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A Glimpse Into Oregon"s History

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Anyone who has ever been to Oregon will quickly agree that it is a state with a rich heritage.
As the white people spread across the countryside, numerous changes rippled through the nation.
The following five tales open the door to the historical wonders of Oregon, blazing a trail to an adventure through time.
Western Adventure In 1804 Lewis and Clark began their famous trek across the western part of our nation.
Searching for a waterway that would allow a better way to transport goods across the country, they were also dedicated to discovering just what was included in the land that was granted to the United States in the Louisiana Purchase.
Following the Missouri River, the expedition slowly made its way to Orgeon, where they decided to spend the bitter winter months at Fort Clatsop, which is near present day Astoria, Oregon.
In modern times, the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail can still be followed along the Missouri and Columbia rivers.
At 3700 miles long, it is the second longest National Trail.
Finishing in Astoria, visitors can take a further look at the history of Lewis and Clark and Oregon itself at one of many historical sites including Fort Clatsop, the Columbia River Maritime Museum, and Fort Stevens State Park.
The Long, Dusty Trail With promises of cheap land and a new beginning, thousands of settlers packed up their belongings and made the journey west across the Oregon Trail.
Nearly 2200 miles long, the journey would take five months of brutal hardship across some of the most grueling terrain America has to offer.
Indeed, many never did finish the journey, choosing to settle along the way.
The huge Conestoga wagons most commonly used by Pioneers were not suited to travel across the prairies, making it necessary to develop a new, streamlined vehicle nicknamed the Prairie Schooner.
At half the size and weight of the Conestogas, these wagons made it possible for settlers to make the full voyage without becoming stranded.
The Oregon Trail was only in heavy use for 25 years due to the construction of the transcontinental railroad.
Even so, it saw more than 300,000 travelers during its time.
Now it can be traveled by car along the Oregon National Historic Trail, a large portion of which follows U.
S.
Highway 26.
Indian Uprising As settlers filled the lands, taking over any plots that had value for growing crops, the Native Indians' traditional lands were under assault.
Terrible crimes were committed against the Indians, from unfair treaties to wholesale slaughter of those who would not give way to the oncoming white hoard.
Many tribes of Indians were squeezed into reserves that were far too small to cope with their numbers, the terrible living conditions causing illness and decimating the population.
It is not surprising that some of these tribes rebelled.
One such group was the Modoc Indians.
Leaving the reserve in which they were forced to live with their enemies, they attempted to reclaim their territory.
U.
S.
soldiers went to retrieve the Indians, which started the Modoc War of 1872-73.
Finally, the Modoc Indians were captured and their leaders were put to death at Fort Klamath.
Fort Klamath has long since been destroyed, but the site has been opened as a museum, and the graves of the Modoc Chiefs remain.
Getting Shanghaied A brutal practice, the capture and sale of men to serve as seamen was apparently in force in Portland, Oregon from 1850-1940.
While it has not been fully proven when, where and how these kidnappings occurred, it is a fact that men were purchased by captains of ships bound to the Orient to serve as free labor for the voyage.
Legend has it that Portland was one of the primary sources of this kind of cheap labor.
Below the city is a vast series of basements interconnected by tunnels that are commonly known as the Shanghai Tunnels.
Running from Portland's Old Town to downtown Portland, it is suspected that these tunnels were used to hold captured men and women, ready for sale.
During prohibition bars moved their sales underground, making it even easier to Shanghai unsuspecting people from the city.
When visiting Portland, be sure to take a tour of the catacombs beneath the city and hear the tales of Shanghaiing.
Let your eyes and ears decide how true this legend may be.
Golden Ghost Towns Between the harsh agricultural climate, the tumultuous upheaval of the transcontinental railway and the whims of the gold rush, it is no wonder that Oregon is home to dozens of ghost towns.
One interesting locale is Sumpter.
Founded in 1862 by several men on the way to the California gold rush, it began as nothing more than an old cabin.
Because it was so far out of the way, the town grew slowly, not even rating a post office until 1874.
As technology improved, making it easier to mine gold, the population increased.
By 1900 the 35 gold mines in the area had raked in nearly nine million dollars worth of gold.
With a population of around 3500 the city was booming.
This boom was not to last.
On August 13, 1917 a terrible fire ripped through Sumpter.
With 100 buildings destroyed, people lost interest in the city and moved on to better digs.
The gold was too deep for the dredges to remove, making it easier to mine elsewhere for gold.
By 1947 even the rail line to Sumpter was closed down, sealing its fate.
In modern times, Sumpter has a new vision.
While gold still remains deep in the bedrock, mining is no longer the primary interest.
As an historic tourist attraction, the town now holds tours of the old dredge where gold was mined, and even runs a Narrow Gauge Railroad where visitors can experience a steam engine ride through the area.
Explore Wherever you look, Oregon is full of fascinating historical venues.
With its rich cultural heritage you could spend years exploring the state and still find more to discover.
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