Once Estacada was known as an industrial logging town, and when the trees were gone, the lumber mills closed and most of the people moved away. However, in recent years the town of Estacada has sought to rebrand itself as a leader in art and education.
Despite the small population of its school district, the Estacada Web Academy has attracted students from around the Portland area from as far away as Forest Grove.
However, it is Estacada's efforts to show itself as a haven of art that has proven to be the most obvious, which is evident in the murals that have been painted by the citizens and artists of the town during the past 20 years. These paintings, which cover many of the walls of the town, tell incidents of the history of the region as well as cultural activities like fairs and fishing that can be found in the area.
In addition to serving the purposes of gentrification by a demonstration of high culture, the murals of Estacada also serve to further increase civic pride.
To quote Rachael Boise, a citizen of Estacada, and a student at Estacada Web Academy: "Estacada is a small town, close to everything...but away from it all. Living in Estacada for the past sixteen years of my life, I never really thought much about the beautiful paintings and sculptures that can be found all around my hometown. Estacada is known by many for the numerous murals and different art that can be found up and down the streets, which strikes up the interest of people from bigger cities far off. Why would such a little town try to attract travelers using such a unique approach?"
Just like Rachael's understanding of the art of Estacada led her to be more proud of her hometown, so too her town's art has drawn attention from far and wide, and given Estacada a second chance after the loss of the lumber mills that once defined its identity.