Gladstone is a city located in Clackamas County, Oregon, United States. The population was 11,491 at the 2010 census. Gladstone is an approximately 4-square-mile (10 km2) suburban community, 12 miles (19 km) south of Portland, the largest city in Oregon, and located at the confluence of the Clackamas and Willamette rivers.
Gladstone has held several important cultural and social events, hosting both the inaugural Clackamas County Fair and the Oregon State Fair, before both were moved to more spacious locations. Both Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan and presidential candidate Theodore Roosevelt have given public speeches in the city.
Prior to European settlement, there were several Native American groups living in the area that was to become Gladstone.
In 1804, President Thomas Jefferson commissioned the Lewis and Clark expedition to explore the Louisiana Territory and beyond. Although the expedition passed only near the Gladstone – Oregon City locality on their way to and from the Pacific Ocean, via the Columbia River, natives such as the Kalapuya and the Clackamas people told them about the area.
In the subsequent years, successive waves of explorers and traders would introduce epidemics of cholera and smallpox, which would take a heavy toll on the native peoples and contributed to a substantial reduction in population.
As Oregon City was founded and European settlers began moving to the area, they petitioned their governments to remove the local natives from the land, so that the settlers could use it for farming and housing. The government allocated a reservation for the natives and re-appropriated Gladstone for redevelopment.
As of 2014, the only extant remnant of the bygone natives is a large maple tree called the "Pow Wow Tree", which is listed as an Oregon Heritage Tree. The tree still stands at Clackamas Boulevard, and is said to have marked the place where the different native tribes, mainly Clackamas and Multnomahs, met to make trading agreements, settle community affairs, and conduct wedding ceremonies. In 1860, the Pow-Wow Tree was the location set for the first Clackamas County Fair. The following year, it was used as a parade ring for the first Oregon State Fair and marked the entrance. In 1937, the tree itself was celebrated with the Gladstone Pow-Wow Festival.
The earliest homesteads in the area were recipients of the Donation Land Claim Act.