The wagon-train-to-Oregon immigration era effectively ended once the state connected to the emerging transcontinental railroad system. From then until after the Great Depression getting somewhere distant in Oregon usually meant going by trail or going by train.

Once connected to the national railroad grid those immigrating to Oregon largely followed the path of her developing intrastate railroad network so to have a complete understanding how our culture arrived and settled here requires a map of how our railroad system developed. Armed with such a map we’ll deepen our understanding how Oregon’s social, economic and cultural history developed and evolved.



Part One is the actual mapping itself and the objective is to collect all existing maps of Oregon railroads and display this information in the State of Oregon Geographic Information System. Part One of the project is an on-going phase that will add new data as it becomes available and is currently underway.

Part Two consists of the on-going research and eventual mapping of historical railroad lines that were either never mapped or where maps have been destroyed, lost or otherwise removed from public view.

Part Three will encompass all social studies emanating from parts one and two, generally described as the study of how Anglo culture spread as the result of railroad construction in Oregon, especially in the state’s forested regions which comprise over half its land mass.