Early Settlements & Settlers
Bancroft's Works - Pg. 3 & 4; Pub. 1888

George Gay had a brick dwelling, and Abernethy a brick store; and brick was also used in the erection of the Catholic church at St. Pauls. Crawford tells us a good deal about where to look for settlers. Reason Read, He says, was located on Nathan Crosby's land-claim, a mile below Pettygrove's dwelling in Portland, on the right bank of the Willamette, just below a high gravelly bluff, that is, in what is now the north part of East Portland. Two of the Belknaps were making brick at this place, assisted by Read. A house was being erected for Crosby by a mechanic named Richardson. Daniel Lownsdale had a tannery west of Portland town-site. South of it on the same side of the river were the claims of Finice Caruthers, William Johnson, Thomas Stevens, and James Terwilliger. On the island in front of Stevens' place lived Richard McCrary, celebrated for making 'blue ruin' whiskey out of molasses. James Stevens lived opposite Caruthers, on the east bank of the Willamette, where he had a cooper-shop, and William Kilborne a warehouse. Three miles above Milwaukee, where Whitcomb, William Meek, and Luelling were settled, was a German named Piper, attempting to make pottery. Opposite Oregon City lived S. Thurston, R. Moore, H. Burns, and Judge Lancaster. Philip Foster and other settlers lived on the Clackamas River, east of Oregon City. Turning back, and going north of Portland, John H. Couch claimed the land adjoining that place. Below him were settled at intervals on the same side of the river William Blackstone, Peter Gill, Doane, and Watts. At Linnton there were two settlers, William Dillon and Dick Richards. Opposite to Watt's on the east bank was James Loomis, and just above him James John. At the head of Sauve Island lived John Miller. Near James Logie's place, before mentioned as a dairy-farm of the Hudson's Bay Company, Alexander McQuinn was settled, and on different parts of the island Jacob Cline, Joseph Charlton, James Bybee, Malcolm Smith a Scotchman, Gilbau a Canadian, and an American named Walker. On the Scappoose plains south of the island was settled McPherson, a Scotchman; and during the summer Nelson Hoyt took a claim on the Scappoose. At Plymouth Rock, now St. Helen, lived H.M. Knighton who the year before had succeeded to the claim of its first settler, Bartholomew White, who was a cripple, and unable to make improvements. A town was already projected at this place, though not surveyed till 1849, when a few lots were laid off by James Brown of Canemah. The survey was subsequently completed by N.H. Tappan and P.W. Crawford, and mapped by Joseph Trutch, in the spring of 1851. A few miles below Knighton were settled the Merrill family and a man named Tulitson. The only settler in the region of the Dalles was Nathan Olney, who in 1847 took a claim 3 miles below the present town, on the south side of the river. On the north side of the Columbia, in the neighborhood of Vancouver, the land formerly occupied by the fur company, after the settlement of the boundary was claimed to a considerable extent by individuals, British subjects as well as Americans. Above the fort, Forbes Barclay and Mr. Lowe, members of the company, held claims as individuals, as also Mr. Covington, teacher at the fort. On the south side, opposite Vancouver, John Switzler kept a ferry, which had been much in use during the Cayuse war as well as in the season of immigrant arrivals. On Cathlapootle, or Lewis, river there was also a settler. On the Kalama River Jonathan Burpee had taken a claim; he afterward removed to the Cowlitz, where Thibault, a Canadian, was living in charge of the warehouse of the Hudson's Bay Company, and where during the spring and summer Peter W. Crawford, E. West, and one or two others settled. Before the autumn of 1849 several families were located near the mouth of the Cowlitz. H.D. Huntington, Nathaniel Stone, David Stone, Seth Catlin, James Porter, and R.C. Smith were making shingles here for the California market. Below the Cowlitz, at old Oak Point on the south side of the river, lived John McLean, a Scotchman. Oak Point Mills on the north side were not built till the following summer, when they were erected by a man named Dyer for Abernethy and Clark of Oregon City. At Cathlamet on the north bank of the river lived James Birnie, who had settled there in 1846. There was no settlement between Cathlamet and Hunt's Mill, and none between Hunt's Mill, where a man named Spears was living, and Astoria, except the claim of Robert Shortess near Tongue Point. At Astoria the old fur company's post was in charge of Mr. McKay; and there were several Americans living there, namely, John McClure, James Welch, John M. Shively, Van Dusen and family, and others; in all about 30 persons; but the town was partially surveyed this year by P.W. Crawford. There were about a dozen settlers on Clatsop plains, and a town had been projected on Point Adams by two brothers O'Brien, called New York, which never came to anything. At Baker Bay lived John Edmunds, though the claim belonged to Peter Skeen Ogden. On Scarborough Hill, just above, a claim had been taken by an English captain of that name in the service of the Hudson's Bay Company.


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R. GESS SMITH