First People of the Land
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Volcanoguy
N 43° 54.582 W 117° 10.585
11T E 485834 N 4861858
History sign titled “First People of the Land” located in the parking lot at the Keeney Pass Oregon Trail site, south of Vale.
Waymark Code: WMAXR5
Location: Oregon, United States
Date Posted: 03/08/2011
Published By:Groundspeak Regular Member silverquill
Views: 2

Marker Name: First People of the Land
Marker Text: For thousands of years, the native peoples of the northern Great Basin met the challenge of living in this arid region. During the nineteenth century, contact with explorers and emigrants resulted in dramatic changes to the Indians’ traditional way of life.

As they pushed west, the earliest EuroAmerican explorers sought directions from the Indians they encountered. From the Indians, explorers learned of a travel route from the Snake River, through the Blue Mountains, to the Columbia River, Decades later, the same ancient Indian path became the Oregon Trail.

Emigrants following the Oregon Trail frequently met and traded with the Paiute, Shoshone, Bannock, Snake, Nez Perce, and Cayuse Indians at Fort Boise. Here, these Native Americans offered food to the emigrants and their skills were valued for the safe crossing of the Snake River.

“I . . . pitched my camp near that of some Chochonis . . .. On the 18th, I procured a . . . horse, a small quantity of dried fish, some roots and some dried, pulverized cherries. I spent the greater part of the day in getting information as to our route and as to the time it would take us to reach the Sciatogas (Cayuse Indians). The indians . . . agreed in saying the trail was good.” -- William Price Hunt, explorer - December 18, 1811.

“The first night we stayed at Fort Bois, I lay on the bank of the river where I could scarcely sleep for the Indians, who sung all night . . .. This is their practice when they are gambling . . .. The salmon also kept up a great noise, jumping and splashing about in the water.” -- Joseph Williams - Emigrant of 1842

“There were several Indian encampments scattered along the river; and a number of their inhabitants . . came to the camp on horseback with dried and fresh fish to trade . . .. While the summer weather and the salmon lasted, they lived contentedly and happily, scattered along the different streams where the fish were to be found; and as soon as the winter snows began to fall, little smokes would be seen rising among the mountains, where they would be found . . ..” -- Captain John Fremont - October 1843

“From Fort Hall to the Willamette Valley not the slightest precaution was taken against nor apprehension felt of Indian hostility, nor were we in any instance molested by them, on the contrary, they often rendered us valuable assistance.” -- Medorein Crowford - Emigrant of 1842

Historic Topic: Native American

Group Responsible for placement: BLM

Marker Type: Roadside

Region: Eastern Oregon

County: Malheur

State of Oregon Historical Marker "Beaver Board": Not listed

Web link to additional information: Not listed

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Recent Visits/Logs:
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Phydux visited First People of the Land 02/22/2014 Phydux visited it
Volcanoguy visited First People of the Land 09/21/2010 Volcanoguy visited it

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