They called it Fort Deposit!
Mt. Hood Fall & Winter 1845 - 1846
The story of Oregon's first self-storage facility
Our name, FORT DEPOSIT, is an authentic Oregon original, straight out of Mt. Hood's History. Fort Deposit was the first Self-Storage facility in Oregon. In the winter of 1845-46 Sam Barlow and wagon train members built a log house at Summit Meadows. They stored provisions and wagons on this Barlow Trail segment of the Oregon Trail. Later, when the snows had melted on Mt. Hood they brought them on the Oregon City.
Samuel K, Barlow was a leader of an Oregon Trail wagon train - destination the Willamette Valley. He was from Kentucky, 51 years old and had a family of grown children who came with him and his wife, Susanah Lee Barlow. When the wagon train reached The Dalles, Barlow learned that the Hudson Bay Company shuttle boats were not available to float the Columbia River. He inquired about a land route over the Cascades, but was told it was impossible to take wagons over the mountains. He then made his claim that "God never made a mountain but he made a way for a man to go over or around it." He proposed to find a way for his party to blaze a road south of Mt. Hood.
In late September, Barlow, and his friend William Rector and other families totaling 19 adults and several children packed their goods into seven wagons. Their dogs help drive livestock, probably following an ancient trail as their route journeyed through the towns of Boyd, Dufur and down into Tygh Valley. Wagon train members made camp while Barlow and Rector rode on to find a possible route west.
Vera Martin Lynch, in her book Free Land for free Men A Story of Clackamas County: tells us" Further scouting for a road made the men realize that to find a way before winter through the labyrinth of ridges and gullies would be impossible. Palmer recommended building a cabin to store their goods so that they could proceed to Oregon City by horseback. His judgment prevailed and the plan took shape on Barlow Creek just beyond Summit Meadows. They called it Fort Deposit!
CLICK HERE to read more about the history of The Barlow Trail.