Business History

Anniversary of the Oregon Area Historical Society

Read about the Oregon Area Historical Society’s 30th Anniversary (1987-2017)


Business Ads

See local business advertisements from 1895.  Check out 1895 Local Business Adsdowntown



Read about Early Downtown before 1898



The first hotel in Oregon is the EXCHANGE HOTEL, which was built in 1845 on the south side of the square. This business failed and the hotel was then purchased by Richard Chandler. It became known as the CHANDLER HOTEL.  Read about Oregon’s First Hotels



The first library was established in Oregon in 1908 when Mrs. William Bennett started a lending library in a room above the Criddle Drug Store (now Señor Peppers). In 1914, the library moved to the second story of the McDermott building above where the Chocolate Caper is located today.  Read about Oregon’s First Village Library


Pump House Restoration

On June 6, 2017, the restoration of Oregon’s “Tin Man” was completed.  Watch a video and find out more information about this community project led by Randy Glysch.  Read about Oregon’s Pump House & Water Tower Restoration



The Beloit and Madison Railroad (later part of the Chicago and Northwestern) extended the line through the village, giving Oregon an advantage over the outlying settlements. Oregon was an important nucleus of trade, a shipping point for livestock to the Chicago market (1890-1930).  Read about the Railroad that Came to Oregon


Railroad Clothing

The ideal complement to the new railroad diorama exhibit is the donation of a conductor’s uniform received from Oregon resident, Dick Richardson.  View Historic Railroad Employee Clothing


Red Cross Auction

Read about the July 4th, 1918 Celebration and Oregon Business Donations for the Red Cross Auction.  Read about the July 4th, 1918 Celebration and Red Cross Auction


Restaurant & Motel

Read about the Waterfall Restaurant and Motel



A photo of Steve Madsen’s store in downtown Oregon.  View the Home Owned Store