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By a nail-biting vote of 52-50 in 1843, Oregon became a provisional territory of the United States. The voting site is at Champoeg Park on the Willamette River about 20 miles southwest of Portland.
There was a city at Champoeg (cham-poo-e’) at one time, but several floods in the late 1800’s destroyed most of the buildings. I included a photo showing how high the water rose in 1861. Maybe as a hint for the modern day, the Champoeg folks learned their lesson and soon moved to higher ground.
After visiting the pavilion and monument commemorating the 1843 event, I took a short loop to the west along the river. The cottonwood trees were very large, as big as any I have ever seen.
After returning to the pavilion, I began hiking to the east on a cinder path, which soon turned to a paved lane along the River.
A side path took me by an 1845 pioneer woman’s gravesite and then a nature hike loop. I spotted a young blacktail buck lying in the colorful fall leaves. He soon left as he saw me approaching for a better photo.
I then hiked an additional 1 1/2 miles to the Butteville Store, originally opened in 1863.
The hike back to the trailhead was very pleasant with squirrels and songbirds keeping me company.