Sixty-some years ago, as a Nebraska farm boy, I walked down the wagon ruts where the Oregon Trail crossed Nebraska about an hour's drive from our farm. It was interesting, but little did I know that three years later, crop failures would force our family to auction off all the farm equipment and most household items, load remaining items in a "borrowed" farm truck and a '49 Plymouth and follow the Oregon Trail to Oregon's Willamette valley.
Walking through the diorama and exhibits at the Center reminded me that,even though the pioneers and my family shared similar anxieties, uncertainties and hopes, our emigration was s-o-o-o-o much easier. And our life in Oregon has been such a blessing that we'd probably never have received, had those thousands of folks not endured the hardships of "The Trail" to make Oregon the welcome place we came to in 1954.
I don't expect others visiting the Center to experience the same emotions that choked me up, but I believe almost everyone will enjoy the realism of the dioramas and the variety of exhibits and presentations. The admission fees are modest and the NPS staffers keep the place well maintained and spotlessly clean.