Oregon City was the first capital of Oregon Territory. In 1852, after much controversy, the capital was changed to Salem. In 1855, the Legislature passed a bill removing it to Corvallis. The Federal Government refused to recognize the change. As a result both houses of the Legislature convened in Corvallis, in the building shown here on December 3, 1855, and passed a bill, within a few days, changing the capital back to Salem. This went into effect the same month and the Legislature re-opened in Salem on December 18. Although efforts were afterwards made to change the location again and by vote at an election in 1856 Eugene received the largest number of votes. The election, because of failure of four counties to make official returns, was ignored and the capital has remained at Salem since 1855.
The Dalles probably derived its name from its location by 'contracted running waters hemmed in by walls of rock'. Such a place was called 'dalles' in French. The first building in Eastern Oregon was the Methodist mission erected at the Dalles in 1838. The mission home became a favorite place for voyagers, up and down the Columbia who were compelled to portage at this place. As time passed the Dalles became the chief settlement east of the Cascades. Here in the spring of 1848 the log Fort Dalles was built and occupied by Major Tucker and his command, the 'Rifle Regiment' of U.S. Troops, who had arrived the previous autumn. Here, too, was established the first court house which was for years the only 'hall of justice' between the Cascades and the Rockies. By 1858, as indicated in the picture, the Dalles had become a permanent little city.
The first day school of any kind in Portland was opened in the fall of 1847 by Dr. Ralph Wilcox. It was conducted in a private house erected by Mr. McNamee at the foot of Taylor Street. It continued for one quarter and from time to time in the years following school would be carried on by some teacher for three months. The usual charge was $10. per pupil for the quarter. The first 'free school' is mentioned in the Oregonian of December 6, 1851. John T. Outhouse was the principal and began teaching in the school house next door to the 'City Hotel' on Monday Dec. 15, 1851. Books used were 'Saunder's readers, Goodrich's geographies, Thompson's arithmetics and Bullion's grammar'. School District No. 1 was not formally organized until April, 1856.
This is a picture of Battle Rock near Port Orford in Curry County. On June 9, 1851, the steamer "Sea Gull" plying between Portland and San Francisco landed nine white men on the beach near the rock. They were employed by a group of men who had formed a partnership to make a settlement, lay out a town and build a road from the beach back into to "gold diggings" of southern Oregon. The party of nine men immediately made their camp on this rock. Fortunately for them they had taken with them a small cannon and some ammunition for it, from the ship. They also had some rifles and revolvers. The ship had scarcely left them when a party of Indians made signs that they would kill them if they did not leave. On the morning of June 10, they were attacked by the Indians but were able, with the aid of the cannon, to repulse them. Nearly a score of Indians, including their leader were killed. Two weeks later the Indians in large number renewed the attack but again were beaten off with the loss of their chief. Then great numbers of Indians gathered at a safe distance and the white men knew the Indians would attack them at night. The Indians withdrew to await nightfall when they were convinced the white men, who were strengthening their fortification, meant to stay. The white men then escaped into the woods and after days of hard traveling and extreme peril reached some friendly Indians on Coos Bay. On July 2, 1851, the nine white men reached a camp of white men and safety at the mouth of the Umpqua. (The names of the white men who participated in the historic fight on Battle Rock and finally escaped from the Indians were: J.H. Eagan, John T. Slater, George Ridoubs, T.D. Palmer, Joseph Hussey, Cyrus W. Hedden, James Carigan, Erastus Summers, J.M. Kirkpatrick).