NAME: Champoeg
COUNTY: Marion
CLIMATE: Mild winter and summer.
COMMENTS: South of Portland off I-5.
REMAINS: The cemetery.
Champoeg has its place in history although the town no longer exists. It was in the early 1800s when the territory known then as “Oregon Territory” was the subject of intense debate between the United States and Great Britain as to whose flag should fly over the territory. Because of the mix of the settler population at the time, it became very much a local issue. If it came to war between the United States and Great Britain, under whose flag would the settlers fight? They were divided. The dispute between the two countries as to who would control these fertile lands had resulted in a treaty of joint occupancy signed in London on October 28, 1818. This treaty was renewed in 1818. As more and more Americans moved into the area, they began to resent the possibility of British control. A meeting was arranged for May 2, 1843 in the town of Champoeg at which time a vote would be taken to determine who should govern the Oregon Territory. That vote resulted in a bloodless decision that the vast territory should be under the control of the United States and not Great Britain. The immense area sandwiched between Mexican California and Canada was no safely under the flag of the United States-at least as far as the inhabitants were concerned. A group of nine was named to create a local government and Champoeg was its “Capitol.” On December 2, 1861, with the Willamette River fifty-five feet above its summer stage, a monumental flood seven feet deep swept over the town obliterating everything in its path except two saloons. The town was never rebuilt. SUBMITTED BY: Henry Chenowith