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Salem To Independence
Your route south towards Eugene takes you out of Salem past the old paper mill, along Minto-Brown Island. The first station, two miles along the track, is Hazelau, now lost to history. It was named for the native German birthplace of a nearby landowner.

The name of the next station, Croisan, is perpetuated as Croisan Creek. It was named for John Henry Croisan who came to Oregon on the Applegate Trail in 1846 and settled there.

As we reach the next station, Livesley, we may say to ourselves, "But this is Roberts." That's right. The station was named for the T. A. Livesley hop yard, and when John J. Roberts bought out the Livesley interest, it became the Roberts hop yard and the station name was changed accordingly.

Our route moves to the Willamette River, past the present site of Hall's Ferry. The ferry began operating in 1868 and was named after its operator, B. F. Hall, who bought it in 1882.

The ferry at Independence, near where the bridge now stands, was more popular, leading as it did to the pioneer river town. Elvin A. Thorp, who settled there in 1845 named the town for his home in Independence, Missouri. The new community was stripped of most of its men in 1849 by the California gold rush. Thorp, his brother and father, mined $10,000 in gold and came back to infuse the new town with their wealth. The flood of 1861 sent water through the first story of every home, and the tragedy was repeated in 1880.

The Oregon Electric station serving Independence had a relatively short period of popularity. Within a few years of its opening, the city got an interurban rail line from the west leading directly into the town, eliminating the need for a ferry connection. This left the Oregon Electric station serving the sparsely populated east side of the river.

A high point in Independence history occurred in 1959, as part of the Oregon statehood centennial when a covered wagon train from its namesake city of Independence, Missouri arrived at Independence, Oregon.

Your route now continues south along the river past the miles and miles of hop yards that dominated the landscape during the years of the Oregon Electric operations. But our journey through the Salem area has ended.

End of the ride!

Researched and written by Wes Sullivan.

McArthur, Lewis A. Oregon Geographic Names, Fifth Edition. Portland, Or.: Western Imprints, 1982.

Federal Writers Project. Oregon, End of the Trail. Portland, Or.: Binford and Mort, 1940.

Friedman, Ralph. In Search of Western Oregon. Caldwell, Id.: Caxton Printers, 1990.

Lowry, Robert, et al. Railroading in the Lower Willamette Valley. Corvallis, Or.: Horner Museum, Oregon State University, 1979.

Abbott, Carl. Gateway to the Northwest. Northridge, Calif.: Windsor Press, 1985.

Abbott, Carl. The Great Extravaganza. Portland, Or.: Oregon Historical Society, 1981.

Moore, Lucia. The Story of Eugene. New York: Stratford House, 1949.
Culp, Edwin D. Stations West, the Story of the Oregon Railways. Caldwell, Id.: Caxton Printers, 1972

Also, my thanks to my former colleague at the Statesman Journal in Salem, Al Jones, for his counsel.


Illustration of train and passengers boarding
End of the Line
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Livesley Station
Livesley Station, Oregon Electric Railway, Salem, Oregon, 1913.
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