Oregon Trail in Oregon Clickable Map

North Powder

In Sept. 1843, Overton Johnson wrote: "From the head of the Brule (Burnt River), we came next to the valley of the Powder River. Here, the aspect of the country changes rapidly. Leaving behind us the Sage and Sand, we find the hills and mountains covered with Pines, and the little valleys along the Creeks and Rivers, with excellent grass. this valley is about ten miles wide, and thirty mikles long; a large portion of which has a good soil. It is encircled by hills and Mountains."

This is an earlier sign. The newer sign tells more of the story." The book Astoria, written by Washington Irving in 1836 and still in print, tells the story of the founding of the first American settlement in the Oregon Country. Wilson Price Hunt led an expedition overland from St. Louis to establish John Jacob Astor's new Pacific Fur Company at the mouth of the Columbia River.   Marie Dorion was the wife of the interpreter, Pierre. She also had two sons, 2 and 4, who were on the journey too. The new child, often spoken of as the first partly white child to be born in Oregon, lived only nine days.

Members of this party, William Cannon and Etienne Lucier settled in the Willamette Valley  and were there to greet the first wagon trains 30 years later. I believe that William Cannon was the first American to come to Oregon and stay.

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

Progress can be seen in a reading of diary entries over the years. In areas where 1843 emigrants talked of trails and tracks, lack of help and provisions, 1853 travelers spoke of good roads, Traders Posts, ferries, and bridges.

"A beautiful road today for 10 miles when we struck a fork of Powder River then crossed a rough point of bluff and down the valley and crossed the first fork, drove on to the last fork and camped, there are three forks about two miles apart, came 15 miles today, tonight some Nez Perces Indians came along with some potatoes and peas which is a welcome vegetable to emigrants. (Elizabeth Julia Goltra; Sept. 2, 1853)

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