1844 - Father DeSmet arrives in the Willamette Valley

An etching made by Father DeSmet of a village of the Kansas tribe.

      The peripethetic Jesuit missionary sailed to Oregon from Belgium, via Cape Horn, then visited Indians living in the Willamette Valley before pressing on to meet up with the Flatheads in Montana. There, he helped them build St. Mary's Mission in the Bitteroot Valley.

      His remarkable journals describe the country under the volcanoes of the Cascade range, and old growth forests of massive Douglas Firs on the Willamette, just a few years before pioneers would begin fill the valley, cutting down the trees and turning the sod.