Robert Newell - St. Paul, OR
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member dkestrel
N 45° 14.964 W 122° 53.825
10T E 508076 N 5010661
Quick Description: Most of the town of Champoeg was located on the Donation Land Claims of Robert Newell and André Longtain. In 1843 Robert Newell was one who voted for the divide that established the Provisional government that led to Territorial status.
Location: Oregon, United States
Date Posted: 2/12/2014 2:42:07 PM
Waymark Code: WMK4TX
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member Mark1962
Views: 2

Long Description:
On a hillside west of the entrance to Champoeg State Heritage Area, above the banks of the Willamette River, stands the home of Robert Newell. A central figure in Oregon statehood
and first Speaker of the House, he resided at Champoeg for nineteen years beginning in 1843. Robert Newell built his home above the hill of the Willamette River for his growing family in 1852.

Champoeg is best known as the site of a series of meetings held in the town during the 1840s. On February 7, 1841, Willamette Valley settlers convened there for the first time. They selected Oregon missionary Jason Lee as their chairman and considered measures to deal with problem of wolves menacing their settlements. It was to be the first in a series of "Wolf meetings" at the town site that would establish the basis of civil codes.

By the middle 1840s, the question of the possession of the disputed Oregon Country between the United States and the United Kingdom began to loom large. On May 2, 1843, a meeting was held at the town to determine whether a provisional government should be established. The measure passed by 52 to 50. A group of nine representatives was named to create a provisional government with Champoeg as its capital. A petition to the United States Congress was drafted and sent to Washington, D.C. with William Gilpin, who had helped draft the petition and came to the Willamette Valley with the expedition of John C. Frémont. On his journey eastward to deliver the petition, Gilpin evangelized for the settlement of the Pacific Northwest, helping to spread "Oregon fever". He presented the petition to Congress in 1845. The question of possession of the Oregon Country was settled the following year in the 1846 Oregon Treaty. When the Oregon Territory was organized in 1848, however, Champoeg was not chosen as the capital.

Around 1852 the town had grown to include a ferry across the Willamette, a warehouse owned by Francis Pettygrove and Alanson Beers, a steamboat landing, a granary owned by the Hudson's Bay Company, and a stagecoach office. There were 10 north-south streets and six east-west streets laid out in the community. Champoeg was also the crossroads of the Champoeg-St. Paul Road, Champoeg-Salem Road, Champoeg-Oregon City Road, and the Champoeg-DeGuire’s Ferry Road.
The Newells (Robert and his new wife Rebecca; Kitty died in 1845) moved out of the cabin in about 1854, when they completed their new house—now the Robert Newell House Museum. With the exception of one bottle (described later), no artifacts can be dated from after that time, so it appears that the cabin was abandoned when they left it. Donald Manson bought Newell’s farm and moved to Champoeg in 1858. Although he continued the farming operation, the evidence confirms that he never moved his family into the cabin. Instead, they probably lived in a house near today’s Visitor Center, above the reach of flooding.

When the great flood came in 1861, the Newell's initial cabin floated away, along with the barn and outbuildings which are presumed to have been there. The location of the Champoeg Livery and Grain Store, where the discussions and vote were held is now the current site of the
Pioneer Memorial Pavilion.

His second wife was Rebecca Newman of Ohio, was a resident of Champoeg and they married in 1846. In 1852, they again moved their family to
Champoeg and built the Robert Newell House you see today. Robert Newell served ably and with distinction during all of Oregon’s early growth. He helped draft all three early Constitutions, was a wealthy, successful businessman and popular civic leader who often entertained at his home. He was a director of the first literary society and the first newspaper. He owned two keel boats that served between Oregon City and Champoeg. He was the first Worshipful Master of the Champoeg Masonic lodge that met in his home. He almost paupered himself helping the victims of the 1861 flood. His house on the hill was the only surviving structure at Champoeg.

By 1952, when it was acquired by the Oregon State Society, Daughters of the American Revolution (OSSDAR), the structure was ravaged by many
years of age and neglect. The east wing, comprising the dining room and kitchen with the large room upstairs, had collapsed and
the interior was in shambles. The OSSDAR restored and furnished the structure as a historical museum in time for the 1959 Oregon Centennial.
History if no Link:
See above


Link to the Homestead: Not listed

Additional Parking or Point of Interest: Not Listed

Structure Type: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
A clear picture of the Homestead,Marker or Plaque taken by you. And if you like a picture of you and GPS at the marker.
No Copyrighted images please.
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dkestrel visited Robert Newell - St. Paul, OR 2/12/2014 dkestrel visited it