Historic Hood River
The Oregon Pony
This 1960’s postcard of the “Oregon Pony” shows what it looked like at its centennial. The caption reads, “First locomotive iun the Northwest. Operated in 1862 and 1863 in freight an passenger service on the first Oregon railroad, on southern bank of the Columbia River between Bonneville and Cascade Locks.”
The message on the reverse is from “Mom” on her way back to Minot, ND, after a vacation in the northwest. Apparently she had a good trip except for the poison oak. She was traveling by rail, enjoying the “Vista Dome” in the rail car on the return trip.
Last year we saw this earlier postcard of the Oregon Pony.
I understand there is an effort afoot to erect a more protective pavilion at Cascade Locks to house the Pony. Perhaps Arlen can fill us in on the details.
Tags: 1960s, Cascade Locks, locomotive, Oregon Pony, railroad
Arlen L Sheldrake
the Port of Cascade Locks is working with the Cascade Locks History Museum to build a new building for the museum, visitor center, and Pony utilizing part of the former Thunder Island Brewing building (that the Port owns) and a new building where the TI patio was. This would be in conjunction with the new planned pedestrian access to the Marine Park that would cross over the top of the UP tracks. Pedestrian access to Marine Park from Wa Pa Na street is currently quite the hazard. The Pony would be a focal point of the new facility with hopefully a replica flatcar filled with “portage goods”. Not sure if this planning will ever move forward. As the Port has planning for multiple projects. The Pony is an absolute jewel and a great piece of the PNW and rail history.
Great info, Arlen – thanks!
Arlen L Sheldrake
I would add that the Oregon Pony is owned by the Oregon Historical Society and on loan to the Port. A couple of years ago the Port did some minor upgrades to the Pony display building to include humidity control I remain hopeful that Cascade Locks (City, Port, History Museum) can get their vision accomplished.
The Pacific Northwest Chapter, National Railway Historical Society some years ago published a pamphlet about the Oregon Pony that is available at the Cascade Lock Museum and the Oregon Rail Heritage Center. Printed and provided by PNWC-NRHS at no charge.
As you might imagine, I really like the Cascade Locks History Museum's Oregon Pony logo and the freeway signs…Thanks Arthur for posting this postcard.
For years it was in the rain and bushes in front of Union Station Portland. For the move to the locks Paul Class freed up all moving parts. Glad it was not put up on Tooth Rock as once proposed, little access and probably complete neglect.