In the spring of 1846 pioneers settling in the western valleys of Oregon encouraged the opening of an alternate wagon route from the states to their settlements—one that avoided the perils of the Columbia River, and one free of control by England's Hudson's Bay Company. Jesse and Lindsay Applegate, who both lost sons to the Columbia River in 1843, were among the volunteers for this task. Ultimately the group grew to fifteen, including Levi Scott, John Scott, Moses ("Black") Harris, John Boygus, John Owens, John Jones, Robert Smith, Samuel Goodhew, Bennett Osborn, William Sportsman, William Parker, Benjamin Burch, and David Goff. Jesse Applegate became the leader of the group.
They traveled south from the northern part of the Willamette Valley and passed this area about a mile to the east. Approximately ten miles southeast of here they turned east to cross the Cascade Mountains. They continued east and southeast until they intersected the Fort Hall wagon road to California. The new trail was first used by pioneers coming from the states in the fall of that year.
In 1848 Peter H. Burnett led a group of more than 150 men and fifty heavily loaded wagons from Oregon City to the goldfields of California. He took this route as far as the east of Tule Lake, then headed south and west, ultimately entering the
Sacramento Valley near present-day Chico. This established the first wagon road between Oregon and the Sacramento Valley.
This is part of your American heritage. Honor it, protect it, preserve it for your children.