Friday, June 21, 2013

Battle Rock to Eugene

A History Lesson...
"Battle Rock City Park has been dedicated in memory of the ancient people (Dene Tsut Dah) and the pioneer founders of this townsite.  In 1850, the U.S. Congress passed the Oregon Donation Land Act.  This act allowed white settlers to file claims on indian land in western Oregon although no indian nation had signed a single treaty.  Capt. William Tichenor of the steamship SeaGull landed nine men on June 9, 1851, for the purpose of establishing a white settlement.  This resulted in deadly conflict between the two cultures.  For two weeks the nine settlers were besieged on the island now called Battle Rock.  Under cover of darkness, the party escaped north to Umpqua City.  In July, Capt. Tichenor again arrived with a well-armed party of seventy men and established the settlement now called Fort Orford."

Battle Rock, Fort Orford, Oregon
(that is the rock those nine settlers defended for two weeks!)

Battle Rock was only one of many incidents where native American lands were seized by hook or by crook.

At one point along the coast we learned that the encroaching white settlers imposed a 'land tax' on all property--including any lands granted through treaty to the native tribes.  They 'advertised' this new tax by hanging posters around the area--knowing full well that the natives could neither read nor write.  As taxes went delinquent the land was eagerly snatched up by the settlers--and the natives were summarily evicted.

The 'lumber barons' moved in and clear-cutting is clearly evident everywhere...

Even areas that were cut 150 years ago are still identifiable in every direction...

'After all, to the victor belongs the spoils.'

We staked out our claims--Mary has a street,

And I have a lot of grey hair.

The weather stayed dreary through most of the trip but it did not deter us from taking pictures.

Please note, there are two people walking in the photo above. 

The bridges along the way are worthy of note....

Everyone of them is different...

and each a work of art. 

We explored the Umpqua River Lighthouse.

I could not believe the lobelia that grows on the west coast.  

All along the drive we kept seeing this very prolific flowering bush...

I learned it is an invasive species called, 'Scottish Broom' and it is rapidly pushing out the native plants.

But I must say, it is lovely.

Okay, no more flowers for a while.

Please note, there is also a person walking on this beach...

I thought this looked very like a giant sphinx.

Mary pointed out some natural caves in the rocks...

Then she let loose with one of her very famous 'Tarzan yells'.

It was sort of her 'Last Hurrah'.  From Florence it was time to head east toward Eugene, Oregon...

Where she teamed up with brother, Johnny, and his wife, Kelly, for the return to Redding. That was fun, Mary, let's do it again sometime.

And I turned north toward Salem for a week with my daughter, Janice.


  1. I was a kid in Oregon in the 50's when its Centennial as a state was celebrated with great fanfare; funny, I don't remember any mention being made of the Natives who were displaced!

  2. The visitor's center in Newport OR has a couple of displays about who designed Oregon's bridges. As I recall, one gentleman was responsible for about 6 of them. Bridges were a big deal back then for commerce. If you get to Newport, it's worth reading the poster.