Category Archives: Pioneer Lore

Information about early settlers’ experiences.

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 | 9 Comments

Rediscovering David Thompson: he mapped the transcontinental canoe route down the Columbia River!

The shadowy fog wreathed London in that gloomy winter of 1783. Its chill dank air permeated into the austere schoolroom and gripped at the hearts of the two boys that stood stiffly before the visiting Secretary of the renowned Hudson … Continue reading

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In some places March may “go out like a lamb”, but not here.

The canoe trip was lovely – paddling through the quite of a blustery March afternoon, arousing the occasional Mallards and Canada Geese, but otherwise gliding unobtrusively through the dark brackish waters of this tidewater pond. The woods around this area are full of wildlife including a large population of black bears. Continue reading

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