6 Facts You May Not Know About Aurora, Oregon

Given Aurora, Oregon’s lengthy history, there are some unique facts about this unique town you may not know. Here are half a dozen interesting ‘info nuggets’ about Aurora, Oregon.

Aurora Oregon
Headstone of Aurora Keil, Aurora, Oregon’s Namesake

Fact #1. Aurora Has A ‘Secret’ Cemetery
One of Aurora, Oregon’s best-kept secrets is among its most historic.  There are numerous cemeteries in Aurora, nearby Butteville and Champoeg. Yet the one with the biggest connection to Aurora is tiny Keil Cemetery, situated off a graveled, little-used lane called Cole Road near Aurora’s west side. Founder Wilhelm Keil is buried here, as are his family members.  Especially noteworthy is the burial site of Dr. Keil’s daughter Aurora, the town’s namesake. The cemetery is less known because it’s located on private property. 

Aurora Oregon
1874 Photo of Oregon & California Train visiting Aurora, Oregon

Fact #2. Aurora’s Record of Fine Dining
Aurora has both good modern day restaurants, plus an exceptional culinary history. Ben Holladay, President of the Oregon & California Railroad, worked out an arrangement with Aurora’s founder, Dr. Wilhelm Keil to feed train passengers at Aurora with the settlement’s renowned cuisine. The food was so good in Aurora that travelers and even train workers would bypass eating at other railroad stops, making a point to dine in Aurora.

Aurora Oregon

Fact #3. Aurora, Oregon Is An Aviation Powerhouse
The Aurora State Airport is Oregon’s third busiest. Yet given its relatively small size, some might call the Aurora Airport a ‘mighty midget.’ Originally constructed during WWII as a military support airbase to Portland, the Aurora Airport is now a vital economic hub with vibrant businesses, including two helicopter heavyweights, Columbia Helicopters and Helicopter Transport Services.

Greater Aurora, Oregon is on both sides of the Clackamas-Marion County Line

Fact #4. Aurora, Oregon’s Unique Geography
Aurora includes both a town, but also encompasses a far larger rural setting, too. Greater Aurora is located virtually equidistant between the major metro areas of Portland & Salem, Oregon. Aurora’s 97002 zip code also lies astraddle of both Clackamas & Marion Counties. So depending on your specific location, this means two completely different sets of schools (Canby & North Marion) and property tax systems (Marion & Clackamas Counties).

Aurora Oregon
The Mood is Festive at the Aurora Colony Days Parade

Fact #5. Aurora Colony Days
Aurora’s Colony Days is a multiple day celebration of Aurora pageantry held every August. Features include a parade, marketplace, concerts, beer garden and even a 5k run/walk. It’s a family-friendly environment with something for everyone.

Fact #6. Yes, There Are Antiques, Too
Among Aurora’s commonly known, modern-day ‘claims-to-fame’ is its antique heritage. In fact, to many, antiques have long been Aurora’s main attraction. Given its small town charm and pedestrian friendly design, weekends are especially popular for many to visit downtown Aurora, Oregon.

Aurora Oregon, Aurora Oregon Homes, Aurora Oregon Real Estate, 97002

Are you interested in buying or selling an Aurora, Oregon home? Contact our Aurora, Oregon sponsor, Certified Realty for a free consultation at 503-682-1083 or use the convenient form below. 

Aurora, Oregon Airport News

The future is looking good for Aurora, Oregon’s potential growth and jobs.

Aerial View of Aurora State Airport

The Oregon Department of Aviation recently recommended moving forward with the extension of the Aurora State Airport’s runway. While more work remains, the flight path for this local economic boost seems clear. Read more here!


Venerable Aurora Property Sells

County records confirm a property sale earlier this year of venerable and valuable Aurora, Oregon acreage. Formerly owned by local charity Beyond the Reef Theological Center, the property is located just east of the Aurora State Airport at 22515 Airport Road NE, Aurora, Oregon.


A public records search indicates the sale involved two adjacent lots of 11.42 acres and 5.12 acres, closing in May, 2015. The selling price was $2,150,000 with the purchaser named as TLM Holdings, LLC. Ted Millar is named as a manager. Public records also indicate Ted Millar is involved with locally owned Southend Air Park and Westwood Development.

Beyond The Reef, Aurora Oregon, Aurora State Airport
Approximate Property Location in Red

State corporation documents show the earliest registry date for the organization named Beyond the Reef Theological Center as February, 1977. Since that date, their Aurora location was used as a meeting place for the faith-based organization, which included housing and a worship center, Missionary Memorial Church.

Online information about Beyond the Reef Theological Center underscores their calling as a non-profit organization based in Aurora, Oregon, with a mission for ministry to Micronesians who live in the Pacific Northwest and on Pacific islands half a world away.

No readily available future plans for the property appear to have yet been publicly disclosed.  

Aurora, Oregon State Airport Tower Update

With completion scheduled for Spring, 2015, construction continues on the Aurora, Oregon State Airport control tower.

Aurora Oregon, Aurora Oregon State Airport, Aurora Oregon Airport Tower, Aurora Oregon State Airport Tower Construction, 97002
Construction Toward A Crowning Achievement Continues on the Aurora, Oregon Airport Tower

Airport safety supporters deem the upgrade vital, since the Aurora State Airport is considered the third busiest in Oregon.

The new Aurora control tower will provide air traffic controllers with greatly improved views of take offs, taxiing and landings. In addition to enhanced safety, the new control tower could provide a financial boost to greater Aurora, Oregon with what some suggest could pave the way for more economic growth.

Aurora Oregon, Aurora State Airport, Aurora Oregon State Airport, Aurora Oregon Airport Tower, 97002
Proposed Overhead Site Layout of Aurora State Airport Tower

The Aurora, Oregon State Airport control tower will be 70 feet high with a workspace of approximately 5,600 square feet.  Centrex Construction of Tigard is the general contractor.

Aurora, Oregon Airport Tower

Construction of Aurora State Airport’s air traffic control tower continues, as workers perform exterior work in beautiful weather.

Aurora Oregon
Workers Busy on Aurora State Airport’s Control Tower

Aurora has Oregon’s fourth busiest airport. Construction of the Aurora State Airport control tower is estimated at 3.3 million dollars, with completion expected around January, 2015.

Interesting History
The airport was built by the United States Army Air Forces in 1943 when it was known as the ‘Aurora Flight Strip.’ It was an outlying supporting airfield to Portland’s Army Air Base for military aircraft on training flights. The future Aurora Airport was then closed after World War II, and turned over for state government use by the War Assets Administration (WAA).

Tower Background
The new Aurora State Airport tower has been on and off the facility’s master plan since 1978. Given the airport’s mixed traffic use of corporate jets, air-ambulance, recreation flyers, plus fixed wing and helicopter training operations, combined with a no radar service below 2,500 feet, aviation professionals consider the new tower critical to air safety.

The Oregon Department of Aviation arranged funding for the tower with state lottery dollars, along with FAA and other state funds.