The community of Keizer was shaped by the banks of the Willamette River. It was first inhabited by the Kalapuya tribe, and then came fur trappers and early missionaries farther north along the river. Homesteaders arrived in the 1840s. The rich river-bottom farmland remained quiet until the boom of automobiles after World War II. Keizer boasts neither fancy buildings nor brick edifices but proudly carries its spirit of volunteerism and perseverance. Pioneer Thomas Dove Keizur and Oregon senator Charles McNary are noted citizens. The iconic 1916 Keizer schoolhouse, now Keizer Heritage Center, is a cherished landmark. The story of Keizer comprises an account of the settlement of the state of Oregon—from wagon train to a thriving city. Keizer officially became an incorporated city in 1982.
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