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Flagstaff Hill Tepee

Here at Flagstaff Hill the BLM operates the National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center, one of the best in the nation. Great ruts, great views, great indoor dioramas. A "must see" for the serious or casual researcher. The Flagstaff name comes from one of the mines on the hill, it is not a trail name. Most emigrants referred to it simply as the divide between Burnt & Powder Rivers, as did James W. Nesmith: "Looney's wagon turned over this morning soon after leaving camp. We crossed the divide and camped at the lone pine tree..." (9/27/1843)

Looking down on Baker Valley, over the pristine ruts and the site of the long lamented Lone Pine Tree. In 1836, Narcissa Whitman wrote: "The place called Lone Tree is a beautiful valley in the region of the Powder River, in the centre of which is a lone tree, quite large, by the side of which travelers usually stop and refresh themselves..".
     
It
was cut down sometime in 1843 by:
"the vandal hands of man....Had I been there in time I would have begged those woodmen to 'spare that tree' (Peter Burnett, 1843) An 1844 pioneer, Jacob Hammer wrote that they:  
"Traveled twenty-two miles and camped at the loan stump..."

Flagstaff Hill Display

This is one of the great displays inside the Flagstaff Hill Interpretive Center. Wagons and tents light up with silhouettes and recorded voices tell the related story.

This display is very theatrical, yet the medium enhances rather than overwhelms the message.

Flagstaff Hill
OAG
= DeLorme's Oregon Atlas & Gazetteer
MOT
= Franzwa's Maps of the Oregon Trail
OTR
= Franzwa's Oregon Trail Revisited

I have to compliment the architects of the Flagstaff Hill Oregon Trail Interpretive Center. From the road below it looks like a big wagon coming over the hill. The first time I saw it I knew what it was. And the displays inside really tell the story.

The next stop, North Powder, was significant in the 1811 trek by the Overland Astorians who blazed much of the Oregon Trail 30 years before it had a name. It was near here that Marie Dorion, the hardy Indian wife of interpreter Pierre Dorion, gave birth to her third child on Dec. 30, 1811.

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