Established in 1850, Fort Dalles (15th St. and Garrison St., 541/296-4547, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. daily Apr.–Oct., $5 adult) was meant to protect the incoming settlers along the Oregon Trail from the large Native American presence in the area. At the time it was built, Fort Dalles was the only U.S. Army garrison between the Pacific Coast and Wyoming.
Of the original 10-square-mile encampment, only a grassy park with the Surgeon’s Quarters, dating back to 1856, remains. The wooden structure serves as a museum for armaments, period furniture, and other pioneer items, as well as Native American artifacts. This is Oregon’s oldest historic museum, dating back to 1905.
Just down the hill, Pulpit Rock, a curious thumb of rock near the corner of 12th and Court Streets, combines geology and theology. From this natural pulpit, early Methodist missionaries preached to the Native Americans. The rock still serves as a pulpit for local Easter services.
by Judy Jewell and W. C. McRae from Moon Oregon, 8th Edition, © Elizabeth & Mark Morris and Avalon Travel