The Amazing History Of Settlers In The Oregon Cascades Area

Many people live in the Cascades area of Oregon without truly knowing the history, or understanding the sacrifice that the original settlers made. While the area is relatively tame today, at one point it represented some of the harshest challenges in the world. From disease to earthquakes, people in this area were forced to contend with the full fury of nature, coming out on top to create a vibrant and completely unique world within the Cascades range.

Many of the settlers came in wagons or on feed, others crossed the sea, hoping to find freedom in a new land of hope and gold. While few struck it rich on gold, many found that the plentiful farm land and optimal growing conditions made it easy for families to settle down, preparing an impressive inheritance for their descendants.

Among these immigrants were a number of record keepers who ensured that the history of the region was well preserved. It is through them, and the amazing genealogical societies and libraries that we know the stories of the first settlers. Through their careful hand written records, we can understand the triumphs and failings of generations filled with hope and need.

The Tragic History of Settlers In The Oregon Area

While many people came to Oregon hoping to find their fortunes, a huge number also didn’t survive along the way. This made the migration tragic, but full of interesting stories of triumph as well. The people who did make it quickly found that life in the mountains needed a special kind of person, spurring them onward towards their hopes and dreams. This has resulted in an extremely rugged and charismatic group of individuals inhabiting the region.

People who have ancestors int he area will often have impeccable records, telling you who survived and who didn’t, honoring their sacrifices with their continued existence. These record show us more than just migration patterns, they also show us the un-killable spirit of everyone in the area.

I was visiting Sisters County and met a gentleman from Minnesota, who owns a Minneapolis porch windows company, called Sunspace Twin Cities. We started talking about settlers coming out for the gold rush of the mid-1800’s. Today many people think of the area based upon the gold rush, and may not understand that Oregon was a land full of golden promises. Migrants from the days of old have passed down farms and businesses that dot the state, a testament to their will to survive. Now their descendants hold onto these living pieces of history with pride, showing the same rugged spirit that their ancestors had as well.

Brief History Of Settlers To The Oregon And Cascade Mountains Area

While there are a lot of secrets in Oregon, the patterns of migration from across the rest of the world to this region, are something we can accurately trace. The records left behind show a rather colorful story, that explains the rich culture in the region. I sat down and spent some time looking, and found that the area had been settled by a huge variety of people.

Of course, most people came in during the gold rush years, inspiring stories that I loved as a girl, and that gave us a glimpse at the history. The Oregon trail video game also chronicles this time.

However, there were a number of overseas immigrants as well, coming in to help with mining camps or to help with railroads. This helped to create the diverse culture of the area, with small China towns popping up around the area. Many of these are still around today, with families able to trace their history back to these first migrations.

Other migrations came in as more territory was explored, and as the mountains were conquered. Today the migrations of the past have helped shape the culture of today, with a rich patchwork of culture interacting on a daily basis.

Thanks for stopping by!

Hello! My name is Anna and I’ve always been fascinated by the setting of Oregon. Part of my college history course is to blog about a historical event that impacted the growth of the United States. So I figured that this would be a good fit since I get credit for the class and get to learn more at the same time! 🙂

It has been great learning about this topic, and here’s just a quick summary of the history of Oregon Cascade settlers.

Lewis And Clark were sent by President Thomas Jefferson to navigate and map out the land west of the Mississippi River. By 1840’s the area was a popular place for settlers of European descent to make a claim to the land. They had made it to Willamette along the Rickreall and Salt Creeks. By 1848 they were pouring into Willamette Valley into the Umpqua Valley as well.

The next areas we found settled were the Umpqua River and even the southern coast where Port Orford sits. They were a rugged bunch who were brazen enough to venture onto Neahkahnie Mountain in Tillamook Bay.

By 1850, the census counted 11,873 settlers, with nearly 60% male and the rest female. It had two main sources of people: large, extended families and single men from Europe or the Northeast.

The California Gold Rush created an opportunity that many Oregon settlers could not resist. They set their families up while they went on the search for gold. They did return with booty the follow fall.

The great population draw into the new state of California during the heyday of the gold rush created great opportunities for the established farmers in Oregon.

The Cascade Mountain area of Oregon was first seen on a large scale when Lewis and Clark came through the area during their great expedition in 1805. They were the first white people of any size to see the great mountain ranges and the magnificent forests in the region.

Many settlers followed as word of the beauty and the possible great farm and forest lands giving sustenance enough for settlement. Fort Vancouver being established in the 1820’s caused excitement in regard to western settlement as the Hudson Bay Company trappers and established trails among areas from Mt. Shasta all the way up to Puget Sound.

Real settlement of the area did not really begin to take place until the early 1840s when the Oregon Trail became the best path through the west on out into Oregon.

Once enough settlers made their way west on the Oregon trail, the railroads soon began to follow, which brought thousands of settlers out to the Cascades and Oregon country.

People found that the soil was generally good for farming, as the centuries of volcanoes have enriched the soil with potassium, ideal for growing crops. The areas were well watered by the rivers and glaciers, which added to the excitement of moving west to live.