Silverton, Oregon is a city of around 10,000 people (according to the 2020 Census, located in Marion County, about 12 miles east of the capital of Salem, and about 35 miles south of Portland. It is in the Willamette Valley, but close to the foothills of the Cascade Range. It is on the banks of Silver Creek, which comes from nearby Silver Creek Falls State Park, and flows through town.

Like many other small towns in the Willamette Valley, Silverton started as a farming town, but grew rapidly after World War II. Today, depending on your viewpoint, Silverton is either a small agricultural community or a suburb of Salem. Local tourism is important to Silverton, as many people pass through it the way to Silver Creek Falls. It is also home to The Oregon Garden, a tourist attraction centered around The Gordon House, a home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. (Interestingly, the official history of the town on its website skips from its early history to the opening of the Oregon Garden). Silverton, Oregon was also the first town in the United States to elect a transgender person to mayor, when it elected Stu Rasmussen as mayor in 2008.

Silverton is a nice place to visit, although with many small, tourist-oriented town, activites may start to run thin after a few days. It is also interesting to me that the city can be viewed in different ways that don't fit the stereotypical typology of American communities. It is possible to look at Silverton as a small rural town---or as a growing, tony suburb. Also, while in some ways Silverton, like many towns in the rural Willamette Valley, could be seen as conservative socially and politically, it also was the first town in the United States to elect a transgender mayor.