About Cottage Grove, Oregon

History buffs are drawn to Cottage Grove because so much history has been preserved here. The Cottage Grove community rallies around their bridges and other historical structures. A large tract of downtown Cottage Grove is on the National Register of Historic Places. It includes such jewels as the Cottage Grove Armory among its historic businesses, churches and residences.

Bohemia Mining

In the mid-1800s gold was discovered in the Bohemia mountains above Cottage Grove. When mining dissipated in the 1920s, the mountains were left pocked with ghost shanty towns and abandoned mines. However, some ongoing mining patents and active claims still remain. Visitors exploring the area are urged to respect private property and to stay out of mines and buildings for personal safety. A better way to delve into the local history is at the Bohemia Gold Mining Museum which sheds light on this fascinating era. Also, every July the Bohemia Mining Days festival celebrates those trying days.

Covered Bridge Capital of the West

Cottage Grove has six covered bridges, including the only existing covered railroad bridge in the west - the 1925 Chambers Railroad Bridge which was restored in 2011.

Cottage Grove Stories

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  • Guide to Cottage Grove's Covered Bridges

    Who can resist the allure of historic covered bridges? Walk inside the cool, creaky chambers, damp from… Read More

    Film History

    One of the most expensive, massive and dramatic train crashes in film history took place in Cottage Grove under the direction of director and actor Buster Keaton in 1926. Despite the film's mediocre reception, today this silent, black-and-white classic is heralded as one of the greatest films ever made. Visit the former Bartell Hotel (now a restaurant and bottle shop) where Buster Keaton stayed while filming The General.

    A film industry favorite, Cottage Grove has also been a backdrop in scenes from Lost in the Stars (1974), Animal House (1978), Stand By Me (1985), Without Limits (1996), Ricochet River (1997), The Sisters (2004) and Zerophilia (2004).

    Remember the parade scene in Animal House? That scene was filmed along Main Street. Flashback to Stand By Me with a walk along the railroad trestle.  

    More Resources

    With half a dozen historic and beautifully preserved covered bridges, Cottage Grove is known as the Covered Bridge Capital of the West