Editor’s Note: The Chronicle recently received and published a Letter to the Editor from Liam Gallagher, a seventh grade student in Indiana, requesting information about Oregon for a school project his class is working on. Liam also requested that readers write and tell him why they like Oregon. See the Letter attached.
Chronicle Office Manager Kelli Nicholson put together a packet of information for Liam and this accompanying letter that we are sharing with our readers.
We were so happy to receive the letter you sent out for your school project. What a fun project! We are a newspaper in Columbia County, Oregon. Columbia County is one of 36 counties in Oregon. There are about 54,000 people in Columbia County. Columbia County has many cities in it: St. Helens, Scappoose, Rainier, Deer Island, Prescott, Vernonia, Warren and Clatskanie. We publish papers in St. Helens and Clatskanie. Our St. Helens paper, The Chronicle, was started in 1881 and the Clatskanie paper, The Chief, was started in 1891. That makes the Chronicle 140 years old and The Chief 130 years old.
There are a lot of fun things to do in Oregon. The City of St. Helens is on the Columbia River. It is what separates us from the state of Washington. People enjoy skiing, hiking, fishing, hunting, and being on the river in their boats or kayaks. There were two windsurfers out on the river the other day. There is an island to camp on that you take a boat to that is also the hang out spot for bald eagles. There are really big ships that come through the river, some of them are container ships and last week we had a Norwegian Cruise Line come through. Lots of people live in houseboats on the river too. I think that would be really cool. I saw a boat pulling a houseboat on the river the other day. I had never seen that before.
There are a lot of mountains in Oregon which is great for hiking, skiing and snowboarding. On clear days, we can see Mount Hood from St. Helens, which is over a two-hour drive away. We can also see Mount St. Helens, which is a volcano that erupted on March 27, 1980. Even though Mount St. Helens is in Washington, the ash came all the way to St. Helens, Oregon. We can also see Mount Rainier and Mount Adams. When they have snow on them and the sun hits them just right, it looks like the mountain is glowing.
One of my favorite places to go is Multnomah Falls. It is a big waterfall that you can hike to the top and see all the way out to the Columbia River. The biggest drop of the waterfall is 542 feet, so it is important to stay in safe areas. It is really pretty and can also be seen from the highway. There is a scenic route you can take that will take you to many different waterfalls, which makes for a nice day trip. Another place we like to go is the beach. Did you know you can drive your car on the beach in Oregon? I had never seen that before I moved here.
People think it rains a lot up in the Pacific Northwest, but honestly it isn’t as much as people think and it keeps our trees and lawns green. Sometimes, it will rain in your front yard, but not in your back yard. I think that is really funny.
Oregon has a professional basketball team called the Trail Blazers. They play at the Moda Center. Both the Moda Center and the Trail Blazers team up every year to support kids in Oregon. They donate $20 for every assist made on the court. At the end of the season, they donate that money to help build an all-abilities playground in an Oregon community. St. Helens was entered to win a new park and people had to vote online for the city they wanted to win. Well, St. Helens won, and they will be redoing McCormick Park, which is right down the street from our office. It will be a really nice park with something that everyone can enjoy.
Have you ever seen the movie Halloweentown? Did you know that it was filmed in St. Helens, Oregon? Every October the City of St. Helens turns back into Halloweentown and there are performers, a giant pumpkin lighting and the stars from the movie come. It is a really big deal for the city. I sent you a copy of our Halloweentown Event Guide from 2019 so that you can check it out for yourself. They also filmed parts of Twilight here in St. Helens and they turned Bella’s house from the movie into an Airbnb so that fans can stay there. They were able to get a lot of the same items from the movie, so it looks the same as the movie. Lots of people take photos in front of the Columbia Theatre because it was in one of the Twilight movies.
We published your letter in The Chronicle and The Chief and also asked our online readers to respond to you. I hope they did. We have included some items for you about St. Helens and the surrounding area. I hope you enjoy looking through everything and learning about Oregon. Hopefully you can make it to Oregon one day and visit your uncle and do some of the fun things Oregon has to offer.
Your new(s) friends in Oregon,
Kelli Nicholson, Office Manager
Jeremy Ruark, Publisher / Executive Editor
James Yang, Graphic Designer
Amy Trull, Marketing Consultant