) ( ( ) Good Morning Family! ( \ .-.,--^--. ( Come on in. . . \* ) \\|`----'| - The coffee pot's on. . . .=|=. \| |// ...and we even have decaf, |~'~| | |/ tea, and hot chocolate! | | \ / _|___|_ ------ (_______) Today's topics include: 1. Welcome to new cousins 2. Please note... 3. The Overland Experience, Part VI 4. Did you know...? 5. Recommended sites TO OUR NEWEST COUSINS ~~ On behalf of the entire family, I'd like to extend a most hearty welcome to those cousins who came into the family fold this past week. We are very glad to have you with us and hope you'll stay and remain a part of our online family. As soon as you're comfortable with us and the list, please send in your list-surname lines so we can all see how we're related to you. We do not have a fancy format for sending in records or queries to the list. Post as many as you wish! If the data has anything to do with our list-surname ancestors that might help someone, please feel free to post it. Every scrap of information is appreciated. You're welcome to share this Coffee with your genealogy friends and relatives. If they are not members of our online family and would like to begin receiving the Coffee, they are now able to. Simply have them send a blank email to <[email protected]>. PLEASE NOTE... Cousins, I remind you all that I did NOT move to Oregon. I'm still happily sitting here in Colorado with my soldier-husband. Many of you are missing parts of the story. I want you to know I've received your messages. I will send everyone those Coffees they are missing when the story is finished today. *PLEASE*... if you need a resend of installments, be sure to TELL ME WHICH LIST YOU'RE ON so I can send you the proper one. Thanks. :) I also need to let you know that there will be NO COFFEE NEXT WEEK. I'm getting very behind in answering my email due to a project I've been working on. I want to use next Sunday as a "catch-up" day. If something important comes along that I need to let you know about, the Coffee will be an abbreviated one about that particular notice. THE OVERLAND EXPERIENCE, Part VI Sunday, November 6, 1853 We're at the Malheur River cold and tired. We only covered 13 miles today, but considering the overall health of the animals and humans, I guess 13 miles was pretty good. Snow fell some last night and made our trip all the more difficult today. Our oldest daughter turned 10 yesterday! How big she's getting. I suspected that I would have to start seving before we reached Oregon and I was right. Her dresses became so short and so tight that some of them she could not wear at all. Two weeks ago I opened the chest in the wagon and from it took a beautiful piece of orange-and-black-checked gingham I had brought with us. The checks were tiny and so pretty our daughter was delighted when she learned that she was to have a new dress for her birthday. I made it evenings, sitting on the ground. Our daughter was thrilled to wear something new that fit properly. I have not mentioned this before but I guess I will here. There is one party at which everyone looks with scorn. The women do not wear dresses. Their clothes look strange and funny. They wear long basque-like coats and ankle-length trousers and climb about as easily as my daughter does in her short dresses. How they shocked the rest of the train! The rest of the women and I have snubbed those women. Their lack of decency is indeed shameful!* [Note: What would those same women say if they could see how their own female descendants dress today!! <g>] Thursday, November 10, 1853 Today was hard day, to be sure. The road was bad and we must have crossed the Burnt River 15 times. We are lucky we have not had to fight iced rivers thus far. I believe we may have covered only 6 miles. One party's wagon broke a wheel on rock and tipped. Their youngest boy was trapped and badly injured. One of their oxen was killed. It took all of us hours to unload, set the wagon up and repair the wheel. We pulled up out of the canyon and made camp in an area where the grass was poor. The cattle are restless caused by wolves that have been howling and pacing around so close to camp. My husband says they were attracted to the oxen carcass. We took what we could use but the wolves will have their share. Saturday, November 12, 1853 It was another hard pull today, but we made 16 miles in slick mud caused by steady rain . It was just a cold, bleak day. We finally found some grass and water here in the valley, though the grass probably isn't as sweet as it would have been had we arrived here earlier. I have noticed how very dry my skin is now. With the cold weather it itches greatly and I would be ever so happy for some soothing salve to put on it. I have also been suffering by being nauseous every morning. I do hope we arrive at our destination soon! My husband, the children and I are so terribly thin from improper nourishment and all the strenous activity we have had these past months. Dinner tonight was soup made of one raven, a hawk and a rabbit; not much for sustenance. The little boy who was injured Thursday was buried today in the hard and rocky ground yesterday. We ran our wagons over and over the grave in an attempt to hide it from the wolves. I empathize with his mother, for I still mourn for my own little ones. Thursday, November 17, 1853 It rained on all night last night and faced another cold, dreary day. We came into the beautiful Grande Ronde Valley off a very steep hill, and I wondered if the Willamette Valley will be as pretty. There are waterfowl all over the valley in a vast marsh. When we camped Indians brought fresh salmon and vegetables to trade. We traded three knives for all they had. We stopped yesterday and today to let the oxen rest and recover from sore feet. It rained both days. The captain says we will need this rest for we will soon cross the now snowy-filled Blue Mountains and will need all the energy we can gather to make that part of the Trail. They are beautiful but frightening, and we are told the first ridge is the hardest of all. We leave tomorrow morning and everyone has made comment about the snow on them. We bought and traded for salmon and other supplies from local Indians and a small trading post. Sunday, November 20, 1853 We have been in the Blue Mountains for three days now. Soon after starting out on Friday we struck the snow. We traveled in it all day and it got deeper as we went. That night when we camped, we had to scratch the now away to make our fire. We made ourselves as comfortable as we could under the circumstances. Water is good, but there is very little grass now. My husband has had to pasture cattle a mile or more away from the train several times. Food has been pretty thin until today. Animals are just not found very close to the Trail, none except for scavengers, wolves, buzzards and crows. We have barely 3 pounds of flour left and I wonder how soon it will be before we have completely run out of food. Monday, November 21, 1853 Today was a big day for my husband for he killed a bull elk! He is so proud! We'll have meat for a while now. The Trail is smooth here, the grass is almost nonexistent, but the water is good. We are traveling through very large pine trees. From where the cattle are being held I am told one can see many miles out into a vast treeless, wasteland. I hope we can get through it without incident. Thursday, November 24, 1853 We made 16 miles today again in steady rain. The grass is poor and water for the stock is hard to get to and the cattle had to be set out almost 2 miles away. Any grass near the camping areas has been sheared off to the ground. No trees, no wood, no shade anywhere. The only good thing about this land is the size of the rabbits which are very big with lighter color than most of the others we've seen. They still need a long time cooking, though. During a short break in the rain we thought we could see moutains west of here today. Those would be the Cascades. Getting pretty close. Friday, November 25, 1853 I began this day with three fine children. Now I have only two. I don't want to write anymore but my husband says that I must, as a remembrance. It has rained for the last two days, making the roads so slick that the oxen fall in their traces and we must all push across the worst spots. We came to the John Day River when it was high and muddy; few wanted to cross. The threat of even higher water and oncoming winter snows made us hurry though. Our wagon tipped while our seven year old, in the wagon only because of a small fever, was caught beneath. The captain says we will lay by tomorrow to bury our son and try to dry out. Saturday, November 26, 1853 I don't believe I can bear anymore sadness. My despair is such that I am ready to stop right here and remain near the son we put in the ground just a few hours ago. We ran the wagons over his grave and as we drove away, I felt my soul rent for a third time. Will I ever feel happiness again? Where I was barely tolerating the loss of my two earlier, we lose yet another one. Where we started this trip with five children, we now have two. Where we started this trip with two sons and three daughters, we now have two daughters. I had never seen my husband cry. Today he cried for all our babies, now angels. Thursday, June 27, 2002 Whew! Today was a HOT one! I'm sure the temperatures were in the 90's, but the humidity was stifling. Of course, the van's air conditioner was on the whole time! The hassle of moving is getting to everyone. We looked at what must have been our hundredth house today. What a pain to have to keep looking around! However, we've finally decided on one and put our earnest money down. The realtor will let us know tomorrow whether or not the current owners will accept our bid. It's a 2900 square foot, four-bedroom, three-bath home with a family room, formal living and dining rooms. There is a huge back yard with a cedar deck and room for us to lay in an inground swimming pool, if we decide to. Without saying, of course the house has central air. I've had enough of living in a hotel; the expense is becoming too much. I just hope the owners will accept our bid and allow us to move in while we wait for the closing. November 28, 1853 We arrived at the Columbia River last evening and traded for a quantity of smoked salmon with Indians who fish from rocks with spears and nets. Our hope is that the smoked fish will last until we get to the Willamette Valley. We have to hire Indians with rafts to take us downriver so we will lay by for a few days waiting for rafts to be available. One of the men will take our cattle with his along the river banks and we will help his wife get her wagon and belongings to the valley by raft. Friday, June 28, 2002 Success! The owners accepted our bid and, realizing our plight of living in a hotel, are allowing us to move into the house before the closing. We move in TOMORROW. Hurray! November 30, 1853 Tomorrow we head west on the river. It will be the end of our jouney and the beginning of our lives in this Oregon Territory. I have very mixed emotions right now. I am very scared about rafting on the Columbia River which is full of rapids and dangerous currents,* despondent over losing our three children, yet at the same time I am excited at finally ending this experience and beginning anew. [*Many emigrants lost their lives rafting the Columbia, almost within sight of their goal. Yet at this point, it was the fastest route to travel to Oregon City.] We have another set of plans awaiting us once we are in Oregon City* but it will not mean a lot of traveling. After picking up supplies to last us through the winter, we will stay in or around Oregon City this winter. The wagon will continue to be our home ~ we will simply take it apart, use the wood and canvas top to build a temporary home. Then, next spring, move on to our final destination where we will stake out our homestead and build a permanent one. [*The Oregon Trail actually ended here, and so does our story. Oregon City was not quite 2,000 miles from Independence, Missouri.] A final word: I'm extremely happy so many of you have enjoyed "The Overland Experience." It was such a pleasure creating each of the installments. There are many, many Oregon Trail stories and experiences that I have not even touched ~ not because I didn't want to, but because the size of the Coffees would have been too extreme. I hope these small segments in the lives of our emigrant ancestors have opened even a tiny window into what they went through to establish the Pacific states. After doing this story, my appreciation for everything we have today is just all the greater and I am in awe of those pioneering spirits! DID YOU KNOW... ... the first emigrants to Oregon went by ship before the Trail was established? The sea journey often took up to a full year, the far was very expensive and few pioneer families could afford it. Ships continued to travel to Oregon even after the overland migrations began, but they were not popular among the pioneers. ... that the Oregon Trail has been known by many names? - the Platte Trail, the Great Platte Trail, the Emigrant Road, the Road to Oregon, the Oregon Trace, and the Oregon and California Trail. Parts of it were also part of the Santa Fe Trail, the Mormon Trail, the Overland Trail, or the Great Salt Lake Trail. Indians called it the Great Medicine Road or the White Topped Wagon Trail. ... the 1850 census showed that 12,093 people lived in Oregon? In 1860, one year after Oregon attained statehood, 52,495 were counted. ... the wagons usually measured just 4 feet wide by 12 feet long? Into those 48 square feet were supplies for traveling the trail and beginning a new life at the other end. The emphasis was on tools and foot, but a few family trasurers and heirlooms were also carried. Using the wagon as a shelter was secondary. ... that in the early years the Oregon Trail was marked only by a sign where it left the Santa Fe Trail that merely said "The road to Oregon." ... that many emigrants tasted Pacific salmon for the first time at Fort Hall (now in Idaho)? ... that the first wheeled vehicle to complete the journey over the trail was in 1841? The first actual wagon train was in 1843. .. that the Oregon Trail was the transcontinental lifeline for 20 years? It began in the late 1840s and continued until the completion of the Union Pacific route in 1869. ... that wheel ruts, cut into stone by the wheels of the traveller's wagons, are still visible today? ... that those emigrants arriving by river landed near Governor George Abernethy's house and proceeded to Abernethy Green, a large meadow behind Abernethy's house. The Barlow Road travelers entered Abernethy Green from the east. This was the final campground. Want to read more? Here are some... RECOMMENDED SITES: Duniway, Abigail Scott: "Journal of a Trip to Oregon" Abigail Scott Duniway,an Oregon and Pacific Northwest leader in the suffrage movement for 41 years, traveled to Oregon in 1852. <http://cateweb.uoregon.edu/duniway/notes/DiaryProof1.html>. Elgin, James Henry: Over the Plains 50 Years Ago written by James Elgin in 1902 for the Oregonian. James was 18 when he traveled west in 1852 with his parents and siblings. <http://www.elgins.com/OregonTrail.htm>. Bureau of Land Management Wyoming: The Oregon Trail 1843-1868. Not as informative as the others, but has all the other cutoffs listed. <http://www.wy.blm.gov/histrails/ortrail.htm> It's family ... and that's what we're all about. I so enjoyed spending this time with you today. Thank you for sharing it with me. I wish each of you a week filled with health, productivity, fun, and above all, filled with love and inner peace. ) ( ) _.-~~-. (@\'--'/. Colleen ('``.__.'`) `..____.'