Where did Sweet Home get its name?


January 18, 2002

Former Director East Linn Museum

In 1847 the Lowell Ames family first filed donation land claims for land that would eventually become Sweet Home, Oregon. The father,his six sons and one daughter, Sweet Home's first settlers, each took out property claims. Ames Creek, which runs through the center of Sweet Home was named after the family.

About that time, a group of Mormons on a wagon train, hoping to escape persecution, homesteaded the current downtown Sweet Home area. They built a settlement which they called Pilgrim's Camp near the present-day bridge over Ames Creek on Long Street. They would soon move elsewhere.

The East Linn Museum on the corner of Long and Main Streets (US Hyw. 20) is housed in a former Mormon church.

In 1852, a second wagon train came to the area. New families that settled in the community included the Pickens, Russells and Gillilands.

The name "Sweet Home"

Samuel Powell and William Clark built a cabin on their adjoining property line, so that each one slept on their own property (to obey the Homestead Law), but shared kitchen and living quarters. The story is that Clark one morning, woke up, looked around and exclaimed: "Oh, what a Home, Sweet Home."

About 1852 The McCajah Moss family came to the area. They staked a claim to 160 acres where the current Sweet Home High School is now located, and established a community which they called Mossville.

In 1872 Zealy Bulford Moss, a son of McCajah Moss, built a saloon which he called "Buckhead" where Pilgrims' Camp had been located.

In early 1880s, the villages of Mossville and Buckhead came together to become The Village of Sweet Home.

In 1893, Sweet Home incorporated and became a city. The town did not have a charter from the State of Oregon until 1910 -- "townsfolk didn't see any need for it."


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