End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive & Visitor Information Center  |  1726 Washington Street, Oregon City, OR 97045  |  (503) 657-9336  |  Open Daily 11am - 4pm  |  Extended summer hours begin June 14


School Group Reservations

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Thank you for your interest in coming to the End of the Oregon Trail. Our focus is to give students interactive, hands on experience at the End of the Oregon Trail Center, based on the Oregon Department of Education Content Standards. The Group packages are designed to give academic information that is an interactive fun experience! We have developed these packages to include in depth educational introduction to the Oregon Trail experience. Note: these packages are special programs seperate from the general admission programming. 

"Homestead" Package $5.00 a student / Minimum $100.00 per group

Presentation with Historically Clothed Interpreter

Packing the Wagon Experience

Candle Dipping & Butter Making

"Oregon Trail" Package" $7.00 a student / Minimum $140.00 per group

Presentation with Historically Clothed Interpreter

Bound for Oregon Movie

Packing the Wagon Experience

Oregon Trail Quest (outside activity, dress accordingly; Wear or bring boots if necessary)

"Pioneer" Package $9.50 a student / Minimum $190.00 per group

Presentation with Historically Clothed Interpreter

Bound for Oregon Movie

Packing the Wagon Experience

Candle Dipping & Butter Making

Surveying and claiming the Land (outside activity, dress accordingly; Wear or bring boots if necessary)

Packing the Wagon: How much can a wagon really carry? Will the plow fit in with the food? How much flour did a pioneer pack? Was there enough space to fit in the family piano? Should Grandma's fine china be packed? With the Packing of the Wagon activity, students have a first-hand experience of the challenge that every pioneer faced when deciding to take the Oregon Trail to the far west. This 20-30 minute activity begins with a two-page list of items, along with their weights, from which the students decide for themselves which items they would bring, along with how many of each item they would bring with them on the 2,000 mile journey. The challenge of this activity is to keep the total weight under 2,000 pounds, while still having enough food, clothing, supplies and tools to last 4-6 months, the average time it took for the pioneers to travel from Independence, Missouri, to Oregon City. Once the students have completed the list and checked that their total weight is under 2,000 pounds, the students will then be able to pack their own true-to-size wagon and see for themselves the struggle that every pioneer surpassed in order to make it to the far west.

Oregon Trail Quest: What tree was known as the balm of Gilead?  Which one of these four things did Sidney W. Moss accomplish?  Medorem Crawford was famous for ______? Learn the answers to these questions and more as we embark on a quest through the Abernethy grounds. Read the signage along the paths and in the Pioneer Garden, and search as hard as you can to find the answers to the thought-provoking questions. Searching for the answers to these questions will encourage students to read the fine print and think hard. Outside activity, dress accordingly. 

Surveying and Claiming Land:  What happens when the journey is over? What did the pioneers do once they got to Oregon Country? For most, the main concern was finding a good piece of land to settle on. The land they chose had to be well-suited to their occupation -- say, farmer, rancher, shopkeeper. Early settlers had to measure out and record the boundaries of their claims and register these descriptions with the authorities. In this activity, students are given the opportunity to recreate this experience. Choosing an appropriate location for their land claim encourages students to work together and focus on topography and land features. Measuring and mapping their claim will compel students to put their math skills to work. Providing a written description challenges students to be concise and accurate. If they are successful in these tasks, students can then register their claims with the land office.  Outside activity, dress accordingly.

Bound for Oregon: This 30-minute film traces the experiences of four pioneers headed to Oregon: a mother of many, Elizabeth Dixon Smith; John Minto, a young Englishman with a romantic vision of the West; an eleven-year-old girl, Lucy Henderson; and finally a worn emigrant forced to confront the Cascade Range, Joel Palmer. Their comments, taken from their journals, letters, and diaries, help recreate the hardships and joys thousands of pioneers experienced on the Oregon Trail. Interwoven into their stories is the narration of John McLoughlin, the Father of Oregon and Chief Factor of the Hudson's Bay Company Fort Vancouver.

Ask us about customizing opportunities: We can offer additional programs such as Master Gardener's pioneer garden presentation, Nancy & Rob Downie with "Heartstrings" music and instrument demonstrations, cedar carving, dress up, letter writing using actual journals from the pioneers and guest speakers to lecture on various Oregon Trail topics. Another movie option is In Pursuit of a Dream about Twenty-four modern-day teenagers set out on a trek along the Oregon-California Trail. They thought they'd be learning about history. They wound up learning about themselves. Catering and sack lunches are available upon request. 

Student Group 2014Master Gardeners Option:

Master Gardener volunteers are available to meet with student groups to talk about gardening in pioneer times.  Presentations may include topics such as:   the role of children in pioneer gardens, insects in the garden, seed saving, germination, plant needs, and sustainable gardening practices (the same type of practices used by the early pioneers).

Volunteers tailor their lessons to the ages and interests of the groups, and presentations vary with the seasons. During the gardening season the groups visit a demonstration garden at the site.  When time allows, the students participate in a hands-on project.

Master Gardeners plant and maintain a demonstration kitchen garden with vegetables, herbs, flowers and fruits representative of crops grown by the Oregon pioneers in the 1860's.  There is also an heirloom rose garden at the site.

The volunteers are trained through the Oregon State University Extension Service Master Gardener Program.  Their mission is to provide research-based education and technical assistance about sustainable gardening practices.

For more information on the roses and plants in the gardens please visit the End of the Oregon Trail Pioneer Garden blog/webpage:  Blog

For more information on the Clackamas County Master Gardeners please visit their webpage:  www.cmastergardeners.org

Heartstrings - Pioneer SMALL "Heartstrings" Music Option:

Nancy and Rob Downie perform as "Heartstrings" throughout the Willamette Valley (http://www.heartstringsduo.com).  They play various instruments that were common at the time of the Oregon Trail migration.  Nancy plays the hammered dulcimer, fiddle, mountain dulcimer and Native American flute.  Rob plays acoustic bass, banjo and Native American flute.  They offer a program of period tunes and the opportunity for students to sing along to familiar songs (a lyric sheet is provided).  They also talk about the history of the tunes and the instruments.  A typical half-hour program of "Sounds Along the Oregon Trail" might include:

Hammered Dulcimer and String Bass:

Wait for the Wagon

French Canadian Tune Set


Mountain Dulcimer:

Home Sweet Home

Stephen Foster Tunes on Hammered Dulcimer and Banjo:

Old Kentucky Home

Old Folks at Home (Way Down Upon the Swannee River)

Sing-Along Songs:

Camptown Races

Oh Susanna

Fiddle and Banjo:

Bonaparte Crossing the Rhine and Bonaparte's Retreat

Girl I Left Behind Me and Red Wing

Native American Flutes:

Indian Love Song

Down in the Valley and Red River Valley

Amazing Grace

Americana Finale:

Arkansas Traveler and Turkey in the Straw


After we receive your request, a History Interpreter will contact you directly to help customize your visit. For more information, please email us here . We look forward to seeing you!

Due to the increased interest in our program it is imperative to send in the deposit by the due date on your invoice.  When the deposit is received we will move your reservation from the waiting list.


Today's Date: *
Organization Name: *
Organization Main Contact Name: *
Main Phone:
E-mail: *
Reservation Date: *
Reservation Day of the Week: *
Age Range:
Number of Students: *
Number of Adults: *
Number of Adult Chaperones (1 per 8 students): *
Requested Time: *
Presentation Types:Please choose between: "Homestead", "Oregon Trail" or "Pioneer". For details please see our "School Groups" page on our website. *
Presentation Comments/Questions:
What level of knowledge do your students have of the "Oregon Trail" or Great Western Migration? *
Are there any special concerns or specifics that will need to be addressed prior to your visit?
Would you like a representative from the Historic Oregon City to contact you regarding your concerns?
Word Verification:
• PRE-VISIT INSTRUCTIONS: Divide the students into groups specified on the group “flow sheet” with one chaperone When you arrive each group Chaperone will be given a tag "Ft. Hall", "Farewell Bend", "Blue Mountains" etc. • DAY OF VISIT INSTRUCTIONS: Meet Interpreter at the bottom of the stairs unless the weather does not permit then meet on the Visitor Center porch. • CHAPERONE INSTRUCTIONS: Keeping your group together & following the Interpreters instructions for activities, moving to each activity in an orderly & timely fashion. • LUNCH IN THE PICNIC SHELTER: Please make sure all garbage goes in the garbage can in the shelter If weather permits and your group would like participate in gunny sack races and "graces" check in with the Visitor Center. • SHOPPING IN THE VISITOR CENTER: Please send groups of 10 in the Visitor center accompanied by a chaperone.