Thursday, August 2, 2012

Historic Butteville & Champoeg

Butteville Store
Neither Butteville or Champoeg is a city today. They were both destroyed by flooding in 1861. However, except for that dramatic force of nature, Butteville might have been an important Oregon city. The community shipped wheat to the world between 1850-1880 and its future looked bright. Today the former city is reduced to one business, the Historic Butteville Store. in existence since the 1860s, it is the oldest operating store in Oregon. Now considered a ghost town, many early Oregonians came through bustling Butteville before continuing down the Willamette River.

Every summer weekend (Memorial Day though Labor Day) there are historic and other, dining and music events taking place.

The Champoeg Museum: Would Oregon be British or American?

Champoeg was an early trading post and Oregon statehood began here. It was here that the first review style self-government on the Pacific Coast was formed on May 2, 1843. The vote whether Oregon would be British or American was decided here. A flood destroyed the community in 1861.

May 2 ~ Founders Day
Every summer weekend ~ Living History
September 5 ~ Historic Farmstead Day

Champoeg has been a crossroads of cultures.
Historical Site Information:
The Visitor Center has interpretive exhibits showing Oregon's road to settlement and Native American heritage. The Champoeg State Heritage area also includes the following tours: Historic Manson Farmstead, 1860s Kitchen Garden, Historic Old Champoeg Townsite, Newell House, Pioneer Mothers Log Cabin and Birth of Oregon. There are nature walks along the Willamette River, bicycle tours, Junior Ranger and nature program in the campground.

On September 6, 2012 Jim Scheppke produced a KMUZ radio feature with Mark Hinds, historian of Champoeg, to be broadcast  in the following October. The interview began at the 1901 monument on the site where pioneer settlers discussed the vote to make the Oregon settlement a part of the United States in 1843.  Along with Virginia Green and Thomas Green, Jr. (photographer) the Walkabout group moved on to the site of the former town to hear Mark trace the story of  Champoeg's history before the flood of 1861 demolished the town.  A podcast of this program may be found in the archives listing on the KMUZ website.

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