Oregon State University

Champoeg: A Frontier Community in Oregon

Champoeg: A Frontier Community in Oregon, 1830-1861, by Lou Ann Speulda 1988. $14.00

Champoeg is located on the south bank of the Willamette River, in Champoeg State Park. The terraced alluvial flood plain provided a rich food source to Kalapuya Indians. The first Euro-Americans to enter were French-Canadian fur trappers. The valley's abundant food resources and beaver population drew attention from rival British and American fur companies. Settlement began in the Willamette Valley in 1829 by retired French-Canadian fur trappers, yet by the mid-1840s American pioneers dominated the region. In 1892 a flood destroyed the Champoeg townsite. Archaeological investigations of Champoeg were carried out between 1971 and 1975. A classification system for nineteenth century cultural material, devised by Roderick Sprague, provides for specific-type descriptions within a functional framework. By organizing artifact groups into functional categories, behavior patterns can be recognized and site interpretation thus enhanced.

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