArthur, Lewis L. (2003) [First published 1928]. Oregon Geographic Names (7th ed.). Portland, Oregon: Oregon Historical Society Press. p. 515. ISBN 9780875952772. OCLC 53075956. 
  19. ^ Orzag, Peter (December 1, 2009). "Update of Statistical Area Definitions and Guidance on Their Uses". EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT - OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET. Retrieved September 11, 2014. 
  20. ^ Climate Summary for Gladstone, Oregon
  21. ^ "Population-Oregon". U.S. Census 1910. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 22 November 2013. 
  22. ^ "Population-Oregon". 15th Census of the United States. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 27 November 2013. 
  23. ^ "Number of Inhabitants: Oregon". 18th Census of the United States. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 22 November 2013. 
  24. ^ "Pennsylvania: Population and Housing Unit Counts". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 22 November 2013. 
  25. ^ "Gladstone (city), Oregon". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 7 September 2013. 
  26. ^ "Profile of General Demographic Characteristics: 2000 more information Census 2000 Summary File 1 (SF 1) 100-Percent Data". Retrieved 12 September 2014. 
  27. ^ Christensen, DJ. "Gladstone Cultural Festival". Promotional website for the Gladstone Cultural Festival. Retrieved 12 September 2014. 
  28. ^ "KRYP-FM 93.1 MHz". radio-locator. Theodric Technologies LLC. Retrieved 10 March 2012. 
  29. ^ a b "Questions and Answers about the Gladstone School Bond". Retrieved September 12, 2014. 
  30. ^ Edwards, Victoria (3 October 2012). "Meet the measure: Gladstone 3-413 will decide fate of new library". The Oregonian. Retrieved 3 October 2012. 
  31. ^ "Gladstone City Library Bond Measure (November 201". Ballotpedia. Retrieved 4 September 2014. 
  32. ^ Bamesberger, Michael (October 15, 2014). "Gladstone seeks voter approval to move forward with new, scaled-down library plan". The Oregonian. Retrieved 16 October 2014. 
  33. ^ "Moore Information: opinion research - strategic analysis". 2008. Retrieved 4 September 2014. 
  34. ^ "Moore Information: opinion research - strategic analysis". 2010. Retrieved 7 September 2014. 
  35. ^ "Gladstone City Police Services Levy Renewal Measure (November 2012)". Ballotpedia. Retrieved 4 September 2014. 
  36. ^ "Gladstone Fire and Medical Services Operating Levy Measure (November 2012)". Ballotpedia. Retrieved 4 September 2014. 
  37. ^ Edwards, Victoria (November 6, 2012). "Gladstone voters approve renewal of police and fire levies". Oregonlive. Retrieved 4 September 2014. 
  38. ^ "Parks & Recreation Information". Official City of Gladstone Website. Retrieved 10 September 2014. 
  39. ^ Mapes, Jeff. "Oregon Labor Leader Moves Into No. 2 Spot at AFL-CIO." The Oregonian. September 17, 2009.

External links[edit]