Your Oregon experience can radiate from Eugene, like Mary

Visitors who are just discovering Eugene should understand what its first white settler saw in the place. Frontiersmen had been passing through the area for several years, but it was Mary Skinner who told her husband, Eugene, that this would be a good place to settle. They built a cabin on the butte and raised their family here.

What did Mary Skinner see? Access. She thought the area held great promise, not for what it was, but for what could be reached from there. The mountains to the east, the ocean to the west, trading posts to the north, and fertile forests to the south. It was a perfect place to reach all the other possible places.

Eugene has always thought of itself as a base camp. When the Southern Pacific Railroad built a spur from Portland that met the Eastern Railway line in Eugene, the theme emerged a second time. Eugene marketed itself in 1915 — and this is no joke — as “The City of Radiation,” complete with an eerie green and yellow glow behind it.