The earliest travelers to Oregon Country abandoned their wagons at The Dalles and proceeded on down the Columbia River on rafts that took them to Fort Vancouver. But overland emigrants wanted to keep their wagons rolling, and John Barlow saw an opportunity. He cut a path over the Cascades, through a forest of massive evergreens, sweeping around the base of Mount Hood.
Barlow’s Road crossed through the Tygh Valley and turned west. Winding through a forest, and traversing small creeks and the White River, the road headed west through Summit Meadows to Government Camp before descending the precipitous Laurel Hill. Ultimately, the pioneers put the snow-capped Mount Hood behind them as they followed the Sandy River, and then struck out for Eagle Creek and a campsite at Philip Foster’s Farm. This farm served as the final camping spot for travelers on the Barlow Road, a welcome place to rest and make plans for claiming land in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. Foster helped build and fund the Barlow Road, no doubt realizing the strategic location of his own farm.