Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation


Caution! High Water: A Historical Archaeological Investigation of the Champoeg Townsite (ORMA26) after the 1861 Flood Public Deposited

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  • The Champoeg townsite first developed due to its ideal settlement and trade location within the Willamette Valley, becoming the ‘legal birthplace of Oregon’ in 1843. However, by 1860 Champoeg’s significance had begun to decline, and in December of 1861 a devastating flood wiped out the townsite. Archaeological excavations took place at the Champoeg townsite in 1990 and 1991 in search of information regarding the significant, pre-flood townsite. Yet, excavations at Block 4, Lots 1 and 2, held information pertaining to a potential post-1861 flood general mercantile store. Thus, a historical archaeological approach was used to investigate the composition of the archaeological assemblage, from one of the only late nineteenth-century general mercantile stores to be excavated in Oregon, as well as provide information about the history of the entire duration of the Champoeg townsite, including the impacts of the technological, transportation, and consumption transformations occurring during the late nineteenth century. In order to discuss these transformations and the experiences of those still utilizing the Champoeg townsite during the post-1861 flood time period, central place, agency, as well as risk and resilience theories were applied.
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