History of Boones Ferry Road

Boones Ferry Road is one of the oldest roads in the region, extending away from the ferry north toward Portland, and south to Salem. The Boones Ferry Road route is much older than 170 years. Jesse Boone, great-grandson of Daniel Boone, laid a split log roadway from the family homestead near present-day Wilsonville north to Portland and south toward Salem. He cleared the road in 1847 by following an ancient indigenous trail. The Willamette Valley was the traditional homeland of the widespread Kalapuya people. Today, most Kalapuya descendants are enrolled in the federally recognized Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde. Some are members of the Confederated Tribes of the Siletz.

The Boones’ cable ferry was propelled by oarsmen from the nearby Tualatin band, one of the Kalapuya. The first iteration of the ferry was a couple of canoes joined together by a platform. The ferry crossed the Willamette River near present-day Wilsonville from 1847 to 1954. In pioneer times, Boones Ferry Road was part of a major land-based thoroughfare that linked Portland with the pre-territorial government at Champoeg, and later Salem. The Ferry was eventually made obsolete by the Boone Bridge on Interstate 5.

Photo of the Boones Ferry crossing the Willamette

End of SW News article.

Establishment of the Ferry at Wilsonville

Historical Marker placed in 1937

Please excuse duplicated text here. Needs editing. --jm

A historical marker was placed at the north end by the Boone Family in 1937. This is not a gravestone, it's a historical marker. Jesse is buried in the Butteville Cemetery, a couple miles from the Boone's Ferry Landing on the Willamette River, close to Wilsonville. See next section for the Butteville Cemetery site.


A Historical Marker, In Memory of Jesse Boone, 1824 – 1872, Founder of the Boone’s Ferry in 1847 was dedicated Oct 24, 1937 by the Boone Family Association. It sits at the nexus of Boones Ferry Road and Taylors Ferry Road.


The marker is located near the intersection of Southwest Boones Ferry and Taylor's Ferry roads in Southwest Portland. Jesse's 78-year-old son, Van Daniel Boone, unveiled the marker during a ceremony. See the References below for a link to a PDF that contains the speech, a poem, and the dedication recited on that day.

Jesse V Boone Memorial dedicated in Butteville Cemetery, June 26, 2021

Prior to 2021, Jesse Boone's grave was unmarked... Including graves of his children.

Boone Family members gathered behind Jesse V Boone monument. At long last, a Great Day! (Artist Shotola-Hardt on far right.)

From Portland Tribune article 'Historical society rewrites history, honors a Wilsonville founding figure': While conventional wisdom suggests Alphonso Boone started Boones Ferry, which commercialized the Wilsonville area leading to the settlement of Boones Landing (eventually Wilsonville), these historians think that his son Jesse Boone instead introduced, or at least popularized, the ferry as well as the route that became Boones Ferry Road. Read the full article here: [Pamplin Media]

Wilsonville artist Christopher Shotola-Hardt made this excellent design for the monument marking Jesse Boone's gravesite.

The monument was dedicated on Saturday morning, June 26, 2021 at the Butteville Cemetery. Carolyn Lehan, of Pleasant View Cemetery, gave introductions and made the dedication, culminating years of several people's work. The celebrants adjourned to the Butteville Store for Ice Cream!

Jesse Boone's Death

Boone died when only 48 years old! Why?

Morning Oregonian, March 25, 1872

Fatal Shooting Affray at Boone's Ferry.

Oregon City, March 25.--Jesse V. Boone of Clackamas county, was shot fatally to day, about 9 o'clock A. M., by Jacob Ingle, on the premises of the deceased, near Boone's ferry landing. The dispute arose about the division of some sheep. Boone died in a few minutes after he was shot. Ingle is now a prisoner in charge of Sheriff Warner.

end of TELEGRAPH report.

Jesse Boone had a farm near the ferry landing (a land use donation claim) where this took place, evidently. (Where was that farm located? i.e. What is there today?)

J.V. Boone is buried in Butteville Cemetery, not far from his farm. Grave is unmarked, along with others in his family. There is a George Boone marker. Boone grave is straight ahead about 40 feet from the north gate of the cemetery.

See above 6/21/2021 report: 'Historical society rewrites history, honors a Wilsonville founding figure'.

Details of Construction of the Boones Ferry Road

Need text here! (Will talk to Boone Family historians at the dedication.)

Neighborhood Traffic Management Program (NTMP)

In order to quell absurd speeding and traffic volume, this NTMP program managed a half-closure of BFR at the north end, and installed speed bumps between Terwilliger & Taylors Ferry Road. Here is a blog entry on the: NTMP.

I-5 and the Boone Bridge

Need text here.

The Better Boones Ferry Road Project in Lake Grove

Need text here.

Boones Ferry Road Culvert Updated 2020-2021

The City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services completed a major habitat restoration and bridge-building project over Tryon Creek for SW Boones Ferry Road at SW Arnold Street on Friday, April 16, 2021. Construction started February 2020. City, aware of the problems with the culvert, has been talking about improvements since 2005.

The new Tryon Creek bridge allows the creek to flow freely. It replaced an aging culvert which restricted water flow, caused erosion and flood surges and blocked fish and wildlife. The new 125-foot span includes two travel lanes, wide sidewalks and a trail for people and wildlife underneath it. It creates and restores connections for fish, wildlife and people.