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.