Settlers first occupied the pioneer settlement now known as West Linn in the early 1840s when Robert Moore purchased 1,000 acres of land from the "Wallamut" (Willamette) Indians. He built his cabin high on a slope overlooking the Willamette Falls and set about building a town, calling it “Robin's Nest.” The town was situated on property now occupied by the West Linn Paper Company.
By 1846, Moore had built four flour and lumber mills, along with dwellings for the mill workers. He also operated a ferry to Oregon City. In 1845, Moore renamed the tiny town “Linn City” in honor of his friend, well-known free-state advocate Dr. Lewis F. Linn, a U.S. Senator from Missouri and sponsor of the Donation Land Claim Bill. Moore became Linn City’s first postmaster in 1850, and purchased The Spectator, an Oregon City newspaper, in 1852. By then, his Linn City enterprises included a gristmill, sawmill, warehouse, wharves, and a breakwater to create a basin for boats to load and unload cargo.
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The Willamette Falls is a natural waterfall on the Willamette River between Oregon City and West Linn, Oregon, in the United States. It is the largest waterfall in the Northwestern United States by volume, and the seventeenth widest in the world. Horseshoe in shape, it is 1,500 feet (460 m) wide and 40 feet (12 m) high with a flow of 30,849 cu ft/s (874 m³/s), located 26 miles (42 km) upriver from the Willamette's mouth.
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