Rainier Area History and Founders

Within the years of 1805 & 1806, prior to the founding of Rainier, it is recorded that Lewis and Clark passed through the area at Prescott Beach and camped at a location near Goble, Oregon. Landmarks are situated there to recognize the occurrences.

Charles E Fox founded the City of Rainier in 1851; although he did not plat the townsite until 1855.  Fox was also known as Rainier’s first postman; although we did not officially have an established Government Post Office until 1863, when it was begun by Dean Blanchard.

Rainier originally went by the name of Eminence, was changed to Fox’s Landing, and then finally to Rainier on January 6, 1852. The name Rainier comes from Mount Rainier, located in Northern Washington, but visible from the hills around the city.

March 29, 1930 celebrated the opening of the Lewis & Clark Bridge. It was originally simply called the Longview Bridge and designed by Joseph B. Stauss (also designer of the San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge). This bridge allowed easier access between Rainier, Oregon and Longview, Washington. Previously travel was completed by a long, and sometimes rough, ride by ferry.

In March, 1976 Rainier also became known as the home for Trojan Nuclear Power Plant, the only commercial nuclear reactor ever constructed in Oregon. After many structural problems and concerns, the plant was closed in 1992, prior to it’s 20-year anticipated commission, and officially decommissioned in January 1993. On May 21, 2006, after many months of anticipation, the cooling tower was successfully imploded while being viewed by spectators on the North and South bank of the Columbia River, and an impressive number of camera crews & television viewers.