Kitty Newell Grave Site
Since Champoeg was an early settlement, there are naturally some early graves in the area. The only one that is marked, however, is that of Kitty Newell, who was the daughter of the Nez Perce wife of early Oregon settler Robert Newell.
The grave site is near the group tent camping area, and is just off the paved Champoeg-Butteville Trail east of the combined road and trail bridge into the camping area. The trail to the grave site is gravel (so I guess this is a "beaten path" of sorts, but it is at least off the paved trail!) and bikes are not allowed on it.
Other than this marker, which doesn't even give us a true impression of the sheer child (and adults too!) motality rate of the early west, there is little that gives the impression of any surrounding graves or other parts of the old community. It also does not give us any idea of the extent of the intermarriage between Native Americans and the new settlers in the area.
So, the grave site leaves us to contemplate quite a lot of the unknowns about Champoeg.
- Arts and Culture
- Historical Travel
Champoeg is one of the few places left where the Western Bluebird is able to find nesting spots, and only then due to the placement of nesting boxes in a number of locations - and even then, frequently the nest boxes are taken over by various swallows and starlings.
The result is that in Oregon the western Bluebird is not that easy to find, even in places it likes to call home.
On fence lines, however, you may occasionally find them. Look for a small blue bird with a reddish chest, but no white bars on the wings (small white wing bars are probably a lazuli bunting, but those don't usually come to Champoeg). Typically, they perch on the fence line and chase insects.
"The Barn" may be Oldest Structure in Oregon
There is significant evidence that this barn was built from materials salvaged from the 1861 flood that wiped Champoeg off the map. It may very well be the oldest standing structure in Oregon. It is located behind the visitors center and museum. Signs next to the barn tell of some of its interesting features that give evidence that much of it is a very old structure indeed, as well as describing a more general history of the area and how things were done before the Willamette Valley had much communication with the outside world.
- Historical Travel
- Museum Visits