Name: Jordan, Oregon
GPS:Latitude: 44.7270667, Longitude: -122.6998089
Directions: Take Highway 22 east from Salem towards Detroit Lake. At Lyons, turn right on to OR-226/Albany-Lyons Highway. At 6.3 miles Jordan Road is on the left. The town was in this area.
The Jordan Valley area was supposedly named by Joab Powell in honor of the Valley of the Jordan in the Holy Land. Joab was a famous circuit preacher in Linn County. By 1874 there were enough citizens to form a community, and the post office of Jordan was established on August 10. Elias Forgey was the first post master. By the time the post office closed on October 31, 1905, there were five more post masters.
Jordan apparently became a location known for it’s religious communities. There are four separate books written about religious institutions there (see below.) One of these was the Monastery of Our Lady of Jordan, Oregon, but before that in 1885 several young women were forming a religious colony at Jordan. They moved to Sublimity to become the Sisters of the Previous Blood. Later they were renamed to the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon.
The Monastery of Our Lady of Jordan was formed in 1904 by Cistercian monks forced to leave France due to the Waldeck-Rousseau Act of 1901. They purchased 400 acres, built a saw mill, and had about 200 acres of farmland. A lack of business experience led to the failure of the monastery. The Benedictines of Mount Angel ended up taking over and resolving the finances.
A covered bridge was built to cross Thomas Creek in 1937. The Oregon Department of Transportation reports that Jordan had a dam, a cheese factory, two mills, and a general store at that time. The bridge and dam were both gone by 1986.
A History of the Catholic Church in the Pacific Northwest by Wilfrid P. Schoenberg
Centennial History 1885-1985 Our Lady of Lourdes, Jordan, Oregon
Monks of Jordan by Martinus Cawley
These Valiant Women by Wilfrid P. Schoenberg
Jordan Covered Bridge: