Category Archives: Pioneer Lore

Information about early settlers’ experiences.

Excerpt from coming book on NW Oregon: What was Illahee?

Some of you may be aware that I am writing a book about trails between Portland and the Coast for the Oregon University Press that will probably be released in early 2016. As part of that exercise, I have been … Continue reading

Posted in Indian lore, Lower Columbia Trails, Pioneer Lore | 1 Comment

Moonshining along the Lower Columbia River.

Usually the banks of the Nehalem river are the very picture of pastoral peace and quiet, especially down on the old Warren Smith Farm near Pittsburg. In particular, the chickens sauntering around their pen in the small clearing along the … Continue reading

Posted in Lower Columbia Trails, Misc Trails & Trips, Moonshine Trails and Tales, Pioneer Lore, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Kerfuffle in the St. Helens Schoolyard.

When Judge McBride became the St. Helens schoolmaster in 1866, the school was a  low-slung log cabin located alongside a swamp which, according to the pupils, “was prolific of green slime, mosquitoes and ague”. At the time, St.Helens had only … Continue reading

Posted in Animal lore, Lower Columbia Trails, Pioneer Lore, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Be careful what you ask for.

In the mid- 1800’s when the settlements on the lower Columbia River and in the Nehalem Valley were just beginning to proliferate, it was the practice to bring in a preacher to officiate at local marriages – and thus the … Continue reading

Posted in Lower Columbia Trails, Pioneer Lore, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

32 Indian and Pioneer Trails in the North Coast range – compiled by R. L. Benson

Although I have been collecting materials about early Oregon coastal trails and paths for many years, I was pleasantly surprised to find some original historical research compiled by Robert Benson in 1981. It included this unusual map and this uniquely … Continue reading

Posted in Coastal Trails, Indian lore, Misc Trails & Trips, Nehalem Valley Trails, Pioneer Lore, Trails | 4 Comments

Shoot-out at the Sophie Mozee homestead!

Here is is an excerpt from a piece I just completed and added to the roster of  trails listed under the geographic tab for the West Hills. In this “historic trail” description I try to use nuggets of contemporary opinion … Continue reading

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What the Indians really smoked in their peace pipes.

In the pioneer days tobacco was sold in pretzel-like twists weighing about an ounce, and referred to as a “carrot”. They were ubiquitous throughout the west, part of every story and included in every important meeting. At the time, everyone … Continue reading

Posted in Indian lore, Pioneer Lore, Plant lore | 1 Comment

Following the Golden Rule

The early 1800’s were a time rife with social experimentation. Today, it’s hard to see that idealism in the faded daguerreotypes and the stern visages that stare out at us from that far edge of modernity. This was the period … Continue reading

Posted in Indian lore, Pioneer Lore | 1 Comment

The Tualatin Hills are not just “a walk in the woods”!

During the 1830’s the famed Methodist circuit rider, Jason Lee, is said to have established a road across the Tualatin Hills that connected Scappoose and St. Helens with the communities in northern Washington County. It is very possible that today’s … Continue reading

Posted in Lower Columbia Trails, Misc Trails & Trips, Pioneer Lore | 3 Comments

“Sauvie” Island? Why not “Logie’s Island” or even “Wapato Island”?

Nowadays the island at the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia Rivers, is referred to as “Sauvie Island”, or sometimes “Sauvie’s Island” by the older residents. It’s a favorite spot for Portlanders to cycle, to hunt water fowl, or even … Continue reading

Posted in Indian lore, Lower Columbia Trails, Pioneer Lore, Plant lore, Uncategorized | 10 Comments